Following this year's I/O keynote, I can see there are many doubts about Android's future under Google. When I hear the rumors and information coming out about Fuchsia, Andromeda or a possible merger between Android and Chrome OS, I must admit I'm not that worried. Here's why.
Right at the start of the Google I/O event, Google emphasized that there were two billion Android devices currently in active use. And with Android Go, Google wants to add another billion to this number. An increasing number of apps are offering a simplified version of their services, making them ideal for inexpensive, low-performance Android smartphones with under 1 GB of RAM. Special recommendations in the Play Store should make these more accessible.
Google wouldn't be able to make such a departure, only to say later 'Sorry! Android is actually out-of-date, so we're cutting the platform and your app developers will now have to switch you over to Fuchsia - for better or worse!' For this reason, Android remains the most important platform for Google.
Android will always be good enough
Of course, Google is stretched to its limits with Android. These were present from the very beginning, but developments in and around the system core provide more than sufficient improvement. The most recent example is Project Treble, which finally clears the way for fast security patches.
Google is also readying itself for smart homes, voice command and automation through the Internet of Things. Devices will be able to speak to one another and respond to our wishes. All it needs now is an intelligent central system which can route all requests to the automated devices. Here's where the Assistant comes into play. While it may also work outside of Android devices, this doesn't make Android obsolete.
We'll definitely see Bugdroid sticking around as long as smartphones remain relevant. A dramatic move like changing operating systems just wouldn't be worth it. The range of tasks performed by smartphones won't change in such a drastic way that using Android as a software platform would hamper their evolution.
All in all, it's pretty clear that Google is working on other projects aside from Android. That said, they're not working towards making Android obsolete. Google is still fully committed to the success of its mobile operating system and to securing the next billion droids from the low-cost segment of the market. With its Pixel smartphones, it aims to take a bite out of Apple's dominance in the high-end market. 'Give up Android? Never!' - is the cry you may hear coming from Google.
What kind of future do you see for Android? Let us know in the comments below.