This 2018 that we just released is going to be a very important year in Android, as it is approaching a very important date, the tenth anniversary of our favorite operating system, and both Google and the manufacturers have to show that there still remains much room for improvement and innovation as much in the operating system as in mobile devices.
Looking at the events of the last months of last year we can predict what we can expect of Android in 2018, with the evolution of mobile devices, of the operating system and Google products. This is our prognosis:
2018 will be the year of the Android P laucnh, or what is the same, of the Android 9.0 accompanied by the name of a sweet pastry that begins with the letter “P”, and whose previous version would have been able to come out in a couple of months as happened with Android 0 but up to august its final version would not be expected.
Android 9.0 will be the version that will come 10 years after the first version of the operating system, with which Google should surprise us, though it will be very difficult if we are talking about adding more functions, since with Android Oreo there is hardly anything missing. Perhaps the ability to change the interface theme in a much easier manner. The big surprise of 2018 would be if Google completely does away with fragmentation, with they themselves being the ones to update the level of the operating system and the manufacturers do their personalization.
Most frequent updates with Project Treble
Google, at the end of 2017, has already attempted to mitigate fragmentation with Project Treble, separating the base of the operating system from the manufacturer’s implementation in two distinct layers, so that in this way they can offer security updates and new versions more quickly, by not having to modify the base of the operating system.
The effectiveness of this change in the implementation of Android will be tested during this year, 2018, when mobile phones with Android Oreo start to receive Android 8.1 and its respective monthly security updates. But like I already said in the previous point, the ideal is that Google would do like Microsoft has done with its Windows, and that Google would be the one to update the level of the operation system.
18:9 conquering all of the ranges
During all of 2017 we have seen how the mobile phones with 18:9 screens and hardly any borders have completely conquered the high-end, and during the last months of the year also the mid-range. Since the tendency will continue in 2018, surely the majority of middle-end and low-end mobile phones will also offer these ultra-panoramic screens.
Google Lens on any device
Some weeks ago Google Lens came to the Google Pixels with a seasonal special which is expected to end in the first half of the year, to be able to enjoy this smart camera that is able to recognize the texts, objects and building that we focus on.
Clean-up of Google Play
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Android, there would be nothing wrong with Google doing an important clean-up with these applications and games which have not been updated for many years and have stopped functioning correctly. We already know that in order to offer applications that are more secure and that don’t drain our batteries, at the end of this year Google will begin to demand that new applications and new updates be developed under the most recent version of Android.
Promoting Android Wear
It seems that 2017 was also not an important year for the Android Wear platform. They presented hundreds of new models but the majority have not crossed the borders. Android Wear 2.0 was a very important update, that improved all of the defects that were detected in the first generation, but the fault isn’t in the operating system, but in the sale of the watches. Neither Google nor the manufacturers are promoting this type of smart watch like they should be. Google should be doing an aggressive campaign with Android Wear and focus primarily on sports watches with GPS, NFC and LTE, which are their niche in the market and their future.
More artificial intelligence
In 2018 we will see how artificial intelligence will settle in to our mobile devices thanks to ARM’s new technology DynamIQ which the manufacturers and designers of chips like Qualcomm will implement in their new processors, at least those in the high-end. This new technology will permit faster speed to execute artificial intelligence and machine learning. This increase in capacity will permit our device to automatically edit our photos with more speed, as for example, to apply portrait mode with only one camera, like Google’s Pixel 2 does.
For a couple of months now Google’s Assistant speaks Spanish, but has left by the wayside the voice commands to interact with third-party applications and other automated devices, which is the reason that the Google Home speaker is not found for sale in Spain. This year Google will launch the voice commands for third-party applications with which it is expected that also during this year the Google speakers will be available for sale in our country.
More applications adapted for Chromebooks
All of the Chromebooks launched since last year come standard with Google Play, so that the users can install over a million applications and games in their mobile devices. 2017 looked like it would be an important year for Chrome OS but in many countries new Chromebooks have barely arrived.
2018 could be the year which marks the before and after for the Chrome OS with its convergence with Android. If the manufacturers follow Google’s steps, it’s possible that we will see high-end and mid-range mobile devices perfect for executing the most demanding of these Android applications and games. Also, it is expected that in the next months we will see many more applications adapted to be used with keyboard and mouse on a large screen and in windows whose size can be changed.
The first devices with Android Things
Since the end of 2016 Google has been developing Android Things, the version of Android destined for the Internet of Things, but through six preliminary versions, its final version has not come to light.
It is hoped that now in 2018 Google will launch the final version of Android Things and we will begin to see on the market the first IoT or automated devices governed by this version of Android Lite.
Wireless charging with Pixel 3
From the Nexus 4 (2012) to the Nexus 6 (2014), Google had bet strongly on wireless charging, but later with the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and Pixels, it was forgotten with the arrival of the bet on rapid charging. Now that the new iPhones have wireless charging and have given it more popularity, it is possible that Google will put wireless charging in its Pixel 3 in order to not be less than Apple.
More mobile phones with no 3.5 mm mini jack
In 2016 Apple dared to remove the headphone socket from their iPhone, in 2017 Google followed their footsteps with the Pixel 2, as did other manufacturers in some of their models. In 2018 it’s possible that we will have to imagine the idea that the future is in Bluetooth headphones, because it is possible that more and more mobile devices will eliminate this connection in order to offer less borders and thinner models.
ARCore augmented reality on a lot of mobile devices
Lastly, 2018 will be the year of augmented reality, and Google needs to do everything possible so that Apple doesn’t gain a lot more of an advantage. There are already hundreds of millions of iPhones compatible with ARK and Google and its partners need to launch the greater number of devices compatible with ARCore to bring this augmented reality to Android users.