Thursday, 13 December 2012

13/12/2012: Google Maps for iOS and a plethora of other app updates, Jelly Bean for Verizon Galaxy S3's and much more!

Apps get updates: Everything from GMaps for iOS to iPlayer for Android!

   Everyone loves apps! We use them all the time on our phones and tablets and for whatever reason today has been a hot day for apps and app updates in particular! There's a few major ones to go through so hold tight!

Google Maps for iOS!
Google iPhone app screenshots
Google maps for iOS supports 2D, 3D and Street View(Credit: BBC). 
   This will be the most popular one without doubt! It's the return of Google's maps to iOS! For whatever reason Apple gave Google's solution the boot with the introduction of iOS6. Apple's new maps weren't received very well; Australian police still advise you not to use them and even Tim Cook himself suggested people use other (Nokia (now called Here)) maps while Apple ironed out the teething problems!

   But alas we don't have that problem any more! Google's Maps are back with 2D, 3D and street view options in tow! There's also turn-by-turn navigation, although it lacks the indoor maps, the ability to download maps for offline viewing, and voice search which you get on the Android version of the app, although that shouldn't upset most people!
Via BBC.

Google Now for Android.
   Google Now received another update today, but at the moment we're not sure what this update brings to the organiser!

BBC iPlayer for Android.
   The BBC has today posted a blog post outlining their commitment to providing the best quality of iPlayer for the vast range of devices which run Android. They said it is this diversity which has caused them problems, but they're now working to making Android updates happen quickly and in a comparable time frame to their iOS updates!

   The BBC said their three mains goals are:

1. Improve the playback experience.
2. Achieve feature parity between iOS and Android.
3. Support a variety of screen sizes. 
 The guys finished off by outlining their plans for the future:
"Before Christmas we're going to enable iPlayer on Jellybean 4.2 and offer a richer tablet experience on devices such as the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD.
Thereafter--with Adobe and Google's help--we'll improve playback on devices like the Sony Xperia Arc. Into 2013 we'll prioritise the most popular Android devices so we can deliver the best experience for the biggest audience. As you can see this is just the beginning."

   Hopefully this will mean a much better tablet UI, which isn't too shoddy already, and then much better playback on other devices which have some issues at the moment!
Via BBC.

Google apps for Windows platforms.
   Google has offered a rather brutal condemnation of Microsoft's platforms in a recent interview from Clay Bavor, Google's Director of Product Management for Google Apps. He was speaking with V3 when he said 
“We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8. If that changes, we would invest there, of course."
   Ouch! Sorry Windows users!

Google Magazines comes to the UK.
   And finally, Magazines are available for your phone or tablet in the UK! You have the ability to purchase individual issues or a subscription and have it automatically delivered on publication day. If you're lucky you could also get “Interactive” versions of magazines which have "more in-depth features, videos, animations, and other content."
Via Slashgear.

In other news:

  • Verizon has announced that their Galaxy S3's will be getting an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean over the weekend! One thing to bear in mind is that this update will not give you Google Wallet, you'll have to be content ISIS Mobile payments!
    Via AndroidCommunity.

  • Sprint has formally offered $2.1 billion for the 48.3 percent of Clearwire that it currently doesn't own, Reuters says. This buyout is now subject to acceptance and regulatory approval and if both of them turn out positively then Sprint will be paying $2.90 per share which is slightly more than Clearwire's share price at the close of play yesterday! We'll have to wait until Softbank’s buyout of Sprint is confirmed before this one will take place!
    Via AndroidGuys.
  • ZTE has all but confirmed their Nubia Z5 devices, which has been much rumoured lately. It's been advertise on the CES website and it's been confirmed that it's a 5" smartphone.
 "Be the first to see the brand new Grand S, ZTE’s flagship handset in its high-end Grand Series of products. ZTE’s first FHD smartphone is also the world’s thinnest for 5 inch FHD smartphones. Made of ceramic and featuring traditional Chinese style, the Grand S is the perfect phone for the fashionable set." Via AndroidGuys
  • Vodafone have a new signal booster called the Sure Signal, it's designed for those of you who have a slightly dodgy signal!  The new device will cost you £100 and you'll need a minimum broadband speed of 1MB is required for stable use, although speeds will depend on how many people are using your internet at the same time!
    Via Slashgear.
  • The Korean Times thinks Samsung is getting ready to step the size of the next Galaxy note up again next year! It started at 5.3", not it's 5.5" and next year it's supposedly going to have a 6.3" screen!
    Via Slashgear.
  • EE has announced that another 17 towns will be lit up with 4G LTE. On this list there's Bradford, Chelmsford, Coventry, Doncaster, Dudley, Leicester, Luton, Newport, Reading, Rotherham, St Albans, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Watford, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. Are you about to get fast mobile internet near you?
  • Samsung has today announced that they've hired David Eun, formerly of AOL and Google fame, he has been tasked with leading Samsung's new push into media. We're not sure exactly what his role will be although Samsung said:
    “He will play a key role in developing a global media strategy and driving new business opportunities to take advantage of Samsung’s growing number of digital televisions and displays, mobile phones, tablets and other connected devices.” Via AllThingsD.

    And finally, Samsung's spicy advert of a couple sharing a video via Galaxy Beam has been given a Christmas make over! You can see the video in all it's filth below!



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