Posts tagged ‘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

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January 28, 2012

Apple’s Best Quarter yet!

 BY THE APPLE GIRL

This week Apple announced its best quarter in the history of the company. The fourth calendar quarter of 2011 showed a $46.33 billion dollar revenue and net quarterly profit of $13.06 billion. Gross margin was 44.7 percent compared to 38.5 percent a year ago and international sales accounted for 58 percent of the quarter’s revenue. Apple single-handedly erased  a drop in S&P’s 500 Index earning for the December quarter turning a 4.2 percent decline to a 4.4 percent gain.

To put it in perspective, for the same quarter, Samsung posted $42 billion in sales and a $4.7 billion operating profit – Samsung mobile contributed to 40 percent of the company sales. Again for the same quarter, Motorola reported a net revenue of $3.4 Billion and a net loss of $80 Million (Google acquired Motorola Mobility last year for $12.5 Billion in cash! Ouch!)

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?

 

October 27, 2011

Nokia Lumia 800 vs. iPhone 4s vs. Galaxy S II vs. Droid Razr

The biggest player in the handset industry, Nokia has now officially entered the smart phone battle with the release of its new phones – Nokia Lumia 800 & 710. Nokia has kicked its old MeeGo OS and Symbian OS to build phones with the new Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS.

The spec on Lumia 800 is comparative to iPhone 4S, Galaxy Nexus II and Droid Razr, except that it falls short in the video recording category at 720 p while others are at 1080 p.  We posted a chart from PC World to spell out the technical details for you.

Lumia 800 will launch in some European countries next month and will roll out to Asian countries and Russia by end of the year. Lumia 710 is also expected launch alongside Lumia 800 in Russia and Asia this year. Nokia doesn’t really seem to be going after the US market, since it is not clear when these phones will be available in the US, although the company’s press indicated that it would be releasing a portfolio of products early next year.  Nokia also did not say which US carriers would carry the phones. As for the price, Lumia 800 will be available at $549.99 unlocked.

Earlier, we had reported that Microsoft payed $1 Million to Nokia for their partnership. It’s interesting to see how the Android landscape has changed since then, with device manufacturers either paying royalty to competitors or just not being able to sell in countries where they have been sued for patent infringement. Was Nokia’s decision to go with Windows Phone 7 OS (instead of Android) a smart move? Maybe, but in my opinion Miscrosoft got the better end of the deal. Globally, Nokia’s phones are very popular for their hardware and have an established customer base, and now with a better OS in place, Nokia & Microsoft are all set to take over the cell phone market on a big scale.

Nokia’s Lumia 800 (left) and Lumia 710 (right)


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 20, 2011

HP abandons Web OS and PC business

BY THE APPLE GIRL

HP has made it official that it’s spinning off its PC business and killing Web OS phones and touch pads. HP had acquired Web OS last year in the $1.2 billion purchase of Palm Inc.   If you are one of the die-hard Web OS fans, here’s a deal for you. HP is liquidating  its Touch Pad (16 GB) for $99. Check out the YouTube video about Hitler’s reaction to the Web OS death, it’s quite funny.

HP is not the only company giving up its mobile software business, Nokia recently gave up MeeGo OS and Symbian OS  to work closely with Microsoft. And Google acquired Motorola mobility to defend Android from patent trolls. It’s a hard “mobile” world out there! Well, except for Apple! 😛


Update: HP tablets sold out like hotcakes from Amazon to Best Buy! Who knew that a dead tablet can get sold out? Well, at $100, that maybe the cheapest tablet you can get your hands on.

 

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?

May 22, 2011

Lady Gaga in a new Chrome ad!

BY THE APPLE GIRL 

It’s a Google ad, but it has Lady Gaga. So I’m going to forget the Apple Google war for just this one post 😀

The Mother Monster illustrates the power of the web through this 90 sec ad. I like it. What about you?

 

Source: Idolator

May 4, 2011

The new cloud music race!

 BY THE APPLE GIRL 

Music in the cloud rocks. Save your music online and stream it directly to an authorized device such as your computer, phone or tablet.  Easy as that. No more storage, copy, sync issues, everything lives on the internet. While there are companies like Spotify, Mog and Rdio in the cloud music streaming, which one of the three big techie players – Apple, Google or Amazon are going to do big in the cloud music streaming service? 

Amazon is the first in online music streaming among the three companies. It’s recently launched Cloud Drive lets you buy and store your music online, play it on the web or play it with an Android App on your phone. 

Apple seems to be ready to launch its cloud music locker. Apple’s acquisition of Lala, an online music streaming service last year was all but an harbinger of the next Apple venture. You can expect iTunes music locker to roll out soon!

Google, a new comer to the music industry, is also planning to launch an online music streaming service. Its negotiations with record labels have been in the news since last year.  HP is also rumored to unleash its online music streaming service! Looks like everyone and anyone is investing in cloud services! I wonder how Microsoft is going to respond. 

 BY THE GOOGLE CHIC

Have you seen those “to the cloud” commercials by Microsoft? They have built this whole Cloud Power cloud services that allows Windows users to create albums, docs and movies and share it on the cloud. I think it’s a matter of time before Microsoft jumps on the bandwagon and offer cloud music. As for the Fandroids out there, there’s a leaked version of Android Music 3.0 which has streaming capabilities. It looks like Google has laid all the ground work needed for cloud streaming, the only thing that remains is to negotiate the streaming terms with the music industry. 


P.S You can download the Android Music 3.0 app off of the droidlife link

Source: yahoo, droidlife

March 8, 2011

Apple iOS vs. Android 3.0 – HoneyComb

BY THE APPLE GIRL 

Here are some of the key new features in iOS 4.3, which will just be an overlay on the existing iOS on the iPad.

  • Improved Safari Performance: Apple moved the Nitro Engine Javascript engine from the Mac OS to iOS making it twice as fast.
  • iTunes home sharing: lets you share your media and Apps across all your iDevices wirelessly over Wi-Fi. This is a no brainer and I’m surprised that Apple released this feature so late in the iOS lifecycle.
  • Airplay improvements: Apple lets you stream video and audio using third party apps from your iOS 4.3 device to your Apple TV. Yes, no configuration needed. GoogleChic, you may not understand the phrase “No configuration” since you haven’t had the Apple kool-aid 🙂
  • Preference for the iPad switch: If you prefer the switch on the top right of the iPad to act as a rotation lock or to act as a mute switch, you now have the option to set your preference in iOS 4.3.
  • FaceTime, Garage Band, iMovie, Photobooth: let you video chat, create and edit your own music, movies and pictures.
  • Multi touch features: The iOS 4.3 will also support four or five finger gestures to give quick access to the home screen, multi tasking bar and to switch between Apps. Yes, everything is very intuitive.

Here are some HoneyComb features that you should consider before deciding on either device

  • Apps: iPad 2 sports over 65000 Apps designed to run on iOS while HoneyComb sports just over a 100 Apps. GoogleChic is happy with only a 100 Apps, but are you? 🙂
  • Native Video Chat: Finally, a native video chat client (FaceTime on iOS) comes to Android. You should experience both before deciding on your device of choice.
  • Widgets: Android has gone over board with the widgets on Honeycomb while complicating user experience for non geeks. Why do you need a grid widget, a stack widget and why do you need visual previews of the Apps while switching between Apps? Eww reminds me of my Windows Vista!
  • Notifications: Seriously, the notification was annoying the hell out of me in the demo video. Its like someone repeatedly IM’ing you on GMail when you are typing that work email.

All in all, if you are geek and like to twist your brain around how to get your tablet to work best for you, then Android is the way to go.  If you want a tablet which is intuitive and hassle free with the best user experience, then iOS is your obvious choice.

P.S: Check out the demo from the Android Honeycomb release. I would’nt blame you if you can’t get past 10 mins of the hour long video. Really, Google you need to learn how to get past your geekiness and reach out to the customers!!

BY THE GOOGLE CHIC 

I would have to say that the most exciting feature of iOS 4.3 is the personal hotspot. I thought AppleGirl would be jumping up and down for this since she won’t have to tether off of me anymore 😉

The only downside to this is that it’s available only for the iPhone 4 and it looks like AT&T is putting a 3 device limit on this 😛 Apple is just a little behind in the game on this!

As for the intuitive multi touch features, if there’s one button on the device of course you would need an “intuitive” gesture to go home. What’s more intuitive than a home button on the device ?:)

As for the Honeycomb features here are the highlights I pointed out the other day.

  • UI – new UI with a holographic theme, improved home screen customization, widgets, and notifications that has been integrated into a 3D experience (yes, 3D support!)
  • Browser – Tabbing is now supported. A new feature “incognito mode” will let you browse without this history being record ;) (I’m  just saying)
  • Gmail – will be displayed in two columns including an action bar
  • Visual multi-tasking – provides a image of the last view state when switching between programs
  • Multiselect mode – ability to select multiple items

I guess AppleGirl, just doesn’t understand the concept of customization since it’s not available on iOS. Apple users are given what Steve Jobs says it’s good for the masses. I could see how having options would be confusing and frustrating for an Apple users. Most people would welcome the fact that you can choose which ever widget you would like to use whether it’s a grid or stack widget. No, I don’t think it’s for the geeks, if you don’t like it, simply don’t put it on your desktop.

The notification looks pretty seamless to me. If I’m working on something I can easily see gtalk messages coming in. It’s much better than a number over an App icon 🙂

Lastly, Steve Jobs must feel pretty insecure about iOS to have to distort the truth when it comes to number of apps available for  Honeycomb. A majority of the apps on the Market will work on Honeycomb. There is a smaller percentage which has been optimized for Honeycomb but I wouldn’t take Job’s number as a fact considering his known distortion reputation.


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