aNewDomain.net — The summer of 2014 is upon us and that means one thing in the tech world: developer conferences! We’ve already seen the latest and greatest forecasts from Apple at WWDC. Now it’s Google’s turn to show off its proposed plans with Google I/O 2014. Yes, I know rumors and speculation are heavy for Google I/O 2014, but I want to share my own hopes and dreams. Get ready to enter my personal, intimate thoughts about the Google universe.
Image credit: Moscone Center
While I sit in airports throughout my travels, my mind continues to fantasize about technology innovations from the company that seems to know everything about me. I’m not an Apple basher, or Microsoft avoider, but I am totally hooked into the Google ecosystem. Soon, I hope there will be more options that connect and enrich my personal and business multimedia lifestyle.
I am one of the few that enjoys using Google Docs for composing documents or online articles. Heck, I’m using it right now for this piece. I also enjoy using my Chromebook for browsing the web and writing posts on social media. See what I mean?
So, I am beyond excited to see how Google can make these tools more useful for me.
Hardware and ChromeOS
Let’s start with the Chromebook. I’ve seen the latest Chromebooks touting prices over $300. Personally, I think that’s overpriced for a laptop with mediocre hardware specs and a somewhat-limited operating system. Nonetheless, I love this thing. I just don’t see paying more than $200.
If we continue to see this price range in a Chromebook, will there be more features and capabilities from the ChromeOS? The bigger question is, can this be done and still allow the system to be lightweight and peppy on performance?
I heartily enjoy using my Android devices, which connect to my online Google profile. Whether I’m playing Threes via my Nexus 7 tablet against my buddy Mat Lee, or remotely accessing my home PC with great apps like Teamviewer, I can easily access my entertainment and share with my circles. Why? Because of the Android ease of use.
So, what can Google do to make this better?
Hopefully there are more privacy controls and setting options in the works. I don’t want to have to dig through the bowels of my app menus to adjust privacy options. These should be easier to access and more defined for the less-technical consumer.
The Chromecast is a device I was skeptical about getting. I didn’t think I needed one because I already own two Google TV devices. Everything I’d like to do with the Chromecast, I can already do with the Hisense Google TV.
With that said, I have enjoyed the convenience of having my HTC One Max smartphone in the room while I “cast” things to my Chromecast.
Sometimes while cooking, I like to listen to music. I play it on my mobile device, but if I want, I can follow these steps for a more-enriched listening experience:
- Open the official GoogleTV remote app on my smartphone.
- Select to change the input from HDMI1 to HDMI2.
- Open up Google Play Music on my smartphone.
- Click the Chromecast icon.
- Click “Play” and enjoy the rich, bass sounds of my favorite Hans Zimmer tracks through my Chromecast and connected home theater speaker system.
#winning, for sure.
Image credit: Ant Pruitt for aNewDomain.net
While results of the process I underwent were magical, there were quite a few steps. Five, in fact.
Can this user experience be enhanced? We have seen talks of Google TV disappearing, to be replaced by Android TV. What exactly does this mean? What can we expect from a convergence standpoint? I hope, in the end, that the music-listening experience can be a seamless switch-on-and-listen one.
Google For All
I don’t think my expectations are blue sky, but I do want the Google and Android technologies to be as simple as possible. I am geektacular, as are some of you readers, and while that is great, the Google tech should be easy to use for all consumers.
Smooth things out. Make the interface more intuitive. Design so that kids and elders can jump into the interface at hand without getting lost or confused.
And, I must emphasize, Google should reduce the amount of time reboots or force-closes are needed.
Leave a comment below with what you’d like to see at Google I/O 2014. Be sure to check out my Google I/O 2014 Vlog entries on YouTube as I share quick videos of my experiences in San Francisco meeting others around the conference.
I’m Ant Pruitt for aNewDomain.net.
Based in Charlotte, NC, Ant Pruitt is an IT pro, a columnist and a senior technologist at aNewDomain.net and aNewDomainTV. Look for Ant on his Smartphone Photographers Community and on Yet Another Tech Show. Follow him @ihavnolyfe or via Google+. Email him at Ant@aNewDomain.net. See all Ant’s articles on aNewDomain.net by following this link.
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