Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Google Deja Vu at I/O 2022

Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica:

Google held its I/O conference earlier this month, and for longtime Google watchers, the event felt like a seance. Google CEO Sundar Pichai stepped on stage for his keynote address and channeled the spirits of long-dead Google products. “I’m hearing… something about an Android tablet? And a smartwatch?” he seemed to say.

[…]

Like most Google products in the Sundar Pichai era, what will really matter for all of these resurrections is if Google continues to care about them for several years. Way too many Google products seem to have a one-year roadmap. The company pins 100 percent of its hopes on a project’s initial launch, and the product is canceled if it isn’t an overnight success. Google rarely allows products enough runway to adapt to feedback or convince the “wait and see” crowd. The problem is that Google has burned so many of its early adopters over the years that there are not many of them left.

I wonder whether it is true that Google has few remaining enthusiasts. Who else is buying its Pixel phones, if not for users committed to the company’s specific vision for Android devices? Google’s problem is getting everybody else to care about these products beyond its early adopters, and all of those people need time and evidence of ongoing commitment to buy into that vision too.