Before we begin, let’s just reconcile for a moment with the near-factual idea that iOS and the big fruit cart are a freight train that might never stop. That said, there’s no telling whether the tracks on either side of this train have slicker rails. Therefore let’s continue discussing how the other big mobile giant today, Android, will fare now that it’s making a serious grab for a piece of the tablet market. Today’s reason why Android is continuing its journey into superstardom in the hearts of millions of users across the globe is a set of features just introduced essentially silently during the Honeycomb event this week.
The first of these features has to do with Android 3.0 Honeycomb and the tablet platform (though the jury is still out on that singularity as well.) With Android 3.0, when you purchase a brand new tablet and would like to grab all of the apps that you’ve downloaded and the settings you’ve set on your handset (also running Android,) all you’ve got to do is make sure both devices are set up with the same Google account, and sync. This syncing process is simple, requires a relatively small amount of time, and of course encourages you to buy as many devices as you can to make sure you’re getting the best experience with your Android games, applications, settings, and other digital toys.
The second of two features we’d like you to deeply consider right this moment has to do with downloading an app from the Android Marketplace via the new browser-based system. When you download an app now, you don’t just download it to one device, and you don’t just download it to your device. You download that app to your account, aka your cloud, and you download that app to as many devices as you’d like, all at once.
Think of the implications of this set of new features. Where Apple now downloads apps to your desktop, for you to keep for your own (we could also debate about what ownership means when you can’t legally take apart the apps too,) Android keeps the apps in their storage, which you can pick from at any time. But wait, doesn’t that make Android like Big Brother? Does that make Android the owner of my apps, therefor making this situation terrible? No, of course not. You can download your apps any time you like, storing them on any device you like – I’d bet Google even encourages you to do so so the files have a better chance at surviving should Google’s infrastructure go down.
The main punch point here is that you can access the software you purchase from the Android Market from any computer and any Android device, and you can transfer not only your files but your settings from one device to the other without a hassle. It seems intuitive, but it’s not. That’s what makes it genius.