2017 State of Mobile: Google

2017 will be interesting to see where Google takes Android in the coming year. Google has already released the early developer preview of Android O and is set to take new directions in regards to Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence integration.

Google has been pretty consistent over the last 5 years. In 2015 it released the all so popular Nexus 6P. It was popular because of its affordability and power. It was well received by the tech community, even with some of its drawbacks. It was a great phone and continues to be great phone into a crucial 2017 year for Google.
Nexus 6P 
Going back to 2016, Google took a radically new direction with its mobile phone lineup. Google actually made the device this time. Well not in reality, but from engineering to the software experience it was all Google. Google tapped long time Taiwanese Android phone manufacturer HTC to produce the phone for them. This began the era of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL.

Google Pixel XL
Google made bold claims when it was unveiling the Pixel. Google claimed it had created a phone with hands down the best camera on a mobile device. The Pixel did live up to that claim as tested by multiple tech reviewers. Google had hit a homerun, or did it? Google was charging a premium price just like Apple, with most models starting around $700. Google was trying to compete with Apple, but it was obvious Google was not ready to compete with Apple in the premium mobile phone category. Besides the great camera, the Pixel was hampered with multiple issues due to rushed production. It wasn't fully waterproof which is odd for a phone in 2016 and it only had one speaker, a downgrade from the Nexus 6P's dual speaker setup. All in all Google had actually created demanded for the Pixel and it seems to be a very hard phone to get your hands on even today.

Google Daydream View
We can't leave Google out of the VR (Virtual Reality) mix in regards to mobile. Google is the current company pushing the VR platform for mobile and other devices. Google released the Daydream View as a reference device for mobile VR. It's comfortable, simple, and ergonomic, which is all that is needed for the common consumer. One drawback unfortunately is that only a handful of devices have support for the Daydream View. If you are lucky enough to have one of those devices, the Daydream View is a joy to use and is very immersive when worn for long periods of time.

I expect a strong year from Google. It has some work to do to rectify the flaws of the original Pixel and its exciting to see where Google takes its artificial intelligence integration in Android O. I am expecting a new round of Pixel's obviously, a new and improved Daydream headset, a new Pixel tablet possibly, a stand alone VR headset, and we might see the fabled Andromeda operating system that is supposively a mix of Android and Google's in house operating system Chrome. Google has a lot of momentum it's riding from 2016, but it will be difficult to continue that momentum in 2017 if it doesn't execute properly and hit the right consumer base.


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