19 May 2017

Google I/O 2017: Understanding Google's AI Strategy

Google made a host of announcements this year covering Android updates, virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI). While AI was clearly the star of the show, it is still an enabling technology today. But does it have the potential to trigger the next paradigm shift in computing.

6 Feb 2017

Underhyping Snapchat

The media, analyst and investor communities clearly have a love-hate relationship with Snapchat. In the run-up to its IPO, it was hailed as the next great technology company (in part due to Snap's own communication efforts). And now that its S-1 is out, the commentary has turned quite negative. As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle and public filings paint a very clear picture of why that is.

27 Jan 2017

Instant Apps: Evolving The App Store Value Chain

Instant Apps, originally unveiled during Google I/O 2016, is finally being tested in the wild. Teased as Google’s attempt at making app interaction frictionless, it enables access to supported Android apps without requiring a download. It achieves this by breaking up an app into multiple modules, which are hosted by Google Play and can be accessed through deep links from another app, browser or near-field communications (NFC). Since this requires major updates to existing apps, the SDK is expected to roll out gradually to developers in the coming months. However, most Android users will be able to access supported Instant Apps immediately. Unlike new Android versions, Instant Apps is actually built on Google Play Services and will be available to a massive installed base of users running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher.

24 Jan 2017

B2C Messaging Has Potential, Chatbots Not As Much

Chatbots — or automated conversational agents — have been around for a few years. However, chatbot hype only took off in early 2016 when major social and messaging companies began investing in the area. Their reliance on artificial intelligence (AI), as opposed to prerecorded responses, generated a lot of excitement in the industry. Much of this was centered around the concept of “conversational commerce” — i.e., the ability to transact or make purchases using a conversational interface — usually within a messaging app. The premise behind this was that chatbots would enable a frictionless experience as users would not need to open or download another app. But by the end of the year, it became clear that expectations were far higher than existing capabilities could deliver.