All things Google

The latest design from google

The latest design from google

Those who know me well know that I have a soft spot for all things Google. Perhaps it’s because I witnessed the development of search engines since the old days of Excite or Altavista and Lycos. When Google came out it was like a breath of fresh air.  Further on the company continued with missionary zeal along the path of innovation, another subject close to my heart. How could I not love Google therefore?

I am no dreamer, so I am sure it has its foibles and there are good and bad people in Google too (hopefully more of the former!).  Anyway, I couldn’t help pushing across to you today the excellent synopsis published only a couple of hours ago by The Verge on the 17 Most Important Things announced by Google.  Do take a few minutes to look at this article, it’s very pictorial and packed full with information about the very latest development from that company.  It would be truly amazing especially if Google really managed the provision of a cheap Android smartphone for the developing world.

There is also a new Google design, called Material Design apparently, which is truly cutting edge and fresh.  Here is the link to the Material Design page.

Short piece from me today, but I have a dawn start for a very early morning flight from LGW, enjoy the article from The Verge!


Buying a new droid? Check these two rules.

See on Scoop.itPR, Social Media and Marketing

See which #smartphones last the longest on a charge”

Maurizio Fantato‘s insight:

Today I am going to take a diversion from software and marketing communications strategies focussing on something slightly different: smartphones and in particular Android ones.  There are of course countless articles out there on how you can select your next best phone, but in my opinion these are the two key rules:


1. Make sure the phone you buy has the longest lasting battery.  Yes, you may need to compromise on the model, but believe me, if you intend to use your smartphone to its fullest it won’t matter how ‘smart’ it is, if it runs out of juices after a couple of hours.  A phone with a battery that only last 6 hours is pretty useless.  Say you’re attending a conference, or visiting an exhibition, would you really want to start looking for a socket a few hours into the event, or would you want to carry spare batteries?  I dont’ think you would, so pick the one with the longest battery life.  There is no compromise here, unless all you want is a fashion gadget.


2. Beware of ‘crapware’ this is software that comes rooted into your Android phone courtesy of either your network provider or phone manufacturer.  Samsung is notorious for filling your phone with unwanted software.  It updates automatically, it can’t be stopped (in theory it can, not in practice) and just eats on resources.  If you can get either a rooted phone, or one with the least software, or a Nexus as this is Google’s own brand and therefore you will receive all the updates as they come out.  By the way, this is another drawback of smartphones as manufacturers want you to change them as otfen as possible, so they will seldom provide you with the latest operating software update even if your phone would be capable of handling it (Nexus being the exception).


If you have done your homework on 1 & 2 you can now pick any of the other available options you think would suit you best (camera, etc. etc).  I can now hear Apple fans saying ‘get an iPhone’, and sure enough you could, but do we all want to end up using the same phone?

See on

Google Now

Google Now, well, not quite

Google fans like me will know that almost a year ago their new ‘intelligent personal assistant’ was launched, called ‘Google Now’.  It was pushed in the usual way by Google, who tried to hide as much real information as possible about the product while passing it by well-known IT reviewers who duly waxed lyrical over it with the aim of creating customer expectation and desire.  Of course, the inherent problem with this clever communication tactic is that it can backfire if the application isn’t really up to scratch, as all that latent desire can easily turn into frustration.

Google Now was pushed to all Android phone users with the latest Jelly Bean software update.  For those not in the know this is the most current version of the Android operating system.  Apparently, there are almost a billion Android devices in the world and about a third are running Jelly Bean, so we are talking hefty numbers here.  I shunned Apple partly as I can’t stand the smugness of most of its users and the cliquey perception that this company is trying to create through its overpriced products, so Google Now was duly pushed to my Android phone with its latest software update.

Naturally, I was looking forward to any ‘productivity tool’ that might have made my complicated life just a tiny bit easier.  Naturally too, I didn’t expect wonders, but just a modest degree of usefulness.  Instead, it turned out to be one of the most useless applications I probably ever opened on my smartphone (though perhaps not as useless as ChatON, but that’s another story…).

According to the sales pitch, Google Now should have been able to identify various strands of personal data such as calendar appointments, trips etc, to help me manage my daily activities by providing pertinent suggestions.  This strategy is in keeping with Google’s desire to push information to you, rather than you pulling it from the web, literally learning from you.  At least that’s the theory.  The practice, however, was a lot more disappointing as all I could ever see was two information cards, one for the local weather (duplicated on the home screen anyway, so of limited usefulness) and the other being my daily commute. That was it.  Appointments were not displayed, as Google Now can’t yet cope with multiple calendars (clearly it is the people in work, with multiple calendars, who would benefit most from an App like this?).

A quick look around some of the online forums revealed that I am not at all unique in my poor experience of this App, the usefulness of which appears to be highly limited, as well as influenced by the country in which you are based.  It’s more like some kind of prototype tool than a fully thought out App.

Despite some of its bad publicity you can barely think of a modern world without Google.  You ‘Google’ things and expect to find answers, you don’t ‘Apple’ them, and this alone demonstrates how much this company has influenced our lifestyle already.  But they are far from perfect, as some of the dodgy tax dealings also revealed, and they are not infallible, as the Google Now flop demonstrates.

But perhaps we should rejoice that not even a leviathan like Google can yet make a really ‘intelligent personal assistant’ – a testament that, for a little longer at least, machines haven’t quite caught up with our own intelligence.

The future of MarCom is mobile

The Future is Mobile

First published in May 2012

According to stats gathered from the excellent Our Mobile Planet web site, 50% of all UK mobile users possess a smartphone.  Apple and Android are virtually neck and neck, with a mere one point difference between them, while poor old Windows languishes at the bottom with 4%.  However, if you really wanted to know who was top, be ready to be surprised as it is in fact Blackberry, even if by a mere whisker.

Usage is revealing as it shows that by far the highest percentage comes from home use, at 97%.  Poor old PC… its days are obviously counted, but don’t despair as it seems that a lot of us start browsing for information on the mobile, following it up by using the PC, almost half in fact.  There are high expectations for web sites to be mobile friendly (65%) but as we all know many are going to be disappointed as most sites have still to be optimised for mobile, which explains the high numbers of people following up information on the PC.

Surprisingly, 28% of us use smartphones while at the doctor, presumably to alleviate the boredom of waiting rather than to check symptoms, while a staggering 16% admit to use smartphones in school.  You can guess whether these are pupils, or teachers…

Apparently most people said that the reason for going mobile on a smartphone was either a need (away from computer) or to alleviate boredom.  This would explain the high percentage of social media usage too.

Why don’t you have a go at finding out about mobile marketing in the UK and around the world?  You can easily customise data and provide impressive metrics to put in front of your customers…