With 2 billion active devices, Google’s Android leaves Apple’s iOS in the dust

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  • At the company’s I/O developer conference this week the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, announced that the world’s leading search engine has also achieved a new milestone as the proud owner of the world’s leading mobile operating system - there are now more than 2 billion active Android devices around the world.

    Google has gone head-to-head with Apple in the mobile OS space since the first Android device rolled off the production line in 2008, but because Android is open source and device-agnostic (whereas Apple’s iOS is proprietary and confined to Apple’s own hardware), Android became the leading mobile OS fairly quickly. It first overtook Apple’s iOS in 2010, and its lead has accelerated dramatically since then.

    In addition, the app store for Android devices (Google Play), has also surpassed Apple’s own App Store, and is continuing to widen its lead - in 2016 more than 64 billion apps were downloaded from Google Play, compared with around 25 billion downloaded from Apple’s App Store.

    Android is Google’s first tech product to reach the 2 billion milestone, but it is one of seven products that have already clocked up more than 1 billion users each: Google Search, Android, GMail, Chrome, Google Play, Google Maps, and YouTube.

    Google Drive, the company’s cloud storage solution, is also on track to hit the 1 billion user mark before too long, given the fact that it already has 800 million active users, while Google Photos has already clocked up 500 million monthly active users despite launching less than two years ago.

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