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Thread: The Death of Android?

  1. #1
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    The Death of Android?


    I was having lunch with Andrew when the topic of forum layout came up. I’m currently brainstorming ideas of how we can streamline it to help reduce the number of subforums.

    Here’s the problem; when it comes to Android we’re spoiled for choice; Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, whatever. The problem with this is that some Samsung related discussions are also relevant to other companies that make Android devices. We could make a separate forum for those types of discussions but I’ve always believed that less is more when it comes to subforums.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if there was just an Android forum that served as a catch-all for all types of Samsung, Huawei, Android apps discussion?

    Then it hit me, is Android even a thing now?

    No, I’m not an Apple fanboy trying to egg some of you into a flame war. Rather, since we’re sort of in a post-peak Smartphone period, companies are now focusing more on growing their own ecosystems to keep making money.

    Think about it, if all you do is make Android phones, eventually another company will come along and make a phone with the same specs as yours and sell it for cheaper. The same thing happened in the PC industry. I’m also not talking about overlays but rather when you buy a smartphone from company A, you’re also encouraged to bundle it with accessories from the same company.

    Apple is a prime example of this. When you pick up an iPhone you might also pick up a pair of AirPods, an iPad and HomePod for your couch, an Apple Watch for your wrist along with subscriptions to Apple Music, iCloud, etc. Apple is really good at providing synergies when you have a couple of their products.

    It’s a good business model because the deeper you get into the quicksand - i mean ecosystem, the harder it is to get out. Here’s an analogy, why do you think so many people are reluctant to introduce their significant other to their parents? They don’t scared about getting in too deep.

    When someone asks me which phone they should get the first thing that I usually ask is what are their family members using?

    So what does this have to do with Android?

    While Samsung and Huawei are both large Android smartphone OEM’s, they’re emphasizing their own proprietary software for their smartwatches instead of Android Wear.

    I don’t want to get into what’s right and wrong with Android Wear, but one thing to take away from this is that sometimes it’s in a company’s best interest to not rely too heavily on Android when they’re building out their ecosystems.

    If you rely too heavily on Google, you’re stuck waiting for Google to figure out the best way to do something. Google does a great job with many things but no one’s perfect. If you want your own ecosystem try your best to go out and build it yourself.

    One of the most interesting ecosystems is Samsung’s. Along with the usual mobile-centric products they are also leaders in appliances, TV’s among other things. Most of their non Android stuff including the Galaxy watch and TV’s runs on the Tizen operating system. Samsung doesn’t own Tizen but they’re the primary patrons on if.

    How many people not reading this have even heard of Tizen?

    Let’s also not forget that Samsung also has their own voice assistant; Bixby. Say what you will about Bixby but voice assistants are basically an operating system for all your internet connected devices. If you want your own ecosystem and don’t want to rely too heavily on Google you need to try your hardest to have your own assistant.

    For many people they’ve never thought of themselves buying an Android phone, rather they picked up a Samsung Galaxy or an HTC phone. Now, that the future seems to be ecosystems that encompass more than just phones Android has moved even further into the background.
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    If you're thinking of streamlining your forum hierarchy, I would make the following suggestions:

    - Consolidate all feature phone forums into one "Feature Phones" forum. Very few people use feature phones now, and people keep posting stuff about smartphones in those forums without realizing they're for feature phones.

    - Get rid of "Android Smartwatches", and make "Smartwatches" a top-level forum. Now that Android Wear has been renamed Wear OS, there's no such thing as an Android smartwatch anymore. Most smartwatches use non-Google OSes such as Tizen or FitbitOS which have nothing to do with Android, and all of them except Apple's work with both Apple iPhones and Android phones.

    I would not make any other major changes to the Android forum and its subforums. Some topics relate to all Android phones, and others relate to only a certain vendor's phones. On the other hand, there's not soooo much traffic in the Android subforums, so if you wanted to eliminate the subforums, you could. Up to you.

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    Agreed about consolidating the feature phone forums — in fact, there are a number of manufacturers there that are either long gone or barely breathing (Danger, Sanyo, Audiovox, Pantech etc). One “feature/rugged phone” section would do the trick.

    I’d get rid of the Blackberry and Windows OS forums. BB OS is long dead and they now run Android; Windows is essentially dead — these fall under “other” these days. Android, Apple and Other should suffice.

    Same thing with the carrier forums — Alltel and Clearwire can go; the Nextel subforum can go. Revol and nTelos mentions can go — they’ve been gone for years. If arguably make US Cellular a subforum in the Regional/Other Carriers forum. MTS has been gone for a while.

    As for prepaid forums, it’s hard to keep up with how many there are. I’d almost suggest it is organized by parent network — Verizon Prepaid Carriers, AT&T, Rogers etc -/ then under the parent network have subforums a for those carriers

    There really isn’t a ton that needs to be done — mainly just cleanup that should happen a few times a year. Maybe have “captains” for each area that can handle moderation as well as things like this.

    Just a few ideas off the top of my head...

    N

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    Don't get rid of Windows or Blackberry subforums, the archives still serve a purpose as a reference for the odd hold-out (or support person that has to deal with them), IMO.

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I won't be getting rid of anything, just putting older forums in an archive subforum.

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    I don't think it's dead per se. Its open-source nature makes it ripe for third party development. It's still a Linux-based ARM OS written in C and Java.

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    I think I got your point. I personally provide my family with both Android and Apple products. And to be honest, it's getting better to use all Apple products rather than Android/Google products in these past few years.

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