Bump, Google, and the Future….and Flock!!

So We all know Google acquired Bump, and many people where questioning the reasons behind the purchase, as no one really uses bump, and NFC basically is Androids current solution for simple transfering data from phone to phone.

However when you think about it and get into the weeds I think there is something to the Bump Acquisition, which is really centered around payments. NFC for payments is great and would have been great, but the carriers and their Isis Payments pact basically put a nail in that coffin. And it seems that Google just would rather not fight that fight. But like the TV space, payments is another space that companies are all vying for.

So here is my theory. Bump was acquired for several reasons.

Payments

Bump Pay was an app that was initially built into PayPal to initiate payments between users. If you just look at the Google Wallet allowing transfer of money to users, I feel they will augment the wallet technology with Bump Pay. Now what could happen here is that Google could use Bumps technology over Bluetooth 4.0 LE, similar to iBeacons, but allow users 3 different options for payment. Tap To Pay, Bump to Pay, and Contexualized Payments. What does does is effectively offer a payment solution which is cross platform, and can be implemented in several ways. NFC is already built into many POS, so that is a given. Google could even use WiFi technology that knows users are in a store and completes transactions through Google Wallet.

Better Sharing

 

  • Bump to Google would be AirDrop to Apple. However you would not Bump Phones. I can see Google Building an Sharing functionality around its BT sharing options already in Android. I would call it DirectShare or Google Share. The features would be tied to Google Drive and they would do the following
  • Share files (Videos, Pictures, Files, Keep Notes, etc) between users which automatically drops files into their Google Drive account
  • Pushed notifications to users to show a file was shared, with extended notifications giving the user the option to accept or reject the file. These notification will also be extended to the Chrome Rich Notifications for Google Drive
  • Pictures and Videos can automatically be accessed and shared on Google+ with the Google+ and Drive integration
  • Files would be added to synced folders on your Mac or Windows desktop, without having to copy or pull anything down.
  • Android Beam will have the option to share items through BT/WiFi Direct or Android Beam can be set to have items sent to your phone through Google’s servers. To make the sharing seamless. It will not replace Beam as contacts, webpages, and youtube videos, and other items requiring instant interaction work well with Beam. However for those times where your not sitting next to someone, someone has an iPhone, or other reasons you need to share a file this might just be the way.

I’m not a software engineer so maybe I am off, but I think people are focusing on the physical “bump” aspect of Bump, and not focusing on the technology behind it. I think in the end the Bump acquisition was to bolster the sharing and payments services which could use some improvements.

PICTURE SHARING!!!

Just noticed that Bump owns this app called Flock, go to https://theflockapp.com/#detailsfor more information. They could be adding this feature to Google+ to boost the picture sharing across devices.

The Android Renaissance….What is it?

So AndroidPolice is reporting the Jean-Baptiste Queru (JBQ), the former technical lead for AOSP is going to Yahoo. Now I think this is great for JBQ and good luck to him on his future endeavors.

However, I know many have wondered is Android is in trouble with all these major players leaving, and I think we are on the verge of what happened in the Fall of 2011 with the release of ICS. A “Android Renaissance”. I think the old Android guard was there for a purpose. To get Android to a point that performance and usability issues was no longer plagued the OS. For the most part I think they are there.

I think the new guard under the leadership of Sundar is designed to fine tune the OS, and actually make Android as enjoyable as it is functional. The design language was the first part of that puzzle with Matias Duarte at laser focused. In my opinion features like more integration with Chrome, better messaging, and bettering the TV space is what Android users are missing. When compare to things like iOS or even Windows Phone through the XBox

The Elusive TV Space

The Big one here is the TV space. No one has figured it out yet. Google TV is essentially an Android Users Apple TV, which could be huge, with just a few little tweaks. They are already integrating TV into Google Now, so the pieces just need to come together. I have a Google TV and even with its quirks it is a promising product, regardless of what Nilay says. It just needs work. In my opinion doing the following will put life back into the platform…

 

  • Update the OS to 4.2.2 or 4.3 – This would solve a ton of performance issues, as HC 3.2 kind of sucked. Gogle TV’s OS is going on 3 years old and is in need of a major update
  • Expand the developer platform and toolkit to the TV. Currently Google TV is a platform which can access the Play Store. However, because the devloper toolkit for GTV is non existent and outdated, no one can make a decent looking app. This reminds me of the pre ICS days.
  • Embed Chromecast and Miracast functionality into Google TV – This is a given, and will happen at least for Chromecast. The one thing many Android users envy with iOS users is AirPlay. Chromecast is close but still not 100%. I think Making the Google TV a Chromcast and Miracast player would be major.
  • Release a Nexus Google TV Box – maybe with Sony. We all know Nexus devices work the best for the most part. I think Google should team up with one of their premier players..like Sony and just make a Nexus GTV device. I would Call it Nexus TV.

Yes you might think Google TV is dead, but I doubt it. No one, not even Apple has figured out the TV space. So no reason giving up now. Just like how Google came back and redefined itself in the tablet space with the Nexus 7, I imagine they could do the same thing with the TV. With a new leader at the helm, this might be the time for that change.

I think software and hardware comes in seasons and sometimes you need new blood to foster new ideas, I am actually excited to see where Android goes from here with the new guys leading the pack.

What if the iWatch was more of a iBand?

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Now I know this iWatch rumor has grown legs and everyone is thinking there would be an iWatch. But what if that is not even the case. Apple saw that the Nano Watch band thingy did not catch on as much as they thought, so would extra features really make an actual iWatch any better?

No, I don’t think so.

I think Apple is not going to make an iWatch but more of an iBand. A fitness tracking band designed o do what things like the FitBit Flex and FuelBand do, but with a little more. Basically adding an LCD display for watch and notification options, using Bluetooth LE.

I am assuming this for several reasons.

  1. I think Apple will flatly absorb Nike’s Fuelband business, and this is the reason why they decided not to make an Android App…because it will be under Apple’s umbrella going forward.
  2. The hired the Fuelband Designer Jay Blahnik which to me reinforces the first point that this will be more of a band than a watch.
  3. Fitness bands are way more popular than watches and appeal more to the cross platform mass market.
  4. Also Apple’s patent filling is not for really a watch but more of a flexible wearable device, which to me fits more to a band than a watch.
  5. Tim Cook always mentions, “We have some exciting new product category.” The smartwatch is neither exciting or new to the masses. However a Smart Band just might be it, as it is neither really a smart watch or a fitness band. It is a Smart Band…..hmmm…new category?
  6. Finally Apple is trying to move it’s recent image as a “Me Too” company to the “I did it first Company” and a smartwatch is just not the right way to do it in my opinion.

Now I could be completely wrong. But that is just my take.