Thoughts: Google IO 2015

Now On Tap

For the last decade Google excelled in the desktop search. Google served relevant ads through the service which made up its revenue. But mobile is a different game. It is not open. The interaction is closed. How many times you used IMDB app rather than their website? The apps are the primary consumption channels. This is not a level field for Google since it is not owning all the apps and their content which inturn restricting it to skim and serve relevant ads.

But Google changed that by introducing Now On Tap. In simple terms – which ever app you are in, just press and hold the home button and Google serves relevant content based on the app’s context right in the app. All this without a single line of change from the app developers.

  

This is quite a Big Bang move from Google which is going to have a profound impact. Google can skim the content of any app and show relevant suggestions which inturn leads to relevant ad servings. Brilliant.

App permissions 

Next up is app permissions. I always loved the permission mechanism of my iPhone. This gives me confidence as a User that my data is in my control. And as an iOS developer it puts more responsibility on me to ask the permission right when I need it. But in Android user should approve all the permissions before installing the app. Once installed he has little control on what the app is doing. You never know if a torch light app is uploading all your contacts and messages. This is changing for good with Android M. Android M closely follows iOS like app permissions.

And a special mention for Google Photos app. This showcases Google’s machine learning prowess.

One trend I observed this IO is that Android is becoming more User friendly.

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