Photo: Universal screengrab
Google just announced several new devices and services at its annual I/O conference.Many are direct competitors with products from Apple, Microsoft, and other Silicon Valley giants.
One Google executive even called out Microsoft at one point.
Google's Nexus 7 tablet feels like a Kindle competitor because of the heavy focus on the user's experience of content. It's really competing with all tablets--the iPad, the Surface, etc.--but it seems like Google has set its sights on the Fire.
On Wednesday Google introduced the Nexus Q, which is a small grey orb that streams your Google Play content to your TV. It works similarly to Apple TV, but we're sceptical it can compete at triple the price.
Google's new Jelly Bean search will give you bus and train routes as well as their departure and arrival times. This is bad news for third-party apps like HopStop, which provide the same service.
Google+ now has a feature it calls party mode, in which your phone instantly posts photos you take directly to Google+. Facebook Events can't do that. Google+ just released some pretty stunning numbers, too, so maybe it's got a shot.
Google built a Siri-like app into Jelly Bean, its new version of Android. It's called Knowledge Graph, and it answers questions about traffic, sports scores, and general information. That's no good for all the voice recognition apps for Android.
Google's new Compute Engine offers cloud computing for your app. It's the same pay-per-data model as Amazon's, and it's really powerful.
Built into Jelly Bean is song recognition software that makes Shazam, Soundhound, and similar third-party apps irrelevant. We'll see if the native app is as good the others when it comes out next month.
Google's new magazine reader, Currents, is sleek and lets you translate text. This puts Flipboard for Android in danger.
When you're looking for general information, Google locates the person/place/thing you want within its Knowledge Graph, a database of facts about over 500 million topics. Now you don't have to click your mouse that one extra time to visit the Wikipedia entry.
Google finally released Chrome for iPhone and iPad. It switches between tabs more elegantly than Safari and Opera, and it's super fast. Firefox isn't even out for the iPad yet.
It looks like Google is putting a lot of attention into its Android software, and it may really start to cut into Windows 8 and Mac OS X market share.
Google is hoping Project Glass will make you seem more polite. It'll do that by putting your emails, texts, and apps in front of your eyes, so you won't have to fumble devices mid-conversation. If that comes true, you won't even need to buy the devices anymore. That means no more iPad, Kindle, Surface, etc.
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