ICYMI podcasts: Photos for Pixels, death to Zigbee, and Google’s 3G balloons


It took months of waiting, but Chromebook Pixel(s goog) owners received their promised new Photos app this week. On the GigaOM Chrome Show, Kevin Tofel and Chris Albrecht talk about what features it brings, while Chris debates which cloud he should use for photos and data. Meanwhile, Kevin is playing Gameboy games in the browser.

On this week’s Internet of Things podcast, Stacey Higginbotham chats with Qualcomm’s(s qcom) Rob Chandhok, who predicts the death of ZigBee and Z-Wave as connected home protocols. Instead, more open platforms and protocols will rise up and take precedence in this fast growing market of opportunity.

Summing up the news week, Jeff Roberts, Kevin Fitchard, Laura Hazard Owen chime in on the GigaOM Weekly WrapUp podcast. Topics include Pandora vs Pink Floyd, Google’s Project Loon (balloons as a network?!?) and getting pregnant in the digital age: Web searching your way through nine months.

(Download the GigaOM Chrome Show)

(Download the GigaOM Internet of Things podcast)

(Download the GigaOM Weekly Wrapup podcast)



I think predicting the death of Zigbee/Z-Wave is extremely premature. The podcast claims bluetooth and wireless (802.11ah) will kill them off in the next 3 years. Unfortunately, those protocols have their own issues. Bluetooth LE can’t extend it’s range with repeaters. Wireless currently uses too much power. 802.11ah isn’t expected until at least 2016.
Pop quiz, which of those should I use for the contact sensors on my mailbox in the front yard and my shed door in the backyard? Zigbee or Z-Wave will be the best protocol for these low data rate, long battery life applications for at least the next 3 years.

On paper, Zigbee appears to beat out Z-wave in the long run. However, I am not ruling out the possibility of Zigbee killing itself off due to it’s incompatibilities between it’s own profiles.


Kevin, “It’s kinda bare bones right now” is an understatement. Google+ Photos is a huge disappointment. The original press release from February 21 included this: “Google+ photos app – the simplest way to upload, edit and share your photos on a Chromebook. Available in the next couple weeks, first to Pixel users then later for all Chromebook users.” Sixteen weeks later, “editing” in Google + Photos consists of being able to rotate an image in 90° increments.

At this time, the Chrome OS File Manager has many more editing tools than Google+ Photos, except that Google decided to redesign the File Manager with R27, with disastrous effects on performance. The latest Beta version is significantly faster, but even on a Pixel, displaying images is quite sluggish, eats up enormous amounts of memory, and is unstable.

Kevin C. Tofel

Yup, the editing and delivery date is a let down. I do like the auto-upload bit though. Hopefully, the Chrome OS team picks up the pace and adds the promised editing features sooner rather than later.

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