Tag Archives: Google

Apple and Google Announcements Point To The Same Horizon


It’s striking how closely Apple’s and Google’s recent slate of announcements parallel each other. Their respective developer conferences both focused on platform integration. Both iOS and Android are moving outside of the phone. The nature of that integration will have lasting effects on the way people interact with the world around them.

“…If you look at the strategy that each company is pursuing regarding their mobile operating systems, you can see mobile devices sitting at the center of a connected web of devices and services – from cars to televisions to wearables.”

In the late nineties, Apple was pushing the idea that your computer was the digital hub of your life. All your other gadgets (e.g. digital camera, iPod, video camera, etc.) were to be managed and coordinated by your computer. Today, if you look at the strategy that each company is pursuing regarding their mobile operating systems, you can see mobile devices sitting at the center of a connected web of devices and services – from cars to televisions to wearables.

If these other initiatives develop traction, expect to see their impact on each platform’s growth and consumers’ buying decisions in the years to come.

Cars: Car Play and Android Auto

Many cars ship with onboard navigation or entertainment systems; Apple and Google both seem to believe they can provide a better experience for users than the current manufacturers do. They’ve adopted similar strategies.

“Apple and Google have both shown themselves to be better at designing user-facing software than most of the car manufacturers. So, you should expect an all-around more polished experience…”

In contrast to electronics manufacturers who create hardware installed in cars, Apple and Google have each created a protocol for allowing a person’s phone to become the brains behind the in-car screen. By separating the device and software running the screen, from the device installed in the car, several significant economies can be realized.

First, people generally upgrade their phones more frequently than their cars or in-car entertainment systems – so the computing power driving the experience will increase significantly faster.

Second, Apple and Google have both shown themselves to be better at designing user-facing software than most of the car manufacturers. So, you should expect an all-around more polished experience and – based on the available demonstrations, both companies appear to have succeeded in that regard.

Third, Apple and Google have significant existing developer communities and the infrastructure to support those communities. Users are diverse and it is very difficult for a single company to fill every niche in a market. By opening the door to third-party developers, Apple and Google create the opportunity for companies like Pandora, Spotify, or MLB to create their own high-quality offering based on existing codebases and assets. Both companies expose a limited sub-set of the power of the operating system to third-party developers.

Most of the constraints in the programming interface are designed to prevent developers from creating apps that will lead to distracted drivers. There are some differences between the two offerings, but they are minor. Many major car manufacturers have announced support for both platforms. In this space, Google’s vision and Apple’s vision seem particularly aligned.

Television: Apple TV and Android TV

Apple debuted the hockey-puck attached to your TV in 2007. The first version looked a lot more like a Mac mini than the current hockey puck which wasn’t introduced until 2010; however, the core offering over that time has remained stable and grown. Today Apple, Roku, and Amazon are shipping products in the space.

“Feature-for-feature, it can be difficult to tell the platforms apart. Some provide voice controls. Some don’t, but core features are very similar.”

As of Google I/O 2014, Google is moving into that space as well with it’s Android TV product. The core of the offering is the ability to purchase or rent movies or television shows from the vendor’s online store. On top of that is layered apps that provide integration with streaming video services, streaming audio services and photo libraries. Control of the ecosystem can be managed from the user’s phone.

Alternately, a phone, tablet, or computer can wirelessly send a signal to directly take over the television as a second screen. Feature-for-feature, it can be difficult to tell the platforms apart. Some provide voice controls. Some don’t, but core features are very similar.

Google has announced support for playing video games stored and powered by Android devices and controlled with traditional-style video game controllers. Apple has all of the pieces in place to make a similar announcement (i.e. controller support and operating system support) – however, Apple has not made an official announcement. Both Google and Apple announced updates to their 3D graphics-programming APIs that appear to be directly targeted significantly at improving the gaming experience on their devices.

Computer: Mac OS and ChromeBooks

Apple has an approximate 7% market share for their OS X operating system. Google’s Chrome books have a minisicule market adoption, however, Google’s apps (e.g. mail, drive, and maps) have significant adoption rates. Both companies spent a portion of their dev-conference keynotes focusing on ways to make platform integration tighter.

From answering phone calls on the computer to automatically authenticating a user based on proximity or automatically synchronizing scroll-position when sharing the same document between two devices, the companies are experimenting with how to make the tranisitions between computer and mobile device seamless.

Health: HealthKit and Google Fit

Both Apple and Google have also announced support for centralized health-tracking applications. The initial feature-set is relatively limited. However, it is clear that both companies see a market here – likely driven by the success of Nike+ and Fitbit.

Not all of these initiatives will bear fruit, and not all of the initiatives will be equally effective for each company. However, given the close parallels between each company’s approach and announcements, it certainly appears that Apple and Google share a very similar vision for the technology that will shape our lives for the next few years.

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Chrome Cube Lab marks Rubik’s@40 – and today’s Google doodle

RubiksIn an awesome act of creative collaboration (and a lot of sweat), The Nerdery helped Google this morning to launch Chrome Cube Lab to honor the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube (see today’s timely Google doodle). Originally created by Ernő Rubik, the Rubik’s Cube is a logic puzzle that has been a favorite of engineers and mathematical types since its debut.

Written in Google Go, Chrome Cube Lab provides a showcase for a fantastic rebuild of this puzzle inside of the web browser.  It leverages JavaScript, CSS3 and a whole host of awesome technologies to provide a real-time interactive spinning cube. Even cooler? It’s open to spin-offs and new interpretations of the cube. Read more

Discussing Chromecast At Last: This Week on K-TWIN


KTWIN Logo 96.3

Nerdery Tech Evangelist Ryan Carlson recapped the latest product from Google called Chromecast on Monday morning, July 29th for the Cane & Company morning show on K-TWIN radio. He talks about how Chromecast is the writing on the wall about a big shift in how people will be consuming their content and how the web could be impacted as a result.

Ryan is reporting on technology every monday morning on K-TWIN radio (96.3 FM) at 7:45 AM.


NerdCast #31: Reading The Digital Tea Leaves – An Analytics Discussion

Nerdcast Album Art In this episode of the NerdCast we talk with Matt Tonak, former Nerdery community manager turned interactive strategist at the company. Listen in on how analytics has been done in the past and what it’s like to be a professional reader of digital tea leaves. If you’re into tracking success or interested in The Nerdery’s digital journey into analytics this is a great discussion for you.

Host: Ryan Carlson

Guests: Matt Tonak, Interactive Strategist at The Nerdery

Got Project?

If you happen to have an interactive project yourself and you need help reading the digital tea leaves, our UX team are experts and mining data to help you make data-driven decisions.  Submit your project details.

Listen Now:
Running Time: 0:27:03 / Subscribe on iTunes

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Nerd Reaction To Google I/O 2013

Google I/O 2013 LogoGoogle I/O 2013 is over and there has been a deluge of new updates about services and tools for developers. Unlike previous years there wasn’t a fancy new device or jaw-dropping new technology debut. From a developer’s perspective, that’s just fine because what was announced was a strong foundation for future work on Google’s various platforms. Let’s review the announcements and their meaning by going through the platforms one-by-one. Read more

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Google+ Platform Applications

cwOn Feb 26th, Google revealed a series of new APIs that help mobile and web developers integrate their applications into the social network.

The way they’re engaging applications is interesting because it comes in three layers:

1. Almost every language, Almost every platform:
They’ve released code samples for just about every programming language and have made it clear that they have iOS, Android, and web development as primary targets for this API. Google has repeatedly stated that Google+ is Google. Meaning that it isn’t a product, but rather it’s involved in everything that they do. To me, nothing makes that clearer than attempting to drive all of this activity information into their social network. Read more

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How a Wired Reporter was hacked using his Apple & Amazon accounts

We all have our weaknesses. Some people can’t resist the pull of bad reality television. Some are weak in the face of a Lifetime TV movie. Me? I am incapable of skipping past a devastating account of hacking. The kind of hacking that strikes fear in the hearts of people and involves losing precious, sentimental digital ephemera — photos, notes, etc.

This is exactly what happened to Wired writer, Mat Honan, who was hacked and lost everything. Honan recounts how the hackers got into all his accounts using his Apple ID, Gmail, and information from Amazon. It’s a great, horrifying read that will either put fear in your heart or make you feel super smug for being so savvy with all your accounts.

“I’m angry that Amazon makes it so remarkably easy to allow someone into your account, which has obvious financial consequences. And then there’s Apple. I bought into the Apple account system originally to buy songs at 99 cents a pop, and over the years that same ID has evolved into a single point of entry that controls my phones, tablets, computers and data-driven life. With this AppleID, someone can make thousands of dollars of purchases in an instant, or do damage at a cost that you can’t put a price on.”

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Watch out boys, she’ll chew you up

Have you seen Google’s latest ad for Google docs? It features Hall & Oates and is hilarious.

Friday Links: Google Zeitgeist 2011

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Friday Links: AT-ATs, nerdy vacations, and deadly sins

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