What WWDC 2011 means for Android

by Kristen Nicole

Can Android's Honeycomb 3.1 overcome iOS?Apple’s (AAPL) annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference takes place today, drumming up plenty of speculation around what will be announced at WWDC, and how it will affect the booming mobile economy. The stakes are being raised for Android, as we already know of three topics to be discussed at the Apple event today; the Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 are major updates to Apple’s operating systems, while details of the new iCloud will also be revealed. On the mobile side, there will be serious competition amongst Apple, Google (GOOG) (and even Microsoft (MSFT)) once we see what iOS 5 and the iCloud have in store.

iOS 5 vs Honeycomb

A new version of iOS 5 will mean improved unification across Apple’s mobile platform, with rumors of deep Twitter integration, and new app capabilities, such as home screen widgets. With the widgets in particular, we can see how Apple could be looking to match many of the features already present on Android devices, which have typically enabled more points of interaction and sharing options for supported apps. iOS 5 is also an opportunity for Apple to surpass some of the capabilities found on Android’s latest OS version, Honeycomb 3.1, which is still facing some issues, and has yet to establish its manufacturer market.

iCloud vs everything Google

iCloud is another new offering that is full of potential for today’s mobile scene, appealing to the growing consumer demand around personal cloud management. Seemingly an update to Apple’s MobileMe (and possibly iTunes), iCloud will likely feature a great deal of integration with iOS 5 as well. Apple’s had some trouble creating a comprehensive cloud platform in the past, while Google’s been working at it for years. Though Android lacks established media clouds, it is looking to compete with Apple, having launched Google Music and movie rentals via YouTube just weeks ago. Combined with Chrome OS, it is clear that Google’s already laid the foundation for competing with Apple on the cloud and computer OS fronts as well.

iPhone 5 vs Android’s entire lineup?

While we don’t expect Steve Jobs to present the new iPhone 5 at WWDC today, there’s always the hope that Apple launches new tech candy at the event. Should we see a new addition to the Apple line-up, it could mean some serious counteraction for Android’s growing device market share. Between rumors of low-cost iPhones and a new iPhone 5, Apple could readily take on Android’s myriad of smartphones that have spread Google’s mobile OS far and wide. But despite Android’s missteps in the tablet department, its manufacturers have a steady stream of new and upcoming phones to keep the battle alive. Last week brought the LG (066570.KS) Revolution and HTC (2498.TW) Sensation, while the next HTC Evo with 3D support is likely to be one of this year’s breakthrough products.