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

Virginia town encouraging citizen crime reporting with free iOS app

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The Marion Police Department in Virginia have decided to encourage residents to report crime by releasing a new app called “iWatch Marion“. The app is available for free on the App Store and provides citizens with an easy way to report potential crimes by uploading tips, photos, and video. Content uploaded by users is forwarded directly to the police department closest to the location the tip was sent from:

Because iWatch Marion uses global positioning technology, the system intelligently forwards information to the Howard County Police Department based on where the handheld device is physically located at any given moment.

The app will also allow users to receive alerts for missing children, crime, weather, and more. I’m not sure if major cities will jump on the idea of encouraging citizens to get involved in crimes in progress, but it’s something that more and more smaller towns are starting to take advantage of. Read more

‘Highlight’ app gives a name to the stranger nearby, brings social network to life

So, you are sitting in a coffee shop and looking around you —wondering whom the blonde-haired person is sitting by the window or even the bearded hipster serving the latte. Well, “Highlight” is a free social network app for iOS devices that can now let you creep the world within your vicinity.

Facebook helps users to organize online relationships while exploring professional networks, but it cannot help them interact with those in the “real” world. Whether social networkers are in a –well– coffee shop, or even a restaurant, clothing store, entertainment event or conference, strangers constantly surround them. Anyone is connectable through shared interests or mutual friends, but it is difficult to know who is nearby.

To change this circumstance, install Highlight onto an iPhone and connect to Facebook. The app will alert users to other Highlight users up to a block and half away. From there, profiles with information pulled from Facebook are viewable, and Highlight users can even send text messages to such profiles.  The app essentially helps folks meet new people, while refreshing memory about past relationships and alerting users to friends who are nearby.

More information is available below.

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Details on iPhone 4S launch in India, Russia and Taiwan


Unlocked iPhone 4S is priced out of reach of average folks in India.

Currently available in 44 countries, Apple’s iPhone 4S is patiently awaited in 26 additional territories as Apple makes good on its promise to have the device available in over 70 markets and on 100 carriers before end of the year. iPhone 4S has been well received in Japan and Singapore and pre-orders sold out in Hong Kong in 10 minutes, but reportedly not so much in South Korea… Read more

TomTom turn-by-turn gets optimized for iPad

iPad Screenshot 3

If you are the type that likes a 10″ display for driving navigation, TomTom just updated its $59.99 iOS turn-by-turn navigation app to be universal and optimized for the iPad. You’ll of course want to have a 3G version of the iPad/iPad 2 or be tethered through an iPhone that can share GPS.

TomTom also hints that a new version with some interesting features is on the way:

iPHONE 3G USERS: THIS IS THE LAST VERSION OF THE TOMTOM APP FOR iPHONE THAT WILL FULLY SUPPORT YOUR DEVICE. You will be able to download and use the next version of the TomTom App but new features will not be available to you.

More screenshots and full description below (thanks Caleb!):

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