GPhone vs. iPhone?

24 08 2007

A lot of this post will be based on a rumor proliferated by rediff news, a popular Indian news source, which claimed that Google will be releasing the new GPhone in 2 weeks.  They even provided a picture to go along with their claim which shows that Google has taken an iPhone approach in their user interface.

Now we have to ask the question who would realistically win in a battle of the GPhone versus the iPhone.  Granted the iPhone has already gotten a headstart and there has been no confirmation that Google is even coming out with a phone, although numerous sources indicate that Google has hired a plethora of people to work on this “secret” project.  But what’s with all the secrecy.  Steve Jobs was secret about the iPhone until his keynote when he indicated that it won’t be available for another 6 months or so.  As a result, it garnered a ton of people getting interest, companies began to develop apps, and the rest was history.

I had a chance to open an iPhone yesterday and sync it up and I must say, I was thoroughly impressed.  Apple and AT&T created such an amazing integration with the product, that you may begin to believe that cellular technology in America is actually getting pretty good.  Here are some of the key highlights:

  • Uses iTunes as a platform –  Apple was extremely smart in sticking to their core products.  They know that they have a ton of people using iTunes both on Windows/Mac consequently resulting in placing the entire integration on that platform.  I.E. you plug in your iPhone and activate your SIM card, sign up for a data plan, all on iTunes
  • SIM Cards come preinstalled – This was an interesting move in that they simply disable your current SIM card and start from scratch.  It solves any integration issues with new technology – i.e. if you had a razr 2G sim card and then transfer to a 3G phone.  A bit more expensive for AT&T but with the iPhone’s margin’s and royalty fees, I’m sure it’s not a big issue
  • Activation takes 3 minutes – Speed with activation is key.  One of the things I hate about lithium battery’s is that you have to charge it – you can’t use it out of the box.  The iPhone comes charged well with everything at your fingertips

So how can the GPhone compete?  What does Google have in it’s arsenal that makes it superior to the iPhone.  Well, if Google can come up with an OS is as visually appealing, easy to use, and cheaper it would be a better product.  Additionally, if it can utilize its user base with Gtalk, Gmail and finally get some traction on their office suite products, the GPhone could be ideal.  But the biggest factor would be if it can be compatible with any carrier.  The iPhone was revolutionary as a device, not as a phone in my opinion.  It did not change the way we use our phone or change the way America used cell phones.  If the GPhone can change the way cell phone technology works/handled, I can see this thing really taking off….

Even though this is for Microsoft…I thought this was funny:

Just my $.02…

-SD

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The new iPod Nano leaked…

23 08 2007

Apparently some visual designers were playing around with some possible nano mockups and posted a couple on the internet. Essentially, they got one of them right because Apple told them to take it down.

So if you’re currently thinking about purchasing an ipod and don’t want to shell out $500 for an iPhone, the nano will begin to have video capability and is looking like it will be much wider than usual. Personally, I’m not a fan at all. If they patented multi-touch technology, they should begin to properly utilize them in all of their core products.

Here it is:

Just my $.02…

-SD





Google Maps embeds like YouTube

21 08 2007

UPDATE: In an attempt to embed this code onto wordpress, I was unsuccessful. Usually most blogging software is able to accept an <iframe> tag onto their code but somehow it simply gives me an external link back to the page. I’ll keep working on it but for right now, YouTube’s simple URL embedding is much simpler.

Google launched a simple feature today to their successful Local product which enables bloggers to embed maps onto their site. For instance, if you want to mention how far one place is from the other, or what spots you visited this past weekend, you can do so using a google map. Just as YouTube videos got extremely popular by being easily embedded in blogging sites, maps hopes to do the same.

In my opinion, Google Maps has been the most successful non-search product that Google has come out with. I’ve definitely been the first one to say that they like throw products on the wall and see what sticks, but this one definitely stuck. With their implementation of Google streetview and now their embedded feature, their definitely headed in the right direction.

Just my $.02..

-SD





What’s the digg effect?

21 08 2007

A relatively new verb that has been coined around the Internet is “dugg.”  Digg.com is a user generated content provider which prioritizes news articles, videos, blogs based on other people’s opinion.  Based on this simple conjecture, the highest rated news articles float to the top of the site and thus get higher traffic.  As people agree with the initial user, the site begins to get “dugg” even more (or voted as being a good article/site) and gets higher traffic.

So the question to ask oneself is how do you get to be “dugg” on the internet.  What are the characteristics of a site that is well received by the Digg population?  In my opinion, there is no set formula that makes something popular on the Internet.  I think the prime example for “random popularity” on the internet comes with video traffic on YouTube.  The phenomenon of lonelygirl15 would never get traction on normal television screens.  Yet placed on YouTube, this type of viral marketing spreads like a wildfire.  The recent phenomenon of Chocolate Rain has received over 6 million views.  I don’t know about you, but I never would imagine something like this catching fire.

At Digg.com, a user can easily see the top 20 digg’s of the day to see what content is appealing towards the consumer.  Unfortunately, Digg.com doesn’t necessarily show a proper subset of the internet.  For instance, if I put this blog on digg.com, I would probably get 5-10 diggs, simply by telling my friends.  Granted, this content may not be interesting enough to forward on to many friends, but it will get lost in the midst of all of the other content.  Currently, the top 100 digg users control most of the community which creates an inflated digg score on certain sites.  Some digg users are pinged by sites to “get their traffic up.”  Getting a high digg score means free traffic = higher ad revenue/free publicity.

So how do you control inflation on the web.  eBay.com for instance has seen this for years under their feedback system.  If 99% of the population on eBay has a feedback rating of 95% and above, doesn’t it lose it’s value?  What about the only getting the top 100 digg users articles on the front page of digg….does the community really have a voice?

This brings me back to the bigger point of the day – is it wrong to have this type of system?  The Internet is amazing because every voice is equal (relatively).  No matter who you are, you will always be able to comment/blog/speak what you want to an infinite audience.  However, when certain users begin to control the content that is shown to the mass public, problems can begin to arise.  Whether you get “techcrunched” by getting an inordinate amount of traffic from Michael Arrington’s site, or get “dugg” by digg.com, your site/content will be much more prominent in the web space.

Just my $.02…

-SD





Social Networking 3.0?

20 08 2007

A couple of scientists from the United Kingdom have come up with a way to combine social networking with Bluetooth technology.  The technology works in the following way.  Suppose you are minding your own business and walking down the street and happen to be within bluetooth range of another user.  Immediately, your cell phone will detect the other phone and transfer data which will give the other persons user profile.  Once you get back home, you can transfer this data back into your own computer to look up the person/access the profile.

Now this is simply the technology which has been discovered.  There is no company jumping on the bandwagon to get this type of feature installed.  I can only assume that whatever company decides to implement this type of feature must know be ready to handle the privacy features.  Most users, including myself, would probably disable a feature that would be able to have anyone get access to my user profile.  That being said, this could be effective more as a locating device than a social networking tool.  Perhaps in a crowded area, you can search for a specific phone within bluetooth range to be able to find one another.  Then again, you are using a phone and you could simply call them.

If this is the future technology of social networking, I think we may need to stop at 2.0.

Just my $.02…

-SD





Craig Ulloit just hit the jackpot

17 08 2007

You’ve probably never heard of this guy before, but you’ve definitely seen/used his application. The little application that you see on facebook entitled “Where I’ve been” was sold this morning to travel site TripAdvisor for a whopping $3 million dollars.

I’ll let you soak that in because Craig probably spent less than half a day setting up the mapping API and making sure a user can easily drag and drop their locations on the app. But there are much greater implications than simply the dollar amount. Craig is the pioneer in the facebook platform that, if successful, can create a plethora of deals simply to obtain a user base at such high values. What facebook is so good at doing is understanding the value of traffic in today’s internet. If the developers can tap into it, there is no stopping them.

In my opinion, it’s awesome to see the geeky developer hit it rich even though he struggles to maintain servers for all of his users. With deals like this, I feel comfortable knowing that the internet is still an open playing field where anyone can really strike it big.

Is it just me or does it feel a bit like 2000 again.

Just my $.02…

-SD