Microsoft has filed a complaint with the European Commission in regards to Google’s search operations in the European Union. “Our filing today focuses on a pattern of actions that Google has taken to entrench its dominance in markets for online search and search advertising to the detriment of the European consumers,” said Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith. “Google has engaged in a broadening pattern of walling off access to content and data that competitors need to provide search results to consumers and to attract advertisers.” Smith added that Google has a 95% grip on the search market in Europe and that the company has aimed to stop any other firms from creating a competitive search alternative. Smith also argued that Google, since acquiring YouTube in 2006, has restricted other search engines from properly accessing YouTube videos for search results. More →
This comes as no surprise. Social networking juggernaut Facebook was the most-searched term and most-visited website of 2010, according to Experian Hitwise. Facebook, which was the most searched term in 2009 as well, actually appears four times, in one way or another, on Hitwise’s top ten list; facebook login, facebook.com, and http://www.facebook.com ranked second, sixth, and ninth respectively. The social network’s site also accounted for 8.93% of all U.S. visits between January and November of 2010 — Experian does note that a combination of all Google-owned properties totals 9.85% of all U.S. page visits during the same period. Facebook beat out Google, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo!, and Youtube who came in second, third, fourth, and fifth respectively. More →
As with several desktop and mobile platforms, Twitter is being out-tweeted on Windows Phone 7. Subjectivity aside, third-party Twitter clients often provide a great deal of functionality omitted from Twitter’s official clients. Such is the case with an independently-developed app that is quickly becoming the go-to Twitter experience on Windows Phone 7 devices. Beezz already provides a host of great functionality left out of the official Windows Phone 7 Twitter app, and a major update will add nearly all of the core features the app is currently missing. New features in version 1.2 of the Beezz app include:
- List support
- Option to open app directly to main timeline
- Saved Searches
- Old-style Retweet support
- New live tile, which will include timeline, mentions and DMs
- Picture Hub integration
- Internet Explorer integration (tweet a URL from within IE — very handy since there is no copy/paste yet)
- Bit.ly integration
- Conversation view
DevMob, Beezz’s developer, hasn’t yet given a time frame for the new update, but we can asure you that the team is hard at work prepping the new release. Hit the jump for a quick teaser video highlighting a few upcoming features and in the meantime, version 1.1 of the Beezz app is currently available in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace for free. More →
Search giant Google has just released an update for its Android Voice Search app that offers Android users the option of “personalized recognition.” Enabling the new feature will allow the search application to custom taylor its speech algorithm to a linked Google account. As the press release reads:
If you opt into personalized recognition, we begin to associate the recordings of the words that you ask us to recognize with your Google account. We then automatically use these words to build a speech model specifically for you. This speech model enables us to deliver greater recognition accuracy. Although subtle, accuracy improvements begin fairly quickly and will build over time.
The new version of Voice Search, which is available today, also includes improvements to name recognition and speed when operating on 3G and EDGE networks. The new feature is English only for the time being and requires a handset running Android 2.2 or higher.
There is no denying it, the world is going mobile. People across the globe are turning to internet connected devices and to help them communicate, organize, work, play, and, of course, search. In a blog post, search giant Google noted that mobile searching is up 130% year-over-year on its network. The article, which is promoting seller ratings for mobile, goes on to cite a study that states 59% of holiday shoppers plan to use their mobile device to “facilitate holiday shopping.” One this is certain, if/when NFC takes off, mobile devices will be doing more than facilitating purchases… they’ll be doing them. More →
Reuters is reporting that AOL, Inc. is contemplating a breakup through “a complicated series of transactions” that could end in a merger with search giant Yahoo!. The publication is citing “sources close to the plans” and adds that “the latest discussions derive from plans contemplated in 2008 and 2009 before Time Warner spun off AOL to Time Warner shareholders.” Both AOL and Yahoo! declined to comment on the report when contacted by Reuters; AOL’s stock price rose slightly on the news. More →
This one definitely snuck under the radar for quite some time. On November 23rd, Google Hong Kong posted a video showcasing its Google Voice Search capabilities on the Android and iOS platforms. While Voice Search itself is neither new nor notable, the Android device being showcased in the clip is. The hardware appears to be a standard Nexus One handset, the software running on said device appears to be Google’s next OS revision, Gingerbread (Android 2.3). In looking at some of the UI controls, as well as the status bar, we get a clear look at the direction Google’s stock-Android interface is heading. The new elements look very clean and, in our opinion, slightly more mature than the ones currently in use.
What are you still reading this for? The video is waiting for you after the jump.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, the video has been removed from YouTube. More →
Analytics company ComScore has released its October search engine market share numbers and… instead of making you fire up your search-site of choice and finding the information yourself, we thought we would just put it right there for you. October’s search numbers are as follows: Google 66.3%, up from 66.1% in September; Bing 11.5%, up from 11.2% in September; Yahoo 16.5%, down from 16.7% the month prior; Ask.com 3.6% down 0.1% from the previous month; and AOL 2.1%, down from 2.3%. We are curious to see how/if the recent release of Windows Phone will help Bing’s search numbers. We’ll find out next month.
Come on, you didn’t think Google was going to just sit on the sidelines and allow Microsoft to Bing-out its Windows Phone 7 platform did you? Today, the Mountain View search giant announced its native WP7 search application for the freshly launched mobile operating system. As Google explains, “The Google Search app is a free download for all Windows Phone 7 devices and languages [...] download, pin to Start, and the power of Google Search is only a click away.” It does not look like, for the time being anyway, you can make the dedicated “search” button on Windows Phone 7 sets default to Google; which may or may not bother you. The app can utilize the device’s GPS position to help localize results across web, image, and news queries. If you’re interested, hit the Marketplace to download the new bits.
If you’re proficient in Russian, Polish, Czech, or Turkish, and want to search the web in one of the aforementioned tongues, Google has got you covered. Recently, the company announced the addition of the four languages to its Voice Search functionality. “Try speaking queries like ‘концерты Юлии Савичевой’ (tour dates for Yulia Svicheva), ‘przepis na pierogi’ (recipes for pierogi), ‘obrázky Hradčan’ (pictures of the Prague castle), or ‘istanbul hava durumu’ (weather in Istanbul),” quips Google. The service is available on all smartphone platforms that support Google’s Voice search. пользоваться, cieszyć się, nyní, and zevk. More →
Today, Google announced that its Goggles image search feature is immediately available in the App Store for Apple’s iPhone smartphone. The new feature, which will be bundled into the Google Mobile App, will support iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 devices running iOS 4 or higher.
“Computer vision is a hard problem and Google Goggles is still a Labs product. It works well for things such as landmarks, logos and the covers of books, DVDs and games. However, it doesn’t yet work for some things you might want to try like animals, plants or food,” explains Google.
Slap on those
beer Goggles and get Googling. There is a brief video waiting for you after the break. More →
If you bought a Samsung Fascinate from Verizon Wireless, you might have been feeling a certain way at the fact that the default search engine on the device is Bing and not Google. In addition to Bing being the default, Google Search isn’t even a selectable option. It is well known that Verizon and Microsoft have entered into a multi-device agreement to promote Bing, appearing as the exclusive option on Verizon’s BlackBerry handsets for instance. It wasn’t known if users would ever be able to change search engine options, but a Verizon Wireless spokesperson has chimed in, and broke it down for everyone. Once the Fascinate is updated to Android 2.2, users will be able to download the Google Search application to get their Google searching fix directly from the device. Even with the new application though, customers will not be able to change the default search setting from Bing to Google, and the search button will always trigger a Bing search. Oh well. More →
Today, Google announced that it would be updating its Google Maps application for the Android operating system to include voice-guided walking navigation and a new, improved search bar. As Google explains:
Walking Navigation lets you use GPS navigation with walking directions that are more direct and use pedestrian pathways when we know about them. To try it now, choose the “Walking” option from the Navigation icon. Walking Navigation has a few changes that help when you’re on your feet. For example, your phone will vibrate when you need to make a turn. You can even turn off voice guidance and just use these notifications while soaking in the sights and sounds around you. To help you orient yourself with your surroundings, the map will rotate with you as you turn the phone, and walking mode uses satellite view by default.
The new search bar will now always be located at the top of the map for easy searching and facilitate the filtering of places by distance, rating, prices, and cross streets. The application is in the Android Market as we type and available for all handsets running OS 1.6 or higher.