When the Internet powerhouse Google purchases a company, it makes news. Funny that a corporation so visible to hundreds of millions online every day, can keep such suspense over their next move. Technology newsfeeds like Techcrunch and Mashable instantly predict “what this move means” for the future of the company and for the future of innovation. Let’s take a look at some of the more notable acquisitions as it relates to their current Android Operating System and the technology team they’ve produced.
Google quietly purchased the 22-month old startup in 2005 without leaving too much of a wake. The wave that would become Android Operating Systems was humbly described as an acquisition for technology and talent. Clearly Google placed a bet on mobile and smart technology. At the time of acquisition, so little was known about Android as a company, reporters simply described it as a mobile phone software company. In an interview in 2003, Android co-founder Andy Rubin (whose talent was certainly attractive to Google) talks about the amazing future of technology by saying “if people are smart, that information starts getting aggregated into consumer products.” That was 2003.
Where Do We Go From Here:
Google clearly made a smart bet on mobile, as the Android OS is changing the way consumers interact with everything from automobiles towrist watches. Because of the open source playground for developers, embedded Android technology is making its way into more consumer products and personal devices.
More recently, Google scooped up Pitt Patt (2011) and Viewdle (2012). Both are facial recognition software companies. In close competition with Facebook over this technology, Google has one thing the social network doesn’t: an entire mobile operating system.
The possibilities for this software in the hands of Google go well beyond auto-tagging images of your Aunt Sally. This can, and surely will, be used in anti-theft devices for cars, facial recognition in security for smart devices like phones, tablets, and watches. It’ll likely also be used to help these devices identify the user and save preferences when it recognizes them.
A clear choice for Google to acquire, DroidBooster claims it can increase the performance of any embedded code to make it ten times faster. A hyperbolic claim? Maybe… but Google took them at their word. The “software and the expertise” are two common reasons for Google to explain their acquisitions of just about any company, but there might not be any more to this one. Reports say the DroidBooster startup team began working with the Android team almost immediately.
Optimizing Android was a big win for Google in 2013. Not only did it make the OS faster on devices currently running on the platform, but it also made the platform accessible to millions of more people on low-end devices at a speed that doesn’t feel like… well… a low-end device.
Google is a company in motion. There are plenty of other acquisitions like Nest, Bitspin, Behavio, and Flutter that will lead to innovation we can only imagine. It appears that Google can not only imagine the future of technology, but build the foundation to get there, and that Android will be a huge part of the journey.
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