Chris J Powell

Is Siri all That, Netflix on Android and the Tech Wars of 2012

So by now you have probably seen the commercials espousing the greatness of Siri and all its goodness of being able to truly take you to a hands free world and a new way of interacting with your Data but really…is it as good as Apple makes it out to be and will it be good enough to hold off competitors from Android and Windows?

On all fronts the integrated Voice Enabled Personal Assistant better known as Siri to iPhone 4S users has garnered a lot of news lately but I just don’t see the appeal of it…yet.  I have used the Voice Search from Google for some time and I am quite impressed with its accuracy out of the box (no training it like you have to with Windows and Linux Voice Commands which can be a huge pain).  There are several alternatives on all three of the major SmartPhone platforms though…here are just a few:




Dragon Go







Voice Search


Speaktoit Assistant


Windows Phone

DigiDictate Mobile

My Assistant


Netflix on Android

Well this might be just a case of too little too late for Netflix but here in Canada with very few real alternatives to using the Monopolies of Cable or Satellite for TV viewing it is quite a good feeling to know that finally there is another way to view online content legally.

The App will be free to install on devices running on Android 2.2 and above and according to Netflix its service can now be viewed natively on more than 700 devices that are available in North America covering from your favorite gaming console to smart phones to even “Smart TV’s”.


Now I have no problem with the split that occurred between their Streaming Video and Qwickster DVD Mailing service and in reality I see them as two business models anyways.  The question is will this release be enough to win back disgruntled customers now that there are more options to view your Movies and TV Shows…my feeling is not this guy…sorry Netflix but your lack of new content made us make the jump to Cable not from it.


The Tech Wars of 2012


So I was thumbing through an article from Fast Company and was completely surprised by just how well thought out the look to the four Tech Giants that are poised to really go toe to toe in the coming months for both our loyalty but also our wallet share.  The Four American Behemoths of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook have become international Super Stars and while even just 2 years ago they was not the direct and bitter competition happening…today it can be seen as the brewing’s of a global conflict for our Likes, our Pluses and as much money as we can possible give to them!

The Article really does look at these four companies and tries to decipher what their strategy will be in the Post-PC world that we are entering into.  With 3 of the 4 now being direct competitors in the hardware space of tablets (Apple iPad, Google Android powered tablets and the soon to be released Kindle Fire) why was Facebook even included in the fight?


My own take on the inclusion would be to do a quick spin back 70-90 years and look at our first two World Wars (fitting as we are coming up to Remembrance Day).  So if we assign countries to each of the four (and please no flame wars started here this is purely arbitrary)  but we can look at Apple as Germany…highly industrious with delusions of global domination, Google as England…an established Empire with hopes of further expansion, Amazon as France…aligned with many but just a little out there for most people but the wild card would be Facebook and I would firmly place Facebook as America in this context…it is young, it is rapidly growing in its global influence but it is still finding its way and what it will become.


Soe if we take the World War Two analogy I see the brunt of the fighting in the initial stages happening directly between Apple and Google.  Now much of it will take place in the realm of Amazon as both of these companies start to battle for the Consumer Cloud.  Facebook will continue to plug away gathering its Likes and connecting the dots between every web click, time eroding games and personal idiosyncrasies that we love to post there and at the end of it all…all four will come out bloodied but Facebook is likely to remain relatively unscathed and likely the strongest of the four…but that is my opinion.


Well that is it for my Rant today…life is back to a relative normal status.  My daughter is feeling better…Appendix Emergency Averted, my hospital and lack of sleep induced migraine finally went away…so it is all hands on deck and back to our jobs today!




Chris J Powell

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