Mobile Fix: a closer look at Google I/O
With so much news coming out of Google I/O, it's inevitable some of the announcements won't get the attention they deserve, so this week Simon Andrews takes a look at the lesser discussed, yet hugely interesting developments.
The Google developer conference was the big news this week. Last year we saw Google Glass wearing sky divers and everyone there was put on the list to get a pair of GGs. This year we had a three hour keynote packed with new features. Oh, and everyone there this year got a Pixel laptop.
With so much news it's inevitable some of the announcements won't get the attention they deserve. So over the coming weeks we will probably dig into some further.
The Music streaming service where Google takes on Spotify (and takes a lead over Apple) has got lots of press as has the news that voice search is now available on the desktop for Chrome users. Expect lots of office tension as people start talking to their PCs.
Google+ got - as you would expect - lots of love. A new look, awesome photo tools and Hangouts is now available as a standalone app for iOS, Android and Chrome. Maps is getting a makeover - all the folk at Apple striving to get parity with Google Maps now have a longer To Do list.
We suspect the ability to send money via Gmail could be a sleeper - it's a great way to get people using a Google wallet. Only available in the US for now - and for desktop only - it's a way to go, but it is an interesting start.
On the hardware front a Nexus remix of the Samsung Galaxy S4 was announced - arguably they best hardware with the best software.
And CEO Larry Page closed with a Q&A, making the point;
"In every story I read about Google, it's about us versus some other company or some stupid thing," he said. "I don't find that very interesting. We should be building great things that don't exist. Being negative is not how we make progress."
This is a pretty comprehensive list of what was announced.
Prior to the event Sundar Pichai - the new head of Android and Chrome - talked about the dual OS strategy and explaining that;
It's a world of multiple screens, smart displays, with tons of low-cost computing, with big sensors built into devices. At Google we ask how to bring together something seamless and beautiful and intuitive across all these screens.
And underlining how long it can take for I/O initiatives to get out, this is a good look at Google Glass and where it could go.
Viral and Daft Punk
The subtle marketing from Daft Punk over the past months is a great example of using social (our friend Glyn has written a good description here) and it has worked incredibly well. One question is whether the campaign can have any longevity or are social driven campaigns inevitably short lived?
Harlem Shake seems a long time ago now, but this piece on how the meme got traction - and the role of 'professionals' - is good reading. And this look at the latest meme - Ryan Gosling won't eat his cereal - gives some more clues on how this stuff works. But now that a big brand has got involved we expect Mr Gosling's people may have something to say.
With the announcement that the Sun is moving behind a paywall, this is an interesting look at how the Washington Post and the New York Times deal with digital. The porous paywall of the NYT has driven up their subscriber revenues, with digital subscription revenues of $100m - and the Washington Post is belatedly following.
Whilst paying for 'quality' journalism is becoming the norm in the US, it's less clear that this trend will take off in the UK and the Sun is the first red-top to try.
But the Sun is now run by a former Sky exec and he has brought some of his experience to bear, paying £30 million for the internet and mobile rights to the Premier League. And by bundling this into what will be called Sun+ he may have a chance. Talking about the paywall move Mike Darcey said;
"...We did not buy mobile and internet [football] rights in order to sell mobile and internet rights. We bought them to integrate into an existing product and enhance that existing product."