Google's Android long ago eclipsed Apple's iOS in terms of sheer size: Gartner reports that Android powers 74.4 percent of all smartphones sold worldwide during the first quarter of 2013, up from 56.9 percent during the year-ago period and widening its already considerable lead on iOS, which plummeted to 18.2 percent from 22.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012. But size isn't everything, and iOS has always maintained a number of competitive edges over Android.
Google has mailed a cease-and-desist letter to Microsoft demanding the removal of a new YouTube video application for Windows Phone introduced last week.
Google continues ramping up its Google Wallet m-commerce network, introducing APIs for simplifying purchases within native Android applications and rolling out loyalty programs, additionally integrating payment capabilities into its Gmail platform.
Google, during its I/O developer conference, announced it will refresh its Maps for Mobile product on Android and iOS this summer, bringing coupons, improved routing and support for tablets.
Google at its I/O developer's conference said it will release a new, standalone Hangouts app that will be available to Android, iOS and Web users. The app will collect text, image and video conversations into one service and essentially represents Google's response to the growth of messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber and BlackBerry's BBM. Hangouts will replace Google Talk and G+ Messenger.
During its Google I/O developer's conference, Google announced a new Android gaming service and a new, subscription-based music streaming service. The company also announced a range of new APIs and services for its Android developers.
Google is poised to unveil a subscription-based streaming music service rivaling platforms like Spotify and Pandora.
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins unveiled the company's newest smartphone, the Q5 aimed at emerging markets, and said BlackBerry is in a much stronger position than it was this time last year.
Some of YouTube's content partners have begun selling monthly subscriptions to access their videos. So far, more than 50 content partners are selling subscriptions to their channels, with prices varying from $1 to at least $8 per month and discounts for full-year subscriptions.
Google's annual Google I/O conference is just around the corner. Developers from across the country will gather May 15-17 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco for the latest on Android, Google Glass, Google Wallet, Chrome and the rest of the Google landscape. Fierce will be covering this year's event to bring you all the news and events from the show. Check back here for the latest news.