Plus the Nexus Q’s odd incompatibility, Google+ gets some API goodness, and more
A quick burst of 8 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team
Stop the dadgum presses! Googler Louis Gray just told us about a new Google+ feature that you won’t read about anywhere else.
Called Google+ History, this new API will let you add past statuses, updates, purchases, pictures, and more to you personal Google+ timeline from a variety of social and mobile services. These objects are displayed in pretty tiles called “moments.”
Pretty tiles, but will you have pretty things to put in them?
Another bit of flesh dropped off the decaying zombie that is ACTA, with the Australian parliamentary Treaties Committee recommending that ratification be deferred – partly because of its near-collapse in Europe.
Acta as a zombie stalking the earth, waiting to be killed? Actually, yes.
Nexus Q can’t be used standalone, powered exclusively by Android devices on the same network >> The Verge
With the Nexus Q [its home media streamer], Google is planting its flag in the living room, allowing users to share media from Google Play with their home entertainment center. But unlike its closest competitor, the Apple TV, the Nexus Q isn’t a standalone platform and requires an Android smartphone or tablet connected to the same Wi-Fi network to access content.
Apple TV isn’t exactly promiscuous about streaming content, but this is just weird. Not even clear whether Netflix and Hulu (in the US) will be able to share media with it. Isn’t Android meant to be open?
[Andy] Rubin gives [Stan] Shih and the team at Asus immense credit.
“I don’t think there would have been any other partner that could move that fast.,” Rubin told AllThingsD. “We went from zero to working product in four months.”
But, having built the device, the big question now is will consumers bite?
Rubin admits that he was upset a year ago that Android tablets just weren’t selling. After looking into some of the reasons, Rubin learned that while hardware really matters on phones, consumers are buying into a content ecosystem with tablets. Or, in Google’s case, not buying into an ecosystem. In particular, Rubin said that Google lacked some of the ecosystem pieces that were necessary, such as a full compliment of TV shows, movies for purchase, and magazines that people want to consume on a tablet.
“I think that was the missing piece,” Rubin said.
Er.. anyone here who couldn’t have told him that ahead of time?
At Google IO, the company announced it’s now passed 400m cumulative activations*. Apple hasn’t reported the June quarter (the 365m number above is from the March quarter), but iOS sales have almost certainly also now passed 400m, giving the two competing platforms 800m cumulative sales in total.
Estimating how many of those are active is a bit trickier, but it’s probably somewhere over 600m. This is pretty much the same as the total number of broadband lines there are in the world today.
If you believe [disruptive theorist Clay] Christensen’s theory (and most senior people at large technology companies do), the interesting question now is: when will smartphones and tablets be “good enough” (respectively) for non-integrated to beat integrated approaches? My guess is it will be at least 5-10 years before customers are no longer willing to pay significantly more for faster bandwidth, more features, longer battery life, increased storage, faster processors, etc. But no one really knows.
It isn’t hard to see how Google, Microsoft and pretty much everyone but Apple missed the key difference between PCs and the new generation of mobile devices. Christensen himself missed it
Bill Davidow, ex-HP staffer:
Many other things have changed in the valley over the past five decades. I’ve become increasingly concerned about one thing that is seldom discussed: the valley is no longer as concerned about serving the customer, and even sees great opportunity in exploitation. We are beginning to act like the bankers who sold subprime mortgages to naïve consumers. In such an environment, we are less likely to create the role models of the past who guided the valley to its future.
The unapologetic pursuit of wealth is perhaps the most obvious explanation. Less obvious is the loss of customer power.
Only if you don’t enjoy doing your own support, such as downloading unsigned drivers or figuring out how to make your PC recognise it as a USB storage device.