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
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
The LG Nexus 4 will undoubtedly steal the show at Google’s Announcement on Oct. 29, but outside of Android’s latest flagship device, the Nexus Q is what I’ll be waiting for. At Google I/O, back on June 28, both the Nexus 7 and the Nexus Q were announced together and sold exclusively through Google Play. As the Nexus 7 enjoyed positive reviews and early success, the Nexus Q was widely viewed as an overpriced and underdeveloped Apple TV supplement. Google quickly acknowledged this, removing the Nexus Q off of its digital shelves with the hopes of substantially improving it. With nearly four months to re-evaluate the device, if Google was ever going to reboot the product, it would be on Oct. 29, before the holiday season. Continue reading
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