Category Archives: Google

Larry Page, that’s a nice speech. Too bad Google isn’t listening

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“.

Google Reader’s 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.

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Eric Schmidt: “There is a time when erasure is a right thing”

The quote comes from AllThingsD, via a post by CNET:

“The lack of a delete button on the Internet is a significant issue. There is a time when erasure is a right thing.”

Eric Schmidt, CEO do Google

Don’t worry. your company is pretty damn good at deleting stuff. The problem is what they do with the space that becomes available.

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Hey, Google, where’s your focus?

So Google decided to kill Google Reader to focus on less products in order to provide users with a better experience, right?

I wonder if they hadn’t wasted their time building a gazillion idiotic April Fools’ Day interactions like Treasure Hunt, Closing Down YouTube, Google Nose, Google+ Emoticons, Gmail Blue, ISS Visitors on Analytics, Pimp My House, Google Fiber Poles, Levity Algorithm, Wallet Mobile ATM, Save Analytics on Papyrus, Patapata, Make an Awesome app, and probably others that nobody even noticed, if they’d have figured out a way to keep Google Reader alive.

How much time and money (think meetings, ideas, scripting, development, implementation, interviewing captioning, video editing, production, etc..) did they spend on this truckload of pointless unfunny gimmicks? Where is the focus that was so important to seal Google Reader’s fate, which was actually useful?

Google’s April Fools’ Day was useful for one thing: to show how when it comes to their users, every day is Fools’ Day.

Related post
Focusing on less products for a better experience

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Focusing on less products for a better experience

Google says they killed Google Reader to focus on less products aiming at a better experience, and yet they present a talking shoe at SXSW.

Google Shoe

Consistent.

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Google’s obsession with a successful social network

I`m still really pissed that Google Reader is going away.  Reading all the news on the subject this week, made it even worse. The most ironic finding of the week was a post at the Google Reader blog from 2010, talking about how it was sad that Bloglines was shutting down and welcoming their users, as well as celebrating with dataless graphs the vertiginous growth of Google Reader users over the course of 5 years.

Google Reader users over time

Very different from this week’susage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”

Declined, you say? Well, why the hell could this be? Perhaps because since 2010 you’ve been repeatedly screwing it up? Like when in one of your many dick moves you removed the Sharing features from GReader so people would feel forced compelled to use your thousandth attempt at a social network that is Google+ to share links with friends?

Orkut, Google Friend Connect, Wave, Buzz, Plus. You really need to get a successful social network, don’t you? So much that it’s ok if you automatically enroll all of your users, leaving their privacy to be dealt with if they sue. I remember the case of a woman that had been suffering from abusive behavior of her ex-husband, and thanks to this automatic enrolling into Buzz, the guy managed to find not only information about her, but about who she was currently seeing as well.

After a shitstorm of cases like this, Google came out an apologized for this dick move. But I guess that it wasn’t that much of a lesson, as they did the exact same thing with Google+, then ridiculously boastered about how much the social network had been growing. They even included actual numbers this time.

You can’t justify killing Reader because of declined usage if you were the ones who caused this in the first place. If you break something, you fix it. Don’t believe me? Ask Eddy Cue. But I get it. Google Reader drives traffic to websites, while G+ drives traffic to, well, G+. But hey, Google Reader doesn’t make any money at all, so why keep it, right?

Google’s obsession on making Plus work has always been borderline dishonest. But this week they really outdid themselves. When a company cares so much about making one of their products work that they don’t let a silly little thing like their users stand in the way, this really makes you think how they ever had “Don’t be evil” as their motto.

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Hey, Andy Rubin, I warned you!

On November 13th, after Steven Sinofsky left Microsoft, , I joked:

“These have been some busy weeks. First Scott Fotstall is ejected from Apple, now Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft.. I don’t know. If I were Andy Rubin, I’d be a teeny tiny afraid for my job.”

Exactly 4 months later, Larry Page posts on the official Google blog that Andy Rubin is stepping down. I called it!

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No, Google is not opening retail stores

During a conversation at AllThingsD, Andy Rubin said that contrary to what has been widely stated, Google has no plans to open a retail store.

This was yet another rumor promoted to the status of news without any wort of confirmation, which is something that has been done a lot lately. Instead of blogs and websites paying attention only to the amount of posts they put out daily, they should pay just as much attention and give just as much importance to the rumors that they don’t post.

It’s important to have pageviews, but it’s even more important to have credibility.

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6 months: This is how much the Google Nexus Q lasted

 

Nexus Fail

During the most recent Google I/O last June, the company announced the Google Nexus Q, a futuristic little ball which would be their equivalent to the Apple TV: an entertainment hub to sync with devices and computers in order to reproduce songs, movies and photos on the family TV.

The overall reaction was rather cold. Despite presenting some cool features, like syncing through proximity, when its functions were taken into account, the product wasn’t that great. Here’s what David Pogue had to say about it in his review:

“The Q looks like a Magic 8 Ball designed by Porsche. (…) Google must have bigger plans for this thing. It’s wildly overbuilt for its incredibly limited functions, and far too expensive. For now, I can think of only one class of customer who should consider buying the black Nexus Q sphere: people whose living rooms are dominated by bowling-ball collections.”

For a while, whenever someone accessed the product page on Google Play, they’d be presented with a message that said “This device is not for sale at this time”. Today, however, the message was changed to “no longer available for sale”.

It’s unlikely that they could have just given up on the whole thing. It’s likely that they decided to pulle the product and go back to square one with the whole thing, to then release it again when they get it right. Regardless, the Nexus Q serves as entertainment alright. Just not in the way Google intended.

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Google diving right into the iOS. Winning? Where?

It’s at the very least curious that while Eric Schmidt says that in the war between Android and iOS, Android is clearly winning. Because since Google was kicked out of the iOS, they’ve already released back the YouTube app, Google Maps and now the YouTube Capture so people can record and put stuff on YouTube from their iPhones. They’ve also revamped Google Search and the Gmail app.

You know, for someone who see the adoption of systems as a war and is so confident that they’re winning, Google seems pretty worried about not staying out of the ‘defeated’ iOS. Meanwhile does anybody know of any efforts by Apple to move into Android?

Oh, yeah. There was this one time when Garage Band, iPhoto, iMovie, Keynote, Numbers and Pages showed up on Google Play, right? All of them malwares. Oh, the irony.

Victory appears to be quite a broad term for Google.

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Apple x Google: What a company has to say says a lot about them

In a recent post discussing the whole Apple x Google mess due to their Maps, John Gruber made an interesting remark when talking about how Apple denied to give Google more access to the iOPS and users infos:

“Apple not wanting to grant such access to Google is easy to understand as well. For one thing, Apple sincerely values the privacy of its users more than Google does.”

This got me thinking about the recent interviews given by both Tim Cook and Eric Schmidt. Tim Cook sustains the everlasting Apple position:

“the DNA of the company, the thing that makes our heart beat, is a maniacal focus on making the best products in the world. Not good products, or a lot of products, but the absolute best products in the world.  In creating these great products we focus on enriching people’s lives—a higher cause for the product.”

Meanwhile, regarding how Google cedes revenue to hardware partners due to Android being a free open system, Eric Schmidt says:

“We’re winning that war pretty clearly now. (…) The core strategy is to make a bigger pie. We will end up with a not perfectly controlled and not perfectly managed bigger pie by virtue of open systems.”

So while Apple’s boss takes on every single oportunity to transmit the message that his company focuses on striving for perfection and developing products that will change people’s lives, Google’s boss makes sure to get the message across that he sees the development and adoption of his products as nothing short of a war, and he won’t let a small detail like controlling every aspect of the final product get in his way.

Don’t be evil was a long time ago. Priorities…

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