Category Archives: Google

So Apple is going thermonuclear against Google eh?

I was reading Mike Elgin’s post on how Steve Jobs before his passing declared thermonuclear war on Google, wanting to destroy it because of how Android is a rip off of iOS.

http://www.cultofmac.com/128254/here-comes-apples-real-thermonuclear-war-against-google/

He mentions the “proxy wars” going on – the patent lawsuits between Apple and various Android hardware manufactures.

The real thermonuclear war armament that Apple will be implementing (according to Elgin) is with the new features in iOS 5.  I don’t believe his ideas will come to fruition.  I’m going on the record here on my site to bring up my counter-arguments to his points.  Elgin is one of the most famous and well known Apple fanboys.  I’m a not-so-famous Google fanboy. 

Here are my counterpoints:

#1) Siri to replace Google Search – sure it’s integrated in the iPhone 4S, but it is yet to be implemented in current iOS devices like the iPhone 4, iPad and iPod Touch.  Will Apple implement it on these “lower end” devices?  I don’t know – only Apple does.  Perhaps they don’t have the facilities to scale Siri’s cloud-based back end.  Siri does require Internet access to do it’s magic, just like Google’s voice & speech recognition implementation.  Google’s has been able to dynamically scale their services with the demands of the devices that rely upon them.  Google knows how to do the Internet.  They know how to scale CPU resources.

Will apple bring Siri to the pre-4S devices?  For sure it’ll be available on the iPad 3, and the iPhone 5 – the one that everyone was hoping to be announced this past September.  If they choose not to implement it on their older devices, it’ll allow them to improve Siri and allow it to scale to support that many more users.  By then, Google will probably have something else and the world would move onto something else.

One thing that Siri does is that it uses other services like Wolfram Alpha, Yelp, etc. to retrieve results to queries submitted to it.  I like the fact that Apple is doing this.  Why?  Because as users of the Internet, we’ve become too dependent on Google.  Google is a verb, AND a noun.  Apple must have made some pretty good offers to hook into Wolfram’s and Yelp’s services.  Hopefully this will spur Google on.  I’m sure Google has other things they’re working on.

Elgin makes mention that eventually Siri will be brought to the Macs, and then poof, Apple will magically flip a switch and all Mac users will no longer be using Google as their search engine.  I don’t think that’ll happen – the part about all Mac users no longer being able to use Google as their search engine.

First of all, like it or not, Microsoft still has the market share in terms of personal computers.  Apple won’t be able to “flip their switch” on these machines.  Secondly, Google employees use Macs.  http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/d2f3f04e-6ccf-11df-91c8-00144feab49a.html  Well, they use Macs or Linux.  They have to ask for special permission to use Windoze. ;)  

Siri is Apple’s thing.  To use it, you need to use an Apple approved device.  No iOS or OSX, no Apple, no Siri.

According to Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems – current web client OS has OSX in at about 7 or 8%.  That’s not a lot.  Microsoft still has the majority of the share out there.  

Another thing with Google’s services (compared to Apple), is that Google makes their service as accessable anywhere and on anything.  To Google, it doesn’t matter what kind of device – Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, SunOS, whatever.  This isn’t going to change anytime choose.  If Apple wants to take over, they’re going to have to be a service that people want to use – on *ANY* device.  Not just an Apple device.

How many people in Windows are using Safari as a browser?  How many people on OSX AND Windows using Chrome?

#2) Find my Friends vs. Google Lattitude – Knowing Apple, to use FmF, you’ll have to use an Apple device.  Google Latitude – I only use it between my wife and myself.  She’s on a Blackberry and Lattitude works great on it.  Google Lattitude, has a version for the Desktop, Android (of course), Blackberry, iOS, Nokia, Symbian and even Windows Mobile.  Apple will have to convert *everyone* over to FmF if they’re going to take over…

#3) Yelp vs. Google Places – Well looky there, what does Yelp use for its map service?  Google maps!  Clicking on directions brought me again to Google Maps.

One thing that Google has with its Places service is the ability to pull info from other sources.  For example, I used Google Maps to pull near-by restaurants to where I live.  Of course, reviews from Google users popped up first, but Google also provided links to other sources such as dinehere.ca and urbanspoon.com.  Yelp, well it provided only Yelp reviews.

#4) Apple’s maps to replace Google Maps?  I don’t know about this.  Google Maps, well, just works!  Google has been working on Street View for a number of years, and they’re constantly updating both it and maps.  On the Android version of Maps, the buildings of the downtown core of many major cities have been built nearly to scale!  Google is harnessing the powers of Google Sketch-up and cloud sourcing people to help build up 3D buildings.  Oh, and back to Street Views – at SIGGRAPH this past August, I visited the Google Booth and they showed this new up-and-coming feature where you can literally walk into a restaurant or retail space a-la Street View!  Can Apple catch up in time to make their version of Apple Maps comparable?

#5) iCloud to replace Google’s Cloud service – well sure!  For all those Apple/OSX/iOS users out there.  Like it or not, the majority of iOS users are also probably Windows users.  Unless Apple opens their iCloud service to Windows machines, they’re going to be fighting an uphill battle.  With Google’s Cloud service, again, I can use it on anything.  I can view a Google Doc on my school’s iPad.  I can edit it on my Phone at the same time a student edits their version on their home computer.

Here’s a cross-platform example of the power of Google’s cloud service.  I took a sick day on Friday, but i still needed to meet with my GameDev students to talk about their high level design document for their current project.  I was able to use Google Video Chat with my students at school, while at the same time, going through and edit their document which they shared with me on Google Docs.  They were at school running XP, I was at home on my Linux machine.  Will that happen on Apples iCloud service?  Unlikely.

I can’t wait to see what Google’s “G-Drive” service is going to be like.  It’ll probably be cross-platform-able. :D

#6) Apple’s iMessage vs Google Talk and Gmail.  Apple’s game play here is to make using Google’s service as difficult as possible, and make Apple’s service all that much better to use with Apple devices.  Like I said earlier, most iOS users that I know of also have a Windows machine they use as their desktop.  Unless Apple can get all those people to switch over, this is an uphill battle for Apple.

When Apple announced their “Face Time” for the iPad2 and iPhone4, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.  I’ve been video chatting on MSN and Google Talk for a few years before it became popular via Apple’s FaceTime.  If anything, Apple knows how to market themselves.

On our recent trip down to Seattle, before I bought my Asus Transformer, I took my school iPad down with us on our trip so that my kids could video chat with their grandparents.  Did I use Facetime?  Nope.  My parent’s don’t have an OSX machine – They’re running Linux. ;)   Did I use Skype?  No, because that would have been yet another program to install, yet another user account to create, etc.  I used Google Talk with my parents – the web-based plug-in works on my parent’s Linux box, and I used the app VTOK since there is no Google made app for Google Talk.  At least the protocol for Google Talk is open so that third-parties can make programs that hook into it!  Will Apple allow that to happen?  Probably not, because it will go outside of their ecosystem!

My friend whose a big Apple fan, says he doesn’t like Gmail because of all the ads that appear in Gmail.  I said to myself, “What ads?”  Sure, there are ads in Gmail, but maybe because I’m so use to NOT looking for the ads, I don’t even see them.  They barely take up one line in the web version of Gmail’s interface.

Besides, you don’t have to use Gmails web interface to access it.  You can use Outlook Express, Th

un

derbird, even OSX’s mail client!  I only use the web interface when I’m on a traditional computer, otherwise I access Gmail via my phone or tablet.

Google is much more than searching and email.  Their cloud based services are openly accessable through almost any device!  I love the collaboration and sharing that is possible through Google’s services.  My wife has read and read-write access to my work and personal calendars.  I have access to hers.  I use Google Docs to collaborate with my students, and I can access it at school, at home, or on the bus.  What is Apple’s challenge to Google Docs?  Google Chat has both text-based, voice and video chat services, long before Apple’s FaceTime and now iMessenger.  Google has single sign-on *and* they’re considerate of my account info – who else has a two-factor authentication service to ensure that their users’ data is safe and secure?

Google, being Google will be gracious enough for people to leave if they choose to do so.  Heck, they even provide facilities to pull their data out of their system if they choose so.  Will Apple be so gracious to those who want to leave them?

Google+ the new place to be in!

So last week, on June 28th, Google released their new social networking service, Google+.  I was fortunate to get in on day 2 of the initial Google+ limited testing event.  Demand to get in has been extremely high.  I was lucky enough to get in via Twitter courtesy of @megapenguinx.

 

Now that I’m in, I do find that my posting habits have changed.   I do find that I’m spending less time on Twitter.  Maybe it’s because there’s less “noise” on Google+ than on Twitter.  Perhaps it’s because Google+ is still in limited trial.  I’m obviously “following” less people on Google+ than on Twitter.

I do like the organizational layout of Google+ – the concept of Circles where you can select and organize people you know (or follow) in Circles.  You control the granularity with who you share with and what you are sharing.

I can see this this working well in a school environment.  With Circles, I could have a circle set up for colleagues, district people, and even students.  I’d organize students into circles representing my different classes.  That way I could communicate things publicly or with certain circles.  Things I send out to my personal friends would not be limited to just those people.

Another feature of Google+ that could prove useful is the Hangout.  The Hangout is a group video chat.  I tried it with my friend +David Wees and it works pretty well!  I could see using the “Hangout” as a type of online office hour where one or more students could join in, kind of like a virtual classroom.

I see lots of potential for this.  I also see lots of issues that could pop up as well, especially with crossing the boundary between the personal/professional online life of an educator.  Right now as it stands, Google+ does not work with Google Apps accounts.  I’m not too concerned about this yet.  Google+ is still very new software.  Eventually it will be available to Google Apps accounts.

So for now, those who want in on Google+ will have to wait.  They are opening up invites on a controlled basis.