When Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in 1998, the pair were already plotting big things: not for nothing was the logo designed with the help of a professor of design at Stanford.
Even Brin and Page, however, would probably not have bet that in 2011 nearly 8bn mobile apps would be downloaded for a mobile phone the like of which hadn’t even been thought of.
But 2011 has indeed been the year of the Android. Google’s free, open-source operating system has been so widely adopted by manufacturers the world over that it now accounts for the majority of smartphones sold and has been used for applications in appliances from fridges to televisions.
Top London tailor Spencer Hart is even using an Android-based “notebook”, the Samsung Galaxy Note, to annotate drawings for bespoke suits. Its uses are apparently endless.
The total number of applications downloaded now stands at slightly over 10bn. At an equivalent stage in its development cycle, Apple’s App Store was at just half that. As it’s compatible purely with Apple products, it could be argued that in fact the original App Store was more eagerly adopted, but the sheer volume of Android apps downloaded is a force to be reckoned with.