Sebastian Thrun, former head of the Google X — the advanced projects lab set up to make big bets on the future — knows all about technological ambition. Driverless cars, high-altitude balloons providing internet access and contact lenses that monitor blood sugar levels were all products that flowered under his leadership.谷歌(Google)正式成立先进设备项目实验室Google X是为了对未来展开根本性的下注。该实验室前负责人塞巴斯蒂安特伦(Sebastian Thrun)有为什么才是科技雄心。
无人驾驶汽车、获取互联网终端的高空轻气球以及监测血糖水平的隐形眼镜，都曾是他领导的研发项目。But when it comes to the Android operating system for mobile devices, Mr Thrun says this is not the time for Google to pursue bold new visions. With smartphone wars well advanced, he believes it is now all about smaller incremental advances, as Apple and Google slug it out for global advantage.但对于面向移动设备的Android操作系统，特伦说道，现在不是谷歌执着大胆新的愿景的时候。
随着智能手机的竞争大大深化，随着苹果(Apple)和谷歌白热化争夺战全球优势，他指出，现在的关键在于小步快跑。“You can have great visions, but change takes implementation, it takes small steps,” Mr Thrun said last week, after watching the opening presentation at Google I/O, the group’s annual technology showcase event. “What I saw was Android playing out, Android getting into the mature phase.”在看完上周谷歌年度科技展出大会(Google I/O)的揭幕演说后，特伦说道：“你可以有最出色的愿景，但转变必须继续执行，必须回头小步……我看见的是Android正在竭尽全力，正在转入成熟阶段。”Sameer Iyengar, a former Google employee who is now a co-founder of app maker Beautylish, questioned whether Google was being bold enough in laying out its tech vision: “The thought leadership is maybe absent, compared to where it was in the past,” he suggested.谷歌前员工、现为应用于(app)制造商Beautylish牵头创始人的萨米尔延加(Sameer Iyengar)，批评谷歌在阐释其科技愿景方面有充足的胆略：“与过去比起，思想领导力有可能比较缺少，”他明确提出。However, he credited Google with taking a lead in at least one area: machine learning — a form of artificial intelligence that the company says is being used to enhance its mobile software and make apps on Android work better.然而，他指出有一点认同的是，谷歌最少在一个领域维持领先地位：机器学习。
该公司称之为，这种人工智能于是以被用作强化移动设备软件，并使Android平台上的应用于更佳运营。Applications of AI were among the most eye-catching demonstrations at last week’s event, underlining Google’s aims of using its massive computing base and advanced algorithms to make its services far more relevant and useful.人工智能的应用于是上周大会上最不受注目的展示之一，突显谷歌的目标，即利用可观计算能力和先进设备算法，使其服务极具相关性和简单性。
On at least one measure, Android has been a spectacular success. Conceived by Google as a defensive strategy to ensure its internet services were not locked out of mobile handsets by companies such as Apple or Microsoft, the software has turned into the dominant smartphone platform, accounting for about 80 per cent of the market worldwide.最少从一个方面取决于，Android早已是一个极大的顺利。当初谷歌研发Android系统是作为一种防御性策略，目的是保证其互联网服务不被苹果或者微软公司(Microsoft)等公司的移动设备推开在门外。如今该软件已沦为占到主导地位的智能手机平台，占到全球市场大约80%的份额。
But there is a hard slog ahead. With a disparate group of handset makers in the Android camp, the platform has struggled to match the more polished set of services and hardware that Apple has built around the iPhone, such as Apple Pay and, more recently, Watch.但前方的路也很艰苦。由于Android阵营还包括形形色色的手机制造商，该平台仍然无法跟上苹果环绕iPhone打造出的、更加精美的服务和硬件，如Apple Pay以及最近的苹果手表(Apple Watch)。
Also, to make money, Google needs to reinforce the prominent position of its own services at a time when the open-source Android world threatens to break apart. Hardware makers, ranging from Amazon to Xiaomi, are now looking to use Android as a platform for their own app stores and services — displacing Google.此外，为了创收，谷歌必须在对外开放源的Android世界有分化危险性之际，强化自身服务的引人注目地位。从亚马逊(Amazon)到小米(Xiaomi)，很多硬件制造商于是以期望利用Android作为自己应用于商店和服务的平台，代替谷歌。
“They have to make sure Android doesn’t just degenerate into low-end devices and fragmentation,” says Al Hilwa, an analyst at IDC, the tech research firm.科技研究公司IDC的分析师阿尔希尔瓦(Al Hilwa)说道：“他们必需保证Android会早已沦落低端设备和割据一方状态。”If that were not enough, Google has to deal with the consequences of its own, expansive vision. This has taken Android into a broad array of new markets, from “smart” home appliances to cars. “Where Apple is always very focused on a few product categories, Google wants to be in everything,” says Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research. “It’s hard for Google to keep making meaningful progress across all those different domains and keep up with Apple.”如果这些还过于，谷歌还必需应付其辽阔愿景带给的后果。
这一愿景一并Android带进了一系列新的市场，从“智能”家电到汽车。“苹果总有一天抱住探讨于几种产品类别，而谷歌什么都想要醉心，”Jackdaw Research的简道森(Jan Dawson)回应。
“谷歌很难在所有这些有所不同领域都大大获得有意义的进展，跟上苹果。”Winning the hearts and minds of app developers — the focus of Google I/O last week, and the rival Apple developer conference next week — has become a key part of the battle. Creating a marketplace where app developers can make money has been at the heart of Apple’s formula for encouraging them to do their best work first for its mobile devices.夺得应用于开发者的拥戴和反对——上周Google I/O大会以及苹果下周的开发者大会的主要焦点——已沦为这场竞争的关键部分。
创立一个应用于开发者需要借此赚的市场，仍然正处于苹果模式的核心，为的是希望他们首先尽心尽力为苹果的移动设备研发出有最差的应用于。But the Android world has been catching up. For most developers, the calculation is now finely balanced. Like many, Mr Iyengar says his app reaches far more people on Android devices but, on an individual basis, iOS customers are more profitable for his company.但是，Android世界在抱住追上。对大多数开发者来说，如今两边的份量差不多。和许多人一样，Beautylish的延加称之为，虽然其应用于面向非常少的Android设备用户，但就每个用户而言，iOS用户为其公司带给的利润更加多。
Google’s Play Store had been gaining ground as a source of income for developers, but the momentum in recent months turned back to Apple. Tero Kuittinen, managing director of Magid Associates, a consultancy, and an adviser to several gaming companies, says app makers were “taken aback” by the shift, which followed the launch of larger iPhones. However, according to at least some industry estimates, the sheer weight of numbers is finally starting to play in Android’s favour — even if Google is not the only beneficiary.谷歌的Play Store作为开发者的收益来源一度获得进展，但最近几个月势头又转到了苹果。咨询公司Magid Associates董事总经理、为几家博彩公司获取咨询的特罗库伊蒂宁(Tero Kuittinen)说道，这一改变是在苹果发售更大的新款iPhone之后再次发生的，应用于制造商对这种改变“大吃一惊”。然而，最少某些行业评估表明，数量优势再一开始不利于Android——即使谷歌不是唯一的受益者。Apple’s App Store accounts for around 45 per cent of the revenue that developers make from apps, compared to 29 per cent for Google’s Play, according to Digi-Capital. But, counting in the income from handsets in China where Google’s apps are blocked — meaning it makes no money — pushes the overall Android share to 52 per cent, Digi-Capital calculates.精品投资银行Digi-Capital的数据表明，开发者从应用于取得的营收中，大约45%来自苹果App Store，29%来自谷歌Play Store。
但是，根据Digi-Capital的统计资料，若再加来自中国的手机的收益（谷歌的应用于在中国遭到封锁，意味著谷歌本身无钱可赚到），Android的整体市场份额将升到52%。Last week, matching and trying to surpass Apple was a strong subtext of Google’s pitch to developers. New features included Android Pay, a rival to Apple Pay and a fresh attempt to break into mobile payments after the disappointment of Google Wallet.上周，跟上并企图打破苹果是谷歌传送给开发者的强劲潜台词。
新的功能还包括与Apple Pay竞争的Android Pay，这是自Google Wallet令人沮丧之后谷歌进占移动支付领域的新尝试。A new Google Photos app, with the promise of software that can automatically organise libraries of pictures, also echoed capabilities that are already offered by Apple.一款允诺可自动整理照片图库的新款谷歌照片应用于Google Photos，也交织了苹果早就获取的功能。But in other areas, Google seemed unprepared. While smartwatches based on last year’s Android Wear technology have been put in the shade by the recent launch of Apple Watch, Google had little new to show off in response. This was a sign that it is surrendering early leadership in wearables to Apple, according to Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Kantar Worldpanel.但在其他领域，谷歌或许毫无准备。
虽然近期Apple Watch的发售使基于去年Android Wear技术公布的智能手表相形见绌，但谷歌没任何新技术作为对此。Kantar Worldpanel分析师卡罗琳娜米拉内西(Carolina Milanesi)回应，这标志着谷歌相反苹果让给可穿着设备领域的早期领先地位。Yet some of the latest attempts to extend the Android universe clearly play to Google’s strengths. Its new photos app, for instance, offers free storage for an unlimited number of pictures, echoing the launch of Gmail, the company’s free email service, in 2004, although the cost of storage has fallen greatly since then and has become less of a competitive differentiator.然而，最近一些拓展Android世界的尝试似乎有助充分发挥谷歌的优势。例如，谷歌新的照片应用于可获取无限量的免费图片存储，交织了2004年谷歌发售Gmail免费电子邮件服务之荐，尽管自那以来存储成本已大幅度减少，仍然是那么大的竞争差异化工具。
Sucking in large volumes of photos also presents a new opportunity for Google to add to its already substantial mass of data about users. Company executives say they have not made plans to scan the pictures for advertising purposes but make no secret of the fact that a person’s photo library comprises a highly valuable source of information about them.吸取海量的照片也为谷歌获取了新的机遇，可不断扩大其已享有的大量用户数据。谷歌高管回应，他们并没为广告目的而扫瞄图片的计划，但并不掩盖这样一个事实，即一个人的照片库包括有关他/她的极有价值的信息。
Meanwhile, to improve the experience of using Android handsets in emerging markets, where low-end hardware and unreliable networks often hamper performance, Google has announced new ways of using its services offline. These included the ability to view maps and directions while not connected.同时，为了提高在新兴市场中（低端硬件和不稳定的网络常常阻碍性能）用于Android手机的体验，Google公布了离线用于其服务的新方法，还包括在没网络连接的情况下查阅地图和导航系统。They all represent attempts by Google to shift more of the value to its own services rather than embed it in the Android open-source software, says Mr Hilwa — a way to ensure that Google remains at the centre of the Android universe.IDC的希尔瓦说道，这些都指出谷歌企图将更加多的价值移往到自己的服务中，而非映射在对外开放源代码的Android软件中，以此保证谷歌一直正处于Android世界的中心。
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