We shouldn’t be surprised by any of the news that was announced in yesterday’s marathon keynote address at Google I/O. The future of technological innovation rests in the lovely little devices we hold in our hands, so why wouldn’t Google want to announce more platform enhancements for this market segment?
I’m a little surprised by the push for Hangouts to be it’s own separate application. When weighed against Blackberry’s decision to make Blackberry Messenger available for all mobile platforms, however, it makes sense. There is so much to be gained from mobile messaging and the ability to use your service across platforms.
The big boys are tired of little start up apps taking up their real estate on home screens, so this is their counter punch. Time will tell if it is a smart move.
It is interesting to see, as an avid iPhone user, Google apps slowly taking over my home screen. That doesn’t mean I’m thinking of making a switch. There’s a big difference in using the services (mail, calendar, drive, etc.) and going all in with the platform. I think users can get used to most interfaces given the proper context and design. It boils down to content, app store preference and what you are used to.
It is challenging to view the updates to Google Talk and Google+ as having a huge impact on the mobile landscape. Google+ in particular seem to provide validity to cards and how apps will further incorporate them into the UI. It provides build in pagination to improve performance, as well as simple delineation between items to view.
Any other enhancements to the social platform seem null and void until I can get all of my friends to start using it. Being able to automatically upload and enhance photos on the site are no good unless my mother is going to take the time to see them. I will now punch myself for indirectly supporting Facebook.
Same goes for Google Maps, and it’s enhanced design. Unless they update the mobile app with any major improvements (which could be comings), there is no news to report. I don’t understand how the desktop version of any site should be receiving major enhancements separate from mobile. Traffic is leaving big monitors more and more every day.
Every year, I/O shows why more innovation comes out of this company than most of the rest combined. There is a lot to learn about the future of internet applications from this presentation. Not all of the news is good, but overall points to a positive direction for the industry.