Google's Next Big Bet: Beat Apple at Its Own Game

A plan to emphasize design in everything Google does is set to emerge at the annual I/O developer conference.

Tim Beyers
Tim Beyers
Apr 23, 2014 at 8:00PM
Technology and Telecom

Who says that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has a monopoly on design sensibility? Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) plans to emphasize design as a theme of this June's I/O developer conference in San Francisco. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the implications in the following video.

Jon Wiley, who leads design for Google search, told TechCrunch that I/O would feature "a really big push around design." That includes sessions and workshops that seem aimed at positioning Google wares as on par to Apple's branded gear.

Changing minds won't be easy, especially given Apple's reputation for leading-edge industrial design. Yet work has already begun. A series of "Design Minutes" videos released last week feature Google designers sharing their views of how beauty influences function in various products and services -- from search to Maps to Google Glass.

Tim says the effort is worthwhile on multiple levels. First, Google and Apple are increasingly competing for the same type of customer. Anything that erodes Apple's design edge is likely to be good for business. Second, and more broadly, these same everyday users want well-designed products that hide complexity while delivering a slew of advanced features. Meeting their needs requires a well-honed design sensibility, Tim argues.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you think Google can compete with Apple on design, or is it time for CEO Larry Page to dream up a different strategy? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Google stock at current prices.