Yesterday and today…okay, mostly yesterday, was the annual Google I/O Conference in San Francisco – you know, the one we wait for all year long to see what Google has in store for us in the upcoming year. During the keynote address, they talked about new platforms for TV, our automobile, wearables (Android Wear), fitness devices and even a redesign of Android…the newest version ‘L.’ Conspicuously missing were some of the products that have been talked about all year – Google Glass, Google+, Google 8, Hangouts and let us not forget the driverless car. I mean Android Auto is nice, but a driverless car, and its not even mentioned. These are all major projects that Google has been working on, improving some of them all year and making news every week…yet they were not even mentioned at Google’s biggest bash of the year.
Google had a definite theme going – creating an Android ecosystem, where hardware and software speak to one another…for instance, with an update in the pipeline for Google Glass, when your smartphone sends out an Android Wear notification, it will show up on both your smartwatch and your Glass, yet there was no mention of it at I/O. Where was the speech about how Google+ and Glass were going to fit into this ecosystem? It was made quite obvious that one of the main purposes of Android Wear was to avoid fumbling for your smartphone – isn’t that what Glass does as well, in addition to shooting photos and videos, among other things. The smartphone is the center hub that all of these devices use for information – it would have been a great sell for Google to point out that mini-ecosystem, but they failed to mention it.
In April, Vic Gundotra, who ran Google+, abruptly left, and apparently so did Google’s enthusiasm for their social media service. Google+ was gaining momentum and updates were coming out on a regular basis, and people were uploading photos and jokes, but it is hardly making a dent in Facebook, even though it claims to have “hundreds of millions of users.” Don’t get me wrong, Google+ has a lot of activity on it, but most of the conversations are between techno people, not the type of users that Facebook attracts. I guess Google is not sure what to do with Google+ so they figured that by not mentioning it, all is well.
What happened to the big Google-Nest collaboration? Google wanted to control everything in our house – they bought Nest and just bought Dropcom, and dropped some big money, however, not one word was mentioned at I/O. What about the Nexus products – what about a new Nexus smartphone and Nexus tablet…Google has a whole lot of loyal Nexus followers. You would think that Google would have included that important group in their I/O…but nothing. What about Hangouts, Google’s main messaging service – there have been multiple upgrades to make improvements and it is really a great part of the Google ecosystem, but nothing was mentioned. It fits with Google+ like a hand in a glove, but are they going to push or encourage its use?
Google is a very deliberate company and would have chosen what it wanted discuss at this year’s I/O very carefully. Maybe Google is not sure where they are going with some products or felt the products they mentioned were enough. I have to tell you that its was not enough information – Larry Page should have come out and gone over these devices and told us where Google expects to be in five years. They definitely left some important information on the table, and only Google knows why.
Hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you were happy with what Google announced at I/O or is there something you would have liked to hear more about…as always, we would love to hear from you.