June 2014 was a huge month for the tech industry, with both Apple and Google having their annual developers’ conferences. Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference kicked off with a keynote on 2nd June, while the Google I/O keynote took place on the morning of 25 June. Both events were attended by approximately 5000 developers, and a whole lot of others streamed the events online or followed live blogs.
The highlight of Apple’s event was the release of its new mobile as well as personal-computer operating systems. iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite stole the show at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco, with Apple’s new Swift programming language generating considerable buzz as well. CEO Tim Cook led the charge for Apple, along with trusted lieutenant Craig Federighi. Even though there was no new phone released, the term iPhone garnered the most mentions for Apple, narrowly edging out iOS and related terms.
The battles may not have happened simultaneously, but both camps generated equal fervor on social media on their respective days.
The Google event, also held at Moscone West, did well on social media despite having to compete for viewership with the world’s biggest festival, i.e. the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. With both events scheduled to begin at 5 pm GMT, audiences were torn between watching the genius of Lionel Messi in Argentina’s Group F match against Nigeria, and the much-anticipated tech announcements that Google was to make.
Messi was quick to take the lead by blasting a loose ball into the back of Nigeria’s net in the 3rd minute. Google responded by releasing their own Kraken: the Android L operating system! This saw Google quickly regain lost ground on Twitter. Also, having “Android” in the names of all your products helps as far as trending on social media goes (Google went on to announce the Android Wear operating system for smart watches and other wearables, Android Auto for cars, Android TV for TVs as the name suggests). They were a few steps short of renaming the company to Android and Sunder Pichai to Android Pichai
While the “Android” nomenclature strategy worked well for Google and garnered mentions in excess of 1.5 million tweets, Google still narrowly missed out on dethroning Messi on Twitter, falling short by only about 200K mentions. Messi went on to score another goal to consolidate his position, and Google released a slew of new software and hardware products to provide competition to the Argentinian for the evening and to Apple in the longer run. It must be noted here that in terms of the two generals leading the battle, Apple won hands down with Tim Cook scoring nearly 5 times the number of mentions on the day of WWDC as compared to the number of mentions scored by Pichai yesterday.
Special mentions also to the mysterious cardboard boxes given to all attendees of the I/O, which were later revealed to be folding smartphone holders that convert Android devices into an inexpensive VR (virtual reality) headset. The Google Cardboard website provides instructions for users to make their own VR headsets at home, and a link to the Cardboard app on the Play Store that enables usage of said headsets. Honorary mentions also to to the two protestors who interrupted the conference midway and caused a ruckus. Both, the cardboard boxes and the protestors, received a respectable number of mentions on Twitter.
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