Posts tagged Google
During the Google I/O event yesterday, a new Google Maps for iOS was discussed and shown that will bring dramatic improvements to the application. While not expected until this summer, the new Google Maps will offer key new features as well as a simplified user interface for both iPhone and iPad.
From a feature perspective, the new Google Maps will bring real-time traffic, dynamic re-routing based on that traffic and integrated reviews from Zagat. Google made it clear that the new version will be for both iPhone and iPad meaning that the UI for the iPad should be optimised for the platform.
In addition, the new Google Maps will introduce a new service call Offers. It will pop up offers near your location. Starbucks was specifically mentioned in the keynote although other companies will undoubtedly be onboard before the release.
The new Google Maps UI will also be brought to the desktop version of the service which will bring up search locations embedded as overlays to the maps, not a separate search area.
The currently Google Maps app for iPhone is free and is available in the App Store.
Yesterday at the Google I/O event, the company announced the release of Google Hangouts, an app for iOS (and Android of course) and the desktop that is clearly and squarely aimed at Apple’s iMessage service. The new Hangouts brings many of the elements of Google+ and Google Talk into one app and tightly integrates with other Google services to make one unified platform.
Google Hangouts is already available in the App Store and it is free. It is a universal app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
With Hangouts you can leverage your circles created in Google+ and do either text or video chat via the app which is a step up from the Google Talk service. The new app should help increase the usage of Google+ which has never really captured the imagination of a broad audience. The app is a simple, minimalist UI with easy ways to create hangouts with individuals (think IM’ing) or with groups (your circles). Having it tried it out last night I have to say it is quite nice.
It is clear that Google and Apple are heading for a direct head-to-head competition not only on the core OS level but on the app and services level as well.
During the Google I/O Keynote, it was mentioned that Google Hangouts would also be available for Desktop. It is available at this link but you will have to have Google Chrome for your Mac or PC installed in order to use the service.
In what is clearly a sign that Apple is dying, Kantar WorldPanel released figures yesterday that show the iPhone captured 51.2% of the marketshare in the last quarter of 2012. With all of the rumours and discussion going on around Apple slowing down their supply chain, it is obvious they are struggling to sell a single iPhone, let alone a whole pile of them.
You can now take off your sarcasm filter.
Apple’s 51.2% share trumped the 44.2% that Google enjoyed with their Android platform while Windows Phone saw a slight jump up to 2.6%. All of this continues to bode well for Apple who announced their last quarter financials today. Many
analysts are expected Apple to announce their best quarter in history thanks to it being the first with the iPhone 5 fully engaged.
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech analyst Mary-Ann Parlato states, “Apple’s continual improvement is thanks to both the iPhone 5 and older models attracting various customer groups, from repeat Apple buyers, first time smartphone buyers and those coming from other smartphone brands”.
Another interesting fact brought out in the Kantar report is that 19% of new iOS users were former Android users. That is up from 9% in 2011. While Android manufactures, particularly Samsung, like to point out the weaknesses of the iPhone, clearly their own base isn’t necessarily listening to them.
“In particular, 36% of iOS sales were derived from other smartphone users over the last year. While this figure remains stable over time, the proportion of Android users moving towards the Apple brand increases. 19% of iOS sales over the last year were derived from Android users, compared to 9% in 2011,” continues Parlato.
You can read the full report at the Kantar WorldPanel website and can download the full breakdown of last quarter US sales figures from them free-of-charge. Don’t forget that the Apple Financials call is later today which can be listened to from the Apple website.
On the second anniversary of Localscope, Cynapse makes Localscope a free download on the App Store. Localscope’s unmatched location discovery experience lets users browse local information from diverse services in an amazingly intuitive list view with realtime direction pointers and distance meters, lay them out on the map, or look through the state of the art augmented reality view to spot the results in the real world. The entire Localscope experience is now available to consume geo-tagged information from 5 key services: Google, Facebook Places, Panoramio, YouTube and the Reminders app for free.
The new Localscope Premium provides all additional services from the ever growing list of integrations with diverse geo-information and social media services including Foursquare, Instagram, Wikipedia and more. Localscope premium also provides integration with a large number of paid navigation apps such as Tom Tom, Navigon and others for turn by turn directions. Localscope Premium is available as an in-app purchase at an annual price of US$1.99 or equivalent in other currencies.
“Two years and 22 versions after its initial release, we and many of our users think that local discovery using Localscope has evolved to become one of the best things that one can do using the iPhone. We have decided to make Localscope free as we feel a strong urge to bring this value to every iPhone user in the world and not just the ones who pay us before they experience it.” said Apurva Roy Choudhury, CEO Cynapse. “While Localscope with 5 key integrated services can be now be used for free by anyone in the world with an iOS device, the Localscope Premium paid subscription provides a broader set of local information from a continuously increasing portfolio of integrations with diverse services.”
In appreciation of the support from Localscope users who have paid to download the app prior to v3.1, Cynapse is providing them with an exclusive lifetime Premium subscription. The upgrade will be automatic when users update to v3.1 and the full set of services will continue to be available to them forever.
With v3.1, Localscope also adds integrations with even more navigation apps including the brand new Google Maps app. A complete list of What’s New in v3.1 is available on the App Store.
Google has released an update to their YouTube app that brings much anticipate native support for the iPad. The update, which is available now, has been optimised for the larger display of the iPad & iPad Mini and also brings optimised support for the iPhone 5. The update also brings support for streaming videos via AirPlay on your AppleTV and the ability to add and remove videos from your playlist on YouTube.
This is the first significant update to the YouTube app since it was released as a standalone app back in September.
YouTube is a free app and available in the iTunes App Store
Google, in their effort to bolster their cloud storage solution Google Drive, has released an update for iOS users today that bring some significant integration updates with the platform as well as some new editing functionality for files.
With the new update you will now be able to upload to Google Drive from within other applications via the “Open In…” menu. This saves you from having to touch your PC or Mac to upload a file or do unnatural acts to get it off of your iPhone or iPad and onto Google Drive.
The other big update is the ability to edit, create and collaborate on Spreadsheets in Google Drive.
Google Drive is a free app and Google offers a wide range of storage plans to meet your storage needs.
Google has just released a significant update to their Google Drive universal app for iOS. The new 1.1 version brings the ability to edit Google Docs with formatting and collaboration but also brings big improvements around document and folder management.
Now with Google Drive you can do things like create new Google Doc folders, upload photos & videos directly from your iPhone or iPad, move an item to a folder and delete files and folders. Effectively, anything you would want to do on the Google Docs site you can now do on your iPhone or iPad. It’s a big step forward!
Google Drive is free for 5GB of storage with additional storage at reasonable rates. You can get more information at the Google Drive site. The Google Drive app for iOS is free.
Like Safari on your Mac, the powerful web browser built into every iPhone and iPad has a lot of customizations you can do to make your surfing experience more personalized. Yesterday I showed you how to show your Bookmarks Bar in Safari on your iPhone or iPad and a few months ago I showed you how to enable Private Browsing in Safari.
In iOS, there are a few things that Google is noted as the default such as Maps and the search engine in Safari. I
personally however like Bing as my search engine so instead of having to type in the Bing address or use the Bing app (which is really good by-the-way), I changed my default search engine to Bing. To do this, go to Settings on your iPhone
or iPad and work your way down to the Safari section. There are a lot of settings that can be adjusted here but the one we are interested in is “Search Engine” under the General settings at the very top of the page. Tap that menu option and you will see that you have three options to set as your default search tool: Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Tap the one you want and press the Home key. Now when you open up Safari you will see Bing as your search engine option instead of Google.
Ultimately you have to find the search engine that meets your needs best. While Bing works great for me, it may not be the answer for you. Fortunately changing the default engine in Safari is quick and easy on your iPhone or iPad.
While my screenshot for this How To is from my iPad, the instructions above are exactly the same for your iPhone.
It comes as a bit of surprise but leading office productivity app developer Quickoffice has been acquired by Google. The news was published on the company blog today.
Now, we are ushering in a new chapter with Google. By combining the magic of Google’s intuitive solutions with Quickoffice’s powerful products, our shared vision for anytime, anywhere productivity can only grow.
For some this will be welcome news. For others, me included, it will be met with caution. Google is notorious for keeping things in perpetual beta and tinkering with things. I’m a big fan of Quickoffice and I can only hope that Google continues development on it and take it to the next level.
The Wall Street Journal has a lengthy and detailed report on Apple’s impending move from Google Maps as the mapping application in iOS to a new proprietary solution. It is the latest and strongest evidence yet that Google Maps may be gone from your iPhone and iPad with the release of iOS 6.
The article, written by Jessica E. Vascellaro and Amir Efrati, outlines the relationship between Apple and Google since the inception of the iPhone in 2007. It covers the what could best be described as a rocky relationship between the two tech giants with the release of the Android mobile OS being the tipping point for much of the rancor between the companies we see today. Indeed as has been well documented in the past, Steve Jobs felt that Eric Schmidt and Google blindsided him with the release of Android.
If you are interested in the back story of how Apple got to the point of developing their own mapping solution, this is a fantastic read and I highly recommend spending the time to read it in detail.
If however you are looking for juicy nuggets on what the new mapping solution will be, you’ll need to look elsewhere. The article does hint that we could see a preview of it as early as next week at WWDC but no significant details of the mapping solution are covered in the article.