An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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December 31, 2011

Predictions for Google's 2012

Last year's predictions weren't that great (the predictions for 2010 were better), but predicting the future is an addictive game, so I'll try again. Here are my predictions for 2012:

1. Oflline Google stores that will sell Chromebooks, Android phones, Google TV boxes, Google-branded shirts and more.

[ update: not true yet ]

2. Google Music will become a subscription service.

[ update: Google Play Music All Access, launched in May 2013 ]

3. Google will focus on improving the quality of Android apps. It will offer better tools for creating consistent user interfaces, it will review some of the new apps and applications will be able to request additional permissions after they've been installed.

[ update: Android Studio, automated malware scanning, 60000 low-quality apps removed ]

4. Google Games - a new service for multiplayer games that will combine the best games for Chrome, Android and Google+, while syncing your data, ranking users and allowing you to challenge your friends.

[ update: Google Play Games (May 2013) ]

5. A new music editing online service that will only work in Chrome (and probably other Chrome-only services).

[ update: not true ]

6. ARM Chromebooks (notebooks and tablets) and ARM Google TV boxes will be cheaper and more successful.

[ update: true for the Chromebooks (best selling laptop on Amazon); ARM Google TV boxes are cheaper, but not that successful ]

7. Google+ will have at least 300 million users at the end of 2012 and will incorporate many existing Google apps. Google will aggressively promote the service and will even integrate it with Chrome.

[ update: 500 million users in December 2012 ]

8. Google Instant Answers - an improved OneBox that will offer some of the detailed answers that are available in Wolfram Alpha.

[ update: Google Knowledge Graph (May 2012) ]

9. A virtual assistant for Android that will be more powerful than Siri and it will also be available in the desktop Google interface as an upgrade for voice search. Google will get better at supporting natural language queries.

[ update: launched in June 2012 ]

10. Google's navigation menu will be customizable and the notification box will support new services.

[ update: not true ]

11. The first Google-branded Motorola phones and tablets.

[ update: not true ]

12. Google search results personalized based on information from your calendar, Google+ posts, the apps you install etc.

[ update: search plus your world (January 2012), Gmail Field Trial (August 2012) ]

13. Google Doodle Creator - a service that lets you create a doodle and share it with your friends.

[ update: not true ]

14. Image Search will be able to analyze images and recognize multiple objects and people.

[ update: not true ]

15. Chrome Web Store apps and extensions for Android.

[ update: not true ]

16. YouTube's HTML5 player will become the default player.

[ update: not true ]

17. YouTube's new TV-like channels will combine some of the best videos that are available.

[ update: paid YouTube channels (May 2013) ]

18. The largest fine in Google's history.

[ update: $22.5 million in August 2012 for Safari tracking ]

19. Blog commenting service powered by Google+.

[ update: launched in April 2013 ]

20. Google+ Answers service replaces Aardvark.

[ update: not true ]

21. An online Chrome dashboard will let you access your data (bookmarks, passwords, apps) even when you don't use Chrome.

[ update: not true ]

22. Better Google Docs for tablets, Google Drive - a new name for the Google Docs list, apps for syncing files and more free storage.

[ update: Google Drive launched in April 2012 ]

53 comments:

  1. 10, 11, 12, 22 - Almost definite

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    1. Just commenting to see how threaded comments in Blogger work.

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  2. good predictions. I hope they are all implemented

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  3. Nice list, I also hope that it will become future in 2012. Also hope that Google will promote Google+ in Holland with TV Commercials, to get the people from Facebook... Hard one.

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  4. Would like to see a reason for every prediction :D

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  5. I'm hoping that they completely remove storage limits. Do it for April Fools Day. Then buy Dropbox and do the same thing.

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  6. What about a browser IDE like cloud9ide, i would really like to see that...

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  7. #11 - Please no :( After working with a wide variety of Android phones for a few months, I've realized the only really good ones are made by Samsung, and even then, the Nexus line is by far the best, due to the use of stock Android vs Samsung's crazy custom UI.

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  8. The largest fine in Google's history.????????

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  9. All good hopes. How about simply integrating gmail with google docs? Not brain surgery, I'd think.

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  10. #11 won't happen. Google will split Motorola with a deal to use the IP to protect Android. That's all.

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  11. #2 isn't likely. Subscription services can't compete with buying songs individually, and people want to manage their music in the cloud for free.

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  12. What do you think about dropping support for some services ? What about Orkut ?

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  13. Another prediction: No. 23. In 2012 Google will continue to lose its previously high reputation amongst power-users that it lost in 2011 when Google ignored, and continued to ignore, the overwhelming distaste amongst users of Google Reader for a terrible corporate-minded redesign of the Reader page that is hopelessly out touch with the functions of the newsreader.

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  14. Sounds more like a wishlist :-)

    #4 - a separate Google Games service seems unlikely. With the plusification of google, it would be much more logical for social (multiplayer) games on Chrome and Android to be able to sync via Google+

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  15. I'll add a prediction:

    Google Docs will have TRUE offline access that includes both reading and editing.

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  16. I definitely don't think number 5 will materialise. Other than that (but still toning down all the "it'll be better than that other thing that does the same but from another megacorp") and this list pretty much sounds like an internal to do list.
    They have laid the ground for most of these anyway and foundations are there. I like the general gist that Google+ is going to be an instant contact service for any chat or questions rather than another silly bunch of static "showing off" posts that people respond to some times.

    Keep up the blog, it's my go to for any Google news.

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  17. Google Apps will be renamed Google Second Class, and Google Second Class users will not be allowed to use any new Google services, even when technically possible.

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  18. 2. Google Music subscription service - Will not happen. Labels hate the system, artists hate the system, and Google doesn't want to pisss them off.
    4. Google Games - Urgently necessary, but will not happen. Can you even begin to imagine what a challenge it would be to unify Android, Google+, and web (Chrome) apps?
    5. Websites that work only in Chrome - Nothing works "only in Chrome". Google is never anticompetitive. The things that work "only in Chrome" are open technologies that rival browsers haven't adopted yet, and you can't blame Google for having a feature-rich browser.
    13. Google Doodle Cretor - Will not happen. This would have been good for Google Labs, but that was shut down. I doubt with the recent product-trimmings, Google'll release something as trivial as this.
    15. Chrome Web Store for Android - Umm what?? Do you realize how much of a headache this would be? If this were to happen, would a user buy Angry Birds from the Android Market or the Web Store in the Chrome app? An Android tablet with a keyboard or a Chromebook? Until 5G comes along and the web is advanced enough, Google will not risk merging Chrome and Android.
    22. Google Drive - A common misconception for non-Googlers, but understandable. So let me spell it out for the last time: GOOGLE DRIVE WILL NEVER BE RELEASED. OK? Google Docs is here to stay, Google Drive is an internal app used by Googlers only.
    All the other ideas were very good. I agreed with most of them.

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  19. I'd prefer Google buy Evernote, seeing as how half my life is in there.

    Really enjoy the site. Keep up the great work!

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  20. I'd prefer Google buy Evernote, seeing as how half my life is in there.

    Really enjoy the site. Keep up the great work!

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  21. That is super information! Thanks for sharing!

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  22. #12 - I think Chromebooks will disappear in 2012. People are not buying them, and rightly so since who wants to buy a browser for $300.

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  23. One more: Chrome will much bloated.

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  24. @ okungnyo

    Are you a Googler yourself? You seem so sure about there never being a G Drive!? As a non-Googler I'd say it's VERY likely there'll be a G Drive to compete with DropBox, Microsoft's SkyDrive and Apple's iCloud and there's been a few leaked screenshots recently (which can be found on this blog) not shots from a few years back when the rumors first started. I think it will be almost a necessity to have a SINGLE place from where you can access all the data you have on your Google account and manage/prioritize the amount of storage you want available to each Google product/service... your files in the current G Documents (1 GB), your pictures in Picasa (another free 1 GB and already being merged into G+ as "Photos") the ~ 8 GB available to G Mail and G knows how much space available in G Music.

    If they could combine the G Drive with services like G Dashboard for an overview (and shutdown/deletion) of all the G products you use and G Takeaway (for ALL G products) for copying/downloading your data and also let you manage which products should use the most memory (I don't need 8 GB for my mail for instance) they'll have a smash hit... assuming the UI/UX is cool.

    @ Alex Chitu

    With regards to point 4 I'd love to see something like that happen but I wouldn't get my hopes up. My personal "dream" for years has been to see Google buy Steam or at least work very closely with them and make a competitor to OnLive ;)

    As for the rest of your suggestions I'd say as some others have already said: they seem to be almost a sure thing as Google has already laid the groundwork for many of them. And personally I would really like to see a customizable Nav menu (point 10) for choosing the shortcuts (and order of them) to the products I use most often... maybe it'll do that automatically based on your history!?

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  25. Seriously, cool features. Hope they're implemented but I wonder about 18...expecting something eh?

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  26. I sincerely hope that #s 3, 4, 6, 7, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19 and 22 come true. If Google makes services Chrome-only, you'll definitely see some anti-competition suits and maybe a huge fine.

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  27. Looks like everything is Chrome?

    That's a shame, I love Chrome Browser, but a few weeks ago it refused to open on my PC. I tried installing various versions of the browser, no luck.

    Looks like I'm going to be excluded form the Google Goodies......

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  28. Hi there please subscribe & follow my blog(sweekysingh.blogspot.com) & in return i'll follow yours........... :)

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  29. I want APIs,APIs,APIs,APIs,APIs,APIs...

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  30. where is the android @ home??????

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  31. The real missing link: Video editing on G+. Instant Upload is magical on my phone, but once the videos are on Plus, they're locked in a silo. I can't edit them. I can't post them to YouTube. Absolutely pointless.

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  32. I will make a bold prediction and say that Google will do another huge update like the "panda" that will shake the whole blogosphere and online world. It won't be that surprising at all actually, the way they have been going at it lately.

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  33. How about a full Google+ API. It's not as rich as Facebook's. For instance - simple things like Comment, Share and + counts aren't available via API

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  34. Alex, great list. We included a bunch of Google-related items in our "9 Ed-Tech Predictions for 2012" from the State of Tech podcast (some of them similar to yours, but with others you did not cover). You can see the video here: http://www.thestateoftech.org/2012/01/episode-8-podcast-ed-tech-predictions.html

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  35. Man, you missed a pretty big one: Chrome for Android. It isn't just a possibility, it's what makes sense.

    Chromebooks can become shells or accesories (think of the Asus Padfone or the Motorola lapdock), the potential there is incredible.

    And another one that would be sweet: Chrome Native Client goes into overdrive, offering more and more applications besides Bastion and such. Even a streaming application like Onlive can be made for the browser (Google buying Onlive would seem like a good fit).

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  36. Your first prediction for offline Google stores is a good one but I doubt it may happen anytime soon ...

    Google is a web company not a hardware one ...

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  37. How about opening Google+ to minors? Wait, that would be too hard for Google to do. I forgot.

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  38. re: #2

    I think that your wording here might bite you in the bum come 2013. Google music isn't going to become a subscription service. Google will probably add a subscription service to it's offerings and, again, it will probably be purchased in the Google market with your Google wallet but it will be it's own seperate service, in addition to Google Music's current functionality.

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  39. I would like to read more from you..Thanks for the nice read i had..

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  40. Hi,
    I am curious about number 7 and see if google plus will really manage it. And well number 18...see how much this fine is going to be....

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  41. What about Google Apps? What's in the works to take on MicrosoftN

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  42. Google Instant Answers :-)

    This is the things that really interest me ...
    way to go google

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  43. I predict that Google will have a great change in their algo and search engine rankings.

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  44. Google Tablet (branded with Motorola or not) is a definite.

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  45. Hooray! GOS Blog rocks!
    I wish that Google Chromebooks in general will improve a lot, as to make the devices a lot more functional, attractive, and useful to the general public. (If the iPhone the iPad and the Android can become great, what can Google do to make the same success for the Chromebook?)

    Also I hope Google doesn't invest so much into Chrome and Google+ that they run into bankruptcy. I like innovation, not drive and go go go.

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  46. By the end of 2012, Google will be broken into many pieces. The US government will discover many illegal business practices inside many Google products. 50% of the internet users will take Google and all its products as a spyware and there will be many anti-Google wings like FairSearch. Many governments will block Google.com and some/all of its products in their countries.

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    1. Why are you posting about Facebook.com on a post about Google?

      ;)

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  47. Google is no doubt a web king but it is bitter reality that Google can't do better in social media industry. If I suppose a cow can eat its own meat so I am fool at all.

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  48. Hopefully, all of this would be out in the market and implement it. I understand Google expand their business to meet the standards of the users.

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