From smartphones to e-readers, Google Android is everywhere now, and with the much-ballyhooed release of a software development kit (SDK) for Android 2.0, Google is timing its mobile platform to get as much as exposure as possible in a critical time.
Android-based devices are poised to challenge market leaders in any number of categories, and the app development community -- never an easily satisfied lot -- is licking its collective chops to get a piece of Android 2.0.
For starters, Google's Android 2.0 SDK comes with plenty of bells and whistles. Details of the Android 2.0. SDK -- code-named Eclair and the third Android SDK to be named after a pastry -- arrived Tuesday, and included plenty of new developer APIs, plus support for Apple's Snow Leopard OS.
Android's proliferation into the mobile markets has been above all steady. Among smartphones, it's the hot OS of the moment -- certainly putting the screws to Windows Mobile, if perhaps not yet Apple or Research In Motion -- and is the centerpiece of Verizon and Motorola's forthcoming Droid phone. It isn't merely Droid, though. Android is in fact everywhere on any list of this fall's hot new smartphones and mobile devices, and is also the operating system of choice for Nook, Barnes & Noble's hot new e-reader and potential Amazon Kindle killer.
Google's made no bones about how it's pushing Android's ubiquity with those devices. Writing in a Google blog post Tuesday, Google's lead Android SDK developer, Xavier Ducrochet, said that "over the next few months, [Google expects] to see more and more Android devices being released" and that Google was planning one more version update of Android 2.0 before the end of 2009.
If that's the plan, Google is continuing to pump up Android's profile at exactly the right time -- and the wind is in the sails of the fledgling mobile OS. It's often claimed that Apple leverages hype and its product refresh cycles to nail the technology zeitgeist, but given Android's increasing penetration on everything from smartphones to e-readers, maybe it's Google that has the buzz to burn.