The future is social, local, mobile, says Google’s Eric Schmidt

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt says that all the “interesting applications” of the future are going to be a combination of social, local and mobile.

“All the best engineering is going into mobile apps,” he said at the LeWeb conference in Paris.

The fundamentals of social, mobile and local have been a fundamental truth for human beings for years and we’re now using technology, specifically internet-connected phones, to enhance that.

The social part is what we do as human beings — we speak to our friends and network. The mobile part is we are always on the move and travelling. The local part is that we need information and objects from our immediate environment.

An app on your mobile phone that can do these three things well is an app that will take over the world.

Google+ gives users more privacy
Schmidt says that Google wanted to focus on its new social network, Google+, primarily for two reasons — the company wanted a platform with “more privacy controls” than the current social network market leaders. Google’s social network also gives the search engine behemoth useful social information which will assist it in ranking and finding relevant Search results.

“It allows Google to be better,” says Schmidt. He says that Google+ integration with Android YouTube and other Google platforms was now a key focus for the company.

Schmidt emphasised that Google was not trying to take on Facebook and that Google+ was a differentiated product: “Facebook has done very well. I don’t know if it’s beatable… and we are better off doing something different to them.”

“Facebook has done a very good job and really moved the ball forward. It’s useful for anyone to have competition,” he says.

He emphasised the rival companies were part of the same ecosystem. Mentioning the Arab Spring uprisings, he said that protesters used Facebook to organise the protests, Twitter to get people out and YouTube to record it.

Google to be in the majority of TVs by 2012
Schmidt emphasised that the TV set was a major target for Google.

“There is there an opportunity to integrate internet and TV in new way. We took Chrome and Android — and stuck it into a television. By Summer of 2012, the majority of TVs that you see will have Google TV embedded in it.”

Chrome ‘doing exceptionally well’
Google’s browser is barely five years old and was not first in the market, but since its launch it has been growing in popularity.

“Chrome is doing exceptionally well. It’s an example of a product that was not first in the market… if you care about security for yourself use Chrome. The fact that it is faster than other browsers doesn’t matter, but its much safer for you,” he quipped.

Android ahead of iPhone
Schmidt emphasised that Android was ahead of the iPhone in unit sales, features and pricing (it’s free).

The company’s recent Motorola deal was driven by the company “wanting to have a part of a mobile ecosystem”. He emphasised that Motorola and Android will be run separately so that the Android ecosystem doesnt get changed.

Matthew Buckland: Publisher


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