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.
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.
If we told you that Android was the number one mobile OS worldwide, you shouldn't really be surprised by this point. By most metrics, the little green guy has overtaken the competition in just about every area, including sales, actual userbase, and ad impressions, as demonstrated here by Millenial Media's report. There are a couple surprises in the report, though.
For starters, while the iPad being the top ranked tablet is no surprise, the Galaxy Tab beating out the Kindle Fire is.
IDC's report for the first quarter of 2012 indicates that Google's Android continues to grow its market share to 59%, while Apple's iOS lags in second at 23%. Unsurprisingly Samsung has given the biggest boost to Android, accounting for a whopping 45.4% of all Android smartphone shipments worldwide.
In total 152.3 million smartphones were shipped in the first quarter of 2012, of which 89.9 million were Android-based smartphones (59%), 35.1 million were iOS devices (23%), 10.4 million were Symbian-based phones (6.8)%, followed by BlackBerry, Linux, and Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile devices.
You know that guy "sources"? BGR does. The tech blog has heard from Sources that Microsoft is working on a tablet-optimized version of the Office suite, which is expected to land in November of this year. According to BGR, their source actually saw the app working on an iPad, and insisted it looked nearly identical to a leaked shot that Microsoft has since disavowed.
To be clear, Microsoft has said that the above image is fake.
We've been waiting on turntable.fm to land on Android for a while now. Well, it's finally here! The music sharing service has been available for a little over a year on desktop machines. The concept is simple: DJs join a room and share songs with an audience that can then vote on whether a song is Awesome or Lame. It's a great concept for sharing music.
The only thing that could make it better is if you could listen to (or DJ!) a room while away from your computer.
Yet another perk to the Galaxy S III (like we needed more), Flipboard, a popular iOS app for aggregating and reading news feeds, is going to be an SGSIII exclusive for a short period, before landing on the Play Store. Just like the iOS reader, you can integrate various news feeds, as well as feeds from your social networks, and control them all with a gesture-based interface.
No word yet on how long Samsung will have the exclusive on this app.
If you've never heard of Mika Mobile, that's not a huge surprise - they're a small, but fairly successful mobile game developer that focuses primarily on iOS. Their number one title (in terms of recent sales) is Zombieville USA 2, which has over 68,000 ratings on the App Store, and the most recent version of the game has averaged 5 stars. So we're clear, that's no small feat.
Their first game, Zombieville USA, was released for Android last July.
Adobe has unveiled Shadow, a new way for front-end web developers that aims to make designing and testing your website layouts on multiple screen sizes an absolute breeze. Shadow is actually a collection of tools consisting of:
Once you install the two desktop components on your computer and the mobile apps on all your development devices, you simply pair each one via a simple pin into a single network of sorts, and voila - say hello to synchronized browsing and refreshing in Chrome.
If you developed a game using the Unity 3D engine and have been looking to port the title to Android or iOS, we have good news. The basic mobile add-ons for the Unity3D, normally $400 each, are now free until April 8th.
This will allow users of the Unity 3D engine to easily port their game to Android and/or iOS with little effort, as opposed to spending months writing all new code.