- Microsoft annouces Surface, a multi-touch gesture-based coffee table straight out of a Tom Cruise movie
- EBay buys StumbleUpon
- CBS buys Last.fm
- Apple adds EMI’s DRM-free tunes (and Paul McCartney) to the iTunes Store
- Steve Jobs announces a much larger (160GB) model Apple TV, and says YouTube videos will be coming to the device soon (this means, apparently, video re-encoded in H.624 instead of Flash)
- Jason Calcanis launches Mahalo (Alpha) - people-powered search engine
The “proof-of-concept” application that Google has released into the wild is none other than the life-changing Google Reader, and it helps illustrate the possibilities pretty well. Download Gears, login to Reader, and you’re asked if you want to move offline. Google automatically downloads 2000 of your recent items to your computer, for viewing anytime, anywhere. Mark an item as shared, or starred, or just read a ton - and the next time you’re online, everything gets synced. The best part is Google Reader now has the one thing that desktop readers excelled at exclusively: speed. No more waiting for the next 20 feeds when you reach the bottom of the ones that have loaded. Super fast.
Now take this idea and apply it to, oh, Google Docs and Spreadsheets. Ooh, now Microsoft better watch out. Especially since another of their arch-nemeses is online (offline?) with Google: Adobe. Yeah, that’s right - the guys behind super-successful, super-ubiquitous Flash, and the recently introduced desktop enhancing Apollo.
And to all the GMail naysayers - in no time I’m sure that this wonderful email client will be the poster child for straddling the on- and off-line worlds.
I can’t wait to see what other companies do with this - how it affects video, photo-sharing, calendars, social networks, etc.
We’re moving towards connectivity 100% of the time, but that’s a long way away (even for city dwellers like me). What Google Gears does, however, is introduce the idea that it doesn’t really matter if we’re connected or not at any given time. The data will be with us constantly - ours, and safe where we can access it even when the power is out - and yet it will sync across multiple machines and devices whenever we’re online, utilizing the resources of the web and allowing collaboration and communication with others all over the world. It’s not one or the other - it’s both.
Hmm. What about Amazon? I wonder - they seem awfully quiet the last few days. What are they brewing?
More on Google Gears here.