Google Voice Search Goes Apple
Google made an announcement today that reveals the search engine may be getting back to its roots and focusing more on its core business of search. It should be no surprise since Google’s primary revenue stream is derived from search.
Personally, I’m glad to see that Google is reigning itself in and refocusing its efforts. I’ve become increasingly concerned about the search giant since the Motorola mobility acquisition that they would become more like Microsoft and have a plethora of half-baked products they can barely support rather than focusing on a handful of core products.
The announcement came with a bit of a twist - Google Voice Search is coming to more mobile devices, but it’s not what you might think.
No, Google isn’t retro fitting the Voice Search app for devices not running Jellybean; in fact it’s moving it outside of Android and making a stand alone app for iOS.
Obviously this makes sense from Google’s point of view, putting their search into the hands of as many mobile users as possible, but at what cost? Many loyal Android users are no doubt going to have a range of emotions spanning from confusion to rage. My personal reaction to this was “Are you kidding me?!”
I’m trying to look at this objectively from Google’s point of view, but I think its important they not alienate their core user base as Android has recently taken a commanding lead in the smartphone market at a whopping 68%
How do you feel about Google’s bold move to bring it’s own voice assistant to the rival platform? Sound off in the comments below and tell me how you really feel!
Verizon: Apathetic or just plain pathetic?
If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ you’ve likely seen me squawking about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus not receiving this fabled Android 4.1 update named Jellybean.” I say fabled not because I don’t believe it exists, but rather because waiting for the update to hit my phone seems like some sort of hellish fairy-tale written by the Brothers Grimm.”
The Galaxy Nexus phone and its operating system were developed collaboratively by engineers from both Google and Samsung and was released with the Android operating system, version 4.0, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich. The device made its debut in the United States on December 15, 2011 as the new flagship device from Google and is one of the few phones recommended by the Android Open Source Project for building Android from source.
As a flagship device, one would fully expect the Galaxy Nexus to be the first to receive the latest updates from Google much like the Motorola Xoom, which it fully does if you have a Google controlled device- and therein lies the rub. While I might own a Galaxy Nexus, it’s up to Verizon or your respective carrier to actually push the Over The Air (OTA) updates to the device.
Lost sales by design
I encountered the epitome of poor product package design today while browsing the electronics department of a big box store today. I overheard a man talking with his wife about a USB thumb drive and that he thought it was ‘for Mac only’ so I intervened to say that these types of devices are (or should be) operating system agnostic and if for any reason it did not read properly in his PC that he could format it by selecting the drive under ‘My Computer’ and selecting ‘format drive’.
I’m not sure if his looking me over was to determine if I worked there or looked like enough of a geek to know what I was talking about and I’m not sure if he actually bought the device, but after I looked at the product packaging, it was clear how he could have made the assumption that it was Mac only.
The package itself (seen below) is white and features a generic looking laptop, though it resembles a Mac book and no where on the package was there and indication or reassurance that this hardware was in fact PC or Mac compatible.
Of course I take this sort of thing for granted given my line of work and how long I’ve been exposed to computers and hardware and obviously so does someone along the process from the designer to the creative director.
There’s a fine line between making the customer feel stupid and giving them enough information for them to make an informed decision; they clearly missed the mark on this one as was witnessed first hand today. From as simple as putting 3 logos on the package (Apple, Windows and Android) or spelling it out, they could easily increase their revenue with a little reassurance.
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