Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Google, The King of Data

Google has been the internet darling for a while now. They seam to get everything right. First search, then maps, email and on and on. The other tech darling, Apple also seams to get everything right, ever since the iMac at least. But when you look at the products from the two companies they have very little in common.

Apple focus is on polish. The motto seams to be, "No feature shall interfere with polish." And the do a great job of it. Their products are fashion accessories. Their apps are pleasant to use and create beautiful work.
Google on the other hand, seams to care nothing about polish. Their color choices are the worst, second only to UseIt. Google's idea of simple seams to come from a different dictionary than Apple's. G-Simplicity is centered more around removing elements and nothing related to the classic definition of white space. Each element removed means less burden for the user. Sometimes that mean's the user will not be able to preform a task, but where Google really excels is when the burden is passed to the system and the feature is maintained. Google Map is the perfect example where the user can type in the street number, street name, city and state in the same text input and the system figures it all out on it's own. It's difficult to remember back to the days when they were all separate boxes. This in turned cleaned up the UI tremendously. But more important than the visual clean up is the burden that is removed from having to "speak" to the computer in short blurbs. Now you can just bark out Simon Says commands.

With Google's new web browser, Chrome, this feat is accomplished once again. Funny enough they got rid of the Google search box that all the other browsers are so proud of. The single input runs a search or goes to a url. IE has been doing this for a long time, the problem is that they didn't pass the burden to the system, the just delay it. With Chrome, the system has to intelligently figure out if it should go to a URL or run a search. While the difference is minor, the experience is greatly enhanced. Again, it's the Simon Says approach. Which coincidentally inspired Chorme's logo.
This could all play perfectly for Android if G-Simplicity is continued. Searching for data from a central place, before you even tell it what app your referring to could produce some real competition for the iPhone. I don't expect it to ever be as fun or as polished as the iPhone, but as Google apps prove, easy access to data can rule the land.

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