Apparently Google sells our data [G+]
One of my rare rants on Google+. I was kinda disgusted at the misinformation, so I had to let it out.
Windows 8: Building a Foundation
Harry McCracken gave a long-winded overview of what Windows 8 is and what it means for us, Microsoft, and the future of Microsoft’s PCs. Some really great insight, but it’s the ending that really stands out to me:
Windows 8 isn’t primarily about moving boxes in 2012. What it’s trying to build is a foundation for a Windows that stands a chance of being relevant a decade or two from now. The Consumer Preview is just a baby step in the right direction–and it’s going to be fascinating to see if Windows users are as open to dramatic change as Microsoft is showing itself to be.
Exactly. At first this split-personality operating system may seem like Microsoft is confused about the direction it wants to take, but if you look really close to this release – it’s something completely different. Microsoft knows exactly what they want. Windows 8 is more about Microsoft beginning to make an effort to make all their products look, work, and act like each other so that the user always knows what expect when working on them. And if you take a step back and look at Google and Apple, they’re doing the exactly same thing. Microsoft’s change just seems more drastic because it is – in fact – very, very different from their regular style.
And that’s a good thing.
Mozilla Marketplace Now Accepting Submissions
I’m glad to see some good competition in the web-app market. This only means more exposure to web developers trying to get solid products out the door. Looking forward to seeing how this and the Chrome Web Store progress.
On a side note, however – I really hope these markets soon start promoting apps that actually use the local capabilities of HTML5 rather than just filling the store with glorified bookmarks. We actually need to show users that web apps can be useful offline nowadays as well.
Apple also wrote 1984, apparently
What was I thinking? Of course they did. They invented everything and everyone gets their inspiration from them.
“If you get my drift”
Eric Schmidt went on stage today and talked a little bit about Android and the forks that are slowly appearing. I don’t even understand why this is an issue with people at all. As I outlined in a reply to MG Seigler, this is exactly what open source is about. To not expect it would be stupid. But the best part of his statement?
”We don’t sue them… if you get my drift.”
We do, Mr. Schmidt, we do. Well said.
Google has “literally built a firewall” between the Android team and Motorola. “I don’t even know anything about their products, I haven’t seen anything,” [Andy Rubin] said. “They’re going to continue building Motorola branded devices and it’s going to be the same team doing it.” [...] “They’re separate from me, and I’m going to continue to do my thing.”
I can’t say whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I will say that this is hard to believe. Considering all of the integration Google is currently doing with all of their products and all of the hardware they’re supposedly making, it literally doesn’t make sense not to collaborate with Motorola. On the flipside, however, although I would love to see a pure Google device, it would have really negative affects on the overall ecosystem we all know and love. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what this acquisition really means.
I Recommend Nexus
Apparently Dan Graziano is an Android fanboy who’d never recommend an Android phone to his friends or family. He writes:
A new Android device is released almost every month from major manufacturers, often leaving consumers with severe cases of buyer’s remorse. [...] Rather than marketing devices and services with competitive pricing, these companies fill handsets with unnecessary bloatware and custom user interface skins. [...] Switching between a Motorola device and an HTC device will give the consumer a completely different experience. Android itself has no consistent flow
Agreed. Agreed. And agreed. Dan makes no mistakes here – the OEMs and carriers suck, period. They make no effort to please customers, they’ll do anything to top the competition, and the worst is that they do it regardless of how terrible the rest of the device may be. They don’t make a coherent interface, they make life frustrating with updates, and what’s more is that they have no clue how to test their devices properly. When Motorola releases 10 phones in 2 months and Samsung and HTC do the same, it can be quite the frustrating experience. No doubt.
And yet, there’s a simple solution. One that let’s you have a much more powerful operating system than iOS. One that has features way before the competition and still get an amazing experience. It’s called the Nexus line. Whenever anyone asks what phone they should buy, I point directly to a vanilla device created by Google. I’ve owned two Nexus phones and have recommend them to others and so far they’ve all had great experiences. You want to make these stupid OEMs and carriers to shape up with Android? Show them that Google’s got it done right and hopefully they’ll follow along just as Google hoped they would. Nexus devices encapsulate exactly what an Android device should be – powerful, clean, intuitive, and as far away from carriers as possible (unless you’re on Verizon…in that case, get the hell out of there).
I’ve come to a really harsh conclusion lately – OEMs and carriers are doing a horrible job with a tool they could have used to change the way we use our mobile devices. The Android Open Source could easily be one of the most important parts of mobile technology today but it’s being nothing but abused by third parties. But there are some bright spots. Asus is a great example of a company doing Android right – multiple, continuously supported devices that each have their own niche market. Whether it’s the Transformer line, the MeMo, or the brand new PadFone line – they’re pushing the bar while maintaining an awesome experience. That’s what Android needs to be about, and all these other OEMs need to learn from them and Google how to do technology the right way.
So, Dan – don’t recommend the iPhone to your friends and family. You’re making them hang on to a device with sub-par capabilities.
I recommend Nexus.
Siri vs Google Voice Actions [Video]
Looks like Siri needs some more work. You can argue that with Siri, Apple needs to do some language processing in the background, but when it came down to even the basic tools Siri lags behind and sometimes even gives sub-par results.
The Three-in-One Device
So it’s official – the Asus Padfone isn’t just a two-in-one device. A phone, tablet, and laptop in one? Pretty sure we all knew powerful smartphones were eventually going to progress to this. It may even become a norm in the near future. And that stylus-pen is definitely a nice touch. My only problem with this – what happens if my phone breaks down? Having something like this means you always need a backup device, so it kind of ruins the idea of “you only need one device to power your life!”
Regardless, still an exciting concept that’s finally coming into tangible, purchasable form. Can’t wait to try one of these out!
With a year-on-year growth rate of more than 250%, 850,000 new Android devices are activated each day
Remember when everyone said Android was going nowhere? Hope they’re not bothered with their foot in their mouth.
Other notes from this announcement – 1 billion apps downloaded per month. That’s absolutely phenomenal, and this doesn’t include bots unlike some app market metrics.
Ubuntu <3 Android
Interesting. Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu open source operating system, seems to want to play best friends with Android. This solution lets manufacturers create an Atrix-like solution where Ubuntu is the “docked” OS. I don’t know how this is going to play into Canonical’s mobile strategy they’ve been trying to push lately, but this seems completely counter-productive towards that goal. Regardless, I’m interested to see if any Android manufacturers bite on this and actually make a full Android-Ubuntu solution.
That being said, devices with 1GB of RAM definitely won’t suffice to be a decent desktop solution. Not to mention that we should be moving away from this window paradigm, like Windows 8 and Cornerstone for Android are trying to do. That’s just my two cents.
Playbook OS 2.0 is here!
Includes an improved Blackberry bridge that let’s you use your Blackberry as a remote for your Playbook, Android app support, and – wait for it – native email, contacts, and calendar apps. The email client also acts as a unified social inbox as well; kind of like RIM’s way of apologizing and adding more to what should have been there in the first place. Looking forward to the reviews. Here are two ads for the new OS as well.
It’s a Whitelist
If you haven’t heard, tech writers are in fury over the fact that a pick few analysts got a chance to get a preview of Mountain Lion. There have been claims of a blacklist of writers that Apple refuses to preview anything to simply because they don’t want bad press about their update on initial release. But they have it all wrong. Apple doesn’t hate anyone, they just like certain people more. Shawn King writes:
Hey TUAW, try this on for size. Apple does not have a “Black List” (Jason O’Grady’s whining notwithstanding) but they most certainly do have a White List of favored outlets.
In other words – I don’t hate those kind of people, but these kind of people get more stuff because I think they’re cooler. Nice. Discrimination is discrimination, no matter how you twist and turn it. Shawn then follows up and says that this is called “managing the message” and that all companies do it. I nodded my head in agreement because that’s just how companies work.
Then I remembered something: Google gave MG Seigler a Galaxy Nexus to review. Yeah, that MG Seigler. Doesn’t seem that Google “manages” a message at all. There’s no whitelist, blacklist, or graylist of any sort for Google.
Windows 8 Logo – Simple & Straightforward
Harry McCracken of TechLand:
I don’t think Microsoft is attempting to provoke profound emotions here–it’s a simple, low-key iconographic representation of the concept of Windows, and it expresses the same aesthetic as the Metro user interface which is Windows 8′s most important new feature by far. [...] Isn’t that kind of refreshing in a world of overdone marketing and branding that tries way too hard?
Yep. Couldn’t agree more. At least it’s not a picture of a wild cat.
Q3? Seriously, Motorola? By that time Jellybean may be just around the corner and about to hit AOSP. Then you’ll give your users Ice Cream Sandwich? I really hope that if and when Google finally completes this acquisition that they make Motorola shape up and give users the attention they deserve. I know updates are tough things to do, but damn Motorola – you must be kidding us with this list.
Apple’s Misleading App Store Metrics
Inside Mobile Apps:
It’s remarkable how widely-known the phenomenon of fraudulent download bots was throughout the iOS developer community. Essentially, bots or automated programs have been used for well over a year to download apps until they reach the top of the charts where they can be seen by real users. [...] It’s absurd to think about how long Apple must have known about and tolerated this practice.
Ha. I don’t think it’s absurd that they’ve tolerated it, considering how much they tout the number of downloads in their app store regularly. And here’s something interesting:
In comparison, Google Android Market’s charts are more immune to bots because the company’s ranking algorithm is more holistic and incorporates factors like whether users keep their apps installed.
Now there’s a metric. Who cares how many people download your app – it’s about who’s using it in the first place.
But there’s something that bothers me even more about all of this. Steve Jobs, during one of his famous keynotes, accused Google of lying about their Android activation numbers and said they’re “only updates” – something that was quickly proven wrong by Google. Jobs did this while knowing very well that Apple’s metric for app downloads was wrong and followed up his accusation lying about his own App Store’s downloads.
Post link via David Sehllabarger.
A Closed Android?
Meg Whitman – HP’s new CEO – based on the open-sourcing of webOS:
I think there is room for another operating system. iOS is great but it is a closed system. I think that Android may end up as a closed system because of [Google’s] relationship with Motorola.
Yeah, and Apple’s going to start licensing iOS. I wonder who she thought she would convince saying that. No, I’m seriously curious to know.
Even More Answers
Google Search Blog:
To make the process easier, now when you search for a symptom or set of symptoms, you’ll often see a list of possibly related health conditions that you can use to refine your search. The list is generated by our algorithms that analyze data from pages across the web and surface the health conditions that appear to be related to your search.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: links will soon be secondary on Google. Their transformation to an answer engine just took another big step.
The Next Web:
Reports in China are suggesting that authorities have begin removing Apple iPads from retail stores in the country following a court’s ruling that a local monitor company owns the right to the iPad name. [...] China is a hugely important market for Apple, with CEO Tim Cook calling the country “very key” to Apple’s earnings results last July.
What goes around…
Can’t wait to hear some backlash from the Apple fans against this one.
On Path & the Address Book Blunder
Me on Google+ talking about the Path address book blunder:
No matter how you put it, it’s wrong to steal a full address book without permission and stick it on your servers. Yes, it’s stealing. That wasn’t a slip-up.
I don’t care how you twist and turn it – it’s unethical. In fact, I find it unethical for any app to go through an address book unrelated to it because none of that information is actually mine. These are people that I’ve added as contacts, not people who told me “have my number, email, and street address so you can send it to multiple apps at your own discretion”. But since we can’t go that far, let’s at least make sure that the user that has to make that discretion can actually make it in the first place.
Hilarious how people like +MG Siegler are defending Path, and then turn around and tell Google that they’re evil because they’re keeping data that people have sent on their products and on top of that are fully disclosing how, when, and where this data is being used.
Yes, MG is an investor of Path and an Apple fan beyond imagination. I don’t even think I need to say more.
EDIT: P.S. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think Path is an evil company or that they did this with any wrong intentions. I just think that it’s not something anyone should sit back and defend. Path is doing a good job of fixing their errors, and Apple should do the same by adding a prompt for sharing address book information.
What do you guys think? If you have any thoughts, feel free to leave them on the G+ post!
Apple’s trying to ban the Galaxy Nexus
[Apple] is aiming straight at Google and Android 4.0: Apple has filed a new motion in the US for a preliminary injunction that would ban the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google’s flagship Android device
Fear and desperation. Mix that with a little bit of arrogance, self-entitlement, and selfishness and you get one rotten Apple. This is getting more and more disgusting by the moment, and it was already cringe-worthy at the least. I find it hilarious how everyone used to get angry at Microsoft for “playing dirty”, and now that Apple’s doing it they sit back and say they’re allowed to do it because they’re “innovative”.
Apple is slowly ruining the growth of technology. It’s ruthless and – for the lack of a better term – evil.
But hey, it’s okay. It. Just. Works.
Google Entertainment System?
Well here’s something interesting. Do I believe it? Meh…hard to say. But I think this can go [at least] one of three ways. It could be exactly what WSJ is saying, in which case I’d expect something like a Nexus TV, or at least something along those lines. Kind of like a lead-device for the TV spectrum Eric Schmidt said would grow incredibly quickly very soon. Another option could be that they’re working with multiple manufacturers for multiple devices to roll out the initial batch of Android @ Home & Android Accessories devices that they introduced at Google I/O 2011. Or, lastly, it could be nothing but them testing out cool things for the Android @ Home /Accessories platform and they’re not making anything official at all.
I’m placing my bets on #2 simply because it seems the most reasonable to me. Google’s been talking about releasing a tablet in the next 6 months, so an entertainment device back-to-back just kind of seems iffy. If so, they’re first real foray into hardware will start with a bang.
Chrome for Android: Suddenly Not As Bothered…
And as quickly as I published my concerns about Chrome for Android, Cameron Wright came along and made me feel a little better about the situation. Turns out I was getting all hot and bothered for no reason, because Google’s not only releasing a Chromium edition soon, but we should start seeing some of that extra integration really soon as well. Check this out:
Another characteristic of the Android platform is that the APIs for most significant features are exposed through the Android SDK, making them available to Java code. To this end, part of the browser layer has actually been implemented in Java, communicating with the rest of the Chromium and WebKit code through Java Native Bindings. [...] As having a fork is far from ideal, one of the current top priorities will be to upstream most new and modified code to Chromium and WebKit, while the build and testing infrastructure on Chromium’s waterfalls is expected to evolve significantly. A snapshot of the current source-code of Chrome for Android can be downloaded as a tarball.
Pretty exciting! I guess I spoke a little too soon. Or rather, my post was dated within hours of completion. I guess that’s just the nature of the industry!