Android could top 2 billion users

Google is expected to announce Android has nearly twice as many users as Apple's iOS system.

Google is expected to announce Android has nearly twice as many users as Apple's iOS system.

Google is expected to announce Android has 2 billion users, nearly twice as many of the 1 billion on the Apple iOS system.

Greg Sterling, a senior editor with the Search Engine Watch blog, said Google is due to make the announcement at its I/O conference for app developers set to begin on Thursday.

"That's just a massive number," he says. "Android is far and away the dominating operating system globally."

At a September event to tout 2015's Nexus phone releases, Google said it had 1.4 billion Android users.

According to researcher IDC, Android is expected to close 2016 with 82.6 per cent market share, slightly up from 2015's 81.2 per cent, to 15.2% for IOS, down from the previous year's 15.8%.

At IO, Google unveils the latest and greatest new initiatives, which is led by Android software, home to over 2 million smartphone apps. Developers also create apps for Google's Chromebook computers and extensions for the Chrome operating system.

Every year, Google introduces a new edition of Android, this year called "N" which offers many new features that start showing up in new phones, usually later in the year.

Google sneak-peeked some of the new features in March, so expect a bigger deep dive on them, as well as others at I/O.

They include split-screen multi-tasking - the ability to run two apps at once, improved battery life, call screening, the ability to record TV shows, and quicker installs of apps.

"Users will see less drain," says Derek Ting, chief executive and co-founder of the TextNow app, which is available for Android and IOS. Better battery performance means users "can use our apps for much longer", he adds.

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At last year's I/O, Google introduced the Android M update, which brought fingerprint security support, faster charging via USB-C connections and a permission feature that allowed users to mix and match which ones they agree with - yes, you can use my camera, no, you can't track my location.

Google makes no money on Android, per see, but Google ends up profiting by having so many people in the Google universe, said Sterling.

 - MCT


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