Android 2020 primer: 12 bits of telling analysis to mull

'Tis the season for looking back — and looking ahead.

Android 2018 Primer
JR Raphael

When it comes to mobile technology, trends mean so much more than any single event.

That's a notion we see reinforced time and time again here in the land o' Android — and that's why so much of our focus in this little corner of the internub is on the bigger-picture view of what's going on with Google. By looking at those broader trends, we can get a sense of how the company's strategies are shifting and what those changes suggest about the future of Android and other mobile tech efforts.

We had no shortage of such matters to consider in 2019 — and some of the trends we've observed over these past 12 months will almost certainly inform the patterns we'll see over the course of the coming year.

So take a few minutes now, in this rare start-of-year quiet, to revisit these important bits of analysis. They'll give you valuable context about where Android and Google in general are going and what broad themes are bound to dominate the discussion in 2020.

Let's mull, shall we?

On upgrades and the evolving state of Android

Why Android upgrades absolutely matter

If you think Android OS updates are relevant only for what you see on the surface, you aren't thinking deeply enough.

The real story with Android's new security update setup

Android 10 (formerly known as Q) includes an ambitious new system for delivering system updates — but it isn't quite as black and white as you might think.

Apple, Google, and the copycat conundrum

"Android copied the iPhone," "iOS copied Android," and the importance of mobile tech perspective.

On Google's ever-expanding hardware ambitions

How the Pixel 4 epitomizes Google's hardware gamble

With the Pixel 4, Google's showing us why it started making hardware — and showing off the type of value it alone can deliver.

The Pixel 4's perplexing predicament

How do you sell people on something that's not only intangible but also difficult to describe?

The most interesting thing Google didn't announce at its 2019 hardware event

It may seem like we've seen it all, but Google's Pixel party isn't over yet.

The secret ingredients that could make a Pixel Watch matter

Google's plans for a Pixel Watch are still shrouded in mystery, but the company certainly has the pieces to create something exceptional — and maybe, just maybe, we'll see them turn into something tangible in 2020.

On Google's broader business progressions

6 smart things to think over with Google's leadership shuffle

If you want to process this year's bombshell that Google's founders are resigning and contemplate what it could mean for the company's future, these are the themes you should focus on.

The massive Google shift you probably haven't noticed

Google is quietly repositioning the very foundation of its business — and if you aren't watching closely, this monumental move might be easy to miss.

On platform-wide hardware trends

Motorola's new Razr gives me hope for the future of foldables

Why the latest folding Android phone might be the one to watch (but not buy).

9 critical questions about Microsoft's first Android phone

Microsoft's 2020-targeted Surface Duo deserves your attention, but some of the things we don't yet know about the device may prove to be the most pivotal.

When did smartphone upgrades become practical downgrades?

From folding phones to fingerprint flips and premature 5G excitation, almost every recent mobile tech advancement has one curious thing in common — and it's something that seems likely to continue in the coming year.

Bonus: A bitter farewell to some dear old friends

Google's worst kills of 2019

Saying goodbye to Google services has become a bit of an annual tradition, but this year's farewell seems particularly poignant.

Rest assured: The areas outlined above are all themes we'll be talking about much more in the months ahead. So mull away, then shut down that beautiful brain of yours and enjoy a little more well-deserved R&R (red wine and rice pudding, obviously). We'll pick up here soon, and this primer will have your noggin in the perfect place for the next phase of our ever-progressing discussion.

A very happy New Year to you, my fine and fetching friend. 2020, here we come!

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[Android Intelligence videos at Computerworld]

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