Farewell 2016 and hello 2017! With the clear eyes that a new year can bring, we look at the Android changes that hit the market in 2016 and prepare for the upcoming year. Some trends will dry up and disappear, while others will become true market drivers. Here are some of the most important trends from 2016 for Android users and ones to watch for in 2017.
For a while, it seemed like Android smartphones were heading right to tablet sizes. The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro logs a whopping 6.44″, making it more of a mini-tab with calling features. Now, smartphones are sitting at a fairly stable size range, but displays are getting bigger. With smaller bezels enabling designers to use more of the surface space for display, users get more screen from the same size device. Look for this feature to continue throughout 2017.
The cost of smartphones drops every year, with some mid-range options adding more high-end specs yet maintaining their current price point. That change means mid-range phones have become more affordable for the general market without sacrificing dramatically on functionality.
When Google Cardboard first turned a smartphone into a pair of VR goggles, it revolutionized the VR market. New designs like Google’s Daydream will take VR to even more users. The downsides of Cardboard, with its relatively flimsy design and inexpensive materials, are addressed in Daydream, creating an inexpensive VR wearable that works with many modern smartphones. Look out for more VR apps and hardware in the next year.
Another big trend to watch is the pre-paid service space and phones designed for these users. Project Fi and Google’s Pixel phone are a unique fusion that may change-up the marketplace. After all, with unlimited talk and text combined with pay as you go data, the price point attracts those who don’t use too much carrier data.
The newest TV displays are migrating to smartphones and Android devices in 2017. Better-quality displays directly impact VR usability, so users should expect to see 4K move from televisions to pocket screens.
With Google’s entry into the hardware market and the continued expansion of VR technologies, the 2017 android landscape will be shifting rapidly and dramatically.
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