The wait is over! For all those waiting for the consumer preview of Microsoft’s Windows 8 – your day has come. Just as they had said, Microsoft unveiled their next major OS version today and Win 8 is all about touch. Redmond’s next windows update is a marriage between Windows 7 and Windows Phone (Metro) styles – combining touch, windows and tile interfaces. While this is still a preview (beta) version, if you want to get your hands all over Windows 8, you can get it here.
Search: We’ve all seen the commercials (Below). We’ve all seen people talking to their iPhones – asking info and directions. Siri, Apple’s built in personal assistant is all the craze but has Apple, purposefully or not, put into motion the demise of Google’s search empire – or for that matter, search as we know it today? See, it all starts with how we think and use search right now – how Google, Bing and the lot have us searching now. You go to Google, you enter your query and then you’re presented with pages upon pages of results. These results are based on Google’s algorithm and advertising model, so what Google wants you to do is spend as much time as possible looking through their results. Essentially, this is the framework to Google’s search empire and their cash cow, which is printing them billions of dollars every year.
Enter Siri! When you ask your iPhone a question, it isn’t using Google search to find and provide you with the answer. It’s taking advantage of Apple’s partners, like Yelp and WolframAlpha to gather the correct information, before sending it to Siri. In essence, it’s bipassing Google all together and as Apple adds and acquires the necessary partners, its dependence on Google for search will lessen. Thanks to Siri’s success, other OEM’s are rushing to buy speech to text and voice recognition companies, Amazon being the most recent. Now, this doesn’t mean people won’t search in the classical way (as we do now) but as search evolves into voice and touch, companies will be able to move beyond Google, to provide their customers with the information they desire.
Google: This isn’t news to Google and you can bet that they’re evolving along with the trend of search - after all, they are acquiring (on average) a company a week! That’s right, Google is adding to their portfolio, a company a week. This means technologies and services that will help them advance their search offerings far beyond the current traditional sense – for Google, the future is a combination or Local+Social+Search.
Future: The process of searching for information, is going through a renaissance at the moment and while we don’t know how far along it will advance (voice, touch, vision), we do know that its current form will go through some hard growing pains. Traditional search companies like Google and Microsoft will have to up their game, in order to stay in the game. For me, the most exciting aspect of this ever evolving tech, is the way we will interact with our countless digital devices.
Anyone that got burned from Google’s previous try at releasing a native iOS app for Gmail – here is your second chance. If you’re not happy with Apple’s native mail app for iOS devices when accessing Gmail and you hate going through the mobile version of the website - you’ll be very happy with Google’s second attempt. There are some bugs still, especially with notifications but it’s a more cohesive, more uniform experience and a very long time coming. Go and grab it – click here.
Days after rumor spread about Microsoft killing all future Zune hardware, Samsung has stepped in and decided to take on Apple’s iPod empire. Sammy announced yesterday two new PMP’s to take on the iPod Touch: the Galaxy S WiFi 4.0 and 5.o – with the major number differentiation being size of the display.
The Galaxy S 4.0 rocks some nice specs: Android 2.2 Froyo (Upgradable), 4-inch touchscreen (WVGA LCD), 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 3.2 MP and also includes a front-facing camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB memory capacities and also support for external memory with MicroSD card slot and a 1200mAh battery.
The Galaxy S 5.0 outclasses its younger brother by packing: Android 2.2 Froyo (Upgradable), 1GHz processor, 5-inch touchscreen display (WVGA), 5.0 megapixel with a LED flash, VGA camera on the front for video chatting, FM radio, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, accelerometer, voice recorder.
Bottom line: The specs look great, especially on the 5.0 but one thing Sammy didn’t release – Price! Not that many people, especially younger kids, are going to shell out $250+ for a stand alone device. Yea, you can check your email and play games but this is not a logical choice, nor is the iPod Touch, if pricing starts to rocket north of mobile phone price tags. Sure, you don’t have the monthly contract for 2 years but why not just buy a smart phone outright for $600 and go “Pay As You Go” and you get the best of both worlds? Pricing is everything for the PMP market.