Predictions for Android in 2014

Everyone’s doing a predictions post, and given the fact I regularly following the crowd, I thought I’d follow suit. Obviously, without clairvoyance, predicting the future is nearly impossible, but everyone likes to try. I predict that 2014 will be an awesome year of improvements for Android. Here are a few of my predictions:

Prediction # 1: The Android evolution continues

Android’s evolving quickly into a legitimate mobile operating system capable of improving productivity. Expect to see a similar path of improvement in 2014.

Manu Cornet Evolution of Android

We should see another release of Android OS mid-summer, which will feature multi-tasking (multiple windows, a la Samsung), enhanced security (perhaps total encryption), and the initial merger of Chrome OS and Android OS.

Of course, Android 4.5 will feature performance enhancements, which basically multiply Jelly Bean and KitKat system improvements, but it’s the addition of multi-windows that interests me. I think Android will begin to integrate a Samsung-like multi-tasking function that will boost productivity. Android 4.5 will introduce some customization features (think Nova Launcher gestures) that will begin to eliminate launcher apps.

Perhaps the most revolutionary improvement will be Android security features. The Android team will boost the restrictions of app permissions in an effort to reduce malware threats. But, we’ll also see other system enhancements to combat government intrusions and boost Android’s acceptance in secure environments.

Look for full device encryption in 2014. This means you’ll have the ability to secure all aspects of your Android tablet or smartphone with 256 AES encryption.

Finally, we’ll see our first glimpse at the eventual merger of Chrome OS and Android when Android 4.5 allows Chrome Apps, and vice versa. These web-based applications provide greater distance for Chromebooks, but will also expand computing power on Android tablets and phones. Expect a full merger in 2015, but we’ll get our first glimpse this year.

Prediction # 2: Nexus for all

Android users want what the iOS guys/gals have, the latest operating system. More consumers will demand faster updates on their smartphones, and manufacturers who will provide timely updates will see sales soar. This also means that carriers who can’t provide swift updates will see consumers shift to other systems.

Prediction # 3: The Android tablet comes of age

Expect to see a number of new Android tablets, including the revamped and revised Nexus 10.

Google Nexus 10 Tablet

The revamped Nexus tablet will feature an industry leading screen resolution (2700+ x 2000+; 400 ppi) that will offer stunning graphics. ASUS will improve the multi-touch handling, which will give the Nexus 10 superior drawing and handwriting performance.

Android tablets will see a shift to a Nexus-like model as consumers abandon OEM “customizations” in favor of the more advanced stock Android features.

You can also expect to see a larger number of high-quality, budget tablets, priced anywhere from $125 to $200. Android tablet availability will increase as more manufacturers see value in producing and selling quality tablets at discounted prices. The main area of growth will be in the 7 inch sector, but you can expect some 10 inch tablets, also.

Prediction # 4: Google Glass goes mainstream

Google will finally release its consumer version of Glass, priced nicely at about $500, which will allow more people to adopt wearable technology.

Google Glass

 

The consumer version also means that more developers will release more practical apps to enhance Glass’s appeal and practicality.

I expect to see more apps that link faces to social media and contacts to create mini-databases of information. I also expect to see more two-way communication abilities that help Glass achieve its true potential.

You can also expect that more cities, states, and businesses — yes, even law firms — will ban Google Glass.

Prediction # 5: Don’t expect more lawyer apps

Despite the significant number of improvements in 2013 and 2014 to Android OS, don’t expect developers of legal apps to jump into the Android sea.

Even though Android is the number one mobile operating system in the world, it’s still a small fish in the lawyer world. Lawyers overwhelmingly flock like sheep prefer iPhones and iPads to Android devices. I can’t blame them, especially if you’re looking for lawyer-specific apps. Of course, that’s not totally necessary since a majority of the time you won’t need one.

Alas, 2014 won’t see too many new lawyer apps — unless you count ones like this.

Prediction # 6: Cloud computing will pump up Android

Although you’re not going to see many new Android apps for lawyers, you will see more companies focus on the cloud. This means you’ll see more cloud-based programs that play well with mobile devices.

For instance, even though some case management providers (I’m looking at you Clio and MyCase) don’t provide Android apps for their programs, their online or mobile portals are sufficient. Cloud providers will focus on boosting the look, feel, and interaction of their product, as opposed to the flashiness of a mobile app.

Prediction # 7: 2014 is going to be a great year

Whatever happens with these predictions, you can count on one thing: 2014 is going to be great in the World of Android. I’m excited to see what companies do with the powerful functions and features of Android OS. I’m anxious to see what products developers introduce to the Android legal market, and how they help lawyers evolve their legal practices. And most importantly, I’m interested in getting to know and meet more of you.

This blog saw tremendous success in 2013 because of you and your contributions, and I expect the same in 2014. I’m already booked for conferences in Chicago and New York, with St. Louis, Washington D.C., and San Francisco as possible additions, so I hope to see you there!

And finally, if you’re celebrating on this New Year’s holiday, please be safe and designate a driver so we can meet up in 2014.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.