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Friday, November 14, 2008

Google iPhone App Gets Voice Search Upgrade

A New York Times article this morning breaks the story of an upgrade to the Google Search iPhone App, to be released today (and a Twitter Post from CNet last night).

If the app works anywhere near as well as the Google Demo Video below, the search world may be turned on it's ear, or maybe we'd say, it's voice.

Can't wait to try this, and although I've tried, via the iTunes App Store, to find this app or get the upgrade to my current version of the Google Search App, it's not showing up in either place yet. Stay tuned and I'll post the iTunes App Store link as soon as I find it working.

Update from TechCrunch says the App will appear on tomorrow, Monday October 17th.

Just saw via VentureBeat that the google Mobile App is live on the iTunes store. Even though it isn't apparently available as an update through the Application itself. Problem is that the link here doesn't work through the iPhone itself. Grrrrr. Have to wait until I get home to download and test it.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Search Mexico Vacation Spot: Google Earth iPhone App

World search with Google Earth on iPhone is now possible. I sincerely wish I'd seen this the day before leaving on my vacation cruise to Mexico last week, expecially because I could have overcome some strange GPS issues on my iPhone 3g when checking location while at sea, the iPhone GPS showed me in British Columbia anytime I was aboard the ship from just out of the Port of Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta. A quick check with the ship internet cafe manager at the start of my Mexican Riviera cruise got an "I don't know" when I asked why is my GPS showing me in British Columbia while on the ship?

So now Google Earth comes out with an iPhone App, that would have let me enter the latitude and longitude readings showing in the location information on my stateroom television channel. I could have zoomed in on Google Earth from those coordinates to see my location on a map had I downloaded the app before departing Los Angeles Harbor.

Grrr! So I'd still pay the .99 cents per minute international charge on my AT&T bill to view the data, but wouldn't have wasted the time going to the internet cafe each time I wanted to view maps while on-board. Below is a video demo I found at the Google Latlong blog which shows the App in action.

This Google Earth App for iPhone is incredibly cool. It's tied into the "My Location" function of the phone's GPS and shows you where on the earth you are currently when you touch the "Current Location" button in the lower left corner of the iPhone screen. There are interesting tie-ins with the iPhone accelerometer which change the satellite view on the map to let you tilt the phone upright to see the horizon relative to your location, then flat to see the downward view of the map location.

Now comes the search functionality. You can search any business near your current location - or nearby - or in any city you choose. This functionality makes many Apps, like the Where App I use to find Starbucks coffee shops, a bit redundant. Both use your location data via the iPhone GPS, but the Google Earth App brings search, and all the useful Google Earth functionality.

There are Panaramio photos incorporated into the App as well - which lets me post my own photographs to the app after vacation, as well as seeing the photos contributed by others for that location! I'm definitely investing in that eyefi card for my Canon EOS and will be enjoying geek travel on my next vacation via Google Earth, the iPhone, and geolocation of my vacation photos.

Here's my first view of my neighborhood using the
iPhone Screenshot App

iphone screenshot app

and the GPS feature to locate myself in the Google Earth App.

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