Google Roundup: JAMs Fast with Chrome, Dumb Phones, and VC Up

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There’s been a lot of movement this week by Internet giant Google. Not the least of its most recent announcements, Google Chrome utility and speed have been approved fairly radically. However, a move by Google to engage emerging mobile markets may spell big gains client-conversion wise. So, this week at Google, entertainment, speed, markets and increased investment are top priority. Let’s have a look.

Google's G +


Yesterday, Google announced JAM with Chrome, an interactive Web app that lets Chrome users share music in their browsers from anywhere. Billed as a sort of  Rockstar/Karaoke machine for people’s PC’s, the new service let’s wanna be or budding artists “jam” together in what Google admits is a Chrome “experimental”  HTML5 endeavor. The best way to learn about the new service is to actually see it in action.

Speedy Chrome

Also on the Google browser front, Chrome is supposedly a lot faster than ever before now. Another post on the Official Google Blog tells of lightning provoking enhancements to the browser. Okay, maybe not lightning, but speedy, nonetheless. According to Google, the little browser engine that powers Chrome is tweaked and tuned about every six weeks, the telltale “tune up” results being that Chrome is 26.3 percent faster over the last 12 months. That is according to Octane tests (below from Google).

Google Chrome Octane result

Google Chrome Octane result – last 12 months show 26.3% speed increase

Not So Dumb

In a move many will find interesting, and probably very profitable for the coming term, Google has announced a partnership with Philippines telecom operator Globe Telecom to empower even the least “smart” Internet-powered phones to smartphone-like functionality. Brilliant strategy, if you think about it: not everybody in the world owns a $600 smart device with $400 worth of accessories. Launched in what has to be considered a “test market” in Manila last week, Free Zone, powered by Google just may be the company’s most brilliant move in some time.

The service lets essentially “every” phone user “talk, chat, share, schedule, store, organize, collaborate, discover, and create” just as if they did have a new Galaxy 3S. Well, almost.

According to the Google PR (I have not tested), users take advantage of Gmail, G+, and YouTube, plus other services to do stuff like buy things and get entertained via their El Cheapo cell phones. Why is this brilliant? Think of the tens of millions of mobile users Google might convert here. They intend launching the services in other countries soon. Don’t take my word on this one, do your own due diligence via this report from the International Telecommunications Union yesterday (ITU). Measuring the Information Society 2012 is if anything, an eye opener.

Sergey Brin drops by the 2012 Google Ventures Founder & CEO Summit

A barefoot’in Sergey Brin drops by the 2012 Google Ventures Founder & CEO Summit.


Finally, Google Ventures has just expanded their venture fund from $200 million to $300 million. GigaOm reported Google co-founder Sergey Brin saying of the move:

“This is a really exciting way to be really impactful on the world.

Effective, indeed. Google Ventures has fingers in lots of pies, so the number and size of those will surely now increase.

For those readers unaware, Google Ventures was founded back in 2009 as an investment arm of the parent company. The fund operates across several stages of development with some 40 to 50 startups ranging from seeds of a quarter of a million dollars, to some bigger deals worth in the tens of millions.

Image credit: Top image – courtesy Google Plus; Octane results – The Official Google Blog; Sergey Brin image – courtesy Google Ventures Facebook.

Phil Butler
Phil Butler is theEditor at Everything PR, Argophilia Travel News,  and Senior Partner at Pamil Visions PR. He’s a widely cited authority on beta startups, search engines and public relations issues, and he has covered tech news since 2004. Phil wrote in the past for ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, Profy, SitePoint, Search Engine Journal, AltSearchEngines. Follow Phil on Twitter or send him an email at phil [at] pamil-visions [dot] com.
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  • Bob Jones

    I wish Google would stop wasting time and resources on “fun” projects such as Jam and dedicate themselves to make better business solutions. There’s a big list of complaints about the Google apps suite for example, where seemingly logical features simply don’t exist. Limited mobile apps and problems with simple options such as saving data and accessing it offline. Not to mention the rubbish they let through in their marketplace which gives the whole android market a flee market feeling at times.
    Glad to see Chrome keeps getting faster though – I must admit that it’s my browser of choice and has been for quite a while now. Apps such as Raventools are also dropping toolbar development for Firefox in favor of Chrome, so they must be on to something.

    • Phil Butler

      Hey Bob, I am with you on the “game” type things, though development of that kind does lead to other discoveries and value. It seems to me Google has wasted massive resource creating some things that just don’t fly. I can think, however, of the lead in developments for G+, a lot was probably learned from the “failed” attempts beforehand.

      All that said, my Chrome does not seem so fast a lot of the time. For me, these “speed” claims are meaningless many times. It is the individual user experience that counts. To be honest, the only reason I am using Chrome now is the pain of switching back to IE.