By Vic Conner
This week – Lots of ground covered (or is it more like pixels?), anyway it is all about things we never get tired of talking about: Google, Mobile and Google Alphabet.
ABC.XYZ – Google Alphabet
Google once again takes the top spot for the biggest news – at least in the tech world. Google has restructured and invented its own parent company “Alphabet Inc.,” making “Google” just one of the Alphabet brands. Users of Google itself – Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google+ and, most importantly, Google search apparently won’t notice that much of a change but the new company will include the companies that were previously “Google” products as separate entities that will report to Alphabet and not to Google such as YouTube, Android and a slew of other services.
Oddly, Google-as-Alphabet doesn’t yet own Alphabet.com – nor do they own the Twitter handle “@alphabet” but someone is probably going to make a killing when they sell the names as there is no way that will slide by. For now at least though, Alphabet Inc. will be at the domain abc.xyz – which ushers in a whole new set of domain names ending in .xyz. These domains are being swept up by squatters who plan to sell to .com owners at a significant price increase.
Management of the “new” company will pretty much be the same with Google co-founder Larry Page as Alphabet Inc. CEO, Sergey Brin, also a Google co-founder, as President of Alphabet, Eric Schmidt as Alphabet Inc. Chairman, and head of the main Google brands, Sundar Pichai, former head of Android and Chrome will now be second-in-command of Google brands, as CSO, but that takes him out of the running for the open Twitter CEO spot.
Though Google hasn’t “exactly” said the reason for the reorganization, but Google’s recent debacle of Google+ and Google Glass give us a suspicion that company execs don’t want the whole brand dragged through the mud if one section fails.
Even though the Alphabet change is significant, stock call sign will still be GOOGL and GOOG. With the announcement, stock went up 6% in the 6 hours post-statement.
Point is: After the Google+ “we made a mistake” announcement a couple of weeks ago, including Google dropping the requirement that you had to sign up for Google+ to use Gmail, Drive, YouTube etc., it kind of looked like Google was a little disorganized. The news is – “they aren’t.” In addition, you might want to consider purchasing the .xyz domain for your website. Who knows if it will be a s-l-o-w uptake like the .biz and .us urls but it might be worth the 10 bucks or so…and it may catch on since, after all, it is Google and as their stock rise shows…they usually don’t end up losing.
Bigger phones, smaller watches, TV as touch screens…size confusion? Not really.
With Internet users continuing the march away from desktop and toward mobile, seems like the big players, Apple and Samsung are a bit confused about which is better – big, medium, or small.
In recent releases, Apple launched the iPad mini, a sleeker version of the iPhone, the slightly larger iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple watch. Apple just announced the rollout of the iPad mini 4, which has a slimmer profile but the screen size is larger than the iPhone 6 plus (5.5 inches) and smaller than the iPad Air 2 (9.7 inches) at 7.9 inches. This added to the standard tablet of 9.7 inches means that Apple has new versions of every possible screen size.
Samsung launched the Galaxy S6 with several upgrades including the fact that it is said to be waterproof and has now announced the launch of a new version of the Note5 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, both of which have the larger 5.7 inch screens – putting them in the “phablet” arena – in addition to the Galaxy 7 inch and 10 inch tablets. Samsung also is reportedly planning on a watch to be called the (round) Gear 2, giving them matches for all of the Apple products and satisfying the desires of Android loyalists.
Apple may yet have the advantage as they are hard at work on a wifi supported phone system which would let calling and text services run over wifi networks instead of cell networks. Samsung isn’t there yet (at least we haven’t heard).
Xiaomi is also getting into the larger screen phablet arena with the launch of Reddit Note 2 and Reddit Note 2 Prime – both of which have screens of 5.5 inches but a much lower price tag of around $150 vs $400 for Samsung and $600-ish for Apple. Funny thing, the Xiaomi devices are hoping to profit from a jump on Samsung and are set to launch before the new Samsung products.
…and finally, the TouchJet Wave app turns your TV into a smart device which you operate from your phone. It doesn’t actually change the TV but the app projects your smart screen onto your existing TV – mostly a boon for smart device gamers but it works with everything smart.
Point is: Mobile is stealing more of the market – or at least most of the growth is in mobile. Larger screens do two things for the market: 1. they are better for videos and, 2. better for those non-millennial users (i.e. “older”) who may find operation of a bigger screen easier with less of the “thick fingers” thing going on – and they have a stylus for those who are really fumble-fingered. They are a bit more popular with women who generally carry the phone in a purse rather than the pocket. The Apple wifi phone service may move some to even bigger devices but the watches also offer an alternative….and the TV app makes a computer look like…well, a computer. Mobile is stealing more of the market – or at least most of the growth is in mobile and video marketing may have a coming boom. If you don’t get it yet, get on mobile…and start working on that video issue!