Schmidt: Google hopes to know your thoughts and save your memories, forever

google-eric-schmidt-mobile-world-congress-2011

Though he didn’t stop for applause, listening to Eric Schmidt today felt like watching a president lay out starry-eyed plans for the future of the nation. The outgoing Google CEO spoke at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today and said his appearance at this large mobile event was only appropriate because Android is the fastest growing platform in the world. He began with a reminder of how far Google has come in a year.

The State of Android

  • 300,000 handset activations per day (and “growing fast”)
  • 170 Android devices on the market
  • 27 different manufacturers make Android devices
  • 169 different wireless carriers carry Android
  • 69 countries around the world are infected with Google’s OS
  • 150000 apps in the Android Market, which has tripled in nine months

After the flurry of competitor-crushing numbers, Schmidt gave attendees a broad pep talk on just how far mobile and cloud computing has come and where Google plans to go from here in search and mobile.

“Computers are here to make us happier. They do the stupid stuff. The stuff that bugs us,” said Schmidt. “In the next decade, because I’m a computer scientist, I believe very strongly in the optimistic view of what we can do with computers and science. If you look at problems like global warming, terrorism and financial transparency, they can all be helped by computing power. Those are fundamentally information problems, and that’s what computer science is about.”

Computing has changed, however. For the first time, smartphones are outselling PCs. Schmidt claimed this trend of smartphone dominance will only grow. Unfortunately, “the PC isn’t going to catch up” said the CEO.

Autonomous search knows you

Much of Schmidt’s talk centered around a new type of personalized search. Instead of you typing things into Google, Schmidt hopes that Google can begin to learn what you want before you want it. “With your permission,” Android phones could begin to track some of your actions and purchases and movements to learn more about you and what you like to do and buy. Then, using GPS and other location-based tools, Google can alert you if you pass by your favorite store and a big sale is happening on your favorite brand of jeans. Or it can help you decide what to do for fun, already knowing your tastes. Perhaps it will even know you are typically bored on Saturday nights and suggest an activity or notify you where your friends are? We’re not sure how far Google plans to go, but its clear that Schmidt and his colleagues see a bright future for cloud computing that stores information about us all.

comsore says search engine ranks holding steady google instant  sept 2010

In addition, Google has already been trying to save time. Google Instant Search and other recent database enhancements have shaved many seconds off of each search users make. “We ultimately believe that speed matters, that your time matters, that we can get you back to being a human,” said Schmidt, explaining Google’s motives.

The cloud can save it, forever

In addition to search, Schmidt alluded to phones that were so connected that if your phone crashed while reading a Google eBook, you could go to the store, activate a new device, and rejoin your book on the exact page you left off in minutes. Features like these will become more prevalent as LTE networks and other high-speed Internet connections increase in the years to come. Mobile speeds have increased 60 percent in this year alone, Schmidt claimed. Consumers may not have realized it, however, because demand has risen even faster.

“Pretty soon, in a year or two, with the phones many of you have already and the tablets, you will never forget anything. Starting soon it will be possible to remember the hotels you went to, the pictures you took, the friends you met, because computer memories last forever,” said Schmidt.

And yes, he also told us we’re going to have to deal with two billion people entering the Internet in next 3-4 years thanks to increases in mobile availability. Hopefully they won’t all be Justin Bieber fans.

Update: To read up on the Q&A session Schmidt held after his speech, head here. He fielded questions on Facebook, Twitter, Nokia, and Android Ice Cream, among other things.

Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Computing

How to protect your iCloud account

From Chinese hacking to identity theft, it's not surprising if you're a little worried about your iCloud data. Here's how to protect your iCloud account with a few simple security steps. It will only take a few minutes, and we'll walk you…
Cars

GPS units aren't dead! Our favorite models still do things your phone can't

Love hitting the open road but hate having to rely solely on your phone for getting around? Thankfully, the best in-car GPS systems will allow you to navigate and capitalize on a range of features sans your cellular network. Here are our…
Mobile

The best Pixel 3 XL cases to keep your notch in one piece

The Pixel 3 XL is Google's latest huge flagship handset. But you've paid $900 for that beast -- best make sure you protect it too. Here are some of the best Pixel 3 XL cases to keep your phone safe.
Mobile

Google Assistant will now show you a visual ‘snapshot’ of your day

Google announced a few updates to Google Assistant. Notably, Assistant will now show you a visual snapshot of your day, meaning you can see things like calendar events and recommended events straight from Assistant.
Mobile

The best Pixel 3 screen protectors to keep your phone Pixel perfect

The Pixel 3 is equipped with the hottest hardware and a beautiful 5.5-inch P-OLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 5. But it's not invincible. Here are the best Pixel 3 screen protectors to keep it safe.
Product Review

The Huawei Watch GT’s battery life gets a tick, but the software may not tock

Huawei’s track record with smartwatches is strong, having releases two models and several spin-offs to general acclaim. This is the Watch GT, and it moves away from Google’s Wear OS to focus on fitness, yet stays ahead of the…
Mobile

Montblanc’s $995 Summit 2 watch stays on your wrist for longer between charges

Montblanc has taken the wraps off of the new Montblanc Summit 2 -- the first watch to feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. The watch features a premium design and Google's Wear OS.
Mobile

Google Pixel 3 vs. Apple iPhone XS: Does Google’s A.I. take down Apple?

The Google Pixel 3 is here, boasting top-tier specs like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and 4GB of RAM, and some of the world's best artificial intelligence features on a phone. But can it take out the Apple iPhone XS?
Mobile

Hinge's new feature wants to know who you've gone out on dates with

With its new "We Met" feature, Hinge wants to learn how your dates are going with matches in its app. That way, it can inject the information into its algorithm to provide future recommendations that better suit its users' preferences.
Mobile

Which Verizon plan is best for you? We check out family, individual, and prepaid

Verizon offers lots of plans for individuals, your family, and folks who want prepaid service. Here is everything you need to know about Verizon's plans, from data packages and smartphones to Big Red's prepaid plans.
Mobile

Mate 20 range now includes new 20 X model with huge 7.2-inch display

Huawei has released the Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, and Mate 20 X. With all new Kirin processors, advanced A.I. brains, and an amazing triple camera, here's absolutely everything you need to know about the new Mate 20 series.
Mobile

Here are our favorite wireless phone chargers for Android devices and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.
Mobile

Google will start charging Android manufacturers to use its apps in Europe

Google announced that it will be charging Android device manufacturers in Europe a licensing fee to use its apps and services. The announcement comes as an effort to comply with new European Commission regulations.