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Is Android in the business world to stay?

Security, fragmentation concerns persist, but Android smartphone and tablet choice a big lure

By , Network World
April 02, 2013 06:31 AM ET

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"The API functions are better than ever at allowing us to add a new feature for new phones, and still be able to run the same software on older phones. Two years ago, we were bombarded by bugs and incompatibilities related to obscure phone models," Bruns says. "It has now been months since we have had such problems, even though we support the older phones as well as the newest Jelly Bean phones and tablets."

As to security, Shah says, there's nothing intrinsically less secure about the Android platform than iOS.

"Inherently, I don't think there's anything about the Android platform that's more risky than iOS. Yeah, Apple has this aura of 'we lock down things' but ... it's just as risky," he says.

Android/Chrome?

But will Android still be Android tomorrow? Rumors that Google would merge the mobile OS with its growing Chrome ecosystem started in earnest after the news in mid-March that longtime Android chief Andy Rubin would be making way for Sundar Pichai, who heads up Chrome and Google Apps.

The answer, for the moment, is yes, according to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who said that the two products would remain separate during a recent trip to India.

That said, tight integration with Google's existing product infrastructure -- from Gmail to Google + to any number of other offerings -- has long been a hallmark of Android, and further blurring of the lines between Chrome and Android is far from impossible.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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