A Closer Look into Alphabet’s (AKA Google) Hardware Business and its Competitors - Part 3 of 3

Can Google Hardware be All Things to All People?

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of Google Advanced Image Search

Everyone knows that Google is the king of search engines and that Google has dozens of internet properties and applications. But did you know that Google is also big into all kinds of hardware? Google is into creating some of the top hardware tech on the planet, and it's looking to become a dominant player in hardware tech as well as the internet. In this 3rd episode of “Can, Google be all things to all people,” Working the web to win will take a close look at Alphabets (aka Google) hardware tech, including driverless cars, Nexus tablets, Pixel smartphones, Chromecast, Chromebooks and Google home. So, open up the notes section of your browser as we take a spyglass look into Googles hardware divisions.

Courtesy of Wikipedia
Google Driverless Cars - Google has been involved in the development of driverless cars for some time now. We originally wrote about this in 2012 in our article called “Praise the Borg and Pass the Ammunition”  and again when we first wrote about Google morphing into Alphabet in our article called “Is Google Trying to Make Alphabet Soup Out of its Company?”.  Today there are driverless cars using the roadways in several cities. In a recent article entitled “Ohio Is Building The Country's Longest Driverless Car Ready Highway,” it shows how many cities in the US are embracing and implementing driverless cars. 


But this technology is not without problems. For example, in an article called “Products Liability and Driverless Cars: Issues and Guiding Principles for Legislation,” it talks about the issues of who is at fault when a driverless car is involved in an accident. Also in another article entitled “Google’s Driverless Cars Run Into Problem: Cars With Drivers,” it talks about how the AI in these cars can get stuck trying to stick to the letter of the law at four way stops. And of course, there is the issue of these vehicles being hacked. Since these cars are controlled by AI computers,
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
they are vulnerable. Read “Driverless cars are far from immune to car hacking” for more details. Having said that, autonomous vehicles will not be restricted to the roadways. There will also be driverless boats (read: Autonomous Boats Will Explore the High Seas by 2025) Trucks, and flying vehicles aka drones). Google is at the forefront of this tech in a race with companies like Tesla, Uber, and Lift. The problems are not exclusive to Google either. This is evident from the headlines of a recent ABC news broadcast about Uber’s driverless cars entitled “Uber halts testing of driverless cars - An SUV in Arizona was struck by an Uber self-driving vehicle,” You can watch the video by clicking on the article link above.

Google has also bolstered in position in this field by partnering up with rival lift. In another ABC news broadcast called New partnership hopes to make self-driving cars a reality. It talks about how this new partnership looks to push the technology forward. You can also watch by clicking on the link for the article above.

Google’s Pixel C Tablets - Google has been building tablets for some time now. They have been an innovator and have worked in conjunction with many other hardware manufacturers, mainly because they provide the operating system the powers all the android tablets built today. However, they are not the top dog in this category. Other manufacturers have been enhancing and providing value add to the Android OS.
Courtesy of Pixabay
Companies like Samsung and Amazon provide android tablets that are at the top of this category in both hardware specifications and value-added features. And they are not alone. Apple, Samsung, and Amazon were the three most often picked as best. The Amazon fire was also in the top 5 often. Having said that, the Google Pixel C usually makes the top 10 in most lists. It is full featured, comes with a fantastic screen, plenty of power and the latest
Android OS 7, Nougat. Google also makes another lower cost tablets line called the Nexus as well. For more details Read these articles.
Google’s Pixel XL Smartphones - The smartphone industry reminds me of the game leap frog. It is one of the most innovative and competitive industries in the tech arena. It seems like most of the top manufacturers will be on top for some category or other at some point in time. Having said that, who is on top is usually short lived. However, there is a list of usual winners to choose from. Google has been one of these players for
courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
quite some time now. Their latest smartphone called the Pixel, and Pixel XL are top rated in most tests and usually show up in the top five at the finish line. Other phones that are almost always at the top are Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy, which duking it out for best overall all. However, some list still place the Google Pixel as the best Android phone. Check out these articles to make up your own mind.

Google’s Chromecast TV Streaming devices - Smart TV’s are all the rage right now, but there are millions more that are dumb or just semi-smart all over the world. To enhance these TV’s, you can purchase an internet streaming device. In fact, many Blu-ray and DVD players add this functionality as well. Google has been one of the pioneers in this field along with Apple and a few others. Although Google is not the top pick in the field, it is a top ten player and is a great value with its low-price tag. Today the field is crowded with products like; Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Dish air Play, NVIDIA Shield, Xbox One, Sony PlayStation and Blu-ray players. In 2015, Google introduced a product call Chromecast that allows you to wirelessly connect your computers, tablets and
Courtesy of Flickr
smartphones to your TV so that you can stream what’s on that device directly to your TV. Today it's still a full featured device and still has a low entry level price. Many of the latest products also add HD and other premium features. Amazon Fire TV has added Alexa Voice remote to one of its models and Roku has a model that support headphones as well. To select a product that fits your needs peruse these articles comparing the top product in this competitive tech field.

Google’s Chromebook Notebooks - The notebook arena is a very diverse field. It is dominated by Windows 10 OS and Apple OSI platform notebooks. Google has created the Chromebook Pixel that is a high-end cloud subscriber computer with a top of the line display, processor, and chassis. Having said that, Google provides the operating system that is supplied by many other manufacturers on their version of Chromebook. I was surprised to see the inroads that Chromebook’s have made in the last few years. With more and more of the functionality moving to the cloud, less hardware is needed for local storage. Also, many users only
Courtesy of Flickr
need to log into the cloud to utilize their choice of software as a service product. A great example of this is the Googles G suite, which is cloud based and includes word processing, a spreadsheet, presentation software, email, calendar, contacts, website creation, video conferencing and cloud storage. One of the things I found interesting was that several Chromebook’s were rated highly as notebooks, not just entry level or budget products.  The Asus Chromebook Flip at $499, has an all metal body and is being compared to the look and feel of an Apple MacBook Pro. In the budget arena Chromebook’s rule and the best choice for a person looking for a device that is primarily used for online computing. Here are the best articles I found to help you choose your next notebook for either desktop or cloud computing.

Google’s Home AI Assistances devices - In the Artificial Intelligent Assistant arena, smartphones were the first products on the market. Siri and OK Google are now part of the way many mobile users exercise their digital lives. With voice commands, they can be tied into our cars, navigation, music, and shopping. Then in 2014, along came Alexa and the game changed. Alexa was a leap in conversational expression by an AI device and made Siri look inept. Today it has expanded its influence to many other home-control devices like lighting, entry locks, multimedia
Courtesy of Flickr
device control and much more. Google has entered this arena with Google Home, and the battle for the hearts and minds of the AI assistant are heating up. So far Amazon has the edge with its wide product support and library of functions. However, my experience with Google is that it is better at understanding conversational language than the Amazon Echo. I own an Echo and use OK Google a lot. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. If you're looking for a product with wide third-party support, the Echo will be your choice, if you want the best AI that understands conversational language, you will go with the Google Home device. Both have third party products available for them, but instead of relying on my opinion, I suggest you read these additional articles to make up your mind on which is best for you.

There is no doubt left in my mind that Google is a worldwide powerhouse with its technical fingers in most aspects of technology. From trying to extend life and too robotic and internet usage Google has become for many all things. If I were to make a prediction, it would be that in the future, Google will become an even bigger player than they are now. Google is already bigger financially than many countries around the world. Time will tell if Google can become all things to all people. If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t bet against them.

That’s my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

This article is part of a 3 part series that discusses if Google can be all things to all people. It covers six of Alphabet’s (AKA Google’s) hardware endeavors that include Googles Driverless cars, Googles tablets, smartphones, Chromebooks, streaming devices and Home AI assistants. It compares Google products against its top competitors and comments on their value, functionality, and usefulness. This article provides dozens of links to other comparison articles and articles related to this subject.
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If you found this article useful, please share it with friends, family, and co-workers. I recommend checking out the links in the blog, along with checking out other related articles on our Show Notes Page.  Also, this article is part of a three part series, so check out “Episode one - A Look at What Alphabet (AKA Google) Has to Offer the World and Episode two, A Comparative Look at Google’s Top Applications and its Competitors.” Don’t forget to listen to the BlogTalkRadioshow on this subject.  If you have a related useful comment or opinion about to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog.  Also, don’t forget to plus us, on Google+ and share us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well.


Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.” 

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