Google’s Project Glass

There is a pair of glasses, through which you can do a bunch of amazing stuff, like planning travel routes, taking pictures, playing music, operating acoustic control system, and chatting online. This is not in a science fiction film, it is what Google glasses will bring to us in the near future.

Recently, Google officially announced its new product named Project Glass. Based on Google’s introduction, we know that the Google glasses has three parts, a parallel framework placed on the bridge of the nose, a strip computer with a camera in the right of the framework, and a transparent screen. This glass has becomes a hot topic in most tech websites.

Today we are enjoying a much easier and richer life changed by science and technology, and Microsoft, Apple, Google and other high-tech companies really changed our life.

One reason Google announced this project to public is to test this glasses publicly. Actually Google employed a introduction video to explain the features of Project Glass.  From the video, the user just looked up the sky, and weather information popped up on the glasses screen. It seems that the glasses can identify the objects in your eyes and understand the voice commands.  The most interesting part is: at the end of the video, the user’s girlfriend requested him a Google+ Hangout  chat, the glasses just automatically accepted this request and began the hangout.  What’s more, Project glasses can automatically take a picture and upload to your Google+ when you blink. We don’t know how the glasses handle all these commands yet. Anyway, this video introduces sci-fi scenery into the real world.

Like automatic-driven car, project glass is another cool stuff from the Internet Giant.


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What Google & Apple want from Internet TV?

Recently, news about the new Google TV from LG can be seen everywhere, especially on social media, which makes me think about the strategy of Google and Apple on Internet TV.  I find out that under the cover of complex actions, they have pretty simple goal.


In the early days, Apple was a computer company. Now, Apple is still doing the same business by making the computers smaller (like iPhone and iPad) or bigger (like iTV). There is no doubt that Apple’s goal is selling hardware, and the perfect Internet performance and user experience are just the ways to make their hardware products more attractive. In the past few years, Apple also made amazing software products to make their hardware products more competitive.

Nowadays, the growth of PC market is slow and competition is severe. Plus, compared with other consumer electronics, like cell phone, the life cycle of computer is longer. For example, the usual update cycle of a laptop could be 3-5 years. Hence, Apple turns to consumer electronics products which have a shorter update cycle. From the iPod to the iPhone and then the iPad, all these products were sold fast and updated frequently.  Apple TV is another important product that may change the way we watch TV.

Hardware market is full of competitions, and price competition does drain the profits. Apple’s strategy is to think different. Perfect user experience is the key to make their products more attractive, and more profitable. The other way is adding more services on their hardware products, like FaceTime, iCloud, Siri and App Store. This is just like a five-star hotel which provides a series of supporting facilities and services like gym, swimming pool, coffee bar and pick up service. But the main business indicator is still the room occupancy rate, which to apple is the number of sold products.

Google is an Internet company and has a completely different commercial mode from Apple. Apple sells their services and products directly to each user, while most of Google’s services are free to end users. The way Google makes money is to provide advertisement service for other companies through their large number of users. Both Android and Google TV are designed to serve this purpose. By allowing clients to use their services anywhere, Google will stay ahead in Internet and mobile era.

Now let us check the new LG Google TV. It looks like a win-win situation for Google and LG. The problem is: beside LG, Google also cooperates with other companies, like Samsung and Sony, which leads to an embarrassing situation that those manufacturers will compete with each other in the future. How could be harmony in such a camp?

On the other hand, Google is certainly going to set up obstacles to stop hardware manufacturers customizing Android too much. The frequently incompatible version upgrade is one of the best proofs. But if the manufacturers cannot customize Android, their products will unavoidable be similar to each other, and it is hard for all the manufacturers to establish their own core value.  Same situation may happen on Google TV.

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Five reasons why I like Google+

It is kind of notorious that Google+ is referred to as a ‘ghost town’.

However, this attitude seems to me unduly fussy. I would say Google+ possesses several virtues as distinguished from other social networking services.


1. More news than gossips.

In contradistinction to Twitter, Google+ contains more realistic coverage. On Twitter, focusing on celebrities of their concern, people can skim through every beat from all walks of life, especially the world of entertainment. Moreover, these celebrities are reluctant to let the opportunity slip, through which they can exchange with their fans and increase their visibility. As a consequence, the followers’ tweeting and participating contribute to gossip’s becoming a substitute for news.

In spite of that, people on Google+ are with an eye single to specific news. “Circles” enable them to organize people into groups. Users can select and organize contacts in accordance with different circles, thus making it more available to share photos, videos and other information. A user may click on a circle and the page will contain only posts shared by users in that circle.

2. The efficiency of the arrangement of the streams.

On Twitter and Facebook, the information streams are arranged chronologically, making it obvious for users to be acquainted with the sequence of the streams. But they are not altogether online simultaneously and it is also a waste of time in finding out the substantial information they really take an interest in. There’s no denying that only the hottest information appeals to the users instead of those chit-chats. This is exactly what Google+ applies into its ideology.

3. No app notifications in the streams.

What bothers users while using Facebook is varieties of notifications reminding them of the fact that their friends use the same applications as theirs as well as Facebook applications’ sending a multitude of spam messages to their friends in the name of them. But the problem vanishes as far as Google+ is concerned.

4. Hangouts, cooler feel.

The prominent characteristic of Google+ may be hangouts which allow a maximum of 10 people’s participating in a group video chat at any point in time and an automatic switch among windows for the people who is speaking with others put beneath the main screen without complex operation. Also, hangouts bring convenience to us. What really makes us excited is to have a wonderful group video chat with Google+.

5. The function to send dynamic images.

Send dynamic images? The advantage of Google+ is omnipresent. I am forced to concede that dynamic images have the power to activate the atmosphere, provide vivid information and adorable effect. Especially when words don’t serve to make you understood, a dynamic image can play a critical role.

Certainly, Google+ has more functions that worth of being focused. When you truly use Google+, you will  love it.

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Google Drive vs Dropbox , which is your choice?

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Google Drive has been rumored for years,  but this time it is actually coming and going to be online in the next fewdays. As a Google apps developer,  I can tell that the only reason for the late coming of Google Drive is that it is kind of against Google’s policy – managing everything online!   Clearly, Google has realized the huge demand of the desktop sync tools from the success of Dropbox and iCloud,  and eventually decided to step down from the pure cloud platform.   However, Considering Dropbox has been very successful and got millions of users in the file sync market, will Google Drive be good enough to beat Dropbox?
Based on all the news and rumors of the upcoming Google Drive,  we can get an image of it:
  1. Free for 5 GB of storage and can be easily extended with a very affordable rate.
  2. Available on most devices and platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices.
  3. Closely integrated with Google Docs.
  4. Features and operations should be very similar to Dropbox and SkyDrive.
  5. Google Drive API is available for third-party applications.
Today, lots of people rely heavily on file sync apps, like Box.netSkyDriveiCloudSugarSync and the most popular one - Dropbox. We are happy with these tools because they can automatically sync our documents, files and photos across any devices and backup them online, release us from the hassle of copying and backing up files all the time.  Google Drive is just another strong competitor coming to this field.
Now let’s make a comparision between the upcoming Google Drive  and  Dropbox:
1. Price:

Free storage:  2GB,  plus 500MB bonus space for a friend invitation, up to 16GB(for basic accounts)  or 32GB(for pro accounts).
Paid storage:  50 GB – $99/yr,  100GB – $199/yr.
Google Drive:
Free storage: 5GB.
Paid storage: 20 GB – $5/yr, up to 16TB.  Though Google hasn’t claim the price for Google Drive, I strongly believe that Google Drive shares the same storage price policy as Google Docs and GMail.
Conclusion: Obviously, Google’s storage price is much cheaper than Dropbox – about 8X cheaper actually!  For any real cloud storage user,  2GB or even 5GB free storage is far from enough to backup/sync all the files.  For me, 100GB plan could be my favorite choice, and I will definitely try Google Drive in the first time when it is available, just because of its price!
2. Platform coverage

Dropbox:  Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Linux, BlackBerry
Google Drive: Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Linux (most likely), BlackBerry(most likely not).
Conclusion:  Platform coverage is crucial important for file sync tools, because users want to make sure their files are always available no matter where and what device they use.  Dropbox and Google Drive both cover the most popular platforms, but till now we don’t know exactly whether Google Drive is available on Linux and BlackBerry or not.
3. Features
Dropbox Google Drive
Sync Excellent Should be excellent
Collaboration Good Excellent
Online editing Weak Excellent


Conclusion:   Dropbox is an excellent and robust tool to sync and share files, however it is not designed as a cloud document service.  Google Drive is rooted and extended from Google Docs, with all the powerful online collaboration and editing features.
4. API for third parties

Dropbox: Good
Google Drive: Excellent
Conclusion:  Both offer API for third party developers. You can find Dropbox API here. Though we haven’t seen the API for Google Drive, but I am pretty sure it should be very similar to Google Document List API.  I have been using Google Document List API for almost 2 years and found that programmers can do pretty much everything with it, for example, this Google Docs desktop tool is completely based on the Google Document List API.   I am not quite familiar to Dropbox API, but after reading through its API document, I can tell that it is barely enough for basic file operations, but not suitable to build complicated applications.
In the end, from an  IT geek’s eyes, Google Drive is actually a more powerful and much cheaper solution to sync and backup your file. I am excited about the coming of Google Drive and cannot wait to use it in my daily work.
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