Andy OS: Reaching The Cloud By Connecting Mobile & PC
In almost every story or blog post about a new company in Silicon Valley we are exposed to the amazing and sometimes sci-fi like problems a new co will solve. The plans are grand and the in most cases the world will be a better place because of what this new co is doing.
I love the romance and often times realized dreams that come from these new business explorations, but contend that almost all new companies started out solving a relatively basic problem while maintaining a vision for what “could be.” I think this captures our journey with Andy OS thus far.
Andy OS is an operating system that can run anywhere. Today that is on any Mac or Windows device and tomorrow it will be in the Cloud. Imagine that, an operating system that you can use no matter what device you’re computing on, that is effectively personalized to you. It stores all your app history and turns your hardware into a simple conduit between your real life and your virtual life.
But I’m an Apple person so this doesn’t apply to me. That’s generally true. Apple is a single company that controls iOS and OS X and can therefore make apps compatible across platforms, and enable access to apps when a consumer transitions from an old device to a new one. Users are happy, iOS developers are happy and so on. Problem is, the greater majority of the world doesn’t use iOS or OS X. In fact, in the last year iOS lost massive market share to Android. In the US iOS has gone from 43% market share to 31%, with all 12% of that share going to Android. Take an even starker comparison like China where Android is 85% of the market and iOS is 13%. And to look at it across both mobile and desktop, Windows makes up 80% of ALL operating system usage world wide. (Source: IDC)
I’m not writing to debate OS market share shifts, rather to highlight the fact that across the world Android and Windows are the dominant operating systems by a very wide margin, and there is high overlap between the installed base of each. So the fact that little to no app continuity exists between Android and Windows is a massive computing problem for consumers and developers alike. And though there are a number of Android emulators already in market, none of them provide a comprehensive, “full featured” Android experience. Andy OS does just that.
In the face of these facts some will still ask why, why do we need an Android operating system that can run anywhere? And why would a consumer or developer care? The amount of people around the world using Windows and Android would seem to answer that question in a general way, but let me be specific. If the apps I love on my phone work on my PC I will use those apps more and for longer periods of time. I will get more out of those apps and will therefore keep them installed for longer, which translates into the ever important “Lifetime Value” that all developers hold as the defining standard for their app. I will worry less about the battery drain or storage hog of certain apps on my phone, and will be more inclined to try out new apps that if I like, I’ll use on multiple devices. And because Andy OS also represents a virtual Android development platform, the development of Android apps will involve less friction, take less time and ultimately lead to richer Android apps. In short, the entire eco-system will improve.
And I suppose this is where the practical present meets the romantic future. Because Andy OS is built on virtualization, provides a full featured Android experience and can run anywhere, it can be the operating system you use when all of us are computing in the Cloud. Consumer Cloud computing today is really about storage (insert Drop Box, etc.), yet the ever-decreasing cost of storage and bandwidth is rapidly driving us to a point where all of our computing can realistically happen in the Cloud and on demand. Look at what Adobe has done with PhotoShop or nVidia has done with Shield. Two established and respected technology players that have made company changing strategic bets on the Cloud as our soon to be universal computing construct.
So at Andy OS we did set out with a romantic vision from the start, to be your personalized operating system in the Cloud. But we knew that in order to realize this vision, we needed to solve the here and now problem. We believe that by giving people the ability to do everything on their PC that they can do on a phone, and at a high standard of product quality, we will earn the trust and loyalty of those people who will then take Andy OS into the Cloud.