2011 Year in Review - Android's year

A tour of the highs and lows of Android’s year.

As 2011 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look at the year that’s been. In this post I’m going to take a tour of the highs and lows of Android’s year.

It's been a very mixed year for Android. Without a doubt it's been a great year in terms of sales of devices and activations, with over 700,000 devices now being activated daily. However, Android has seen malware attacks and also been the focus of patent infringement lawsuits and patent deals that bring in millions each year for Microsoft. Also, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs called Android a stolen product.

All in all, 2011 was the year of the Android OS ... only problem is that fragmentation of the platform is so bad (because most users never get the chance to upgrade) that you can't really tell which version of Android is the winner.

Android - 2011 timeline


4th - Google updates Android SMS bug status to "Critical"

Following negative press over an SMS bug in Android platform, Google updated the status of the bug from “Medium” to “Critical.”

6th - Amazon to open Android App store, and it could be a game-changer

Amazon announces that it is to open an Android app store.

21st - Florian Mueller: Copyright-infringing material in Android codebase

Intellectual property activist Florian Mueller trawled through the Android codebase and discovered a number of examples of what appears to be copyright infringements.

23rd - Are Android device OEMs Motorola, LG and Samsung distributing Oracle code online?

Intellectual property activist Florian Mueller shifts focus away from the Android code repository and looks at what code some of the major Android handset OEMs have on offer.

25th - Another Android SMS bug that Google doesn't seem interested in fixing

Another SMS messages that Google has left to fester … for over a year.

27th - Android forking?!?!?! DON'T PANIC!

So, Google has forked the Android open-source project … but DON’T PANIC!

27th - Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' - First look

Google lifted the lid on Android 3.0 ‘Honeycomb’ tablet operating system - and it sure looks pretty!


21st - While everyone else thinks 'tablets,' Apple thinks 'ecosystem'

What’s the key to Apple being able to bring out a $500 tablet when the competition can’t? It’s having a profitable app and media ecosystem.


1st - Owners to blame for latest Android malware

A rogue Android app that runs up big texting bills behind the user’s backs by sending messages to premium rate numbers. However, when you strip away the hype, Android handset users hit by this only have themselves to blame.

2nd - Stolen apps that root Android, steal data and open backdoors available for download from Google Market

Android's openness come with a price - it makes it easy for nefarious types to sneak malware into apps. And that’s exactly what they are doing.

3rd - Why the iPad 2 is only a minor upgrade, and why the Xoom/PlayBook/TouchPad are toast

“Why wasn’t the iPad 2 a more impressive upgrade?” This is a question that I’ve heard a lot following the iPad 2 announcement. The short answer is that it didn’t need to be any better - it’s still more than good enough to toast the competition.

7th - Google flips on death-ray, nukes Android malware ... but is it enough?

Google used its remote kill-switch powers to delete malware from affected Android handsets following the uploading of around 50 Trojanized apps to the Android market.

7th - How much did Microsoft pay Nokia NOT to choose Android? How about a cool $1 billion!

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft paid Nokia more than $1 billion to promote and develop Windows Phone-based handsets.

21st - Microsoft sues Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec over Android patent infringement

Microsoft takes legal action against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec over five patent infringements involving Android.


7th - Gartner: Android to capture 38 percent of smartphone market in 2011

Big market share grab predicted.

28th - The problem with Android tablets - Manufacturers see them as disposable

There’s a problem with Android tablets, and oddly enough it’s the exact same problem that plagued smartphones before the iPhone came along and changed things.


3rd - So, just how 'open' is Android as far as users are concerned?

Answer - Only as ‘open’ as the OEMs and carriers allow.

17th - 99.7% of all Android smartphones vulnerable to serious data leakage

A whopping 99.7% of Android smartphones found to be leaking login data for Google services, and could allow other access to information stored in the cloud.

23rd - Google blocks rooted devices from Android Movie Market

Google kicks off a crackdown on ‘rooted’ Android device, starting off by banning them from its Android Movie Market.

27th - Microsoft's next cash cow - Android!

Microsoft raking in $5 for every Android handset HTC sells thanks to a lucrative patent settlement.


17th - 2011 - The year of the Android tablet

Not everyone needs an iPad.


6th - Microsoft wants $15 from Samsung for every Android handset made

Microsoft is squeezing the Android patent cash cow as hard as it can, with Samsung in the firing line this time.

11th - Why do people choose Android smartphones?

Why do people choose an Android handset over the iPhone?

12th - Report: Mobile malware to affect more than 1 in 20 devices within 12 to 24 months

Within 12 to 24 months over 1 in 20 (5.6%) of all Android phones and iPads/iPhones could become infected with mobile malware if fraudsters start to integrate zero-day vulnerabilities into leading exploit kits.

18th - WP7 ahead of Android and right behind iOS in customer satisfaction survey

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 might not be making a big splash when it comes to sales, but when it comes to customer satisfaction, customers are very happy with the platform.


2nd - Android Trojan records conversations, can send them to bad guys

An Android Trojan that can log calls, record whole conversations and even send them to the bad guys was discovered by security firm CA.

2nd - Android developer calls Amazon App Store "Rotten to the core"

Android development company Shifty Jelly has pulled up Amazon on its App Store policy and called it ‘rotten to the core.’

4th - Google and Microsoft trade blows in public over patents

Google claims that Android rivals are using ‘bogus patents’ to attack the mobile OS, but Microsoft offers up evidence to suggest that Google dealt itself out of patent discussions.

4th - Google: We 'didn't fall for' Microsoft's patent trap

According to David Drummond, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Google, ‘if you think about it, it’s obvious why we turned down Microsoft’s offer’.

10th - Apple's EU legal win could prevent all OEMs from building tablets

Apple gets an injunction against the Galaxy Tab in Europe based on some very generic line drawings.

11th - Nokia: 'We’re way ahead' of 'outdated' Apple and Google

Nokia is betting everything on Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, but is it too little, too late?

15th - Have many Android vendors lost their rights to distribute Linux?

Have Android OEMs violated the GPL and now forfeited the right to distribute Linux?

24th - Android crapware - Greed at the expense of reputation and user experience

Putting greed ahead of the user experience and Android’s reputation, carriers continue to shovel crapware onto Android handsets - and if you don’t know how to root the device, it’ll be there forever.


3rd - Amazon's Kindle Tablet could slaughter the Android tablet market

Amazon is getting ready to deal a massive blow to Android tablet makers.

8th - Microsoft ropes two more OEMs into Android patent deal

Two more OEMs sign deals with Microsoft in order to be able to use Android without fear of being sued.

28th - Microsoft and Samsung ink Android patent and Windows Phone marketing/dev deal

Another OEM sign deals with Microsoft in order to be able to use Android without fear of being sued.

29th - Microsoft pulls in $444 million per year from Android patents

Microsoft is expected to pull in a revenue of some $75 billion for the 2012 fiscal year, so $444 million from Android is just loose change.


16th - How much money does Google make from mobile?

Two and a half billion reasons why Google loves mobile.

19th - Ballmer: Android users need to be 'computer scientists'

‘A Windows Phone gets things done.’

22nd - Is Android a stolen product?

Jobs: “I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

27th - 'Consumers get screwed' by lack of Android updates

Seven of the eighteen Android phones have never run a current version of the Android OS.

30th - Microsoft: Android is standing 'on the shoulder of companies like Microsoft'

Microsoft: ‘Licensing is not some nefarious thing that people should be worried about.’


4th - The 'Year of the Linux desktop' isn't coming

Holding your breath for the ‘Year of the Linux desktop’? Don’t. It’s not coming.

5th - Android handsets top hardware failures list

Android device returns costing mobile operators a staggering $2 billion per year.

7th - BEWARE - Rogue Android apps flood into alternative markets

Send premium rate text messages to get free software.

11th - Most free Android anti-malware scanners 'near to useless'

Most products achieved 0% detection rate.

18th - Barnes & Noble challenges Microsoft's infringement claims with 43-pages of prior art

Who would have thought it would be Barnes & Noble rising up to defend the Android OS from Microsoft.

21st - Are security firms that warn of Android malware 'charlatans and scammers'?

Are you worried about Android malware?


3rd - Android bloatware results in serious security flaws

Bloatware installed by the handset manufacturers is making Android insecure.

6th - Kindle Fire and why 7-inch tablets suck

Cramming a traditional webpage onto a 7-inch screen doesn’t work.

7th - Six Android issues that Google doesn't want to address

Size (of the market share) isn’t everything

9th - Android Market's 10 billion downloads

How many times have Adele songs be Shazam’d?

10th - 2011: The year of the Android OS

Android is, without a doubt, the most successful Linux distro out there. And it’s only going to go from strength to strength come 2012.

12th - Premium rate SMS Trojans hit Google's Android Market

Trojans appear in Google’s Android Market.

13th - Microsoft offers Android malware victims free Windows Phone handsets

Anyone suffering Droidrage?

17th - Why your Android handset probably won't get an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich

Waiting for Google’s latest Android 4.0 ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ update? Don’t hold your breath.

21st - Android goes from strength to strength - 700,000 devices activated every day

That’s almost 5 million devices per week.

23rd - More Trojanized games enter Google's Android Market app store

More Trojan apps appear in Google’s Android Market.