I’ve written about Google’s fragmented messaging service before, but it’s still surprising that Google lingers behind other services such as Facebook Messages and Apple iMessages when they lead with other services like Gmail. Part of Google’s failure is the missed opportunity with Android, which claims 70 percent of the global smartphone market share. The other piece to their failure is that many features showcased from other apps (Facebook Messenger, iMessages) are already provided by Google – just spread across multiple services. This is why it’s encouraging to hear about the rumored “Google Babel,” which very well could resolve many, if not all, of the present problems within Google’s various messaging apps and services. Continue reading
Facebook’s new super app (or launcher) Facebook Home is pretty, functional, and a creative take on how to approach smartphone UI. It naturally makes sense for Facebook to focus on people rather than apps, but for Facebook Home the icing may be a little too thick for most to digest. Continue reading
There’s a resurgence in the old “ghost town” argument surrounding Google+ recently. I’ve seen doubts about monthly interaction estimates, surprise at the lack of panic with Google+’s recent power out, and discredit around Google+’s new application sign-in service. Many of these articles have come from authors who haven’t filled out a Google+ profile and/or barely dabbled with the social network, but still consider themselves authorities on the subject. Now of course people are entitled to their own opinion, but here’s my take on what’s happening with Google+ usability and why so many get it wrong. Continue reading
If you have a Ferrari, but only dirt roads to drive it on, you don’t drive your Ferrari. This is the challenge for Google’s premium laptop the Chromebook Pixel announced today by Google via a blog post. By the laptop’s very nature, it’s reliant on an Internet infrastructure still missing investments or incentives to increase overall speed. This impacts how much you can rely on the cloud to truly replace your old hard drive for a server, and with most consumer Internet connections rounding out at 15 Mbps – a speed introduced with broadband over a decade ago – Pixel’s main challenge isn’t just Internet speed, it’s apps and price. Continue reading
Android is a platform that keeps users in the Google universe – but Android does not necessarily make money on its own for Google. In fact, whether you own a Nexus device or something different, Google is probably less concerned with individual device sales and more focused on how each device operates in connection with Google Play and its other services across a wide market share – because that’s where the money is. This is why Google should focus Google Play and its apps (Play Music, Books, Magazines, and Movies & TV) in iOS’s direction.
Rewind six-months ago and you would have found an entirely different Google. From a software perspective, the company still continued to flourish, but from an in-house product line, the company was still missing a blockbuster. Products like the Galaxy Nexus and various Chromebooks came and went – seemingly missing an “it factor” that would grant them lasting power. But as the beginning of the year teased future products like Project Glass, Google I/O was really the pivot point for the company’s hardware alongside its OEM partners. There it unveiled the power of Google Glass, the impressive Nexus 7, and the Nexus Q (currently being reevaluated). Continue reading
It was there. In my cart. And with the grace of several server errors, problems with Google Wallet, and Google Play system problems, the Nexus 4 (16 GB version) slipped through my fingers. It was a problem I was prepared for, at least with regards to high demand. I had stayed up until 12 a.m. EST, then another three hours for a potential 12 a.m. PST, launch – still nothing. Then after hearing reports that the release of the Nexus 4 would be at 9 a.m. PST, I gambled. I went to sleep, taking my fingers with me – you know the ones hitting F5 all night. As I woke up at 8 a.m., I made another feeble-hearted attempt to refresh my browser – still nothing. Continue reading
In a sea of social networks struggling for relevance, finding ways to differentiate from the competition has become a recurring challenge for Google+. It has remained a social network offering every option available on alternatives, but nothing truly differentiated for everyday use. Google+ Hangouts remain very powerful, but video chatting will always linger as a third-tier communication method (texting first, voice calling second). Because of this, the missing final piece to the Google+ puzzle has always been real-life users – meaning people you know in reality using it consistently. Continue reading
On Oct. 29, the Nexus 4 was announced with a list of additional companion products (Nexus 10 and a rebooted Nexus 7 with 16 and 32 GB models). With its announcement, the Nexus 4 hit every benchmark set against it, except one: no LTE support. Now there are plenty of reasons for Android purists to be upset about this decision, but to be honest, leaving LTE off the table was probably the best thing for the Nexus brand.
It’s hard to understand a problem, when there isn’t one. Before 1 p.m. EST, on Oct. 23, 2012, Apple enjoyed a comfortable lead in the tablet space after selling its 100 millionth iPad. But after 1 p.m., in San Jose’s California Theater, it seemed as if Apple had forgotten who they were. They were no longer a company driving innovation, but rather a byproduct of reactionary development for an industry they had lost control over. Continue reading