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My personal to-do list for Google in 2012, focused mostly on product.
What Google Should Do in 2012. January 3, 2012. I missed last Wednesday's 2011 Year in Review episode of This Week in Google because I was on an airplane somewhere over New Mexico. That doesn'...
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Merge Android with Chrome OS and Google TV in one sub-$100 device, but as software, hardware manufacturers Moto included can make.
Voice Actions was and is being used much more than Siri. And Google isn't playing catch-up, Android has been dominating the smartphone market since the Nexus One early 2010.
I agree with this article. Especially the tablet part. I am looking go buy a tablet, but I haven't really seen anything compelling on the android front and I really don't want to buy an ipad. Any recommendations?
+Nicolas Charbonnier If one wants to compare apples to apples(pun intended)... Compare Android to iOS, not iPhone... if that is the case-- Mobile browser usage has iOS at around 60% of market share IIRC. From a non-consumer standpoint, it doesn't matter if its a smartphone or not, what matters is whats being used most, in this case, iOS is. Android based manufacturers need to catch up with a killer tablet.
Brilliant Gina! Couldn't agree more! Inconsistency across handsets is the single biggest problem with android. It's much easier to release now, iterate later with services than with consumer devices because you can redistribute services, not handsets.
I not exactly to keen is seeing another Moto tablet like the Xoom or Xyborg or whatever device moto spit out.
Oh yeah, the last demand, no crapware/yes updates...please!
Great list.
It has to happen sooner or later, but I'd like to see the beginnings of Android merging with Chrome OS this year. Start with a mobile Chrome app for Android and eventually enable a full Chrome OS experience inspired by Motorola's Webtop laptop docks.
I completely agree with you on every point, Gina. Particularly the tablet ideas. I want a Nexus Tab (seems like a good name, don't you think)?
Great truthful article:
Liked these lines:
"Compromise less. Play hardball more. Google needs to throw their weight around more when it comes to product. For example, every device that runs Android and carries Google's name on it should guarantee operating system updates within a reasonable amount of time (reduce 18 months to 6), should NOT ship with uninstallable crapware, and it should not disable core Android features.
Open doesn't necessarily mean every feature gets included, it doesn't necessarily mean design-by-committee, and it doesn't necessarily mean cheap and mediocre. Google is in a position to prove this. In 2012, they need to work harder to do so."
I agree with "STOP playing catchup." There is no vision in the Android roadmap. Apple creates the market for a new product, then Google rushes to catchup. What's next after tablets? Google should be inventing that.

I disagree with "Release a killer tablet." That's the #TransformerPrime

Plus 1 if you agree.
greater points +Gina Trapani . Almost hit all the points from my list. 2 points to add
1. Get that mythical Gdrive out and bake it deep in Android and Chrome and every single Google Product to have one uniform experience.
2. Get the Chrome browser on Android.
If "GoogleTV" would simply stream whatever I want from my local network it could replace my AppleTV2 (Jailbroken and hacked so that I can play non-Apple stuff). I don't even need that many "apps", gimme ability to stream from my LAN, Netflix, and Hulu and I'm set.
I kinda always liked that Google catered to us "nerds". Sigh, I guess that's what happens when companies expand their focus.
+Paul Spoerry I think the Plex app allows you to stream content both locally and over the internet.
On top of that I would like to see
-more consistency in Android GUI and design guidelines to apps. Maybe a quality label
-A top phone in terms of design (less plastic) and hardware. Better than any other phone without any discussion.
Thank you Gina, I couldn't agree with you more. I do like it when a company is humble, but I begin to wonder if Google doesn't yet realize that they are a big deal, that they have captured our attention and now is the time to 'say' something great.
This is a fantastic write.Yes google should think differently and not do catch-up, it should be the other-way round.I love your shows on TWiT.
Hey +Gina Trapani It's a Great Post... and a very Happy new year to u.. But am i right if i am feeling that i have seen ur post after a long time...:-)
+Sci Wizam Plex requires me to run something on my server for the transcoding. With aTVFlash on the AppleTV2 I don't have to run anything on the server, it just chews up and plays any format I throw at it.
"For example, every device that runs Android and carries Google's name on it should guarantee operating system updates within a reasonable amount of time (reduce 18 months to 6), should NOT ship with uninstallable crapware, and it should not disable core Android features."

Why would they do that? Their customers (the carriers) would hate that.
Here here Gina! Leo and Jeff did fine when you were gone, but the items you bring up on your blog are good hard-hitting points. I hope to see Google make big leaps forward this year.
+Sci Wizam I didn't know it'd support so many codex out of the box. That's bangin!
What I think Google should do: test mobile products also on old farts, i.e. older than around 40, and not just their eagle-eyed twenty-something engineers. Provide Android with effective and pervasive system-wide settings for increasing font size in apps, whether apps have font size changing functionality or not.
I don't see the update cycle being easy for Google to fix unless they own their own hardware and telco. It's just not in the interest of the carriers nor the manufacturers to update until there is a major backlash big enough that it gives their name brand a bad name. (See Samsung with the ICS launch.)

It's going to be very difficult for them to handle this. I really don't see a way of doing it right now other than with an expansion of the Nexus line and even then it seems that Google has extremely limited control on the end product due to carrier themselves being the final gate keeper. (See Galaxy Nexus and Verizon.)

Best hope I can see right now is that they keep pushing their stuff as best they can and making it more obvious that it is not Android and not Google that is holding these updates back. Make the manufacturers and the carriers explain why they aren't doing it. If they claim the device can't handle it let Google show otherwise. It's a big gamble for them, but I think it's one they need to take soon.

Would also love to see them take over Motorola and develop a full Nexus soup to nuts product line as the official Google product line. But I think they may have real concerns over the competitive landscape of the business to do that and upset the other manufacturers. But it should be something they are looking at if the Moto deal is going through.

Lastly bring on the GDrive!!!! I'd gladly up my paid storage with them to have things more readily available across more devices. Especially if they had a Nexus quality tablet done.
I agree with the list, however I don't agree that Google should or really can develop for users first. That's asking Google to become Apple, and they can't. Google is filled with and run by engineers. To ask them to build products primarily for real-world users is not a fair request.

Instead, Google should double-down on engineering work and create, well... the next Google -- the thing that will revolutionize computer sciences and practices for a generation. Search 2.0, if you will (but not search). I don't know what this is (if I did, I'd be doing it), but I know that asking engineers to use Apple's playbook is neither fair nor realistic. You're asking a tiger to change its stripes.
Excellent point, +John Proffitt I have to say that there is a certain "poetic rightness" to the idea of "Doubling-Down" on engineering. Particularly if the Google-Android universe can continue to portray the alternative platform as building devices for clueless price insensitive cultish hipsters. #snark
To ask a consumer software company to build products primarily for real-world users is not fair? Really?
Hey +Gina Trapani, liked what you said about playing catch-up. Was recently listening to the Full Circle Magazine Podcast where they were talking about LibreOffice--and let's face it, Linux in general--doing the same thing often.

"Why can't you just be yourself!?"
Enjoyed your thoughts as always Gina! As far as the tablets go, I got a Asus Transformer for Christmas (not the Prime), and have been playing with it for week or so and really like it.

However, the spot where it feels like it comes up a little short is on the apps, not the hardware. The Asus build feels solid in my hands, the Gorilla Glass is a great interface, and it seems to run the apps I have just fine. However, as I was searching around on different forums looking for great Honeycomb apps, there's just not a great selection out there.

So, who is at fault for that? How much of the lack of solid Honeycomb (soon to be ICS) apps is Google's fault, and how much of it is the 3rd party developers? I'm sure it's some of both, but if Google is wanting their tablet market to increase, I'd like to see them take a more proactive approach in getting more tablet apps out there, rather than just waiting for someone else. Instead of just getting a few of the 3rd parties to "play along" with a big release of tablet apps, I'd like to see them pick 10 to 15 of those parties and become more of a partner in the tablet apps. Whether that means sending a bunch of Android software guys over to the NY Times or WSJ tech group to help, or sending money to a smaller outfit like Springpad to help implement some new features.
Most of the "wants" are for Android to start being a very competitive product that is not constantly playing catch up. Can't Google produce a cutting edge mobile platform?
I want a tablet that runs stock Android and lets me upgrade the OS regularly to take advantage of new features, like I do with Ubuntu.
Sorry for the additional "noise" but I feel compled to take a stab at this.

What should Google do:

Add a voice command (Siri) button in Google Chrome to work with Google products
Add dictation for Google Docs in Google Chrome
Index YouTube using voice recognition
Add Google Video Chat \ Hangout functionality into Google Talk even if it simply brings up a webpage to Google Hangout
Buy Roku & T-Mobile
Consider buying a media content company
Expand Android BlueTooth API further which allows for unexpected innovation
Create an unexpected wireless device that works with Android phones for CES 2013 (Medical Tricorder)
Make it a vendor requirement to have a webcam to all Google TV devices
Take Google Tasks to the next level <Exclamation points removed>
Put Google Navigation (Turn by Turn) in the Chrome Web Store
Put Google TV in the Chrome Web Store
Create partnership with Sony
Add the ability PlayStation 3 games on Google TV, Chrome, and Android streamed using a subscription model
+Gina Trapani It's fair to ask Google as a corporation to develop products tuned to consumer needs, but that corporation is composed and run by engineers who have a hard time doing that design work. You illustrated a lot of examples in your blog post. Those mis-steps and half-efforts come from engineers that are smart as a whip, but are out of step with regular users. (I love most Google products, but I'm not a normal user.)

So I think you can "fairly" ask Google for whatever you want (as can we all), but I feel bad for the engineers that get this wish list and struggle to understand what you mean. Google clearly has a corporate culture that values, promotes, and enshrines engineering talent, which is great for solving engineering problems, but not so great for developing consumer products. I think Google search -- the thing that kicked off this mega-corporation -- was really just a lucky byproduct of some great engineering. They stumbled onto something that's made them so rich they've continued to stumble into lots of other markets in hopes of lightning striking twice through engineering prowess alone.

Perhaps my wish list is to have Google bifurcate itself into an engineering firm and a design/products firm. Sort of like a car company. That would give you the products you seek (and so do I), but it would also allow the engineers to be themselves and do their best work.
I might agree with you about the voice actions, Nicholas... but I do think that Google is behind in the general public's (your average office worker or sandwich maker) perception. In that... I believe they have some catching up to do. When Aunt Sally thinks of voice activated features (if Aunt Sally thinks of it)... she's likely thinking Apple and Siri. I believe that the same holds true of video calling. Sure we can have our Hangouts... but most folks talk about Facetime. It's marketing and perception.
ABC/NBC/CBS have nothing worth watching. A $100 box that can do everything a Roku can plus YouTube would be interesting.
Top on my wish/advice list would be to go international. It's frustrating being up here in Canada and not being able to get Google TV, Music, Voice etc...

They could make a killing if they opened to the world. Plus, one reason Apple is killing up here is because we can get an Apple TV, but not a Google TV. People love (and I mean LOVE) the eco system Apple has and not being able to get all the Google products really breaks the experience here.
A good mix of culture change (standard of ship, chasing tail lights) required and capitalization of the Motorola acquisition (Google TV and Kick Ass Tablet). If they can do it that, it will be an interesting year.
I really enjoyed reading this article as it hits right where Google (and partners) need to be with Android and other offerings this year.
Further to my previous I think the last wish is critical. That is the grown up Google that remains Googly.
My wishes also, to have your product bastardized by incompetents should rile Google but all we see is Google taking it. I don't understand? Now it appears they might be pushing back, hope so?
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