One of the best reasons to use Google Maps is to explore areas you may not otherwise visit regularly, if at all. A new project named “Night Walk” offers up a tour of Marseille, as if you were strolling the streets and back alleys on a warm summer evening. Street art and points of interest are highlighted along the way, with an immersive audio guide bring the experience to life.
It's no surprise that Google and other companies try to trademark the names of their products to keep other firms from coming in and naming products similarly. Google has been trying to trademark the word "Glass" to go along with its slick wearable computing device called Google Glass. Trademarking that word is proving to be a very difficult task for Google.
Google Maps isn't just driving directions and traffic any more; Google has taken another tour to off-the-beaten-path locations with new Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, adding digital renderings of over 100 local temples. Featuring more than 90,000 panoramas of the external designs, the interior, and close-ups of individual carvings, the new content saw Google take its Street View photography equipment to historic sites most would never see.
The iPhone has Siri, Android has Google Now, and now Windows Phone has Cortana, Microsoft's new digital assistant for smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1. Launching as a beta when WP8.1 hits devices over the next few months, Cortana blends the speech-first approach of Apple's system with the contextual backbone of Google's, throwing in some location-based cleverness and a little AI snark along the way. We introduced ourselves at Build 2014.
Google has returned the much-missed "Search nearby" feature to Google Maps, restoring the ability to search for nearby points-of-interest and businesses around a location on the map. Quietly added back and announced earlier today - though overshadowed by Google's Pokemon hunt on Google Maps for April Fools' Day - the feature is again available from the drop-down search result menu.
Google's Project Ara modular smartphone could well end up a real-life Tricorder of sorts, with medical uses for the customizable handset now on the agenda for the first Ara developers conference. Exactly which modules Google will offer for Ara - magnetically snapping into place on an underlying backplane - has not been detailed, though a new speaker addition to the inaugural developer event from MIT suggests it could be more than just extra batteries and different cameras.
Google has been operating its Google+ social network for a long time and it has a reputation of being a ghost town. Facebook is certainly more popular and grew faster than Google+, but Google has a new trick for its social network that aims to show that people are actually using the network and looking at user profiles.
Google has released its latest Transparency Report, and in it is a reflection of our increasingly digital world. The number of data requests in the last half of 2013 was more than double the requests from 2009, when Google first began publishing transparency reports, and was a few thousand more than the same time period ending in 2012.
Supposing you’ve been frustrated in the past with Google I/O and the registration process which always leaves developers wanting without a quick trigger-finger, today may make you happy. Google has just made clear their intent to implement an April 7-9th (OR April 8th-10th, there seems to be some confusion at the moment between presentations) registration period. Inside that period you may register on the Google I/O registration site once, and applicants will be randomly selected after the 9th.