Google I/O 2012 Liveblog

The 2012 Google I/O Developers Conference starts today at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco, Calif., with events continuing until June 29 at 4:30 p.m. PST.

For those interested in what the folks at Mountain View are announcing this morning, check out 9to5Google. Seth Weintraub is live-blogging from the event now:

Here are a few vids for some of the key announcements:

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Facebook’s iOS App Center going live tonight?

Update: Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch it has been “testing it with a small percentage of users” since it launched last month, but the social network has “no further details to announce at this time.”

The image above is a screenshot just posted by TechCrunch. A reader who claims to be seeing the Facebook App Center already live in the iOS app sent it. As noted in the report, Facebook has an “app-themed” event in San Francisco tonight where we could see more of the App Center. The company announced the new HTML5-based App Center last month and said the iOS and Android Facebook apps would have access to the app marketplace in the coming weeks.

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WSJ chronicles Apple move away from Google Maps and the growing rivalry between the companies

Most of you know what is coming in iOS 6 Maps. However, in a long post this evening, which unfortunately does not include much that we haven’t seen or heard, the Wall Street Journal chronicles the last five years that have saw Google and Apple going from best of corporate friends by sharing board members and agreeing to no-poach agreements to sworn enemies spending a great deal of time disparaging each other in and out of courts. The latest breakup in the relationship, and probably the biggest holdout, is Maps. Apple has used Google’s Maps since the launch of the iPhone in 2007 when Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt went on stage to introduce the new software (above).

Later this year, Apple is planning to oust Google Maps as the preloaded, default maps app from the iPhone and iPad and release a new mapping app that runs Apple’s own technology, according to current and former Apple employees. Apple could preview the new software, which will be part of its next mobile-operating system, as soon as next week at its annual developer conference in San Francisco, one person familiar with the plans says. Apple plans to encourage app developers to embed its maps inside their applications like social-networking and search services. Technology blog 9to5Mac earlier reported that Apple will launch its own maps app in its next mobile-operating system.

Apple purchased Placebase, C3 Technologies, and Poly9 over the past three years to ramp up its mapping capabilities faster. In a rare description of something we have not heard, a use case is explained for the new calendar-integrated mapping system:

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Which iPhone carrier has the fastest network in your area? AT&T, Verizon, & Sprint get accurate comparison by city

The argument over which carrier has the fastest network speed in any given location in the United States is still up for debate. Putting network speed comparisons aside, which are often not an accurate representation of speeds, you will receive in your specific area, a new app from startup SwayMarkets aims to provide a more realistic comparison.

The app, CarrierCompare, allows users to test the network speed of their current carrier against the two other major iPhone providers. CNNMoney went hands-on when the app released last month and just posted the user data it obtained that compares major iPhone carriers in multiple locations.

Analyzing user-generated data from Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, these were the results:

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Tim Cook, Samsung CEO to begin to hash out patent settlement on May 21

Earlier this month, we reported Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and Samsung’s CEO Gee-Sung Choi agreed to an Alternative Dispute Resolution with Judge Lucy Koh in a California district court. The agreement, described as “semi voluntary” by media covering the case, would see the two chief’s and their legal counsels meet within 90 days for court-moderated, patent-related settlement talks. According to a new report from Foss Patents, Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero, who is overseeing the settlement talks, has now scheduled the meeting for May 21-22:

The meetings will take place in a San Francisco courthouse, while the litigation itself is before the San Jose division of the court… one of the things Magistrate Judge Spero wants the parties to do is to provide a settlement statement until May 9 including, among other things, “a candid evaluation of the parties’ likelihood of prevailing on the claims and defenses”

Not surprisingly, the mediation and statements submitted by both companies throughout the process will apparently remain confidential. In the report, while noting pending disputes between the two companies exist in as many as 10 countries, Foss Patents broke down how the court’s decisions could impact up to 31 countries:
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WWDC 2012 tickets sell out in under two hours

Apple announced this morning that its 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference is set to take place June 11 at the Moscone Convention Center, but the event’s $1600 tickets are now listed as sold out within two hours of going live. In 2010, it took roughly a week for tickets to sell out, and last year it took about half a day. Tickets were limited to one per person, or five per organization, and are non-transferable and non-refundable.

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