Successful Tech Ecosystems, Part 2: Google

Google HQ

In Successful Tech Ecosystems, Part 1: Apple, I talked about Apple and their successful technological ecosystem. Well as you know, they’re not the only show in town. Google has an equally as amazing ecosystem, including everything from search to Android mobile devices to unparalleled cloud storage (and as of Google I/O 2014, even Android Wear and more). And like Apple, Google and their products and services have created an equally loyal following of customers.

Creating a Quality User Experience

There have been a few times where I have been reminded of the quality of the Google ecosystem, most notably how easy it is to access and sync data between devices and apps. Last week when I had to get my iPhone replaced, I had to make sure that all of my apps got re-downloaded and re-installed, some of them being Google Mobile apps. Well thanks to the quality of the Google ecosystem, signing in to one Google app allowed other Google apps to leverage the same Google account and auto-log me in. It may be a small thing, but it makes a huge difference in user experience, resulting in less time spent typing in usernames and passwords.

Google has also made huge strides to create a consistent brand identity across their ecosystem. Recently they came out with Google Design, a resource for accessing Google design guidelines, downloading assets and resources, and more. Their Google Design principles are focused around a simple but all-important quote: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” Their main design goal is to “develop a single underlying system that allows for a unified experience across platforms and device sizes.” And within the past few months and years (and with the recent updates from Google I/O), it’s obvious that they’re right on target with this goal of creating an underlying system that allows for a unified experience.

The Power of the Google Ecosystem

Like Apple (and arguably more so), Google has done a wonderful job of creating and maintaining their ecosystem of products and services. Using one product or service is great, but the true power of the ecosystem shines when you start using more than one. And as it turns out, most of the services that Google offers come built-in and free to use with your Google account. When you sign up for a Google account, you have access to Gmail, Google Drive, Google Plus, Google Play, and the rest of the Google apps/services suite. Best of all, your data can be synced and shared between these services, and even across different devices that you use. Like Apple, the more Google products and services you use, the more you get out of them.

Google is also continuing to improve the overall user experience for users with multiple device types. Most recently at Google I/O 2014, there was a big focus on introducing Android to new products, including wearables, auto, and TV. So someone with an Android device can more easily integrate the device into a family of larger devices without losing a beat. Apps available on their mobile phone can be cast to a TV. Their watch can give them a notification from their phone. And they can integrate their device into their cars for safer driving.

All in all, Google is championing the drive to make a unified ecosystem of products and services that all share a common operating system, making integration of multiple devices a seamless process for users and creating a truly great user experience.

The Road Ahead

I’m excited to see what else Google has in store. For the most part, every time Google announces a new product or service, it is almost immediately embraced. They are always pushing the envelope and working to create better products and services for their ecosystem and users. And they always have a keen focus on ensuring that everything in their ecosystem works perfectly together, and creates the best and most fluid user experience possible.

Like Apple, it’s difficult to argue against how well Google’s products and services work together inside of their ecosystem. And this is just one of the reasons why they, like Apple, have a fiercely loyal following of customers.

Featured photo: “A Great Day at the Google HQ!” by Trey Ratcliff

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