Archive for ‘Google’

December 8, 2012

Apple and Google joining forces!

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

Finally GoogleChic and I are going to agree on something. Apple and Google have teamed up on a $500 million bid to acquire Kodak’s patent portfolio. The two companies are aiming to buy Kodak’s 1100 imaging patents out of bankruptcy as reported by Bloomberg.

Initially, according to reports, Apple and Google were leading separate consortiums bidding for Kodak’s patents – Apple with Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures and Google with its mobile hardware buddies Samsung, LG and HTC. It seems like Apple and Google may have learnt their lesson after their head on fight for Nortel patents last year (Google lost after offering $900 million while Apple, RIM and Microsoft shelled out a chunky $4.5 billion dollars).

The patents that Kodak is selling as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, relate to capture, manipulation and sharing of digital images. In the future, the company plans to focus on printing and enterprise services and less on photography. Kodak claims that the patents may be worth more – $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion and Kodak has made more than $3 billion in revenue by licensing its patents to companies like Samsung, Nokia, LG, Google, Nokia among others. The two behemoths, Apple and Google may be getting the best deal now that they are not competing with each other.

Kodak

January 2, 2012

GamePad for your tablet

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

60Beat – GamePad for your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch is the new kid in the block. It brings a full-sized game pad designed for iOS devices and it connects via headphone jack. Being an ardent gamer myself, I like the classic touch to the new generation of gaming devices. However, I would rather not shell out $50 for 60Beat if instead I could use my PS3 gamepad to do the same task! 

Android users have an advantage. They can connect their Wii remotes with their Android devices using BlueTooth and the XBox 360 controller wirelessly with an additional device connected to the Android USB port. 

The gamepad though isn’t the future of gaming, in my opinion, Kinect technology is! How would you like to be entertained? 😛

[Source] TechCrunch, Android Simplicity

November 20, 2011

Google Music vs. iTunes vs. Amazon MP3

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

Last week Google announced its iTunes competitor, Google Music, a web-based music store currently only available in the US. It’s interesting to see that Google is trying to play catch up with Apple on many of Apple’s products, while Apple is quietly carving away new products and markets. I am sure GoogleChic won’t like to hear it 🙂 

Here’s my unbiased attempt to spell out the differences between Google Music and iTunes. For a very brief overview scroll down for Huffington’s breakdown on iTunes, Google Music and Amazon MP3 

  • Cost: Google Music provides free storage of 20,000 songs for free while Apple provides free storage for songs bought on iTunes and $24.99 per year for iTunes match – for up to 25,000 songs that you haven’t bought on iTunes.
  • Access:  On Google Music, you can access your music via a web interface.  Using iTunes match on a desktop would require the iTunes. On your iOS devices you have seamless access and I don’t have to say much about Apple’s intuitive interface.
  • Storage space: You get 25,000 song storage on iTunes match while 20,000 on Google Music.
  • Upload:  Each song on Google Music is uploaded manually and would probably suck up a lot of time, while iTunes match “matches” your song with its own digital library and doesn’t really upload the song from your computer saving you some upload time.
  • Quality: Whatever the quality of music you have, iTunes Match gives you the high quality 256 kbps AAC, while Google just stores it in whatever format you have. While legitimizing your ripped songs, Apple is also giving you the best quality audio. 
  • Catalog size: Google Music offers over 13 million songs available for purchase. One missing piece in Google Music is Warner Music Group, third largest record label in the music industry, holding approx 20 percent of the market share. Google is still to finalize deals with Time Warner Music. Apple has agreements with all the four big wigs EMI, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, so obviously you can buy across a wider range of music than Google Music.
  • Social Networking: Google Music is integrated with Google+ and Apple has its own music network called Ping, one of it’s failed products. Google+ allows users to post individual tracks to their Google+ pages where friends get one time free listen of each track. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google+ doesn’t give Google Music the expected edge since Google + hasn’t done much to steal away Facebook’s subscribers.

At the end it comes down to “Will Google beat Apple’s iTunes eco system?” There is a big gaping music hole in the Apple vs. Google war. The only things, in my opinion, that Google has to its advantage is the accessibility and cost, which probably appeals to a wider audience, but there are other forces like Amazon that Google has to beckon with before it starts hurting Apple and the iTunes consumer base Apple has built up over the years. What do you think?

 

November 12, 2011

Google TV a big hit? Logitech doesn’t think so.

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

Google TV was announced last year with much hype, but seems like the hype is sizzling out. Logitech was one of the new entrants with a Google TV box called Revue priced at $299 at the release. Recently, Logitech announced a price slash to $99, taking a loss since returns exceeded sales. Google recently announced an update to the Google TV software promising a more streamlined interface and improved searching capabilities. 

The Verge reports that Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca indicated that the 2010 Christmas launch of Logitech Revue was a “mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature”. He mentioned that the company “had brought closure to the Logitech Google TV saga” and decided to let inventory run out this quarter and that Logitech has no plans to replace the Google TV box. This mistake plus operational miscues in EMEA has resulted the company with $100 M in operating profits.

Google has to admit that it doesn’t have a winner in the TV arena, at least not yet. I like that it allows me to surf the web on the TV, but I need a better incentive than that. Similar to Google TV, cable TV content is lacking on Apple TV. Other features such as NetFlix, Hulu, purchasing movies and TV shows are similar on both Apple TV and Google TV. But Apple TV’s trump card is Airplay which lets you seamlessly stream content from any of the iDevices to your TV. Without an Apple TV, you could use DLNA to stream, but good luck trying to get it to work like AirPlay.  

To Google’s credit, they have the right idea of simplifying and enriching the TV experience by merging TV and cable content. But Google falls short on the implementation and its disability to get premium TV content providers on board is not helping either. Still, there are new entrants, such as LG, expected to integrate Google TV into television sets, not to mention that Sony already has a Google smart TV out there that is not selling like hot buns.

 


October 10, 2011

One million iPhone 4S orders in first 24 hours

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

Apple today announced that pre-orders for iPhone 4S topped 1 million in the first 24 hours of its launch. This is the best iPhone launch they have ever had. Previously, iPhone 4 had hit 600,000 pre-orders in one day. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon are the official carriers in the US. Select Best Buy, Walmart, Target and select Apple authorized re sellers will be selling iPhone 4S alongside Apple retail and online stores. iPhone 4S will be available on October 14th in the stores and pre-orders should arrive at the same time.

AT&T announced yesterday that they alone hit 200,000 pre-orders in the first day and that this is the best iPhone launch for AT&T. 

On a side note, Samsung has delayed the release of Nexus Prime, the first Android phone to carry Ice cream Sandwich, in the wake of Steve Jobs’ death. Even if they did launch, I would think that Steve Jobs’s death would probably lead to downward launch sales. Samsung hasn’t announced the new release date yet.

October 9, 2011

Google sari!

BY THE APPLE GIRL

I found the perfect birthday gift for Googlechic 😀 (although she might need help wearing it) An Indian designer, Satya Paul has created an Indian attire (sari) for the Google crazy! LOL

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC

That’s pretty funny! Thanks but no thanks, it’s a knock off Google Sari!

If you’re looking to buy me a birthday gift check out the merchandise from the Google Store. The t-shirt below looks appealing 😉 

October 9, 2011

Charlie Ross talks to Eric Schmidt, Marc Andreessen and Walt Mossberg on Steve Jobs’ legacy

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

Eric Schmidt, Marc Andreessen, Walt Mossberg talk about Steve Jobs about value of his life, his pursuit for perfection and the future of Apple. The talk is quite moving and is worth a watch.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 Source: Bloomberg, 9to5mac

August 24, 2011

Google acquires Motorola Mobility

BY THE APPLE GIRL

Last week, Google acquired Motorola Mobility division for $12.5 billion or $40 per share (when Motorola shares were going at $28). Recently Google has been crying about losing out on the Nortel patent auction to Microsoft and Apple, who won the patents for $4.5 billion and raised the barrier to entry into the mobile market.

With Apple and Microsoft already suing Android phone manufacturers already, the Google’s Nortel patent loss is a harbinger of only more suing to ensue. Google had to do something to combat this and made a gutsy move to invest $12.5 billion in cash to buy Motorola Mobility.

The Motorola acquisition brings with it 19,000 employees, revenue of $11 billion and assets of $6 billion. More importantly, Google now owns 17,000 patents and an additional $7,500 filed patent applications.

Maybe Google will learn how to integrate a certain hardware with its Android software and copy Apple’s path to success 😛 Maybe Google will only cling on to Motorola software engineering and not the hardware branch. It’s also possible that other Android hardware manufacturers feel alienated with Google now owning a hardware division.

In any case, S&P has downgraded Google believing the purchase to be a bad move for Google. A lot of speculation, I would hate it if Apple lost a competitor! 😛


BY THE GOOGLE CHIC

It’s a gutsy move by Google for sure to acquire a hardware company but I think it’s a smart move! Forget S&P’s downgrade of Google. With the moves they’re making these days Moody seems more reliable to me 🙂

One thing that I’ve always said about Apple products is that their hardware is slick. Hopefully, Google can now get innovative and come up with slick designs to give Apple a run for their money!

I do have to agree with AppleGirl on one point ;P. A smart move that Google made by acquiring Motorola is that Google acquired all of Motorola’s patents which I’m sure will be useful in the future.

As for all the other manufacturers out there currently producing Android devices, I think this will be good motivation for them to step up their game. Personally, I think Samsung doesn’t need the motivation since they have some of the best devices out there like the Samsung Tab 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy S II 🙂

 

 

 

August 1, 2011

Google TV (Revue) – $99

 BY THE GOOGLE CHIC

Have you been holding out on purchasing a Google TV because of the price? Well, Logitech dropped the price of the Revue (Google TV) from $249 to $99 effective 7/31. At this price it’s a steal! Not to mention, that it’s soon going to be upgraded to Honeycomb. I tried to go buy one today but they’re sold out at the local stores. Good news is that it’s available online via Logitech.

 

 BY THE APPLE GIRL 

Sorry to break the bubble, but there is a reason for such a big price slash. After a disappointing Q1 when the returns exceeded sales,  CEO Gerald P. Quindlen is leaving the company and Revue can officially be declared as a flop!

While you can have the most popular Apple TV for $99 – Apple didn’t have to cut prices for it 😀 – why would you buy Google Revue (with that ugly keyboard remote et al). Check out our Logitech Revue blog and Google TV vs. Apple TV blog.

 


July 12, 2011

Apple iOS 5 vs Android Ice Cream Sandwich

BY THE APPLE GIRL

Apple recently announced iOS 5 -available to customers this Fall. The new release contains over 200 + updates and is available on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4G, iPad, iPad 2 and iPod Touch. Here are the key features:

  1. Notification Center: which is quite similar to Android’s implementation. GoogleChic is fuming over this! 🙂 You can slide down the Notification Center and display all your notifications and access them right away. The new notifications don’t interrupt and they are displayed at the top of the screen when they appear. Also,  the lock screen neatly displays all the notifications, and you can just slide on each notification from the lock screen, which is pretty cool.
  2. Newstand: As a fan of eMagazines and Newspapers, I think this is one of the most useful features in this release. It gives a central place for iOS users to access all the ezines and newspapers. It has a shelf screen like iBooks and automatically downloads the latest edition, which is very convenient.
  3. iMessage: provides a new messaging service to all its iOS users. Finally we can save on all those text messaging fees that AT&T and Verizon is ripping us off.
  4. PC free: You can buy a new iDevice and activate and setup it up wirelessly; no more iTunes to set it up. All the Over The Air updates, WiFi syncing and iCloud backup in this release is making me giddy 🙂
  5. Twitter: Apple now gives a system wide integration for Twitter (which is probably the only third party app Apple has integrated with). Once you sign in, you should be able to tweet from any where on the phone. Apple wouldn’t do it unless there was popular demand for this. I can only imagine how many extra tweets this is going to generate.
  6. Safari : The three new Safari features in this release is tabbed browsing, Reader and Reading List. I love the new Safari reader feature. It removes all the ads and distractions while you are reading an article. It basically strips out all the flak and gives you the meat. Reading List lets you bookmark your article, which iCloud syncs to all your iDevices. GoogleChic wont like to hear it but the truth is that Android uses an Apple’s Safari Engine (WebKit) in its browser. So effectively, Safari Engine provides for 90% of mobile phone browsing 🙂 
  7. Reminders: Apple’s advanced reminder system, among other things provides location-based reminders which is synced to iCloud and with all your other iDevices. 
  8. Camera and Photos: You don’t have to look for the camera App when you want to take a picture. Now you can access it directly from the lock screen and even use the volume up button to take a picture. Apple has also introduced photo editing including red-eye reduction, crop, rotate and enhance along with iCloud syncing to photos.
iOS 5 goes hand in hand with iCloud. So this really is the first step into integrating Apple’s devices into cloud based computing. I can’t wait to see what the next release holds. I bet GoogleChic wants to show off some Android Ice Cream Sandwich features now 🙂

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC

AppleGirl has one thing right, heck yeah I want to brag just a little about Ice Cream Sandwich. Instead of boring y’all with a side by side comparison with iOS 5, and point out how most of the features were inspired by Android :). Let’s explore what Google has to offer with Ice Cream Sandwich; Android 4.0.Ice Cream Sandwich will include all of the features from Honeycomb which is currently only available on tablets. It’ll run across all devices from phones, tablets to laptops. It’s looks like Google is trying to stop fragmentation (at least that’s what AppleGirl claims :)) and building an OS that can run across all devices. 

The coolest feature is the ability to utilize the camera to recognize the movement of a user and adjust the display accordingly. Similarly, it uses the camera for the facial recognition software in which it can act as a “virtual camera operator”. Check out the video below to see the demo. Android 4.0 will also contain new APIs that will allow for the UI to adjust depending on available screen space on the device.

Ice Cream Sandwich is schedule to launch in Q4 and it’s rumored to launch on a new device, perhaps the Nexus 4G?

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