Sundar Pichai has started a new shift in Google where he’s bringing Chrome and Android closer together. It was inevitable since he’s the boss in charge of both but it’s interesting to see where he’s heading with it.
Google are attacking everything from all fronts in multiple ways in some cases, your computer, your phone, your car, your tv, your watch, your glasses and your home. The interesting thing is that they’re not attacking them in a cohesive way where each front is connected to the other. Eventually everything will be connected and Google is accelerating that front. It’s creating a merged multi platform approach that is tied by Android.
You might be thinking well they’ve tackled some of these areas before like the car and TV but they failed, why this time? I think this time focus and simplicity is how they’re going to win. Perviously they just released SDKs and expected developers to flock to it. This time they partnered and released very basic functionality, only the bare essentials to get started.
- Chrome is tackling computers very well according to Google, 10 of the top 10 laptops on Amazon are Chromebooks. They’re also doing work to port Android apps onto Chrome.
- Android is obviously tackling your phones and tablets, they’ve got over 1 Billion 30 day active users
- Android will be tackling your car, they’ve got all the major car manufacturers signed up for a simple interface that sits on top of their proprietary systems powered by your Android phone
- Android will be tackling your TV, they’ve signed some big names onto this like Sony. They’ve also got the Chromecast which is also a hit by being such a simple device
- Android will be tackling your wearables such as your watch for health tracking and convenience
- Android will be tackling your glasses with Google Glass providing you with an augmented reality experience
- Android will be tackling your home with devices like connected smart alarms, thermostats and lightbulbs
Google has realised that multiple platforms are hard to tackle for developers so they’re giving them time by giving them release previews of all the new SDKs and design guidelines across the entire range of capabilities. They’re also keeping the initial releases of these new platforms very simple. They’ve learned from Microsoft and Windows 8 that you can’t just expect developers to be able to scale their apps across platforms quickly and easily. These things take time so they’re trying to help with that as much as possible.
They know this is a hard problem as stated by Sundar “We aren’t building a vertically integrated product. What we are doing is building an open platform at scale”. this is obviously a dig at Apple. This has always been what Microsoft are doing as well. It’s easier to build a single product that only integrates with your own proprietary systems, it’s much harder to build a platform that can in theory operate on anything like Android can.