“If you are a Gmail user/Google user, you will end up as an Android user” (don’t remember where I read that)
Here is some notes from a reading in WSJ and the Consumer Forrester blog.
Few take away (speculations, nothing is confirmed by Google)…
– The phone will be directly sold to consumer (direct sale without going through the carriers, hense unlock)
– Code name: Nexus One
– Manufactured by HTC
– Running Android
– Google designed the entire software experience (applications and “look and feel”)
In my move to Google services (more generally going “all cloud”), I started to use Gmail (love it though there are rooms for improvement regarding the UI) but I also wanted to start using Google Calendar.
Before: One agenda that contains both work and personnal information hosted in Outlook at work. I synched it with mobile device over USB or bluetooth. Pros: one agenda with all my appointements and todo in one place, can take it with me on my phone, nothing in the cloud (no “corporate” securiy issue). Cons: Mixing both professional and private appointments, I can not share it, no access control (my management could see my personal appointment ?).
Yesterday Google announced that they have mailed out window stickers with two-dimensional QR Codes to the most-searched for or clicked-on businesses in its local business directory. The goal is to have them displaying in there windows so that by scanning them you will get all sorts of information about the business like phone number, photos, customer reviews,…
If you have a QR Code reader on your cell phone you can wave it in front of the barcode and you will be transported from the physical to the digital world.
An idea not so new… I am sure some persons have thought about it but Google just has the resources to effectively do it. They even partnered with Quickmark to distribute 40’000 pieces of their software for iPhone for free (instead of $1.99). iPhone owner go ahead and download it!
Last week I decided to leave aside my doubts about Google and went “all Google“. I am already an user of many Google services (like Adsense, Analytics, Google Docs,…) but I am in the process of integrating Gmail and Google Calendar in my workflow. Big move to host those datas in the Google Cloud but the services look good enough and they are so well packaged with nice features that it is probably worth it. I am not 100% sure I can trust Google but I have to reckon that so far they have been pretty good at not fooling around with my datas and hopefully it will remain like that (why would not they?). Also, unlike some “competitors”, they do not try to lock you down by “encrypting” your datas in some proprietary formats, you can always move away with your datas in an interoperable format.
Coincidentally I have been playing around with an Android phone and it appears quite obvious now that any Google user will end up as an Android user (if it is not done yet).
Right now I am trying to find the best possible way to move and manage my agenda with Google Doc, Outlook, my phone… more on that later.
One more thought, I might be about to fully trust Google but I am still wondering if the monopol they are building up on the internet is not dangerous.
It was quite a revolution when RSS became popular (created in 1999, it became wide used around 2005/2006) and integrated in almost all tools. To the point that some people were even challenging that it would use too much bandwidth… Why is that ? While RSS is a neat system to find out when something changes on a website it still requires from the client to poll the server. Bad designed client (that were not using correctly the HTTP protocol and its 304 status code) and the multiplication of tools (CMS, CRM and co.) would load servers and the network and eventually causing some problems. After a while we get it to work nicely but notifications still relies on the polling mechanism and its frequency. Good… but not enough for the real-time web. Real-time Web? one of the 5 futurs trends on the web (see also a list on ReadWriteWeb of the Top 50 Real-Time Web Companies).
Cnet: Google killing Jaiku, Dodgeball, Notebook, other projects
- Google is also affected by the economic situation. Even “monster” like Google has to refocus when economic downturn… (note that they also laid off 100 recruiters)
- If you were using one of those services you better prepare to move to another one, and hopefully you can export your datas in a nice and re-usable way. Remeber Richard Stallman warned us about Cloud Computing, this is a perfect example… a service is discontinue and you are stuck! In this case it happens with a notice beforehand but what if the service is shut down directly ?
Read also on Google Code Blog: Changes for Jaiku and Farewell to Dodgeball and Mashup Editor
ReadWriteWeb: Google Apps Unseats Incumbent Microsoft Office in Washington, DC (via mfavez on twitter)
[…] Vivek Kundra, Chief Technology Officer for the District of Columbia, has decided to switch the District’s 38,000 employees from the installed Microsoft Office suite to the Web-based Google suite […]
This news comes only a few weeks after Richard Stallman (GNU founder) warned about Cloud Computing… Guardian: Cloud computing is a trap, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman:
One reason you should not use web applications to do your computing is that you lose control, it’s just as bad as using a proprietary program. Do your own computing on your own computer with your copy of a freedom-respecting program. If you use a proprietary program or somebody else’s web server, you’re defenceless. You’re putty in the hands of whoever developed that software.
Well an US government agency is using US company infrastructure… so far so good.
Should “cloud computing” becomes trendy, and it will, I wonder how non-gov companies are going to address that privacy issue and I wonder if Washington state would have done the same choice if Google was not an US company ?
Remember the mobile guide for Paleo festival ? I found out that the same app exists for few other festivals in Switzerland. Neat. I found this out through my beloved carrier portal. Talking about it… a Google search field has appeared on top of the the main page… looks like they are “opening” their mobile web to the external world.
Remember how Google built up its cell ID->lat-long databases? They used the existing infrastructure and their software already spread on user devices to build it and now they can provide location features on devices that do not have a GPS receiver. Earlier this week a blog post on official Google mobile blog confirmed that. I found out via Tom that there is a similar “Open Source” initiative called: OpenCellID which tries to build up a “cell id database” with downloadable client. Getting the user location seems to become easier every day and it is interesting to see that GPS is not the only solution to retrieve a position and there are open solutions but the real question remains “what is all good that for ?”
We have been talking about Location-Based Services for quite a long time and there does not seem to be yet a killing application even though Devices have built-in GPS (like my Nokia N95) or Location API (like Androïd). It’s the “big thing” we are still waiting for and maybe the problem is that we are not “nomad” enough, just too “local” as pointed by the New York Times based on a field study:
“Individuals display significant regularity, because they return to a few highly frequented locations, such as home or work”
Via (#) and (#)
Google released a small add-on for N-Series or E-Series that lets you launch a search on your mobile with a single click. You do not really see the search functionality, it is there, you make it visible just be one click, enter your search terms and fire up your search. Awesome.
Downloadable on mobile.google.com.