Though most of Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) revenue comes from ads these days, and it has long been a winner with Search, E-mail, Maps and YouTube, the company is still trying to keep up in the arenas where its competitors have an edge.
- Pixel Phone Launching a direct competitor to the iPhone last month was a gutsy move on Google’s part, and it looks like they nailed it. The phone is getting rave reviews and selling pretty well.
- Google Play Music is getting a major facelift this week, in attempt to get some traction against Apple Music. Not only is there an updated user interface, Google has thrown in a new twist: the app will offer playlists based on your location. That means your workout playlist will pop up when you reach the gym, or your preferred music for flights will be waiting for you as you reach the airport.
- Google Assistant is the company’s answer to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa. According to Google’s VP of Engineering, Scott Huffman, Google has been “investing in the core machine learning technologies that enable natural language interfaces for years.” The acquisition of artificial intelligence startup Api.ai in September is evidence that the company takes this division seriously.
- Google Home, which is powered by Google Assistant, went on sale last week. This product is in direct competition with the popular Amazon Echo, but it’s got some catching up to do. The Echo is already in its second generation, and has developed a solid customer base. However, the Smart Home market is still very much in its infancy, so Google probably has a bit of time for the product to find its feet.
All in all, you really have to hand it to Google for not resting on its very profitable laurels, particularly when it comes to hardware. It’s a sign the company is not stagnating, which is always a worry when a business has one hugely profitable product.