Apple versus Android: Should Google be afraid of an Apple resurgence?

In today's Android roundup: Some in the media fear that Apple is poised to rule the smartphone market again. Plus: Will Android Wear give wearables credibility? And Google releases new Android L images

Partisan holy wars are part of the history of technology, and there have been few as bitter as Android versus Apple. While Android has had an amazing run of success over the last few years, some analysts are beginning to think that an Apple resurgence is at hand that could do serious damage to Android. Infoworld examines the validity of these Android versus Apple claims.

According to Infoworld:

In recent weeks, a drumbeat has grown among tech analysts that Apple's iPhone is poised for massive uptake while Android smartphone sales may have peaked in developed nations. Also, Android is threatened in the developing world from a Google creation called AOSP.

Although some of the claims are clearly inspired by techno-partisanship, I'm struck that several thoughtful, nonpartisan analysts like Jackdaw Research's Jan Dawson and Yankee Group's Philip Elmer-DeWitt are noting these trends, not just Apple fans like Creative Strategies' Ben Bajarin (who have excellent data, but their interpretations tend to favor Apple). What in the world is going on?

More at Infoworld
Android versus iPhone
Image credit: Infoworld

Sometimes I really hate the uber-partisanship that goes on in the technology world. It's just a waste of everybody's time and energy. Android and Apple's iOS both have a lot to offer any smartphone user, and what someone picks depends very much on their needs and preferences. I'm glad that users have a choice between the two platforms; I can think of nothing worse than if one mobile platform or the other took over the market entirely and crowded out any other options.

However, I also understand the need for a horse race in the media. Writers are under pressure to deliver traffic and page views, and a platform battle between Google and Apple certainly offers articles with compelling clickability for readers. And many analysts simply seem to go whichever way they think the wind is blowing without looking deeper into what's actually happening.

Just remember that a lot of these analysts probably predicted Apple's doom over the last few years, and now they've switched to predicting Android's doom. So take everything they say with a gigantic grain of salt. I'm sure they'll flip back over to the other side at some point in the future if they think it will get them attention, clicks and traffic.

Frankly, I don't think Android has anything to worry about regarding Apple. I have no doubt that the iPhone 6 will be quite popular and will sell many millions of units. However, not everyone wants to live in Apple's walled-garden. Some people prefer to have much more control over their smartphone than what Apple will allow them. And those users are not going to migrate to the iPhone 6 regardless of the larger screen size or other features, they will stick with Android.

Will Android Wear make people take wearables seriously?

Digital Spy thinks that Android Wear could be the turning point for wearables.

According to Digital Spy:

It's still got a long way to go, but Android Wear reminds me of the early days of the iPhone. It's got the potential to take smartwatches well and truly into the mainstream. Now all we need to do is wait for the apps and devices to come flooding in.

More at Digital Spy

The Digital Spy article makes some great points about what Android Wear has to offer, but I'm still firmly in luddite mode regarding wearables in general. While some of the hardware looks great, I'm still not sold on the day to day value of these devices.

The fitness angle definitely holds some appeal for me since I do Body Beast and some P90X workouts. I can see using a wearable as a health monitoring device for sure, but I'm still doubtful that I'd want to walk around with a watch on for the rest of my day.

I hope I'm wrong about wearables and that they have more to offer than what I've seen so far. Right now I'd have to put myself in the "why bother when I already have a smartphone?" camp. Maybe Android Wear will change that eventually though, so I'll try to keep an open mind in the meantime.

New Android L developer preview images

Droid Life reports that Google has released new Android L images.

According to Droid Life:

Google snuck out new images for the Android L developer preview. The new images weigh in as build LPV81C and are still only available to the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) WiFi.

Google has yet to add these to the Android L preview site as I write this post, so you will have to go through the Google Fit SDK page to grab them.

More at Droid LifeHat tip: BGR

If you aren't familiar with what Android L has to offer, see this video:

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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