Google Android Stumbling Blocks: 10 Issues That Can Derail Its Success

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-07-29 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

News Analysis: Android might be doing well right now, but there are some serious issues that could hold the mobile operating system back. Among the customers' concerns will be security, privacy and an enterprise focus for Android.

Google's Android platform couldn't be doing any better right now. Thanks to the Droid X, the software is entering more homes than ever. As stories keep coming out about the smartphone being sold out for the next week or so, consumers are starting to realize that if they want an iPhone alternative, opting for Google's mobile operating system might just be the best way to go

But with success comes responsibility. The days of trying to get close to Apple in the mobile marketplace are over. Google now needs to evaluate the market, make the right moves and continue its growth. It can only do that by providing a solution to vendors and consumers that makes good on the company's promise of doing good instead of evil.  

But there are some significant roadblocks that are currently, or soon will be, erected that could hamper Android's ability to grow. Here are the issues that could stand in the way of Android's growth.

1. Security 

Security has become a hot-button issue for Android users. Recently, an Android application was found to be collecting private information from "millions of users," which it then sent to a Website in China. The issue underscores a previous report a couple months ago that said Android apps could be harmful to users because of the access Google allows them to have to the OS. For its part, Google said that its mobile operating system is safe and users need not worry. But if security problems persist, they will worry. And that could significantly hamper the company's ability to attract customers. 

2. Apple 

Apple could be a major issue for Google going forward. Although Android OS is gaining market share and devices like the Droid X continue to sell well, Apple has tied its future to the mobile market. The last thing it wants to do is allow Google to carve out a significant portion of that market and put its own operation in danger. Look for Apple to directly target Google and do everything it can to steal Android customers. When that happens, Google will need to respond with a lasting attack or trouble will ensue. 

3. The Droid X and what else? 

The Motorola Droid X is undoubtedly a wildly popular smartphone that has helped put Android OS on the map. But where does Google and its vendor partners go from here? The Droid X is arguably the first and only Android-based smartphone to get the kind of attention that Apple has enjoyed with each new version of its iPhone. With more Android devices coming out soon, Google will need to keep that momentum going. If those products fail to capture the attention of consumers, all the hype that it has received from the Droid X will be gone. In turn, Android OS will go back to being the other operating system in the mobile space. 

4. Will Flash win the day? 

Google is betting big on Adobe's Flash. When Android 2.2 comes to every Android smartphone, users will finally have the ability to watch any online video and play any online game from the mobile Chrome browser. But if that backfires and security problems erupt, mobile Chrome crashes often or another issue arises, Google will have egg on its face. And Apple, the company that has denied access to Flash on its mobile platform, will capitalize. Flash better be a winner for Google. 



 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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