Several Nexus One users had complained of 3G issues over the past few weeks and while Google might have fixed several of the issues that had persisted so far, few users still seem to have been facing them.
However, in a new note on the Google Support forums, the company has announced (informally though) that they shall no longer be investigating 3G connectivity issues since any persisting issues are likely to be with users with weaker 3G coverage in their area.
Here is a transcript of the message posted by a Google employee
I’ve seen some recent speculation on this thread about an OTA to improve 3G connectivity and I want to give you an update on the situation.
While we are continuing to monitor user feedback regarding the 3G performance on the Nexus One, we are no longer investigating further engineering improvements at this time.
If you are still experiencing 3G issues, we recommend that you try changing your location or even the orientation of your phone, as this may help in areas with weaker coverage.
According to reports on the BusinessWeek, Google is in advanced talks with ITA Software Inc., a developer of travel program used by companies such as Orbitz.com, Kayak.com and Microsoft Bing. The cost of acquisitions, by some estimate, is expected to top $1 billion!
However, do note that the talks are still on, and like it happened with Yelp, either party may still walk away from the bid. Nevertheless, we at least now know that Google is interested in venturing into the travel segment.
Folks at TechRadar have dug out some interesting details regarding the launch and price of the much anticipated Google Chrome OS netbooks. In a recent conversation, Eric Schmidt has revealed that the Chrome OS netbook could make it to the market by the beginning of 2011.
He has also revealed that the tentative price for the device could be around $300-$400. Explaining the low cost, Schmidt says,
“Those prices are completely determined, by the way, by the costs of the glass, the costs of the processor and things like that, but in our case Chrome OS and Android are free so there is no software tax associated with all of this”
Ok, so there is enough time before we need to get excited about all this.
Google has been learnt to be testing a new version of its home page on certain testers. The new design improves upon the logo, web page aesthetics like border colors and link underline, improves upon the sidebar display,etc.
For instance, the main search result link is the only text on the page to be underlined. Other links that point to Cache, Similar links,etc. are no longer underlined. Also, the sidebar now includes small icons for categories like Images, Blogs, Maps,etc.
Here are some screenshots from the new web design
[via Six Revisions]
Apple and Google are on the verge of locking heads in one more segment. According to reports on the New York Times, the Mountain View based search engine giant could be working on an Android OS based tablet PC to take on the recently launched Apple iPad. With this, Apple’s iPhone OS could be up for a fight against Android OS on the wider form factor device.
Interestingly, the companies have extended their “my enemy’s enemy is my best friend” relationships to the tablet segment as well. According to the report, the Google Tablet PC may support Adobe Flash – the ubiquitous multimedia platform that Apple has termed a “dying technology” and whose exclusion has created a furore in the blogosphere. Considering that Apple’s hate for the the platform comes from Flash’s ability to let users consume from outside the iTunes store, the inclusion of the same on Google Tablet can give a huge leverage to Mountain View in its fight over Apple.
What do you think?
[via NY Times]
A lot of search engine traffic now comes from mobile phones and unlike the computer audience, those visitors from mobile phones cannot really be optimally targeted with Adsense ads given the space constraint. The issue is yet to be sorted out for the English speaking audience. However, Google appears to have figured out a way for at least the audience from South East Asia like Japan, Korea and also China.
In a recent patent application filed with the USPTO, Google has described the use of the vertical text format; something that is pretty common in these Asian scripts to save on ad space and also present a more optimal way of displaying ads. This is what the inventors have to say,
“A technique, method, apparatus, computer program product, and system are described for vertically displaying text of content items on small display devices. In some implementations, individual characters (e.g., Chinese, Japanese or Korean characters) of text can be displayed vertically in one or more left-hand or right-hand columns of a display. Text strings (e.g., Latin characters, a URL included in the text) can be converted to one or more images, and the images can be rotated for display in a column”
This is not exactly revolutionary, but it can be an effective way to monetize the mobile traffic from these high density regions.
Websites asking new users to “spread the word” by logging into their email accounts is not exactly new. Of late, it is not very uncommon to see the same thing happen with social networks. However, ‘The Mechanical Zoo’, the parent company of Aardvark – the social search engine that was recently acquired by Google has applied for a patent on the idea of viral ad campaigns via status messages.
In the application titled, “Online Word-of-Mouth Marketing of a Web Service Using Personalized Invitations via a Status Messaging Service“, the company has sought for rights on the concept whereby websites and web applications (like Farmville) that promote their service via the users’ status messages.
Here are a few screenshots of the idea that could now belong to Google.
With applications like Farmville (and the thousands of Facebook apps) and Twitpic (and other Twitter apps) making use of similar features to promote their services via status messages, do you think such an idea is patentable?
More analytics services and monetization opportunities for Youtube’s content creators may be on the way. PC World has reported Google’s recent acquisition of San Francisco based startup, Episodic that could indicate a future in this direction.
Episodic claims to be a platform for “broadcasting, measuring and monetizing live and on-demand video content to the web or any web-enabled device“. Announcing the acquisition on their blog, Episodic writes,
“Episodic and Google share a common vision for video on the Web. Online video will be ubiquitous, engaging, entertaining, informative and effective. Both teams place value on creating a great experience for viewers and on delivering a powerful and flexible platform for publishers, marketers and advertisers of all kinds. We’re very excited to join the talented team at Google and to continue creating great experiences for viewers and powerful platforms for publishers, marketers, and advertisers.”
While more details of the acquisition is not yet known, the Episodic team is expected to move to Youtube’s office sometime next week.
Android OS is free and is still among the most popular OS on smartphones. It was hence seen as an ideal platform that television manufacturers would need to bring web applications to TV. However we hear that Panasonic has dropped the idea to bring Android OS based Television due to the costs involved.
According to a Robert Perry, senior vice president of Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co, deployment of Android OS on Panasonic’s television sets would require the company to install “pricey” chips from Google’s partner, Intel Inc. which could make the television unaffordable.
Panasonic’s decision follows a similar move by Samsung earlier this month to reject Google’s proposal for a Google TV due to the high costs involved. What do you think? Is Google TV plagued by high associated costs?
When major publications resort to link-baiting tactics in search of increasing pageviews, then it is a sign that things are not too well. How else can you explain a recent article on the well-respected publication that slowdown looms large on Google when in fact such a thing didn’t exist much even when recession was in town?
Here are some quotes from the recent piece and justification for why Bloomberg isn’t doing well
“it has been leapfrogged by social network Facebook Inc. as the most popular U.S. Web site.”
It has been argued over the past week how misleading the conclusion from Hitwise’s study is. Hitwise claims Facebook has overtaken just the search engine part of Google. Not Gmail. Not Picasa. Not the several hundred properties that Facebook owns. Secondly, the average revenue per user on Google search is much higher than the casual Farmviller on Facebook. More reason why Hitwise’s study means nothing.
“Google’s sales increased 9 percent last year after almost doubling in 2005.”
Even the most cynical of analysts would agree that companies cannot continue their dream run growth percentages once they have grown big. Secondly, a 9% growth for a company that makes money via advertising in a recession is pretty impressive.
Facebook’s gains at Google’s expense weren’t lost on Levi Strauss & Co. The closely held maker of blue jeans and Dockers pants is advertising on Facebook this year for the first time, while its budget for search, Google’s mainstay, is staying about the same as last year,
It’s surprising Levi Strauss didn’t do it earlier. Do we have numbers on the people who search for blue jeans before making a purchase online?
Google’s ventures in mobile, video and display ads have failed to match the success of search
This might be the wrong time to call upon Youtube as a failure since we have just about started hearing that the world’s largest video sharing website could in fact turn profitable starting this year. Also, in mobile, Google’s Android OS is seen as potentially the likely successor to the success of the iPhone and the Android marketplace is projected to overtake the App Store by the next year.
Here is the complete Bloomberg article. What do you make of it? Does it look like an article borne out of genuine concern? You decide!