Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) CEO Larry Page has released the annual founders’ letter for 2013. Page said that he and Sergey Brin started Google because they wanted “to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible.” This is why the company placed long-term bets in services like Gmail, Maps, Chrome, YouTube, and Android.
“The activity on Google Search is astounding. There are over 100 billion searches a month (a whopping 15 percent of which we?ve never seen before), and we now update our index within seconds to ensure we show the freshest results. To make life easier, we?re increasingly able to provide direct answers to your questions. For example, ‘what?s the deepest lake in the world?’ (It?s Lake Baikal in Siberia at 1,741 meters) or, ‘when does my flight leave?’ or, ‘how many calories in a pancake?’ And, I am excited by the progress we have made with Voice Search, which now works in over 38 languages, including, most recently, Thai and Vietnamese. Speaking is often the quickest, easiest way to ask, especially if you?re using a mobile device,” wrote Page in the letter.
Page said that the company is still a “million miles” away from creating the search engine of his dreams, which is one that gets you the right information at the exact moment you need it with almost no effort. BUt the problem is that understanding information in a deep way is a hard problem to solve.
Page said that the Google Chrome browser has over 750 million users and works seamlessly across devices. When you open a tab on your desktop and switch to your mobile device, the same tab will be open so you can pick up right where you left off.
Over one billion Android devices have been activated in under six years. “It?s super exciting to see this ecosystem take off, with Android developers earning four times more on average in 2013 than they did the year before from user payments. We?re now taking Android to wearables, like watches, and to cars, where we can make it super easy to get directions, make a call or play music,” wrote Page.
Page wrote that you are one of the two billion people who have access to the Internet, but that leaves five billion other unconnected people. Page highlighted the efforts of Project Loon, which is an effort to create a network of balloons on the very due of space that can provide connectivity in rural and remote areas.
Page mentioned a number of big bets that Google is making in different sectors. In healthcare, Google invested in Calico-a new company that is focused on health and longevity-and Iris, a smart contact lens that helps people with diabetes. Google also acquired Nest, which improves household products like thermostats. Google Shopping Express is a way to get deliveries in the same day that they are ordered. And of course, there are the self-driving cars.