Ever since Google Chrome was released on iOS devices, I’ve been playing with it, with the hope of making it the default browser on my 4S and new iPad, principally because it’s the default browser on both my Macs and does the job well. The release for iOS devices was welcome addition to the browsers that are available on the iOS App Store.
There is one problem, however, and it isn’t down to Google. The fact that Chrome on iOS devices isn’t quite as fast as Safari, and will never be, isn’t actually that much of a problem because it isn’t noticeable on a daily basis. Essentially, the key issue comes down to the fact that there is no way to make Chrome the default browser on an iOS device, simply because Apple does not allow that to happen. You can over-interpret their reasons why, moving from exotic selections such as Apple maintaining full control over the user experience on the web, to overlooking the fact that users might want to utilize another browser and ‘forgetting’ to put this type of toggle into the iOS software.
While not the launch environment that Google was perhaps looking for, a new version of the Google Chrome Web Browser bounded its way onto the App Store yesterday. The browser, available free of charge, gives yet another alternative to the mobile Safari browser that is included on iOS devices by default. The Chrome browser has a few nifty features, such as the ability to browse the web privately, or ‘incognito’, as well as bookmark and tab syncing between the iOS version and the desktop version for each user.
Posted in News
Tagged App, Google, Mac, OSX
Since the launch of Google Drive this week, many people have elected to compare the service that Google offers to that of Dropbox. This comparison can be made in the context of storage space, pricing, ease of use and functionality. Certainly the competitiveness between the two service is evident and, even upon launch, Google is clearly making a strong case for Apple users electing to use them as their primary cloud storage service (iCloud not withstanding). However, another issue has been particularly evident over discussion forums and opinion articles. The issue of trust.
I’ve seen, and heard, many people have expressed the opinion that they don’t want to Google to store their personal data. That they would rather trust Dropbox over Google. That they aren’t sure if they can trust Google. Much of this perception could simply be attributed to image. Dropbox does just one thing and it is does it with excellence. Google, on the other hand, does so many things that it’s easy to lose count. Some are fantastic, some not so much, but there is a lot of crossover between services. But where does the unease with Google holding personal data stem from?
Google has today launched a new addition to its online storage line-up with the release of Google Drive, a free service for cloud file storage and sharing. The new service offers users 5GB of online storage for free and is integrated with other Google services such as GMail, Chrome OS and Google Docs.
The new service is essentially an immediate challenger to services like Dropbox and iCloud and is clearly designed to take them on by offering substantially more storage upon initial sign up. In addition, upgraded storage options, maxing out at 16GB, are also competitively priced when compared to Dropbox. However, there are no iOS apps covering Google Drive at the current time, although Google suggests that they are coming soon on the Google Blog.
Google has taken the bull by the horns and beaten Apple’s rumored ‘iCloud’ music locker to the market. The search giant has today announced the launch of a new ‘Music Beta’ service which will allow users to store up 20,000 music tracks in an online storage area and download and stream the content at will from any device with network access.
The new service is a direct competitor to the highly anticipated service which Apple is expected to announce at some point in the coming months, although no official confirmation of its existence or release date has been issued. ‘Music Beta’ also competes with Amazon’s Cloud Player service which was recently launched without full agreement from music labels. However, the free service is currently only open through an invitation based system for users based in the USA.
Posted in News
Tagged Google, iTunes
According to a new job advertisement placed on their website, Apple is looking to hire a new expert to ‘radically improve’ the way that people interact with maps and location services on their iOS devices. The advertisement, spotted by 9to5Mac, indicates that Apple is looking to improve the Maps app on the iPhone and iPad, although the advert is suffiently vague enough to avoid any indications of how they might do this.
The iOS Maps app is based on Google Maps technology. It is unlikely that Apple is going to move away from this given that Google already has such comprehensive coverage in place. What is likely, however, is that Apple are looking for new ways to improve the interaction with the application and this, one could speculate, could point very strongly towards more augented reality features in the app.
The Apple reading application, iBooks, which was released as part of iOS 4 for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch in April 2010, is one of the key apps that Apple has issued on their own mobile devices. While the iBooks app is certainly up against stiff competition in the form of the Amazon Kindle app, it has managed to gain a good proportion of dedicated users through its ease of use and integration with Safari and Mail.
While Mac users have previously relied upon other third party ebook applications to manage and read their ebook collections, the recent launch of the Mac App Store was expected to bring with it a native ebook reader from Apple, perhaps in the form of an iBooks app for Mac. But no such app has yet appeared and the recent appearance of the Amazon Kindle app on the Mac App Store has left some users wondering when Apple will be releasing their own ebook reader.
Google has updated their useful Google Voice app to include support for the iPad and iPod Touch, together with fixing bugs and stability issues on the iPhone. The question that many people will ask first off is “Can I use Google Voice to make telephone calls with my iPad” and the answer you have all been waiting for is “nope”.
You can however, use the new Click2Call function whereby you can use your iPad as a remote control to dial a number from a telephonic device should you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to press a button on said telephonic device. Perhaps if you were sitting in the bath with your iPad, Continue reading
The news that the official Google Voice App for iPhone has finally been approved and is available on the App Store was very interesting indeed. So what does it actually mean? Have Apple fundamentally changed policies on type of apps allowed on the App Store or does it indicate something more significant?
The Google Voice app had been waiting in limbo for over a year, while FCC investigations, rebuttals and cries of foul play raged on in the real world. It was suggested that Apple was perhaps slow-playing the review process because AT&T was putting pressure on them not to approve it. While this was never established, the questions are; why has the app taken so long to approve and why has it available now?
The concept of reinventing e-mail is a complicated affair, as evidenced by the embattled Google Wave initiative. However, Google had GMail to fall back upon; a solid, user friendly and high storage program with limitless potential. But where is the Apple equivalent? Doesn’t it feel like something is missing here?
In terms of e-mail, Apple unfortunately offers very little. To take advantage of Apple’s e-mail services you have to sign up for the MobileMe program which, while including a host of other things, will set you back $99 for the year (or $53 if you go through Amazon). Given that Google will offer over 7GB of e-mail storage free of charge (compared to Apple’s 20GB in combination with iDisk), the Apple option feels a little underwhelming. Continue reading