The rift between Apple and Google may be growing as news is surfacing that Apple had purchased Google Maps competitor, Placebase and its accompanying Pushpin API in July.
Placebase and Google Maps are similar in the sense that they both map out various locations with a detailed image. However, Placebase offers different kinds of aggregated data from locations it has mapped such as demographics and crime data.
According to a Tweet from Jaron Waldman and an updated LinkedIn profile indicating he’s started working under Apple’s Geo team, it seems that this has gone under the radar, until now. The final confirmation of Apple’s acquisition came from Computerworld which points out the easily passed up Tweet from Jaron. But the biggest question is what Apple intends to do with Placebase. Many speculate that the Cupertino based company would use it as an alternative should its relationship with Google sour. The change could see the Apple developed Google Maps App on the iPhone and iPod Touch aggregate data from Placebase instead and all that would be required is a simple Software Update. However, Apple could leverage Placebase’s various… more...
Recently, Apple and AT&T landed in some hot water with the FCC after the removal of several Google Voice compatible Apps and denying Google’s own voice App from entering the App Store. While many blamed AT&T, the carrier and Cupertino based company have filed their responses to the FCC and the result is rather shocking.
Many speculated that AT&T had some hand in Apple’s decision of removing Google Voice compatible Apps from the App Store due to a previous complaint from the carrier about SlingPlayer’s exorbitant data usage over the iPhone’s 3G connection. While AT&T has influenced Apple’s decision in the past it surprisingly had no hand in the removal of GV Mobile and denying Google’s official Voice App. The reason however, might insult you. In Apple’s response to the FCC’s inquiry about App Store policies and why Google Voice Apps were removed, the company had this to say:
Apple spent a lot of time and effort developing this distinct and innovative way to seamlessly deliver core functionality of the iPhone. For example, on an iPhone, the “Phone” icon that is always shown at the bottom of… more...
Following the fallout from Apple’s removal of several Google Voice compatible iPhone Apps and the banning of Google’s very own App that ties in to the service, the search engine company has opted to create a web based version of the App.
However, the FCC has chosen to intervene and has sent inquires to Apple and AT&T on how the App Store approval process work and whether the cellular carrier had any hand in removing Google Voice compatible Apps. The FCC has also asked Google if it can create a Web based version of Google Voice that can be accessed through Safari. The good news is that Google seems to be working on a Safari compatible version of Google Voice after all.
According to Google, they are currently working on a web app and have mentioned that it will be able to offer the “same features as the rejected app.”
The big problem about creating a Web App over a native App is the lack of functionality such as being able to access the address book and phone App efficiently. I have some skepticism over how this will work… more...
Apple recently removed GV Mobile and Voice Central from the App Store and barred Google from bringing its own Google Voice App to the iPhone. However, the FTC is investigating the squabble.
The FTC has sent out memos to Apple, AT&T and Google about why Google Voice compatible Apps. The memos inquire about Apple and AT&T’s relationship in the App approval process and whether or not Google can bring Google Voice to the iPhone through alternate means such as making it a web enabled App accessible through Safari. AT&T however, has denied involvement with Apple’s process for approving Apps:
“AT&T does not manage or approve applications for the App Store. We have received the letter and will, of course, respond to it.”
The irony is AT&T has previously prevented Apple from approving Apps that consume massive amounts of data
Apple has pulled the GV Mobile and Voice Central App from the App Store but the Cupertino based company has yet to state why.
Apple has been known for pulling Apps with little to no explanation but it’s highly speculated that AT&T is behind the removal as utilizing Google Voice on the iPhone could cut down on the carrier’s bottom line. However, GV Mobile will see a free release on the popular third party repository, Cydia.
“Richard Chipman from Apple just called - he told me they’re removing GV Mobile from the App Store due to it duplicating features that the iPhone comes with (Dialer, SMS, etc). He didn’t actually specify which features, although I assume the whole app in general. He wouldn’t send a confirmation email either - too scared I would post it.”
Unfortunately, Google was denied by Apple itself from releasing a Google Voice compatible App for the iPhone. A spokesperson for Google confirmed Apple’s intentions of blocking Google Voice compatible Apps from the App Store but a possible Safari compatible version could arrive:
We work hard to bring Google applications to… more...
Google Latitude, the popular online service that allows users to track where their friends go through the use of GPS enabled phones has made its way to the iPhone albeit in the form of a web App.
The web App takes advantage of the new Geolocation feature in Firmware 3.0 that allows Safari to tap in to the iPhone’s location service mechanism. Google has incorporated most of the functionality available in the Android version of Latitude such as privacy controls and contact information. However, Apple does not allow background processing which forces Google Latitude to be implemented within Safari. There is no automatic updating but every time the online App is loaded, that user’s location is automatically updated. An excerpt from the official Google Blog:
Our Latitude web app provides all the core functionality you might expect: you can see the location of your friends on a map and modify your privacy settings so that you control how your location is shared and with whom.
You can try Google Latitude for your iPhone by pointing Safari to google.com/latitude.
Via: The iPhone Blogmore...
Amongst the dozens of features added to Firmware 3.0, the ability to use the iPhone’s location within Safari has been overlooked, until now.
When visiting the mobile version of Google from either the iPod Touch or iPhone, Safari will plot your exact location when prompted and feed it directly to the search engine. The end result is highly localized search results.
Via: iPhones Talkmore...
Google has recently improved its online image search for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Visiting the image search from any of Apple’s mobile devices brings up the optimized interface which allows users to view an image and view the next one within the custom interface. Filters can be applied the narrow down image results to a predefined amount of formats.
Via: iPhone Atlasmore...
Google has recently blocked access to the Infinite SMS App after it used too much traffic.
The third party App tapped in to the Google Talk protocol allowing users to send text messages to any phone free of cost. After rising to popularity, Google noticed the intense rise in traffic, the service was blocked prompting this quote from the developer:
“Google has claimed no grievance with Infinite SMS other than its success. Their given reason for the block isn’t abuse or wrongdoing; it’s that we brought too many users (and thus too much cost) to an experimental service. We never could have guessed that the two of us would write an app too big for Google,”
Unfortunately, users who bought the App will find it no longer works and have lost $0.99. The decision to cut access to the service was quickly made without consideration for the App as the service acted as an API that third party developers could leverage.
Windows Mobile 6.5 is the OS that will supposedly crush the iPhone, Android, and (if it gains any traction) Web OS for the Palm Pre. It is just that spectacular. Or that’s what Microsoft wants everyone to believe anyway. And people might get that impression from the recent Mobile World Conference. Plenty of companies were showing off phones running Windows Mobile 6.5 but there weren’t many showing off Android. (Apple was a no show at the event, the iPhone is big enough that it doesn’t need the trade show to get traction).
Can that be right? With all the excitement surrounding Android why such a paltry showing at Mobile World Conference? Well, if you like conspiracy minded stuff Roughly Drafted has a theory. It is the usual “Microsoft is paying companies to use Windows Mobile” sort of thing but it is well written and uses some concrete examples of known examples of such behavior.
If Microsoft is going out of its way to destroy Android, with back room deals and obscure marketing payments, it is definitely a sign that the company is starting to feel the pressure. Which wouldn’t be a surprise, Microsoft… more...