What I learned using only Google products

Here are 10 shocking things I learned using only a Chromebook Pixel, Nexus 10, Nexus 4 and all-Google software and services.

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This will change soon. Google announced recently that an unlocked "Google Edition" of the Samsung Galaxy S4 would become available on the Play Store on June 26 for $649. Rumors are also circulating that the HTC One will be released in a "Google Edition" version.

9. Google's integration is the killer app. Google offers a dizzying range of Internet-based services. Some are mediocre, some are as good as the best competitors, and others are far better than anything else out there (examples include Google Now, Google Maps and Google+) . But Google's increasing integration of these services is becoming a compelling advantage. The ability to, say, launch turn-by-turn directions on Maps from Now, to search Drive from Gmail and the way Google Now reads your Gmail to give you reminders makes all the integrated services more powerful and usable.

10. It's easy to use nothing but Google products. You can't get the ultimate mobile computing experience by using nothing but Google products, but it's possible and enjoyable to do so. I had a lot of fun with this experiment.

How my Google experiment changed my decisions

As a result of this experiment, I've decided to buy a Retina MacBook Pro and use it like a Chromebook running almost everything via Google's Chrome browser for OS X. Call it a Machromebook Pro.

I'm going all-in on cloud services, and sticking with Drive, Keep and Docs, as I found them to be better than the alternatives I used previously.

I would love to own a Pixel, but I need my iPad and can't carry three devices in my backpack as I travel the world.

If the HTC One "Google Edition" rumor is real, I will probably give up my iPhone and switch. If the rumor is false, I might switch to the "Google Edition" Galaxy S4.

Ultimately, what's most important to me in a phone is high-quality build, great performance and battery life, full Google Now integration and the best possible camera. A big screen would be nice, too.

I've found the toughest choice in phones between the iPhone's camera and full Google Now and Google integration of the high-end "Google Edition" phones.

Getting off Apple and going all Google has increased my respect for both companies. I've come to realize that the very best mobile experience right now is built on a foundation of Google services on Apple hardware. I wish only that these two companies could get along better, and that Apple will allow more Google integration on the iPhone. If they did that, I wouldn't have to switch.

This article, What I learned using only Google products, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Mike Elgan writes about technology and tech culture. Contact and learn more about Mike at http://Google.me/+MikeElgan. You can also see more articles by Mike Elgan on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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