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BLOG: Android, ahoy! 7 things you can count on in 2013

JR Raphael | Jan. 7, 2013
Sometimes, you don't need a crystal ball to see into the future. Here are seven Android-related things that are practically guaranteed to happen over the course of 2013.

Sometimes, you don't need a crystal ball to see into the future.

When you spend enough time in the world of Android, you learn to read the tea leaves. Admittedly, they just say "Earl Grey" over and over again -- but once you've finished swishing around in your cup like a fool, you'll be ready to get some real thinking done.

Here are seven Android-related things that are practically guaranteed to happen over the course of 2013.

1. More 1080p displays

HTC threw down the gauntlet with its gorgeous 1920 x 1080 Droid DNA display, and you can bet other manufacturers will soon be following suit. Display technology -- pixels per inch, in particular -- are the showoff spec of the moment, despite the fact that there's really little visible difference to the naked eye between a 1080p screen like the DNA's and the 720p displays on other recent devices.

Regardless, with a new top-of-the-line standard now set, it won't be long before 1080p becomes the par for high-end Android phones.

2. A focus that increasingly extends beyond the basic specs 

Specs are important, but as any seasoned smartphone user can tell you, they sure as hell don't mean everything. As the pace of mobile tech evolution starts to slow down, manufacturers will be forced to rely on other distinguishing factors to make their products pop.

After all, when every high-end device has a great display, a speedy processor, and oodles of RAM, what makes any one phone better than the next? Motorola seems to be leaning toward durable build quality and rock-solid battery life as its key differentiators. Samsung's edge appears to be in its "total package" experience -- a complete and unique ecosystem that's really more Samsung than Android. And HTC looks to be focusing on top-notch cameras and displays as the main source of its mobile mojo.

Only time will tell whether those specific concepts will stick, but one way or another, as basic hardware evolution reaches a plateau, the individual identities -- what it is that makes a Samsung phone or a Motorola phone different from the rest -- will become increasingly important to the various Android brands.

3. Something big from Motorola

Google may already own Motorola, but baby, we ain't seen nothin' yet. It hasn't even been a year since Google's acquisition of the company went through. Given the fact that new devices and philosophies take months or even years to develop, it's safe to say the fruits of Moto's newly Googlized management are anything but ripe.

To be sure, we started to see touches of Google influence in Motorola's late-2012 launches: The company's marketing efforts shifted to its products' hardware instead of gimmicky software elements. The company started to release hacker-friendly developer editions of its major handsets, too -- and it made it clear that it wants endless upgrade delays to become a thing of the past.

 

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