Google wants to make sure “your web works consistently, seamlessly across all your devices” and that you can always access all of its cloud services.
Chrome, said senior vice president of Chrome Sundar Pichai at day two of the company’s I/O developers conference, was “built for a better web”, which would allow that to happen automatically.
Unfortunately, the current web doesn’t really allow for that — which is one reason it’s had to launch unique versions of the browser for individual devices (like the iPhone version it launched at the event).
That philosophy of building software to work across a range of devices doesn’t just apply to Chrome either.
“No matter which device you’re using, we’re working really hard across all the platforms… We want to make sure it’s about the user,” said Pichai.
He points to 2004 as a pivotal time in Chrome’s development. That’s apparently when Google realised that when you’re living online, and living in the cloud, you’re using cloud applications.
Gmail is a great example of this philosophy. You can access Calendar, Documents, Spreadsheets… and Drive from your Gmail account. All of them also sync across all your devices.
It reckons hundreds millions of people are adopting this multi-device, cloud-driven philosophy, which it calls “Going Google”.
Interestingly there wasn’t really any hint that Google+ might be a key component of this philosophy, beyond using the Hangouts feature for meetings.
Of course, if you’re going to live in the cloud then you need a cloud-based storage service. That’s where Google Drive comes in and the internet giant claims it’s been downloaded more than 10-million times since it was downloaded a few weeks ago.
According to Clay Bavor, director of product management for Google Apps “Google Drive is all about making it easy to live in the cloud.”
This cloud service just got a little fluffier too: it’s now available on iOS and Chrome OS. Although, let’s be honest, who uses Chrome OS?
These new versions of Drive do however seem pretty smart. Let’s say you’ve just been on a snorkelling holiday and you’ve uploaded all your snaps to Drive. Search “beach” for instance and it’ll use image recognition technology to find your holiday snaps.
“We can actually use image recognition technology to peer inside the images to understand the content… no labels, no metadata it just works,” said Bavor.
Oh and that ever-present issue about not being able to access your cloud-based work when you’re offline? Google reckons it’s got that covered too.
You can now edit documents on Google Drive while you’re offline. As soon as you go online, the updates are pushed to all your other devices.
Now if only it could get people to buy all those Chromebooks it must have lying around. Oh wait, it gave away a whole lot of those at the conference too.