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Android One - smartphones for the masses - releasing today!

As promised in Google I/O 2014, much awaited Android One is set to release today, September 15, 2014. 

This photo from Android One event with a welcome message in Hindi shows how Android One attempts to woo non-English speaking users. With support for local languages it aims to increase internet adoption - starting with South Asian countries and later to more countries.

The main highlight is the low price range in which Android One smartphones are being made available. They are priced between Rs.6000 - Rs.8000 and bound to gain much traction in India and other South Asian countries where cheaper phones are in more demand. There is already a whole lot of Android devices which are priced lower than this. But the added advantages Android One phones offer are bound to attract more users looking for budget smartphones to purchase one.

Limited providers - As of now, only Micromax, Karbon and Spice will manufacture and sell Android One devices. It waits to be seen when bigger players like Samsung, LG and HTC will join the race.

Regular software updates, i.e. phones getting the latest version of Android as soon as it rolls out, is seen as a big thing. Till now only Google smartphones like Nexus used to get such updates and other vendors usually got the updates out for device owners later. It would be a big relief for OEM partners as well the mobile users who can now have automatic updates to new Android versions.

Important specs expected from new devices running on Android One

- Dual sim

- SD card

- FM Radio

- 4.5” screen

- Google Play auto-installs

- 1.3 Ghz Mediatek Quadcore Processors

- 1 GB RAM

- 5-megapixel cameras

- powered by Android Kitkat 4.4.4 version operating system

- support for YouTube video download

It will be interesting to see when Google rolls out Android L later this year, how these cheaper version of smartphones will get automatic updates for it and whether these smartphones actually become a game-changer or just add to the big fragmentation issue.

But surely this is the right time to release your apps for Android considering manyfold increase in the number of Android users we expect with the new cheaper Android One phones. If your apps have a social element, nothing’s better than this!

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