Saturday mornings at my house (providing that I'm not on the road) usually go something like this: I wake up way too early for a weekend. I enjoy, oh, maybe an hour of quiet time with a cup of coffee, a bit of music (turned way the hell down) and some reading. Not Android. Not work. Just reading.
At some point a kid wakes up. Doesn't matter which one. And as soon as soon as that happens, Dad Mode has to kick in. (Lest we wake the sleeping Maternal Unit I left behind in the bedroom to grab whatever extra time she can after elbowing my snoring face all night. But that's another story.)
But this Saturday, I had a plan.
Kid No. 1 — that's Mia, on the left — woke first this time. So I headed into her room, armed with the Nexus 7 that charges on my nightstand every night. On it, the newly updated Androidify app. Because if there's anything an 8-year-old (going on 18, it seems some days) girl loves to do, it's dress up anything. A Bugdroid shouldn't be any different than a Barbie, right?
I guessed wisely. Soon enough, she had a little robot she said looked like me. (She was laughing, a lot, now that I think about it.) Then something even more girly. I heard her mutter something about mohawks and roller skates.
Her sister, Isabella, followed a little while later. And if there's anything that kid wants to do, it's whatever her older sister is doing. And by some minor miracle, the 2012 Nexus 7 that lives in the living room still had a charge, despite being all of 6 inches away from its dock. Soon enough, they were both designing little Bugdroids. That went on for a good 90 minutes or so. Two daughters, four years apart in age and often even farther apart in what's cool, cracking up about their designs. Ask anyone who has a couple of daughters ages 4 and 8, and they'll tell you what I tell you now — this is an all-too-rare occurrence.
It was fitting, then, that this came the week after Google released its "Be together. Not the same" and "And You" commercials. Sixty seconds each. The former is a bit of a blitz on the senses — thanks, Android WK! The second, however, provides a good bit more introspection, as the narrator talks about "And moves."
Be together, not the same
And you ...
" 'And moves" take guts. But they can mean everything. ... When enough people have an 'And' view, the world changes. Forever. ... Opening yourself up isn't easy. But when you do, it's hard to forget. Because it leads to something new. Something better."
That, folks, sums up what Google is trying to do on a macro level. It might sound like ideological bullshit, but I think it's true. And I think Google has the track record to back that up. That's not to say it's not possible to burn out from the inside (folks change jobs all the time in any industry) or have a bad experience on the outside as end users. (It happens. And it happens to any company, including mine.) "Making the world a better place" was the butt of early jokes in Mike Judge's "Silicon Valley." (And, Jesus, should should see what hits my inbox. Seriously, PR folks and Apple keynotes, cut that "magical" shit out already.) But when you're a company like Google or Apple or Microsoft, you can do it on some level. (I'd argue that I'd like to see governments and nonprofits also strive for that as well, but in different ways. Regardless, that's another column for another time.)
(For more on that, I'd also recommend the recent "How Google Works," which I'm slowly working my way through.)
I'm a sucker for a good line. Sorkin still gets me all the time. And Google's "And you" video always seems to come on right as I get something in my eye. But never more so than when I watched my two daughters playing together yesterday morning.
Two kids. My kids. Designing silly robots without even realizing I was behind them, enjoying them not being at each other's throats like kids (and far too many adults) tend to do.
Together. Not the same.
And with that ...
- If you were waiting for me to go off on the half-dozen folks who have emailed us over the past week, mistaking us for actually being Google (again, it's flattering, but we're not Google — it has lawyers and we have stationery that assure us of this) and railing against the four seconds of two guys getting engaged to be married, getting married and briefly kissing? Well, they're very much missing the point of being together but not the same. And I feel bad for them.
- (Besides, that's why I have Google+).
- Very cool to see more devices working with Nest since the Revolv acquisition. But Rachio turning on your outdoor sprinklers if Nest Protect senses smoke? I'm not sure how that's such a great idea. And Pebble's had a Nest app for some time.
- Speaking of which, how do we still not have Android Wear support for Nest?
- More in the Nest blog here.
- I'm all for the NFL playing occasional games in London. But every week? Nope.
- I'm in New York again this week. Not sure if we're liveblogging Tuesday or not. Please stand by.
- Thanks, Mr. Bradleee. -30- 1
And with that, it's time to get this week going. See y'all on Monday.