2016 is just around the corner and into the first quarter of the year will see many of the trends that will come to Android in the coming months. CES and Mobile World Congress will mark the compass hardware in January and February while we wait to May and the Google I / O to better understand the future of Android and its presence in all types of devices. Some trends we smell but the other we like to speculate and reflect on how to be what lies ahead.
This coming year is presented as a stage where Android has more windows than ever : smartphones, tablets, wearables, cars, televisions, internet of things, virtual reality … Hiroshi Lockheimer Pichai has succeeded as head of the platform and It faces a challenge as complex as exciting. Manufacturers, on the other hand, will have more competition than ever and rules of the game in 2015 have changed dramatically. I made the introductions, I leave you with what I think will happen in 2016 around Android.
A midrange with more prominence
We have seen in 2015: smartphones in the fork of price ranging from 250 to 350 dollars has had much prominence. Good finishes, excellent materials and more than acceptable in all technical sections results. There has been much to choose from and this category has been imposed for one simple reason: it is possible to have a good Android without spending much money.
This has hurt the top model: Most of them have sunk knee to see how cheaper terminals and sales getting more prominence. Yes, Z5 Xperia, Galaxy smartphones S6 and terminal company are fantastic but in the middle range there is very tempting choices at prices a few years ago it was hard to believe. The trend for next year is to keep it strong and alzen. They will not be the media but will undoubtedly help improve sales volume manufacturers. The competition will be tough though.
Force Touch is the new technology race
Last year was the fingerprint reader and this year Force Touch (or 3D Touch as pressure levels capable of put) will be the new gimmick with which manufacturers high end presumed technological forefront. Huawei has already done much with S Mate but not finished. Now it is rumored that Samsung will also introduce it in its next Galaxy.
Everything points, hope to be wrong, to be a tool that does not add much value. At least not in the short term. If standardizing ends, probably the Nexus the next year shall bring him enter and Google API to manage it directly without the intervention of the manufacturers. Currently the iPhone has proven to be a curious added long haul and that implementation has been done so far is rather shy
Best screen resolution and less debate
Some time ago he dropped a rumor that Samsung and LG would forget to put their phones more resolution. If so, we could finally see the discussion of the resolution finally stabilizes and focus on improving the quality of AMOLED and IPS LCD panels. In 2015 we have not seen much progress, if they see a significant jump in 2016, especially in top-end.
This year we have seen some technologies like Quantum Color space but have tried to be on mobile devices at least we have not seen much variety as has happened in other televisions. It will be interesting to see where manufacturers move. A server that are committed to quality and forget about silly things like resolution and curves.
More competition than ever for Qualcomm
Qualcomm has suffered in 2015 and hope to reverse the situation next year with its new processors.So far they had occupied a privileged position in the market as the only real competitor was having MediaTek company also has focused in recent years to put processors to devices for the Asian market. In the West they have not had much prominence. Now, 2016 will be another story.
Huawei with Kirin, a Samsung Exynos also reach the next mid-range, LG also aims and Xiaomi (to be discussed later) would also be flirting with own chips. For Qualcomm would lose important partners and see how they manufacture their own processors. Currently in high-end Huawei and Samsung have demonstrated that they do very well. I recently had the opportunity to test the Snapdragon 820.
A first approach to mobile payments
With Android Pay announced and deployed in the US, it is quite possible that in 2016 we finally reach our mobile devices. Perhaps some of you until you may pay at the supermarket with your Android. My view here is quite pessimistic and the feeling I get is that the adoption will be very slow and careful because there are many links in the chain.
Manufacturers need to support your mobile, banks get close to Google to put facilities and finally introducing establishments POS compatible.
Android Wear will open more manufacturers
In 2016 it will be two years of Android Wear. The manufacturers have done their homework demonstrating that it is possible to make attractive watches and a decent autonomy. What is the problem? Que are all equal to each other thanks to Google you have Android Wear corseted just make room for customizations.
Next year we could see an opening and allow manufacturers to make layers of different software or give more freedom to put applications. Google could raise his hand a little clocks. Ojo also Chinese manufacturers as Bluboo, we could have a budget Android Wear within a very short time.
Xiaomi will finally jump to Europe and USA
In February Xiaomi officially it takes a year in the United States. He did all his catalog, the phones stopped along the way and so far his strategy has been to sell accessories. Recently they opened a Mexico selling some of its devices. Did they cheer at last to jump next year? Who knows.
Xiaomi much is diversifying its business to appear in many categories and international expansion has never been a priority. Know what you have difficult (potential patent lawsuits and plagiarism, increased costs and prices for the distribution and taxes …) but if they want to get credit, can not simply continue to sell to the world through import stores.
Now or never, Android TV
Google does not give up TV. Chromecast is doing very well but Android TV is struggling: there is little set top boxes with this operating system, and few manufacturers of TVs (Sony and Philips) have chosen them. CES should help us to see if the interest rate increases but the feeling that we are not positive. 2016 will be a peak year for them.
Android TV could emerge stronger and become a reference platform on Smart TVs or another failed project Google. Chromecast are seen more focused and with a stronger proposal: more and more applications, games connected with mobile … We will follow closely.
Android auto go on pouring in more cars
Without much ado, Android Auto has achieved agreement to be in many cars over 2015. The trend for next year should be the same as in this industry great atmosphere you breathe. models introduced android auto leave choose the platform that you want to use (in addition to Google, which owns carplay and marks) so no major fights compatibility.
Car manufacturers are more concerned suit your tastes and not so much that you have to adjust yourself to your preferences. We’ll see if progress is made on Google I / O because android auto is a good idea for the moment does not work as well as we thought. Soon we will explain why.
The first compatible products Brightness
CES will bring us many related to the Internet of Things products and, with any luck, some compatible devices Brightness. Do you you remember him, right? Google it introduced last year in the I / O as platform based on Android with which we can control devices at home . It is not the first time they move in that direction in Mountain View and 2016 may finally be the year we see the first fruits.
It will be difficult but I keep a little hope that some products appear. The other companies are focusing on their own platforms and in a few open standards. We look forward also to Google if they themselves make a move to open up to others. Recall that there are Alphabet in projects like Nest.
Ara Project will cloud
I am very pessimistic Ara. In 2016 I think we will continue to see many proofs of concept that will give to talk about them but no specific project. Today the project is stopped and it seems very difficult that we will be able to test a modular smartphone in the coming months. The hype is killing them and that the project itself seems hard to develop and move forward with guarantees that anyone can use it and take advantage.
Hopefully we will see a prototype at the Mobile World Congress and a technical demo at Google I / O. Beyond that, I remain skeptical about it. I think there are other priorities in Alphabet and Ara could well expect to move forward more interesting and viable projects.
Cyanogen will be a tough opponent for Android
Who was going to tell Android that one of his toughest opponents would be himself. Okay, but Apple is also CyanogenOS has become an uncomfortable fork to Google and necessary for users. Android with the passage of time has been taken up by Google and in some respects it is difficult to leave their tentacles. Cyanogen wants to open it and other services can occupy these privileged positions (app store, mail, browser, search engine …) in order to have more options.