Disclaimer: You may know this already if you’re an avid reader of my articles, but I am a big fan of Apple. I own a few iPods, an iPhone, an iPad and both my desk top and laptop are Macs. I’ve even been eyeing a Macbook Air to write these tasty articles. I’m also not a huge fan of change. I think most people aren’t. Yet, I feel it is my job as your friendly tech chick to pay attention to the latest technology trends and try to understand how they will affect us – the integrators.
Last week at Google I/O, Google made some interesting announcements. Things like the incorporation of Gmail and Google Wallet. Need to pay a friend back? You’ll be able to email him the funds.
With the unification of Google services and release of new innovative products (Google Glasses anyone?) it makes me wonder if Google will be the next Apple. I have always felt that Apple is a community while other products are just products. Some of those products are better, but the community aspect wasn’t there. The ease of use between devices wasn’t intuitive. Until now…
Let’s take a look at these two major players and some of their parallel products:
Siri vs. Google Now: When Siri was introduced, it was a bit mind blowing. We could finally talk to our phones and get real-time information. Who doesn’t want to know where to bury a body? In my experience, I have found she is very good at telling me the weather and sports scores, but she is not “intuitive” and often fails me. However, I do know others that use talk to text almost exclusively.
Google Now (just released for iOS last month) is said to be predictive. If you search for a restaurant on Google in the office, directions will be on your phone. Get out of the conference at dinner time? Google Now would tell you the closest restaurants within walking distance and even know what type of food you enjoy.
Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: This is an obvious fail for Apple. Google has spent almost a decade putting together their mapping programs. Apple thought they could walk in and be a player. In the twitterverse we would call this a #epicfail.
Google maps are pretty stellar. I never leave home without it. They’re taking this one step further with walking and building directions. Maybe by CEDIA we’ll be able to get to our next class using Google maps?
Google Wallet vs. Apple Passbook: Both of these are in early stages. Is there room for them both to exist? With Wallet being updated, this may give Google the lead. Makes me wonder if Apple will be announcing additions to Passbook during their keynote address on June 10? I love the idea of no longer carrying a wallet. Paper money is so analog. Here you would be able to buy movie tickets, pull up a boarding ticket, buy coffee, and much more.
iCloud vs. Google Drive: Both of these are cloud-based services that give 5GB of free storage. The idea (and yes I know there are others out there like Dropbox) is a providing a place to store your documents, photos, projects, and even music on the cloud, giving you access from anywhere. They are both pretty seamless. What will make one pull ahead of the other? More storage? What will be the defining factor?
I never looked at these two as such direct competitors before this article (maybe I was just too happy in my Apple world). Apple grew from music accessibility into a life-changing tool (You can read about my thoughts on Apple’s Pace of Innovation here). Google grew from a search data base. Think of how much Google already knows about you. Might this give them the edge to predict what we desire next?
Imagine a world that just gave you the information you’re looking for without asking for it. This would be the end of search as we know it. It would take integration to the next step. You wouldn’t have to hit a home button—the house would know you pulled in. Or maybe even know you’re on the way (we saw some of these products at CES). Google has been building for a very long time (and they won’t even reveal how many data centers they even have) but only now are we really beginning to see the fruits of their labor. Does this make them the best machine in the world?
Needless to say, this is an area to watch. In our world—the world of AV—our Apple devices have become easy to integrate into our systems, but don’t count out Google for the next big thing. I, for one, will be watching… and listening… and they’ll probably know it (maybe before I do).
Heather L. Sidorowicz is project manager/designer for Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY.