Tag Archives: google

Not that independent: Google’s Waze not planning any further development of Windows Phone app


We were pretty surprised when the official Waze app for Windows Phone hit the store in November last year, expecting Google’s purchase of the crowd-sourced mapping and navigation app in June 2013 to put an end to development.

It seems in the end it was merely a temporary reprieve, as a 9th July tweet from their customer support on Twitter has confirmed the company has no plans for any further updates to the app. That app was last updated on the 25/2/2014.

The app as likely a victim of Google’s animosity towards Windows Phone, as otherwise it seems rather interesting that a small company like the pre-purchase Waze could find the resources to support Windows Phone while a giant like Google can not.

via WPC.

Colour us surprised – Google has “no current plans” to bring Google Chrome to Windows Phone


Back in March we reported that Google staff were responding to a bug report that Google Chrome was not available on Windows Phone by saying they would investigate the issue.

Now, 4 months later, we have an update, and we are not really surprised that the answer is not encouraging.

Google Software Engineer Carlos Pizano confirmed that:

“[There are] No current plans that I am aware of. Chrome needs more privileges than a regular metro app so there is no simple port.”

This is of course hokum, given that Google’s Chrome browser runs perfectly well on iOS using their rendering engine, and that the browser would bring much more than its rendering engine to Windows Phone, including features such as password and tab synching, omnibar search and Google Now integration.  Carlos’s suggestion that 3rd party developers bring Chromium to Windows Phone appears to ignore the real value to the browser, which is certainly a lot more than just the rendering engine.

Of course if Google is happy to lose 8% of the UK market’s search traffic to Bing,  and even more in Italy then we can only say Good on you Google. I’m sure they will come crawling back eventually.

Via OMGChrome.com

Anti-Google bundling case could help Microsoft


Reuters reports that a new anti-trust case against Google could help Microsoft.

Google is currently being sued in California federal court, being accused of forcing companies like  Samsung to only use Google’s apps as default and restrict competing apps like Microsoft’s Bing search on Android phones.

Microsoft is not a plaintiff in the case, but could benefit from the discovery phase, which could expose details of Google’s negotiations with OEMs.

During discovery the complainant’s solicitors will be able to delve into internal Google emails and contracts with smartphone companies, and could interview Google executives under oath, said Steve Berman, who represents the consumers.

"I’m confident we will get into juicy stuff, and I think that will up the pressure on Google as some of the material we discover becomes public," he said.

The main issue for U.S. courts will be whether Android and mobile services like search are "technically separate, or tied in ways that impedes competition for consumers," said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Cusumano said the U.S. class action could hurt Google if a judge finds that it improperly pushes its mapping and location services, which is embedded across the Android system.

It’s "kind of a Pandora’s Box to look inside what Google does, and the relationship it has with all these smartphone and handset manufacturers," he said.

The information discovered could help Microsoft in Europe, where they and a coalition of other companies have filed a complaint with European antitrust regulators over some of the same issues in the U.S. lawsuit.

Google apps "are widely used on Android by requiring default placement and other mechanisms for disadvantaging competing apps," the companies said in a summary of their complaint.

That case has not yet proceeded to a formal investigation.

Android currently has 81% smartphone market share according to IDC, a dominant position which could easily confer on Google additional anti-trust responsibilities.

Read more at Yahoo.com here.

Thanks Aaron for the tip.

Report: Future Lumias will no longer have the option to set default Google as search provider


Tom Warren from The Verge reports that future Lumia handsets, including the 630 and 930, will no longer allow users to set Google as their default search provider.

The option, which is popular in regions where Bing is weak, is an advanced setting present currently on most Lumia handsets. OEMs have the option of setting the default search, and it appears when Nokia came under direct control by Microsoft they have decided to drop Google.

The Verge notes this change will only affect new Lumia devices, and current handsets will be unaffected, even after the WP8.1 update. Also of note is that many Nokia Lumia 630 and 930 owners are reporting the options above are still available on their handsets.

While Bing is used by only a small percentage of Windows users on the desktop, on Windows Phones more than 50% of searches are performed using Bing.  I expect with handset margins dropping constantly this is an area where Microsoft will attempt to recoup some of handset revenue.

Do our readers consider this a real issue? Let us know below.

Google Tries To Emulate Microsoft’s Modern Design Language That Spans Across Devices With ‘Material Design’

At Google I/O, Google announced a new design language called ‘Material design’ that will span across devices. Even though it follows lots of Microsoft’s Modern design language, there is one main difference. There is a depth to UI elements in Google’s ‘Material Design’ and developers can now specify the Z axis for their UI elements for their apps.

Design is the art of considered creation. Our goal is to satisfy the diverse spectrum of human needs. As those needs evolve, so too must our designs, practices, and philosophies. We challenged ourselves to create a visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science.

A material metaphor is the unifying theory of a rationalized space and a system of motion. Our material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by our study of paper and ink, yet open to imagination and magic. This is material design.

What do you think of Google’s new design language?

Google to go even flatter in new UI update


DeveloperTech reports that the next version of Android will start resembling Windows Phone and iOS of course, with the company going even flatter in its UI design.

Called  ‘Quantum Paper’ framework, the new UI will pervade not just Android, but also Google’s web properties.


The inspiration for the  flat UI of course harkens back to Windows Phone and Metro, with Apple being an early adopter. 

With so many Android fans complaining they could never use Windows Phone as its too bland, we wonder what they will say when their next operating system update (if it ever arrives) delivers a bit of Metro to them also.

Recent Patent Reveals That Microsoft Is Also Exploring Google’s Project Tango Like Technology

Project Tango Google Microsoft
Project Tango is a Google project which is an attempt to create a mobile device unlike like any other, a mobile device that shares our sense of space and movement, that understands and perceives the world the same way we do. Google has developed a prototype device which is a 5” Android phone containing highly customized hardware and software designed to track the full 3-dimensional motion of the device as you hold it while simultaneously creating a map of the environment. These sensors allow the phone to make over a quarter million 3D measurements every second updating its position and orientation in real-time combining that data into a single 3D model of the space around you.

I recently came across a Microsoft patent which involves technology related to what Google is doing with Project Tango. Read the abstract of it below.

Mobile camera localization using depth maps is described for robotics, immersive gaming, augmented reality and other applications. In an embodiment a mobile depth camera is tracked in an environment at the same time as a 3D model of the environment is formed using the sensed depth data. In an embodiment, when camera tracking fails, this is detected and the camera is relocalized either by using previously gathered keyframes or in other ways. In an embodiment, loop closures are detected in which the mobile camera revisits a location, by comparing features of a current depth map with the 3D model in real time. In embodiments the detected loop closures are used to improve the consistency and accuracy of the 3D model of the environment.

Watch the video demo of Project Tango after the break.
Continue reading

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

image image

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.

Continue reading

Fake Google apps flood the Windows Phone Store


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.


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?



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.