Thursday, 29 January 2015



Goodhour, Synapse Circuit Readers! How’s it going? I hope the weather is treating you well! It is freezing as I type! How are you getting on with your tech projects? Please let me know what you’re doing! Perhaps I can write about it!

Don’t you find yourself wondering about the state of Google? Do you think it can collapse under its own weight? Is it possible that they will go by the way of Microsoft? The Nexus 6 seems to be selling very well though!

#Google #Microsoft #Android #Nexus #AndroidTV #NexusPlayer #64bitAndroid #Chrome #ChromeOS #Robotics #Exoskeleton #Bionics #AndroidWear #AndroidAuto

Once upon a time Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was everywhere! If it wasn’t on computers there were on CDs at computer shops (that I visited in Amsterdam where I once lived) scattered around for customers to pick up and take with them! Internet Explorer won the war between it and Netscape! As a web designer that hates to code something as trivial as a bloomin’ web page Adobe’s Dreamweaver was supposed to be a Godsend! Well, it was... ...kinda... I landed a job at an expanding multimedia house and I soon found why coding or knowing about code was very important; Microsoft wanted to do its own thing which was against the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standards. The sites that I thought were ready to be enjoyed across the various web browsers had issues – major ones! I was lucky to have kept my job! Lol! Lucky for me my bosses were very understanding and I had to learn Dreamweaver inside out! The purpose of that little anecdote is to let you all know that it was Microsoft’s refusal to confirm to the W3C standards and the aggressive stance in monopolizing other web browsers eventually earned Microsoft an antitrust charge that reduced former CEO Bill Gates to tears as he had to ease off with demolishing the other web browsers. This meant that Microsoft had to separate Internet Explorer from the Windows and NT operating systems. Sadly, it was too late for Netscape and very fortunately the antitrust judgement allowed for other browsers to come through – notably Mozilla FireFox and, to my recollection, followed by Google Chrome.

Since the dismantling of Bill Gates’ plan to rule with world with his Internet Explorer and its unique web technologies Microsoft sort of crumbled or imploded in on itself. As a web designer I was quite happy about it... Microsoft’s website designer, FrontPage phased out into nothingness as did the subsequent “Silver” web plug-in that was supposed to be the answer to Adobe Flash. Microsoft has never been the same since... I stopped using Internet Explorer – I just hated it! And if it weren’t for some decent software that I use regularly I would ditch Windows altogether!

You’d have thought that I would remember when I discovered Google Chrome but I can’t remember for toffee! I think someone recommended that I should try it... ...yes, I’ve missed out on the start of many burgeoning technological trends! I don’t mind admitting that I can be a doofus and often placed my bets on the wrong technological horse! I guess I am stubborn or can be! I am the Captain going down with his ship! Luckily for me I caught the Google Chrome ship!

Google had Chrome conform to the W3C standards from the off thus avoiding the mistakes that Microsoft had made. I had stopped caring about designing websites with Internet Explorer in mind, my thoughts were, “Blow IE if they don’t want to play by the rules!” I threw my copy of FrontPage in the garbage can (told you I can be a doofus)! But to be fair there were a few jobs on offer that used FrontPage exclusively!

Anyway, little did I know that Google was going to blow up to be what it is today! Who would have thought that Google would grow from a search engine to web browser, Chrome OS, Android and the rest? Recently, Google’s search engine has taken a dip and that could be attributed to Facebook app update that opens up links in its built-in browser. Or it could be a resurgence of the iPhone... Whatever it was I would imagine that the dip is temporary. Chrome and its search engine isn’t going anywhere!

As Microsoft edges back into the game with the announcement of Windows 10 – the unifier, Google is making headway with its Chrome OS! Like Microsoft, Google has an operating system that can run on PC hardware and what’s more is that every PC with the Chrome browser can make use of Chrome Apps! It’s quite a unique situation for Google to be in as they look as if they can’t lose!

Acer has announced a new Chromebook and it may surprise – shock you even to know how many Chromebooks and Chromeboxes are in existence. The prices for these devices seem very, very reasonable. As you may know already, the Chromedevices run off the Internet – files are stored in the cloud. Chrome Apps are very similar to Android Apps and Google have made it possible for some Android applications to run on the Chrome OS! That’s interesting!

I have been saying for a while now that there is scope for an Android PC and it could happen... I envisage dual Android and Chrome operating systems a future device(s). Think about: There is already a version of Android out there that can run on the PC and according to Google, Lollipop is designed to span different CPU architectures. Could it be that Android users will gain more powerful applications that will enable users to go from device to device i.e. handset / tablet to an Android / Chrome PC? If you look at Apple this is what they have achieved with the OS X (MAC) and iOS devices. Even though the iPad is sort of dead the synergy between OS X and iOS is excellent. However, that’s still two operating systems that MAC users have to deal with. Android, on the other hand, can bypass the OS X & iOS differences i.e. the cost difference! Mind you if Apple users are willing to fork out £700-odd for an iPhone 6 Plus then I can imagine that having a Macbook Pro or desktop MAC is a given! Still, it’s not exactly the norm; most people can’t afford all that Apple brings forth! Potentially any PC can be used as an Android PC; your old PC and secondhand PCs!

That’s an avenue that Google can go down.

I’ve said it in another article and I will say it again here: Cable TV is dead! Google’s Chromecast along with Google Play TV / Movies, Netflix, etc has enabled consumers to ditch cable TV. More and more consumers are getting wise to casting from a handset / tablet.

Google announced the Nexus Player at the i /O conference last year and I thought that it would be available in the UK by now! It seems to me that when Apple forced the Android industry to go 64-bit before they were ready it has caused Google to pour its efforts on getting the latest Android right! It’s quite a sudden leap to go from 32 to 64-bit! The hardware has to be designed and app developers have to get their apps working on the new platform. 64-bit Android has become a distraction away from getting content for Android TV! Google have tried to get into TV before and failed because the consumer wasn’t ready! Now Google is poised to make Android TV a household device like Chromecast is! You don’t even need a standard TV, a good PC monitor can do the job effectively. You could combine the Chromebox, Monitor, Chromecast and, eventually, Nexus Player to form a decent media centre!

As long as Google can keep supplying content for the Nexus Player I don’t see how they can become stagnant like Microsoft has. Getting content for this Nexus Player platform is not easy as there’s a matter of national and international license.

It’s been announced that Android games are becoming as profitable as iOS games and with the gamepad aspect to the Nexus Player this could propel the profitability beyond iOS! What we are witnessing is a new beginning for Android.

In the States Google is forging ahead with providing a broadband connection to certain regions. Now there is talk (no pun intended) of Google becoming a mobile network provider. Could Google do the same in Europe?

I think it’s just a matter of time before Google opens up a shop near you that provides a network service and a plethora of Android handsets! Could this be how some of these Chinese manufacturers can come to European markets (first stop USA presumably)?

In one of my predictions I said that there will be printed electric cars and there was such a car at the recent CES! How did I miss it? In any event I think there is scope for Google Android Auto cars! I would like that because I see people using a pollutant vehicle just to drive short distances i.e. the school run, to the supermarket, gym (hee hee), etc. A cost effective electric vehicle will eliminate the cost of road tax, possibly shave some money of an MOT (car check-up to ensure it is fit for the road) and insurance could be a lot cheaper too! To run a car in the UK is so costly that one questions if all that effort is worth it! So many people drive without insurance and MOT – let alone a license! Google has a great opportunity here to do something for the planet! Whenever I walk the short distance from my home to the shops I am mostly overcome by these deadly fumes. Such is the nature of commerce that industrialization is ruining the planet yet factories still have to produce these vehicles! Yes, you can be James or Jane Bond in the latest Aston Martin! Anyway, something has to be done and Google has an opportunity there!

The only way that I can see Google stagnating is if it fails to do a number of its operations badly. With so many stakes in the fire it is possible that a stake or two could meltdown into nothingness. I feel as though Google isn’t making the most of Android in that there aren’t enough quality productivity apps at the moment. In-app-purchase is what I call “pay up or else ware”! It’s crap! Consumers want to make a purchase onetime and not chase the proverbial carrot!

Android tablets have been quite weak with a few manufacturers making an effort such as Samsung, ASUS, Sony and Lenovo for example. I can but hope that 64-bits will elevate Android tablets this year and that us Android users will finally get the kind of productivity apps found on the iOS platform! So far Android tablets have been good as entertainment devices and it now time for Android to take off!

Then there’s HTML5; I don’t think Google are making the best of what this web standard can bring. Are you aware that Google has a FREE HTML5 web design software? You can download it here: Google Web Designer 

It is currently in beta but it is well worth checking out! It is giving traditional software such as Adobe Dreamweaver a run for its money! Now why isn’t there a version of this for handsets and tablets? It’s too bad that we can’t make Android apps too! Google had the App Inventor but discontinued it! Crazy!

Google Plus is an area where I think more work needs to be done! I think I will do an article on Google Plus. In the meantime I can say that this social network has potential but Google seems to be slacking on that front.

God only... Scratch that! Google is God! Lol! Google only knows what it has planned with those robotics companies! Terminator cyborgs? Nah! We’re probably looking at space exploration robotics, exoskeletons to help medical staff lift patients, bionic limbs to help the paralyzed walk and regain arms and so on! Google’s clout could make these bionic limbs more cost effective to the ordinary person. Ironically, bionic limbs cost an arm and a leg! I am looking forward to see what Google does in the direction of robotics.

Even though Google has done an awful lot so far I feel as though it is starting to unravel; I see Google taking greater strides this year. I can’t see Google becoming like Microsoft. Google are a real multitasking corporation that is going its best to manufacture the future!

I will continue to explore Google further!

The Future of the Nexus programme...

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