MWC's Android invasion: Pin badges, cupcake-flavoured smoothies and a giant slide...
silicon.com had an inkling that Google's presence at this year's Mobile World Congress was going to be big - reporting earlier this month that the Android platform pusher would be having its own stand at the trade show this year. But nothing could prepare us for exactly how large Android would loom at MWC.
In 2008, Android got its low-key debut at MWC, demonstrated on a prototype handset at chipmaker Texas Instruments' stand. This year, Google's Droid greeted delegates from the side of the main hall, waving down from a giant poster inviting them to "Meet the Android community".
Inside the main hall, Android-branded floor stickers flagged the way to Google's show space...
While the Android emblem and logo could be seen all over the Fira - not just at Google's stand but at the booths of other companies doing business in the Android ecosystem - Google's own logo was conspicuous by its absence. Google employees at the stand could only be identified by black T-shirts bearing an Android emblem with a red heart on it. Third-party developers wore white T-shirts with rocket-powered Androids on the back.
A map of Google's split-level Android booth shows some of the features on offer - including a series of developer pods on the ground floor where third-party app makers and Google employees were demoing software.
Here's a view of some of the Android developer pods at this year's MWC.
When delegates got bored of talking shop with app makers, they could always have a go on the giant Android slide...
Or check out the conveyor belt of Android-enabled smartphones, such as the HTC Legend - pictured to the right of the blue Android.
Refreshment was on offer at the Android smoothie bar, which was serving up four flavours of free drink: gingerbread, donut, cupcake and honeycomb concoctions, of course.
Upstairs, MWC delegates were allowed to riff on the cult of Droid by using the Androidify app to create a personalised avatar - making the Android emblem a bit more human.
Another element of gamification was added to the marketing mix with Google offering a collection of limited-edition Android pin badges that delegates could collect by visiting stands elsewhere in the Fira. Some 86 Android designs were on offer, with varying degrees of scarcity to help generate buzz. By day two, delegates could be seen proudly sporting their Android badge collections affixed to their lanyards.
Here's one of the 86 Android pin badge designs. Within days of MWC closing up shop, Android badges were being offered for sale on eBay. One eBay seller was offering the entire collection of 86 badges for a starting price of £900.
But it wasn't all slides, smoothies and badges. Google's MWC booth included a pod called "At work anywhere", where app makers and Google employees were showing off a selection of productivity tools, including Google's own Google Apps software.
Mobile office productivity software QuickOffice was one of the apps being demoed. The software enables Android and other smartphone and tablet users to view PDFs and create, open and edit Microsoft documents on their devices.
The LogMeIn app was also on show. The desktop-sharing tool works in conjunction with a desktop client, enabling users to gain access to files on their PC when using a tablet or smartphone.
Another work-friendly app on show was Fuze Box, an HD videoconferencing and collaboration app that enables users to host, schedule and attend a meeting all on the one device.
While screen-share software such as Webex can offer two to six frames per second, Fuze Box is much faster - offering 30 frames per second, according to a spokesman.
Another app demoed on the productivity pod was SwiftKey, which is designed to make it faster and easier to input text on Android devices by predicting the next word that will be typed.