Tag Archives: google

Having a huge tech fail day

My day started last night actually after midnight as the Nexus 5 (active only for a few hours) decided to freak out. I was suddenly unable to login to Google+ or Hangouts. Google sync started to freak as well with inconsistent sync to Calendar and a bunch of other things.

This morning I fought the phone a bit before finally conceding to a full hard reset at lunch wiping the phone for a fresh start. Sadly as soon as it started back up hangouts prompted with its error and G+ continued to block me. Sigh. No resolution. I spent a bit actually speaking to Google tech support (yes, it exists!) But they were fully stumped as well. I’ll have to wait 24-48 hours apparently for a response and a potentially new device.

Thinking about other options to try and triage the problem I decided to change my account password which sent Chrome on my Mac, Google Glass (more to come) and my other devices into a tizzy. Glass only sorta connected back to my phone, required a reset as well (my guess) and then my other phone (N4) and tablet (N7) got all outta whack due to the account change. Now none want to connect appropriately and I seem to have lost app-based access to hangouts and Google+ on everything. Before I left work for the week the web worked and I’ll try again at home but on the train each device has seemingly lost it’s desire to stay connected. Oh and Google Now seems dead on the Nexus 5.

I’m at a loss. I thought this was some sort of device issue bit now it’s propagated across a few others making me think my Google account has partially corrupted. WTF.

Help …

Is Google about to offer sync’d SMS?

googlehangoutssms

I’m a multi-phone user. I carry two active phones (business / personal) and it’s difficult to manage the flow of messages via SMS across the two particularly if I leave my personal device on silent at the office or only take one for a particular time (like on my bike). A bigger issue is iMessage which was active on my (dormant) iPhone and until I deactivated it was the main channel for my family to text. Since I’m working multiple Androids currently iMessage is out and there’s no method to forward SMS effectively. Sure there are plenty of OTT services like WhatsApp, Line and countless others. I’ve been successful with a few people on Facebook and a few more on Hangouts, but if the screenshot above is accurate it seems Google might be looking to route SMS via Hangouts which would instantly solve this problem.

I know I’m not alone in looking for what seems like an edge case solution … there’s even an international code for forwarding SMS, but no carrier seems to use it. This cannot arrive soon enough!

via gigaom.

Standardizing the Second Screen Experience

dial-icon2

I love hearing that there’s a new industry standard being sorted by YouTube and Netflix to promote a more open second screen experience. Right now it’s a bit of a mess and you either go all in with Apple (AppleTV + Airplay + iOS) which only works in certain instances – though absolutely works, or you’ve got a set of considerably more limited options. The DIAL Protocol could really offer a very new opportunity for enhanced viewing and app utilization in the living room which is very exciting.

But there are other areas where DIAL actually goes beyond AirPlay’s capabilities. First, the obvious: AirPlay can’t launch any apps on your Apple TV. DIAL will also be able to detect whether an app is installed, and redirect a user to a smart TV’s app store in case it’s missing. Also cool: DIAL will be able to launch web apps on your TV, if the device supports it, which should add a whole lot of new functionality to connected devices.via GigaOm.

Even more interesting is that it’s apparently already out in market, though quietly and waiting to be awakened … I’m surprised there wasn’t more (or any) noise at CES this year … Sony, Samsung, GoogleTV, YouTube and Netflix are a strong start.

Samsung’s Likely Big Year

MG Siegler has solid POV on the potential for Samsung this year. I don’t normally quote this much, but for context …

Not only is it bigger than Apple from a revenue standpoint, it’s almost twice as large as the three other “horsemen” combined ($190 billion versus what should be about $100 billion for Amazon, Facebook, and Google in 2012). And unlike Amazon and Facebook which make little or no profit, Samsung is hugely profitable. $12 billion in profit for 2011 should move closer to $20 billion in 2012. That’s not a ton compared to Apple ($55 billion in profit in 2012), but it should be roughly twice as much profit as Google pulls in for the year.

But let’s forget the money and go back to Android. Samsung is so important and deserves a place with the other horsemen because it is the most important piece of the Android ecosystem beyond Google. And it seems that the company is at least exploring the possibility of taking a step back from that ecosystem, or hedging its bet. That could be the story of 2013.

Imagine Samsung, with 40 to 50 percent of the Android market, breaking away to focus on Tizen. Or perhaps more realistically, imagine Samsung forking Android for its own purposes while exploring the Tizen possibilities. Not only can the company afford to do it, there may be several incentives to do so.

Amazon is closing in on its own phone running a forked version of Android in a similar manner to its Kindle Fire tablets. The first iterations of that tablet weren’t great, but they’re getting better. And because it now has its own forked Android app store, Amazon is going to be in control of the entire ecosystem. Samsung has no such control if it remains a loyal Android partner.

Maybe it’s okay with that, but Samsung must be looking at how profitable Apple is as a result of its total control. Shitty mobile skins only give the illusion of control, Samsung needs to control the full stack. And given its position of power, the company has the leverage to do that if it chooses to.

And it’s not just an offensive imperative, it’s a defensive one too. Google continues to say the right things publicly about maintaining distance from its Motorola unit with regard to Android. Of course, it says this with the Google X phone project well underway. A true Google phone.

Perhaps it’s a project meant less to scare Samsung and more to fight back against Google’s true bane: its carrier partners. Or maybe it’s Google hedging against Samsung’s position of power. It doesn’t matter. The Google/Samsung relationship is starting to show signs of strain, and they’re only going to get more pronounced — exhibit A.

Beyond mobile devices, the hot topic for 2013 is the future of television. Most of this is focused around Apple with a little bit reserved for Google’s TV projects. But it’s once again Samsung that is already the leader in the space. Sure, it’s the old school (shitty margin) television space, but why doesn’t anyone think that Samsung can translate its success in smartphones here as well? It simply hasn’t really tried yet.

Perhaps that’s another part of the Tizen equation. Or maybe a forked Android will find its way here as well. But Samsung has a huge head start on Apple, Google and everyone else.  via TechCrunch.

Bloomberg’s report on Samsung’s desire to launch Tizen-based handsets to push away from Android is definitely interesting.  The initial product is apparently going to NTT Docomo in Japan which means we’ll have to wait here in the US.  Should Samsung decide to release a Tizen varient of the Galaxy IV later this year, most (Samsung) consumers would probably consider it the next generation Galaxy rather than focus on the operating system.  If Samsung can successfully migrate their existing apps and deliver against some of the core Google bits they are going to have a winning hand.  This is far from simple or a sure thing …

The future of TV is a big deal. While everyone is waiting for Apple to reveal their solution, Samsung already has massive scale, huge profits to accomodate risk (like Apple) and an existing ecosystem of devices along with a brewing selection of branded apps.  Now, it’s been pointed out more than a few times, that the current Smart TV market is a complicated mess and it’s also likely to be massively expensive to get the ala carte services we all want.

This week CES will reveal some likely candidates … let’s hope they aren’t just based on speeds and feeds … we need some connected systems here to make it all work and work well.

Twitter photo filters go live, but why?

When I learned via The Verge that Twitter’s long rumored photo filters were live for Android, I loaded up the Google Play Store and updated my app to snap my first filtered pic. The experience was certainly functional, but that’s about it.

I don’t ever snap pics from within the Twitter app to start so that makes it a long shot right from the beginning for my usage … That said, just adding a filter doesn’t really make a difference to limited sharing experience. Instead, Twitter seems to have released a very poor man’s Instagram – and right after Instagram decided to remove it’s twitter card-based sharing.

Unfortunately for Twitter, simply adding a filter to an image doesn’t change how sharing, discussion or notifications work within their system … all critical features elsewhere. Twitter is a very real time focused zone and that’s it’s real strength. There is limited if any threaded discussion (no real threads) and certainly nothing really orgainzed fashion at the core of the service either. By comparison, when I share a picture on Facebook, Instagram, PicPlz (now dead), Google+ or others you can create social engagement around that object. Twitter does make things easy enough to link to, but there’s no sense of activity on that shared piece and no real draw back to it from those who have engaged. Those last two pieces are what twitter needs to fix … Disposable stylized media was the easy part.