From Google Events to the Nexus Q home entertainment device, Google announced some really cool new social-oriented mobile features and services on Wednesday at its Google I/O developers conference. Apple did much the same earlier this month at WWDC, its World Wide Developers Conference. Ironically, though, the more impressive the proprietary features they debut, the more both companies open new opportunities for their competitors.
The problem – the elephant in the room, really – is that the vast majority of these new features and services work only on one company’s operating system. Folks on competing platforms are effectively locked out.
For Google and Apple, that’s competitive differentiation, intended to get people to choose their platform over the competitors. And there’s little doubt that these features will do just that – at least to a point.
Social Features That Separate People
But for users, though, these mobile-social features create a big, unexpected problem. Instead of connecting people and groups, they can do the exact opposite – separate groups according to what device they use.