Google Places for iPhone

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 Places with Hotpot for iPhone

Google recently released Google Places with Hotpot in Google Maps for Android, and starting now, you can have that same great experience as an iPhone app. 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.

In case you aren’t familiar with Google Places, it lets you quickly search for places nearby and personalizes the results based on places you’ve rated. We get you started with a few popular search categories, but you can also tailor the list by adding your own favorite searches. This makes it fast and easy to find the best places for you with little fuss.

Use a default search category, save your own, or rate the nearest place quickly.

It can be pretty rewarding to discover a new place you love, but we also realize that there are some experiences you just can’t wait to share. So Places makes it super simple to rate a place with your iPhone while you’re there. Just fire up the app and hit “Rate now.” It will use your location to guess your current place and let you post a Hotpot review right from your phone. But it’s not just about getting to say what you think—the more you rate places, the more you’re sharing about your tastes and the more we can give you personally tailored recommendations.

Give your star rating and add optional details or a review so Hotpot knows your taste.

If you want to make things even tastier, just visit from your desktop computer. Here you can add friends to the mix and quickly rate all the places you already know. Once you’ve added friends, you’ll find your results seasoned not just with reviews from around the web and recommendations based on your own personal taste, but also with your friends’ opinions too.

Once you start rating and add friends, Places can give you personalized recommendations.

Get the Places app on your iPhone now by searching for Google Places in the App Store or going here.

This first version of Places is available for all iOS devices in English only. However, expect more features and improvements to roll out soon, including localization in many new languages. We’re hard at work to make Places with Hotpot more and more delicious.

Posted by Greg Blevins, Software Engineer, Google Hotpot team Permalink

Google Latitude App for iPhone

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.”

Opera Mini for iPhone Finds 2.6 Million Users In Just 2 weeks

Safari on the iPhone is by no means a bad mobile browser — in fact, it’s arguably the best one out there. Just because people have something good doesn’t mean they don’t want to peek at what else is out there, though. Even if someone’s dating the finest supermodel in all the lands, they’ll still sneak casual glances at other potential mates. Its just human nature. People like having options.

For quite some time, Apple blocked third-party apps that challenged those that came on the handset out of the box, citing “duplication of functionality”. When Opera submitted the Opera Mini browser to the App Store, much ado was made over whether or not it would be approved. It was — and naturally, people looked. 2.6 million of them, in just 2 weeks.

Read the rest at MobileCrunch >>

Flash Player on Mobile Phones – iPhone, Andriod ,Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm and Google

Apple’s CEO wrote a thoughtful post about Adobe Flash and explained the reasons why Apple doesn’t intend to add support for Flash to the iPhone OS:

“Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.”

Steve Jobs says that Flash doesn’t perform well on mobile devices, it drains the battery and it’s not optimized for touch interfaces. Flash is also a way to create cross-platform applications, but Apple doesn’t want applications that look the same way on all mobile platforms and don’t take advantage of iPhone’s features. “We cannot be at the mercy of a third party” is the main reason why Steve Jobs doesn’t want to include Flash’s runtime. Flash’s main use today is to play videos, but web developers should start using the native video tag, which is already supported by most web browsers, including iPhone’s browser.

Apple’s refusal to support Flash in popular products like iPhone or iPad has an important side-effect: web developers will be forced to take advantage of HTML5 features like native video, canvas or create animations using SVG, instead of/in addition to using Adobe’s proprietary plug-in.

Unfortunately, users can’t access a lot of content on their mobile devices. There are many sites built using Flash and many popular sites use Flash to create animations, charts and other interactive content. Adobe is already working on Flash Player 10.1, the first version of the plug-in that will work on smartphones, if you don’t take into account Flash Lite. Flash will soon be available for Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm and Google will include the plug-in in Chrome and Chrome OS. Flash Player 10.1 for Android will be available as a public preview in May at Google I/O and the general release will be in June.

Google’s decision is pragmatic: even if HTML5 is the future, Flash is an important part of the web today. “[Sometimes being open] means not being militant about the things consumer are actually enjoying,” said Google’s Andy Rubin. Users will be able to choose if they want to enable Flash and Adobe will be pressured to deliver a better product.

Some might say that Android is actually the anti-iPhoneOS: it’s an open source operating system, it encourages competition and collaboration in the mobile space, it lets you replace built-in functionality, install applications from other sources than the Android Market and customize your device. Android is not “at the mercy of a third party”, but third parties can add a lot of value. Even if Android’s user experience is inferior to iPhone’s user experience, Android is an open platform that can be fully customized and a better catalyst for innovation. Android doesn’t strive for perfection, it’s a flexible platform that lets you transform a device into whatever you want it to be.

Install Android on a first-generation iPhone

A member of the iPhone Dev Team, a group of hacker that develop software for jailbreaking iPhone, managed to install Android on a first-generation iPhone. David Wong replaced Apple’s bootloader with the open-source OpeniBoot so that he could install a different operating system. He also used a version of the Linux kernel ported to the iPhone in 2008.

“It should be pretty simple to port forward to the iPhone 3G. The 3GS will take more work. Hopefully with all this groundwork laid out, we can make Android a real alternative or supplement for iPhone users. Maybe we can finally get Flash,” says David.

This is one of the many benefits of an open-source software: people can modify it and use it in new, interesting ways. You can install Android on a Windows Mobile phone, on an iPhone, on a notebook and on many other devices.

Mobile Analytics for iPhone, Android and Blackberry platforms devices from Motally

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.

Live Video Stream Video Using TwitCasting And Tweet Simultaneously From Your iPhone

Late last year, Ustream and qik launched iPhone applications that let you stream videos from the iPhone to the web and allow others to watch them as they’re being recorded. And now there is an iPhone app called TwitCasting Live (iTunes link), which offers the same basic functionality, but is – as the name suggests – much more deeply integrated into Twitter.
The free app is essentially a live streaming app and Twitter client rolled into one. TwitCasting Live splits the iPhone screen in half, allowing you to view your Twitter timeline, update your status, access the web etc. on the bottom half, while recording (broadcasting) video on the top.

jQTouch – jQuery plugin for mobile web development

jQTouch - jQuery plugin for mobile web development

jQuery plugin for mobile web development

A jQuery plugin for mobile web development on the iPhone, Android, Palm Pre, and other forward-thinking devices. what a plugin

[HOWTO] Sync your iPod touch / iPhone with Linux – GU1337

If you have an iPhone, please bear with me calling it an “iPod touch”. I don’t have time to put “iPod Touch / iPhone” everywhere.

Before we get started, I want to clear some things up:
* Syncing your iPod touch with Linux is NOT the most efficient process, and is also not very stable.
* Any flaws in your sync CAN BE FIXED.
* A restore is not possible on Linux. I am in the process of writing a Python script for restoring to 1.1.1 (that may never get completed).
* iTunes emulated under Wine will NOT sync your iPod touch

I’m using Ubuntu Linux 7.10 for everything in this thread.
apt-get and Synaptics are the Debian/Ubuntu package installer/manager
yum is the Fedora/Redhat package installer/manager

Before you even start, make sure your iPod is jailbroken, and you have BSD Subsystem and OpenSSH installed and running. All Linux syncing is done wirelessly, so if you don’t have Wifi, you’re stuck making a LAN connection from your computer to your iPod touch. I have no idea how to do this efficiently yet.

Once you get these installed and running, set Auto-Lock to Never. Also, set a static IP address outside of your IP range (so it won’t ever be taken).
Mine is

Now, I suggest using GTKpod to sync your iPod touch. Don’t install it from Synaptics or apt-get or yum, etc. because it installed an older version (.99.10), which corrupts your touch’s database to read music and videos.

Compile the sources for .99.12 from the GTKpod website ( manually. Make sure you have build-essential and gcc installed.

If you have trouble installing any dependencies, check Synaptics first to see if they exist in the version required, you need the -dev versions to compile properly.

If anyone has any dependency errors, post here or PM me! I can supply links to sources/binaries of these sources.

Once you get GTKpod .99.12 installed, it’s pretty much easy from here.

sudo apt-get install ipod-convenience

Once you get ipod-convenience installed, enter the IP you set as your static IP for your iPod.

Now, open a terminal. Type:

And type your root password (alpine by default).

To unmount, type:

Now, open GTKpod. It *should* bring up a dialog box asking for your model type. Either put “Touch” or “Phone”. Pick either of them, doesn’t matter.

Now, click your iPod. It should “hash” any tracks you currently have on your iPod touch.

Once it’s done (may take a while if you have many songs and videos on your iPod), you can now delete, rename, and play (using an external player) any media files on your iPod.

“But wait! I can’t play them!”
You need to install mp3 support (and m4a/aac/mp4 support). This is in Add/Remove Programs, called “Ubuntu Restricted Extras”. Install that, and it should work!

To add tracks, not only do you need to press “Add File” or “Add Directory”, but you also need to SAVE CHANGES.

Once you’re done, just close GTKpod. No need to keep it open.
Open terminal (or restore it if you didn’t close it) and type:

And you’re done.
If you don’t feel like unmounting it for now, just open the music application on your iPod and hold down “Home” until it completely closes. Once you reopen it, your new music will appear. ipod-touch-umount and iphone-umount act as the same thing as closing the app.

The first time you mount your iPod, plug the iPod touch into the USB port on your computer. Disregard any “Camera Import” dialogs that appear. When you mount it the first time, it needs to create the Firewire GUID to your iPod.

Anyways, that’s pretty much everything you need to know!
If I forgot anything, I’ll add it later!

Any errors or help you need, post here, preferably. Don’t PM me unless it’s needed. I barely check my PMs anyways. I’ll be faster replying here.

— Alex

Amarok Section!
Settings > Configure Amarok
Media Devices > Add Device > “Apple iPod Media Device”
Point it at your mount point (by default /media/ipod)
Click the blue cog icon called “Configure Device” right above the iPod touch
For “Pre-Connect Command” add ipod-touch-mount (or iphone-mount)
For Post-Disconnect Command” add ipod-touch-umount (or iphone-umount)
In “Devices”, click “Connect” and enter your password
Your iPod touch should appear in Amarok!
Once connected, click on the double arrows on the right hand side of the Connect, Disconnect, and Transfer icons
A list of options opens up (iPod is what you want). Choose iPod > Set iPod Model > Mobile Phones > iPhone

There ya go! You can sync it now like a regular iPod!