All posts in Google

Reminders: Google Wave is (Still) Dead, Posterous (Still) Acquired by Twitter

Google WaveOur inbox recently got hit with a couple sad reminders of how services can roar onto the scene and then whimper away with far less fanfare over time. Such was the case for Google Wave, which is being turned off on April 30, and the fate of Posterous remains a big question mark.

Google sent out an email on Tuesday to remind users of its Google Wave service that its sun is going down on April 30, 2012 (or is that the final Wave is washing ashore?). The move should come as no surprise, as the search giant served notice to its social experiment back in November, and Wave has been stuck in read-only mode.

“More than a year ago we announced that Google Wave would no longer be developed as a separate product,” the email reads. “Back in November 2011, we shared the specific dates for ending this maintenance period and shutting down Wave. Google Wave is now in read-only mode. This is reminder that the Wave service will be turned off on April 30, 2012. You will be able to continue exporting individual waves using the existing PDF export feature until the Google Wave service is turned off. We encourage you to export any important data before April 30, 2012.

“If you would like to continue using Wave, there are a number of open source projects, including Apache Wave,” the text continues. “There is also an open source project called Walkaround that includes an experimental feature that lets you import all your Waves from Google. This feature will also work until the Wave service is turned off on April 30, 2012.”

We’ve not quite sure who’s still lamenting the loss of Google Wave, given that it was mostly a ghost town after being released on May 19, 2010 — and then pronounced dead on arrival less than 14 months later.

Speaking of “pronounced dead,” the kindly folks at Posterous were also in an emailing mood this morning, sending word to their users about the recent acquisition of the company by Twitter, which we reported last Tuesday. Nothing new here — the email is basically a recap of the company’s blog post of a week ago — but it still doesn’t look good for the microblogging service, who promises to “share clear instructions” for moving your Posterous blog to another service “in the coming weeks.”

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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The New iPad, and Why It Should Be a "Wake-Up Call" for Google

Tim Cook on Android tablet appsIf you’ve happened to watch Wednesday’s keynote on Apple’s website, you may have noticed a curious thing that CEO Tim Cook did early on — he stopped the show for a moment to get a few swift kicks in the head to Android’s Twitter app, which he dismissed as simply a “blown-up smartphone app.”

Time Techland is reporting that Apple’s Wednesday keynote — and “the new iPad” that hits stores on March 16 — should be a wake-up call for the folks in the GooglePlex. That’s because CEO Tim Cook specifically called out the search giant’s failure to cultivate developers into writing good tablet apps for its Android platform.

Cook specifically referring to most apps on Android tablets simply a “blown-up smarphone app,” which certainly rings true to anyone who’s owned one. By comparison, the iPad encourages developers to create iOS apps specifically designed for its 9.7-inch display — a trend which is likely to continue in force now that the new iPad has such a remarkable Retina Display.

“In fairness, Google can only do so much,” the report says. “Like the iOS App Store, Google’s Android Market — er, Google Play — relies on third-party developers to thrive. Those developers decide whether to optimize apps for tablet-size displays. Still, there are signs that Google isn’t doing everything in its power to rally third-party developers.”

While Android boss Andy Rubin recently blamed the problem on having “no organized way for consumers to recognize it as a viable platform,” Techland notes that Google has done little to encourage its developers to help fix the problem.

“One way would be to promote the tablet apps that do exist,” Techland suggests. “One year after the first 10-inch Android tablets hit the market, Google’s app store still doesn’t have a way to find tablet apps. The front page has a Staff Picks for Tablet section, but that’s it. If you’re just browsing the catalog, there’s no way to tell whether an app will look good on a big screen.”

Of course, the best way for Google to encourage Android developers to do amazing things on a tablet is to take a page from Apple’s playbook: Lead by example and write their own amazing apps to get started, something that Cupertino clearly demonstrated as an advantage with the new iPhoto app introduced on Wednesday.

“What Google should not do is go silent and pretend the problem doesn’t exist,” the report concludes. “It can make all the ‘highest quality’ tablets it wants, but people won’t buy them without great software. For Google’s sake, I hope the new iPad announcement drove that point home.”

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(Image courtesy of Time Techland)

 

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Tuesday Recap: March 7 Rumors, iWallet, Android Market Becomes Google Play

Google Play cloud sync’Twas the night before Apple’s March 7 media event and not a creature was stirring — but the same cannot be said for our daily recap! Yes, we’ve got those last-minute iPad 3/iPad HD rumors everyone wants to read, but also a few patent-related updates and some news on how Google is reworking its Android Market to be more like iTunes. Okay, you can at least feign surprise, can’t you? Without further ado, here’s what’s making news for this Tuesday, March 6, 2012.

Report: No A6 Chip for iPad 3, But 4G LTE and Apple TV A-OK?

Our Tuesday recap wouldn’t be complete without a few final rumors leading up to tomorrow’s Apple media event, right? Sources are telling The Verge that a new iPad 3/HD is a lock with 4G LTE for both Verizon and AT&T, but the third tablet will not come sporting a quad-core A6 processor as previously rumored. Instead, we’ll apparently be getting the “A5X, a dual-core SoC said to have a more powerful GPU.” According to their sources, the A6 is being held back for this year’s launch of the iPhone 5, but the next iPad will beef up the RAM to make up for it. Verizon and AT&T will have separate models available — sorry, no dual-mode iPad 3, folks — and “a third international model” will also tackle only CDMA and GSM 3G data, similar to what the iPhone 4S already does. Last but not least, that new Apple TV we reported about this morning appears to be a lock, but still no word on what the device might bring to the table beyond 1080p.

Apple Awarded Patent for iWallet

For Apple fans who think the folks in Cupertino are just sitting on the near-field communication sidelines letting Google have all the fun, read on! Patently Apple is reporting “Apple has received a major Granted Patent that generally relates to establishing financial transaction rules for controlling a subsidiary financial account and, more particularly, to various systems, methods, and electronic devices configured to provide for the establishment of such rules.” That would be a major iWallet patent which “reviews credit card transaction rules and show us that the credit card companies will be sending statements directly to your iTunes account.” Sound exciting? It is, but remember: iWallet patents have been floating around since May, 2010 and Apple has yet to unleash anything which could even remotely fit the bill. Given the company’s annual refresh of the iPhone, we’d say 2012 has a good chance of being the year we’ll see an NFC chip inside the handset, but no need to go stuffing your iTunes account with cold, hard cash quite yet.

Court Orders Google, Motorola to Pony Up Android Data to Apple

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple may soon be granted a peek into the development of Google’s Android operating system. According to U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, “the Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defenses,” despite the objections of Google attorneys. The discovery information from Google and Motorola outlines the pending .5 billion acquisition of the hardware maker, which is a more recent development in Apple’s patent lawsuit against Motorola Mobility filed in 2010. Judge Posner has “scheduled back-to-back trials before separate juries starting June 11,” with the first of these addressing “six Apple patents, and the second will cover three Motorola patents.” For their part, Google’s lawyers claim “Google’s employees and documents are not within the ‘possession, custody, or control’ of Motorola, and Motorola cannot force Google to produce documents or witnesses over Google’s objections.” Of course, it could just be a matter of time before Apple goes after Google directly…

Android Market Converted Into iTunes-Style Google Play

The Google Official Blog announced today that the Android Market you know and love is getting a bit of a facelift — not to mention a whole new name. Google Play is being rolled out this week in an effort to streamline the search giant’s mobile marketplace as “a digital entertainment destination where you can find, enjoy and share your favorite music, movies, books and apps on the web and on your Android phone or tablet.” Translation: Android Market is a bit more like iTunes now. But hey, that’s okay — Google Play continues to offer free storage for up to 20,000 songs, the ability to download more than 450,000 Android apps, what’s touted as “the world’s largest selection” of ebooks and thousands of movies. To celebrate the rollout, Google Play is offering a “Seven Days to Play” sale with 25-cent music, 49-cent apps and 99-cent movies. Google Play will ultimately replace Android Market on devices in the coming weeks as well.

Apple May Be Willing to Settle Over Android Patents for -15 Per Device

MacRumors is reporting that Apple may be seeking settlements in its long-running patent battles with Samsung, Motorola and others. According to Dow Jones Newswires, Apple “has put forth proposals to Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930.SE, SSNHY) to settle some pending litigation in exchange for royalty payments to license its patents, among other terms.” Statements made in court in at least one of these suits indicate “Apple had some discussions with companies such as Samsung before initiating litigation” — which means the move by Cupertino is nothing new. So how much is Apple willing to settle for? “Between and per handsets for some of its patents,” which amounts to anywhere between one and 2.5 percent of net sales — ironically, the same amount Motorola attempted to bilk out of Apple for the use of its own patents.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Wednesday Recap: Google+ A Ghost Town, Camera Awesome, Windows 8 Preview

Camera AwesomeHappy Leap Day! It will be another four years before we see this bizarre extension of February again, so be sure to live it to the fullest, especially if you happen to be one of those poor saps whose birthday happens to fall on that fateful square on the calendar. So what kind of tech news happens on a mid-week Leap Day? As it turns out, plenty — so read on and get all of the news for Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

Cue the Tumbleweeds: Google+ A “Virtual Ghost Town”

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that fledgling social network Google+ may very well be a “virtual ghost town,” despite having 90 million registered users since launching in June. According to new data from research firm comScore Inc., users are signing up — but rarely return for another visit. “Visitors using personal computers spent an average of about three minutes a month on Google+ between September and January, versus six to seven hours on Facebook each month over the same period,” the report reveals, noting that mobile usage is not factored into comScore’s data. So what’s the problem? “Nobody wants another social network right now,” explains Altimeter Group analyst Brian Solis. “Google hasn’t communicated what the value of Google+ is” for users already spending much of their time on Facebook. Yeah, it’s rough out there for any company whose name doesn’t start with an F and end with “book.”

Report: MOG Streaming Music Service May (or May Not) Be Up for Sale

Seems like the arrival of Spotify on American shores is creating some pressure for at least one of the companies who helped introduce Yanks to subscription music streaming. On Tuesday, Cnet reported that MOG is up for sale, apparently failing to gain traction against Rhapsody, Rdio and Spotify. But almost just as quickly, Reuters published a report contradicting Cnet’s claims, with MOG CEO David Hyman disputing the notion the company was for sale. “We’re not actively trying to sell this business, said Hyman. “The Facebook integration has been fantastic for us but as we’re not yet profitable we’re always engaged in conversations with our shareholders about all possible options.” Hyman founded MOG in 2005 with million raised from two venture capital firms, but only half of the company’s business comes from music subscriptions — the rest trickles in from the MOG Music Network, which “places advertisements on more than 1,700 music sites.” According to Hyman, the company is actively hiring engineers, marketing and sales staff, which doesn’t exactly sound like a sinking ship quite yet.

SmugMug Releases Free Camera Awesome App

Still in search of the ultimate iOS camera app? Photo sharing website SmugMug Inc. thinks they may have just the thing for you in the form of a new iPhone app called Camera Awesome. (Hey, if the word “awesome” is right there in the title, who are we to judge?) The 17.6MB app promises to “awesome-ize” your photos, which the company describes as the ability “to trick your friends into thinking you’re a famous photographer.” Lofty goal there, but judging from the customer reviews, Camera Awesome may be well on its way to achieving just that. While the awesomely touted app is awesomely free, SmugMug also offers a variety of presets available for in-app purchase from renowned photographer Kevin Kubota, along with one-tap (and even zero-tap!) sharing to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Picasa, Photobucket, Flickr and yes, SmugMug. Awesome!

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Now Available for Download

All that clicking you might have heard today comes from eager Windows fans downloading Microsoft’s latest Windows 8 Consumer Preview. According to The Verge, the public download was posted this morning on the heels of Microsoft’s keynote address at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which promises more than 100,000 changes since last year’s Windows 8 Developer Preview. The good news is that anyone can join in the fun, with Microsoft offering both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Consumer Preview for download as ISO files in English, Chinese, French, German and Japanese. You’ll want to make sure to have a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of free hard drive space and a DirectX 9-compatible graphics card before diving into those multi-gigabyte downloads, but given that the specs are the same as the current Windows 7, that should cover most everyone.

Apple Store App Updated to Version 2.1, Still No iPad Native Version

The way we see it, Apple must figure that iPad owners are content to use Mobile Safari for ordering from the company’s online store… otherwise, why is there still no iPad native version of the Apple Store app? Be that the case, Apple today pushed out a new version 2.1 of the Apple Store app, which brings a few bits of awesomeness (oops, sorry, a bit of leftover awesomeness from the Camera Awesome news above!) for all but iPad owners. The app now requires iOS 4.3.3 or later, but allows users to choose iPhone plans from all three U.S. carriers: AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Your shopping experience promises to be “even more convenient” with new account management and billing options, and Apple fans in the Netherlands will be happy to discover the Apple Store app is finally available there at long last. As usual, the free 7.9MB app can be downloaded from the App Store.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Thursday Recap: Spotify Goes Gapless, Google Music Flails, EFI Firmware Updates

Spotify dancing dudesBelieve it or not, Apple can hold a boring event now and again, and today it was the annual shareholders meeting — the first with CEO Tim Cook at the helm. Sure, the company has boatloads of cash and its only real drama at the moment is coming out of China, but guys, let’s try to spice things up for next year and at least throw some chairs at each other or something, will you? Thankfully, the rest of the tech world had a more interesting day, so without further ado, here’s all the news that’s fit to print for Thursday, February 23, 2012.

Desktop Spotify Goes Gapless, Now Faster Than a Speeding Train

While most recorded music these days are separated into standalone tracks, classical music, live recordings and conceptual albums are often seamless, which has historically created a problem for services like Spotify. That all changed today, with a new version of the desktop Spotify application now available that offers gapless playback, a new feature that’s on by default which allows tracks to flow seamlessly from one to the next with no silence in-between (the feature can also be turned off in preferences, should you prefer your music with gaps). Crossfade is another often-requested feature in the new version, which allows one song to fade out as another comes in. Who needs a DJ when you can do it all yourself? Spotify also gains some speed improvements in the latest version, with faster artist browsing, a new save and restore feature for Now Playing, improved Subscribe, Buddy List and Favorites options and even a “hide purchase buttons” feature for Premium users. If you’re too impatient to wait for your copy of the app to be automatically updated, head over to the website and download the Mac version today.

Move Along, Nothing to See Here: Apple Shareholders Meeting

AllThingsD is reporting back from Apple’s annual shareholders meeting — the first with CEO Tim Cook at the reins — and things are just swell in ol’ Cupertino. In fact, the report claims the meeting “was as anticlimactic and uneventful as they come” — and that’s saying something for an Apple event. Among the items on the agenda: The reelection of the company’s board of directors, with each member gaining “more than 80 percent approval.” No dividend or share buyback was announced, which many investors have been clamoring for. “I’d be the first to admit we have more cash than we need to run the daily business,” Cook said told shareholders. “So we’re actively discussing it. I only ask for a bit of patience, so we can do it in a way that’s best for the shareholders.” Or in other words: “Move along, nothing to see here, folks…”

Quickoffice Pro HD Brings MS Office 2010 Files to iPad

While the tech media debates whether or not Microsoft Office for iPad is coming or not, the folks at Quickoffice are pushing out a new update to their own solution today which “adds the ability to view and edit 2010 Microsoft® Word and Excel files, and view 2010 Powerpoint® files.” Quickoffice Pro HD already received a substantial update over the holiday season, but the company isn’t content to rest on its laurels, also introducing an innovative desktop-style freeze pane functionality for Excel users. ““We are excited about the updates in this release and know our users will value the added Office compatibility and cloud connectivity,” said Gregg Fiddes, SVP sales and business development at Quickoffice. “In particular, our execution of the freeze pane feature demonstrates an innovation in product design and shows our commitment to furthering the mobile Office experience.” As always, the latest version of Quickoffice Pro HD for iPad is a free update for existing users and currently 20 percent off the usual price (only .99) for new buyers.

Report: Google Music No Threat to iTunes Yet

It’s been three months since the free Google Music service officially launched to the world, but a new report from Cnet claims it “hasn’t lived up to expectations” quite yet. “Google’s managers have told counterparts at the labels that customer adoption and revenue are below what they expected,” the report reveals, according to “multiple sources” privy to the communique. With 200 million Android users and a free app, the service would seem to be a cinch for the music industry — especially when they’ve been giving away free or cheap music right out of the gate. “Google managers have told label executives that the service will get a boost once Google implements its hardware strategy,” sources have revealed. “Google plans to start competing against Apple by building an array of consumer devices.” It’s far too early to sound the death knell quite yet, but if Google hopes to make Apple quiver in their iTunes boots, they have an awfully long fight ahead of them, at any rate…

Apple Posts EFI Firmware Updates for 2011 Macs

Unhappy with the general stability of your 2011 era Mac? If so, head to Apple’s Support Downloads page, because some freshly baked EFI firmware updates have just popped out of the oven. There are four such updates available: Mac mini EFI Firmware Update 1.6, which “improves the reliability of booting from the network, addresses an issue that can prevent HDCP authentication after a reboot, and resolves an issue with boot device selection when a USB storage device is hot-plugged” for your mid-2011 model; MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.4 does the same for the your ultra-thin notebook; iMac EFI Firmware Update 1.9 for early 2011 models; and MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.7, a treat for both early and late 2011 notebooks. The downloads average around 4MB, but as usual you’ll need to restart your computer to install them — so make sure you finish reading today’s news recap before you pull the trigger on them.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Report: Google Bypassing Safari Privacy Settings to Track Ads

Google tracking with SafariBy default, Apple’s Safari browser is set to block cookies from third parties as well as advertisers, but it a new investigation has turned up evidence that this may not be preventing Google and others from simply ignoring the setting to better track the ads they are serving up.

AppleInsider is reporting that Google “and at least three other smaller web ad networks” have found a way to circumvent the default privacy settings of Apple’s Safari browser. An investigation by The Wall Street Journal has turned up evidence that Google, Vibrant Media, Media Innovation Group and Gannett PointRoll are bypassing the privacy settings “using code that misrepresents its ads as being a user-initiated form submission.”

“Google added coding to some of its ads that made Safari think that a person was submitting an invisible form to Google,” the WSJ report reveals. “Safari would then let Google install a cookie on the phone or computer.”

Both Safari and Mobile Safari include a default setting to block cookies “from third parties and advertisers,” which Apple uses by default to prevent Google and others from leaving advertising-related cookies on a user’s system.

However, in Google’s case, “some ads placed by DoubleClick (which Google owns) made it appear to Safari that the user was purposely interacting with DoubleClick by automatically sending an invisible form,” the report explains. “Safari would thus allow DoubleClick to install a temporary cookie on the user’s computer,” which could then be used for better tracking its ad views.

The Wall Street Journal has uncovered evidence of such activity at major websites all across the internet, including Google-owned YouTube, Aol, About.com, Comcast, NYTimes.com, YellowPages.com, Match.com and Fandango, but noted “there is no indication that any of the sites knew of the code” in question.

“We were not aware of this behavior,” said Michael Balmoris, a spokesman for AT&T-owned YellowPages.com, “and we would never condone it.” For their part, Google claims that WSJ “mischaracterizes what happened and why. We used known Safari functionality to provide features that signed-in Google users had enabled. It’s important to stress that these advertising cookies do not collect personal information.”

While that may be the case, an unnamed official at Apple was quoted in the report as saying “we are working to put a stop” to companies circumventing the privacy settings in Safari — and after being contacted by WSJ, Google “has also reportedly disabled the tracking code to circumvent Safari’s privacy settings,” according to AppleInsider.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of AppleInsider)

 

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Thursday Recap: Google Tablet, Steve Jobs Action Figure, RIM Licensing?

Steve Jobs action figureIf you’ve already seen photos of the super-realistic 12-inch Steve Jobs action figure online, you may have already placed bets with your friends as to when Apple would come calling to squash it. If you guessed today, we have a winner! Cupertino is claiming ownership of the late co-founder’s likeness, but the defiant Chinese manufacturer plans to proceed anyway. Get out the popcorn, this one should be interesting! Meanwhile, here’s the rest of what’s making news for this Thursday, January 5, 2012.

Report: Google May Go Head-to-Head with Kindle Fire

Google’s Eric Schmidt recently sounded the alarms for companies making Android tablets, revealing that the search giant themselves are planning to launch their own branded tablet within the next six months — presumably some sort of “Nexus” branded hardware in the tradition of their annual smartphones. While many rightfully assumed that the company had Apple’s iPad in their sights, a new report from DigiTimes is claiming that Amazon’s 9 Kindle Fire is what Google may actually be taking aim at. The idea is to introduce a seven-inch tablet priced at 9 (or less) to take advantage of their new Android 4.0, “confectionally” known as Ice Cream Sandwich. Of course, in less than six months they’ll have a new iPad to contend with as well, so… good luck, Mountain View.

Apple Clamps Down on Steve Jobs Action Figure Maker

If you’ve been waiting anxiously to pit your Steve Jobs action figure against the forces of evil (do they make action figures of Google CEOs?), you may want to grab one on eBay while you can. According to The Telegraph, a 12-inch action figure of the iconic Apple co-founder is set for release next month by Chinese manufacturer In Icons, but Cupertino will have none of it, claiming they own the likeness of Steve Jobs and they’ll sue if the company moves forward. The report claims “any toy that resembles the technology company’s logo, person’s name, appearance or likeness of its products is a criminal offence.” In Icons remains defiant and plans to proceed with selling the figure next month for , although units have already shown up on eBay for 5 each. The eerily realistic figure “comes with a pair of black socks, some glasses, a leather belt, two apples (one with a bite taken out of it), a bar stool and a ‘One More Thing’ backdrop.”

Google Translate App Goes Universal

Count us among those who frequently criticize Google for their often weak iOS apps, with bonus points taken away for how few of them include a universal build for native iPad support. If you frequently turn to the Google Translate app on your iPhone or iPod touch, you’ll be happy to know that the search giant pushed out a new version 1.3.0 update on Wednesday night which finally adds support for the iPad with a universal build. There’s nothing too fancy in the iPad edition, but at least now when we want to hear what some of our babbling nonsense sounds like in Mandarin, we won’t have to dig into our pocket to grab the iPhone anymore. (Yes, we’re that lazy…)

RIM May License BlackBerry OS to Samsung, HTC

It’s too bad there’s no technological equivalent of the Lifetime network, because we’re dying to see what kind of soapy TV movie they’d make about Research In Motion. According to BGR, the news keeps getting more interesting out of Waterloo, with Jeffries & Company analyst Peter Misek claiming that RIM may soon license their once-mighty BlackBerry software to other hardware makers — specifically HTC and Samsung, who have been known to dabble in Android and Windows Phone of late. “We think some of this has already been started with RIM likely agreeing to license Blackberry 10 to Samsung, HTC, and possibly others,” the analyst writes. “This would help create a critical mass for the ecosystem and maintain RIM’s monthly service revenue.” Misek believes such a move would help get “people hooked on the RIM ecosystem,” something that could ultimately move more BlackBerry 10 handsets — assuming they can ever release one.

Infinity Blade Racks Up Million for Developer

“Epic” is definitely the word we’d use to describe a new report from Joystiq touting over million in revenue for developer Epic Games from the Infinity Blade franchise. That includes the original launched in December, 2010 as well as last month’s Infinity Blade 2, which is some pretty good scratch for a mobile device game. “We have so much more in store for players, and will continue to make great content for Apple’s evolving platforms,” explained Epic Games President Dr. Michael Capps. No word on expanding the company’s horizons to competing platforms such as Android, however.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of The Telegraph)

 

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Wednesday Recap: Ivy Bridge April, Apple TV Processors, AirPlay for Google TV

Airtight via iOSThe war of words between iOS and Android goes on, with Google’s mobile boss now claiming the lion’s share of new device activations over the Christmas holiday. How Apple will respond is anyone’s guess, but with the close of another calendar quarter just days away, we’d expect some serious revenue boasting next month when Cupertino reports revenue from their holiday quarter. In the meantime, there’s plenty of other tech items making news for this Wednesday, December 28, 2011.

Rumor: Facebook Timeline Coming to iPad in Late January

Social network Facebook has been rocking their new Timeline feature fairly hard since debuting earlier this month, with one curious exception: It doesn’t work yet on the iPad. That serious bummer may get squashed over the next four weeks, however. According to 9to5Mac, the iPad version of Timeline “was pushed back due to last-minute bugs found during advanced testing.” The good news, however, is the tablet-friendly version appears on track for an “update between mid-January and late January.” Since we all need something to look forward to next year, might as well start with the little things…

Intel May Debut Ivy Bridge Processors on April 8

Now that 2011 is winding to a close, we can look ahead to what 2012 may bring, which usually includes new processors from Intel to power our favorite desktop and laptop computers. According to DigiTimes, the chipmaker plans to release “a total of 25 models of its 22nm Ivy Bridge processors” on or around April 8. Taiwanese PC makers claim Intel will introduce 17 desktop-class processors as well as another eight aimed at notebooks and ultrabooks. “Desktop CPUs to be unveiled include quad-core Core i7-3770K, 3770, 3770S, 3770T, and Core i5-3570, 3550 and 3450, with prices ranging from US4-332,” the sources claim. “Additionally, the Core i5-3470T will be available in May priced at US4.” These desktop processors should find a home in the iMac, with the mobile versions landing in the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini product lines.

Android Boss Claims 3.7 Million Activations for Christmas

AllThingsD is reporting that Google Android boss Andy Rubin has further elaborated on yesterday’s Flurry data regarding iOS and Android device activations over the Christmas holiday. The analytics company projected 6.8 million devices were activated on Christmas Day, and according to Rubin’s Twitter account, 3.7 million of those were for Android-based products “activated on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.” Those numbers obviously downplay the potential iOS numbers, so it will be interesting to see if Apple retaliates with their own claims of holiday mobile domination.

Apple Television Likely to Run Custom Silicon

The folks in Cupertino haven’t been shy about chest-thumping their own custom silicon for the A4 and A5 processors which power their iOS devices, and a new report from AppleInsider claims that the tradition is likely to continue with the rumored debut of an Apple-branded television set next year. According to DigiTimes, three companies are expected to bid on the custom, ARM-based chips, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering and Siliconware Precision Industries. The first of those, TSMC, has already reportedly signed a deal with Apple for next-generation A6 and A7 processors to be utilized in future iPhone and iPad devices, but AppleInsider notes “it’s possible an Apple television could also utilize the advanced chips.” Apple is said to be finalizing their hardware by the end of the second quarter of next year, with assembly to take place at Foxconn Electronics for a launch by the end of 2012.

Airtight Brings AirPlay to Your Google TV

Android may be kicking ass and taking names where smartphones are concerned, but it’s stumbled when it comes to home theatre domination with Google TV thus far. If you’re one of the few, the proud who has dove headfirst into that shallow pool, however, you can at least make the best of the situation by adding a little AirPlay love to your Google TV box. According to TUAW, a new 99-cent app from the Android Market called Airtight will stream your videos and photos from an iOS device to your Google TV over Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, music and DRM’ed content (such as iTunes movies, TV shows and music videos) won’t work with Airtight, and mirroring over AirPlay is also off the table for now. However, the developer is working hard to add new features, so stay tuned for future updates and features.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of TUAW)

 

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Thursday Recap: Google Currents, Twitter Update, Pocket God Comics, OnLive iOS App

Google CurrentsSeems like all the big news this week is app-related! Twitter has a new iOS app update, Batman flies in with a slick new Arkham City game, OnLive is coming to iOS and a whole lot more. Hey, maybe someday we’ll all be giving virtual gifts for the holidays — no more wrapping paper and bows, no more piles of gifts under the tree. While you ponder that future, read on for all the news from Thursday, December 8, 2011.

Batman: Arkham City Lockdown Flies Into App Store

Got .99 burning a hole in your iTunes account and ready to kick it Batman-style? Warner Bros. Entertainment is all too happy to take your cash and accommodate with the new Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, a universal iOS game app that just hit the App Store. “The inmates have escaped and Batman has his hands full defeating an army of henchmen and some of his most iconic villains,” the game description reads. “Scour the rooftops and the seedy underbelly of Gotham City through a series of one-on-one battles with the Joker, Two-Face and more, as well as the Batman: Arkham City Lockdown exclusive – Deathstroke.” Gamers will have a choice of several Batman skins and power-ups “as you punch, kick and combo your way to cleaning up Gotham City,” and the game is built on Epic’s Unreal Engine (the same one powering the popular Infinity Blade titles), so it should be pretty sweet.

Twitter Update Says “Let’s Fly,” Some May Flee Instead

You’ve got to hand it to the folks at Twitter: They’re not afraid of change. That includes releasing version 4.0 of their iOS app, with a redesigned user interface for the iPhone that’s already testing the patience of users, judging from a quick glance at (ironically) Twitter itself. With a cry of “Let’s fly,” the new app is broken up into four categories: Home, Connect, Discover and Me, with a fifth button for posting new tweets. While our personal favorite remains the third-party Echofon Pro, we kind of dig this update more than the last few (we know, we’re in the minority). The changes will be rolled out eventually to the Twitter website, but for now you can download the iPhone or Android versions (or hit up the mobile version of the website) to experience it for yourself.

Google Currents Aims to Capsize Personalized Reader Market

It’s been a big week for “personalized reader” apps with Flipboard finally arriving on the iPhone, and now Google is leaping into the pool with its own approach. Google Currents is a free universal app for iOS (also available on Android, naturally) with more than 150 publishing partners, offering full-length articles from more than 180 editions including CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Saveur, PBS, Huffington Post, Fast Company and more. (And hey, don’t forget to add Mac|Life, who’s included in the “Science & Tech” category!) The app is also tied to a new self-service platform allowing publishers to design, brand and customize their web content for Google Currents users. The app also taps into RSS, video and photo feeds, public Google+ streams and Google Reader subscriptions so you’ll never be without something to read (in theory, anyway). The universal 9.3MB app is available now from the App Store.

OnLive for iOS Incoming, Free LEGO Batman In Tow

If you love cloud-based gaming service OnLive, you’ll love it even more once the iOS client app arrives. According to TouchArcade, the release is imminent and will come with a free copy of LEGO Batman: The Videogame absolutely free for anyone who downloads the client and signs up (no purchase necessary). TouchArcade describes the service as “a lot like instantly streaming movies over Netflix, except it’s video games, and you get to actually play them in real time with minimal lag if you’re internet speeds are up to snuff.” The OnLive client has already hit Android, so if you’re rockin’ some kind of Google-blessed device, you can download that client now, sign up and be ready to go when the iOS version hits the App Store. The company is also offering a Universal OnLive Wireless Controller in their store for .99 if you don’t like doing the touch thing, and an iPhone version of the app is expected soon as well.

Pocket God Comic Celebrates 500k Downloads with Free App

Ape Entertainment and Bolt Creative have announced a milestone for the Pocket God digital comic book series. With more than seven million downloads for the popular iOS game from which it’s based, the full-color comic has itself passed the 500,000 download mark. To celebrate, the two companies have teamed up with Free App A Day (FAAD) to offer the first issue of the digital comic absolutely free today from the App Store — but don’t worry, it will also be a Friday freebie courtesy of Monster Free Apps as well. And that’s not all: The digital comic series today launches issue No. 11, which is immediately available for download on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with 20 pages of all-new content courtesy of iVerse Media as a 99-cent in-app purchase.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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Monday Recap: Google Search, Spotify’s New Direction, Grand Central Rumors

Google Search for iPadWe’ve got three words for you today: Short work week! For our U.S. readers, Thanksgiving is this Thursday and many folks have an extra day off on Friday, which means you’ll have a longer weekend at play than you will working three days this week. (Our apologies to those of you who don’t get to enjoy that scenario. We feel your pain.) But there’s still plenty of news floating around the interwebs, and we’ve collected some of the best stuff for you to read on this fine Monday, November 21, 2011.

Report: Grand Central Apple Store Could Open This Week

Retailers are amped up for Black Friday this week here in the U.S., and 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple may also get in the holiday spirit by opening its biggest store to date in New York City’s Grand Central Station. According to their sources and some on-site spy photos, Apple could officially announce the opening of the store on Tuesday and pull back the curtains in time for Black Friday shopping on November 25. The site is expected to have just over 300 employees (!!), who are currently being trained at New York area Apple Stores. Grand Central Station receives a whopping 750,000 visitors every single day and more than a million during the holidays, so it’s safe to say that this Apple Store could be the mother of them all.

Google Search iOS App Gets New iPad Look

The Google Mobile Blog announced an update to the iOS Google Search app today, which specifically targets the iPad user interface for “a significant redesign.” The app is now more interactive, more visual and easier than ever before to find exactly what you’re looking for. Images can be viewed full-screen and the app includes a new visual search history as well as easy access to other Google apps. The 11.9MB update is available now for users running iOS 4.0 or later — which should really be most of us by now.

Spotify Heading In “New Direction” with November 30 Press Event

We love us some Spotify here at MacLife.com, which is why we’re excited to see what they’ll do next after finally landing on American shores over the sunny summer. As it turns out, we won’t have long to wait: AllThingsD is reporting that the company has sent out a “mysterioso invitation” for a press event in New York on November 30 with CEO Daniel Elk and “a special guest or two.” So what’s the topic? No one knows for sure, but Spotify is teasing “a new direction for the company,” which sounds like a bit more than adding an MP3 store (which is already available in Europe) or a much-needed iPad app. Mark your calendars, and check back with us next Wednesday for all the details.

Don’t Expect iOS 5.0.2 This Week — Assuming You Were In the First Place

Despite no official word from Apple that a new iOS 5 fix would be released this week, German-language site Macerkopf.de is backpedaling on an earlier report claiming that would be the case. According to AppleInsider, the website originally reported last week that iOS 5.0.2 would arrive “no later” than this week in an effort to address additional battery life issues for iPhone 4S users. The update supposedly brings 10 hours of active use for the new handset, while Apple is rumored to also be hard at work on iOS 5.1, which promises “many changes” to Siri’s voice control — but don’t expect that one until sometime next year, sources claim.

Stamped Gets The App Store Seal of Approval

Still looking for the perfect social sharing app? The folks at Stamped, Inc. have released a free iPhone app that may be just the ticket. Aptly named Stamped, the app claims to be “a new way to recommend only what you like best — restaurants, books, movies, music and more.” To get started, create a profile and customize a unique “stamp,” then use it on things you want friends to know about. Promising “no noise, no strangers, just the things you and your friends love,” Stamped integrates with Opentable, Amazon, Fandango and iTunes and shares easily via Twitter and Facebook. The 8.5MB is free and available on the App Store now for all devices running iOS 4.0 or later (but is not a universal build for the iPad).

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

 

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