I know I'm starting off with a question here that most Android fans are going to have a knee-jerk reaction to - "absolutely not, the more Android-powered smart-stuff out there the better." After all, we want to live in a world where our refrigerators know what's inside them, where our laundry lets us know on our phones when it's done, and our cars' infotainment systems aren't so god-effing-awful (even the best ones really are terrible).
Back in February of 2011, Eric Schmidt took the stage at MWC to announce Google's latest tablet-oriented app: Movie Studio. It was a rather exciting new addition to Google's first foray into the tablet world. This made it possible for tablet users to not just view content, but to create it as well. This was a big deal. At the time, Apple already had a year-long head start on tablets. Not only would Android need a lot of third-party app support, but first-party apps would be essential to the platform's success.
You may recall the Xoom didn't sell too well.
Part of the problem is that Movie Studio sucked.
Manufacturers, you're awful at naming things. Sorry. It's true. In many cases, you've either muddied the brand of your flagship devices, or made it incredibly difficult for customers to know what they should be asking for when they walk into a store. This is probably not a good thing since you want customers to buy your stuff. More than that, though, you want them to love your stuff, so they'll buy more of it. Making it easier to say the name of the product will go a long way towards that goal.
Today, I'm going to help you with this problem.
When crowd-favorite zombie shooter Dead Trigger decided to drop its price from $0.99 to free, citing concerns over piracy, the tech world renewed its interest in an age-old debate: how bad is piracy for developers? Of course, any lost sale is money out of a developer's pocket (though it's important to distinguish between downloads and lost sales). However, the question should and needs to be answered: just how bad is the piracy problem on Android?
Zombies Vs. Knights
Dead Trigger provides an interesting starting point. The developer, Madfinger, notes that its previous game Shadowgun experienced a rather high level of piracy when priced at $8.
Update: It appears Samsung sent out the update removing universal search from international Galaxy S III's mistakenly. I'd say the point still stands for the United States, though.
On December 1, 2004, a patent was filed in the United States naming Apple as asignee (owner). Its title is "Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system." This patent, which you can find here, has become Apple's most effective weapon in its fight to see Android dubbed an iOS "ripoff" by courts and consumers.
And effective it has been - Samsung just removed the local search feature from the international version of the Galaxy S III, having already removed it from the US versions on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.
If there's one thing that sets people off upon purchasing or downloading an app (games in particular), it's opening it up and finding it has in-app purchases.
And this is, generally, a good instinct for consumers to have - hundreds, if not thousands of mobile games blatantly take advantage of people's willingness to nickel-and-dime themselves out of money they would have never otherwise spent buying a game in the first place. Basically, see 50% of Zynga's business model (the other 50% being stealing other developers' games).
In fact, it was Zynga that sparked one of the most notable in-app purchase hate campaigns from users when it added consumable cheats (essentially) to Words With Friends that allowed players to gain advantages over their opponents for a fee.
Over the last week, I've read seemingly countless complaints about the lack of local storage on the Nexus 7. "Why isn't there a 32GB version?" "Why isn't the 16GB version cheaper?
When Google unveiled the Nexus Q at I/O on Wednesday, there were cheers. But not until the designers and creators of the hardware came on stage to explain what it was for a good 5 minutes. Hell, they even put together a fantastic video showing the process of manufacturing the Q (in the good 'ol US of A!). Seriously, if you haven't watched it - watch it. The production values are outstanding.
And Google topped it all off by giving everybody at I/O a Q to... do stuff with. But what?
The Q is fairly limited in its capabilities at the moment.
Why? Google's absolute silence on Google TV (GTV) during I/O keynotes represented, as I saw it, the last straw for the platform (at least in its current state). Of course, Google TV hasn't really seen much action since last fall, but after former Google CEO Eric Schmidt promised big, magical things for this summer, it seemed Mountain View might still have some GTV tricks up its sleeves. As it turns out, those sleeves were empty, and the company now seems to view its attempt to save us from cable boxes as a dead horse.