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We reported yesterday that Google would be coming out with Street View for it's mobile web-based Maps application. There was some debate as to whether or not it would be today that we saw the fruit of Google's labor, and it turns out that iOS6 users don't have to wait any longer to get access to one of the most popular Google Maps features.
While Street View is now available on iOS 6, the system is a bit laggy due to it being web-based. That said, it is still the only way to see a destination before arriving there. I'm sure most users will be overjoyed at getting the feature back. It will at least work as a stop-gap measure until Google releases a native Maps app for iOS.
While they haven't said they are working on one, it's highly unlikely that Google would take a miss on the large user database they could have for gaining traffic information and other information.
Google are set to announce an addition to their Street View for iOS web app for Google Maps. The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg reported the news during his comparison of Apple's Mapps app, versus Google's app on their Android OS.
Mossberg tested the two apps against each other on their respective mobile operating systems, and even had access to the new tech as Google sent him sample links, where he said they "worked well", where he was able to pan around environments with his finger.
Google's timing is great, as consumers are simply not happy with Apple's lacklustre Maps app. This stop-gap measure of a web app might help them for now, but it would be nice to have a native app you can download from the App Store, but I really doubt we'll see Apple allow this, ever.
Apple's Passbook app is gaining more and more support, where just recently we saw huge brands like Major League Baseball, Ticketmaster and Walgreens all jump on the iOS 6 app. But, Passbook has just received some other high-profile brand support.
McDonald's, Airbnb and Eventbrite have all jumped on-board. The Passbook-enabled McDonald's app can be used to order and purchase food directly from your iPhone, but is only available in France at the moment unfortunately. Airbnb and Eventbrite are useful additions to the ever-growing support of Passbook.
Eventbrite have issued out over 50 million tickets, racking up over $1 billion in sales, with Airbnb booking more than 10 million guests as well as seeing a 26% rise in mobile traffic. Both of these companies deal with mobile transactions more than McDonalds, but the more support Passbook gets, the better the app will become.
We all know that iOS 6's Maps app is pretty craptacular (crAPPtacular?) but there is a benefit to the company's vector graphics-based app. Maps is up to 80% more efficient on data usage than Google's iOS Maps app, which is a raster graphics-based app.
This is all according to a new analysis from Onavo. Because Apple's Maps uses vector graphics, the application doesn't need to re-download map images every time a user adjust the view, which in the end, consumes much less data. Onavo's results are definitely interesting:
On Google Maps, the average data loaded from the cellular network for each step was 1.3MB. Apple Maps came in at 271KB - that's approximately 80% less data! On some actions, such as zooming in to see a particular intersection, Apple Maps' efficiency advantage edged close to 7X.
Apple acquired the app Chomp earlier this year. Chomp was an app discovery platform that allowed users to search through the App Store in a method that differed from Apple's. Apple took the Chomp-style store and implemented it into iOS6 and has now decided to shut down the remaining Chomp business and app installs.
Apple had already killed the Android part of Chomp back in April, shortly after acquiring the service. The iOS app and website remained up and functioning until yesterday's announcement and closing. The Chomp website, http://chomp.com, now redirects to Apple's main website. The app has been removed from the App Store.
What I find really interesting here is the apparent ability of Apple to shut down an existing install of an App. As you see in the picture, Apple effectively disabled the software that was installed on the device, which is a bit scary, if you ask me.
The new Chomp-styled store isn't getting quite the feedback that Apple would like, with many users complaining search and discovery is much more difficult. I tend to agree that the old store format was better.
Online streaming provider Netflix has debuted a new mobile app for the iPad. This new app takes a feature of the Netflix site and mobilizes it on the iPad. Dubbed "Just for Kids," users tap the tab in the mobile app and "find their favorite shows and movies by swiping through a row of their favorite characters, many of which they will instantly recognize."
The app currently supports the iPad 2 and new iPad (iPad 3). The old iPad and Android device support will be forthcoming. The iPad is becoming a more attractive platform for kid entertainment. Though brittle, the device can contain hours and hours of fun packed into a small, easily portable device.
Apple is really going through a hard time with Maps, the navigation app that was baked into their new iOS 6. According to data management company Snappli, just 4% of users are running iOS 6's Maps app.
In order to get this data, Snappli looked at data usage from their 5,000 users in the days after iOS 6 was released, where they found that 64% of its users in the US and UK had moved over to iOS 6. Before iOS 6's release, 25% of Snappli's users were using Google Maps at least once a day.
After iOS 6 dropped, 35% of the company's users were using Apple Maps - with that number now plummeting to just 4%. This is just Snappli's figures, and doesn't reflect on the entire iOS 6 user base.
I'm a huge fan of SwiftKey, and use it on every Android device I own - it is the first app I install when I get a new Android-based device, and because typing is one of the most important things you'll do on a smart device, it's also one of the most important.
SwiftKey 3 is on special at the moment as part of Google's celebration of hitting 25 billion downloads on their Google Play store. SwiftKey 3 has dropped from $3.99 to just $0.99 - a 75% discount! If you haven't tried SwiftKey and want to get into it, at this price you'd be crazy not to. Here's what SwiftKey 3 offers:
Users of the Google Gmail app will be happy to hear it has been updated to support the larger iPhone 5 screen. The update brings with it a larger area for reading email as well as allowing more emails to be displayed on the screen at a single time. The app retains its ability to send push notifications for new messages.
That's really the only thing different from the older version, so if you don't own an iPhone 5, you can skip this update. For the iPhone 5 owners, updated apps that take advantage of the larger screen area are much appreciated. The app is available for download from the Apple App Store.
Google have just unveiled a new app called Field Trip, from their Niantic Labs team. Field Trip is quite simple, where it pops up with location-specific information as you walk, or drive around. It is kinda like Google Now which comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, where it will predict the information required, providing multiple channels of content.
This content can be historic places, events, lifestyle, food and drink, and many more. Field Trip gives you control of how many, as well as what kind of notifications you will receive for the app through its various settings. Google's Field Trip app can also push the information via audio, or a Bluetooth or wired headset. Field Trip has partners such as Food Network, Zagat, Cool Hunting, and others.
As with most things with Google when first launched, this is for the United States only at the moment. But it does have some promise - I see this technology being baked into Google Glasses when it reaches, where it seems like the perfect companion to an augmented reality pair of glasses. The ad is quite sweet, too, it makes me promise myself to spend quality time with my daughter, always.