Chromebooks and cloud music and tablets, oh my! It was very busy this week at Google's I/O developer conference.
With all the news (and killer freebies) that got tossed around at the event, you're forgiven if you failed to notice that we launched a new and improved Android Atlas. So let me introduce it to you and share some internal CNET numbers that demonstrate Android's growing stature in the smartphone and tablet markets and why we're doubling down on the OS.
Android Atlas has a new design for showcasing product and app news; phone and tablet reviews; app recommendations; videos; and how-to content. In addition, we've added a venue for asking or answering Android-related questions, a place to submit rumors/tips to CNET editors, and new ways to quickly drill into specific topics. Over the next few weeks you'll start noticing a substantial increase in the amount of how-to content on CNET, around Android and other platforms.
We're doing this because Android represents a challenge to the status quo, which will spur more innovation and ultimately benefit consumers. And we're also doing it because CNET users seem to be clamoring for anything Android related. Let me show you.
Below you'll see two charts showing the growth of Android-related traffic on CNET. (Yes, there are more Android devices, we get that. But that just means more devices for consumers to consider buying.) The lines represent monthly traffic to CNET Reviews pages that are product-specific, including the product review pages, product specs, and user reviews. As you can see, Android is surging. (We call users visiting these pages "considered users" because they are considering buying these products--there's little reason to read editor or user reviews for products you aren't interesting in buying.)
Because people reading CNET reviews are in the research phase, the trends seen on CNET are typically a precursor to actual sales numbers, by two to four months.
On a personal note, I switched from iPhone to Android (Galaxy S) last summer--a switch prompted by AT&T's service and a desire to learn Android; so far, I haven't regretted it (though the e-mail client gets an F). I recently tried a Windows Phone 7 device for about a month and would definitely consider switching. It feels more polished and thought-through than my Android; and e-mail handling, specifically, is much, much better. So yeah, you can probably expect a Windows Phone 7 home fairly soon. Until then, check out Android Atlas and/or iPhone (soon to be iOS) Atlas.