Mobile World Congress officially kicks off today, serving up mounds of new developments for Android. Andy Rubin, the man behind Google’s Android platform, revealed the most recent Android stats during Google’s press conference at the annual Barcelona event: more than 300 million Android devices have been activated to date, up from 200 million in November. About 850,000 Android devices are being activated daily, up from a rate of 700,000 in December, Rubin continues.
Rubin also clarified Android’s relationship with Motorola Mobility, the phone manufacturer currently in the final stages of being acquired by Google, saying that the company’s actually built a “firewall” to keep Android and Motorola a safe distance apart. Rubin addressed the elephant in the room, that is, Google’s plans for Motorola once the acquisition is complete, saying he’s “painfully aware” of the questions regarding the potential to build the best Android-powered devices on the market. Rubin insists that Android will continue to be a neutral platform, and with Motorola’s limited shares in the overall mobile market, even Google can’t make Motorola a dominant player any time soon.
HTC, Samsung wow at MWC with Android 4.0
One manufacturer hoping to regain the top spot amongst Android phone makers is HTC, unveiling the One X at MWC over the weekend. It’s part of HTC’s unified handset lineup, with a focus on “amazing hardware” experiences. The HTC One X is being hailed by the company as a superphone, packing a 1.5GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 4.7-inch screen with 720p Super LCD non-PenTile, and an 8-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 lens and 1080p HD video. The HTC One X comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as HTC Sense 4.0.
The current Android device leader, Samsung, also wowed at MWC with the Galaxy Note 10.1. The S-Pen toting update to the similarly sized Galaxy Tab runs a Touchwiz-infused version of ICS, with a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. With HSPA+, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 support, you can access the web and share files no problem, but the tablet isn’t designed to be used as a phone. The 10.1-inch WXGA 1280x800 display has a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera, with 2-megapixels on the other side. The S-Pen stylus comes with a few features all its own, including the S Note app for scribbling text, Shape Match and Formula Match to digitize images and math problems, and support for Adobe’s new Android apps including the pre-installed Photoshop Touch.