As we look to the end of 2013 and turn around to see the Google of the last year, we know it’s been a good year. Forget concerns over Google’s purchase of Boston Dynamic’s Robotic program and the joke notion that Google and Skynet will eventually be one. This is a company that surpassed the 1,000 share price in the stock market and brought Google Glass to market as a new form of wearable technology. With these stories and more in mind, let’s take a look at the top 5 Google stories on 9to5Google in 2013. These stories were selected in order by the amount of traffic they had in a single 24 hour period and don’t necessarily reflect the importance of the story itself. In other words, these are the stories you read the most over the course of this year.
Our top story of 2013 was one that we ultimately hope to see in 2014, but alas did not come to pass over the past 365 days. Rumors of Google opening up their own retail stores hit in mid-February based on our own independent sources. The mission of these now long-rumored stores are exactly what one might think: to get customer hands on every Google Nexus, Chrome OS piece of hardware and any other tech product Google might happen to produce.
With the obvious success that has been the Apple retail store and with Microsoft trying to duplicate Apple’s retail magic, it seems only inevitable that Google would try their hand at retail.
That doesn’t mean that Google missed out on retail in 2013. It did manage to open a number of “Winter Wonderland Stores” for the holidays which is obviously a good proving ground for more permanent plans in 2014.
The anticipated Google Watch hasn’t yet shown its ‘face’ but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still in development. Smartwatches gained prominence in the latter half of 2013 with the Pebble and Galaxy Gear, and Google, along with Apple are expected to throw their hands into the wearables game in the future. This was another 9to5Google-sourced story with reports that Google Now would be at the heart of the Google Watch experience. Google Now would be fantastic on the wrist if you consider quick access to: time to get home, calendar alarms, emails, SMS, etc. all right from the comfort of your watch. Our story coincided with reports from other publications which anticipated a Google smartwatch announcement before the year’s end (we’d only heard “soon”). Unfortunately, this seems to be yet another product that may be stuck in the pipeline being perfected by the folks in Mountain View before release – which might be better than their throw it at a wall and see what sticks approach.
We’re at the halfway point in our top five Google story countdown and it just so happens to land on arguably Google’s most “popular” product of 2013. It seems like forever ago when Google announced the official specs of Google Glass way back in April, but it did happen and the rest as they say is history. Google Glass is now one of the most talked about, for better or worse, products in the Google world. We know that a second-generation unit is coming next year with better ‘specs’ including earbud and a slightly different style, and we anticipate prescription glass sometime in 2014 as well. Until then, we’ll look back at this day in April as the time Google changed the eyeglass industry forever.
April Fool’s! Oh, come on now, you didn’t think this story wouldn’t make the list of the top five most read stories of 2013? At this point, Google’s April Fool’s jokes are legendary, even if we know that Gmail launched on April 1st many years ago. This time around Google introduced Google Nose, a new service which allowed customers to smell their search query. Google also posted a video on YouTube announcing that the 8-year history of the video site was to find the world’s best video and that the website would close at midnight. There were quite a few more on this day, and I expect that April 1st, 2014, is already the topic of much discussion between Google companies as they continue working to top everything they “announced” one year prior. With no shortage of opportunity and gullible people in the world, it shouldn’t be too hard for Google to find new and inventive ways to trick us, even if we know where and when to expect it.
Rounding out our top five most read Google stories of 2013 is another piece of news that comes from the world of Google Glass. Hackers announced in late April that Google Glass “root is easy” and that modding would be achievable with minimal effort. For its part, Google would announce later in the day that it left Glass unlocked intentionally, and we’re happy they did because months later we end up with apps like this. There’s little question as Google Glass grows more popular and drops in price allowing more owners that hackers will be able to bring unique ways to take advantage of the wearable technology. For now, Google says you paid $1500 for it, show them something cool that you can do with your money. This is the Google we know and love and by this time next year, I expect to see a whole new world of Glassholes.