Google IO 2016 has seen very many new announcements from Google:
- Google Home
- Google Assistant
- Google Allo – New Messaging App
- Google Duo – New Video Chat App
- Google Daydream – Mobile VR Platform
- Android Instant Apps
- Android N improvements
- And many other things.
These developments are good and welcome. But there are a few things that got me thinking.
Not long ago – two years, I could say – I thought Google was taking over the world. I thought their dominance (and buying of a new company almost everyday) was something to be feared. I imagined a world where Google ran everything.
Then entered Facebook.
Not literally. But somewhere in the last two years I realised Facebook was actually the company to be feared most. They own the biggest platforms/apps in the world: Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. They have huge Artificial Intelligence plans. They want to bring free internet to billions of people. They have ventured into Virtual reality and many other incredible fields. They dominate the mobile web. Plus with instant articles, and Facebook Videos, they are ensuring they keep people on their app.
But there’s also Amazon.
Amazon is going after almost everything. Very recently they have announced that they are planning to expand to private-label offerings including food and diapers. Amazon will be delivering with drones. Amazon (Jeff), some corners of the internet would say, is planning to take over the world too.
The 2016 Google IO, though very big and exciting has nothing new to offer that we haven’t yet seen. Well apart from the Android N improvements.
Google is lagging behind
Google, I feel, is a company that has only realised they are being left behind and are now rushing to copy what other companies have already done. And in the processing bringing in what we know them best for: the power of Google Search (AI included). Yes Search is huge, but basing it on every of their “innovation” isn’t they way to go. Is it?
Take a look at Google Home. We’ve seen that from Amazon Echo now haven’t we? Google Assistant on the other hand, is what we thought Google Now was supposed to be years ago.
Messaging, even TechCrunch wrote months ago, is eating up the internet. And sadly I could say, Google is only getting this right now. Don’t get me wrong Google already has Hangouts and other failed messaging apps. But only now are they getting the real hang of it, and the power of conversations. And that’s why this week we’ve seen Google Allo, and Google Spaces. We’ve also seen Google try to bring in conversations to YouTube which is currently receiving blows from Facebook and Amazon.
Google Duo promises to be a very unique and fast video chat app. But we’ve seen previously the success of Snapchat, Facebook messenger and Apple’s own Facetime in the video chat business. End-to-end encryption and seeing your caller before answering are welcome announcements, but will this be enough to convince people to use Duo? Arguably the biggest messaging app, Facebook owned WhatsApp is launching Video Chat soon. How will Duo beat that?
Virtual reality is an unknown territory. I personally feel it is a wrongly implemented technology. But those are only my views. Facebook are to blame for the clamour for VR and now Google are here with Daydream….
So in summary, all we’ve seen today from Google are but Google’s answer to what other companies have already done. Copying what we’ve already seen. Either they are no longer innovating, or they have decided to try and take over by copying everything everyone else is doing.
Google, I have always thought, should be the king of ideas. The first and the best in everything. I am deeply disappointed.
But maybe it’s because Google is now under Alphabet. And this was a Google IO not an Alphabet IO. Though that makes no sense whatsoever.