Tag Archives: Google

Famous app Bump meets its end after Google acquisition

Google is starting 2014 with their favorite move: killing an useful service used by millions worldwide.

Via The Verge

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Google’s press release about ads in Google Maps has a huge typo

“Today we’re introducing an updated ad experience we think is more attractive for users and more effective for advertisers.”

There is a clear typo that Google missed in this press release. It says “users” where it clearly should have been “us“.

Via Google

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Google+ showing less social activity than LinkedIn

“Google’s social network only accounts for 2% of all social sharing across the web.(…) LinkedIn is actually beating Google+ for shared content with a 3% share.”

It’s pretty shameful to see how much Google has been investing on Google+ and how little the return has been.

Google+ is sort of their Ping. Except Apple had the good sense of shutting Ping down when they realized it wasn’t gonna go anywhere, and Google keeps shutting other services down to try to shove Google+ down everybody’s throats.

Via BRG

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Google Latitude: another one bites the dust

Google announced today that starting August 9th, Google Latitude (a.k.a. their failed attempt at a Foursquare) will be gone.

The first thing that I thought was “Wait, this thing actually outlived Google Reader?” I think that priorities up in Mountain View have been a little off. (No news there).

The good news is that unlike Google Reader, nobody will really miss Latitude. The bad is that Google is still pretty consistent with their “kill services one by one to keep pushing our pointless Google+” plan. I wonder which will be next.

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Marco Arment writes about Google’s decision to kill Google Reader

Excellent text by Marco Arment on the subject:

“Google Reader is just the latest casualty of the war that Facebook started, seemingly accidentally: the battle to own everything. While Google did technically “own” Reader and could make some use of the huge amount of news and attention data flowing through it, it conflicted with their far more important Google+ strategy: they need everyone reading and sharing everything through Google+ so they can compete with Facebook for ad-targeting data, ad dollars, growth, and relevance.”

Stop what you’re doing go read Arment’s text. It’ll be worth it..

Related posts
Google’s obsession with a successful social network
Hey, Google, where’s your focus?
Focusing on less products for a better experience

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How Google is killing organic search

Resultado de busca do Google | Tutorspree

Very interesting post by Aaron Harris at Tutorspree, showing how organic x paid search results are presented to us, both via the iPhone and regular a computer browser.

“Open your iPhone. Search for “Italian Food.” What do you see? If you’re in NYC, you see zero organic results. ”

The worse part is remembering that not even these 13% or organic results are that organic anyways, as they are probably caught in the search bubbles Google kindly traps you in.

Via BoingBoing

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The Xbox one is….? What do Bing and Google want you to think about the console?

Now will you look at that: if you look up “the xbox one is” on Google, here is what they will suggest for your search:

Xbox one is Google

Now if you head to Bing for the same search), here is what they come up with:

Xbox one Bing

Remember the whole search bubbles thing? Yeah…

Related post:
Bubbles: Google already shows you only what they think you need to see 

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Bubbles: Google already shows you only what they think you need to see

Richard Gringras’ interview for Wired reminded me of a TED in which Eli Pariser shows how Google (and Facebook) will only show results based on the information they have about you, and how this can be completely harmful for your online experience.

Links, stories and contents become completely undiscoverable by you, simply because Google actually believes that you want them to choose what you read, when you’ll read it and how you’ll get it.

After watching this video, consider adopting DuckDuckGo as your search engine. They don’t keep any information about you, and search results are completely unbiased.

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Google on Google Reader’s deactivation: It’s the users’ fault

In an interview for Wired, Google’s Senior Director of News and Social Products, Richard Gringras, said that Google Reader died for the following reason:

“Users with smartphones and tablets are consuming news in bits and bites throughout the course of the day — replacing the old standard behaviors of news consumption over breakfast along with a leisurely read at the end of the day. (…) [Google is looking into] pervasive means to surface news across [Google's] products to address each user’s interest with the right information at the right time via the most appropriate means.”

So he’s saying that Google Reader died because we stopped reading news in the morning and at night, and started reading them all throughout the day? What the hell part of that wasn’t Google Reader good for? Newspaper-in-the-morning-light-read-at-night died about 15 years ago, way before Google Reader ever existed. Actually, Google Reader helped changing this very habit.

I don’t think I know anybody who didn’t leave a Google Reader tab open all day long to ‘consume news in bits and bites throughout the day’. What the hell is RSS for, then?

The latter part of the text shows the true reason behind the killing of Google Reader. People just wouldn’t use the damn Google+ and their new shove-it-down-their-throats service Google Now if Google Reader was still around.

“Address each user’s interest with the right information at the right time via the most appropriate means?”. Absolutely not. I’ll chose what I want to read, when I want to read it, where I want to read it. Thank you very much.

Via Wired

Related posts:
Hey, Google, where’s your focus?
Focusing on less products for a better experience
Google’s obsession with a successful social network

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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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