Print 17 comment(s) - last by fteoath64.. on Jul 3 at 3:13 AM

Google is trying to stay ahead of Apple

Google is reportedly looking to expand its Android offerings to the video game console and smart watch markets. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google is looking to launch a slew of new products as early as this year, such as a video game console, a smart watch and the Nexus Q media device. 

Google wants to make an Android-based video game console that allows users to not only play Android games on their smartphones and tablets, but also a full-powered system like the upcoming Xbox One or PlayStation 4. No hardware or software details are available at this point. 

Startup OUYA Inc. recently released its own Android-based video game console, which sports Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a 1.7 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, NVIDIA Tegra 3, 1GiB DDR3 SDRAM, NVIDIA ULP GeForce graphics and a $99 introductory price. 

Google is reportedly looking to release a console of its own as a response to rumors that Apple is looking to do the same with its Apple TV release at some point. 

The search giant also wants to release a smart watch, which would run the Android mobile operating system and sync with Android smartphones via Bluetooth. This is yet another attempt by Google to stop Apple from being the first to release such devices.

Apple's wearable device is due to be released later this year. Not many details have been released as of yet, but a patent application for a "Bi-stable spring with flexible display" -- filed by Apple in 2011 -- described a bi-stable spring that would be made out of thin steel and wrapped in fabric covering, then heat-sealed. The display would be located on one side of the bracelet (overlaid with an adhesive) and the logic board and battery would be placed on the other side. It also showed a universal fit, a plethora of onboard sensors, wireless charging, etc.

In addition to a game console and a smart watch, Google wants to finally release the next version of its Nexus Q media device this year. The first version was introduced last year, but after users complained about the high $299 price tag, the public release was cancelled. 

The Nexus Q is a cloud-based social streaming media player that can stream Google Play Music, Google Play Movies/TV, and YouTube content to your tablet, smartphone, or TV. The new version is expected to be cheaper. 

Google also has some other Android offerings in the works, such as a Hewlett-Packard built laptop running Android. This is meant to compete more with the likes of touch laptops running Windows 8.

Google is set to release its new version of Android -- dubbed "Key Lime Pie" -- this fall. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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By lolmuly on 6/28/2013 10:45:06 PM , Rating: 2
Can somebody please explain the appeal of smart watches to me?
The only practical applications I can think of is music for runners, or employees who aren't allowed to use phones

Anybody have any ideas where this massive market is that everybody suddenly wants to jump on the bandwagon and capture?

RE: snartwatches?
By testerguy on 6/29/2013 9:10:36 AM , Rating: 3
Completely agree.

If Apple thinks the smart watch is the next big thing - I wouldn't be too optimistic about their future.

Who the hell wants a plastic gimmick on their wrist in place of a $5,000 Rolex or any other kind of fashionable watches.

Google Glass is flawed in many ways but it's far more future thinking than a smart watch.

RE: snartwatches?
By UpSpin on 6/29/2013 11:48:48 AM , Rating: 2
Why should a smart watch reamin just a plastic gimmick and not become a fashionable accessoire?

At the moment I don't wear a watch at all, but did several years ago before I owned a smartphone.
Currently I use the smartphone as watch, but for this I have to take it out of my pocket regularily which I combine to check if someone called me or I received some mail. So right now a watch doesn't make sense for me, because then I would miss valuable information, and just for fashion, no thanks.

However, why should a watch which looks good (not plastic, no plastic wristband, thin and light), displays the time and those informations like calls, mail, sms, weather, GPS, ... be a stupid product? I would like such a product.

People still buy watches, why not buy a watch which does not only look good but also is smart, too?

I don't slepp with a watch, so I remove it from my wrist each time, so it can get recharged inductively each night. And if the battery lasts a week it's more than sufficient.

You assume the Apple watch or Google watch are made out of plastic and look ugly, how do you know?

RE: snartwatches?
By testerguy on 6/30/2013 6:27:59 AM , Rating: 1
Why should a smart watch reamin just a plastic gimmick and not become a fashionable accessoire?

Er, I didn't say that. I said watches are already fashionable accessories, and a gimmick wont replace that for mainstream users.

You personally may want a smartwatch, as will lots of people. But it isn't something that everyone needs, unlike a phone. Lots of people already have very expensive watches they are happy with which have designs unique to that person. Replacing that with an electronic gadget will always appeal to a restricted market. Conversely, purchasing a smartphone is obviously appealing to everyone because they need a mobile phone . I would also say that no phones are 'fashionable'. There isn't a single phone which makes the user look in fashion. They are just necessary.

why not buy a watch which does not only look good but also is smart, too?

Because a single watch from Apple is never going to appeal to all the people who have millions of different designs of watch. If anything, wearing any kind of 'smart watch' is definitely unfashionable and uncool - unless you're at the gym or involved in fitness in some way.

You assume the Apple watch or Google watch are made out of plastic and look ugly

I never said the watch would be ugly. I said I don't think it'll be a big product - it wont come anywhere close to the phone or tablet market - it'll be closer to the iPod market, if that. Even if the design is elegant, it still wont be desirable to anything like the same market as smartphones. Geeks, and fitness fanatics.

RE: snartwatches?
By luv2liv on 6/30/2013 11:15:40 PM , Rating: 2
im not gonna wear one if it requires me to charge it every night.

want to know why i dont own a smartphone?
my current dumb phone lasts a whole week before needing a recharge!

RE: snartwatches?
By NellyFromMA on 7/1/2013 9:39:43 AM , Rating: 2
You would love the victrolla. Much better than those emm pee threes.

RE: snartwatches?
By Wererat on 7/1/2013 4:59:56 PM , Rating: 2
>Can somebody please explain the appeal of smart watches to me?

A watch can provide instant (and tactile) notification whereas the pocket device can't.

Example 1: I'm driving and receive a notification. Is my wife telling me that the house is on fire, or just that we're out of eggs? I don't want to look down to read it, but my wrist is already attached to my hand that's on the steering wheel. (In my case, redouble this usefulness, since my hands are on handlebars and I am *not* going to pull out a phone while riding).

For example 1, substitute weather alert, tweet, etc. as needed.

Example 2: I'm in a meeting and just received something from my team. I'd like to know what it is, but it's disrespectful to haul out the phone and start reading email.

Example 3: I'm walking/riding/whatever and would like to change music, mute the phone, see the weather, or (gasp) see what time it is without pulling out the phone -- basically any simple-control task.

Basically, any time I want the info at hand (pun intended) a wrist device trumps a pocket device. People used to carry pocket watches, then wrist watches supplanted them.

We've gone to pocket phones because they do a great number of things and serve as portable computers, but it's not always convenient, socially acceptable, or even safe to occupy your full attention and one hand to a smartphone.

If I were in marketing, I wouldn't even call it an iWatch; I'd call it an iSee. (although is taken, and not by Apple).

Lastly, I'd say it's just another step in the integration of the computer into our selves. I don't think it'll be too long before the computing/transmitting aspect of the smartphone and the displaying/interacting aspect completely separate.

RE: snartwatches?
By fteoath64 on 7/3/2013 3:13:49 AM , Rating: 2
Just for small conveniences like showing notifications and simple Yes/No answers (or voice translated text response). Most phones are worn on the belt (hoslter) or in the pocket or handbag (women), to to take it out just to see a notification is rather inconvenient especially when you are walking, in a car, in a bus or elsewhere. Bringing your wrist to your face is certainly easier and faster (safer in some instances). Not getting music from the phone but using the phone to control the music player on your belt!.

Aaargh! Spider!
By ShieTar on 6/28/2013 4:19:03 PM , Rating: 1
Google wants to make an Android-based video game console that allows users to not only play Android games on their smartphones and tablets, but also a full-powered system like the upcoming Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

That sentence makes no sence whatsoever. Not even a little bit. Google makes a console that allows me to play Android games on my Playstation? Like, the Google Console will actually physically jump unto the playstation, and rip out the AMD core and replace it with an ARM? Or will it just plug into an USB port and replace the playstation OS with an x86-Android-Version?

I somehow doubt it. I mean, ... I'm and engineer. I tend to sit on the lunch table with other engineers and discuss what exciting things our personal homes could do if money was no problem. Connect your PC and your refrigirator to a storage-system that feeds heat into your wifes hair-dryer? Sure, why not. Add a DC-cable-system to your home in order to drive your PC with the output of your solar panels, with no wasty AC system in the between? Yeah, sounds good.

But an active, aggressive console that wages war on the other consoles in your home? I really don't think so.

Because, you know, the TV won't allow it. And who would argue with his TV?

Also, a console that allows me to play games on my tablet? My tablet already allows me to play games on my tablet, so what the hell is that even supposed to mean?

RE: Aaargh! Spider!
By MojoMan on 6/28/2013 4:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
I think the sentence just means it there will be high powered Google gaming options like Xbox and PS4. You won't play anything like Crysis on an Android tablet, but if they had a high powered console, this could be interesting! This could be REALLY exciting if they get STEAM games to work on it!

RE: Aaargh! Spider!
By MojoMan on 6/28/2013 4:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
Also, I wish there was an edit button for our posts. I know... I should have read my whole preview... Just saying... LOL

RE: Aaargh! Spider!
By Shig on 6/29/2013 12:41:53 PM , Rating: 2
This is the right direction. If Android can get a hit exclusive game, that is very bad news for everyone else. VERY bad news. 880$ per share isn't enough, they need moar.

ARM based consoles aren't that far-fetched
By Guspaz on 6/28/2013 4:17:56 PM , Rating: 2
OUYA is underpowered, but it was using obsolete hardware before it even came out. If Google really did scale up to the highest-end stuff ARM has, it would be at a whole different level.

Current hardware using the Cortex-A15 is medium-clocked quad-core at most. The hardware does scale up to octo-core (although it's sort of a dual-CPU-single-package thing for that), and about 40% higher clockspeeds. You can't do that in a smartphone or tablet due to thermal and battery constraints, but an STB console could easily handle it.

If we assume that performance scales linearly, then an 8-core 2.5 GHz Cortex A-15 has 1.4x the IPC, 2.0x the core count, and 1.4x the clockspeed, for a theoretical performance point of about four times the OUYA's performance.

It's not like an ARM gaming console is without precedent. When Sony produced the PS Vita, they basically just took the hardware in contemporary smartphones and doubled it. Something produced today without mobile thermal limitations would likely be several times more powerful than even that.

The real trick is convincing developers to put out content for it. Mobile games aren't going to sell such a console, and while there are some more "core" style games for mobile platforms that could work well, there aren't enough to go up against Sony or Microsoft. It's not impossible, but Google is going to have to spend money to make it happen.

RE: ARM based consoles aren't that far-fetched
By ihateu3 on 6/28/2013 6:00:00 PM , Rating: 2
That's what Microsoft did, threw money out and won the market on only their 2nd console.

By MABManZ on 6/28/2013 8:30:24 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt Google would try to compete directly with the PS4 and Xbox

I'm thinking it would very much be similar to the Ouya except with access to Google Play, and be more of a media center device than a pure gaming device.

Similar to Roku, but with an included gamepad (and possibly TV remote) and being Android powered. Android 5.0 needs to add better support for controlling Android through a TV setup, though. Looking at a device like the Archos TV Connect is a decent attempt at this, but the controller could use a better design.

By NellyFromMA on 7/1/2013 9:38:01 AM , Rating: 2
Just wondering... Why does Google continue to welcome partners into its ecosystem only to watch them innovate and then compete against them? It's one thing to viciously attack your competitor on price point (even if you're sacrificing quality along the way) but it just seems a strange way to build partner relationships...

By inperfectdarkness on 6/29/13, Rating: 0
“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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