2012 was a big year for Google. The Search Giant beat Apple at its own game with a iOS Map mobile application that put its rivals attempt at a map/navigation application in the ground. It also made a large push into mobile technology with its Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. Not only that, Google pushed out its newest brilliant device, the Nexus 4 smartphone. This thing is harder to find right now than a Tickle Me Elmo was in 1996. The question now is will Google be able to keep it up in 2013 and make its move towards the title of Top Tech Company? We already have some rumors of devices, but the biggest known excitement planned to come in 2013 is the Google Glass project. This particular bit of mobile technology has many super excited. Here are a few things to watch for in 2013 from the Search Giant.
The Nexus Line
There have been previous iterations from the Nexus line of mobile technology, but something seems to have clicked in 2012 and will hopefully carry over to 2013. Right now the newest of the line is the Nexus 4 smartphone. This thing is proving to be a challenge to keep in stock both from demand and a reported shortage due to the manufacturer (LG) and GoogleÔÇÖs underestimating the demand for the device and now LG is struggling to catch up. The exact figures on how many devices have been made/sold/sent is unknown despite many attempts at guessing. The phone offers an aggressively priced unlocked phone with fantastic specs, who would have guessed people would want that.
Mobile Developers Android First?
Back in 2011 it was predicted by a Google Executive Chairman that developers would soon develop for the Android App Store first. This has yet to come to pass due to many known issues such as Android users being notoriously difficult to monetize. As it stands right now, Android and apple are roughly tied for the number of mobile applications in their app stores. The developer income gap between Apple and Android is rapidly closing as well as the constant improvements on the ÔÇ£Google ExperienceÔÇØ that is starting to pull users in. Android becoming the premiere platform for mobile development is something to watch for in the coming year.
In early 2013 the developer preview of the wearable computer was sent out. The Google Glass Explorer Edition which was made available for preorder to developers for $1,500 at Google I/O 2012, is set to arrive during this quarter. Facing much skepticism, Google Glass is leading the charge into a world where mobile technology isnÔÇÖt a slab we carry around, but rather is worn on our bodies. Wearable computers are estimated to be the next battlefront for mobile technology and we may see Google make the first step into the water early 2013.
Google did a great job when they developed Google +, however few people have been converting from other social networks like Facebook. Google has some big plans for their beloved social network with the addition of add-ons and some upgrades. There are some areas where Google + is already ahead of Facebook and 2013 is looking like it could be a competitive year for the Search Giant.
The expectation is that android 5.0 will land in 2013 and Google needs it to be bigger and better than ever. With all the competitors in the mobile market now companies are in need of bigger better OS. Google needs to do this right and blow it out of the water. Android 4.2 was great and a big step in the right direction, now we just need another one.
What I Think
Google has been a main competitor for a long time, but seemed to relish in biting off way more than they could chew. I have been using Android since its release and I can say that Android 4.2 felt so much more like a finished product when I got it that it makes me wonder about the previous versions. They start off a new project early and learn as they go. This is not really a bad thing as the end product feels worth it to me, but it is not a good plan to keep using. Typically users do not like to feel like beta testers. I am extremely excited to see what they can come up with this year and to see where Google Glasses lead.