Google’s long-awaited eBookstore is now live in the US and this billion dollar industry has just got a little more crowded. With 3 million titles available from Google’s online store, users can now download from an enormous library of ebooks to their Google account, which can then be synced and read on any web browser, mobile devices and eBook readers, including the Nook and Sony Reader. To make the experience more seamless on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, the Google Books app is also now available on the App Store.
While the Google Books app isn’t as fully featured as eReaders like Stanza, it still has some basic options for font, search and night-reading mode. Best of all though is the automatic page position syncing function across all devices, meaning that no matter whether you’re reading your ebook via a laptop or iDevice, you won’t have to worry about finding the last page where you left off. Sadly, the Google’s eBookstore is only available in the US, so international users will have to wait a bit before the promising service is introduced elsewhere. Check out the video demo and more info after the break.
Google, Google Books, 1.8 MB – Free
Love using Google Docs, but hate the fact that you can’t edit your word documents or spreadsheets on the iPhone or iPad? Well, that’s going to change in the coming days as Google has announced today that users will very soon be able to edit their precious docs while on the go. For those of you who have yet to use the popular Google Docs service, think of it as Microsoft Office on the web. Using your Google account, you can create text documents and fully functionally spreadsheets online, all without having to worry about saving them on a local hard drive. You can also share these docs with friends and colleagues and even allow others to edit them (collaborate).
According to Google, mobile editing will be rolled out in the next few days and it’ll be available on Android with Froyo (version 2.2) and iOS Devices (v3.0+) , including the iPad. Check out the video demo after the gap.
Several months after 3rd party Google Voice apps started appearing on the App Store (namely GV Mobile +), Google has now released their own official Google Voice app for the iPhone. With it, users can enjoy all major Google Voice features on their iPhones, including:
- Cheap rates for international calls
- Free text messaging to U.S. numbers
- Voicemail transcription
- Display your Google Voice number as caller ID when making calls
The app also supports push notifications, where it’ll instantly send you alerts whenever a new voicemail or text message is received in your account. If you’re already a user of the Google Voice service (currently only available in the US), be sure to take this official (Free) app for a spin.
Google, Google Voice, 3.1 MB – Free
Earlier last month, Google brought their new visual search tool Google Goggles to the App Store. Now, they have unleashed Google Instant on iOS’ mobile safari. For those of you who rely heavily on Google’s search engine, it’s likely you’ve already used this neat feature. Basically, results will appear as you type out your queries. Here’s how it works:
In September we announced that we were working to bring Google Instant to mobile, and today we’re making a beta version available to most iPhone and Android devices in the U.S. To try it out, go to google.com in your phone’s browser and tap the Google Instant “Turn on” link beneath the search box (if you don’t see the “Turn on” link, try waiting a moment and then refresh the page).
Like the desktop version of Google Instant, when you type on your mobile device you’ll see predictions of what you might be searching for. If you type [anse], for example, you should see [ansel adams] along with other predictions. Results for the first prediction appear automatically, and tapping on the other predictions will display those results. Pressing the enter key or the search button skips the predictions and will display results for exactly what you’ve typed.
Once you do start using Google Instant, it just feels natural and you wonder why they didn’t think of this sooner. So if you want to check it out on your iDevice, be sure your Instant (beta) is turned “On” on your mobile browser.
Google has just updated their Google Mobile App with Google Goggles, a visual search tool that allows users to search the web by simply taking pictures of the world around them. Say you’re on holidays and spot a landmark that’s familiar to you, but you can’t recall what it’s called. Just take out your iPhone (and iPod 4G) and snap a picture of the structure and let Google dish out more details. Or you’re at the bookstore and want to know more about the author George Pelecanos. Yep, you guessed it – take a picture of the cover and let Google do the rest.
If you haven’t downloaded the Google Mobile app yet, be sure to grab it and see for yourself how cool and potentially useful this new feature can be. Demo video of the app in action after the gap.
Update: Apparently, Google Goggles does not currently work on an iPod 4G, as it requires the auto-focus function found on the iPhone 4′s camera (the one on iPod Touch 4G uses fixed focus). Thanks for the tip Paul.
Google Mobile, Google Mobile App, 8.6 MB – Free
The Android Marketplace has real success stories such as Aaron La’s Advanced Task Manager; its open slant gives opportunity to many developers who can’t afford a Mac to join a huge market place. Every day, Android grows, and barring the all-out success of Windows Phone 7, it is destined to remain at the top, at least as market share leader. But, all is not well.
According to the Reg, Google’s hands-off approach allows its Marketplace to drown in oceans of porn just as the App Store was chocked by useless apps (fart and flashlight) in its early days. There is another negative effect: piracy. Despite the fact that the average selling price for Android apps is less than their iPhone, developers are strangled by app pilfering. The net result is that 49% of Android developers are making less than they expected and only 27% making more than they expected. Again, there is no question that Android is the market leader. For developers, it is an attractive platform. But it isn’t the heaven and spice that disgruntled iPhone developers may think it is. Google needs to adapt to keep its most important customer, the developer, happy. Happy, loaded developers make great apps. Currently iPhone Development, while a lot more controlled, has a friendlier, more lucrative face; it also tends to sport much more high quality apps.
Get over it Fanbois, you can’t separate your favourite product from the pile of others. Security this, security that, market penetration, user base – irrelevant to proving which product is ‘better’. Want to talk about app numbers? About OEM growth? Go ahead. But no matter how you crack it, you’ll only prove one point: that you are capable of only proving one-sided points.
In this article, I will aimlessly rail on the sort of clueless fanbois blogger we see around the net.
With year-end holidays approaching, it is high time Apple’s competitors to finally hit the copy button. ViewSonic have a nice looking, ‘seen it before’ tablet coming… sometime soon. It will sport Android (or Windows), expandable memory, dual cameras and a USB port. In other words, it is the same exact same thing you’ll get from LG, HP, from Dell, from Toshiba, and myriad other manufacturers. Expect this copy-cat solution to be fun for a good old-fashioned Apple haters, but worthless on its own merits.
Last week, Hitler’s iPhone 4 badmouthing was the rage. This week, it is just cute. Motorola, you know, the Google Nexus-shafted maker of the Droid, has a new phone coming out. It looms LARGE (and I do mean large). Its 4,3 inch screen is big enough to encourage b-boyism everywhere; its Adobe Flash compatibility should be enough to wet the panties of porn-fans everywhere – but that’s not all. Sure, it’s got a noise-friendly 8MP camera and it is black. The real killer, however, is its two antennas; these bunny ears alone will make dead-palming their handset nigh on impossible.
Thanks El Reg
Just to prove that TouchMyApps isn’t all Apple fanboi, I thought I’d pay homage to the creative competition out there. So many companies have been given glorious opportunity to flex their creative muscles thanks to Google’s open-source Android. The funds they save by going Google allows them to dedicate their resources to create unique and innovative designs.
Apple lovers may think the iPad is the 2nd coming, but the truth is, that it’s just another silicon device. Strapped with every Google fan’s favourite Android 1.6, Jesus only knows the ePad 7′s sky, or its limits! Hell, with Android’s recent Froyoing around, even Apple’s smug mountain of doom is heating up.
Specs after the gap: