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Entries in Google (7)


Google's Plans

Wow. Here's a sixteen-page (as a pdf; website citation below) report from ars technica with intel on Google's likely activity in 2014. The report cites

  • push on gaming -- mobiles, Chrome browser 
  • increasing connectivity for the developing world -- infrastructure, cheaper smartphones 
  • home automation (see related Internet of Things)
  • healthcare 
  • robotics -- the self-driving cars, the company's recent acquisitions (Boston Dynamics and others) 
  • Project Ara -- a modular, componentized smartphone 
  • Android improvements -- camera, for car, Google Home, speedier runtime, a fitness API, Chrome remote desktop app, YouTube and background audio and subscription music services
  • wearable computing -- including a consumer release of Google Glass
  • Chrome 
  • those silly barges 

This is an important read for everyone, whether you're a heavy Google user or not. 

The 2014 Google tracker—Everything we know Google is working on this year

Google's plans for Android, gaming, smart homes, healthcare, robots, and much, much more.

by Ron Amadeo - Feb 10 2014 

While some companies pride themselves on secrecy, Google doesn't seem interested in surprises. The future of the company is often proudly demonstrated on a stage in front of hundreds of people or announced to the world via a company acquisition press release. Everything Google mentions publicly is for a reason, and if you just listen, you'll pick up a few hints and get a pretty good idea of what the company is working on.

Google via ars technica

This post is a collection of all the hints, announcements, and acquisitions we've heard from Google lately, along with some common sense speculation. We're not predicting or guaranteeing that all of these projects will become consumer products in 2014; it's more of a "to-do list" for Google. Like any to-do list, it's not heavy on ETAs—you can complete an item and cross it off the list, or you can procrastinate and let that list item hang around another year. So to prepare for what promises to be a wild year of Google news, here's everything we know about the company's future plans.

See link for full report. 



Google Design Guidelines

Fast Company's Co.Design presents Google's "visual assets guidelines." Be sure to follow the link in the excerpt below, and review the slides at the top of the full story in the Co.Design story itself (by Kyle Vanhemert). 

A Rare Peek At The Guidelines That Dictate Google's Graphic Design


In April 2011, Larry Page took the reins as Google’s CEO. He didn’t waste any time getting down to business. On his very first day on the job, Page launched an incredibly ambitious effort to redesign the company’s main products, including search, maps, and mail. He wanted them to be beautiful--Google had never been known for its visual polish--but he also wanted them to be cohesive, more like a true software suite than a jumble of disparate digital tools. In the years since, Google’s products have improved leaps and bounds, aesthetically speaking, largely while working within the same shared design language. Here’s how they’re doing it.

The rare glimpse into the company’s design process comes in the form of two documents--"Visual Assets guidelines"--freshly shared on Behance. Compiled over the last 18 months by senior graphic designer Roger Oddone and art director Christopher Bettig, along with designers Alex Griendling, Jefferson Cheng, Yan Yan, and Zachary Gibson, the guidelines focus on iconography, covering both broader principles and pixel-level details as they relate to both app icons and UI elements. The aim, an introductory blurb notes, is to set down the "solid, yet flexible, set of guidelines that have been helping Google’s designers and vendors to produce high-quality work that helps strengthen Google’s identity." 


Checkout the guides in full here and here.

Story continues at link. 




Google Glass Success/Failure

The geek in me wants Google Glass to succeed, but the rest of me fears it won't. 

Anne Cassidy writes in Fast Company's Co.DESIGN about what might be required to be a success. (". . . dorked to death. . ." is a priceless construct!) 


Still in its test phase, Google Glass may be dorked to death before it gets the opportunity to take off. Here, marketing players from a range of agencies provide their assessment of Glass’s chances and some suggestions for paving the way to mainstream success.

Google’s much-hyped wearable computer, Google Glass, has been touted by the tech elite as one of the leaps forward of recent times, but those same elites may hobble mainstream adoption of the device. 

While privacy concerns have blossomed (the device may be on its way to being banned at a number of locations), it may comfort those worried that we are all about to become spies for Google that the early adopters of Google Glass are helping to give it an image problem it might not recover from. 

Story continues at link. 




Google Autonomous Cars

Monday Note ". . . is a [weekly] newsletter covering the intersection of media and technology." Its principals are Frederic Filloux and Jean-Louis Gassee (a former senior executive of Apple). Some of their writing is too pedantic for my taste, but their perspectives are usually worthwhile (. . . and it's only a weekly).

This week, they tease out the nuances and complexities of Google's autonomous cars and what a multifaceted effort the project is -- involving geographic information and systems (of course), real-time traffic information, immense data and communications infrastructures, and even "automobile OSes." 

Data in the driver’s seat

March 17, 2013 - 8:48 pm | Edited by Frédéric Filloux

Autonomous vehicles — fully or partially — will rely on a large variety of data types. And guess who is best positioned to take advantage of this enormous new business? Yep, Google is. 

The Google driveless car is an extraordinary technical achievement. To grasp the its scope, watch this video featuring a near-blind man sitting behind the wheel of an autonomous Prius as the car does the driving. Or, to get an idea of the complexity of the system, see this presentation by Sebastian Thrun (one of the main architects of Google’s self-driving car project) going through the multiple systems running inside the car.

Spectacular as it is, this public demonstration is merely the tip of the iceberg. For Google, the economics of self-driving cars lie in a vast web of data that will become a must to operate partially or fully self-driving vehicles on a massive scale. This network of data will require immense computational and storage capabilities. Consider the following needs in the context of Google’s current position in related fields.

See the link for full story. 



Google Plus and More

What with arguably the predominant smartphone OS (Android), an ascending tablet ecosystem (also running the Android OS), arguably the first successful consumer-oriented thin client laptop (Chromebook), and a solid record launching online services (at least compared to Apple and Microsoft) -- not to mention the world's most popular search engine, web-based email system, and video-sharing service -- Google has real potential to be predominant. 

This article by Dave Llorens in Fast Company reviews Google's dominance through the perspective of Google+, which itself might be poised to overtake Facebook.  

"The Future Of Google Plus, And Its Path To Social-Media Domination


Scoff all you want, but these compelling, just-catching-on product rollouts and integrations will make Google win the battle for hearts, minds, and active users. 

Despite being an echo chamber as far as the press was concerned only two months ago, now Google Plus is “bigger than Twitter,” according to many of the same media outlets. That might not feel true today, but it will in short order.

A month ago, I wrote about how no one was willing to admit that Google Plus’s user acquisition strategy of using the carrot and not the stick was… well, working. Well enough so that I was willing to gamble a pie in the face on it. Google began by absorbing 100% of online writers by way of offering them the ability to claim their own work with Google Authorship. Then Google Plus started absorbing all local businesses by starting to merge Google maps and Google local business pages. It wasn’t clear at the time what the next steps would be to get everyone else on board too, but that’s changed. 

As I see it, here are the big carrots that Google will use to further tip the scales:

See the link for the full article.