In today’s mobile news roundup: Google Maps app now on iOS 6; Dell to drop smartphone business globally; E-book price fixing resolved; Samsung Australia takes a jab at Apple Maps; and NY to experiment taxi hailing app.
Google Maps app now on iOS 6
Fanbois rejoice! The wait is finally over and getting lost may now be a thing of the past, especially for Apple iOS 6 users, as Google Maps for iOS 6 is now available.
The app features accurate and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Street View and more. Plus Google Maps allows you to discover great places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and reviews from people you trust. Signing in would allow you to save your favorite places and quickly access all your past searches and directions from your computer, right on your phone.
Google Maps is available as a free download on the App Store.
In other Google news, Google Play Magazines has arrived in the UK and announced that they have no plans of making dedicated apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 as they believe that the market for those platforms isn’t big enough.
Dell stops smartphone business globally
At Dell World 2012, Dell’s head of consumer business Jeff Clarke announced that they will be abandoning their smartphone business globally, even though the market is expected to reach reach $150.3 billion in 2014.
Though Dell stopped selling their smartphones in the US, they were still available in China. But with the latest announcement, that means they’ll also be pulling their products out of China. Aside from that, they’re also dropping Android, as they seem to be at a loss as to how to make it in the saturated marktet.
“It’s a content play with Android. Amazon is selling books and Google is making it up with search. So far we couldn’t find a way to build a business on Android,” said Clarke.
E-book price fixing resolved
The European Union’s antitrust investigation against Apple and a number of publishing houses has come to an end after the fruity company and the publishers offered to overhaul their pricing models for digital books.
“While each separate publisher and each retailer of e- books are free to choose the type of business relationship they prefer, any form of collusion to restrict or eliminate competition is simply unacceptable,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in the statement.
In April, Apple, Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster Inc., and HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Penguin and Macmillan were charged with price fixing that prevented other sellers from giving discounts or altering the price on e-books. Though Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins agreed to settle, Apple, Penguin and Macmillan opted to defend themselves in court.
Samsung Australia takes a jab at Apple Maps.
The Apple Maps kerfuffle still hasn’t died down especially with Australian authorities reporting cases of travellers getting lost and ending up in a potentially fatal situation. Though Apple may be working hard to fix their embarrassing maps offering, people are still pining for Google Maps.
Samsung used this unfortunate event to their advantage and put it in a recent ad. Samsung released a new marketing display in Sydney where in a muddy SUV is featured with a sign stating, “Oops, should have got a Samsung Galaxy SIII. Get navigation you can trust.” Samsung uses Google Maps for navigation and it can’t be denied that Google has the history and data that Apple hasn’t yet been able to compete with.
But it seems like Google Maps isn’t as flawless as people thought, as authorities in Colac, west of Melbourne, stated that motorist using Google Maps to get to the Great Ocean Road and in the southern Otways, were being diricted to Wild Dog Road – a one-way road not built for heavy traffic. And we know how dangerous it can be driving down a one-way road, right?
NY to experiment taxi hailing app
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission is said to be considering a taxi-hailing app for New Yorkers, though they are still a bit skeptical about the program. The initiative is up for a vote, but chairman David S. Yassky stated that there’s a possibility that instead of voting for a taxi hailing app, they would be considering a pilot program with similar features. The said apps will allow New Yorkers to hail or call a cab using their smartphones by alerting cab drivers where their services are needed.
The extended consideration for a pilot program is not that surprising, since the commission hasn’t been particularly fond of taxi hailing apps, as evidenced by the pull out of Uber – the company that brought the taxi-hailing app service in New York. The app was pulled not because it was unsuccessful, but because the demand was too high, resulting in a shortage of the number of participating cab drivers since the commission didn’t really support the service.