At a recent keynote speech, Google announced the staggering advance of their mobile device software, Android. Last year, Android had 530 million active users. Now the figure is 1 billion, so in one year their user base has nearly doubled. We are now truly well set in the age of mobile connectivity, and to prove it Googleâ€™s Android and Chrome boss, Sundar Pichai, said that Android users send more than 20 billion text messages, check their phones 100 billion times, and take 93 million selfie photos every day.
The important thing to consider with these figures is that, as discussed on these blogs before, Google is no ordinary technology powerhouse. They are not content with rolling out incremental improvements to their existing technologies and resting on their laurels. Instead they are intensely passionate about bringing the future to consumers at a rapid rate. With a figure of 1 billion people actively participating in the Google ecosystem (although open source, Android is still very much Googleâ€™s baby), the search engine giant will now have an enormous amount of influence over the development of technology way beyond simple web search. People are (largely) comfortable with Google, and wherever they go, consumers will follow.
In the years to come, and by that I mean in less than 3, the companyâ€™s presence will be felt further and further away from the tablet and phone screen. In our cars, in our home appliances and on our bodies. But at the heart of everything, one way or another, will still be the internet. It therefore becomes even more vital that as the internet becomes more accessible to people as they move about, they are able to find the businesses they need.
For instance if you imagine a typical current satnav that can give you a reasonable number of businesses such as restaurants and petrol stations in a given location; it still relies on you to make the final decision which is a very important thing. Imagine now how a Google self drive car would operate? It would surely just be a case of getting in and saying: â€œTake me to the nearest wine merchant,â€ and it would do just that, based on its own search of the businesses operating in the area. The same could be true for pedestrians using Glass-type technology.
So, in a few yearâ€™s time it could be true that we rely on search even more than we do now to make decisions for us. Perhaps only major decisions will involve traditional critical processes without the input of artificial algorithms, otherwise a significant number of our decisions for where we go, what we do and where we buy goods from could be left in the hands of search engine companies.