Google’s Not the Only One with Its Hand on The Android Controls
September 3, 2018
Recently, Google has been in some hot water with Europe revolving around their alleged control of Android’s map and browser services. Although Google doesn’t create all android phones, such as Samsung and LG, their Android operating system is what drives them, providing access to the Google Play Store, Chrome browser, and various other Google-centric applications.
The company has since released their own mobile phone, but it still doesn’t come close to the success of the Samsung, which begs the question: is it the phone or the OS which users find so appealing? Well, the new success of one game might be able to help answer this, proving once and for all that Google needs more than a hot shot OS and app store to take over the mobile market.
Fortnite became an instant success this year, after its release last year by Epic games. It’s built quite a name for itself with YouTube videos, memes, and copycat games being released in its honor already. And with Fortnite’s success comes the realization that Google may not control the Android market as much as previously thought, because Fortnite doesn’t offer its download through the Play Store.
Why Not Google Play?
To access the action-packed multiplayer world of Fortnite, players must download from the official website. This option to bypass the Google Play store could be part of an effort to make the game available to everybody on all playing fields. Currently, it can be played via computer or laptop, tablet, Apple device or Android device, and the company is working hard to make the playing experience equal and accessible no matter which device is in use.
Those with Apple phones can still access the game through the App store, but this is due to the locked nature of their devices. No other store or database can be used on an Apple device to download games, which may be where Google made their first mistake if they wanted to dominate the app world.
Another very likely reason has to do with funding, as 30% of the income generated from games in the Play Store goes to Google whether the game was developed by Google or not. This means Epic would be losing some of their hard-earned cash if they decided to opt in and become part of the Android app crew.
Fake Sites and Download Trouble
Of course, when a company chooses to ignore registered app stores such as Google Play, they run the risk of encountering fraudsters. It’s easy for any unauthorized site to share a fake link claiming to be the real thing, but not so easy from an app store where only one of each game can be registered. As of this month, Epic has reported nearly 50 fake sites which have been declared fraudulent by the company and removed from activity online. Unfortunately, it seems like no sooner is one site removed that another surfaces.
Fortnite Popularity and App Control
Google has made their stand on controlling the app industry quite clear, but by bucking convention, Fortnight has an opportunity to go its own way. With millions of downloads through an invite only process, Android users have had quite the run of the program already and it isn’t even in its full-usage phase yet.
Google has always made sure that their apps and icons are available to mobile phone users the moment an Android device is activated, but the popularity of Fortnite might have users questioning whether these applications are necessary. Many phone users don’t realize that devices can be customized to suit their needs, uses, and interests with applications not available at activation. Some don’t even know that icons can be moved, changed, or increased in size for better viewing.
A lack of education on Android settings and use has been keeping Google firmly in the driver’s seat for mobile Android phones, but this could be the beginning of the end.
How Google Is Dealing with Things
Whether Google is turning a blind eye or unsure how to deal with the threat Fortnite poses, the company has turned things around by unveiling yet another device. Their Pixelbook 2, available this October has been leaked ahead of schedule. The device appears to have keys which are rounded and a bezel that appears smaller than previous models. A glance at the new book suggests that this could be the closest link between Chrome and Android yet.
Pixelbook 2 became a speculated success as it was recently leaked by an unknown source. The leaker choosing to stay anonymous has caused a stir among internet users wondering if this is a ploy by Google to ramp up press for the device ahead of its true launch. Something like a soft launch, but less organized.
The Google hardware event next month will answer some of the questions about the device. One of them might even be aimed at Fortnite and the ability to play the game on the new electronic. Could this be Google trying to alleviate negative press by creating positive press? Only time will tell as Android enthusiasts and Fortnite players await the debut of the Pixelbook 2.
One thing’s for sure, if Google ever put out their own video game console, the world would be in complete chaos. Between Xbox and Sony Playstation, Nintendo might be falling through the cracks, but Google has the short term game to be successful.