The Double-Edged Sword that is Google

The advantage with this design isn't just that you could update components, like a camera or a processor, as they become obsolete; a smartphone like Project Ara would also allow companies to explore more exotic haptic technologies, which could then be easily swapped out if they became problematic.

The company has also become the face of technology’s reckless intrusion into our social lives. Google Glass, its tech-enabled eyeglasses, is a frequent butt of jokes on late-night television. In response to a European court ruling on the so-called right to be forgotten, Google has received a flood of requests from users asking the service to delist them from its index.

This week's Google I/O was a chance for many of us to geek out over some of the amazing things Google has been up to.

It's also a chance to gain a little perspective. With that in mind, you get two stories today: two sides of the same Google coin.

In the first, Fast Company explores the world of haptics: the next frontier of smartphones that allows us to do things like touch someone 3,000 miles away through our smartphone screens. Haptics is an exciting new realm, but faces two key obstacles, both of which Google's Project Ara is in a unique position to solve.

So, on the one hand, Google is doing amazing things.

On the other hand, Farhad Manjoo reminds us (in a piece that distinctly reminds me of Dave Eggers' latest novel The Circle) that what Google has been up to is kind of creepy.

Enjoy the view from both sides.

How Google's Project Ara Could Pave the Way for Next-Gen UI

A Reach Too Far by Google?