Friday, July 29, 2011

Google search on iPad gets a sexy new interface, continuous scroll

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The new icons are bigger so you can filter search results without sanding down your finger.

Google last month announced a bunch of enhancements to its search engine and today they confirmed via a blog post an overhauled layout on iPad and other (read: Android) tablets, just two days after the blog Digital Inspirations leaked the new UI. From now , running a query by visiting www.google.com in your iPad’s browser produces an iPad-optimized layout in search results.

Gone is the left-hand column that had ridiculously tiny search controls, making room for bigger buttons and more white space which is definitely a lot easier on the eyes. It’s surprising how long it has taken Google to optimize web search experience on tablets, really. Now you can finally hit the controls on smaller tablets without having to sand down your finger first.

Our favorite: The big buttons right below the search box for quick access to specific search silos, such as Web, Images, News and so forth. Also noteworthy, image results are now way more attractive due to larger previews and they continuous scroll – just reach the bottom of the page and a new batch of images will load automatically. The new layout will be available on iPad and Android Honeycomb 3.1 tablets and in 36 languages “in the coming days”, everyone’s favorite search monster noted. Another pretty screenshot right below.





*thanks 9to5mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Google purchased A thousand IBM inventions to protect Android from Apple threat

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Image from gizmodo

Anticipating Android backers will face legal hurdles as Apple now has the upper hand in its case against HTC (here and here), Google has stepped up and bought more than a thousand IBM patents for an undisclosed sum. The news was first reported by the blog SEO by the Sea and picked up by The Wall Street Journal. The search company might use IBM inventions as a leverage against pending lawsuits that indirectly involve its Android software.

Google failed to outbid the Apple-led consortium which paid $4.5 billion for Nortel’s treasure chest of more than 6,000 patents covering wireless technologies, among them crucial inventions related to fourth-generation cellular networks. The new patent deal is in line with Google’s focus on snapping up patent portfolios left and right in creating a “disincentive for others to sue Google”, as noted on their official blog back in April. The 1,030 granted patents Google bought from IBM cover varied technologies, including…




“the fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips” plus other areas of computer architecture which “include servers and routers”, in addition to “relational databases, object oriented programming, and a wide array of business processes”. It is not immediately clear how the acquired patents relate to Android, but a Google spokesperson took this jab at Apple, telling CNET:

Like many tech companies, at times we’ll acquire patents that are relevant to our business needs. Bad software patent litigation is a wasteful war that no one will win.
Florian Mueller of the FOSS Patents blog explains how Google could use some of the patents to defend Android from litigation:

Google could sell some of those patents to embattled Android device makers such as HTC. HTC could then, for example, use them in countersuits or counterclaims against Apple, possibly with an obligation to sell the patents back to Google after the dispute.
Cross-posted on 9to5Google.com

And if Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi is right, then Apple is going to “push its legal claims hard and unrelentingly”, he tells Fortune. He foresees huge, positive financial implications for Apple should the company prevail in its anti-Android legal crusade. The analyst wrote in a note to clients: “We note that a 10 percentage point shift in smartphone market share from Android to Apple (the current run-rate smartphone market share is 46% for Android vs. 18% for Apple) in 2013 is worth an estimated $30B+ in annual revenue and $10+ in annual EPS to Apple”. He also noted Apple ships a much higher value of smartphones than any other player, as seen in the below chart accompanying his note.


*thanks 9to5mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

iPhone captured two-thirds of mobile phone profits in the second quarter

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Global operating profit from the sale of mobile phones among eight major players, by Asymco



In case you missed it, the big news today is that Apple is king of the hill in smartphones and is now chasing LG for the third place in global cell phone sales. Samsung, which reported its second-quarter earnings today, ranks as the world’s second-largest smartphone maker in units, but the company said it will cease reporting phone and tablet sales citing competition from Apple. If that didn’t impress you, this data point will blow your mind: More than six out of ten dollars of profit in the mobile phone business go to Apple’s pockets, or 66.3 percent. This is interesting because it shows Apple steadily improving its profitability in the cell phone space at the expense of its rivals, Asmyco’s Horace Dediu explains:



This share is up from 57% in Q1 and 50% in Q3 and Q4. Samsung’s share went to 15%, though that’s not a peak level historically. In Q1 2008 the company was at 21%. RIM was at 11%, a level in a range that has been unchanged for three years. Finally, HTC captured 7.4%, a new high and an increase from 6% since last quarter.
And guess who controlled the industry’s profits four years ago, when the iPhone debuted? That’s right, Nokia, which in the second quarter of 2007 enjoyed 55 percent of global operating profit from the sale of mobile phones. Back then, Apple, Research In Motion and HTC collectively captured 11 percent of the profits and now they together control 84 percent of the profits. And another somewhat related tidbit: Apple now has more cash than the world’s largest sovereign government.

*thanks 9to5mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Real Apple Store services fake MacBook Air in China, of course

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Is there no limit to the tolerance margin in Apple Stores? After comedian Mark Malkoff brought his pet goat into an Apple Store, another guy found out that Apple Stores will in fact service his knock-off MacBook Air. And no, we are not talking about counterfeit Apple Stores in China, although the store in question was located in China.

Per this report from the Chinese forum Sina Weibo, relayed by MIC Gadget, a Chinese guy brought his laughable MacBook Air knock-off to Apple’s flagship store in the Shanghai’s Pudong district. An Apple Genius not only agreed to repair the poor guy’s computer, but also posed for a shot which is now making the rounds on the web. From the looks of it, the Genius appears to be genuinely surprised by just how closely the rip-off Air resembles the real one. Yup, knock-offs are getting sophisticated these days.

*thanks 9to5mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Samsung stops reporting phone and tablet sales data due to competitive and legal pressure from Apple

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Samsung, which reported second-quarter earnings today, did something odd, especially if you consider peculiarity of the timing. The company has stopped reporting sales data and forecasts for its mobile phones and tablets, notes The Wall Street Journal. Indeed, Samsung did not divulge phone or tablet shipments data in today’s earnings release, noting instead that “shipments of mobile handsets increased in the high-single-digit range quarter-on-quarter”. The firm’s chief of investor relations Robert Yi defended the move in a conference call with Wall Street analysts, citing competitive reasons:

As competition intensifies, there are increased risks that the information we provide may adversely affect our own businesses.
Analysts tell the Wall Street Journal that the change in reporting practice was “probably due to its continuing legal battle with Apple”. As you know, Samsung is embroiled in a tough legal spat with Apple which accused them of ripping off the iPhone’s hardware, software, design, packaging and even marketing. In that respect, it would make sense for Samsung to hide sales numbers because they are growing at an astounding rate and with an IDC-estimated second-quarter smartphone sales of 19.2 million units they indeed are within spitting distance of Apple’s record-breaking shipments of 20.34 million iPhones.

In fact, several research firms warn Samsung’s 500 percent unit growth versus Apple’s 142 percent growth suggests that Samsung most likely will overtake Apple this year to become the world’s #1 smartphone maker. The decision to cease reporting phone sales could also stem from failed expectations as Samsung’s top brass might have been convinced they would outsell Apple this quarter, as Boston-based Strategy Analytics wrongly predicted. Seeing the Apple hype machine at work and bloggers rave about iPhone milestones, it is entirely possible that Samsung’s leadership concluded it would be in their best interest if they withheld sales data.







Above: Samsung Galaxy Player, one of the gizmo’s Apple says blatantly copies iOS gadgets.

Per latest IDC and ABI Research second-quarter cell phone survey, Samsung shipped an IDC-estimated 19.2 million smartphones in the second quarter of this year. In the year-ago quarter, the company moved just 3.1 million units, so they grew an astounding 500 percent on an annual basis. Apple reported shipments of 20.34 million iPhones in the second quarter, up from the 18.64 million iPhones shipped in the previous quarter and representing 142 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. In terms of market share, Apple captured an IDC-estimated 20.3 percent share of the smartphone market in the second quarter versus 19.2 percent for Samsung in the industry that shipped 110 million smartphones in the June quarter.

*thanks iclarified*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4