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Beautifying Google and the story behind Siri: top tech stories you should read

From the big G’s revamp to the stories behind some major innovators: this instalment of our weekly tech round up features everything from Google’s design evolution to Siri’s little-known history and the story behind Samsung’s now famous anti-iPhone 5 ad.

Redesigning Google: how Larry Page engineered a beautiful revolution

When Larry Page took over as CEO of the company he co-founded, he promised that all the Google products would be redesigned. And the team listened: they had two months to make all the various G-somethings look and feel like they were related, but still functional and, well, pretty. There was no single head designer who took control and issued a decree: the team collaborated with each other and pulled off a complete overhaul for the various mobile apps and web versions of their products. This article and the accompanying video showcases how they revamped everything from Gmail to YouTube, conceptualised the look of Google Now and started creating a design culture.

Samsung’s road to global domination

How did Samsung go from the company that makes your washing machine to the superpower that churns out award winning phones? There isn’t an easy answer: in truth, it was a combination of a renewed focus on innovation in mobile, clever marketing, the choice of the right ecosystem and timing. It’s all lead to record revenues and crazy sales records — but can it be sustained in the future?

The happiness machine: how Google became such a great place to work

Google may just be home to the world’s most scientific and data-driven human resources division. Everything they do — everything you’ve heard about the amazing employee benefits those Googlers enjoy — has been implemented after gathering and analysing data on everything from employee happiness and the level of resignations to the expenses of recruitment and the cost of the benefits themselves. Five months of maternity leave and in-house laundry facilities may seem crazy from the outside, but Google isn’t throwing money away — and it’s part of what’s made them one of the best companies to work for in the world.

Siri rising: the inside story of Siri’s origins — and why she could overshadow the iPhone

The title pretty much says it all: this article tracks Siri from its days as a sassy startup with a revolutionary potential to its much more muted use as a personal assistant in iDevices which are increasingly competing with a range of competitors. It gives insight into the tech — and team — behind the application with a cute name and the potential to lead the next phase in the evolution of artificial intelligence (if it’s given the chance).

Author | Lauren Granger

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping tech sites and Twitter than she was in picking up one of those printed things called 'newspapers', she decided to specialise in... More
  • skopp888

    If Google needed “beautifying”, then it follows that it was ugly all this time

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