The mobile landscape is toppling the desktop beast. With more and more users turning their backs on traditional methods of interacting with software, the major players in the market continue to see higher demands on productivity and power. And with our feet firmly planted in 2017, it's time to make bold predictions as to where this year will take the Google mobile platform.
SEE: Mobile Device Computing Policy (Tech Pro Research)
1: Android will hit 90% market share.
Android has continued to climb up the global market share ladder, thanks to manufacturers, such as OnePlus, selling unlocked devices. This year I believe we will see a major milestone in the mobile ecosystem; I predict Android will finally break the big 90% mark. There are a number of reasons I'm certain this will happen.
The first reason is Google (more on that in a bit). Another reason for this landmark will be a lack of innovation from Apple; the big "A" will continue to play it safe (as they did in 2016), and more users will migrate to Android because of this. Couple this with the increased performance and battery life found in Android 7, and the Linux-driven mobile platform will easily climb the next rung in the global dominance market's ladder.
SEE: Android nears 88% global market share, but Apple still makes more money (TechRepublic)
2: Google's Pixel will dominate the smartphone market.
Another reason Android will dominate 2017 is the device designed by Google: the Pixel. Not only is this device the most powerful smartphone on the market, it also brings to light features that people will want. One feature in particular is Assistant. Google is the first company to bring an AI-centric digital assistant to life and do it right. With the power of the Pixel driving that feature, this device will continue to be one of the hottest on the market. And when the Pixel 2 releases, Google will only improve on everything they already perfected and crush the flagship competition—with one exception (more on that in a bit).
SEE: Google Pixel phone: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
3: A next-gen Pixel chromebook will meld Android and Chrome OS.
The Pixel chromebook seems to have gone off the radar; you cannot buy them, and I believe that is because Google has something uber secret they are working on. By the end of 2017, I feel certain we are going to see the next-gen Pixel chromebook arrive as the first true melding of Android and Chrome OS.
The next iteration of the Pixel chromebook will be very Assistant-centric, and it will be the single most powerful chromebook to date. On top of that, the device's design aspect will blow the competition out of the water. I predict this device will sell out faster than any piece of hardware ever created by Google.
SEE: Chromebooks: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
4: The lines between Google Home and Android will begin to blur.
Google Home sales will continue to rise and, with that, more home integration will follow. This will trickle over to Android until we begin to see the lines blur between mobility and the fully connected home. The rise of Google Home could also finally give birth to the connected home base...an Android powered dock to control all of our devices from one location.
SEE: Google Wifi wireless router: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
5: Android Auto and Google Home will finally integrate.
With the continued rise of both Android Auto and Google Home, I believe we will finally see integration of the two. Imagine getting ready for work on a blustery winter morning and being able to say "Okay, Google Home, start my car!" At some point in 2017, we will see such seamless integration, and it will be welcomed with much ballyhoo.
SEE: Getting started with Android Auto (CNET)
6: Samsung's reputation will improve with the release of quality devices.
2016 was a rough year for the once-dominant Samsung. With phones catching fire leading to a massive recall, it seemed the company was on a collision course with failure.
I'm fairly certain 2017 will see the Samsung ship right itself with the release of a few quality (and decidedly not explosive) devices. The Galaxy 8 should be arriving in February and will likely (and finally) ditch the home button, integrating it into the screen. The device might also see some of the smallest bezels of any device on the market, with a greater than 90% screen-to-body ratio. The device will go a long way to salvage the mobile arm of Samsung and see consumers forgiving them for the debacle that was 2016.
7: OnePlus 5 will be one of the hottest devices of 2017.
I believe OnePlus will release one of the most desired devices of the year; they will skip the "4" moniker and go straight for OnePlus 5. The new device will take a drastically different approach to materials and use either glass or ceramic for the body to create something wholly unique. Not only will the device offer a unique look and feel, it will be powered by a top-tier chipset and will sell at a price point low enough to put one of the most powerful flagship devices into the hands of users everywhere.
SEE: OnePlus 3 smartphone: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
It's going to be an interesting year
I think it's safe to say that 2017 will be Android's biggest year. With a combination of incredible hardware and software, as well as far-reaching integration, Android will dominate in ways no other mobile platform could dream of.
What do you think will happen with Android in 2017? Share your predictions in the discussion.
- Three new year's resolutions Google needs to keep in 2017 (ZDNet)
- Best Android smartphones for 2017 (ZDNet)
- The top 10 mobile risks of 2016 (TechRepublic)
- Google Assistant: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.