Google today announced it’s rolling out a new detection and filtering system on the Play Store to crack down on those developers who use illegitimate means to boost their apps’ rankings in the store’s top charts. This will affect apps that use methods like fraudulent installs, fake reviews, and incentivized ratings, the company noted. While Google already had technology it… Read More
November 1st 2016 Android, Google, Mobile, spam
I’m not sure if this is a new feature, but it must be pretty recent. Google Maps for Android lets you add home screen shortcuts to directions directly from the app. Just search for directions, tap the menu icon and pick “add route to Home screen”. This works best when you select the current location, but it’s not a requirement.
You may also see this message: “Go here often? Add this route. Tap here to add a Home screen shortcut to this route.”
Another option is to add the directions widget, which lets you pick the shortcut name, whether to start turn-by-turn navigation and more.
October 15th 2016 Android
Pixel phones will ship with a new Android version: 7.1. It looks like many of the important Nougat features have been left out from the 7.0 release.
Android 7.1′s unofficial changelog published by Android Police has many Pixel-specific features, including a new launcher, a new camera app, Google Assistant, a support tab in the settings, solid navbar icons, Smart Storage that removes old backed up photos and videos when storage is full.
There are also some features that aren’t restricted to Pixel devices: night light (filters blue light), fingerprint swipe down gesture, seamless A/B system updates, Daydream VR mode, support for app shortcuts and circular app icons, keyboard image insertion, manual storage manager and more. Unfortunately, Nexus devices and Pixel C will only get a dev preview by the end of 2016, so the stable release will be available in 2017. So much for buying Nexus devices to be the first to get the latest Android updates.
Google Assistant won’t be a Pixel exclusive for long, since it’s a core Google feature that needs wide adoption. I assume that the launcher and camera app will be also available in the Play Store at some point.
Google announced its first phone and many people wondered why it’s as expensive as an iPhone. Nexus phones were sometimes inexpensive (Nexus 4: $299, Nexus 5: $349, Nexus 5X: $379) and sometimes more expensive (Nexus One: $530, Nexus 6: $649, Nexus 6P: $599). Now the 5-inch Pixel costs $649 in the US, while the 5.5-inch Pixel XL costs $769, which is more than any other Nexus phone.
Obviously, Google’s pricing was more aggressive when it wanted to sell more products and less aggressive when sales numbers mattered less. The truth is that Google only managed to sell products in high volumes if the price was low enough to make them good value. Chromecast was successful because it offered a lot of value for the money. Nexus 5 was a flagship phone at half the price, so millions of people bought it. Nexus 7 was good enough for $199, but Google’s bigger tablets were more expensive and their flaws were more striking.
Google is a “value” brand. Most people associate Google with free ad-supported online services that offer great features. There’s no paid Google software for consumers, as Google only sells digital content and subscription services (storage, music). Google is not a lifestyle or luxury brand, so people don’t expect to pay much for Google products.
There’s a lot of risk associated with Google products, since Google doesn’t stand behind them all the time. Some of them are experiments, others are quickly discontinued and forgotten. I still remember that Google stopped selling Nexus One only 6 months after the launch or when Logitech’s CEO said back in 2011 that Google TV was a huge and costly mistake. Android One was a flop, Google Play Edition failed, Motorola was acquired by Google and later sold to Lenovo.
Google’s commitment issues, its high appetite for releasing beta products, its lack of planning and foresight – all of these problems alienate consumers and make them think twice before buying a Google product. Premium brands are all about image, trust, credibility, heritage.
At Google’s hardware event this week, the new version of the Android operating system, Android 7.1 (Nougat 7.1), was barely mentioned. As it turns out, there was a reason for that: some of the new Pixel smartphones‘ best features won’t be arriving in the new OS. This includes features like Google Assistant, the built-in customer support service, unlimited and free backup… Read More
October 6th 2016 Android, Mobile