July 28, 2014

Chrome and Android Have Google's Head in the Clouds

This time last year, the tech community was all abuzz with the rumors that Google was ready to put out a phone of their own.  Nicknamed the gPhone, many expected it to be their answer to Apple’s iPhone.  How surprised were we once we saw Google had bigger ambitions. Rather than focusing on just one device, they were bringing out a platform that could be run on an army of handsets.

A lot of people think that Google’s mobile agenda stops at Android.  I think that this is where it begins.  Android is just a tool to help further things at a faster rate.  The boys from Mountain View are already putting out applications for other platforms like iPhone and Windows Mobile.  Android simply takes everything that Google offers and bundles it into a convenient package.  Why download all the individual apps and services when they come preloaded on a revolutionary handset?

It’s no secret that the “cloud” is where things are headed.  No longer being confined to a desktop or laptop, people are free to access their files from practically anywhere in the world, providing an internet connection is available.  Pull up your spreadsheets, vacation photos, and favorite music all from the same device, regardless of operating system.  Google has slowly been going cloud on us for the last few years with things like Google Docs, Picassa, and Gmail.  Android is the means to the end.

Even though the rollout hasn’t quite gone as planned, Apple’s MobileMe is a step in that same direction.  Who wants to be stuck using Microsoft Outlook to pull up contacts and emails?  Nearly everyone buying a cell phone today has at least one email address that they’d like to check.  The problem is, they don’t have their entire address book memorized to pound out some emails while on the road.  Nor do they have copies of their old conversations to go through if they need to refer to something.  Gmail and MobileMe are both able to address those problems.  On top of that, Google Docs makes it easy to save, edit, or send your daily documents.  As of today, you have over 7GB of free space to store whatever files you want for easy access.  Google Calendar is there to schedule appointments, set reminders and more.  There are many apps and services that Google has been making available for other platforms and now it’s time to do it on their own terms.

By taking each of these pieces and assembling them onto a wireless device, Google is making it easier users to go about their daily lives.  There’s no need to get home so you can check your email.  There’s no need to carry around a laptop or CD with files on it so you can present the PowerPoint presentation.  Pull up the internet from wherever you are.  Sign up for $20 data plan from your wireless carrier and Android will put these things at your fingertips in a handy 3″ x 5″ device.

Chrome is the latest piece of the Google puzzle.  If you haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, I recommend downloading it.  It’s super fast, light, and shows lots of promise.  As reported earlier in the week, it’s built off of the Webkit software.  Sergey Brin doesn’t have to tell you that it will be showing up on Android before long.  It might not make Android 1.0, but it won’t be far behind.

For years, Microsoft has conditioned us to go through them for software and internet.  The problem with that is that the cloud is much bigger than they anticipated.  Google saw this coming a long time back.  Slowly, but surely, they’ve been bringing the cloud to us without us knowing. Forget dropping hundreds of dollars on software that has far too many options and features that never get used.  The days of buying MS Office every two years for $300+ are gone.  Check out the free stuff and ask yourself, “Is there really anything else that I need to be paying for?”

Chrome and Android are two tools that will make that much easier for Google… and us.  Easier for Google to deploy other initiatives and easier for us to get what we need.  So if you want to be ahead of the curve, go download Google Docs, sign up for Gmail, and install Chrome today.  Google is aiming directly at Microsoft with Android as the operating system and Chrome as the browser.

Google’s not concerned with creating an iPhone killer with Android – They have bigger fish to fry.