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谷歌与苹果:移动大战方兴未艾

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2019年12月02日

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谷歌与苹果:移动大战方兴未艾

精品投资银行Digi-Capital的数据显示,开发者从应用获得的营收中,约45%来自苹果App Store,29%来自谷歌Play Store。上周,赶上并试图超越苹果是谷歌传递给开发者的强大潜台词。

测试中可能遇到的词汇和知识:

implementation 实现[ɪmplɪmen'teɪʃ(ə)n]

algorithm 算法['ælgərɪð(ə)m]

degenerate 退化[dɪ'dʒen(ə)rət]

momentum 势头[mə'mentəm]

Apps spearhead Google's battle with Apple(1093words)

By Richard Waters and Tim Bradshaw in San Francisco,May 31,2015 5:45 pm

Sebastian Thrun,former head of the Google X — the advanced projects lab set up to make big bets on the future — knows all about technological ambition. Driverless cars,high-altitude balloons providing internet access and contact lenses that monitor blood sugar levels were all products that flowered under his leadership.

But when it comes to the Android operating system for mobile devices,Mr Thrun says this is not the time for Google to pursue bold new visions. With smartphone wars well advanced — he believes it is now all about smaller incremental advances,as Apple and Google slug it out for global advantage.

“You can have great visions,but change takes implementation,it takes small steps,” Mr Thrun said last week,after watching the opening presentation at Google I/O,the group's annual technology showcase event. “What I saw was Android playing out,Android getting into the mature phase.”

Sameer Iyengar,a former Google employee who is now a co-founder of app maker Beautylish,questioned whether Google was being bold enough in laying out its tech vision: “The thought leadership is maybe absent,compared to where it was in the past.”

He credited Google with taking a lead in at least one area: machine learning — a form of artificial intelligence that the company says is being used to enhance its mobile software and make apps on Android work better.

Applications of AI were among the most eye-catching demonstrations at the event last week,underlining Google's aims of using its massive computing base and advanced algorithms to make its services far more relevant and useful.

On at least one measure,Android has been a spectacular success. Conceived by Google as a defensive strategy to ensure its internet services were not locked out of mobile handsets by companies such as Apple or Microsoft,the software has turned into the dominant smartphone platform — accounting for about 80 per cent of the market worldwide.

But there is a hard slog ahead. With a disparate group of handset makers in the Android camp,the platform has struggled to match the more polished set of services and hardware that Apple has built around the iPhone,such as Apple Pay and,more recently,Watch.

Also,to make money,Google needs to reinforce the prominent position of its own services at a time when the open-source Android world threatens to break apart. Hardware makers,ranging from Amazon to Xiaomi,are looking to use Android as a platform for their own app stores and services — displacing Google.

“They have to make sure Android doesn't just degenerate into low-end devices and fragmentation,” says Al Hilwa,an analyst at IDC,the tech research firm.

If that were not enough,Google has to deal with the consequences of its own,expansive vision. This has taken Android into a broad array of new markets,from “smart” home appliances to cars. “Where Apple is always very focused on a few product categories,Google wants to be in everything,” says Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research. “It's hard for Google to keep making meaningful progress across all those different domains and keep up with Apple.”

Winning the hearts and minds of app developers — the focus of Google I/O last week,and the rival Apple developer conference next week — has become a key part of the battle.

Creating a marketplace where app developers can make money has been at the heart of Apple's formula for encouraging them to do their best work first for its mobile devices.

But the Android world has been catching up.

For most developers,the calculation is now finely balanced. Like many,Mr Iyengar says his app reaches far more people on Android devices but,on an individual basis,iOS customers are more profitable for his company.

Google's Play Store had been gaining ground as a source of income for developers,but the momentum in recent months turned back to Apple. Tero Kuittinen,managing director Magid Associates,a consultancy,and an adviser to several gaming companies,says app makers were “taken aback” by the shift,which followed the launch of larger iPhones.

According to some industry estimates,the sheer weight of numbers is finally starting to play in Android's favour — even if Google is not the only beneficiary.

Apple's App Store accounts for about 45 per cent of the revenue that developers make from apps,compared with 29 per cent for Google's Play,according to Digi-Capital.

But counting in the income from handsets in China — where Google's apps are blocked,meaning it makes no money — pushes the overall Android share to 52 per cent,Digi-Capital calculates.

Last week,matching — and trying to surpass — Apple was a strong subtext of Google's pitch to developers. New features included Android Pay,a rival to Apple Pay and a fresh attempt to break into mobile payments after the disappointment of Google Wallet. A new Google Photos app — with the promise of software that can automatically organise libraries of pictures — also echoed capabilities that are already offered by Apple.

But in other areas,Google seemed unprepared. While smartwatches based on last year's Android Wear technology have been put in the shade by the launch of Apple Watch,Google had little new to show off in response. This was a sign that it is surrendering early leadership in wearables to Apple,according to Carolina Milanesi,an analyst at Kantar Worldpanel.

Yet some of the latest attempts to extend the Android universe clearly play to Google's strengths.

Its new photos app offers free storage for an unlimited number of pictures — echoing the launch of Gmail,the company's free email service,in 2004,although the cost of storage has fallen greatly since then and has become less of a competitive differentiator.

Sucking in large volumes of photos also presents a new opportunity for Google to add to its already substantial mass of data about users. Company executives say they have not made plans to scan the pictures for advertising purposes but make no secret of the fact that a person's photo library comprises a highly valuable source of information about them.

Meanwhile,to improve the experience of using Android handsets in emerging markets,where low-end hardware and unreliable networks often hamper performance,Google announced new ways of using its services offline. These included the ability to view maps and directions while not connected.

They all represent attempts by Google to shift more of the value to its own services rather than embed it in the Android open-source software,says Mr Hilwa — a way to ensure that Google remains at the centre of the Android universe.

1.Which of the following technological devices does not belong to the Google X?

A.UAV(unmanned aerial vehicle)

B.Driverless cars

C.high-altitude balloons(providing internet access)

D.contact lenses(to monitor blood sugar levels)

[1] 答案

2.According to the author,in which of the flowing area does Google have the advantage over Apple?

A.sliding unlock

B.Apple Pay

C.machine learning

D.Apple Watch

[2] 答案

3.Google's apps are blocked in which country?

A.Africa

B.Japan

C.China

D.Czech Republic

[3] 答案

4.Which of the flowing is true about Google's new photos app?

A.Google will charge users a premium for more than 5G of storage.

B.It can only be used by people who have Gmail account.

C.It offers free storage for an unlimited number of pictures.

D.Google plans to scan the pictures for advertising purposes.

[4] 答案

[1]答案:A.UAV(unmanned aerial vehicle)

解释:文章第一段塞巴斯蒂安·特伦(Google X前负责人)深谙什么才是科技雄心。Google X在其领导下研发了无人驾驶汽车、提供互联网接入的高空轻气球以及监测血糖水平的隐形眼镜。

[2]答案:C.machine learning

解释:谷歌前员工、现为应用(app)制造商Beautylish联合创始人的萨米尔·延加虽然质疑谷歌的科技愿景方面的胆略和思想领导力,但是在第五段还是肯定了其在机器学习领域的领先地位,Apple Pay 和Apple Watch是苹果围绕iphone打造的服务和硬件。

[3]答案:C.China

解释:文章倒数第六段,根据Digi-Capital的统计,开发者从应用获得的营收中,约45%来自苹果App Store,29%来自谷歌Play Store。若加上来自中国的手机的收入(谷歌的应用在中国遭封锁,意味着谷歌本身无钱可赚),Android的整体市场份额将升至52%。

[4]答案:C.It offers free storage for an unlimited number of pictures.

解释:谷歌新的照片应用可提供无限量的免费图片存储,呼应了2004年谷歌推出Gmail免费电子邮件服务之举,倒数第四段,谷歌高管表示,他们并没有为广告目的而扫描图片的计划,但并不掩饰这样一个事实,即一个人的照片库包含有关他/她的极有价值的信息。

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