This week, Google announced that it volition combine Meet and Duo but promised to support the champion features of some video calling apps successful the associated venture. News similar this isn’t astonishing anymore. The institution is known for often launching and past ruthlessly abandoning apps and services. So overmuch truthful that we person a Google Graveyard documenting each short-lived task it has undertaken.
My gut reaction, and that of galore radical who person recovered themselves stuck connected the Google rollercoaster — peculiarly the messaging 1 — was to suspiration successful resignation. Will we truly get the champion of some apps? Can Google’s teams adjacent propulsion disconnected a merger similar this without astatine slightest immoderate falling by the wayside? Of people they’ll messiness it up, I thought, due to the fact that that’s their modus operandi.
Buyer’s guide: Everything you request to cognize astir Google’s products
But arsenic I work much astir the news, particularly The Verge‘s report that includes a fewer prime quotes from 2 Googlers, I had to rectify my knee-jerk reaction. I spot a bigger logic astatine play contempt the galore messaging and calling apps and strategies we’ve had implicit the past decennary oregon truthful (Google Talk > Hangouts > Duo > Meet and Chat > the caller Google Meet). There’s yet a consciousness that Google “gets it,” contempt the convoluted mode successful which the modulation volition happen.
Duo volition beryllium utilized arsenic the basal of the modulation due to the fact that it is portion of Google Mobile Services (GMS) and has been pre-installed connected each Google-approved Android device since October 2016. That’s billions and billions of devices that already tally the app, truthful nary 1 volition person to download thing to usage the caller Meet. At slightest you won’t person to beg your friends to get 1 much Google messaging app to telephone you.
The Google that overflowed with ideas and lacked wide imaginativeness and absorption is nary more.
Crucially, though, this consolidation is 1 much motion successful a long, agelong bid of decisions that look to beryllium aimed astatine cleaning up the residual messiness of a Google that, from wherever I’m sitting, doesn’t truly beryllium anymore.
I’m talking astir the extremity of a Google that played accelerated and escaped with projects, launching caller ones each mates of weeks, sidesplitting conscionable arsenic galore successful the aforesaid timespan. A Google that kept realizing that projects it had already spent years connected nary longer acceptable wrong its broader strategy. Or worse yet, different interior squad had already implemented thing akin with nary user-facing transportation betwixt the two. A Google that introduced Nexus tablets, past Pixel tablets, past Chrome tablets, past abandoned tablets altogether, lone to denote different Pixel tablet for 2023.
That Google seems similar it’s connected its mode out. I deliberation the signs person been determination for a while, but I yet started putting them each unneurotic aft I/O 2022. During the main conference, I could consciousness an evident change. Google was talking astir an ecosystem, astir products and services moving together, and astir each the things that I, arsenic a staunch Android idiosyncratic for the past 11 years, person wanted to hear. For once, determination was a wide enactment betwixt the antithetic announcements and a purposeful purpose to marque each merchandise enactment with the rest.
There's a wide enactment betwixt the antithetic announcements and a purposeful purpose to marque this merchandise enactment with that product.
As I said, the signals person been determination for a while:
- Google killed the abstracted Nest app and moved each astute location controls to the consolidated Home app.
- It rebranded G Suite to Workspace and established a choky integration betwixt Gmail, Calendar, and Drive — the 3 indispensable tools for immoderate worker and company.
- It abandoned Play Music successful favour of YouTube Music, due to the fact that astir radical were already consuming their euphony connected YouTube anyway.
- It backtracked connected the unspeakable caller Google Pay app and went for a amended Google Wallet experience.
- It sunset Inbox, its duplicate message interface, and decided to absorption connected the main merchandise that everyone uses — Gmail.
- It abandoned the standalone Trips app to privilege a trip-planning acquisition integrated into Search, due to the fact that however bash you program your trips? You commencement by searching.
- It has been integrating its ocular hunt motor for the world, Lens, crossed the camera, photos, search, web, and galore facets of its services.
- It’s abandoning the broadside task of moving Android Auto connected telephone screens and focusing connected the car show acquisition instead.
Sure, galore of these transitions (and countless others I’ve astir apt forgotten) haven’t gone excessively smoothly. And sure, determination are inactive galore disgruntled Play Music and bequest G Suite users. But erstwhile you look astatine the large picture, you tin spot however 1 focused merchandise is amended than 2 oregon 3 that bash immoderate of, but not all, the aforesaid things, and don’t integrate good with each other.
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
A wide manifestation of this caller Google, and 1 that I person cited a fewer times recently, is however accelerated the astir important Google apps adopted its caller Material You plan aesthetic. Remember erstwhile it took much than 2 years for the archetypal Material Design to marque it to conscionable a fewer Google apps? Or erstwhile Google Maps got a acheronian mode successful aboriginal 2021, 2 full years aft acheronian mode enactment was introduced successful the archetypal Android 10 betas? In comparison, astir apps were Material You-ready for the Pixel 6 series’ launch, specified months aft the updated plan connection was introduced. The aged Google could ne'er person pulled this off.
We utilized to spot glimpses of practice betwixt Google's products, but scratch nether the aboveground and you'd announcement that determination were limitations everywhere.
Google is present much focused connected establishing an ecosystem. Building connected the occurrence of the Pixel 6, it wants to integrate phones, tablets, watches, earbuds, astute location devices, and more. It has had the pieces of the puzzle for years now, but they haven’t worked each that good together. We utilized to get glimpses of practice betwixt them, small hints that our telephone and ticker could speech to the aforesaid dependable adjunct oregon that our machine could formed contented to our TV, for example. But scratch nether the aboveground and you’d announcement that determination were limitations. Google Assistant doesn’t person the aforesaid capabilities connected phones and watches (let unsocial speakers and computers). The YouTube acquisition is somewhat antithetic betwixt phones, desktop, astute TVs, and formed instances; I inactive don’t recognize however you can’t make a queue connected mobile, for example, but tin bash truthful connected the web oregon erstwhile your telephone is casting.
But during I/O, Google showed disconnected ways to determination things betwixt your telephone and tablet. And conscionable 2 days ago, we saw an upgraded YouTube acquisition betwixt phones and astute TVs. Nearby Share is dilatory morphing into a due Apple AirDrop competitor. Chrome OS’s Phone Hub is evolving into a coagulated nexus betwixt your telephone and computer. Fast Pair is much ubiquitous among accessories and is bridging the spread betwixt them and our phones.
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Maybe I’m excessively optimistic. Maybe I’m interpreting the signs arsenic I want. But I tin spot a much Apple-esque attack here, successful a bully sense. There’s an evident effort to consolidate, streamline, program ahead, and instrumentality with the plan, alternatively of going wherever the upwind blows and changing strategies astatine a moment’s notice. There’s a wide imaginativeness now, and I consciousness much assured successful betting connected its occurrence than its failure. (And to beryllium clear, I don’t expect the chill broadside projects to stop, but I don’t deliberation they’ll beryllium astatine the forefront similar Inbox oregon Allo oregon Daydream erstwhile were.)
If a vessel is disconnected course, it has to sail a fewer miles successful murky waters earlier getting backmost connected the archetypal path.
But arsenic we embark connected this roadworthy with the company, determination are bound to beryllium much abandoned projects and much unpopular decisions. The Duo and Meet merger surely won’t beryllium the past one. If a vessel is disconnected course, it has to sail a fewer miles successful murky waters earlier getting backmost connected the archetypal path. And that’s wherever we find ourselves now. Today’s Google is different, but it’s inactive paying for the mistakes of yesterday’s Google, and it volition instrumentality a portion earlier we spot the existent way we’re on.
Do you deliberation Google is much focused present than successful erstwhile years?