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Free for the first year, the service will then cost $9 per month. Customers have the option to view the mobile website created from their original website, then customize it as needed. This appears to be a viable solution for many small to medium-sized businesses who lack the time and resources to spend on creating a custom mobile website.
We ran across this release in a FORTUNE article, which also put together a great example video (see below) of how a small business can take advantage of this service.
The user experience on iPads and other tablets, and specifically the ‘touch’ experience that causes issues for some of us, is quite different from both PCs and smartphones, and Google recognizes this. They obviously also recognize the huge surge in iPad users and need to cater to that audience as well, but it’s good to see that Google does not seem anywhere near resting on it’s laurels in search.
For pure web searching, this is another reason Google will be that much harder to ‘touch’ anytime soon.
Google recently announced a new video chat capability to be rolled out to Android phones over the next several weeks and months, offering an alternative to the popular FaceTime capability on the iPhone.
Also available over a computer using Google Talk from GMail, the new functionality will first be launched on the Nexus S phone before being rolled out to other handsets running Android 2.3.4 or later. The Google Talk update will only available to those phones running on 3G or 4G networks.
It seems that Groupon’s snubbing of Google’s $6 billion buyout offer perhaps created a steely resolve within the Googleplex to beat Groupon at it’s own game. Now Google is clearly integrating many of it’s services to make checking in, finding friends, and getting deals at local businesses as easy as possible.
We love upstart companies with great ideas, but Google is really good at making things seamless for the end user (see Google video below), and with the Android handset shipments blowing away all other platforms, this could get interesting.
Groupon founder Andrew Mason is clearly a smart guy, but could anyone explain to me again why he turned down a deal that valued his trendy, 2 year old company higher than the likes of Versign and AMD?
Google announced this week they have updated Google Finance for mobile, which is available as a mobile website or an Android app.
Google Finance now provides more consistency across all its platforms in both functionality and in look and feel. There are still some complaints with it however, as evidenced by the user comments in their post.
What do you think? Has Google Finance overall finally surpassed Yahoo Finance in functionality and ease of use?
Google recently announced it’s Voice Actions app for the Android platform. (If you have an Android phone, and you drive, please continue reading…)
Using Voice Actions, users can send email and text messages, call contacts, surf the web, get directions, create a note to self, and even listen to music simply by speaking the commands into your Android 2.2 (Froyo) powered phone.
Of course, no Google app release is complete without a video from one of their engineers:
Google Voice Actions will come pre-installed on the Verizon/Motorola Droid 2 phone, and other phones running Android 2.2 can download it from Android Market.
Google announced this week that it is extending invitations to it’s App Inventor tool to the general public. App Inventor, which can be considered an Integrated Deveploment Environment (IDE) for Android applications, was previously only available as part of a test program that Google was managing in schools.
The tool is certainly geared towards those new to programming in general, and the idea behind it is to get more people comfortable building and deploying Android apps.
The brief video below shows how easy it is to build a quick Android app using App Inventor. There’s a more complete video here.
Ready to start building your Android App? You’ll still have to apply by filling out this form.
Have you built an Android App using a different tool? Let us know how your experience was by commenting below!
Google is set to announce the Nexus One smartphone today, the first ever phone designed by the company. The Nexus One will run on Google’s Android platform, and is said to be the first real threat to the iPhone.
According to rumors, the phone will be available from T-Mobile for $180 (with a 2-year plan), or $530 unlocked.
Judging from their 404 pages, look for more information at google.com/nexusone after the announcement.