Opinion: Android has finally reached its tipping point

Baby how you're grown

Opinion: Android has finally reached its tipping point

A lot has changed in the world of mobile games in the past 10 years and that's something we're considering as we repost PocketGamer.biz articles from the past decade.

This week, we consider the rise of Android. 


Things just seem to be getting better and better when it comes to Google's mobile technology.

At the company's I/O conference, veep of engineering Vic Gundotra threw out some impressive figures concerning Android, the most notable one being that the company is now activating 100,000 devices daily.

That's up from the 65,000 daily Eric Schmidt revealed last week.

Things are on the up in terms of software too, with the Android Market hosting over 50,000 applications and having 180,000 registered developers.

Flash Google

Google is also getting one over its rival Apple as it celebrates its support for Adobe's forthcoming Flash 10.1 on mobile, which will be supported in the latest version of the Android OS, 2.2.

This is gaining support from big content providers, with Flash web gaming portal Kongregate launching a beta site with 100 of its 30,000 games available to play for free.

And news from social gaming platform provider Scoreloop underlines there's plenty of activity already happening on the platform. Supported in just two free Android games, it says it's adding 300,000 users per week.

"Android is big. People totally underestimate it," its CEO Marc Gumpinger told us.

What's in your wallet?

Yet the sticking point remains payment.

At the moment, Android is basically a platform for free content, with the inflexibility of the Google Checkout payment system cited as key barrier.

The emergence of easier payment options, some expected from Google, and also from thirdparties - as seen by PayPal release of an in-app purchasing system for integration in Android apps - means this is likely to change soon.

Then it will be a question of rolling out better discovery methods for apps, whether by on-device carrier-selected versions of the Android Market or web-based stores.

Final pieces

Of course, by its very nature, Android will never offer the sort of unified system that Apple has built up in terms of its iron fisted control over device, OS, sales, distribution, not to mention its cachet as a consumer electronics brand.

That's not what Google was planning.

Instead it's offering an open ecosystem of jigsaw pieces for manufacturers, operators, retailers, publishers, developers and other content providers to use to create their own mobile and online business in the way they see fit.

To that extent, the pieces are now in place. We're just waiting for someone to create a beautiful image out of them.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.