Today's Google Earth announcement brought a couple of nice new features to the Google Maps suite. In addition to moving offline maps out of Labs, the company also pre-empted rumors of Apple-branded 3D map software with a demo of some stellar 3D maps that Google has been creating with high-tech camera planes. Yes, Google now has camera planes.
The company is using some sophisticated mapping software and planes outfitted with a bevy of camera sensors to create photo-realistic 3D maps of the entire terrain of a metropolitan area.
Here in the United States, we've all been witness to an historic "second" this week (as opposed to a first) in the unified launch of the Galaxy S III, untainted by carrier modification, on all four of the major US wireless providers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile).
Now, you'll probably say "but David, the Galaxy S III is the first smartphone to launch as the same model on allfour major carriers!" and you'd be right.
Google announced today that it will be holding a special event on Wednesday, June 6th, regarding the future of Google Maps. Anyone who knows Google knows that these products are huge for the company, ranking right up there with Gmail and Android. More importantly, however, Google Maps is very important to Google's largest competitor: Apple. Which is why, when Google announces an event for one of its last major strongholds on iOS mere days before Apple's WWDC, we take notice.
Official word from HTC on the customs review of its smartphones is that the process has been completed (confirmed for the EVO 4G LTE, AT&T One X). The review was the result of an Apple lawsuit at the ITC for patenting infringement, which culminated in the issuance of an exclusion order for all HTC smartphones entering the US. The statement, below:
“HTC has completed the review process with US Customs and HTC devices have been released, as they are in compliance with the ITC’s ruling.
Google I/O is coming and it's time to get excited! It's like Christmas in June! It will be here in just a few short agonizing weeks - and we need to prepare. There is background information you need to know, rumors you should have in mind, and past announcements and acquisitions that need to be remembered. Google always leaves little news breadcrumbs for those that pay attention, and I pay attention.
The last few years have been really exciting. Heck, the whole last decade. The explosive proliferation of broadband brought about a whole new world of possibilities for mankind, and the mobile revolution, even moreso. From about 2007 to the present, we watched as Apple and Google, as well as a host of phone manufacturers, turned the world upside down by putting powerful, location-aware, internet-connected, touchscreen mini-computers in the hands of everyday consumers for a price that is relatively affordable.
Today, Google announced that its acquisition of Motorola Mobility had officially closed. Make no mistake, this merger is something of a shotgun arrangement - and the offspring conceived out of wedlock is Android. So, how did we get here, two and a half years after the first DROID?
A Brief History Of Motorola And Android
Motorola was once Google's model manufacturer partner. At least in the US, it produced what was the most popular "first generation" Android smartphone, the original Motorola DROID.
Update: We've received an official statement from an HTC spokesperson on the situation with US Customs, and it basically confirms what was said to the Taiwanese stock exchange. Here it is:
“Each imported HTC model must be reviewed by Customs and will be released once Customs officials have completed the inspection. Some models have gone through inspection and been released to our carrier customers. We don't have the status of each specific device model at this time, but we are working closely with Customs.
In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, it seems that at least one customer ordering an HTC Amaze 4G from T-Mobile.com has been alerted that shipments of the device have been delayed "due to an unforeseen issue with receiving the product from the manufacturer." It looks like T-Mobile is sending out emails to customers informing them that they have no "estimate as to when the product will be available," and suggesting that customers explore other options in the meantime.