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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.

Rest assured, though: That's all just the tip of the iceberg. The rumors of an upcoming "Motorola X" phone give us a hint of the types of things that could be in store for Moto when the first harvest of its Google era begins. However it pans out, some interesting developments are almost certainly on the way.

4. More upgrade complaints

Much as I like to dream otherwise, the reality of the Android ecosystem is that software upgrades are an inconsistent art. They're actually like that by design: The open nature of Android allows manufacturers and carriers to make their own modifications to the software. As a result, the upgrade process falls squarely in those companies' hands -- and particularly with user interfaces that are modified heavily from the core Android OS, update timing ends up varying wildly from one device to the next.

While I'd hope the manufacturers can at least manage to keep to the promises they make, it's inevitable that the vast majority of Android devices -- i.e. those of the non-Nexus variety -- are going to be a step behind when it comes to the latest Android release.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: If fast and frequent upgrades are important to you, an unlocked Google Nexus device is the way to go. (That, or learning to root and take matters into your own hands.) Other phones and tablets have their own sets of advantages, but speedy ongoing upgrades simply aren't among them.

5. More baseless and mindlessly repeated rumors

It's a little something I like to call the blogosphere telephone-game effect: Some random person says something that probably has little basis in reality. Someone else reads it and repeats it, twisting a minor detail or two along the way. Before long, a dozen blogs are reporting a bastardized version of the comment as fact (attributing it to a "knowledgeable source," of course).

It happens all the time -- and with Android growing more popular and more mainstream by the day, it's only going to happen more often.

6. A series of ZOMG!-BREAKING-NEWS stories touting exclusive "evidence" that Google is working on a new version of Android 

Let me go ahead and spoil it for you now: Yes, Google is working on a new version of Android. Yes, there's a decent chance it'll be numbered 5.0 and named Key Lime Pie. And yes, Googlers will be testing it extensively in the weeks leading up to its release.

This cycle happens every year, folks. It shouldn't be a surprise when we see some vague sign of a new Android release being tested in -- oh, I don't know -- March or April. But it will be. ZOMG. You heard it here first.


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