The question for my case study was “what social and economic forces shape communication infrastructure?” and I used Google’s mobile operating system, Android, to answer it. I chose Android because it is an operating system that is radically changing the way that we communicate and its innovations have led to great advancements in the how we do just that: cellular technology that was once used for the sole purpose of calling one another, is now being integrated into cars, watches, and even glasses. Google has created an operating system that is being used in such versatile ways as to expand what is even considered a cell phone- putting the Android technology in cars, therefore allowing us to make calls and text while driving, is the future of convergence, where all cars come standard with this feature. This new advancement was based on our society and its needs, the amount of car wrecks due to texting while driving led to this new feature of being able to speak a text to your car, in order to take the danger out of texting and driving. Not only has Google been converging various technologies to create new ways of communicating, but also their strategy in the market has allowed for cheaper smartphones around the world, allowing people in low-economic countries to afford smartphones and pushing it as a standard.
When I asked if Android would remain the most widely used operating system or not someone pointed out that Apple’s iOS was close behind, and it’s true. Apple’s iOS is another strong driver of cellular innovation, but either way this competition, along with the needs and wants of society, constantly push these technologies to new forms of communication and new economic strategies all the time. Maybe Apple will become more open and to other manufacturers like Google is and also begin producing cheaper, more affordable smartphones. We’ll have to wait and see how each company plays off the other to gain the upper hand.