June 29, 2022

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Google I/O 2022: Google needs to invest more in support than surprises

Google I/O 2022: Google needs to invest more in support than surprises

There is more pressure than usual on Google to deliver surprises at I/O 2022. The company is expected to reveal pixel clockBesides, more budget friendly Pixel 6A phoneplus the latest new collection Android 13 New software and features. Who do you know? Maybe we’ll see something else entirely.

The stakes are high, as always, for new things to be good, and I really don’t doubt Google’s ability to impress these new products. It’s rare that Google doesn’t have at least a few ads (including a few in the sky) that turn out so well. After all, what makes I/O fun to watch is that it’s the combination of technology at hand, along with some more distant.

But what some of us are in the edge They are more excited because it can’t seem pale in comparison. Rather than being surprised, we simply want to see if 2022 is the year Google finds out how to make its products relevant, to real people, in the long run. Launching them is the first step, but providing long-term, meaningful support behind these new products and the platforms they’re working on is something Google hasn’t proven it can do even after all these years. I’m not just talking about ensuring security and operating system updates – the boring stuff. I want to see Google move towards these tools and ideas as it has more couch cushion money to lose.

Pursuing has never been Google’s strong suit. It has weakened many of its products in ways that lend more credence to Google’s infamous reputation for abandoning even its best ideas. There were a lot of high-profile I/O ads that sounded great but didn’t live up to their potential, like Google’s Duplex service that can answer or make calls for you, which was slow at gain traction Even among people who can use it a lot. Then there are things that never come true, like ambition Starline Project Which Google claimed could provide a more realistic video chat experience, with depth sensors to make it look like the other person is sitting across the table.

The Pixel 6 was supposed to be Google’s cool comeback to hardware, but a buggy launch put it off.
Photography by Becca Versace/The Verge

Looking back in 2021, it failed to capitalize on the hype it made for its high-profile products. Stadia . was the cloud gaming streaming platform greatly reduced In scale less than two years after Google became the first tech giant to advance game streaming. Android 12 It made disappointing changes, and its widget rollout was mediocre at best (it should be called Meh-terial you). The Pixel 6 launched buggy, which has not yet been resolved by noteworthy updates. These were the phones that were supposed to send signals to people.”Okay, right Now We are serious“And prove the value of Google’s custom Tensor processors. The Pixel 6 is no more fun to use than the old Pixel 3.

Google’s lack of post-launch sponsorship took many different forms. My colleague Alison Johnson thought that The Pixel 5A was a safe but great middle-class phone More people should know it. But instead of going global with broad carrier support, as most manufacturers do these days with phones they’re excited about, Google released the phone exclusively in the US and Japan and didn’t partner with carriers to boost availability. Unless you’re a big fan of the Pixel phone, having this phone is probably right under your radar.

Given this approach, it seems as though Google wants to succeed with hardware on its own terms – and fail on its own terms, too. This strategy probably stems from Google’s realization that it will likely never be at the fore in many of the technical device categories in which it is involved. However, it is strange to see this seemingly directionless strategy given that there is evidence within the Google business (Google Images, Search, Chrome, Android and Workspace, to name a few) that the investment is a huge success.

The Redditor claims to display the Pixel Watch.
Photo: u/tagtech414

If you want one representative example to pay attention to, it’s smartwatches. If the biggest pre-I/O rumors are true, Google will reveal its first-ever flagship smartwatch, Pixel watch. It’s a fun time to get started with the device, as the bar couldn’t be lower for Google to re-enter the smartwatch market after years of letting it evaporate. And I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t left Google in the first place. Another category that Google initially put in was some force – it didn’t even do it.

Google launched a platform dedicated to smartwatches, Android Wear, in 2014 to compete with the Apple Watch. The company has got the likes of Samsung, LG, Asus, Motorola, and more on board to make devices, each with an interesting design, but each bruised with the same ho-hum software, sluggish performance, and poor battery life. Android Wear offered more options than Apple, but all of those options were, well, not so good.

Google continued to invest in software in the space, launching its renamed Wear OS with more features to turn a new page. But the best watches running Google’s new software couldn’t get rid of first-generation problems – even those Like LG Watch Style and Sportwhich were flagships designed to take Wear OS to new heights.

Google support has slowed, with fewer major updates and fewer necessary apps. While liked a few manufacturers fossil And Mobvoi kept the proverbial torch lit (and more recently, Samsung with Wear your Galaxy Watch 4 with OS 3), the platform is not in a good place. So, there’s a lot of riding on Google to be able to launch it – again. But even if the company unveils a promising new product, Google’s biggest chance of success with smartwatches is likely behind it, as almost all of its OEM partners (except Samsung) have given up. However, I hope Google offers a similar amount of support for the Pixel Watch as it does for Pixel phones, whatever that may be.

Regardless of the product, whether it’s hardware or software, this year’s announcements at I/O are an opportunity for Google to start over. This is the best And The worst thing about Google’s strategy: It can’t stop starting over. Despite some fixed elements in its strategy, such as Android, Research work, and the Google Assistant, there is little in the way of logical line with its hardware and software. It’s often exciting to see what the company will do next, but I’ve learned to doubt Google’s ability to care about its latest products for six months (or even six weeks) after launch. I want to be wrong.

At I/O, we’ll see new products take the podium. But I’m more eager than ever to see if Google realizes that the initial impact of these tools matters less than long-term support.

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