Google Milestones in 2012

366 days have passed and you certainly remember that, this year, Google introduced the new members of the Nexus family, including a 7-inch tablet of only $ 199 which received numerous accolades from the trade press. But 2012 was also the year that the Mountain View company announced a futuristic glasses, improved Android and, like any large company, also had little problems in justice. Enjoy the Tipping Show unmissable has not yet begun and track down Google’s milestones in 2012.

Nexus family

With the help of hardware partners, Google made the Nexus brand a complete family of devices with Android. The brand Nexus before used in high-end smartphone updated by Google, became part of the name of Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets, and a media player called Nexus Q, which was not exactly a success.

The Nexus 7 was one of the gadgets that caused more impact in the year. Google moved to solve a big problem in Android tablets: even with a very weak ecosystem compared to iOS, Google’s partners sold their tablets for prices similar or even larger than the iPad. Few people ventured pay more for, in the end, use a choke system and applications for smartphone stretched.

For only $ 199, Google could offer a very competitive tablet with cutting edge hardware and finish that leaves nothing to be desired in relation to more expensive devices. The attractive cost-benefit ratio of the Nexus 7 made ​​it a sales success: according to Asus , about 1 million units sold per month. Yes, it’s still far from the sales of the iPad, but is above the other Android tablets released before it. Indeed, it was after the Nexus 7 that Apple introduced a smaller iPad.

The Galaxy Nexus from Samsung was retired to make way for Nexus 4 smartphone $ 299 manufactured by LG rival. The only major criticism indicated by the analysis of foreign sites was the lack of support 4G LTE, a network that is still in its infancy in Brazil. The construction has been improved over its predecessor, the battery life has increased and Android is faster than ever on a Nexus who won end hardware.

Google bet to try to compete in the tablet market higher was the Nexus 10, which brings a beautiful screen with a resolution of 2560 × 1600 pixels. Of course, Google also bet on the price: costing from $ 399 in the version with 16 GB of storage and connection Wi-Fi, it is considerably cheaper than the iPad and tablets “premium” with Android. With the new Exynos processor from Samsung, 2GB of RAM and Android 4.2, performance should be no problem for the Nexus 10.

In time, Google also launched a device called Nexus Q.

Project Glass

On April 4, 2012, Google made ​​public the Project Glass, the bet of the company in augmented reality. Worthy of futuristic movie, Google glasses are constantly connected to the internet and can change the way we interact with people and the environment – whether for better or for worse. The first video of Project Glass presented as legal concepts that the idea seemed a delayed joke Google April Fool’s Day.

According to information disclosed so far in the future the glasses can display dynamic information in the user’s field of view, which you can check your schedule around the city with the help of directions obtained by Google Maps, discover new places, find friends are nearby and even take pictures, always using voice commands. All integrated with Google+ and other services of the Mountain View company.

One of the controversies raised about Google glasses was related to human behavior and new rules of etiquette. No way: if someone has a camera around, filming everything, you will not be able to behave naturally. Is that a possible future in which many people use Google Glass, we will be less comfortable in public places?

Chrome

This was a very important year for Google Chrome. Despite not having won so many new features, it has captured the attention of many people. Chrome, which was already the most used browser in Brazil since last year, won the title most used browser in the world in 2012, surpassing the all – powerful Internet Explorer, according to StatCounter data. It is also most among readers of our site. 52.83% of access to this blog were made ​​through Google in 2012 browser.

After making success in PCs, Chrome ventured on mobile. On Android, Chrome brought the convenience to synchronize history, bookmarks, passwords, tabs and other navigation data with the desktop version. In iOS, despite being limited to a slower rendering engine as used in Safari, Chrome brought, as well as synchronization with the desktop browser, efficient universal address bar and search by voice, including support to the Portuguese of Brazil.

The Chrome brand is also used in the operating system Chrome OS, which this year adopted a more complete interface, reminding a bit Windows 7. The family of Chromebooks, laptops running Chrome OS, won an integral weight.  Made by Samsung, the new Chromebook is light, thin and loads the new Exynos processor, and a battery with 6.30 autonomy. Price? Only $ 249, complete with 100 GB of Google Drive for two years. It is the Chromebook “for everyone”, as Google says.

Jelly Bean

Another Google product that has gained a lot of attention in 2012 was the Android system that now accounts for over 50% of smartphone sales in the world. There were two new versions, although not bring significant visual changes compared to the Ice Cream Sandwich, received many changes under the hood.

Fluidity, one of the most criticized points of Android, much improved from version 4.1 .Thanks to Project Butter, the system is noticeably faster and animations not stutter asmuch as before, making much better use experience. Not a Windows Phone 7, but the progress was remarkable.

One of the features added to Android was Google Now, an intelligent personal assistant that displays useful information without you having to ask questions. Fully integrated with Google services, Now shows early information on bus schedules, appointment notices and useful information for those who are traveling to another country, all in Portuguese and Brazil. In certain countries and languages, Google Now can automatically display data on the status of your purchase through stores emails sent to your Gmail and also recognizes voice commands.

Despite the great success in smartphones, Android is still a novice in the tablet market. But Google acted to try to improve the system: in addition to launching tablets with the Nexus brand, included support for multiple users in version 4.2 and published guidelines for developers to make applications with interfaces adapted to larger screens, which are increasing but still they are scarce in Google Play.

Problems justice and controversy

But 2012 was not just a year of Google releases. It was a year in which the company also got into a lot of trouble in court.

In late September, the President of Google Brazil, Fábio Coelho, was eventually arrested by the Federal Police to provide information. The reason for all the confusion was a video posted on YouTube that lampooned the political Alcides Bernal, a candidate for the city of Campo Grande.

In canvass the candidate missed the meaning of the acronym IDEB (Education Development Index Basic) and felt offended by a video that pointed the error followed by the famous phrase “That ass, gives zero for him” our beloved Keys. Google Brazil, citing freedom of expression, did not remove the video immediately, disobeying a court order.

YouTube was also the target of another process that resonated well in the press. The family of the young Nissim Ourfali sued Google Brazil after an invitation video for Bar Mitzvah become a viral, with millions of views. The court ruled that Google should remove the content, and the decision has been met. Now, instead of video, YouTube shows a message that the content was removed due to a “legal government request”.

Still in Brazil, Google caused confusion with Buscapé after launching its own comparison service prices, Google Shopping. Unlike Buscapé, Google does not charge interested in registering their shops prices in the service. Buscapé believes that Google takes advantage of the dominant position in the search market to show different results and so favor their own products, which would affect the business of the national company. Buscapé lost the case at first instance.

Another issue much discussed in 2012 was the issue of privacy and Google has been involved in several controversies. The year has started with the change of privacy policy, in order to “provide a more personalized experience.” Some publications have said that Google would be breaking the promise “Do not be evil”, but in the end, this simplification served to launch Google tools such as Google Now, which uses data from all its services to display information relevant.

In a year full of legal disputes between technology companies, Google managed to win Oracle in a case involving breach of patents. In May, the company also paid a $ 22.5 million fine after sending without permission cookies to users of Safari browser. Interestingly, the company did not admit the crime.

What to expect for 2013?

The year that is coming may answer some important questions. Google+ will finally succeed, or will continue restricted to a small number of users actually active? Android will be able to provide a good experience on tablets, with tailored applications for larger screens? Services that are almost dying like Feed Burner, will give his last breath in 2013? Chromebooks will reach a significant number of sales? And Google TV, where you’re going?

Google releases are often unpredictable and, therefore, we can not guess what the company is preparing for 2013. But it certainly will be a year of decisions for Google, which will see many of their products evolving and popularizing – or by the time the group of losers.

 

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