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May 1, 2016

From the Editor’s Desk: Hot for hardware

by John_A


Bringing the former Motorola CEO back to run hardware might well be the jump-start Google needs to finally have a proper hardare division.

We’re now just two weeks out from Google I/O 2016. And this one bit of news has me pretty excited. Not for the developer conference itself, I guess, but for Google’s future as a hardware company.

That’s one area it’s never managed to get right. Services? Sure. But getting those services into a single stream of hardware? That’s been tough. Android@Home died on the vine. The Nexus Q was aborted. We still need a to see more from set-top boxes. (Shield TV is fine, but we need more.) Chromebooks are great, but that’s a partner ecosystem. Nest is good, but not growing. Chromecast has been the one shining example, of course.

Meanwhile, Amazon has been making huge inroads with the Echo and Alexa. I’m in the camp that expects Google to put forth something in that realm in a few weeks. But it needs to get its hardware ducks in a row. And bringing Osterloh, the former Motorola CEO, back into the fold might finally be the way to get it done. We probably won’t see the fruits of that labor in the next two weeks. But the next two years? This is going to be something to watch.

A few other thoughts on things …

  • Intel … Ouch.
  • Some folks thought I was being unfair in my initial review of podcasts in Google Play Music. But I think it’s all fair criticism. And if anything, I want people to listen to the podcast there! (You have subscribed, right?)
  • Talkshow looks pretty cool. So long as it’s not the next Peach.
  • You’re forgiven if you have no idea what either of those iOS-only things is.
  • This was a perfect take on the ridiculous debate over how to refer to products Apple.
  • Actually, I thought my take was particularly good, too. But as I was asked to give it on the Mobile Nations Snapchat, you’ll probably never see it now.
  • It had lemonade. (But not Becky with the Good Hair.)
  • I get the idea of Snapchat. It’s immediate and fun and silly. But I’m old, and I’m getting older. If I have something to say, dammit, I don’t want it to disappear a day later.
  • And don’t get me started on filters.
  • Or, ya know, the fact that we’re going to drive ourselves to extinction because we couldn’t be bothered. But, hey! At least we have Snapchat.
  • Get off my lawn.
  • I still love the White House Correspondents Dinner. Dude can deliver a good line. … And deliver a few bad lines.
  • But that’s what I love about that thing. They don’t all work. Some of Larry Wilmore’s jokes didn’t hit, either. But it’s Larry Wilmore!
  • Best part though is watching journalists face the uncomfortable reality.
  • Especially Wolf Blitzer.
  • And props to Don Lemon for this bird. And this one, later.
  • Doesn’t make up for this, though.

That’s it for this week. Time to see if Leicester can sew things up.

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