Google just launched a new version of its search app for iOS that is not only faster, but also features a new look and feel for how it displays search results inside the app. Indeed, the reformatted search results pages look a bit like the experiment Google ran on its website a few weeks ago, with larger fonts and wider spacing that make it easier to read and use on a small screen. In addition, the entire search result is now a “tap target,” meaning you can click anywhere around the link, too, to get to the page you were looking for.
Microsoft today announced a deeper integration of Facebook's "like" data with its Bing search engine. This data now powers a number of new feature that don't just make Bing's social search competitive but actually better and more useful than Google's current efforts in the social search arena. While Google is able to pull in data from Twitter and a number of other services (including its own recently launched +1 and public Facebook fan pages), Microsoft is the only major search engine with access to Facebook's firehose. Thanks to this, Bing now shows you whenever a friend has 'liked' a page that appears on your search results page and pushes these results to the top of the page, too.
A third of smartphone owners would rather give up chocolate than their devices and 39% of U.S. consumers with smartphones have used their phones in the bathroom. These are some of the more interesting results of a survey that Google just released. It’s no secret that we tend to use our phones to get online (81%) while watching TV (33%), but in this survey Google was more interested in the role these devices play while were are out shopping and looking for local information.
Google just announced an update to its automcomplete feature, which speeds up the search process by showing predicted searches while you type. Until now, Google mostly based its predictions by looking at the most popular searches. The problem with this, Google points out, is that the majority of search queries have never been typed in before and hence didn’t show any predictions. Now, however, Google is expanding this feature by “improving the predictive powers of autocomplete” for these seldom used queries as well by just looking at the last part of the query.
Google may be one of the world’s biggest Internet companies, but if you want to talk to a real human being when you run into an issue with Google, you’re generally out of luck. While Google offers customer support through email for some services, the company’s online FAQs and help pages are generally the only means to get official information about a product. Google’s dislike for offering phone support was also on display when it launched its Nexus One smartphone without offering any phone support and only launched a phone support line after lots of complaints from its users. Maybe things are changing in Mountain View, however. Today, Google announced that it will offer free phone support for its AdWords advertising platform in the U.S. and Canada.
Google just put another nail in the coffin of dedicated GPS units and paid mobile apps. Google Maps Navigation now offers users the ability to route them around traffic jams. Until today, Navigation would simply calculate the most efficient route and send you on your merry way without checking traffic conditions. The new version, however, will look at both current and historical traffic data to calculate the best route to take. According to Google, Navigation users now use the app to drive more than 35 million miles per day.
It’s hard to estimate just exactly how successful (or not) Google Hotpot, the company’s recently launched Yelp competitor, really is. Thanks to its integration with Google Maps and Google Places, it’s likely more popular than Google Buzz, though, and judging from the increase in ratings from Google users we’ve seen on Google Places lately, it’s probably working out well for Google. The company wants more publicity for Hotpot, however. Starting today, Google also lets you syndicate your ratings for local businesses from the Google Maps Android app to Twitter, marking this one of the first times that Google has enlisted Twitter in its tools to not just pull in information but also to syndicate it out.
Google didn’t just give free a Chrome OS netbook and either a Motorala Xoom tablet or Nexus S phone to every developer at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco this week, but also just launched a new hub for game developers who want to use Google’s own tools.
Google just announced its new content payment system One Pass that gives publishers a very flexible and affordable option for charge their readers for access to their content. With One Pass, publishers can charge readers on the Web and in mobile apps for subscriptions, metered access, day passes, single articles and "freemium" conten
I'm a jaded tech blogger, but Microsoft's HoloLens project is without doubt the most exciting project to come out of Redmond in years. After years of talk about augmented reality, this may be the first project that actually lives up to the hype.