Google is a confounding company. We all interact with it daily; almost everyone uses Google Search and Google Maps, at least. Android is running on an overwhelming number of new phones and tablets, with such a commanding lead that it’s fair to say that Android is the new Windows.
And yet . . .
Google Now is the remarkable virtual assistant that provides useful information before you ask for it. Here’s some background about Google Now. If you’re in the Google ecosystem, it will remind you about appointments on your Google calendar, pop up boarding passes that it pulls from Gmail as you approach the gate at the airport, and remind you when it’s time to head for the station to catch the last train of the night. […] continued
Previously: It’s Not The Device, It’s The Ecosystem
Let’s break down the new tablets by ecosystem. I’ll give you some shopping tips along the way.
Everyone can find something to like in an iPad.
The iPad Air (9.7” screen) brings the weight of the full-size iPad down to one pound, another triumph of engineering and design for Apple.
The iPad Mini (7.9” screen) gets a high-resolution retina display and has identical specs to the larger iPad. Look carefully at the iPad Mini! The smaller size strikes many people as just right, the tablet that Goldilocks would choose.
There is an incredible array of apps that do useful or creative or entertaining things on iPads. […] continued
The holiday shopping season is nearly here. You’re faced with quite a selection of tablets and no obvious way to choose one over another.
– The level of engineering is so high that almost all of the new tablets are gorgeous and strong and light, with beautiful high-resolution displays.
– Battery life has been extended far beyond what was possible even a couple of years ago.
– You can find a tablet in any size from six to twelve inches (and even beyond, if you stretch the definition to include hybrid laptops with detachable keyboards).
– Prices are all over the place, from the cheapest Amazon and Android tablets all the way up to Apple’s expensive iPads. […] continued
Since the early days, Google has proclaimed that one of its core values is: “Don’t be evil.”
Faith in that slogan is being tested as Google matures into a corporate behemoth. Its reputation was not helped last week by a couple of tone-deaf responses to security and privacy issues. These aren’t awful problems that should cause you to lose faith in Google and leave their ecosystem, but they leave an unsettling feeling.
If you’re a Chrome user, try this experiment.
In Chrome, click on Settings / Show advanced settings / Passwords / Manage saved passwords. […] continued
Let’s peer over the wall into the Google garden.
The changes in one ecosystem are more or less irrelevant if you’re committed to one of the others. Pieces of the Google, Apple, and Microsoft ecosystems can be used across platforms, but you’ll get the biggest rewards if you declare your allegiance to one of them and ignore the others.
So if you’re an Apple person, or a Microsoft person (like me), then consider this a quick guide to some of the new tourist attractions in the Android world.
The stream of Android phones coming onto the market has turned into a flood. […] continued
I’m leaving Google.
Oh, not completely. I’ll still use Google for searches and maps. I’m not crazy.
But I’m extricating myself from the Google walled garden as much as possible.
It’s about simplicity.
Some people have privacy concerns about Google, which collects more information about us than any other single data collector on the planet. Google has smart people working very hard to mine that data and use the conclusions to present ever more targeted advertising. That doesn’t worry me very much. My life is simple and open. Targeted ads aren’t creepy. In my view, since we’re going to be shown targeted ads anyway, it would only be a good thing if they were better – targeted more precisely based on better data. […] continued
Google Street View is one of the wonders of the world. I know you normally would never use your computer to kill time browsing the Internet but really, you should spend an hour looking around the world to discover what the Google Street View team is doing.
Google Street View is the feature of Google Maps that gives you a street-level 360-degree view driving up and down roads all over the world. When you drag the little man from the upper left on Google Maps, roads that have been photographed turn blue. Drop the man onto one of the roads and the display shifts to the panoramic photos. […] continued
Google has achieved a rare distinction: it has now launched not one but two of the strangest, most pointless products in the long history of stupid tech products.
Last year Google introduced the Nexus Q, an orb-shaped streaming media player designed for living rooms. It had an unbelievably small set of features that did not match anyone’s habits in the real world, combined for some reason with a high price tag that made it bizarrely unappealing in almost every way. The reaction was so vicious that Google shipped almost none of the odd balls. Within three months it was listed as “out of stock” in the Google store; Google gave up that fiction and declared it “no longer available for sale” a few months later. […] continued
You can type web searches into the address bar of your browser and get the same results as if you had typed them directly into Google.
This is an old trick but it’s not well known – and it’s incredibly useful. I type search terms into my browser all day, without the extra clicks that would be necessary to go to www.google.com. (Or www.bing.com or one of the others, but really it’s Google searches we’re talking about, right?)
The address bar is at the very top of the browser, where the web address of the current page appears. In Internet Explorer, it looks like this. […] continued
Previously: Clash Of The Titans: The War Of The Ecosystems
Google did something evil.
It will get undone shortly, but the fact remains that Google directly attacked a group of consumers for no reason except to gain a competitive advantage by making their life more miserable.
Sometime last week, the Google Maps web site became inaccessible from Windows phones. If I browse to http://maps.google.com on my HTC 8X phone this morning, I am redirected to the main Google web page – no warning, no explanation.
It was the result of a deliberate change by Google specifically directed to Windows Phones. Google attempted to deny access to a web site for anyone using a device that Google disapproved of. […] continued