Google Maps app for iOS hits version 2.0, adds slew of new features

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 17th, 2013, 07:44
Category: iOS, News, Software

Google-Maps-Logo

The new version tends to offer something cool.

Per 9to5Mac, Google began rolling out version 2.0 of Google Maps for iOS on Wednesday. Most notably, the new application includes support for the large touch screens found on the iPad and iPad mini.

Additionally, like with the recent update to the Android version, enhanced navigation with incident reports and live traffic updates are included.

Also new is an “Explore” function to browse popular places such as restaurants, shopping, playing, and sleeping. This feature is integrated with Zagat ratings and deals via Google Offers.

The 2.0 update also includes indoor mapping functionality for malls, transit stations, and airports, according to Google. The new update has begun rolling out to some countries in Asia, but is not yet available in the United States. In fact, Google Maps is currently unavailable to download in the App Store for many countries until this update is released.

Google Maps ia available for free and requires iOS 6.0 or later to install and run.

Mid-2013 Haswell-based MacBook Air owners cite volume fluctuation issue

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Date: Monday, July 15th, 2013, 08:51
Category: Hardware, MacBook Air, News, Software

This is why they invented firmware updates…

Per Macworld UK, a number of MacBook Air owners have taken to Apple’s Support Community forums to express concern over unexpected, and unwanted, changes in volume when viewing video content.

According to numerous posts, the issue presents itself in both first-party and third-party applications, such as QuickTime and Google’s Chrome. It is unclear whether the issue extends into other areas of OS X, though many of the replies to the thread started on June 21 pertain to watching videos.

A trigger or cause has yet to be discovered, though some users have found third-party volume control and enhancement apps like Boom can serve as a temporary fix while Apple works to resolve the problem.

Apple recently refreshed its MacBook Air lineup in June, concentrating on a significant boost to battery life instead of focusing on performance. With the new Airs, Apple also introduced the first Macs to boast 802.11ac “Gigabit Wi-Fi,” a next-generation wireless protocol that promises speeds up to 1300Mbps with the also new AirPort Express.

Previous to Friday’s news, both MacBook Air models were found to be running 802.11ac at speeds far less than advertised. It is thought that OS X is to blame for the artificial speed cap, but Apple has yet to acknowledge the issue and it remains unresolved.

If you’ve seen this issue with your own mid-2013 MacBook Air, please let us know in the comments.

Apple, Google may be improving relations following Jobs’ passing

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 12th, 2013, 07:13
Category: News

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It’s funny how quickly things can change in the world of tech. One second, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is on stage with Steve Jobs during the iPhone introduction, and the next, Jobs is threatening to destroy Android and go “thermonuclear” against Google for “slavishly copying” the look and feel of Apple’s crown jewel — iOS.

You might also recall that Jobs, during an Apple town hall meeting in 2010, didn’t mince words when asked a question about Google and, in return, replied with the following comment:

“We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business. Make no mistake: they want to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them [...] This don’t be evil mantra? It’s bullshit.”

All that said, it hardly comes as a surprise that Apple over the past few years has removed every Google property from the iOS home screen. You may have also noticed that Bing is now the search engine that powers Siri’s web search results in iOS 7.

Suffice it to say, Google and Apple are full-on competitors and have been for quite some time. Indeed, it almost seems like eons ago when Schmidt actually held a seat on Apple’s board of directors.

But the vitriol between the two companies, as evidenced by Jobs’ statements above, appears to have died down a bit — at least if you’re inclined to believe Schmidt.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday at the Allen and Co media conference, Schmidt said that relations between Apple and Google have improved and that the two companies are having “lots and lots of meetings.”

Reuters reports:

He noted that Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora, who joined him at the press briefing, was leading many of the discussions. The two companies are in “constant business discussions on a long list of issues,” Schmidt said.

That’s all well and good if it’s in fact true, but it’s easy to be skeptical when Google and Schmidt have always played it coy when it comes to publicly characterizing their relationship with Apple.

Google Earth updated to 7.1.1.1871

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Date: Wednesday, July 10th, 2013, 06:12
Category: News, Software

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Late Monday, software giant Google released version 7.1.1.1871 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 45 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- We have included another fix for the unified_cache_leveldb_leveldb2 directory filling beyond specified cache limits for some Windows and Macintosh users.

- Imagery no longer stays blurry upon zooming in when the cache is full.

- Font and tilt settings now stick between sessions.

- Balloon opens now display when recording tours.

- We have included UI improvements to Flight Simulator.

- When printing, the scale legend now displays correct distances.

- Collada models now display with uncorrupted textures.

- Polygons and image overlays now display correctly across the Antimeridian.

- We fixed an issue with certain GPU – driver combinations whereby no imagery displayed in the client.

- The time slider in Sun and Historical Imagery features now displays the correct Daylight Savings time.

- Performance and stability improvements.

Google Earth 7.1.1.1871 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, let us know in the comments.

Google Earth updated to 7.1.1 for iOS, Android

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 27th, 2013, 06:33
Category: iOS, News, Software

google-earth-icon

This could come in handy.

Per Google Lat Long, Google has just released version 7.1.1 of Google Earth for Android and iOS.

The new version, a 29 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Google Street View.

- Improved directions and search.

- Improved user interface.

Google Earth 7.1.1 requires an iOS device running iOS 4.3 or later to install and run and can be snagged via the iTunes Store.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer about it, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 27.0.1453.116

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 19th, 2013, 05:21
Category: News, Software

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Never doubt a good update.

On Tuesday, Google released version 27.0.1453.116 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 50.4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- [249335] Medium CVE-2013-2866: Clickjacking in the Flash plug-in.

This build also has fixes to the following issues:
- Multiple flash movies on one page not playing [Issue: 243290].

- Arc rendering bug in canvas [Issue: 243996].

- Select box with Multiple option fires Onchange event on scroll [Issue: 244406].

Google Chrome 27.0.1453.116 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Google buys out Waze, leaves company as independent entity for time being

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 12th, 2013, 07:57
Category: iOS, News, Software

waze_logo

It had to happen sometime.

But at least it’s under interesting circumstances.

Per The Mac Observer, Google has put an end to the rumors that it has been negotiating to buy Waze with the announcement that it has, in fact, signed a deal with the crowdsourced mapping and navigation company. Google Vice President of Geo Brian McClendon said Waze will remain an independent company for now, and its development team won’t be leaving Israel.

Mr. McClendon stated the following:

“The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now. We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities.

We’ll also work closely with the vibrant Waze community, who are the DNA of this app, to ensure they have what’s needed to grow and prosper.”

Waze is a popular turn-by-turn navigation app for the iPhone that improves accuracy and gathers realtime traffic data from its users. The deal will give Google access to the data Waze is collecting and will make it easier for the two companies to collaborate on new features.

Google is promising that even though there will be some feature sharing between its own maps product and Waze, users won’t be hit with any big surprises. The Waze team backed that up, saying, “Nothing practical will change here at Waze. We will maintain our community, brand, service and organization – the community hierarchy, responsibilities and processes will remain the same.”

The reason behind the deal, according to Waze, was because the company wasn’t interested in going public. They chose to strike a deal with Google because of the promise to be able to continue operating as an independent company.

Rumors surfaced earlier this year that Facebook and Google were both negotiating to buy Waze in deals expected to top US$1 billion. Facebook, as well as Apple, already had deals in place with Waze; Facebook for social sharing of locations, and Apple for navigation and location data for its own Maps app. Since Waze gets to continue operating as an independent company, it looks like those deals won’t be changing, although that could change some time in the future.

That being said, Waze remains a killer app available for free on the App Store, requires iOS 4.3 or later to install and run and becomes useful very quickly.

Take a gander and we’ll have additional details as they become available.

Apple, Sony reach agreement, all three major music labels signed of for anticipated WWDC iRadio launch

Posted by:
Date: Friday, June 7th, 2013, 07:21
Category: News, Software

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Give them time at the negotiation table and they will come.

Per AppleInsider and AllThingsD, Sony Music, the last big kahuna they were waiting for, has reportedly signed a deal with Apple for its anticipated “iRadio” streaming music service, marking the last of the three major music labels to reach an agreement.

The story cites a source familiar with negotiations between the two companies, the agreement lending credence to the rumor that Apple is gearing up to unveil its rumored “iRadio” service at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

Details of the deal come just days after Apple was also said to have successfully courted Warner Music Group. Previously, Apple had already agreed to terms with Universal Music Group, rounding out the big three labels.

For months, reports have claimed that stalled negotiations with Sony in particular have been holding up Apple’s debut of “iRadio.” Specifically, it was said that a song skipping feature was a major stumbling block for the record label.

With Sony now on board, Apple is expected to announced “iRadio” at its WWDC keynote next Monday. The anticipated service is expected to be a direct competitor to established streaming music services like Pandora.

Apple is also said to be revising its iAd network to run audio advertisements as part of the service. Ad support is expected allow users to stream content from “iRadio” for free when it launches.

Google also recently stepped into the streaming Internet radio market with All Access, which launched in May. The search company’s subscription music service is expected to debut on iOS devices in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Google Chrome updated to 27.0.1453.110

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 5th, 2013, 06:42
Category: News, Software

google-chrome-logo

It was updated again.

And that’s not a bad thing.

On Wednesday, Google released version 27.0.1453.110 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 50.4 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- Medium CVE-2013-2855: Memory corruption in dev tools API.

- High CVE-2013-2856: Use-after-free in input handling.

- High CVE-2013-2857: Use-after-free in image handling.

- High CVE-2013-2858: Use-after-free in HTML5 Audio.

- High CVE-2013-2859: Cross-origin namespace pollution.

- High CVE-2013-2860: Use-after-free with workers accessing database APIs.

- High CVE-2013-2861: Use-after-free with SVG.

- High CVE-2013-2862: Memory corruption in Skia GPU handling.

- Critical CVE-2013-2863: Memory corruption in SSL socket handling.

- High CVE-2013-2864: Bad free in PDF viewer.

- High CVE-2013-2865: Various fixes from internal audits, fuzzing and other initiatives.

Google Chrome 27.0.1453.110 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Rumor: iOS 7 to include long-awaited AirDrop file sharing feature

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 3rd, 2013, 06:57
Category: iOS, Rumor, Software

Granted, no one has ANY REAL IDEA as to what iOS 7′s interface will look like, but there’s some cool new and improved features rumored to be coming down the pipe.

Per 9to5Mac, Apple is currently testing versions of iOS 7 internally that include the AirDrop WiFi-direct file sharing tool from the Mac, according to sources close to the story.

Like the rumored Flickr and Vimeo integration that’s been making the rounds, it is very simple for Apple to remove any single feature from the new operating system ahead of the mid-June unveiling.

Additionally, Apple has scrapped AirDrop late in software development from iOS before. Last year, we reported that Apple was developing an AirDrop tool to take advantage of the new WiFi hardware inside of Apple’s latest iOS devices. Because Apple has postponed the feature before, we believe it is possible that the feature could be pushed back again…

Sources say that the AirDrop functionality is currently integrated into the standard iOS share menu. AirDrop will work between two iOS devices and potentially between an iOS device and a Mac. The feature will make it easier than ever to transfer, for example, a photograph or document from one person’s iPhone to another person’s iPad.

While iCloud synchronization works well for sharing photos and documents between two iOS devices owned by the same person, the AirDrop feature will allow seamless individual file exchanges between iOS devices belonging to different people. Apple launched this functionality between Mac computers in 2011 with OS X Lion.

Notably, this potential addition will increase feature parity between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. Android has included peer-to-peer file sharing for multiple releases of the software, but the implementation can be confusing due to fragmentation. For example, Samsung has its own unique fork of peer-to-peer file sharing while Google’s stock Android builds include its own implementation. AirDrop for iOS will be seamless in that it will work the same way on all of Apple’s supported products.

Finally, rumors have also pointed towards improved in-car-integration for Maps and Siri – something I think most iOS users can appreciate.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.