1. Technology

Android, Apps, and More

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Google is synonymous with Web search, but Google offers a wide variety of other products and services from email and blogging tools to services for mobile devices.

Google encourages their engineers to spend twenty percent of their time on alternate projects, and sometimes the results are surprising. Google also makes strategic purchases of Web 2.0 companies.

  1. Android and Google Mobile
  2. Google Downloads
  3. Google Web Services
  4. Mashups and Third Party Tools
  1. Google Experiments
  2. Gmail
  3. YouTube

Android and Google Mobile

Android

Eventually we're going to stop using large computers and lugging around heavy laptops. The future of the Internet is in mobile devices and phones. Google has been very busy in this space and currently has a lot of applications available for smart phones like iPhones and Blackberries.

Not only do they make applications, they even make an operating system for phones: Android. T-Mobile introduced the first Android-powered phone to the world with the debut of the G1 in October of 2008, and today it can be found just about everywhere. Unlike most phone operating systems, Android is almost entirely open source and Google is giving it away to phone manufactures for free.

Google Downloads

Picasa

Google has several products that are software downloads you can run from your desktop. Nearly everything Google offers is a free download, but some of them do have "pro" versions that come with an extra fee.

Google Web Services

Blogger

Advertising is actually Google's most lucrative product. Most Google products are designed around the idea of AdSense. Either the product displays ads automatically or there's a way to voluntarily add them and share revenue.

Mashups and Third Party Tools

Not only does Google offer a lot of products, they also are very willing to let other companies develop tools and products that use Google services.

A mashup is created when an Internet service combines two or more data streams to create a new product or service. It reminds me of the commercial where two people run into each other and combine their chocolate and peanut butter to create a yummy treat.

Google Experiments

Gmail

Google prides itself on an environment that encourages experimentation. Sometimes that works out well, and sometimes the experiments aren't successful.
Google engineers are allowed to spend twenty percent of their time on their own projects to keep their creative juices flowing. This "twenty percent time" has produced or enhanced some of the best non-search products in Google's portfolio, such as Gmail, Google News, and parts of Google Docs.

Gmail

Gmail screen capture

Gmail is probably Google's best April Fool's Day prank. Although it wasn't actually a prank, Gmail's April 1, 2004 introduction of a free email service seemed like it couldn't be serious. Gmail has continued to provide services that defy conventional wisdom about free email.

YouTube

YouTube watch page

Google purchased YouTube for 1.6 billion dollars. The video sharing service was only a year old at the time of purchase, but it had become an instant hit. YouTube continues to be very popular for user-created video content, but it has also been a lightening rod for copyright infringement lawsuits, including an ongoing legal case with Viacom.

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