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Google's Android One India gameplan!

September 17, 2014 13:35 IST

Himanshu Juenja lists top 10 things you must know about the Android One Programme in India.

Android One Programme

Photograph Courtesy: android.com/one/india/

Google has set things in motion with its Android One Programme, where it has not only set entry level hardware standards for its operating system, but also has clearly targeted the basic strata of Android users.

By bringing in OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) onboard, Google has clearly made a statement that they will treat basic handsets with due importance as well.

Not only does the Programme bring immediate results by allowing basic handset users the pure Android experience, much like the Nexus devices, in the longer run as well the Android One Programme should prove to be a game changer. It will not only streamline and standardise hardware, but will also bring the same effect to the software side of the OS as well.

1. In June 2014, Google's Sunder Pichai made the announcement for the Android One. The Programme basically ensured that the phones getting released under it will run on the most recent Android releases.

Apart from the latest OS, the phones will be receiving the updates directly from Google.

2. Google announced OEM partners like Micromax, Spice, Karbonn, Acer, Alcatel, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic and Xolo for Android One smartphones.

The hardware vendors are allowed to stack up preloaded apps with their handsets, but the OS itself won't be carrying any customisations. This ensures a pure android experience, much like the flagship devices.

3. On September 15, 2014, Google launched Android One's three smartphones from three different manufacturers. The price ranges from Rs 6299 to Rs 6499.

  • Micromax Canvas A1 on Amazon for Rs 6499
  • Karbonn Sparkle V went on sale on Snapdeal for Rs 6,399
  • Spice Dream UNO on Flipkart for Rs 6,299

Android One Programme

From left: Karbonn Sparkle V, Micromax Canvas A1 and Spice Dream UNO; Photograph Courtesy: android.com/one/india/

4. The three handsets are identical in software and hardware specifications.

  • All three will be running Android 4.4.4 Android L out of the box.
  • Powered by a 1.3Ghz MediaTek quad core processor and 1GB of RAM, the phones have a 4.5-inch IPS display. The onboard memory is 4GB and the phones enable the users to expand the memory capacity by up to 32GB.
  • The difference in pricing is absolutely based on the phone's build quality, and company's pricing policies.

5. The three handsets being strikingly similar is not mere coincidence, but due to the very nature of the Android One Programme.

Android One Programme basically presents to the OEM partners a Google handpicked menu of components to build the phones. This ensures that the whole process gets streamlined right from the start and saves OEMs the hassle of deciding a configuration that coms with a good degree of future proofing.

6. App development to become easy and efficient.

With the basic entry level set for the Google priority OS updates, the app development gets a major boost. App developers now have a basic standard to concentrate upon while developing their content right from the first release itself, much like the iOS scenario.

This should not only save time and increase efficiency, but the app development scene itself is poised to witness a significant improvement. Expect a more vibrant and populated app world for the android OS, as developers have a major stumbling block removed.

It won't be a far-fetched assumption that app developers will eventually start eying Google's app world with due importance and respect, pretty much on par with that of iOS.

7. Currently, the Android One Programme phones carry the MediaTek chip, but Google ensured that Qualcomm is onboard the Programme as well.

This pretty much translates to the fact that future handsets will witness Qualcomm Snapdragon based chips being used for the Android One handsets.
This presents exciting prospects for future buyers.

8. Google has promised to provide updates for the smartphones for up to two years.

This means that the handsets get priority OS updates and will also receive app updates under this Programme.

Interestingly, the Android One Programme also confirms that these are some of the first phones to get the new Android L update.

9. Jumping on to the Android bandwagon early, Airtel was quick to announce data bundle for the Android one handsets.

Under their scheme, the Airtel users will get:

100 MB per month for six months for Android software updates

200 MB of 3G data per month for six months for app downloads

10. The models by Micromax, Karbonn and Spice will be vailable for purchase from retail stores across India from early October 2014.

India is the first country to get its hands on the Android One phones.

The search giant plans to tap the huge potential of low cost Android handset markets and hence countries like Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and other South Asian markets should witness the Android One handset release by end of the year.

Also See: Gadgets Special

Himanshu Juneja