Google Talk Maybe Dead, But Google Is Everywhere
Four months after Google shut down its social networking site Orkut, the internet giant now plans to shut down its Gtalk messenger (Google Talk) services forever on February 16. Like it or not, millions of users, who have been using Gtalk messenger since a long time, will now have to switch over to the “Google Hangouts” instant messaging and video chat platform, where the tech major sees a lot of potential and believes this is a logical move. In fact, isn’t it obvious not to think about ‘redundant’ technologies when it can be everywhere from mobile and IoT, to wearables and driverless cars (and of course ’search’)!
Signs of Gtalk going down became obvious when Google decided to cut support for the desktop application. As Google said in a statement, “The IM service will be wholly replaced by the Hangouts app, which can be used only via its Chrome web browser. Users can send their last message via Gtalk on February 16 and after that it’ll be history just like Orkut…”
Some believe, WhatsApp has now moved to PCs as well and that has made Gtalk all the more redundant and hence a transit to a more “interactive with visual appealing experience” makes much sense. In the tech world, change is the only thing that’s constant as the rise of one technology brings an end to the other. So, even though Hangout hasn’t been liked by all users, with phone-tablet-PC integration becoming need of hour, the transition was bound to happen sooner than later, believe experts.
Google nevertheless is too busy jostling with its new projects. One of course is its ambition on the Internet of Things (IoT) space. Early last year, the company acquired smart thermostat maker Nest Labs for $3.2 billion to plunge into the connected home. Nest, which is still operated as a separate company, recently announced a host of new partnerships for home automation. There are also conversations around televisions, especially regarding 4K, which is a key area of interest for Sony today.
Google’s other area of interest is in automobile. Android Auto initiative, which is the Android OS powering specific vehicle infotainment displays is touted as having a huge interest. Company officials said that its self-driving cars will hit the roads in two to five years.
Google researchers are currently collecting data on how they interact with other vehicles and pedestrians and is working on sensors to detect road signs and other vehicles, and software that analyzes all the data.Google claims the driverless car may be an efficient way to increase transportation safety.
Android Wear, Google’s wearable initiative, has also been a big undertaking for the company in 2014 and will continue to be a big part of its strategy in the coming months, especially in the auto sector. One of the fullest integrations came from Korean car manufacturer Hyundai, which is building out an accompanying Android Wear app that allows users to remotely start or stop the engine, lock or unlock the doors, flash the lights, honk the horn, or geo locate the car.
The tech major also recently released its Nexus Player and an updated version of the Chromecast, looking to capitalize on the streaming video market. Recently at the CES 2015 at Las Vegas, the company showed the power of Android with the display of LG Flex 2. The phone’s screen is 5.5 inches, setting it on the edge of the phablet category. The phones is powered by a Snapdragon 810 quad-core processor and will ship with Android 5.0.
Moreover, Google’s has had a long-standing interest in providing Internet access to those that don’t currently have access via Project Loon, a proposal to float hundreds of high altitude internet enabling balloons globally. The tech giant is currently investing in Elon Musk’s SpaceX on a valuation of $10 billion. The deal is aimed at supporting the development of SpaceX satellites that could beam low-cost Internet around the globe to billions who do not have access to it.
“Basically, our goal is to organize the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful.” mentioned Larry Page, Google co-founder and CEO in his blog, and whether its search, mobile, cloud, analytics, social media or IoT, Google deals with information – and that would remain ubiquitous, whether it takes off some of its technologies from the market and/or replace with some others.
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