Google’s SVP of products, Sundar Pichai, spoke at the Mobile World Congress 2015 being held at Barcelona. During his talk he spoke about Google’s roadmap for the near future. In this article we bring you a few highlights of the Sundar Pichai talk.
A Google Branded Mobile Network
Google is currently working on a Google branded mobile network in the form of an MVNO (A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which the MVNO provides services to its customers.) This Google Network is expected to merge cell and WiFi networks in a “seamless” way.During his talk Mr Pichai said
The core of Android and everything we do is to take an ecosystem approach and [a network would have] the same attributes. We have always tried to push the boundary with the innovations in hardware and software. We want to experiment along those lines. We don’t intend to be a network operator at scale. We are actually working with carrier partners. Will announce something in the coming months. We are thinking about how WiFi and cell networks work together and how to make that seamless.
A year ago there were reports of Google being in talks with Verizon Wireless for the service, but Mr Pichai refused to comment on the specifics of any mobile carrier that Google might be working with.
Google has also been working on two other projects called – Project Loon and Titan . Project Loon will be putting balloons in the sky whereas Titan will put solar-powered planes into the sky to provide internet connectivity in remote areas and emerging markets. Sundar Pichai confirmed that Google has now gotten its Loon balloons to work for six month stretches.
Re-bundling of Google Plus
While speaking at the Mobile World Congress, Mr Pichai also spoke about the re-bundling of Google+ and said that said Google views Google+ as having two main components: a stream of activity and a social layer.
The social layer is about how people shared items across its various services, from YouTube to Google Docs. The company plans to separate that off and focus on it even more as a separate entity, though Pichai did not offer a lot of details on that.
For the stream, Mr Pichai said the real value for people has been photos. And so the company is going to put a renewed focus on photos, also separating that into its own product.
Photos are a big use case. So we are going to say this is the stream now.
Google Hangouts will also be separated out and will get additional investment and resources from the company.
Information about timeline of when these changes will be made available was not shared.
Mr Pichai said that Google intends for Android Pay to become its standard for mobile payments. The Google Pay API will be allowing for other parties to take Android Pay and integrate it into their own services and apps. Essentially, Android Pay will be the backbone behind transactions and software, meaning that it can continue to work with Google Wallet too.
Android Pay doesn’t have a scheduled rollout plan just yet, but the latest report suggests that Google will be unveiling additional details at its I/O conference in May.