A story of two hardware departments.
Google as reported by The informationsuffers from operational chaos that is as bizarre as it is incapable. Hardware chief Rick Osterloh reportedly held a meeting where he said everyone “he disagreed with some decisions made over the phone” – aren’t these decisions things? he is responsible for? The visionary who made the pixel’s excellent camera what it is leaves it quietly, while the man who is responsible for the pixel hardware as a whole is put to a strange job before he leaves completely. Shot.
Amazon has some new, iterative updates for its Fire HD tablets. No fanfare and nothing to really get excited about ̵
Both Amazon and Google operate companies that make a lot of money from things that have nothing to do with the manufacture of gadgets. Nevertheless, every company considers it important to manufacture consumer electronics. Why?
Amazon doesn’t make a smartphone – after the Fire Phone debacle, it’s hard to blame the company. But there are a lot of things in categories where competition is less fierce or where Amazon can make money more easily without anyone worrying about how successful (or not) it is. It invented the smart speaker market, it makes cheap earphones, it makes smart cameras and WiFi routers.
With so many standard parts for Android phones, these Fire tablets are probably a lot cheaper and easier to manufacture than you might think. And since no one bothered to make Android tablets because the phones are so big, there isn’t much competition. And People who buy Fire HD tablets are more likely to use Amazon’s other services.
We all know the score on Amazon products: some of them were made to keep you in the Amazon ecosystem. Many of the first iterations of Amazon hardware look somewhat unconventional: the first Echo, Echo Auto, the Echo Show, and even the very first Kindle looked like internal prototypes that the company chose. The refinement takes place later after the market has proven itself. (From time to time, Amazon proves that it can do something nice on the first try, like Echo Studio.)
The point is: no one emphasizes Amazon hardware (unless it’s ring cameras and the social issues they pose). We know what Amazon hardware is to the. It supports Amazon’s content services: Prime Video and Kindle, as well as Alexa and the retail store itself. Amazon hardware gilds the lily, and the lily is made of money.
However, Google’s hardware is causing more fear. Much of it is simply that the company that literally manufactures Android doesn’t seem to be able to develop a successful Android phone. The Wi-Fi product works well and the smart speakers are fine. Nest, hoo, that was a wild ride there for a minute and it just recently (mostly) settled.
Basically, it’s too hard to explain what Google hardware is to the. It used to be said that these were platform experiments. You couldn’t build Android without new content on which to test new versions. That’s why Google created Nexus. It wanted to shoot TV again, so Chromecast did something that felt like a lark to see if it worked.
But now if you ask the executives (and I) they will tell you that hardware should become a real profit center, a real business. In theory, that makes sense. The diversification of incoming income sources is almost an existential need for Google. Amazon has several ways to make a lot of money, and its hardware products are participating in a positive cycle with some of them. Google has advertising.
In practice, however, it’s hard to believe that Google is really serious about this. Google will tell you to stop calling it a hobby, but it is difficult not to. We are working on the release of the sixth Pixel phone, the Pixel 4A. We’re also less than a year away from the five year anniversary of Google’s hardware division. If Google was serious, we might have seen serious phone sales by now.
What is Google hardware? to the?
Hardware is not existentially important for Amazon or Google, but it is important feels more existential for Google simply because its successes and failures summarize the essence of what Google is aiming for. The goal is to be “helpful” directly with the Google Assistant and various other various services. And its hardware is mostly a means of presenting this AI.
When it’s not on a website, most people’s experiences with Google are conveyed in some way. They occur on Dell laptops, Apple tablets or Samsung phones. If I had to say what I think Google hardware is mainly for now, I would say that Google knows deep down that mediation is a big problem.
The cynical assumption is that Google is securing its bets by keeping a hardware department at a subsistence level, just in case it has to be started up quickly if one of these other companies decides to cut it off. The nonprofit attitude is that Google wants to make sure that the best experience possible is at least an option for people who want it.
The cynical and charitable attitudes are not mutually exclusive.
Sony speaks quietly and carries a large PS5
┏ According to Sony, PlayStation 5 is still on the right track for release on vacation 2020
┏ Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic, says the PS5 is so impressive that it will “help drive future PCs.”. He is very impressed. When I first saw reports of fast storage, I thought it was just faster loading times. It is clearly so much more.
“We have been working very closely with Sony for some time,” he says. “The memory architecture on the PS5 is above all what you can currently buy on a PC for any amount of money. It will help power future PCs. [The PC market is] I’m going to see this thing and say, “Oh wow, SSDs have to catch up.”
┏ Epic Games announces Unreal Engine 5 with a stunning PlayStation 5 demo. Look at that. I am not joking. I don’t suggest lightly. This has the potential to be transformative for indie games, not just AAA titles Jon Porter pointed this out. Unreal Engine is accessible and widely used.
For a long time I hadn’t been so enthusiastic about a video called “Look at the nice graphics”.
┏ Sony says “Wait for PS5 sales” before comparing it to Microsoft’s Xbox marketing. With graphics like Epic showed yesterday, you can’t blame Sony for being so confident.
┏ Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro (2020) test: return to the baseline
┏ Dell launches the new XPS 17 and has redesigned the XPS 15 with 16:10 edge-to-edge displays. This is a huge update for a fairly popular machine. These displays are something else too! I mentioned this in my 13-inch MacBook Pro review, but it needs to be repeated: Apple’s historical strengths – screen and battery life – don’t look as strong compared to the competition at the moment.
┏ The upgradeable dream of the Alienware Area-51m failed in just one year. Modular devices are super super hard to find and almost always fail, part 932.
The Area-51m should offer the best parts of desktop gaming PCs and portable gaming laptops in a single device. Instead, with its high price and limited upgradeability, it’s a series of compromises that highlight the worst limitations of both categories.
┏ Donald Trump extends the Huawei ban to May 2021. It looks like Huawei will have to sell the P30 Pro for quite a while.
┏ GM kills its Ariv electric bike project. Well, that’s crap.
More from The Verge
┏ Tesla reopens Nevada Gigafactory after the California auto plant is back online. Big Shovel from Sean O’Kane.
┏ The doomsday bunker market is blooming amid the corona virus pandemic. Good story from Zoe Schiffer. None of this is removed from rational behavior.
┏ A runaway Chinese missile may have dumped debris in Africa after falling out of space. Creepy! Loren Grush has the details:
At 21 tons, the core of the Long March 5B is far more massive than the 8-ton Chinese space station Tiangong-1, which hit Earth in 2018. In fact, the Long March 5B is the fifth largest object. Make an uncontrolled descent to Earth, according to McDowell. “This is the heaviest object for uncontrolled re-entry since 1991,” he claims
┏ How the novel corona virus accelerates the roller apocalypse. Andrew Hawkins reports:
“The big scooter companies are losing so much money,” said Courtney Ehrlichman, former vice president of Carnegie Mellon University’s Mobility Research Institute. “They’re just trying to hold on to their pants. I don’t see them as really strategic. And who’s going to throw in money now?”
┏ How public art funding helps developers create unique, diverse games. I had no idea that public funding was so common and so important for the development of indie games.
Without public funds, we would never have seen the antics of Untitled Goose Game. The game became a viral sensation and won the Game of the Year at the Independent Games Festival 2020 and the DICE Awards. In many ways, it turned out that the state governments’ investments had paid off. Public funding was no longer just for niche projects. Film Victoria is now a monolith in the development of Australian indie games and has expanded its cultural influence worldwide.