A year ago, when someone asked me why I used an Android phone, I felt I had to go on the defensive. Tasker! Open source! Customization! Swype!
Today, people don’t ask why I use Android; they ask whether they can try mine. Android has become a legitimate mobile platform, and in this look back over the past year we’ll see how it got there.
The Nexus brand has made some major strides since it was first introduced to us back in 2010. At that point it only represented a phone with a vanilla version of Android. Its purpose was simple: show people the true power of the Android operating system.
Since then, the brand has grown to mean more than just the name of a specific phone; it now describes a specific experience. These past couple of months, starting with Google I/O, gave us much deeper insight into what Google plans to do with the Nexus program — and I couldn’t be more excited.
A lot has happened with Android this year: we’ve gone from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich (via Honeycomb); the Market’s had two big upgrades; Flash Player has been dropped; mobile games have really taken off; and more. On the other hand, Siri put Android Voice Actions to shame; Google withheld Android’s source; and lawsuits have been flung back and forth.
Read on for our overview of everything that happened in 2011!