During this year’s Google I/O, Larry Page got on stage after the 3-hour-long presentation to promote a message of optimism, peace and innovation. He made some excellent remarks regarding the future of mankind, preached optimism and cooperation between people as well as between companies, promoting a single objective: make the world evolve.
At some point, he said the following:
“And despite the faster change in the industry, we’re still moving slow relative to the opportunities we have. And some of that has to do with the negativity. It’s about us versus some other company, or some stupid thing. We should be building great things that don’t exist.”
Beautiful, right? It’s shame that Google doesn’t believe in this utopia at all. Right before Larry Page got up on stage, during 3 long hours, Google announced a barrage of services. But they were not innovative services. They were not great things that don’t exist. Infact, everything they announced already exists. And everything they announced will go up against companies that have been established in their respective markets for years:
Google Hangouts: Google’s WhatsApp / Skype / Facebook Messenger / etc…
Yet another way to shove Google+ down mankind’s throat. It’ll be available for the web, as well as for Android and iOS. It’s a service that will unify Google’s countless chat services (Talk, Chat, Google+ Messenger). Dori Storbeck already confirmed that the system will soon embrace SMS as well as outoing voice calls.
Google Play Music: Google’s Rdio / Spotify / Pandora / etc…
This was an old rumor. The company will finally launch their own music subscription service. It’s hard to tell how important it’ll be or how worried every other company in this market should be, as they didn’t specify how many songs will be available or how many labels joined them. What we do know is that it’ll cost $9.99 per month. It seems that Apple is about to launch a similar service. Jason Snell made a good point about this. Did the world really need more options on this market?
Google Wallet: Google’s PayPal / MasterPass / etc…
Google’s digital payment service got more powerful. Now you’ll be able to send money via email as if it were an attachment. There will be an actual button labeled “Send money” in the message. They also promise to save you time by automatically filling form fields in a purchase page. Which is pretty much what PayPal has been saying they do since they first appeared in 1998. Yep, that’s 15 years.
Images on Google+: Google’s Flickr / iPhoto / Photoshop / Pixelmator / etc…
This part of the presentation ended up being comical because of how long it dragged on. The announcement was basically of a powerful system to improve and correct images, as well as a revamped posting and storage system of these images on Google+. Just like on Flickr, photos are stored in their original size. To show how much better than everybody else’s services this one is, they compared image sizes with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I really didn’t understand why they put Instagram there. But they did throw that punch.
Voice Search: Google’s Siri
If you’ve tried Google’s Voice Search you’ve noticed its differences when compared with Siri. While Apple’s service caused quite a buzz when it was announced, Google rushed and released this same service, with a superior experience (which according to John Gruber is really what Google is about). Now they decided to take it a step further, allowing search to be done in a more natural way, as if you were talking to an actual assistant. Adding Google Now to the mix, you’ll be able to say “Find me a nice bar near tomorrow’s 6pm meeting”, and the search will know what to do. It’s basically what iOS and Mac users have been asking since Siri came along.
WebP: Google’s JPEG / animated GIF
Yes, Google wants to change the standard for images on the web. During this segment they presented the advantages of the WebP, which according to them presents the same quality with a smaller file size. They compared a 468kb WebP with a 676kb JPEG.
VP9: Google’s H264
If you work with videos you know how magical H264 files are. You can convert a 200mb+ file into something as light as 2mb. Google compared H264 with the VP9 codec, presenting a 343mb H264 file and a 125mb VP9 file. They said that YouTube will soon support this codec. What they didn’t say, however, is that H265 is just around the corner, and it promises the same quality of H264 with half the filesize.
Stock Samsung Galaxy S4: Google’s Samsung Galaxy S4
That was a surreal part of the presentation. They announced the arrival of an unlocked Galaxy S4 running stock Android. Nobody seemed to care, especially after they announced it’d cost $649. No applause in that segment.
I’m not exactly sure where Larry’s speech goes here. What I do know is that every new subject this long presentation brought up, informed the world that Google was about to enter a new and established market. When something like this comes from a company that abandons without thinking twice 35% of their products and initiatives, this is quite worrisome. Especially when the current CEO says things like “Don’t Be Evil was the supidest thing I’ve ever heard” and “Sometimes the Internet needs a Delete button“.
living proof of that. It came along, disrupted a well-established market for RSS readers, and as soon as Google got bored they killed it leaving millions of users out in the cold, as the other players in this market perished in this meantime.
Larry Page, that was a nice speech you gave. It’s a shame that the company you founded doesn’t agree with a single word of it.