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100 million Android devices worldwide

Google announces new milestone and Android Open Accessory project

Google has announced that more than 100 million Android devices have now been activated worldwide, as the company also revealed plans for a new open accessories program.

At the recent Google I/O developer conference, Android product management director Hugo Barra revealed a number of new stats, including the fact that 400,000 new Android devices are being activated every day around the world.

As many as 200,000 free and paid-for applications are now available in the Android Market and 4.5 billion applications have been installed by users.

As summarised by a subsequent blog post from Barra, there are now more than 310 different Android devices available around the world and the last two and a half years has seen eight release versions of the Android operating system.

The latest version, taking over from Honeycomb, is codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich and will include features such as a "holographic user interface, more multitasking, the new launcher and richer widgets."

Of particular interest to the games industry was the new Android Open Accessory project, which will focus on creating new hardware accessories compatible with all Android devices. The Android@Home initiative in particular will allow Android apps to communicate with and use common devices around the home.

Although demonstrations were made involving Google's new Music Beat service, other on stage examples of the technology included using both an Xbox 360 controller and an exercise bike to control games on an Android device.

Another demonstration involved playing id Software's Quake alongside a set of synchronised LED lightbulbs. Supported devices must currently have a USB interface, but Bluetooth support is also planned for the future.

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David Jenkins