Google makes things and oh hey Facebook does too – Do Not Read Until Monday

The post-5PM-Friday industry newsletter it’s not only totally fine but encouraged to ignore – Do Not Read Until Monday.


Hey guys Google makes stuff too remember

In case you forgot, Google does not just tell you the definitions of words you want to use in a strongly-worded email or feeding your hypochondria (what, just me?), it also makes things. A great many things now.

Similar to an Apple-style product announcement, Google took the stage this week with the latest version of its answer to the iPhone, the Pixel 3. There’s totally one, and then a bigger one, the Pixel 3XL. Then get this: the big one has a notch.

But that’s not all!

It also introduced two brand-spankin-new devices that other companies have already introduced. The Pixel Slate would be analog to the iPad, Surface or Fire Tablet. Home Hub could be thought of in the same realm as the Echo Show or even (SPOILER ALERT) Facebook Portal.

Dispensing with the snark, the key here – and likely top of mind in Google’s overarching product strategy – is that these devices connect … well, everything. And they’re probably the company closest to controlling the complete array of technology items in daily life, though they’re not really the league leader in one thing in particular.

For example:

  • Data on what ads you click on, display and search
  • Your email data
  • Your calendar
  • Content you like via search and YouTube
  • Your apps
  • Your smart appliances and home settings

And probably more but it’s like almost 5 on a Friday. And if you’re logged into their devices, all  the more. That bank of knowledge goes two ways of course. They can be mined to make you more efficient through something like Home Hub or Android Auto, and/or feed you better ads and product suggestions on search and display, or perhaps in the future, your home and car themselves. Using the devices just closes the circle really.

Oh yeah, and it killed Google+* after reveallng a massive data leak. So that’s comforting.




Facebook launched a video chat device. Yes, that Facebook

I dislike that Facebook is called out in more than half of these newsletters, but come on. The data privacy punching bag that later in this writing will be revealed (SPOILER ALERT) confirmed a 30 million-user hack now wants to be all up in your house.

The devices, Portal and Portal+, have ‘smart’ audiovisual features, including a camera that pans and zooms to stay with action, and sound that focuses on those speaking and minimizes background noise. And it integrates with Facebook and Messenger because of course it does. It also features Alexa in a guest starring role.

The Story Time feature – which inserts a speaker visually into a story – is cute and would be nice for parents and grandparents who might be far away.

But that’s how they get ya! 

As far as that negative aspect, the company spent the longest section of its press release detailing privacy and security. You can block the camera physically and through a simple setting, and managing access requires two-factor authentication including your Facebook password and an up-to-12-digit passcode, which will take kids an extra 12 minutes or so to figure out.


Odds + The End


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