Cloud Change Weekly Wrap 13-Jan-2016
Hello and welcome to our first blog in our weekly Cloud Change series where we will be covering any news and updates from the world of the-internet-of-things.
Our goal is to bring as much relevant tech news to Australian businesses of all sizes, with a strong focus on automation, digital marketing, SEO, CRM, ERP and evolving hardware.
Here at Aves Group, we are big fans of Google – everything from their product offerings to their ideology. 2015 definitely was a big year for Google; brand changes, products, upgrades, services etc. To summarize, let’s looks at Google’s top 10 biggest changes for 2015:
- Alphabet: In the eyes of the general public, ‘Google’ has become synonymous with search. In order to distinguish itself as a company with a wealth of other offerings, (self driving cars, fiber internet, Nest home automation) the company restructured itself and became Alphabet. Sundar Pichai became the CEO of the core Google division while Larry Page and Sergey Brin became the CEO and president of Alphabet.
- Android Pay: With the release of Apple Pay, Google responded with the successor to Google Wallet as they continue to compete for dominance in the ‘contactless payments’ market.
- Google Photos: The reinvigorated service was considered one of the best releases by Google in 2015. A multi-platform application – web, Android, iOS – it allows free and unlimited storage of your photos and videos in the cloud. Google further revolutionized the application by embedding pattern recognition into the service, providing users a method of searching for content within photos.
- Android Marshmallow: The latest Android update after Lollipop introduced many useful additions, such as support for fingerprint sensors, enhanced security etc.
- Project Fi: With a 20$/month payment plan for unlimited texting and calling, a cost of 10$ per GB of data consumed and a service pull from both Spring and T-mobile, Google began to make further ground as a telecommunications service provider. Although available for Nexus devices only, Fi may become available to other devices in the future.
- Chromecast: New colors, new design, improved wireless, native support for Spotify and more additions to the app store for the Chromecast. Google also released the Chromecast Audio unit, which turns your old speakers into the perfect internet-connected sound system.
- Nexus 6P: Regarded as one of the best phones of the year.
- Nexus 5x: The successor to the ever-popular developer phone, the Nexus 5.
- Pixel C: Google’s answer to the Windows Surface Pro – an Android tablet with magnetic Bluetooth keyboard attachment.
- Cardboard: Google’s answer to the growing popularity of VR was ‘Google Cardboard’ – a simple device the turned your smartphone into a VR unit. Google Cardboard even went as far to lend its technology to the medical field, assisting doctors in Miami with an operation that saved a four month old baby’s life.
One of the hottest topics to hit 2016 thus far is Twitter’s rumored decision to go from 140 to 10,000 characters pet Tweet. Although Twitter hasn’t announced anything officially, debate has run hot and not everyone is embracing the supposed change.
Critics are fast comparing the potential new Twitter platform to Medium and Facebook. Speculation regarding the reasoning behind Twitter’s new direction are rooted in it’s desire to increase advertising revenue. Whilst this change sounds good in theory, the bite sized 140 character ‘Tweets’ is what differentiates Twitter from other platforms. By modifying the platform to favor publishers, Twitter could soon become a walled garden of content rather than a stepping stone to outside sites.
In social networking news closer to home, Facebook again takes the crown as the most active social network in Australia for 2015 with approximately 14 million active monthly users, and YouTube rounding out second spot with approximately 13.9 million UAVs (source). Snapchat had the biggest growth of any social media network over the last 12 months, doubling its user base to 2 million active users.
In gadget news, CES revealed some interesting tech at this years conference, with one of the most outlandish coming from Samsung’s Creative Lab department – the TipTalk. The ‘smart strap’ can be attached to any watch (not just smart watches), and pairs with a smartphone that will allow a user to answer calls by placing their finger to their ear.
Yes, you read that correctly.
There is no official release date for TipTalk as of yet, however the head of Creative Lab is hopeful the product will be available in stores by the end of 2016.
Here at Aves Group we absolutely love ChromeOS, so were pleased to see Acer reveal their new Chromebase 24 – a ChromeOS all-in-one desktop with a strikingly similar look-and-feel to that of the iMac. It has a 24 inch display, multi touch screen, a 1920 x 1080 resolution and 8 GB of Ram.
Google has also announced partnerships with multiple speaker companies that will support Goggle Cast. Those companies include: Philips, Pioneer, Raumfeld, Bang & Olufsen, Harman/Kardon, Onkyo, LG, Denon, Sony and Sonos. This will allow customers to stream music or any audio content directly from apps like Google Music, Spotify, Pandora or SoundCloud.
Another exciting market that is evolving is Smart Home applications. Automatic switches for lights when we leave the room, temperature sensors to control your air conditioning and heating, facial recognition at your front door – all these technologies are available to those with the appropriate technical prowess, however wide-spread adoption of home automation tools is still in its infancy. What is lacking is a unified ‘language’ that will allow these tools to ‘talk’ to each other. Some products like Revolv, WeMo and SmartThings are working together in some capacity, and Google’s Brillo is attempting to bridge many Smart Home technologies, however CES 2016 did not inspire any hopes that a unified platform is on the near horizon.
Shout out to all digital marketers out there. Check out Think with Google it’s Google’s source for insights, trends and research in digital marketing. Lots of great and up to date content from which you can only benefit and improve.
Lastly, as of January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer (Version 11) will continue to receive technical supports and security updates from Microsoft. So if you aren’t using Google Chrome already – make the switch now!