Posts Tagged google
There’s been a major update for the Google+ app and it’s finally looking pretty stunning.
When first launched last Summer, the service was looking a little functional yet unexciting. This time round, it has had a huge overhaul and is looking much more glamorous.
Everything about Google+ is that bit more stylish, from crisper fonts to larger profile photos and a more inviting home screen.
Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of Google+, puts it best in a blog post about the update, explaining that the company is “embracing the sensor-rich smartphone (with its touchable screen and high-density display), and transforming Google+ into something more intimate, and more expressive.” He goes onto explain that the focus is on “fun and performance” with numerous subtle changes such as the placement of the +1 button, making the whole experience easier.
The update is out now for all to see. Let us know what you think of the facelift.
[Source: Google Blog]
For users of Google accounts, iOS provides a built-in way to access mail, calendars, and notes from Google. However, for users looking to get their email pushed to their device, or to synchronize their contacts, this built-in method doesn’t work. But there is a way to do this, though, via Microsoft Exchange on iOS. This will allow for email to be pushed to the device, and for contacts to be synchronized to the iOS device. With iOS 5, it is also possible for notifications to appear in Notification Center, unlike in the official Gmail app, which only plays a notification sound.
This is a better method of contact synchronization with Google than doing it through iTunes. This means that contacts will be directly synchronized to and from Google when they are updated. This is great for those who have an Android device to go along with their iOS devices. This method also only synchronizes the main contacts; iTunes has been known to add all people that have ever been emailed. This method is safer and smarter.
Here’s how to enable this feature on iOS.
Open up Settings. Tap on Mail, Contacts, and Calendars. Tap Add Account. Select Microsoft Exchange.
Enter the email address to be synchronized. The username is the same as the email address, and the password is the password to the account. The description can be anything the user wants. After submitting this information, a new Server option pops up. Enter m.google.com for this field.
If all the info has been successfully submitted, then the ability to enable/disable Mail, Contacts, and Calendar is available.
After all the information synchronizes, contacts from this Google account should appear in the Contacts app. Make sure that for new contacts to sync to the Google servers, set the Default Account in Mail, Accounts, and Calendars to the Exchange account. Multiple Exchange accounts can be synchronized, but only one account can have contacts added to it at a time.
Google does note that there are some drawbacks with Exchange sync versus standard account setup, but these drawbacks are well worth the trade-off for the enhanced feature set.
At this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Garmin has announced that it will be adding Google Street View to all Navigon apps later this Spring. This new addition will allow users to get a close-up view of their destinations before they depart, letting them zoom in on target buildings or cross streets so they can more easily spot a previously unvisited locale.A specific launch date for the update was not given, but it should be arriving soon.
This upgrade is a godsend to people like me who really want a street-level view of unvisited locations. It’s just so much easier, in my opinion, to find the place you’re looking for when you’ve seen the building, know what side of the street it is on and can see what other buildings and landmarks are nearby. This addition makes an already impressive GPS app even better, and it’s getting really hard for just about everyone else out there to compete with Garmin’s Navigon offerings.
This week at 148Apps.com, site editor Rob LeFebvre took an in-depth look at the new Logitech Wireless Boombox. LeFebvre writes, “Logitech’s newest addition to the device genre is by far the best I’ve played with. The sound is amazing for such a small footprint; the lows are deep and rich, the highs successfully bright without becoming too brittle.
The hardware itself is smooth, sleek and rounded. The dip in the middle, where an old school boombox would have held a tape deck, is just right for a hand to grasp it, obviating the need for an extruded handle. The unit feels solid, like it would hold up to some roughness in handling. The plug and line-in jacks are thoughtfully covered with a rubber flap, protecting from dust or mist. In the back of the unit sits a flip out stand, one that folds flat against the boombox for easy travel.”
Read the full review on 148Apps.com.
GiggleApps.com celebrated what’s left of winter with Amy Solomon’s review of Into the Snow: A Stella and Sam Adventure. Solomon states, “Not only are these puzzles fun and interactive, but I appreciate how Stella creates a motif around each puzzle once created, also showing as a faint gray drawing in the snow, demonstrating what one can do with one’s imagination, as the stick man turns into a soccer player or as the additional details are added to the sailboat which are also made from sticks. They then include an ocean full of waves and a “show shark” that moves with the tap of a finger as well as birds seen in the distance. I really enjoy the basic style of art used in these snow drawings, childlike and reminiscent of the illustrations found in Harold and the Purple Crayon.”
Released: 2011-03-10 :: Category: Games
That’s a wrap on another week that was. Join us next week for another week that has passed….or something like that. In the meantime, keep up to date on the latest app reviews, news and contests by following us on Twitter or liking our page on Facebook. Bye now!
Social media power users will be pleased to hear that the official Google+ iOS app has been updated to allow photos and videos to be instantly uploaded onto the service. Now, instead of manually going through the entire Camera Roll, picking out the images you want uploaded and waiting for them to appear, users can instead opt to have everything instantly uploaded and shared with their circles. Furthermore, the update also adds the What’s Hot stream, so this latest update puts the iOS app on equal footing with the Android version of Google+
One thing to keep in mind before you switch on Instant Upload, remember that any photo or video you take will be immediately added to your profile, so you might want to exercise caution. Now that Valentine’s Day is over we expect there will be fewer inappropriate pics taken with phones, but do remember to either exercise restraint or, at the very least, turn off Instant Upload before you do anything that may cause embarrassment later.
There are many out there who believe that the current mobile explosion will save the dying news industry. Newspaper and magazine publishers have been loving Apple’s Newsstand App for the increased visibility it gives their content. Now Google has released a rival, more Flipboard-esque, mobile reader of their own, Google Currents.
Google Currents offers optimized, magazine-style versions of articles from Forbes, TechCrunch, Saveur, Popular Science, Good, 500px, Fast Company and more. Google Reader subscriptions are also used to provide users content from the blogs and feeds they follow. Popular, trending stories are collected from all of these sources and given special placement with photos, slideshows, videos, live-maps and social streams intact.
Users can also save articles for “high speed offline reading”, share them, and sync them across all of their devices. Content scales to fit whatever sized screen a phone or tablet may have. Google Currents is available now for free and is compatible with iPhones and iPads.
Released: 2011-12-08 :: Category: News
This week at 148Apps.com, site founder Jeff Scott welcomed the Kindle Fire into the tablet fold with an overview of his impressions of the device. Scott says, “…while the Kindle Fire is around 40 percent the cost of a base level iPad, it’s capabilities are even less. It just so happens that those capabilities match up well with what a typical consumer uses a tablet device for. Because of that, the Kindle Fire will be a strong competitive device to the iPad. When it comes down to it, it’s the cost that matters to a very large portion of the buying public, not the capabilities.”
Meanwhile, our sister site, GiggleApps, took a closer look at a new educational app for children, iLuv Drawing Animals. Reviewer Amy Solomon writes, “iLuv Drawing Animals is a nice choice for kids who are interested in learning the very basics of drawing cartoony animals that are cute and relatively easy to draw. I like how these illustrations are broken down into smaller shapes that kids will easily understand and have had experience with, and the narration is pleasant and easy to follow.”
Released: 2011-10-10 :: Category: Education
Finally, on AndroidRundown, Carter Dotson announced the public availability of Google Music, an interesting development for all music lovers, no matter the device. Dotson writes, “Most importantly, this means that Google is now in the business of one of the big pillars of media, and it addresses a gaping hole in the Android Market. With videos and books already addressed, now the store is complete with music to go along with apps. Google is directly putting themselves in competition with iTunes, and they are making their operating system much closer in terms of features to iOS devices. This was a necessary move for Google.”
As we head into the week of Thanksgiving here in the US, remember that you can still enter to win an iPhone 4S, courtesy of 148Apps and Gameloft. To enter, just become a 148Apps and Gameloft Facebook fan – www.facebook.com/gameloft and www.facebook.com/148apps.
Or you can follow both of us on Twitter as well at www.twitter.com/148apps and www.twitter.com/gameloft. Then, write the following public tweet: “Upgrade to a 4S yet? Follow @Gameloft & @148Apps & RT for a chance to win an iPhone 4S! Gameloft gaming on the 4S: http://glft.co/uIR3Y1″
See you next week, true believers! Start thawing that turkey!
If you blinked you might have missed it, but a couple weeks ago it finally happened. Gmail launched their official universal app. For a few hours anyway. It was pulled by the folks at Google shortly after launch due to a combination of bugs on their end and an outcry from users about the apps shortcomings and GUI. But it’s back again and ready for download, though it still has some issues.
Why have a Gmail app at all? Well, there are certain features Gmail users love and depend on that Apple’s mail app doesn’t allow for, most notably simple searching of all that archived mail from one spot. Also threaded conversation – the reason I use Gmail only – and the priority inbox are not supported.
Google made this statement on their blog:
Two weeks ago, we introduced our Gmail app for iOS. Unfortunately it contained a bug which broke notifications and displayed an error message, so we removed it from the App Store. We’ve fixed the bug and notifications are now working, and the app is back in the App Store. For an overview of what’s available in the Gmail app for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, check out this blog post.
In the short time the app was public we received a lot of helpful feedback and feature requests. This included requests for everything from bigger features like multiple account support to customizations like improved notifications and mobile specific signatures.
We’re just getting started with the Gmail app for iOS and will be iterating rapidly to bring you more features, including all the ones listed above plus many more. Based on your comments we have already improved our handling of image HTML messages – they are now sized to fit to the screen and you can pinch to zoom in.
Grab the the Gmail app and let us know what you think Google still needs to work on.
This week at 148Apps, site editor Rob LeFebvre interviewed Jeremiah Slaczka, creative director behind the mind-blowingly original (and long-awaited) Scribblenauts Remix on iOS. Slaczka says, “…I really like the iOS setup. It is concise and accessible to anyone who wants to develop for it, which has really changed handheld development. We will definitely be working more on this platform.”
Read the full interview at 148Apps.
Released: 2011-10-12 :: Category: Games
Meanwhile, over at GiggleApps, reviewer Amy Solomon took a closer look at another open-ended and creative game, but this time for children. Toca Store, “Transforms one’s device into a department store where kids can take turns playing both shopkeeper as well as patron. This app opens up to a store before the doors open, giving kids the chance to peruse a catalogue of product choices that they can sell in their store, that range from food stuff – both fresh produce as well as packaged foods, home goods like a hair dryer or fabric softener, and a nice selection of toys.”
Encourage the budding economist in your child and read the full review at GiggleApps.
Released: 2011-10-06 :: Category: Education
Last, but certainly not least, Android Rundown celebrated the arrival (at last) of universal native screen capture. Carter Dotson writes, “According to Android Police, Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) will support this function universally by tapping volume down and lock simultaneously. This will be a dramatic help to anyone taking screen captures, as I’ve even heard from newcomers to Android development used to iOS development where screen capture is a breeze that there’s just no easy way to take screenshots. No longer!”
Celebrate with other Android users on Android Rundown.
The time has come to bid farewell to yet another week, but fortunately there’s more good stuff heading your way next week. Check in with our Facebook or Twitter feeds to get the latest news, reviews and contests. Till next week…adios amigos.
Is there anything that Google doesn’t do? It appears not. It’s even come along and revitalized the catalog market now with the iPad app Google Catalogs.
I remember the golden days of catalogs (or catalogues as people on my side of the Atlantic call them), when people would have huge booklets of pretty photos and information about various products, all so that they could browse stores from the comfort of their sofa. This app does pretty much that while saving effort, paper and space by allowing users to browse from their ever-stylish iPad devices.
The app offers a variety of different catalogs, much like the web based version of Google Catalogs that was was discontinued in 2009. Numerous top brands are on offer, such as Antrhopologie, Bare Escentuals, Bergdorf, Goodman, Crate and Barrel, L.L. Bean, Lands’ End, Macy’s, Neirman Marcus, Nordstrom, Pottery Barn, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Sundance, Tea Collection, Urban Outfitters and Williams-Sonoma, as well as others that I’m far too uncool/British to know about. It comes to over 100 in all.
The app is simple to use with the ability to zoom in to see products up close, find products in nearby stores and view photo albums and videos. Viewing items according to price is simple enough also. Users can then create their own collages of favorite collections of products and they can get instant access to new catalogs through the app as soon as they become available. Purchasing is similarly easy with a single tap taking users to a merchant’s website or information about the nearest store.
Most intriguing of all is that this app has come to the iPad before Android devices. While we’re not ones to encourage rivalry between the formats, it is a curious development. Presuambly an Android version will follow in the future.
Either way, Google Catalogs is out now for the iPad and it’s a free app.
If there were a single purpose that smartphones specialize in more than any other, it would be searching for random bits of information out of the clear blue sky. Who knows when the random sports fact or vindicating morsel of information might come in handy, so why wouldn’t you want to use the mini-computer in your pocket to do the legwork?
But in this world where there are an immense amount of searching options at your disposal, sometimes it can be quite difficult to determine the easiest way to find the information that is needed. This is why the app Flex Search 2.0 is so helpful. Not only will it find the necessary data in no time flat, but it will use a multitude of the best tools and search engines available to make it all possible. Utilizing sites ranging from Google to Bing and everything else in between, this is a piece of software that makes searching both fast and smart. Give the free version a download and let us know if you feel the same way in the comments.
Released: 2010-12-18 :: Category: Business
Google has (finally) released their mobile iOS app for the hot new social network cum buzz-generator, Google+. The app is free and is available on the iTunes App Store, though it’s still propagating to the mobile App Store, so be patient if you can’t download it directly on your device.
According to MacStories, the Huddle group messaging feature is available from the app, and we can finally rejoice in sending photos from our iPhone or iPod Touch without any wacky workarounds.
From the App Store Page:
Google+ for mobile makes sharing the right things with the right people a lot simpler. Huddle lets you send super-fast messages to the people you care about most. And no matter where you are, the stream lets you stay in the loop about what your friends are sharing and where they’re checking in.
* Circles let you share the right things with just the right people.
* Stream is where you can get updates from your circles or see what people are saying about things nearby.
* Huddle is super-fast group messaging for everyone in your circles.
Google+ is only available for users 13 and older.
Google owned company, Slide, is currently in public beta testing for a new photo sharing app, Photovine. The app released yesterday, and is available on the App Store, though users will need a beta invite to actually use it. Interestingly enough, the app is not available for Google’s own Android operating system.
Photovine distinguishes itself from similar photo sharing apps like Instagram with themed sharing albums, called vines. In the video below, one user takes a photo of a pomeranian puppy, titles it “warm and fuzzy,” and passes it on to a friend. Other friends pick up on the theme and send along various photos to enrich it, including a big, friendly guy with a hairy chest in a speedo swimsuit. Check it out:
Released: 2011-07-13 :: Category: Social Networking
[Source: LA Times]
Early last week it was reported that a number of applications had been discovered in the Android Marketplace that contained malware. As things developed, we learned that the apps were sending certain ids and preferences to another server, but not really doing anything damaging. The applications were exploiting a known vulnerability in the Android OS to get this data. It has been revealed since then that these applications have the capability to download new code and then do additional things.
Google has removed the applications from their marketplace and users phones using their remote kill capability. This should have removed the known offending apps from the vast majority of users phones. They will also patch the OS and somehow fix the malware installed on over 200,000 users’ phones.
One of the problems with the Android model is that Google can’t release a fix to all users of the OS at once. They have to release it to the manufacturers who then in turn need to implement it, test it, then deploy it to the devices. In contrast, Apple maintains full control of their OS; if there is an issue, Apple can release an iOS update to all devices.
But you may wonder, “Can these same malicious applications make it to the Apple App Store?” Of course they can, but the chances are greatly reduced by Apple’s approval process. Furthermore, capabilities of any malicious applications that might appear on iOS have much less access to the device and your data than they do on Android OS. That is unless your device is jailbroken – then it’s effectively wide open.
Oh productivity apps, why must you tease us so? There are so many different programs and solutions that could address consumers organizational issues available on the App Store that you could begin to wonder if every iOS device owner is a scatterbrained fool. That said, I am fully willing to cop to actually being one of those scatterbrained fools, not to mention that is always willing to try out the latest and greatest App to help streamline my day-to-day life.
Coming to my rescue most recently is an app developed my independent developer Evgeniy Shurakov, by the name of GoTasks. As much as I would love to go on the record and rave about its awesome interface and usability, why not let the tutorial video speak for itself?
- Works with Google and Google Apps accounts
- Multiple account support
- Inplace tasks editing
- Notifications of upcoming tasks
- Various sorting modes (by date, by title, by status)
- Badges showing the number of tasks (due, overdue, today)
- Highlighting overdue tasks in the list
- Offline mode (create/edit tasks offline and sync later)
- Data is sent securely over HTTPS to Google
Easily the most useful part of the entire app would be the ability to synchronize the with your existing Google calendar. Finally! Someone is providing that platform convergence that has been missing for far too long. Better yet, the software is FREE, so you have no excuse not to download it! So scurry off to the App Store and check it out, you can come back and thank me later.
Flipboard is already considered a must-have iPad app, but now it’s even more irresistible thanks to a massive update. The social media app is now capable of including Google Reader, Flickr and live article previews. Really, what more could you ask for?
First up, those using Google Reader will find it to be nearly identical to what their familiar with on their desktop, but with a few minor concessions. You won’t be able to share items with a note, run a search or manage subscriptions, though those features may become available down the road. For now though you can still read through items, star items, share without notes and most of the other familiar Reader features. It’s not an exact duplication of the true experience, but it’s pretty close.
Flipboard now also finally supports Flickr, one of the web’s biggest photo hubs. Now you can easily view photos, mark favorites and leave comments, as well as thumb through Flickr groups and daily albums. Finally, you can leave snarky comments about your friends’ drunken shenanigans right from your iPad. How did we live without this?
Another nice feature is that Flipboard will now let you preview articles before opening them, so if you just want to get the headline and a paragraph or two you won’t have to wait for the whole piece to load. Also, the websites on which articles appear now pop up below whatever story you’re reading, so if you want to see more stuff from the same outlet all you need to do is drag the screen up and surf the site as you normally would. Congratulations, it’s now easier to be distracted than ever before!
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what the new Flipboard has to offer, but we don’t want to spoil the fun of discovery. Check out the video of the new features and then start digging into them for yourself. And if you don’t yet have Flipboard then what sort of crazy person are you?
After a very long wait Google finally released its Google Voice app for iPhone last month. At the time the app was a true iPhone exclusive, incompatible with any other iOS devices. Now the service has been upgraded so it will work on iPod and iPad, doing everything but sending and receiving calls.
The app allows users access to all the traditional features, including free text messaging to all US numbers as well voicemail transcription for those who want to keep a log of important messages. Also, just because the iPod and iPad can’t make phone calls doesn’t mean the feature is useless, as Google has introduced a feature called Click2Call which will dial the number listed in Google Voice and then connect the call using the phone of your choice. Granted, it’s not terribly convenient but hey, it’s a feature nonetheless.
In addition to all this Google also made some general upgrades to the app itself. New features include the ability to disable text notifications when push notifications are already active, a “do not disturb” setting that sends all calls directly to voicemail and a dedicated contacts button on the dialer tab. Basically just a bunch of little improvements meant to streamline the experience and make the app that much more user-friendly.
We’re happy to see the Google Voice app spread its wings and become available on other iOS devices, but at the same time we’re not totally sure how critical this app is for non-iPhone users. While it’s a nice text-messaging and chat service, the primary function of the app is to make and receive phone calls, but that’s something the iPod and iPad simply can’t do. While this is definitely a nice app, it might also be all but unnecessary for a large percentage of consumers.
Released: 2010-11-16 :: Category: Productivity
After a bit of a false start last week, Google has officially launched its Latitude app for the iPhone. The free app allows users to continuously broadcast their location to friends and family as well as see where other contacts are on a map at any time. The app also allows for background updating, allowing Latitude to continue to track where you are even when the app is closed.
For those concerned about privacy issues Google reminds you that the app is 100 percent opt-in, and your current location will only be shared with friends who you have added and approved to your account. Furthermore, users are free to turn off both the background tracking at any time, and you can also hide your current location or log out entirely if you aren’t feeling particularly social. It may not be enough to persuade the truly paranoid to try Latitude, but for the Foursquare crowd this is just about the perfect app.
It’s also worth noting that Latitude has been available to iOS users as a web application for quite a while now, but this is the first time it’s been presented as a native app. Thus, Google has built the app with the iPhone 4 in mind so users will need a device such as an iPhone 4 or 3GS which is running iOS 4 or above to support the service. If you’re still clinging to an original iPhone or iPod Touch then sorry, but it’s not going to work. The app will also work with the iPad, but considering it’s more of a mobile geolocating service it might not be terribly useful for tablet owners. In any event, Latitude is now officially here for iPhone users, so get out there and continue oversharing all the details of your life, including where you’re standing at any given second.
Released: 2010-12-08 :: Category: Social Networking
[via Google Mobile]
Last month Google introduced the ability to edit Google Docs directly from your iOS device. While the feature was welcomed by many users, they also quickly found it to be rather limited, and not really a true Google Docs experience. That issue has now been rectified, at least on the iPad, as Google has updated their service to allow for full desktop editing control on the tablet. This includes the ability to change fonts and formatting as well as insert formulas and tables, just like you can with your home computer.
In order to access the service users must first mosey over to the Google Docs homepage via the iPad’s Safari browser and then sign in as usual. You should then see all your docs pop up just like they always do and you can begin editing, formatting and doing all the other things you’re accustomed to doing on your home computer. One word of warning though, Google is reminding everyone that the browser editor still isn’t as powerful as the PC version so some bugs, glitches and other hiccups are to be expected. Folks experiencing troubles are also invited to head back into the standard mobile version, as it is specifically built for iOS devices.
When the mobile version of Google Docs launched, we were already excited – this news only sweetens the deal. While it’s nice to be able to edit documents and spreadsheets from our devices the service isn’t exactly all we dreamed it would be. Now, with this new browser version we get all the tools we’re familiar with easily accessible on the iPad. Once the bugs all get worked out we may never need to access Google Docs from our computers again, what a glorious day that will be.
A funny thing happened last night as Google briefly launched the Google Latitude iPhone app in the Japanese App Store, only to quickly pull it back down. While the company hasn’t made any statements regarding the “blink and you missed it” accidental launch, it would seem that the new app is primed and ready for release at any second.
Google Latitude allows users to easy track one another by displaying the locations of friends and contacts on a map. This way, if a friend asks you to meet them at Starbucks for coffee, you can instantly see which cafe they’re sitting at and head directly there. The service continually updates so you can keep track of your friends and vice-versa, but sharing settings are heavily restricted and there’s an option to turn off tracking altogether if you’d rather go off the grid for a bit.
Latitude has sort of been available for the iPhone for well over a year, but not as a native app. Thus, it can’t run in the backgound on the iPhone and is ultimately rather pointless for most users. The app has been a longstanding feature of phones running on the Android operating system, but it just now seems that the app may be on the cusp of approval from Apple.
The two companies have been at odds with one another for a while since Apple originally saw Google as a threat to iPhone market dominance, but the two companies have been warming to each other recently and it seems they may be about to settle into a more friendly relationship. Last month Google Voice finally appeared on the App Store, so it seems Latitude is set to follow in its footsteps. Also, with the launch of Google eBooks earlier this week it seems the two rivals may have finally turned the corner. More than anyone else, this is a big win for consumers.
Just in case you needed another eReader option for your iOS device, Google has officially launched its virtual bookstore. Called simply Google eBooks, the cloud-based service is promising to be a more open-source offering than the offerings from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or even Apple’s own iBooks.
“We designed Google eBooks to be open,” said Google in a statement. “Many devices are compatible with Google eBooks—everything from laptops to netbooks to tablets to smartphones to e-readers. With the new Google eBooks Web Reader, you can buy, store and read Google eBooks in the cloud. That means you can access your ebooks like you would messages in Gmail or photos in Picasa—using a free, password-protected Google account with unlimited ebooks storage.
“In addition to a full-featured web reader, free apps for Android and Apple devices will make it possible to shop and read on the go. For many books you can select which font, font size, day/night reading mode and line spacing suits you—and pick up on the page where you left off when switching devices.”
Those interested in purchasing new reading material can grab a book from the official Google eBooks store, or buy them from independent retailers such as Powell’s, Alibris or any store listed in the American Bookseller’s Association. In total, Google eBooks claims to provide access to over 15 million books from 35,000 different publishers. Not a bad library at all.
It seems like Google is setting out to do to e-reading what it did to search engines, basically kill all the competition and drive everyone into the massive Google tent. It’s not a bad thing by any stretch, but it’s sure to annoy the other online booksellers and potentially change the way we consume digital reading material. Furthermore, this new model could well be a threat to the traditional brick and mortar booksellers and even libraries. If you can read any book on any device at any time, why ever go to Borders again? Put another way, why buy a standalone eReader from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Sony when you can get these books on every device you can possibly imaging, including these very same eReaders? It’s an interesting time in eBook history, and you’re right here with us.
Released: 2010-12-06 :: Category: Books
With the advent of Google Docs, traditional office software packages are beginning to grow obsolete. Unfortunately, up until now, if you were working on an iOS device (or any mobile device for that matter), there was no way for you to edit a Google Doc. That changes now, as Google has announced that mobile editing will soon appear thanks to a soon-to-be-released update.
Using the new feature couldn’t be simpler, as all you have to do is open up a Google Doc, tap on Edit and then the mobile editor instantly engages. There is an almost non-existent lag as you type in changes to a doc, and you can even see the edits made by others as well in near real-time. This isn’t some gimped word processor either, as you have access to the full suite of Google Docs features including creating bulleted lists and creating and filling out tables. Basically whatever you can do on a computer, you can now do on your mobile device.
This is no doubt very exciting news for those who use their iPhone or iPad as a productivity device, as now you truly have basically all the word processing and spreadsheet software you need available right there on your device totally free. With this important update Google Docs could very quickly become the go-to service on mobile devices for practically all your productivity-related needs. While this won’t render all other productivity apps obsolete, it sure makes it easy to turn to Google first when something needs to be done.
The new update is slowly rolling out to all English-language users over the next few days. If you don’t see the new features yet then keep checking back, as we’re expecting the service to be available to everyone by Monday. Google is also working on getting the update out in other languages as well, so this could very easily be a worldwide update in the very near future.
In a move that’s been a long time coming, Google has finally officially launched the Google Voice app for the iPhone. The introduction of the service provides users with a number of native Google Chat services such as:
In addition, the service will also feature push notifications to let you know when you receive a new voicemail or text message, as well as calling via direct access numbers, which should streamline the call process.
This app is a godsend for those who can’t stand the cost associated with sending and receiving text messages, as well as folks who place a lot of international calls and are thus hit with some pretty hefty fees.
The introduction of Google Voice also signals a turning of the page in terms of relations between Apple and Google, who up until this point have been rather bitter foes. Google submitted their Voice app for approval way back in June 2009, but Apple refused to approve and release the service until now. Apple’s original stand was that Google Voice was redundant, and merely offered service the iPhone already provided. Now, after undisclosed changes and a resubmission the app has been approved.
The Google Voice app is a free download and requires only that you have an existing Google Voice account in order for it to work. If you don’t have an account yet you can always sign up for free, so it’s just one minor extra step to take along the way. The release of this app is a pretty big deal, so how many of you are excited to download and get started? Is this enough to make you change your contract with AT&T and start using Google for more of your calls?
Released: 2010-11-16 :: Category: Productivity
If you find yourself running a Google search on your iPhone or iPad and you find the results popping up as you type, don’t be alarmed, just be excited you’re a part of the advancement of technology. Google has confirmed that they have begun rolling out Google Instant across mobile devices, and some iOS users are getting their first taste of truly instantaneous search results.
For those unfamiliar with Google Instant, it displays instant search results as you type based on popularity, current trends and other analytics, theoretically saving time as you try and find what you’re looking for. The service works extremely well if you’re searching for popular topics or hot news items, but can be a bit less helpful if you’re looking up more obscure information. Still, for folks who need info right now it will likely be a helpful addition.
The service, which is currently in beta, can be turned on simply by tapping the link underneath the search bar on the Google homepage. Google Instant should be available to anyone in the US running iOS 4, and the company is saying that if you don’t see the option to use it then a quick page refresh should do the trick. I just checked on my iPod Touch to confirm the service is up and working, and at least here on the East Coast things seem to be hunky dory.
Google Instant is a lovely little time-saver but there are definitely those out there annoyed by the service. After all, if you type in “Lady” expecting to find Macbeth but instead get Gaga it can be grounds for irritation. Instant also isn’t advised for those who get easily distracted, as the images that pop up in the above example may lead you to forget all about your literature paper and instead spend hours wondering how a human being fits into such dresses, let alone performs in them.
Just in case you either don’t like browsing the App Store or just prefer doing all your shopping via Google, the search provider has added a nifty feature which allows users to hunt for iPhone apps right in their browser. The process is fairly simple, with users needing but to click the “More” tab on a search results and then tap on “iPhone Apps” in the resulting drop-down menu. A similar service is available for Android users.
This likely goes without saying, but you will need to be using an iOS device in order to to see the extra options. Just don’t go trying to Google Angry Birds on your home PC and then wondering why you don’t get the option to go directly to the app. Again, we trust that you’re smarter than that, but the last thing we want to do is create confusion and chaos.
At any rate this is a truly handy feature for iOS users, as now you don’t need to jump back and forth from Google to the App Store when looking up something you may want to download. Granted, you’re only really saving a few seconds, but everyone loves convenience and this is just one more way to make your life a little bit easier. If anything this will hopefully speed up searches a bit, allowing you access to the content you want without waiting quite so long.
One other note, we’re hearing that this is a feature which has been around for a while, but this is honestly the first we’ve heard of it and the first time we’ve seen it reported. So before you light up the comment section with “old!” keep in mind that this isn’t a feature Google ever really advertised and it’s one of those things that you don’t know is there if you don’t look for it. We’re just trying to be helpful here, so enjoy the added functionality of Google on your iOS devices.
As much as I hate to say it, the folk over in the Android camp had one thing that I wanted so much that I thought about buying one of their phones. I didn’t, but it was a blip in my thought process.
The feature that I wanted so dearly was Google Goggles, a visual search feature that, up to now, was only available on the Android platform. As of now, Google Goggles is a new feature in the Google Mobile app — you know, the one that lets you speak your searches and gives you locally relevant results.
Instead of going through needless searches to identify a visual object like a building, for example, Google Goggles uses the iPhone camera to identify what is in the picture. Like any new technology, it doesn’t work 100% of the time, and doesn’t recognize somethings like animals, plants, or food, but it does do a great job identifying anything with a clear label (including wine, as shown in the video), various points of interest, and even foreign languages (it’ll translate to English). Give Google some time and I’m sure it’ll identify people and animals (including their names and birthdays), but that’s for the future.
Google Mobile only works with the English language and requires the auto focusing camera of the iPhone 3GS or 4, leaving iPhone 3G owners out of the loop. Like everything Google, the app is also free so be sure to pick it up today!
[Source: Google Blog]
Today we have more exciting news to announce. We’ve launched a new site covering Android games and apps – Android Rundown!
You may be asking why Android and why now? While personally I think the iOS is still by far the best mobile operating system, there are a considerable number of people that can’t, for one reason or another, use an iPhone. Could be the choice of carriers, rules their employers have put in place, etc. Android is the second best mobile app platform and is growing quickly. There are now nearly 100,000 Android apps — and we want to cover them. We want to bring our well-proven formula of editorial reviews, top app lists, price drops, etc. to the Android world. We’re pretty sure you want us to do that, too.
Another big reason to launch now is that the Android app market seems to be on the very edge of a large expansion. One of the big reasons is that until recently Android phones were not good app phones. Most Android devices were only given 512MB of storage space (or less) for apps. That has finally changed. The Android OS was recently modified to allow phones to store apps on a storage card and most phones released these days have 16 GB of on board storage. This eliminates a huge roadblock to app adoption for users of most Android phones.
In addition, we’re seeing more and more iPhone developers release their apps on Android as well. We’ve seen the big guys like EA, Gameloft, and Namco already — we can expect others soon. And we can’t forget the indies — they are releasing on Android in ever increasing numbers as well.
What does this mean for 148Apps? Really, not too much. We’re just trying out what we’ve built here at 148Apps in the Android world. You won’t see any changes here at 148Apps. You might see the occasional cross post when there’s a subject that applies to both platforms, but that’s not much different than now.
If you’re curious about the Android world, take a look and let us know what you think. Cheers!