Google Maps for iOS adds real-time incident reporting from Waze

Real-time-waze-reporting-google-mapsGoogle announced today on its Google Maps blog that it’s finally tapping into the talent and technology it picked up with its acquisition of Waze back in June by integrating real time incident reports from Waze into Google Maps. The new integration means that when Waze users report incidents for everything from accidents to road closures, Google Maps users on both iOS and Android will now be able to benefit:

Users of Google Maps for Mobile will now benefit from real time incident reports from Waze users. This means when Wazers report accidents, construction, road closures and more on Waze, the updates will also appear on the Google Maps app for Android and iOS.

The features will initially be limited to users in certain locations, including: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the US. In addition, as Google first hinted back in June, the company will also be integrating Google Search into the Waze apps on iOS and Android, while the Waze Map Editor now has access to Google Street View imagery: Read more

Google denies reports of Google Now battery drain issues on iOS

Google-Now-Google-Search-screenshot-01In the days following the launch of Google’s predictive ‘Now’ feature now baked into its Google Search iOS app, some users complained of experiencing noticeable battery drain due the app’s process of accessing location data. Today, Google has weighed in with an official response to LifeHacker calling reports of battery drain “incorrect”:

Reports that Google Now drains battery life are incorrect. We understand people’s concern about seeing the Location Services icon stay on when they use Google Now. Many apps that keep the icon on actually do drain the phone’s battery because they require very accurate location. (For example a navigation app has to run your GPS all the time to keep you from missing your turn.)

Google explained that Now is “built very differently” than other apps that utilize Location Services by using “cell towers and wifi hot spots for much lower battery impact.” 

Google’s response continues by noting it didn’t receive any reports of battery drain during its extensive month of testing the feature on iOS and encouraged users to contact them if they continue to see a problem: Read more

Review: CamFind for iPhone lets you search for anything with your camera

CamFind for iPhone

Back in late 2010, Google brought Google Goggles (not to be confused with Google Glass) to the Google Search app for iPhone. At the time, it seemed like a great feature. You could take a photo of anything with your iPhone, and Google would instantly identify the object in the frame, returning relevant data about the photo.

That was 2010. You’d probably think that in the years following, Google would’ve continually updated Goggles, making the recognition more accurate and expanding its features. Well, you’d be wrong. In fact, Goggles functions entirely the same as it did in 2010, another fine example of Google’s continued dedication to their products.

Image Searcher, the developers behind a new app called CamFind, have seemingly stepped in where Google failed, creating a image-based search service that they claim is “four times more accurate than Google Goggles.” Let’s take a look at how it really performed.

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Google’s Eric Schmidt says Google Now for iOS approval is in Apple’s court

Update: Apple responds.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt spoke at the company’s Big Tent Summit in India this morning, and, on top of claiming there are no immediate plans to merge Chrome and Android, the executive discussed the possibility of Google Now coming to iOS devices. It appears Google is in a similar situation to when it launched a standalone Google Maps app, as Schmidt claimed it’s up to Apple to approve or reject Google Now for the App Store. TechCrunch pointed us to the comment from the Google executive at around 17 minutes into the interview:

You’ll need to discuss that with Apple” (at around 17:50). “Apple has a policy of approving or disapproving apps that are submitted into its store, and some of them they approve and some of them they don’t,” he went on to say.

A video that appeared to be an ad for the debut of Google Now on iPhone and iPad landed on YouTube last week before quickly being removed. The video (above) showed that Google could implement Google Now functionality—currently only available as a Siri-like voice and contextual assistant app on Android devices—into the Google Search app.

Google already updated its Google Search app with voice recognition and Google Now-like features last October, and a number of comparison videos have since appeared online and show Siri has some serious competition with even the scaled back voice search features. Bringing the contextual assistant features that Google Now implements on Android to the Google Search app would give iOS users yet another reason to use it rather than Siri for a large number of tasks. Read more

Google Search iOS app updated with overhauled iPad UI and full-screen mode for iPhone

Google has just released an update to their Google Search iOS app bringing with it a brand new design for iPad and full-screen mode for search results and pages on iPhone.

The new iPad interface is noticeably inspired by the design recently rolled out across the majority of Google’s web services. The main search page now has four grey icons as shortcuts to History, Applications, Voice Search, and Goggles, while a new side-by-side view allows you to browse webpages and search results simultaneously. Also included in the update in a full-screen browsing mode for images and a new visual UI for history allowing you to  thumb through results as pages. Instant Previews and Google Instant are now also baked into the iPad version.

As for the iPhone, the update only lists the usual minor bug fixes along with the full-screen mode mentioned above. As always, you can grab the updated Google Search app as a universal download now (iTunes link).  More screenshots below:
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