I don’t care who did what first, if smartphones unify into a single design interpretation, I’ll chalk that up as a very cynical view by manufacturers and design teams of the unique and individuality of consumer tastes and preferences. Obviously, I’m a bit disappointed. Thankfully, we have Motorola and Microsoft to help stem the tide of conformity.
That said, in terms of build quality, the S6 looks like a great improvement over its predecessor. The bad news for Samsung, I’m guessing, is that build quality comes at a cost. And even though I don’t like to put companies on blast for making $4.5 billion in profit, the media isn’t quite so kind.
Google Maps plus any smartphone is already a knock-out combination that occasionally might cause you to think to yourself, “How did I ever get by without this?”. But now Google is taking it a step further with its automated notification service, Google Now. The ever-evolving contextually aware service now features a Google Now card that shows you gas stations on your route.
Regardless of how you feel about Google’s brand of snooping and tracking, you have to admit that they are doing some pretty incredible things with the information they collect. If you can ignore the privacy concerns (a big “if” for a lot of people, but not all), then Google is bringing a lot of value to their computing platforms. I can see a lot of utility in a platform that collects, analyzes, and protects a lot of information about its users. I just hope Google recognizes the importance of that last task and is able to find a way to monetize their platforms without giving away the farm.