Google just launched a new experiment called Google Shopping Express, a local, same-day delivery service, to a small number of people in the Bay Area.
The official Google Commerce blog has the story:
As a tester, you will be able to shop online, in a single place, from retailers such as Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle and Toys“R”Us/Babies“R”Us — along with locally distinct shops such as San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee, and the Bay Area’s Palo Alto Toy & Sport and Raley’s Nob Hill Foods, and get your items delivered that same day. So hopefully, no more trips across town for simple errands.
As previously reported, and according to Google’s announcing blog post, Tom Fallows leads Google Shopping Express as its Product Management Director.
Those who live in the San Francisco Bay Area that would like to test the new experiment can sign up online today. Google also said it is still working on a long-term pricing plan, but early testers get “six months of free, unlimited same-day delivery.”
“The pilot will expand as we work out the kinks, so please stay tuned,” Google added.
Google Maps was originally installed as standard on iPhones and iPads until Apple struck out on its own with the rather ill-fated Apple Maps. Though Apple has since fixed many of the embarrassing errors in the launch version, demand for Google’s version has seemingly increased rather than decreased.
In an ironic turnabout, Google lost the top slot on its own Google Play store to Facebook.
Google Glass is set to manufacture its much hyped Google Glass wearable platform right at home in the United States, according to a new report from The Financial Times. Citing a source close to the project, FT said Google has partnered with Foxconn to assemble the headsets on home soil in Santa Clara, Calif. Google will apparently source most components from Asia with final assembly completed in the U.S.:
Google is working with Hon Hai Precision Industry, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer better known as Foxconn, to assemble the sci-fi headset at a facility in Santa Clara, California, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.
The report claimed a “few thousand” Google Glass units will be produced by the California factory “in the coming weeks.” Google’s reasoning for bringing the manufacturing stateside? According to FT, it will allow Google to have better control over the complex and small-scale operation while becoming a “high-profile example” of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.
The report also said it will allow Google’s engineers to “be closely involved with the production process and provide more opportunities for last-minute fixes and for personal customization.”
The small scale, high cost and complexity of the project’s initial run makes it practical to base manufacturing operations near the search company’s Silicon Valley headquarters, according to people briefed on the plans.
The company’s last major attempt to bring the assembly of one of its products to the U.S. was with the Nexus Q streaming orb, a product it quietly killed off just weeks after being unveiled.
Google announced yesterday it will begin sending out invites to winners of its #ifihadglass contest in the coming weeks, while press and developers who signed up for the program at Google I/O last year are also still waiting to drop $1,500 on Glass. Read more
Google announced an update today to Google Translate for Android that brings an extremely useful feature for those who are traveling or in need of translations when without an Internet connection. Starting today, the updated Android app will now allow users running devices on Android 2.3 and up to access the service using downloadable offline language packages.
Google noted that there are currently around 50 languages available for offline use and detailed how to download the necessary packages through the app:
You can select [Offline Languages] in the app menu to see all the offline language packages available for download. To enable offline translation between any two languages, you just need to select them in the offline languages menu. Once the packages are downloaded, you’re good to go.
While the languages packages provide everything you need to get quick translations when offline, Google warned that the offline modes are “less comprehensive than their online equivalents” without explaining in detail.
Users of the updated app will also now be able to translate vertical text for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean—using their device’s camera.
The updated Google Translate app for Android is available now through Google Play.
On Google turning evil for real:
Being Evil · There’s no there there. Near as I can tell three years in, Google really wants you to be online all the time (signed in if possible) and put everything in the cloud and use our search engine and and enjoy those experiences and not get hacked, and that’s about it. The money we make falls out of those things.
The interesting question isn’t “Is Google evil?” (answer: not particularly) but “What’s the downside if Google suddenly becomes evil?” Because the chance is nonzero that when our founders die or get bored, MBAs with desiccated souls will be in command, and not really understand why it matters that people have decided, by and large, to trust us.
Fortunately, there’s a firewall: the Data Liberation Front, which strongly limits the evil that an evil Google could do. It’s simultaneously a useful utility and the canary in the coalmine. People should pay attention to it.
Bray’s one of those people I trust to fall outside of corporate-speak and tell it like it is. If I were Google, I’d open an office in Vancouver. Yesterday Read more