Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gadget's and their batteries

The new iPad boosts some great features - retina display, higher graphic performance, 4g connectivity etc.  Now all this is nice but what is nicer is the battery life claimed on it. All this and yet a battery life of 9 hrs is great. Of course there is a secret - bigger denser battery. Knowing Apple, they have probably patented it already.

Today's gadgets (smart phones, tablets etc.) are very smart and power hungry. My android phone and iPad are no different. Since I carry my phone around, I always keep a charger handy with me. I am even considering buying a travel battery pack (something like this but maybe of more capacity. May be someday.

Couple of days back I came across some news on silicon nanowire based battery which can hold 10 times that and tweeted about it. Now this was amazing news. 10 times more battery life will be dream come true. But then I noticed that the news item was from Jan 2008 or earlier. What happened after that? I did more digging...
Amprius is the name of the start-up which is working on this and I found an article in GigaOM for a later date (late 2010). It talks about work still happening on the technology to commercialize it. The start-up is backed by many venture capital firms and Dr. Eric Schmidt (I wonder who is that now). Also found this nice graphical piece of writing which explains the technology in simple terms. The amount of increase it can give (whether 10 times or less) is still under question but even if we get 3 times more that will be good.

If this start up makes commercialization of this technology viable then every gadget maker worth their salt (read Apple and Google) will be behind them. Now will some Dr.Schmidt have any say in the matter.

For me, I hope this technology does not get stuck with one of these big players. This technology can make a great impact to on our lives. So what do you think! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Google rebrands its digital content offering as Google Play (No more android market)

Google is creating a single destination for all its digital content: Google play.

I am still trying to figure out what the 'play' here is. I understand that it is good to bring all their offerings to a single place (part of their consolidation strategy I suppose) as that allows me (the consumer) to not have to go to multiple places to get stuff.

What I don't get the name 'play'. I tried reading the faq to find if there is anything mentioned there which will make things clear but could not. Is Google trying to take a shot at the philosophy that 'life is a game, play it'. Or is it that you play games, movies, music and hence the name (but I don't play books. I also get a lot of work done through the apps). I don't get it.

I understand they wanted to move away from being called "Android Market" because it is more than just about Android. Some people have suggested that they should have used something like "Google Market". That does make sense to me but the only thing is that it looks like a beaten/used name with no 'new' factor (others would say it is a well established brand now).

Why so much hue and cry about the name? Its just a name. But if we think about it, it is the name people use the connect to what is offered. Common sense and even user experience science suggest that having a clear good name is always better than having some vague catchy stylish name. Consumers/customers get simplicity and clarity.

So why is Google doing this? Am I missing the 'play' here?