Google has big plans for 2013, including completely overtaking Apple as “king of mobile technology;” rolling out broadband internet access to select locations, and phasing out a few lesser-used products. Take a look at what to expect from the search engine giant over the coming months.
Google Takes On Apple
Google is already doing pretty well in the mobile device department, especially since Android devices are pretty much the victor in the OS war. While Apple may currently have a more diverse range of apps, Google Play is catching up pretty fast. The problem is, Apple actually makes devices through their own company, whereas Google only partners with other device manufacturers to create devices. When you buy an Apple device, you know you’re getting an Apple device. When you buy a Google device, you may be getting a Samsung , an LG, or whoever else they decide to partner with. While those are excellent companies, it’s about transparency. Tech users- especially advanced users- like to know what they’re getting. They could pull off the take-down with a shift in focus, but that’s a risky move as well.
Fiber-Optic Internet and Television Service at an Affordable Price
Perhaps one of the most exciting changes in Google’s 2013 plan is the rolling out of broadband internet and television provided over fiber optic cables. Kansas City gets a taste of the new service early next year. Google will be offering amazingly fast speeds and a pretty decent cable television package for around $120. Sadly, the rest of the country is going to have to wait, as only about 180 neighborhoods are on the agenda to be wired in the first part of the year.
Retiring old products
Get ready to say goodbye to your customized iGoogle page come November, 2013. The product will be completely phased out at that time. Google apparently feels that you have plenty of other options for customizing your home page, as long as you use the Chrome browser. Several products designed to help you sync your calendar and devices are also being phased out. GoogleVideo and GoogleChatback are on their way out the door too. While these products will no longer be available, similar features in Google+ will allow you to do the same thing. Google is basically trying to streamline their features to make them easier to use.
Google is an ever-evolving company that seems to like to try new things. While that’s great for users who enjoy change and excitement, it does make some users a little nervous about trying out new services. After all, what if you get used to it and Google pulls the plug? Still, it will be interesting to see what they come up with next in 2013.
The US, along with about 80 other countries, refused to sign off on an International Internet treaty proposed by the United Nations last week, a move that perhaps saved the Internet as we know it. The treaty was designed to update an outdated treaty from 1988, before the Internet was widely available to citizens of just about every country. The goal of the treaty was to allow every country to have an equal say in how the internet is regulated, specifically, how spam was handled. The opposing countries, however, had some major concerns with allowing every other country an equal say in the overall development of the Internet.
Remember when clicking on the “more” and “even more” tab at the top of Google used to bring up a jam-packed page full of different options? Now, while there are still dozens of options, the page is looking a lot less cluttered, and a little more like something is missing. Google has been shutting down services left and right over this last year in some sort of effort to streamline their offerings. The latest victims in a chain of virtual deaths are products designed to make syncing easier for Google users.
Remember when you were a kid, you only ever got to see Santa in holiday specials or at the mall? Pictures consisted of a one-shot Polaroid, and sending a letter meant writing it down and hoping your parents were serious when they said they were going to mail to the North Pole. If you wanted to Elf Yourself, you had to throw on a costume and pointy ears. Now, like all things in life, Santa has entered the digital age, and kids have more opportunities than ever to interact with the jolly old elf in the big red suit.
Apple recently released iTunes 11, an updated version of their uber-popular app for the iPod, iPad, and other lower-case I devices. This time, they actually did more than tweak a few minor things here and there: they gave it a complete overhaul. It’s not really surprising, major overhauls seem to be the order of business for app and OS companies this year, with Windows 8 leading the pack in the “what happened to my old program?” department.
Every home needs a good first aid kit filled with creams to clean out infections, Band-Aids to keep wounds covered, and medicines to help relieve symptoms. Just like the human body, computers are also prone to viruses, wounds, and symptoms that slow the system down or bring it crashing to a halt. Like every home needs a first aid kit, so does every computer. Certain types of programs should be kept on your computer and on a backup disc to rescue your system from viruses and other attacks.
The world’s economy has pretty much been tanked for the last five years, and although politicians claim it’s getting better, for many the light at the end is still too far away. When millions of people are looking for jobs and still unable to pay their rent, they’re willing to turn to just about any source to make a little extra cash. Online job scammers know this and take advantage of it.
On November 20th, internet news sources broke the story about Vermont Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy’s wildly unconstitutional and intrusive Bill that would allow unwarranted access to US citizens’ email accounts. The bill was originally rewritten by Leahy to include the following stipulations:
It isn’t enough that Google pretty much controls the way you receive information online, now they want to get involved in connecting you to that information as well. Google is in talks with the Dish Network to create a wireless network system. The talks are still in the infancy stage, and it isn’t clear at this point whether it will actually happen. The Dish Network has been laying the groundwork for a wireless network, but at this time it still needs to be complete and receive approval from government regulatory authorities.