Geek Chic: Augmented Reality Google Glasses To Go On Sale This Year

The mystery of Google's stealth consumer product has apparently been conclusively solved. The NY Times is confirming earlier reports that Google is going to release "heads up display glasses" by the end of the year. The glasses -- or literal Google Goggles in this case -- will utilize a range of Google technologies and databases to deliver a real-time stream of information to the wearer: The people familiar with the Google glasses said they would be Android-based, and will include a small screen that will sit a few inches from someone’s eye. They will also have a 3G or 4G data connection an [...]

Koreans Accuse Google Of “Obstructing” Antitrust Investigation

According to CNET, Google faces the "maximum potential penalty" for allegedly obstructing South Korea's antitrust investigation against the company. Korean officials "raided" Google's Seoul offices last Fall in connection with an investigation into whether Google was acting in an anti-competitive way toward home-grown Korean search/portal sites on Android devices. (It wasn't the first time for such a "raid" of Google's offices in Korea.) According to the CNET article Korean official Kim Dong-soo asserted that Google has obstructed his agency's investigation "by deleting key files from PCs a [...]

More People Now Using Mobile Apps Than Browser — comScore

mobile-apps-featured Traffic measurement firm comScore released its latest mobile subscriber market share report for November. What it shows is that Android continued to gain (3.1 share points vs. August). But so did the iPhone, likely powered by sales of the iPhone 4S. All other platforms lost ground. Android handsets now represent nearly 47 percent of the US smartphone market, while the iPhone is just under 30 percent. The comScore data doesn't reflect iPod Touch or iPad devices. The firm also said that 39 percent of the US mobile population owned smartphones. This stands in contrast to Nielsen's 44 pe [...]

Google Maps The Great Indoors (Android Only)

Screen shot 2011-11-29 at 9.04.51 AM Google is bringing the blue dot indoors. Google Maps for Android 6.0 is going to start showing interior maps of airports, select malls and retail stores in the US and Japan. In Japan transit stations are also mapped. The floor plan data has been obtained from all the participating entities, which Google's Steve Lee says are "very excited" to be a part of the program. Those entities include numerous Macy's, Bloomingdales, Home Depots and all US IKEA stores. (See the full US list at the bottom.) Below is a Google-provided screenshot of the Mall of America before interior maps and after: [...]

Record-Breaking Black Friday Paves Way For $1 Billion Cyber-Monday

Screen shot 2011-11-27 at 11.48.12 PM The data were coming in all weekend; retail sales on Black Friday broke records this year. Figures released by a varied group of sources, including IBM, the National Retail Federation (NRF), comScore, Channel Advisor and ShopperTrak all reported significant increases in Black Friday consumer spending. Lured by "doorbuster" deals and earlier opening hours, Black Friday turned out to be the best on record notwithstanding the weak economy. There was also a significant amount of online buying that happened over the long holiday weekend. Today is round two: Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday got i [...]

First Impressions: Galaxy Nexus Android 4.0 Smartphone

01_gallery It is potentially the smartphone I've been waiting for since last year: the latest Android version, a "pure" Google experience and the ability to use what I consider the only real "4G" out there -- Verizon. The Galaxy Nexus has arrived, at least with reviewers. There's still no sale date announced for the US. I'm a firm believer in reviews based on real life experience over time rather than a quick look based on tech specs. So, come back in about a month, and I'll be doing a longer review pitting the Galaxy Nexus against Windows Phone 7.5 and the iPhone 4s, all of which I'm currently using [...]

Google Checkout Is Dead, Long Live Google Wallet

google-wallet-featured-1 Yesterday Google Checkout users were notified that it was being merged into and replaced by Google Wallet. This makes sense on every level. From a 'brand" and visibility standpoint Wallet is a more successful product already. Checkout was introduced in June, 2006 (it was rumored to be called "GBuy" ahead of launch). It was directed at both consumers and merchants. Checkout was also intended to be tightly integrated with AdWords. Online retailers or stores that used AdWords received favorable payment processing terms. In some ways it was Google's answer to PayPal but it was also different [...]

Android Has More Market Share, But Apple’s iOS Sends More Traffic

Screen shot 2011-10-10 at 2.02.57 PM At the iPhone 4S launch last week Apple CEO Tim Cook projected a slide that showed Apple dominating Android in terms of mobile Internet usage. Upon seeing that slide, people tweeted remarks like: "Where is he getting his numbers?" Indeed, they seemed made up given Android's surge over the past six months. Android Has Larger Share Than Apple... The data were credited to comScore, which today released those numbers and a great deal more data on smartphone and tablet usage. The pie chart below reflects comScore's most recent U.S. mobile OS market share data for August 2011, where Android leads [...]

Alternatives To Siri: Google Voice Actions, Nuance, Vlingo

Screen shot 2011-10-06 at 5.21.04 AM Beyond some of the processing and other technical upgrades in the new iPhone 4S, the standout feature of the new device is the Siri "Assistant." It's an expanded and enhanced version of what's behind the existing Siri iPhone app, which is being shut down on October 15. And while Siri is not a "voice search engine," people will certainly use it to find information and accomplish tasks they might otherwise have used search or apps to complete. Siri is more "transactional" than search, taking users to an "answer" or a page where a task can be completed (e.g., making a reservation on OpenTable, [...]

Report: Android Nears 50% US Smartphone Market Share

Metrics firm comScore released new US mobile data today. Google's Android has increased its market-share lead over everyone else. Now at nearly 44 percent, Google could reach 50 percent US smartphone market penetration by the end of Q4 this year. The only other smartphone platform to show growth is the iPhone, but it's less than 1 percent. Compared to other hardware OEMs, Apple showed the most growth however. ComScore says that roughly 36 percent of US mobile subscribers own a smartphone. Nielsen says that number is closer to 43 percent. In the US market it's really a two-hors [...]

How Siri Patches Up The iPhone’s Voice Search Weakness Vs. Android

iphone-siri-featured The Siri voice search assistant that Apple demoed today as part of its big press event looks pretty impressive. If it works as shown, it'll go a long way in patching up one of the big weaknesses the iPhone has had versus Android, that of lacking built-in voice commands. Voice Actions: A Spoken Magic Wand I've used various Android phones with Google Voice Actions since Google first rolled them out in August 2010. They're amazing. Press on the search button, speak a command, and the phone works its magic. It's very, very cool. I got a reminder of that a few months ago when visiting with a f [...]

Apple Delivers iPhone 4S With Siri Voice “Assistant,” Disappoints On iPhone 5

iphone 4 The Apple iPhone keynote just ended and as you probably already know there was no iPhone 5. What was announced was an interim iPhone 4S, which has a faster processor, iOS 5, improved camera/video camera and will work with both CDMA and GSM networks. So it's a "world phone." In the US it will reportedly be offered by three out of the four major carriers. T-Mobile was left out. However the phone doesn't appear yet on the Sprint website. The Wall Street Journal had run a much publicized article on how Sprint was paying $20 billion over three years to Apple for some kind of exclusive on the [...]

Amazon “Fire” Android Tablet Undermines Google

Screen shot 2011-09-28 at 9.02.21 AM Amazon's new "Fire" Android tablet is an incredible act of audacity that thumbs its nose at Google, while using Google's mobile OS in the background. Nowhere does the Google or Android brand appear on the device. Amazon has even created its own browser ("Silk") for mobile web access. Fire is an Android tablet without the Android Market or Google branding, though Google-branded apps are going to be available on the device. Many headlines this morning tout the Fire as an "iPad killer." The 7-inch device, built by the same folks that built the unsuccessful RIM Playbook, may impact iPad sale [...]

Google Korea Raided By Korean Fair Trade Commission

Korean trustbusters raid Google offices from CNet News reports the Korean Fair Trade Commission raided Google's Seoul, South Korea offices yesterday. The raid was reportedly part of an investigation around Android. The Korean Fair Trade Commission was investigating if the Android platform unfairly made it hard for rival search engines to be found and used within the Android mobile operating system. A Google spokesperson told CNet News: We will work with the KFTC to address any questions they may have about our business. Android is an open platform, and carrier and OEM partners are [...]

ComScore: Android Continues Gains, RIM Tanking

Today comScore released its latest mobile market share figures. Once again the smartphone story is the same: Android showed strong quarterly growth while the iPhone saw modest growth and all others saw declines, especially RIM. Among handset OEMs (all mobile devices), Samsung leads the pack with 25 percent of the US market. Motorola, which Google is seeking to acquire for $12.5 billion, saw a modest decline. If one looks only at smartphone share these figures look different. In April of this year, according to NPD Group, the following were the top-selling smartphones in the US: [...]

WSJ: Android, Along With Web Search, Now Part Of Google Antitrust Probe

Screen shot 2011-08-10 at 2.29.26 PM The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the FTC's antitrust investigation of Google will extend to Android, in addition to general search: Six weeks after serving Google with broad subpoenas, FTC lawyers, in conjunction with several state attorneys general, have been asking whether Google prevents smartphone manufacturers that use its Android operating system from using competitors' services, these people said. They also have inquired whether Google grants preferential placement on its website to its own products, such as Google's "Places" business listings, its "Shopping results" o [...]

Report: Android Now 40 Percent Of Smartphone Market

According to the latest comScore data, Android handset penetration grew almost 6 points since last quarter and now amounts to 40 percent of the US smartphone market. Number two Apple gained modestly, and RIM, Windows and Nokia were all in negative territory. Samsung, the largest Android handset maker, also had the greatest overall share of mobile users. Extrapolating from a survey base of 30,000 US mobile subscribers, comScore says that 78.5 million people now own smartphones. That represents 33 percent of the total population. By contrast Nielsen says that 38 percent of US mobile [...]

Google’s Patent Screed Emerges As PR Blunder

Screen shot 2011-08-04 at 10.38.14 AM Google's mostly ill-conceived patent screed from yesterday has opened the floodgates of discussion about Google's (Android's) vulnerability to third party patents owned by Microsoft, Oracle and Apple. Among the throng of comments and opinions about the episode are a few Google sympathizers, such as Forbes blogger Tim Lee who believes Google should advocate for the elimination of software patents: Unfortunately, the modest procedural changes being considered in the America Invents Act won’t come close to preventing the kind of abusive litigation that’s now plaguing Android. So Google sho [...]

Google Lashes Out Against Apple, Microsoft Patent “Conspiracy”

google-g-logo Google's Chief Legal Officer David Drummond has lashed out at rivals Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and unnamed others for waging what he says is "a hostile, organized campaign against Android," using "bogus patents." Drummond asserts that Google's rivals have joined together in an "anti-competitive" cabal of sorts that uses patent law almost as a pretext to attempt to "strangle" Android. (The phrase "anti-competitive" is self-consciously used four times in his post.) Drummond contends that Google's rivals are threatened by or unable to compete with Android's momentum (citing Android's 550,00 [...]

Google Promoting “Free” Nexus S On Homepage

Hurry, supplies are limited. If you've been to today (from a US IP address) then you've already seen the Nexus S "free today only" offer. Users can obtain the phone from US retailer Best Buy and must sign up for a two-year contract. Three out of the four major US carriers offer the phone: AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. It's not clear whether Google is subsidizing the phone or whether the carriers and Google are doing so together. Regardless it's a shrewd promotion to get the NFC-enabled device into more pockets and lock them in for two years, ahead of the launch of the ne [...]

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