Google has come a long way from their humble Stanford beginnings, but the search giant is still an advertising company at heart. Google is not making their billions by selling Nexus devices; they are making the vast majority of their money on advertisements. It is because of those advertisement sales that Google is able to be as ambitious as they are with projects like Android, Loon, and Glass, but that success is a double edged sword.
Google, like many other advertising companies, has been working through the how to make money from advertisements on mobile devices. While Apple may have ushered in the modern smartphone era with the iPhone, it was Google who commoditized it with Android. Taking Microsoft and Palm’s licensing model and twisting it, Google offered Android to device manufacturers for free. This plan solved the first major problem Google faced when entering the smartphone market, gaining market share, but it did nothing to determine how to make money from advertising on mobile. (more…)
Last week on the Droid Life Show I mentioned that I don’t think Nexus devices really matter anymore. With the Nexus 5’s release just around the corner, a lot of readers became very defensive of the Nexus program. Call me self-absorbed or too worried about what people think about me (I’m working on it), but I read through every comment on our site and YouTube regarding my statements. After reading through the comments and listening to our discussion on the show again I’ve decided to try to go into more detail about why I feel this way about the Nexus program. It’s not that I hate Android or Nexus phones, but rather that I believe they could mean so much more than they do today. (more…)
Last week in my opinion piece about why I think Android users should consider the Moto X I opened up the article with an admission: I currently use an iPhone 4S and I plan on getting the next iPhone. This wasn’t supposed to be a secret (if you follow me on Twitter then you would have noticed that I use iOS most of the time). On the Droid Life Show I have shown my iPhone and discussed using my iPad. That said, I know that a lot of readers did not know, and more importantly, were surprised or upset to read that I use an iPhone. Below you’ll read my responses to questions I have received about why I use iOS, when I made the transition, and why it matters. If you have follow up questions or comments then feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me on Twitter.
The Moto X is the first Android phone in a long, long time that I have actually wanted. If you’re tempted to stop reading right there because you think this is going to be another biased fanboy rant, stop right there. My primary phone is an iPhone 4S and the next phone I buy will be another iPhone. Motorola isn’t paying me and I don’t have a gun to my head. I really do like this phone and I think you should too. (more…)
On Monday, Apple revealed the latest version of iOS to the press and developers at its annual World Wide Developers Conference. Apple showed off a lot of new features on iOS, many of which are iterations on ideas from other companies. Unsurprisingly, I saw a lot of people complaining on Twitter that Apple was claiming to reinvent everything and that they stole everything from Android. The truth is that they took ideas from Android, webOS, Windows Phone, and a handful of jailbreak tweaks and, most importantly, iterated on them. Apple didn’t claim to be reinventing anything (they’ve avoided that claim for years now); instead, Apple claimed to be iterating. iOS 7 really is the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone was released in 2007.
Facebook Home has been heralded by some as Facebook’s first shot at Google and Apple and a warning that they’re going to enter the phone market with their own phone and OS soon. Still others have warned that Facebook Home may spell trouble for Google. I think Facebook Home is great for Google and great for the Android ecosystem as a whole.
When I first saw the Pebble I was honestly amazed. As the amazement wore off and the waiting settled in, I daydreamed about receiving notifications and being able to control my music from my wrist. Then, I received my Pebble and reality took over.
Now that I’ve had the Pebble for a week I’ve resorted to turning off the Bluetooth and using the watch to tell time and play Snake. Was it worth $150 for that? Not really, but I do love being able to shake my wrist to activate the backlight. Even though I’m generally disappointed with the Pebble, having it has made me think more about what a smartwatch should do and whether or not it’s a product that has the potential to change the way we interact with the world around us in a meaningful way. (more…)
When Google purchased Android, their goal was to fight Microsoft and topple Windows Mobile’s dominance. Instead, Google has found itself fighting off Apple as companies like Palm (now HP), RIM (now Blackberry), and Microsoft fell by the wayside. Instead of asking for a licensing fee from OEMs, Google decided to make Android free to use. Little did Google know, Apple would make a huge play in the mobile space that would forever change the market. Back in 2008, Samsung was nothing in the mobile space. It wasn’t until 2010 when Samsung released the Galaxy S worldwide that the Korean company began to find success in the market. Flash forward to today and the company claims about 40% of the worldwide smartphone market. In many ways, Samsung is the hero in Android’s war against iOS.
The Wall Street Journal’s Amir Efrati is claiming that Google is becoming increasingly concerned about the possibility of Samsung demanding more money from Google because of Samsung’s unrivaled dominance in the market as an Android OEM. Efrati also speculates that Samsung could use its market share to leverage getting access to the newest version of Android regardless of if it is the Nexus partner, putting other OEMs at a severe disadvantage. While Efrati doesn’t come out and say it, the threat of Samsung leaving Google hangs over his article. If Samsung demands more money and Google refuses, Samsung could fork Android, leaving Google to fend for itself with a myriad of relatively unsuccessful manufacturers. If Google agrees to give Samsung more of a share in revenues from mobile advertising, other OEMs could respond to their favoritism by forking Android or focusing only on Windows Phone.