Leaks continue to arrive for the Moto X – the new flagship device from the Google-owned Motorola Mobility. The device looks great, and given Google’s surprising and uncommon commitment to marketing the new device – a mere $500 million set aside – one would think Google has plenty to talk about. The bigger question for me, is how the Moto X fits into Android’s Nexus world? The Nexus 4 is nine-months old and most likely set for an update in the fall. But as the Moto X primes for an August launch, it seems odd to have two flagship devices – a new Nexus 4 and the Moto X – both delivered from Google and both with pure Android. Continue reading
Rewind a year or two ago and offering devices originally running TouchWiz, HTC Sense or Motoblur with “pure” Android instead made sense. Android was as fragmented as you could get and its Nexus line lacked awareness and market share. Even today, only four percent of users run the latest version of Jelly Bean (Android 4.2), with the majority running Gingerbread (36.5 percent), a two-year old version of Android. But unlike two-years ago, something has dramatically changed regarding how Google provides updates. Continue reading
Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) has become Christmas morning for many Apple fans over the years, but the luster normally associated with the event has dwindled in recent years. Today was a chance for Apple to prove to the tech community that they still had it. So did they pull it off? Sort of. Continue reading
Apple needs to prove that it can still wow us – even the average Apple user will tell you this. But tomorrow’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote will be about much more than software or hardware – it’s about a philosophy. With the long-awaited iOS 7 redesign and iRadio looming, there will still likely be one important feature missing within these products: making them available for everyone. Apple’s closed philosophy has served it well over the years, but other competitors such as Google, have made their apps available on iOS. Google knows that it can’t win the mobile war by ignoring iOS – the same is especially true of Apple regarding Android’s more than 70 percent market share. Android is just too big to ignore and Apple needs to embrace it. 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
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.
At the macro level Android’s fragmentation is a problem. It sees an operating system that has less than 2 percent of devices running the latest version (Android 4.1 Jelly Bean), and over 72 percent of devices running a version of Android at or over two-years old. To offer even further perspective, iOS 6 is already on over 60 percent of iPhones in the U.S., after being available for only two weeks; with Ice Cream Sandwich or higher (Android 4.0, 4.1) only available on a quarter of smartphones after nearly year (three months for Jelly Bean 4.1). Continue reading
Most of the people who complain about Android’s fragmentation, probably bought the wrong Android device. Because to be honest, Android’s fragmentation really doesn’t hurt Google, it actually helps. When looking at the early years of Android, where stock versions of the OS were just down right ugly, modulated versions like HTC Sense, Motoblur, and TouchWiz actually saved Android. It allowed people to not only select from different hardware, but also choose unique versions of the OS under the same platform. All that mattered to Google was that they funneled into Google Play (formerly called Android Market). Because Android is basically free, getting more people into Google Play is how Google makes money. Continue reading
Innovation is almost impossible to sustain. Set the bar high enough and expectations are bound to go unfulfilled. Since Steve Jobs’ rampage of innovation spanning across a decade, Apple seems to have found the ceiling of its capability – at least in mobile. Yesterday’s iPhone 5 announcement offered no surprises, no special features, and for the most part, represented a phone putting for par on Android’s favorite course. Continue reading