For many of the technically uninclined, making the switch to Android can be daunting, but Google may soon launch a service to make the decision easier.
Google has many great services than can be plugged into through Android and many manufacturers create devices that utilize these services and features, but the decentralized nature of Android causes some problems. Who runs Android? If someone has an issue with their Android phone, who are they going to call (considering the ghost busters wouldn’t be of much use)?
Recent reports suggest Google has been working on a program called Android Silver. The search giant has been working with various carriers and devices manufacturers to create a customer care experience to rival Apple and assist those that are not in the know (mostly people that would never be reading this article) with their Android devices. Android Silver would be a 24/7 help desk where Google approved devices could be serviced and a Google support team would provide troubleshooting and guidance for anyone needing to set up Google accounts, configure their device, or use the Play Store.
Despite Android becoming more and more mainstream in the past few years, it is just not as approachable as iOS. Apple provides help desk support and is very successful at getting people who are normally not tech inclined to plug into their services and use their apps. If most customers knew there was readily available 24/7 Google support available for Android, that might give many people the confidence they need to leave Apple, or finally make the leap from a flip phone.
This will likely also be used as another form of leverage to encourage various OEMs to fall in line with Google’s attempts at Android unification. We’ve already seen their plan to enforce device certification by leveraging allowed access to Google Play Services. Now they are also requiring manufacturers to include a “powered by Android” splash screen on bootup as well.
Since fragmentation has the potential to be the undoing of Android, it only makes sense for Google to create tools that are useful to device manufacturers, such as access to Google play apps and the rest of the Google Play ecosystem. Now if they can also leverage access to an Android support line, any sane manufacturer would jump at the opportunity to get that kind of customer support once they launch a device.
Android Silver will also go a long way towards attracting more developers to Android. Many developers prefer to focus on iOS development since it is easier and can be more profitable. Google intends to use Android Silver to encourage and assist unfamiliar customers with how to use the Google Play Store and also provide some app support. This would be huge for any Android development holdouts and could be the push many developers need to start creating better Android apps.