This post from Kontra about Siri and the future of semantic searching has made the rounds, with good reason too as it is a compelling and interesting post. I can’t help but think that it is interesting how much catching up Google is trying to do in this area right now, when it always has seemed that interpretation has always been the one thing that we all knew would take computers from being great, to amazing boosts to productivity and happiness. It’s then astonishing how far behind Google is in this respect — not that Siri is that far ahead.
While reading this post it occurred to me that one of the reasons that Android will never be as useful to me is because I just don’t trust Google. Because of that lack of trust I go out of my way to avoid their services — and because of that an Android device is exponentially less useful to me.
That’s why you see Google, for example, buying the world’s largest airline search company ITA, restaurant rating service Zagat, and cloning Yelp/Foursquare with Google Places, Amazon with Google Shopping, iTunes and App Store with Google Play, Groupon with Google Offers, Hotels.com with Google Hotel Finder…and, ultimately, Siri with Google Now.
This is why my Nexus isn’t that great for me: I refuse to use these services from Google, whereas Apple products work better for me because I trust Apple services (not to work, just to be more private).
So as I think about the future, I have to wonder how bad this ultimately will be for users. If I buy 100% into the Apple culture and 0% into Google, everything will be fine until I want to switch from Apple to Google. At that point, how do I recreate all this backlog of data for Google to then be useful for me? As Google would be starting with me as I just came into existence.
Would it even be possible, or would I be stuck with a crappy service until I rebuild all that data one point at a time in Google?
This could really suck, as the lock-in potential is huge for whomever gets ahead and stays ahead.
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