Blogger has an app for iPhone and it’s better than the corresponding Android app, which has improved a lot in the past months. Both apps let you edit your existing posts and create new posts, add images to your posts, include labels and geolocate your posts.
They’re pretty basic, but the iPhone app has a better interface, it’s easier to use and pays attention to detail. For example, the iPhone app includes the URL of the blog next to the name when you switch to a different blog, so that it’s easier to identify a blog. The Android app only shows the names. To publish a post in the iPhone app, you need to tap the “Publish” button, which is always displayed at the top of the screen. In the Android app you need to scroll to the bottom of the post to find the “publish” button.
“With the Blogger app, you can write a new blog post and publish it immediately or save it as a draft right from your iOS device. You can also open a blog post you’ve been working on from your computer and continue editing it while you’re on-the-go. Your blog posts are automatically synced across devices, so you’ll always have access to the latest version,” informs Google.
Why build a local search app for iPhone when the Maps app already lets you find businesses and local attractions? Apple’s Maps app doesn’t use all the information that’s available about businesses, doesn’t show photos, reviews and other details. That’s one of the reasons why Google decided to build an iPhone app called Google Places.
“We realize the importance of finding places you’ll love while you’re out and about, no matter what mobile device you use. And Places with Hotpot not only helps you find places near where you are, it gives you the best places to go for you by personalizing your search results,” explains Google.
The application integrates with Google Hotpot and uses your ratings and your friends’ ratings to recommend other places. Google Places encourages users to rate businesses and to post reviews in order to get better search results and that’s an interesting proposition. What’s missing from the app is a list of business you’ve previously rated and the Hotpot feed that’s now available on Google Maps.
Geo services are one of the key Google assets and it’s very likely that Google will use them to create a stealth social network. Google Maps is probably the best mapping service and one of the most popular local search engines, so the social layer will have an important user base. Unlike Google Buzz, Hotpot doesn’t have privacy issues yet and it doesn’t feel like a different app because it’s properly integrated with Google Maps.
Google Places for iOS can be installed from the Apple App Store and it’s only available in English.
Google has finally released a native iPhone app for Google Latitude. The web app is nice, but you can’t use it to update your location in the background. Google Latitude for iPhone uses one of the new features in iOS 4 that allows applications to track your location even if they aren’t in the foreground. That’s the main reason why it requires an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPad 3G running iOS 4. (Update: According to Google, “the Google Latitude app will run on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod touch (3rd/4th generation). However, background location updating is only supported on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPad 3G.”)
The native app is better because it shows more information about the locations of your friends and it sends you to the map view when you click on a friend, but the web app is just a layer in Google Maps and this makes a lot of sense. Google Latitude should not be a standalone app, it should integrate with Google Maps and Google Contacts, so you can quickly find your friends.
Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of geographic and local services, has recently said that Google Latitude will add explicit check-ins, inspired by Foursquare. “Latitude is useful for a smaller group of people. Only a handful of people you’ll want to know where you are at all times. There will be new layers coming on top of it. It’s more useful when more people are on it. And implicit and explicit — yes, the check-in. Maybe that’s in Latitude or maybe it’s in Maps.”
After almost two years of waiting, Google Voice’s iPhone app has been finally approved in the App Store. It looks much better than the HTML5 web app and you can enable push notifications for voicemail and text messages.
Google Voice for iPhone doesn’t beat the Android app because it doesn’t integrate with the standard phone app, doesn’t synchronize the inbox and doesn’t offer advanced options for notifications, but that’s because iOS has many limitations.
Google says that the application requires iOS 3.1 or a more recent version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Google Voice is still limited to the US, but you no longer need an invitation to use it. Hopefully, Google will add support for the VoIP service from Gmail in a future update.
Apple’s iOS 4 (iPhone OS 4) added an important missing feature: a way to save your notes online. If you add an IMAP mail account like Gmail or Yahoo Mail and enable the notes feature, you can create notes that are saved to your email account.
For Gmail, Apple creates a label called Notes and saves the notes created in the Gmail section to your Gmail account. The notes can only be edited from an iPhone or iPod Touch and the changed are reflected in Gmail.
Some other new iOS 4 features that should be useful for Google users: Google Suggest in Safari’s search box, an option to search the Web in Spotlight and the ability to add multiple Exchange accounts.
Sometimes, when you use a smartphone, the best search result is not a web page, it’s an application. That’s probably the reason why Google added an OneBox for iPhone and Android apps. If you enter a query that includes keywords like “download”, “application” or “app” on an iPhone or on an Android phone, you’ll see a list of results from Apple’s App Store or from the Android Market.
“You can tap these links to go directly to the app’s Android Market or iPhone App Store page. You can also get a quick look at some of the app’s basic details including the price, rating, and publisher. These results will appear when your search pertains to a mobile application and relevant, well-rated apps are found,” explains Google.
Maybe Google will develop a full-fledged search engine for mobile apps, index reviews, show recommendations and allow developers to advertise their applications.
App store GetJar has released a new conversion tool to help developers of all open platform stripes track user engagement. It’s a simple, automated process that tells developers whether a user who downloaded an app has actually opened and engaged the app. All that incoming data can then be broken down by phone, country and even network, becoming a potentially powerful diagnostic tool for developers who need to know how their apps are operating across various devices and networks.
This is how it works: a developer signs up for an account on GetJar. The developer adds GetJar’s conversion code into their app (it’s free), which is then published on the site. When a user downloads and then opens the app, the app pings GetJar about the event.
Read full story at http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/20/getjar-revs-up-analytics-with-or-without-apple
Google is sending out Verizon Droids and Nexus Ones to developers based on the location they entered when they first signed up for the conference (and no, according to the FAQ, you can’t request to get a different model).
Here’s the Email Google is sending out:
This year’s Google I/O is less than 2 months away, and we’re very excited that you and over 4,000 other developers will be joining us in San Francisco. During the 2-day conference, you’ll have over 90 sessions to choose from and the opportunity to meet with developers from over 170 companies that will be demoing their apps and talking in-depth about their use of Google technologies in the Developer Sandbox.
As you might have guessed, Android will have a big presence at this year’s event. To make sure you’re equipped to make the most of your Android experience during Google I/O, we’d like to mail you a Verizon Droid by Motorola before the event.
Bring your Android device to Google I/O
Instead of having you spend time picking up and registering the device during the conference, we want you to be able to get started ASAP. Here are the different ways in which we’re hoping you’ll use the device you receive:
Get to know the Android SDK
Use the device to get started on your first (or next!) Android app using the latest SDK. You’ll find a ton of helpful info atdeveloper.android.com, including the Developer’s Guide. We hope you have new apps or working prototypes by the time of I/O. That way, you’ll be able to get feedback on your app from other developers, including members of the Android team who’ll be leading in-depth sessions and answering attendees’ technical questions during Office Hours (the schedule will be published oncode.google.com/io in April).
Put your device to work at I/O
To encourage active use of your device, we’re amplifying cellular and wireless coverage inside Moscone West, and charging stations will be available for anyone to use. We hope you’ll:
Get I/O info on your device: Before May 19th, we’ll send out details on how to download a conference app that we’re building now. During I/O, you can use the app to instantly access I/O session details and more.
Download apps: Over 40 companies will be demoing the latest and greatest apps available in the Android Market. Check out their demos in the Developer Sandbox, download new apps, and take them for a test drive.
Participate in SCVNGR: We’re collaborating with SCVNGR to produce a location-based mobile game for Google I/O that’ll have you hunting for QR codes hidden throughout the events.
To receive your Android device:
Click the form link below, read the terms and conditions of the offer and fill out the form with your preferred shipping address so we know where you’d like to receive your device. All preferred shipping addresses must be submitted no later than April 18th.
You’ll receive your device 2 to 4 weeks from the day you provide your shipping address.
To learn more about this giveaway for Google I/O, visit our FAQ page. If you have questions that aren’t answered on the website, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your support of Google’s developer initiatives and for registering for Google I/O. We look forward to seeing you in May!
Diggers are often on the go and want to take Digg along for the ride, so we’re excited to announce not one, but TWO new apps for your mobile devices. Whether you’re in Boston or Bangladesh, Digg is now always at your fingertips.
Digg iPhone App
Browse the latest Digg stories, search for the topics you care about, and even save stories to read later…the official Digg iPhone app lets you join in the curation by Digging and burying right from your phone. And to help get the word out, we’re giving away a custom Digg-branded iPad every day through April 7th.
For those of you using Android devices, we’ve got something for you too! We just launched the Digg Android app that also gives you the power of Digg even when you’re away from your computer. Just like the iPhone app, you can Digg and bury stories, read the top comments, and unique to Android phones, it also supports landscape mode. Because it works with an in-app browser, you can easily pan around and zoom in and out of content.
These are just a few of the things we’re working on in the mobile space. If you don’t have an iPhone or Android device, you can always use our current mobile site – m.digg.com – which is optimized to work on any mobile browser. We’re also making quite a few improvements and iterations to both the iPhone and Android apps in the coming weeks, many drawing off some of the changes we’re working on for Digg.com
As mobile gaming takes off, developers will need in-depth analysis to determine consumer behavior with their games and adjust their games accordingly. Motally, which provides user-action tracking services for the mobile web and apps, is expanding its product base today offering a targeted analytics service aimed towards mobile games on the iPhone, Android and Blackberry platforms. The service is currently in private beta, but developers will be able to sign up to use the service.
Motally’s game-oriented analytics platform allows publishers to track in-game data including where users drop out in-play and which levels users interact with most. Motally also allows for the dynamic changing of the game’s design, allowing developers to measure the impact of changes immediately. As a result, publishers can tweak their games including design, performance, and ad placement by pinpointing areas of the game with the most traffic and identifying trouble areas.
Motally’s game analytics allows publishers to analyze what level players are reaching and then dropping off, determine the top players and their high scores within a game, and to reach out to those on the leaderboard and present them with special offers or advertisements. The data also includes which virtual goods on an application are most popular, which games are most popular in a developer’s portfolio of games, and the conversion rates of players opting into paid premium game offerings.
Game developer Portable Zoo has already been using Motally’s analytics, and claims that data collected from the platform allowed the developer to adjust games to increase average engagement time, and the overall appeal of games.
Motally’s venture in gaming is smart considering the rapid growth of mobile gaming, especially on smartphones. Motally, which recently launched an extension of their mobile analytics to include content developed on Apple’s iPad and rolled out a flexible API, support analytics for applications on the iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry platforms as well as the mobile web. Motally offers more advanced features that allows developers to troubleshoot and debug their products from anywhere in the world, without having to re-deploy apps and games to the Apple iPhone store. For a young startup, Motally has seen significant traction as a mobile analytics provider. Backed by renown investor Ron Conway, Motally’s clients include Twitter, Yelp, Fandango and Verizon.