Andy Rubin, who has (until recently) been the driver behind the Android platform has told Japan’s New Economy Summit that ten years ago, before Android was the smartphone behemoth that it is today, Android was being designed as a software platform for cameras. That’s right, Android was supposed to improve the way digital cameras and PCs connect together. It seems that Rubin was also thinking that cameras could run apps as well.. something that the Galaxy Camera now does.
“We thought it would be good if we could build a camera platform with third-party apps,” Rubin said. However, the trend towards smarter and more powerful smartphones became clearer and Android became directed towards this (then) emerging market, which has obviously exploded today into a huge industry. Apparently this decision was influenced by worry about Microsoft and Symbian, but the iPhone wasn’t (yet) on the radar.
In an amusing throwback, Android was — after cracking the camera market — to redirect its efforts to a smartphone operating system, with early (and we mean really early) prototypes bearing a close resemblance to BlackBerry’s offerings at the time. I think we can safely say thank goodness things didn’t eventuate this way!
It’s rather interesting isn’t it that Android’s first target — the digital camera market — has now been realised in Samsung’s Galaxy Camera and of course Nikon’s Coolpix S800c.