Android has become the fourth Google (GOOG +1.3%) platform (joining search, Maps, and YouTube) to top 1B monthly active users, the Web giant discloses as its I/O conference kicks off (live blog). Android topped 1B device activations last September.
Android tablet app installs are up 236% Y/Y in 2014, and Google asserts its version of Android now has a 62% tablet unit share (revenue share is likely lower). App Annie recently estimated Google Play app revenue (both for smartphones and tablets) rose 140% Y/Y in Q1, with downloads rising 50%.
Material Design, a new common design language for Android, Chrome OS, and Google's Web apps, has been shown off. Icons have been refreshed, and the design style is more colorful than traditional Android. "Our material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by our study of paper and ink, yet open to imagination and magic," Google says, apparently with a straight face.
Also unveiled: Android One, an initiative providing reference platforms for cheap emerging markets hardware. Indian OEMs Micromax, Spice, and Karbonn are among the first supporters. A sub-$100 Micromax phone featuring a 4.5" display is shown as a proof-of-concept.