Google’s Confusing Messaging Strategy, Apple Getting Rid of Popups on iOS, and Securing Your Conversation
Google’s messaging strategy which is very, very confusing. It was really a great little app before when another company owned it.
And Apple looks like they’re finally gonna clean up their App Store feedback mechanism that’s been driving developers crazy for a long, long, long time.
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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 01/26/2017
Google’s Confusing Messaging Strategy – How to Have a Secure Conversation – Apple Getting Rid of Nag Ratings Popups on iOS
Craig Peterson: Craig Peterson here. We’re gonna do a TechSanity Check on Google’s messaging strategy which is very, very confusing. Google did an update this week to Google Voice, I don’t know if you saw that. I’ve been a user of Google Voice before it was Google Voice when another company owned it. It was really a great little app. It has Allo now. It has Messenger. It has, let’s see, what else, Hangouts and others. So we’ll talk a little bit about that. What you might want to look at from Google and a little bit of hopefully cleaning up on their part. And speaking of cleaning up, Apple. Looks like they’re finally gonna clean up their App Store feedback mechanism that’s been driving developers crazy for a long, long, long time. We’ll talk about that if you’re an app developer. If you have something on the App Store, there may be a bit of a reprieve here for the, probably number one complaint by developers for the App Store. Well besides the fact Apple takes a bunch of your money every time an app is sold. So all of that and more here as we continue to our Sanity Check.
Alright, let’s get into it here. Google has been doing a lot of stuff. Trying to figure out what its Messenger, what its messages strategy is. Some people still uses Google Plus. I still post to it every day. I don’t know if you’re a Google Plus user or not. I use Google’s Hangouts a lot. Now I re-sell things like WebEx, which is great in some circumstances. I have my own private room, in fact, on WebEx. I have Cisco Spark, which is phenomenal. A brand new service from Cisco that is allowing business communications. Completely secure. But I still use Hangouts coz it integrates with some of the other tools I use like Slack, for instance, with my team. And as you probably know, my team is literally around the world.
Well, what else does Google have? If you’re an android user, you know that your phone comes right out of the box with a couple of different messaging apps. Messenger, the easiest one to use if you’re just doing basic texting from your phone. And you don’t really care about synching it up with a computer. There’s Hangouts, which is kind of like an instant messenger service. But what it’s doing is it’s sending things out of your phone, not using SMS, which is the standard that the phone company has for sending text messages. And it also lets you make video and voice calls from it using regular data. But you’re gonna have to download a separate app for the voice call part of that to work. Ok? It can also, by the way, handle your normal SMS texting if you’re on an android device. So you can send and receive text or IM messages from a computer if you want. By the way, Apple’s got this all integrated very, very nicely. Google hasn’t figured it all out yet how to integrate it. But Google’s kinda trying to make Hangouts now more for businesses than regular consumers to use. So Hangouts is getting lots of attention than it used to get.
And Google also by the way, has a new IM map that we talked about on the show, well when it first came out a couple of months ago I guess, called Allo, A-L-L-O. And that’s what it really wants regular users to use and of course that may come on your phone too. And it has a bunch of features for chatting with other people who also use the Allo app. And you can call a Google’s assistant from it and get information in the middle of a chat, which is kinda neat, but it doesn’t do regular texting. And you can only use it from one phone and nowhere else.
Bottom line is it’s very, very confusing. And unlike Apple where it’s all nicely integrated, you’re gonna have to download apps, you’re not gonna be able to talk to people who don’t have those apps. It’s really quite a problem. In the Apple
world, you’re using Apple’s messenger, it’s all integrated. If you sent something from your phone, you’re gonna see all your conversations on your laptop, on your desktop, on your iPad. It’s gonna be able to send and receive text messages, SMSs, as well as secure messages from endpoint to endpoint. It does face calls, it does voice calls over data. It does phone calls, right? Google is, I think, just confused right now. It’s very, very confusing as well to everyone else. And by the way, let’s not forget about GChat as well, right? That’s Google’s old IM service. And it’s the chat service that used to be integrated into Gmail. Well it’s the same thing, but not exactly. Yeah. Hangouts kinda replaced it at one point. Their messaging strategy is a mess. We’ve talked about secure messaging before. What you can do on your Google devices as well as on your iPhone device. Their signal is probably the best one. That’s one I’d recommend the most. And we’ll have to talk about it more later on, on a different podcast here. But have a look at that. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Now, as I mentioned, Apple developers here for a long time, as a user, a purchaser of an app, will be able to go into the app store and rate an app. And you can write about the app. You can write about how you love the app or how you hate the app. All of that stuff.
But there’s two problems developers have had when it comes to those rating systems. First of all, it’s difficult for people to be able to rate you. To find out. To remember to do it, right? The hardest part you have is getting people to do something. And it’s just like me with these podcasts, right. We’ve got thousands of people who are downloading these podcasts and thanks to every last one of you. They’re all around the world. All you guys. Everywhere. Hugs and kisses. I really, really appreciate it.
But you know what? The average person has a very hard time trying to subscribe to a podcast. Very hard time. So I’ve got http://CraigPeterson.com/itunes, which takes you to subscribe, right? But now we’re gonna have to write up a document that explains how to give us a rating on iTunes. Well, much the same problem exists for app developers. And the other problem app developers have, as well as podcasters, is you cannot give feedback. You can’t say well we fixed that. Or here’s the problem that we’re having. Or that’s out of the scope, we don’t do that, right? How many times have you as a software had to say something like that? You know that is not a feature. That’s not something we plan on doing, right?
So the newest release of iOS that just went out right now to developers is going to allow you, as a developer, to respond to people’s ratings. That’s iOS 10.3 beta. But it’s doing one more thing too and that is your app can pop up a rating box so right there in your app, there’s an API you can call. It’ll pop up a box. They can rate you 5 stars, 1 star, whatever they want, and they can give you feedback here. Goes a long way to reducing the nag screens that are in today’s crop of applications. And something is going to allow developers to get more ratings. And that’s been a real problem partly because default in the Apple ratings is to only show the ratings for the current release of the software.
So if you have a new release that you just came out that fixes a bunch of bugs. And people go to search for your app in the App Store, it’s gonna show no ratings. Because it’s only gonna show the ratings for the current release. Now someone smart enough, they can dig and they can look at previous ratings for previous releases, but most people don’t know how to do that. So this is gonna be a big win in the App Store. Finally. Thank you Apple. Let’s do the same thing here for podcasters. Let’s clean up that iTunes Store. It’s a mess. It is really a mess. Apple’s still the 800 pound gorilla in that space. But, you know, what can I say? It’s a mess. I guess I said that already, didn’t I?
Anyways, take care. Have a great day. We’ll be talking to you again tomorrow as we do another TechSanity Check. Craig Peterson here. Enjoy the day and join me online. http://CraigPeterson.com.
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