Android in 2020: how much will it change in five years?

Android Rocky Road?

3. Android payments and security in 2020

2015 has been the year when mobile payments have really started to come into focus (thanks Apple Pay) but there's a lot more to come in terms of phones replacing cash and verifying our identities (everything from getting through the door at work to logging into Facebook).

The Android phone of 2020 could automatically log you into Gmail when you sit down at your laptop, for example, or pay for your flight when you step on a plane. Android devices can already unlock Chrome OS instead of a password, so to an extent this technology is already here - but by 2020 it should be almost seamless.

Android in 2020 the future of Google s mobile OS explored

We've seen tattoos and pills shown off as possible authentication triggers of the future, and Android 2020 will play a big part in proving you are who you say you are, whether it's at a coffee shop or Google I/O.

Basic face recognition is already available, but in the years to come it has the potential to get much more accurate. Fingerprint recognition is coming in Android M and technology such as iris scanning is now coming into play too. Whatever technology emerges at the front of the pack, the good news is you won't have to remember any passwords in 2020.

4. Android hardware in 2020

Hardware innovations are going to play a big part in Android's roadmap. Besides the obvious smaller, thinner, faster improvements for our phones, bendable screens should be in place in the near future - the likes of Samsung have the tech already in production, and Android will change to adapt itself through scrolling rivers of news, status updates and other notifications.

Ever-changing, ever-optimising displays will be the order of the day, and the batteries and mobile processors of 2020 should be able to keep up.

Android in 2020 the future of Google s mobile OS explored

Google Glass managed to generate plenty of buzz before it was yanked from sale, and as Glass and the Apple Watch show, devices are getting smaller all the time. By 2020 Android's main market could be wearables rather than smartphones - it's going to need to be nimble and versatile, which is why apps such as Google Now are so useful.

Perhaps you won't need to take photos any more, since Google will simply pick out the best pictures from an unedited stream of the day's events. Nor will you need to decide what to eat for dinner - Android 2020 will know what you've been doing today (and what you're probably doing tonight) thanks to your Android Wear smartwatch, and will pick out the most suitable foods for you.

Android: the 2020 edition

The only certainty about Android's future is that it has a fight on its hands to stay competitive. Apple's iOS 9 has given Google plenty to think about - mostly by borrowing features from Android, like the new "proactive" elements of Siri.

Android's continuing integration with Chrome and the desktop/laptop will make for an interesting story too - they're both run by the same man, Sundar Pichai, remember - and perhaps Google's biggest challenge will be to convince us that we can trust it with more and more information about where we are, who we communicate with and the way we live our lives.

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