The Newsroom’s Phil Logan looks into Google’s shift from being a search engine to being a lifestyle necessity.
The sleeping giant has awoken, and it’s beginning to take control. Googles latest endeavour is a definitive statement though not in the way you might think.
A few lucky Australian journalists were invited to an exclusive Google event on October 5th. With leaks seeping through the internet worldwide, it was clear Google were about to unveil their own Google-designed, phone. It certainly did not disappoint.
The following video is exactly the response consumers have been waiting for. Shots were fired, and people love it – and why shouldn’t they? Apple have dominated the market for far too long without any real competition.
— Google (@google) October 4, 2016
The biggest grievance of many tech-heads when it comes to Android phones is that the Google software and the third party hardware, whether it be Samsung, Huawei, or any other, don’t seem to quite marry up as harmoniously as Apple’s iPhone.
The idea is that the processor dictates the speed of the phone, however, if the software is made solely with a specific processor in mind, the speed of the apps being open will load at a faster rate. To put it another way, Apple’s App Store is made for the iPhone but Android phones have to try and adapt as best they can to Google’s Play Store. YouTube reviewer, PhoneBuff, puts this test into practice.
The Google Pixel, and Pixel XL, is the strongest contender to eliminate the iPhone monopolisation and add some much needed difference to the market.
Although the tech giant has clearly made consumers happy – at the expense of Silicon Valley’s favourite fruit, it’s not Apple who should be sweating just yet.
David Gilbert’s clever and incredibly accurate Vice News article has waded through the marketing haze and arrived at the heart of what Google plan to achieve – if they wish to compete on the same playing field as their tech magnate counterpart, they must seize control immediately.
Samsung’s awful Note 7 debacle certainly left consumers horrified, but the real damage was done to Samsung’s relationship with Google.
Android is synonymous with Google, it is Google, and if their main hardware supplier stumbles this badly then it paints them in a negative light.
A blessing in disguise, because it woke Google up to a startling realisation – one of the world’s biggest software companies, and the world’s greatest search engine, are not progressing as they should. It’s about time they upped their game. And they certainly did that.
The two Pixel phones are boasting to be the best, and a much cheaper alternative to Apple’s latest product, the iPhone 7. But besides that, the phone also supersedes all other Android phones on the market. Google are bridging the gap and entering the world of “lifestyle” products.
The Pixel phone is just the beginning with the developers expanding on what they have and breaching into new territory.
Daydream View is a comfy VR, similar to Facebook’s Oculus Rift. The difference being, it comes with its own remote control and styles itself as a piece of clothing rather than a clunky piece of tech.
— WIRED (@WIRED) October 6, 2016
There’s also an update to the well-established Chromecast, now allowing for Ultra High-Definition streaming and a much stronger Wifi connection..
— Stuff.tv (@StuffTV) October 5, 2016
Despite these two updates, it still felt a tad benign. Apple cultivated the uncanny ability to hook consumers in by boldly expressing the view that their products would improve your life. Google were yet to encapsulate this, but the Google Home and the Google Wifi will definitely change that.
— Engadget (@engadget) October 6, 2016
Australians may not be able to take advantage of these innovations just yet, as our internet infrastructure is sub-par, but the American market will buy into this. Although it heavily reminded me of Amazon’s Echo system, it certainly seems to be an upgraded version.
With a simple voice command of “OK Google”, users will have complete control over their house’s temperature, the ability to access Netflix and YouTube, as well as various music apps such as Spotify.
It is a smart move as Google begin to integrate their products as a lifestyle rather than a cold, disconnected entity. They’ve finally caught on to business model which has made Apple billions of dollars, and it’s not stopping there.
Google WiFi is the final step in their bid to retake control.
The AC1200 router, the standard for any efficient WiFi router, allows for an easy setup through a smartphone app and allows complete control over your WiFi network. No longer will children be glued to YouTube clips for hours on end – with one simple touch, you can pause your internet’s stream of data and reconnect on a human level with your fellow housemates.
They allow for a mesh system to be integrated, meaning multiple routers can be installed and work together to reach all corners of the house. This is nothing new, but the sheer size is. An AC modem being a bulky eye-sore in the corner of your room will now be a thing of the past, thanks to Google.
This is a very positive move from Google. Grabbing the reigns and steering the course, a move we have been waiting for. As much as we would love to see Google versus Apple in a titanic tech war, I don’t believe it will happen just yet. It’s the third party developers who should be stressing at their desks.
Not only have one of the biggest software companies known to man made a huge statement of intent, but they are also, in this writer’s opinion, begun to remodel and reshape the way that we, as consumers, view Google.
The only thing we are lacking now is putting a face to the genius. Apple had Steve Jobs, and now Tim Cook. It will be interesting to see whether Google do the same. – Phil Logan
Image of Google products from lifehacker.com.au