Frederic Lardinois founded SiliconFilter in 2011. Before starting this site, he wrote about 1,500 articles for ReadWriteWeb. His areas of interest are consumer web and mobile apps, as well as Internet-connected devices like cars, smart sensors and toasters.
You can reach him at [email protected]
Google Places, Google's database of local businesses that is tightly integrated into Google Maps, just arrived on the iPhone in the form of a stand-alone application. This app also includes support for Hotpot, the company's social review and recommendation service that is taking up the fight against incumbents like Yelp and CitySearch. Android users already had access to this feature since November 2010.
Google just announced that it plans to fade out support for the widely used H.264 codec from its Chrome browser "in the next few months". Instead, Google will favor the open Theora video codec and its own open WebM (VP8) codec.
For the most part, today's Verizon iPhone announcement was in line with what most pundits expected: same phone, different network. One intriguing feature of the Verizon iPhone that AT&T doesn't yet offer, however, is the ability to turn the phone into a WiFi hotspot for up to 5 devices. Wouldn't it be nice if AT&T also offered this feature soon?
So far, the iPad hasn't done much to safe the newspaper industry from itself, but according to the latest reports, News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch plans to launch its iPad-only paper The Daily on January 19.
One trend that's very clear at this year's CES is that the Internet is slowly making its way into cars. Of course, you can already browser the net and play music from Pandora through your smartphone, but the next generation of cars - and especially electric cars - are making the Internet an integral part of the car's feature set.
Skype just launched the next update of its client software for windows and while there is little new in this version, the company did move the group video calling feature it introduced just a few months ago behind the premium firewall. Users who want to host video conferences with multiple users will need to get a subscription to Skype Premium ($8.99/month) or get a day pass ($4.99/day).
Earlier this morning - and somewhat earlier than expected - Apple launched its App Store for the Mac. After using it for a while now, it's clear that this will be a major shift in how Mac users buy and upgrade their apps. There are, however, also some issues with this new app-buying paradigm for the desktop. Most importantly, developers can't offer trials for paid apps, a problem that is highlighted by the absence of a return policy.