Android Expansion: 6 Products That Aren't Smartphones

From TVs to high-tech remotes and microwaves, here are six new Android-powered products coming soon to a store near you.

That little Android mascot must be struggling to catch his breath.

Every time we finish talking about the ridiculous growth of Google's Android operating system, new stats emerge showing even more mind-boggling expansion. It was just over a month ago, after all, that Google's Andy Rubin revealed that 160,000 Android devices were being activated every day.

Now, Rubin says that number has surged to 200,000 -- 200,000 new Android phones coming online every single day. That amounts to 1.4 million new Android handsets being activated each week, or roughly 6.2 million per month. Or, to put it in highly technical terms, a lot of freakin' phones.

Back in June, some readers balked when I declared that Apple had fallen and couldn't get up in terms of its relative mobile market share. Google's sales data aside, two separate reports released this week show just how quickly Android is making gains. As time wears on, the reality of the shifting market becomes increasingly difficult to deny.

But Android isn't only about smartphones -- not for long, anyway. Google's mobile operating system is set to make its way onto all sorts of high-tech stuff, ranging from the mundane and to the just plain strange.

Let's hope that little green robot's taking his vitamins.

Android Product #1: The Android TV

Watch out, TiVo -- Android has its eye on the boob tube. Google's recently announced Google TV concept will bring Android into your living room with a series of manufacturer-made devices.

Google TV will combine standard television-watching with an Android-infused Internet experience. That means you'll be able to use Google-powered search to find TV channels, upcoming shows, and movies -- or to find photos, videos, and other content online. It'll be one giant entertainment soup, all mixed together without distinction.

What really stands to set Google TV apart, though, is its integration with the Android Market. Like Android-based smartphones, Google TV devices will connect to an open app store that'll offer an array of applications to help personalize your experience and expand the product's possibilities.

Google TV will run on TV sets, Blu-ray players, and standalone boxes. The first of those products are expected to go on sale this fall.

Android Product #2: The Android Tablet

An army of Android tablets is on its way into the world. While Dell's soon-to-launch Streak may be more of a smartphone than a slate, other Android-powered technology more true to the tablet nature is not far behind it.

Among the Android tablets expected to debut in the coming months are an Android-powered Asus Eee Pad; a superthin as-of-yet unnamed Android slate by LG; and a 7-inch iPad-like tablet from Samsung.

You can get a sneak peek at these and other upcoming Android tablets in this PCWorld slideshow.

Android Product #3: The Android Home Phone System

Numerous manufacturers are hoping to strike a chord with Android-powered phone systems for at-home use. These devices are no old-school gadgets, either: While they do connect to standard landlines, most of the models also feature a slew of high-tech functions, including full Internet access and support for Android Market applications.

Android Product #4: The Android Home Command Center

Taking the home phone system a step further, some companies are working on all-out home control gadgets. The gadgets range from souped-up multimedia remotes -- complete with in-device Internet access, of course -- to fully powered home command centers. The latter will let you do everything from flipping on and off lights to locking doors and even adjusting the A/C. Being lazy has never been easier.

Android Products #5 & 6: The Android Appliances

Those first four are just the start -- and, suffice it to say, we've saved the best (or at least the most amusing) for last.

There's the Android-powered washer/dryer -- yes, seriously -- and then my personal favorite: the Android-powered microwave. I kid you not.

If you actually buy one of these things, I think you can officially call yourself a full-fledged Android fanboy.

JR Raphael is a PCWorld contributing editor and the author of the Android Power blog. He's on both Twitter and Facebook; come say hello.

Tags wireless technologyremote controlHandheldsWeb TVtelecommunicationtvHandhelds / PDAsmobileGoogleinternet applianceconsumer electronics

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JR Raphael

PC World (US online)

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