Google has for many years been more than just a software company. The big change for Google, which saw them move from software to hardware was the release of ChromeOS in 2011. It was around this time that we saw the first Chromebook made by Google. It was also when they branched out into mobile phones and tablets under the Nexus range with the help of HTC.
I owned a couple of Nexus phones and a tablet and they were pretty decent when comparing them to the competition. The fact they were designed for the Android operating system meant they already had a lot of competition from other manufacturers.
However, buying a Nexus phone or tablet wasn’t just about getting your hands on an Android device. It was a lot more than that. First of all, it’s sort of a given that we expect good-quality products from Google, which is one of the reasons why people buy their brands. The second reason is that you get access to bare-bones Android without the annoying bloatware found with other manufacturers.
Google was not concentrating on an ecosystem back then
One of the reasons why Apple fans love Apple is the streamlined integration between their products. This isn’t something Google was concentrating on too much back in 2011. They had just released ChromeOS, so they had other things to contend with. They had an uphill battle to get the tech industry to understand their vision. It took a few years, but thankfully we can now say ChromeOS is totally understood, and its future is bright.
At the same time, they released their very own Chromebook to show off their product-building potential. If that wasn’t enough to be getting on with they also put a lot of effort into their Nexus brand. Releasing both mobile phones and tablets under the brand. They were also dealing with the issue that many Android apps originally made for phones didn’t always work that great on a tablet.
They did all this without even having a vision of wanting to create an ecosystem where all their products worked together in harmony. In all fairness that simply wasn’t possible at the time because ChromeOS was in its infancy and Android had only been released a few years earlier in 2008.
The Google ecosystem
In the last couple of years, Google has been working hard on creating a Google ecosystem. There are many reasons for wanting to do this. Firstly, a Google ecosystem where your Chromebook, phone, and tablet work together in harmony offers huge benefits for the user. Keeping your users happy, so they stay loyal to your brand is closely linked to offering fantastic connectivity between devices.
This is one of the reasons why Apple has such die-hard supporters. It’s not only that Apple creates beautiful-looking products. It’s the simplicity of how their different gadgets connect with each other. This was something that was lacking when choosing Google, but thankfully this has been something they’ve been trying to fix.
Google has gone all in with Pixel
Anyone who follows tech news will know that Google isn’t exactly known for sticking to an idea for too long. In fact, they’ve started to gain an unwanted reputation for launching products to only scrap them a year or two later. This is a major risk for Google because it puts doubt in your head of whether their newly launched product will still be around two years down the line. Two quick examples of this are the Pixel Slate and Stadia.
I think I can safely say this isn’t the case with the Pixel brand overall. It’s a great name and the brand has gained a good reputation. Although the Google Ecosystem isn’t strictly linked to the Pixel brand and is more linked to Google products overall. It makes sense that Google uses the Pixel brand to showcase what it can offer the consumer.
After all, you can own any Android phone, tablet, or Chromebook all made by different manufacturers, and they will still talk to each other. This is because Google has continued to make Android and ChromeOS work together. Therefore, to truly show something extra special that can match the Apple ecosystem. Google should be concentrating on making Pixel and other Google-made products work together in harmony. Offering much better integration than what you get between Android and ChromeOS as standard.
Consumers are buying into the brand and not just the tech
It’s true that not all tech users care too much about brands and how their tech looks. It’s also true that for a lot of tech users, this is an important factor. I can assure you there are plenty of Apple users who own all things apple. It isn’t just because they have bought into the Apple ecosystem. It’s a lot more than that.
Sure, the tech and how it works together are obviously important. However, it’s also important for these types of users to feel connected to a brand. It isn’t good enough for someone who owns a Sony phone, Samsung tablet, and Asus Chromebook to feel they are connected to a brand. The only connection is they either run on AndroidOS or ChromeOS, which offers certain connectivity advantages.
That isn’t enough if you want to gain a loyal following who would never dream of owning multiple branded tech. To get the same sort of brand loyalty as is seen with Apple fans. Google needs to offer something special, and it can do this with Pixel.
The Pixel range is missing a Chromebook
If you were to decide that you wanted to go all in with Pixel. You would find some of the best Android phones are made by Pixel. You will also find Pixel buds, a Pixel watch, and plenty of home tech products, which work well with their Pixel products.
Something that is missing is a tablet, but that will be fixed with the launch of the new Pixel tablet. The first Android tablet to be launched by Google in many years. I can see the Pixel tablet being a great success because it will also double up as a home assistant with a speaker docking station. This is a smart move by Google because it deals with the issue of whether you can justify owning a tablet if you’re unsure whether it will get much usage.
One thing that is missing is a laptop. At the moment you can easily get your hands on a Google Pixelbook Go, but this is a few years old now. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great Chromebook with fantastic speakers and one of the best keyboards I’ve ever used on a laptop. The problem is if you’re waiting for a newer version of the Pixelbook you may be waiting some time. This is because Google announced that it will not be making any future Pixelbooks.
A Google ecosystem with no Chromebook
The decision by Google to make no future Pixelbooks is an odd decision. In fact, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. They are working to compete against Apple by trying to match their well-established ecosystem. Yet, the current Google vision doesn’t include a new Chromebook.
The fact that the Chromebook is more popular now than it has ever been before. I struggle to see why Google doesn’t realise that anyone who is potentially considering buying into the Pixel brand and the ecosystem that it brings. That they’ll most probably be looking to buy a laptop from the same range.
I love all things Google and the products they offer us have improved hugely over the years. I find it rather ironic that their Pixel brand, which they are pushing hard doesn’t include a Chromebook.
Google has worked so hard since the first ChromeOS computer was launched in 2011 to get it accepted. Not many people including many tech blogs understood the Chromebook back then. They simply didn’t understand Google’s vision of the future. Where most people will have access to the internet, and therefore a computer made for the internet was needed.
Spending so much money on the Pixel brand to push their new vision of the future, which is a Google ecosystem that can compete with Apple. Yet, they decide to not include a Pixel Chromebook. At the moment I’m struggling to see Google’s vision of the future. A business strategy to create a Google ecosystem under the Pixel brand, but no Chromebook in sight.