Buzz integrated with Gmail for Mobile

Google Buzz is now incorporated within Gmail. If you go to Gmail from your Android or iPhone browser you would see a Buzz bar below the inbox bar, just as you would observe in the desktop edition of Gmail. When Buzz was launched, Google had a web app of Buzz for mobiles, but now you could access it right from your inbox.

When you open a Buzz post from your inbox, you can perform all the standard functions, such as liking the post or commenting, just as you can from the desktop Gmail inbox.

You could try it by simply navigating your iPhone or Android browser to gmail.com .

iAd – A new Advertising Platform that would make Apple unbelievably rich

Apple is all set to launch its own Advertising Network known as iAd. Marking Apple’s moves recently, it seems that Apple is all fired up with Google its former ally and now its close competitor. Jobs was earlier quoted saying ” We didn’t move into the search business but Google did move into the phone business. Google tries to kill the iPhone and we won’t let them”. The rivalry between these two giants seems to increase with every passing day.

The new iAd (rumor) could be Apple’s response to Google’s Adsense and it would be a huge revenue generator for Apple. All websites who have an iPhone and iPad version of their site would love to use iAd. But there is a twist to this story. Guess what, Google is thrilled about it. Why? Because Google is trying to convince federal regulators that it has advertising rivals so that it can proceed with its $750 million purchase of AdMob.

Currently most of the mobile optimized sites use AdMob for their advertising business and they seem to like it. Apple and Google were earlier engaged in a fight to purchase AdMob.Apple bid $600 million last fall to acquire the mobile advertising business AdMob. Apple was given 45 days to perform due diligence on the acquisition, but when those 45 days passed and Apple hadn’t consummated the deal, Google swooped in and acquired AdMob for $750 million. Apple later acquired another mobile ads firm, Quattro Wireless, in January for $300 million.

If rumors are to be believed, Apple plans to unveil the new mobile advertising platform – iAd tomorrow at the iPhone Developers Meet along with iPhone OS 4.0. This healthy competition between Apple and Google would beyond any doubt help the publishers and even Google.

iPad Apps : Hands On – SoundHound

We just got our iPad and as expected we are downloading and testing quite a few applications on it.

SoundHound, an application which I loved on the iPhone is even available for the iPad . SoundHound works on your iPhone, iPod touch and even with your new iPad. From the name you would guess that this app is perhaps for the music freaks, but no – this is for everyone and is more like a game than an app.

The new iPad design looks great and the app uses the large screen perfectly. Hum a tune or sing a song to your iPad and SoundHound would quickly recognize the song and display the results . The results would include the lyrics, artist, artist biography, short playback of the song and you could even purchase the song from iTunes. It is the iTunes Store presented in a way better manner. Say there is a song being played and you seem to like it and want to find out more. Just hold your iPad next to the speaker and SoundHound would recognize the song being played and would display all the details about it. It is something really good on the iPad. It has the menu on the left and the results on the right. The icon, as complained by many, is horrible.

You could even share your favorite songs via Facebook,Twitter and email , Bookmark it, Play related videos from YouTube and check related artists. It takes voice recognition to the next level. Connect via Pandora and launch a Pandora station based on the song selected.The app has a brilliant UI and it is fun to interact with charts, graphs and beautiful animations which are displayed on the App. It is pretty accurate with the search results it renders and could recognize voices in many different accents.

The ‘What’s Hot’ Section would display the song name which is the most popular among the rest of the users. Songs that were just grabbed by users, a few underplayed ones and the hottest songs are also included in this section.

The ‘Now Playing’ Section would help you get more information about the songs already in your iTunes library. It has complete iPod integration which allows you to see the lyrics of the songs which are being played.

This app is totally innovative, terrific and unbelievable. It is based on the “Sound2Sound Search Science” technology which is created by Melodis. S2S helps in the detection of multiple sounds such as singing, music, text and speech. Key benefits of S2S include improved accuracy, faster response time and increased scalability.

Developed by Melodis Corporation and for $4.99 it would be a great companion for all your music needs.

Future Check for Apple on the Rungs of Performance Recognition

If  “Think Differently” was the mission of Apple and the mandate of Steve from his Board, it is a job well done by him and his organization. Apple is undoubtedly the recognized leader of innovative technologies in the mobile devices space and Steve, the crowned king. What Sony did to the world with the Walkman sometime back, has been done today by Apple. The world is at Apple’s feet and is asking for an encore.

Business, however, recognizes innovation only if it is commercialized in form of a new product. A new product is given accolades and aplomb, only if it captures the market. The market share has the winning streak, if the margins are good. And the investors would be happy and recognize the performance of the business if the profits get translated into an impressive market capitalization.

Having released the iPhone and the iPad, Apple has convincingly moved up the ladder of performance recognition by a rung. In terms of the market share, which is the second rung, the facts need a scrutiny.

Thus, for the mobile devices space, its iPhone market share has to be compared with that of Nokia, RIM and others. If the frame of reference are the smart phones and if its market share increases steadily over Nokia and Blackberry, Motorola, HTC, Samsung, LG and others, then it will have the going good for itself.

And for the iPad, which is supposed to change the game, just in the same way as the iPod did to Sony’s Walkman, it would have to replace the laptop and the net books. In doing so, it will capture the business from Intel and Microsoft too.

We are witnessing an increase in the sale of iPhones and from the zero base the iPad is also expected to stoop to conquer. But perhaps the time has come for Apple to look at the complete market space and not only at the niche markets to establish its overall dominance. There is so much money to be earned from the complete market rather than only through the niche ones. If making money too for the investors by a larger measure from the entire market space is Apple’s aspiration, then it is time for it to think differently.

iPad – It all started with $499

For most of us the iPad started at $499 and ended at $999. The ‘WiFi only’ version with 16GB of space was for $499 but the compelling apps and accessories made it worth $999.

Apps

iPad apps are too costly when compared to the iPhone. Gone are the days when Apps used to be worth $0.99. These days, Apps are heavily priced ranging from $3.99 to $19.99. Some apps require subscription which need $17.99.

I got SoundHound for $4.99 which is an instant search and music discovery app.

Then I chose Asphalt 5 HD over F1 which took me another $6.99. Scrabble, The Elements, Brushes and Plants vs Zombies HD added another $43.96.

Accessories

Apple has put up some great accessories to choose from for the iPad. Those Accessories are actually necessities needed for complete optimization of your iPad.

1. Keyboard Dock – Helps you connect your Apple Wireless keyboard with your iPad via Bluetooth so that you could work as on a laptop. This was absolutely essential and added $69.00 to my cart,

2. Camera Connector – Allows you to connect your Camera to your iPad and transfer pictures from it. then you could share those transferred pictures online, directly from your iPad. So this added $29.00 to my list.

3. iPad Case – Prevention is always better than cure and going by this proverb I chose to pick up this Case. This case helps you protect your iPad and even acts as a stand for reading books, watching movies and playing slide shows of your pictures. I know that there is already a rush of iPad cases over the Internet but this one looked pretty neat with the Apple Logo in the center. This costs me $39.00.

4. iPad 10W USB Power Adapter – I am always hooked up to either my desktop or laptop and charging my iPad by them would be a wise decision. Another $29.00 would of course make no difference.

Apple Care Protection Plan

I knew that I was going to use this device extensively and I must opt for the Apple Care Protection Plan. Opting for it would extend my technical support and hardware coverage for two years from the original purchase date of my iPad. I could ask questions and get advice directly from Apple experts. Repair and replacement service of the iPad and even its accessories is covered under this plan. This will dent my pocket by $99.00.

MobileMe

The iPad is a content creation and consumption device and creating content would surely require a place from where I could access it from anywhere. I could even share photos on the go and put them together in an album. I wanted my iPad, iPhone and MacBook to be interconnected and this would help me achieve my goal. I chose the Family Pack while purchasing my iPad which gave me an instant $30 off. So adding this to my list was another $119.00.

At the end, when I proceeded to the cart, I was stunned to see my total amount nearing to $999.00. Oh My God, I guess this was the case with most of you. At the end of the day, I could only say that “It all started with $499”.

Mama Mia.

iPad Specific Apps

Apple has put up a page on their website dedicated to Apps available on the iPad. They have 11 featured Apps and have even posted videos about how the apps function and appear.

According to Apple, Apps for the iPad would be something which you haven’t seen or touched before and with every passing day more and more apps are added to the App Store which make your relationship with the device even more stronger. If you have got your iPad, head over to the App Store and check them out.

The list of Apps include :-

I specifically like the Asphalt 5 App due to the graphics it offers and Epicurious would be good for Mom’s .There is even a new section under the iPad Page known as – ” Apps for iPad”. These apps look really very promising and would differentiate the iPad further more from the iPhone.

“The Elements” App is a creative and a unique idea. It features all the elements in the periodic table and puts them together in an interesting manner. The large screen display with IPS technology truly makes the iPad a revelation.

Google Acquires Episodic

Episodic, a complete online video platform for broadcasting, measuring and monetizing live and on-demand video content to the web or any web enabled device has now been acquired by Google.
Add Episodic to the list of recent Google acquisitions which include Aardvark, reMail and Picnik.

Episodic brings great video experience to the web, mobile phones and IPTV. This acquisition could possibly be for Google’s rumored Google TV.

Here’s what the Episodic team has to say :

We are thrilled to announce that Episodic has been acquired by Google. The entire Episodic team is extremely excited about this new partnership and what it means for our customers and the evolution of online video.

The Episodic team will join Google and continue its work to bring a great video experience to the Web, mobile phones and IPTV devices. There will be no interruption in service for existing Episodic customers.

At Episodic, we have always felt that these are the very early days of online video and that there is far more growth to be had. To put it in perspective, our industry is barely 15 years old. We’ve just received our learner’s permit, we still can’t drive without adult supervision and we’re certainly not old enough to buy a drink…legally.

From our earliest discussions with Google, it was clear that the teams shared this belief and together we obviously see huge potential in online video. Our product visions were also complimentary and together we will continue to produce innovative video technology for our customers and their viewers.

Speaking of our fabulous customers, we want to thank you all for your support and your willingness to experiment and sit on the bleeding edge with our team. We can’t wait to show you all what’s coming.

Google’s Next Steps Towards its Possible Grand Plans

The Google mobile blog has announced its plan about Google services on the iPad and other tablet computers. As the shift of interest of the people from desktops and mobile phones to tablet computers is evident, Google has chosen to optimize the interest to give people a better Google experience.

All Google services including YouTube, Google Docs and even gmail are now optimized for the iPad and other tablet computers. gmail looks exactly like the default iPad mail and has your inbox on the left and the mail selected is on the right. There is no better experience than using the native mail app on the iPad to check your mail; so gmail optimization is nothing very exciting. There is already a default YouTube app on the iPad which gives a better experience than the web app.

Then comes in Map. You even have a maps app for the iPad which is very robust and has a great UI.

Google plans to use and promote the new HTML 5 web standard and is encouraging people to use it. The optimization of Google services for tablet computers would rather not be a success for Apple’s iPad, but yeah, it could help on other upcoming Android based tablets.

This gives us a hint that maybe – just maybe Google is coming out with its own tablet.

iPad Apps hit the App Store

The App Store now has iPad Apps too. Many of the Apps are now optimized for both the iPad and iPhone, which means that they would work on both the iPhone and the iPad. Some get a completely new design whereas the rest would be usable by the zoom in feature the iPad has. Many of the Apps you own would probably get an update which would include no fixes, no new features but just they would be optimized for the iPad and would have a whole new look on the iPad. The iTunes Store has now sections for screen-shots – iPhone and iPad.

The iPhone section would show you the screenshots of the app on the iPhone while the iPad section would show you the screenshot of the app on the iPad. Those apps compatible with the iPhone and the iPad would bear a signature underneath the icon which would say ” This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad ” . After downloading the update when you get to the Apps bar in iTunes it would have two sections – iPod touch, iPhone and iPad apps and iPhone and iPod touch apps. Some apps which would be iPad specific like iBooks would be categorized under a new section named iPad apps.

Download your favorite Apps and save time on Saturday.