Google announces the launch of Android Lollipop
Google, Inc. (GOOG)(GOOGL) recently launched the latest version of the Android smartphone operating system, or OS, the Android Lollipop. During its 3Q14 earnings conference call, Google called this its largest-ever release of Android, with over 5,000 APIs, or application programming interfaces, for developers.
Android Lollipop has a number of updates and new features, such as the ability to unlock your phone without entering a password if you’re connected to a trusted Bluetooth device or Wi-Fi network. The OS also has an enhanced design with brighter colors and sharper contrast. And, it will help you emphasize the most important items and notifications on your screen. On the call, Google added that consumers in India who bought devices using Android One OS will be eligible to upgrade to Android Lollipop.
Google continues to dominate the smartphone OS market
Google continues to add new features to Android, motivated by the desire to continue dominating the smartphone OS market. According to a report from Strategy Analytics, and as the chart above shows, Android dominates the global smartphone OS market with a share of 84% as of 3Q 2014. Apple Inc. (AAPL) is a distant second with a share of 12%, while Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) and BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY) continue to languish in this market.
Apple in second place
In the battle of the smartphone OS market, Apple has also added a number of features to its iOS operating system. It recently released iOS 8.1 version, which has some attractive features such as Continuity and Apple Pay. The Continuity feature will help consumers connect Apple devices and lock in users. The Apple Pay feature will help the company leverage the huge growth potential of the mobile payments market. While these are nice improvements, the fact that Apple sells iPhones at the premium end of the smartphone market will make it difficult for iOS to take market share away from Android.