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Entries in google (21)


Google About To Make YouTube Clips Far More Accessible

From my time in Apple Retail, I knew that thanks to a long history of universal access features, Apple products have had a large following within the hearing impaired community. We've tried to find simple captioning solutions for our videos to help reach that audience. Well it looks like Google is about to do that heavy lifting for us and other YouTube channels.

The New York Times reports that Google plans to roll out captioning services, eventually to all channels. For now, it's a test consisting of just a few educational partners. It's been awhile since the company founded with the philosophy of "do no evil" has done something that might just be altruistic, but it looks like this might be one of those times. Good job.


Apple and Google : It's About To Get Messier

You know, not that long ago, the "do no evil" tag team of Google and Apple looked like a dream team. These days, of course, "it's complicated," in Facebook-speak.

The conflicting statements to the FCC regarding whether Apple outright rejected a Google Voice app, or is merely still considering it, appears to have been just the tip of the iceberg. Gizmodo reports that Apple quietly bought their own mapping company back in July. There are a few things that keep Apple playing (relatively) nice with Google: Search and mapping.

If Apple could replace Google Maps on the phone, and offer something better (a daunting task), then that would leave only search as the key reason these two should smile at each other in public. You don't suppose that data center in North Carolina has anything to do with search, do you? Or would we perhaps see, wait for it, an Apple/MSFT Bing partnership? Crazy ideas, I know. But who would've thought six years ago when Apple debuted Safari with the integrated Google search box, that we would be here today with both companies competing with mobile phones, browsers, internet apps, and potentially maps, search and even OS'es.

Mark your iCal/gCal: 2010 will be the year that we see a full-on clash of the titans.


Boot Camp Shows Apple's iPhone Defense is Bunk

While you were out enjoying the weekend (hopefully), we were here digesting Apple and AT&T's response to the FCC's query regarding the "rejection" of the Google Voice app.

If you haven't heard, Apple clarifies, saying the app hasn't been rejected, but rather:

The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, it appears to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail. Apple spent a lot of time and effort developing this distinct and innovative way to seamlessly deliver core functionality of the iPhone. For example, on an iPhone, the “Phone” icon that is always shown at the bottom of the Home Screen launches Apple’s mobile telephone application, providing access to Favorites, Recents, Contacts, a Keypad, and Visual Voicemail. The Google Voice application replaces Apple’s Visual Voicemail by routing calls through a separate Google Voice telephone number that stores any voicemail, preventing voicemail from being stored on the iPhone, i.e., disabling Apple’s Visual Voicemail. Similarly, SMS text messages are managed through the Google hub—replacing the iPhone’s text messaging feature.

Apple goes on to make more valid points, concerning the security of the transfer of the iPhone's contacts to/through Google. To be sure though, what you see above is their biggest concern with the App. The problem is, it just doesn't make any sense, especially when you consider one of Apple's other products.

Perhaps you're familiar with Boot Cam: Apple's utility allowing you to boot your mac into Windows if you install a copy on your Mac. The biggest concern with Google Voice is the manner in which it duplicates the functionality of the OS/apps Apple has placed on the phone, and yet Apple freely, and helpfully, includes the ability to completely duplicate the entire functionality of the OS on their computers.

Something just doesn't add up. Apple doesn't block Firefox from the Mac, because as much as they might want Safari to be the biggest browser, they know how foolish such a move would be. Why then would they reject an app for the iPhone that duplicates phone functions? Apple and AT&T both say AT&T has/had no say in this app rejection/further study. There's really no other rational reason for Apple to decline the app. If Apple truly believes they have created a superior dialing app/contact app, etc, then they shouldn't be bothered by an app that duplicates those functions. Let the consumer decide which is truly the better implementation.

And let's get away from this idea that the iPhone requires a special walled garden because it is a phone. The iPhone is not a phone, it's a lightweight netbook with 3G access. In the future this is how we will see every smartphone.

When you categorize it as a computer, this behavior can't be justified. Surely Apple wouldn't think that all the software for a computer should be approved by, and purchased through the maker of that computer exclusively. Then again, maybe they do...


Can Apple and Google Still Be Friends?

www.junkfoodclothing.comTime is reporting that Google CEO Eric Schmidt has resigned his position on the Apple Board of Directors. And on Friday, the FCC sent letters to Google, Apple, and AT&T trying to get to the bottom of why the Google Voice app had been rejected. Add to that the Android OS for mobile phones, and it looks like it might be time for these two companies to start seeing other people.

But are there even any other people to see? Let's say the two companies wanted to part company completely. Could it even be done? Imagine Safari with Bing search by default, or maps on the iPhone by MapQuest. Google might just hold the upper hand when it comes to having the name recognition and "coolness" factor of apps iPhone users would expect.

On the other hand, if Google's services were only available on Android phones, then Google would have their own anti-trust issues to worry about.

While the Google Voice app rejection remains a mystery, (and a story we didn't cover, with the belief it would be quickly resolved) the bigger mystery is how can two companies that rely on each other so heavily delicately dance between collusion, alienation of other partners, and all-out phone wars?


Google's Chrome OS: Good For Apple

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Google is working on a web-based operating system! Ahh! The news spread like wildfire, landing on the home page of CNN, no less (hey, Michael Jackson could only be on there so long). Some tech blogs pointed out the forthcoming OS will run on x86 hardware, be it Windows or Mac (it is it's own OS, after all) but the early installations will be on netbooks.

Frankly, this could prove to be a blessing for Apple. Don't forget, not only does Apple not compete within this sector, they don't make the OS available for other hardware suppliers. Who does? Microsoft, of course. If Chrome is successful, Microsoft will have to cloud-ify Windows more and more to stay dominant in that space. The further Chrome leads Microsoft into the cloud, the more pronounced the differences will be between OS X and future Windows products. After all, it's the tight integration of apps like iMovie, iTunes, etc, (as well as stability) that sets OS X apart. No cloud app in the near future will allow for the video editing power of iMovie, or meet the needs of professional photographers like Photoshop. 

So for now, we say bring on the Chrome OS, and Microsoft, have fun chasing your own tail keeping up with Google. We'll be sitting over here with a tightly integrated hardware/software solution that doesn't require an internet connection to get pro work done.