These have been an interesting two weeks (last week writer’s block did win over me) in the Android/Google world: Samsung presented the Galaxy SIII, Google and Oracle were in court waiting for a decision that could change the IT world, Flipboard for Android was leaked and, last but not least, Google released a new version of its G+ app… for iOS.
Many things have been written by about the Samsung Galaxy SIII and the Google vs Oracle trial. I will only write something about the SIII when I have one in my hands (something that will happen next month) and about the trial I’m waiting for the court to make a final decision, after the appeals and legal what-nots. So, let’s talk about Flipboard and the G+ app update, shall we?
Flipboard: The hipster news reader
Apparently Android users could not wait to have Flipboard running on their devices. The popular, and über glorified iOS news reader, arrived to Android via a leak or, as I see it, a very well done marketing campaign. What is the hype all about? Flipboard doesn’t fill a need, doesn’t add anything extra to the news reading experience and doesn’t give the user the ability to create its own content and publish it, like Google Currents. Apparently the only reason why there is so much hype about it is because Flipboard was only available for iOS before. This really shouldn’t be one “pro or con” point but it is, based on a quick scan of the news feeds that basically say this: “Flipboard for Android is here. No longer exclusive for the SIII. Go get it here. If you want to know how to use it see our iOS review”. I find this even more interesting because when Instagram launched for Android the community was very critical of an app that actually was different from anything that existed for Android: a visual stand alone social network. What are your thoughts on this? Why the different reception to these two apps? I’d really like to know!
If you believe the news, Google is abandoning Android
A few days ago Google released a new version of the Google+ app for iOS. Even if in the official announcement it was said that the new Android version will be rolled out pretty soon and it will include extra goodies, even if it’s not the first time that iOS users get an update before Android users do, the main stream media – the link baiters – didn’t have any problems in making of this fait divers a clear sign that even Google was abandoning Android in favor of iOS: “Google+ iOS app revamped Android left waiting” / “Google Revamps Google+ for iPhone: Android OS Gets Cold Shoulder” / “Google+ puts iOS ahead of Android” (emphasis mine). This, of course, is a bunch of BS but the problem is that regular users – and even tech savvy ones – are led to believe that these comments are factual and true.
And this takes me to the title of this week’s “OutSpin”: No matter what Google does, some heavy weights in the mainstream media will never be appeased. Google is not perfect – far from it – but what the company is doing in the social media space, for almost one year now, is something that is threatening many.That shows in the reviews, news, and opinion articles. It’s up to us, in our networks, to tell the other side of the story, point to the facts, and shed some light in these muddy waters for truth’s sake.
PS: I’m really happy that Facebook finally admitted that it doesn’t get mobile. I’ve been saying this for a long time that the social network’s war will be won, or lost, in the mobile space and Google has an advantage here. Facebook really needs to catch up and come up with something if it wants to stay relevant.