Tag Archives: google

Microsoft reminds WP8.1 users there is a faster way to search than using Google

goodbye google

We have heard earlier that more than 50% of Windows Phone users use Bing to search, and it seems Microsoft is looking to increase that number even more.

On WP8.1, if you type www.google.com in the address bar of IE11 and press enter the OS will pop up the above screen, suggesting users either just type their search query in the address bar or use the search button, which in USA will activate Cortana.

Interestingly the pop-up will not show up when www.bing.com is entered…

Do our readers think Microsoft is fighting dirty or just fighting back? Let us know below.

Google’s new camera once again takes a page from Nokia’s camera book

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Google, which is rather famous for stealing the ideas of others, has cribbed another Windows Phone feature – Nokia’s Refocus app.

Built into the latest Google Camera app for Android, the feature works by:

… an upward sweep to capture multiple images, used to estimate the depth of objects for a 3D map that lets the software re-render the photo later and blur specific items based on where it thinks they are

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it.

The camera also includes Google’s photosphere, which can take 360 degree panoramas, and which is a take off of Photosynth.

I guess Google will have to wait for Nokia and Microsoft’s next release before discovering their next feature….

Via Engadget.com

Simple Latitude for Windows Phone

SimpleLatitude Simple_Latitude

First, let us recall what the perfect opportunity gave us Google when proposed a universal thing like Google Latitude. It tracked your location and helped to stay connected with your close friends. It was an easy, fast and reliable way to see your family, children, friends without any additional efforts. Unfortunately, Google decided to close their Google Latitude API and make it available only for supported by Google platforms… and Windows Phone is not the one which is supported. We’ve been waiting for Google to come up with new API, were looking for an alternative solutions but nothing happened.

So let’s talk about the subject! Realizing that we won’t get any good news about Google Latitude for Windows Phone, we decided to make our own Simple Latitude service and we did it!

For your attention – Simple Latitude for Windows Phone!

It is not a first version and not the last one. Symple Latitude will be improved and be evolved based on your feedback. It became more convenient and useful tool than an old one. The service is unique for Windows Phone. To make it really easy to start we use the anonymous windows live id account to authenticate you, that is why no need to enter a username/password in order to start using the application. You can login as an anonymous user and the app will track your location history for you. You can even re-install the app or launch it on another Windows Phone using the same live id account and your data will be safe and available. And don’t worry about security, we are storing your data at the Microsoft Azure secure servers using a secure connection.

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Fake Google apps flood the Windows Phone Store

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Microsoft recently expedited the app review process, meaning apps can go from submission to publication in minutes.

This suggests the process has become pretty much automated, which it appears one scammer took good advantage off.

An unknown person registered as Google, Inc (the real Google Windows Phone Store account is Google Inc without the comma) and posted a number of “apps” to the store for the hefty price of $1,99 each.

It is unclear if the apps were web apps or if they did anything at all, as they have now all been unpublished, but the incident clearly shows we have to be a lot more careful with what we download from the store.  While apps are unlikely to mess up our handsets, they can still easily access and steal our contacts list for spam purposes, amongst other nefarious actions.

Given the sketchy nature of the apps hopefully Microsoft will protect affected users by revoking the apps from their handsets.

Has the Windows Phone Store review process become too fast and hands-off? Let us know below.

Via NPU

Google Releases Google APIs Client Library For .NET Targeting Windows And Windows Phone Developers

Google APIs dotnet

Google services such as Calendar, Analytics, and Google+ allow users to store personal information and manage their activities online. Most Google services have web APIs that you can use to give your applications access to this information with the user’s authorization. As Google mentioned in their blog, “Whether you are plugging Google Calendar into your .NET Framework-based application, translating text in a Windows Phone app or writing a PowerShell script to start Google Compute Engine instances, the Google APIs Client Library for .NET can save you tons of time.”

This library is an open-source effort, hosted at NuGet, that lets developers building on the Microsoft® .NET Framework to integrate their desktop or Windows Phone applications with Google’s services. It handles OAuth 2.0 integration, streaming uploads and downloads of media, and batching requests. For more than fifty Google APIs, it is the easiest way to get access for any Windows developer.

This is a surprising move from Google given the fact that they have largely ignored Windows platform for their Google services over the past few years. Check out the APIs here.

via: Neowin

Google looking into Chrome for Windows Phone?

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Since 2012 there has been an open ticket at code.google.com labelled:

Issue 153802: Port Chrome to Windows Phone 8 aka WP8

This has been blocked for a while however, seemingly because no-one at Google purchased any Windows Phones.

Now however, after 8 months of lying fallow, Carlos Pizano, Software Engineer and "Metro Gnome" at Google, has re-opened the ticket and assigned it to fellow member of the Chromium team dxie, for investigation.

Hopefully the move is a sign that the growing popularity of Windows Phone is creating a population too large for Google to ignore.

Are our readers looking forward to Chrome for Windows Phone?

Thanks korreBorre  for the tip.

As Google Announces Android Wear Platform, It’s Time For Microsoft To Ramp Up Their Work In Wearable Computing

Google today entered the wearable platform space by announcing Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables. The first wearable they are focusing on is watches that will go well beyond the mere act of just telling you the time. Google is already working with several consumer electronics manufacturers, including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands like the Fossil Group to bring smartwatches powered by Android Wear later this year. They are also opening up SDK for 3rd party developers to write apps for these watches. Now, what about Microsoft?

Microsoft is not new to smart watches as they tried it well before the market even thought about it. The SPOT series of watches failed to attract consumers few years back and Microsoft ended the project after few years in the market. Last year, there were couple of reports that Microsoft is working on their own smart watch. One report claimed that Surface team is working on a watch made of Oxynitride Aluminum with removable wrist bands in different colors. Another report claimed that Xbox team is working a smartwatch with 1.5inch display. Microsoft Studios claimed that they may be expanding the Xbox fitness to other devices in the Microsoft eco-system hinting at possible smartwatch.

ZDNet reported that Alex Kipman, one of the main person behind Microsoft Kinect is working on some new project called ‘new devices’ under Windows platform head Terry Myerson. It could be the Windows platform for wearable. Whatever be the case, as Google has entered this wearable space with Android, Microsoft should ramp up their efforts and soon jump into this race. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to compete starting too late as they did in smartphone and tablet markets.

Watch Microsoft’s vision for smart watches in the video which was released 10 years back after the break. You will be surprised by how much Microsoft got it right then.

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Google could scupper Dual-booth Android / Windows device plans

dual boot android windows phoneDigitimes reports that Google is pressuring Asus to drop plans to release an Android tablet that runs both Android and Windows.

The search giant is supposedly unhappy that such tablets would disproportionately benefit Microsoft and Intel while cutting into Android market share.

While Digitimes does not mention them, we expect Google will be equally unhappy with dual-boot smartphones. We have recently heard that Karbonn is planning to release such a handset in around 3 months.

While Microsoft is trying to increase the penetrance of Windows phone by making it more available to consumers and OEMs it is not universally agreed that the dual-boot strategy is beneficial to Windows developers, due to the increased likelihood that users will use popular Android apps rather than exploring the growing Windows/ Windows Phone Store.

If true, do our readers think this may be a blessing in disguise? Let us know below.

Report: Google And Samsung Expressing Their Concern On Microsoft-Nokia Deal To China’s Ministry Of Commerce

Microsoft NOkia

Last year we reported that Microsoft-Nokia deal is in the second-phase of anti-trust investigation in China, as Chinese OEMs and regulators fear that Nokia’s patent fees for the China’s domestic handset vendors might go up after this deal gets over. Bloomberg then reported that local Chinese OEMs have asked regulators to make sure Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset business doesn’t result in higher patent fees on wireless technology.

Today, Bloomberg today reported that Google and Samsung have joined the Chinese OEM in expressing their concern about Microsoft-Nokia deal. They want to make sure this deal doesn’t result in higher fees on wireless technology patents that will remain with Nokia. The report also claimed that Google and Samsung fear that Microsoft will gain more power over the smartphone market and may abuse its patents.

Contrary to Samsung and Google’s concerns, Microsoft is always open to license their patents to other smartphone vendors under very reasonable terms. In fact, they have signed patent licensing deals with more than 20 Android OEMs and ODMs so far.

China’s Ministry of Commerce is conducting an anti-monopoly review and is likely to approve the deal, the officials said. The question is whether the ministry will demand the companies guarantee that the agreement doesn’t result in higher patent fees, the officials said.

Source: Bloomberg

Google’s Android Mobile Application Distribution Agreement With OEMs Leaked, Reveals Lots Of Strict Conditions

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For the usage of Play Store and Android, Google signs the Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA) with OEMs like Samsung, HTC, LG, etc,. We have known very little about this agreement Google signs with OEMs. Today, Google’s Mobile Application Distribution Agreement with HTC got leaked on the internet and it reveals lots of strict policies that Google demand from OEMs. For example, you need to install all Google apps, Google Search should be the default search provider, Google’s Network Location Provider service must be installed by default and more.

To distribute Google’s mobile applications—Google Search, Maps, YouTube, Calendar, Gmail, Talk, the Play app store, and more—a phone manufacturer needs a license from Google, called a Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA). Key provisions of the MADA:

“Devices may only be distributed if all Google Applications [listed elsewhere in the agreement] … are pre-installed on the Device.” See MADA section 2.1.

The phone manufacturer must “preload all Google Applications approved in the applicable Territory … on each device.” See MADA section 3.4(1).

The phone manufacturer must place “Google’s Search and the Android Market Client icon [Google Play] … at least on the panel immediately adjacent to the Default Home Screen,” with “all other Google Applications … no more than one level below the Phone Top.” See MADA Section 3.4(2)-(3).

The phone manufacturer must set “Google Search … as the default search provider for all Web search access points.” See MADA Section 3.4(4).

Google’s Network Location Provider service must be preloaded and the default. See MADA Section 3.8(c).

EC is ending its investigation on Google’s unfair search practices in the coming months. I guess Google’s Android practices may be the next one for European Commission to investigate. Read more about it from the link below.

Source: Benedelman

Google’s Chrome head said to be leading external candidate for Microsoft CEO

Sundar_Pichai_Wide

In some rather surprising news, it appears Microsoft may be pulling CEO talent from a rather unlikely course – Google.

Yes, we have checked and its not April 1st.

According to SiliconAngle Google SVP of Chrome and Apps is the leading external candidate for the Microsoft CEO job, with Satay Nadalle being the leading internal candidate.

Pichai is said to have been a force behind Android integration across the company, and has previously been headhunted for the CEO position at Twitter, and was only convinced to stay by a $50 million payment by Google.

“Microsoft could really move the ball down the field with Sundar Pichai in creating a new open operating system model for cloud, mobile, and social” according to Dave Vellante, chief analyst at Wikibon. “The market has been looking for a CEO who can balance the role of leading the enterprise transformation while keeping that consumer momentum with xBox and reboot mobile.  Pichai is the total package of technology leadership and business acumen.”

The danger for Windows Phone users of course is that an external candidate for Microsoft CEO may bring in sweeping changes, which may include dropping Windows Phone for a proven mass market OS like Android.

Sundar Pichai is 41 years old, has a Bachelors in Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, a M.S. from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined Google in 2004, where he led the product management and innovation efforts for a suite of Google’s client software products, including Google Chrome and Chrome OS, as well as being largely responsible for Google Drive.

His only contact with Windows Phone so far was when he explained in May 2013 that Windows Phone did not have the critical mass to make creating a YouTube app for the OS worthwhile.

Do our readers think Windows Phone is in danger from an ex-Google CEO? Let us know below.

Thanks Tom for the tip.

Windows Phone users pose challenge to Google’s business model as they stick to Bing

Kantar ComTech has posted an interesting teaser on twitter. According to their data, in USA on mobile your platform was the main predictor of your search engine, with Android users mainly using Google, while Windows Phone users in general stuck with Bing.

This is of course far from true on the desktop, where Windows users overwhelmingly used Google over Bing.

This means, in theory, for every 10% market share gain by Windows phone, Google’s search engine would lose 6% market share, and with mobile making up 25-30% of search traffic it is certainly not something to be ignored.

Of course for Google to get really concerned Windows Phone would need to gain significantly more than the 2% market share in USA, but one can imagine in places like Italy where Windows phone is close to 10% of all smartphone users this may become an issue.

US Court Affirms Microsoft’s Import Ban Against Motorola’s Android Devices

Microsoft New Logo

Yes, the patent battle between Microsoft and Google’s Motorola is still going on. Microsoft already won in the court that Motorola’s Android devices are infringing Microsoft’s patents. Motorola was trying to persuade the Federal Circuit to reverse lower court’s finding. However, The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today ruled against Motorola’s appeal of an import ban Microsoft won from the United States ITC in May 2012.

From FOSS Patents,

The appeals court found that the ITC’s related determinations were based on substantial evidence. This is a rather difficult standard of review for appellants to overcome. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the appellate judges would have decided the case the same way with the same set of facts before them. It merely means that there were facts based on which one can’t blame the ITC for arriving at its conclusions, but the appeals court might have upheld the opposite decision as well.

Read more from the link below.

Source: FOSS Patents