Prior to Page’s appearance, a dozen Googlers got on stage to talk about advancements in the company’s Android and Chrome platforms and the services in builds above them.
Carriers report more than 900 million Android device activations to date. Google’s Chrome browser has 750 million active users each month, the company said.
It was less specific about its Chrome OS environment, a thin software layer around its browser powering Web-connected notebooks. A thousand U.S. schools now use the so-called Chromebooks, and Google I/O attendees received the latest version of the Web-based notebook, the Chromebook Pixel launched in February.
Google will continue to drive both Android and Chrome and Chrome OS as separate but related platforms for the foreseeable future. It showed multiple demos of tools and services running across the environments as well as on Apple’s iOS.
The keynote news mainly focused on advances in higher-level Web services, competing with the likes of Apple and Facebook. Google’s All Access, for example, is a new streaming music service competing with Apple’s iTunes.
In a clear attack on Facebook, Google announced 41 new features to Google+ including more contextual links and a photo enhancement capability. With a single button, users can let Google make a list of improvements to pictures from removing red eye to smoothing skin tones. It also supports five effects such as creating panoramas or mini-videos out of a sequence of photos.
Taking Apple’s Siri to task, Google showed a voice search capability running on its Chrome browser. It handled a set of relatively complex natural language queries running on a mobile version of Chrome on smartphones.
Google also showed an updated interface and new features that will roll out this summer for its Maps service. It sports links to Google+ to create personalized maps.
Does anyone else find it extremely annoying that all of the voice recognition requires transmitting the data? My old Windows phone didn't need that... OK, it didn't work that well but that was over 4 years ago...
It seems that the "incremental thinking" that should be avoided most carefully is that which adds no value, but only attaches worthless features to some product. We have way more of that kind of thinking than any world would ever need.
And not only had Google struggled with microsoft, but the majority of independant thinking people struggle with it every day, it seems. Mostly because of added features that do not add any value to their products. Is there a trend visible here?
Page expressed disappointment with those who focus on negative platform wars instead of just creating something new and positive in a zero sum game where there is an abundance of opportunity.
Indeed Google pioneers a lot of good stuff...but I have to note Google is working very, very hard to make Google+ a better social platform than Facebook which is already great and has the eyeballs. It has done the same with Chrome (Firefox is fine), Android (iOS) and etc.
Incremental improvement is necessary. Invention of airplane does not necessary mean cars are replaced by airplanes. We need cars, and cars must be incrementally improved - more efficient, more safety.
However, opposite is also true - we need car does not mean we did't need airplane invented. And airplane will never be invented if there were no one challenged common sense, "it is crazy idea people can fly".
Incremental thinking in everyday activities is natural; yet if one does not step away from the everyday thinking and starts thinking "out of the box", in electrical terms, on a system and/or architectural level, the incremental work just gets buried in the "just get the job done" syndrome. In today's fast-paced work environment sometimes the forest is neglected when looking at individual trees, to twist a metaphor on its head. Of course one needs to work for a company like Google to be able to think about the next big thing, like driverless cars or computer glasses. Not many of us are as fortunate. Page's comments addressed the Google developers community and are right on.
I was hoping for an updated Nexus 7 at Google IO. Disappointed.
BTW I found Page's comment interesting. “I encourage you to avoid incremental thinking and have a really deep understanding of what you are doing.”
Almost everything that I(& most people I know) do is incremental stuff. While it is true that incremental inventions may not result in sexy new products overnight, most of what we see today came through incremental changes over a long period of time. May be its applicable when you conceive a new idea.. like an all electric car.. or reusable rocket.. but even in that after a while every other change is incremental.. Any thoughts?
Price will be the key for smartphone to penetrate developing world. If the flexibility and capability of developing application from it are improved, I am sure a lot of people will be happy that include ARM.
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