May 24, 2012

The Roundup: A String Of Great News For Google

Courtroom drama, vicious browser competition, and the demanding task of app development. What do these things have in common? First, Google is involved in all of them. Second, they are all paying off for Google this week.

Winning The Legal Battles

It seems like eons ago Oracle sued Google for over a billion dollars for allegedly infringing on its Java patents. The jury has now spoken, and Google is off the hook. The judge has made the final ruling stating that Google did not infringe on Oracle's intellectual property. There were a couple lines of code here and there that the jury found Google guilty of minor infringement on. But each of those cases is worth only $150,000.

If you dig a little deeper, you find that this is not the only bit of promising legal news for Google this week. The European Union has been investigating the company for a while for possible anti-trust activity (for allegedly favoring its own services in search). Google has said from the beginning that they want to settle. Now it looks like EU is ready for that settlement, granted they can agree on the terms that please the European government.

Google Chrome, The Top Browser?

StatCounter reported this week that Google Chrome has had its first full week as the #1 browser in the world. They have previously reached the one day as #1 milestone, but this is the first time they've held on to that position for an entire week. If you take that week out of the equation, Internet Explorer still dominates. But there are no signs that Chrome will stop gaining market share any time soon. The next milestone for Chrome is going to be its first full month at #1, and you can expect to see that happen before the end of the year.

StatCounter is one of the most trusted internet analytics companies, but they are still just one company. Other internet trackers and even Microsoft's own data suggests that they are still the top browser. But even if you don't trust StatCounter's exact numbers, no one is denying the trend. Chrome is going up, and IE is going down.

Google Search 2.0 For iPhone

Continuing its trend of redesigning their iPhone apps to make them prettier, Google has released a big update to their iPhone search app. This update comes with a faster interface, more attractive image search, a ton of swipe gestures, and access to all your Google apps in one place.

The speed improvements include faster autocomplete, with suggestions popping up instantly with every letter you type. Pages also load faster, and you are able to quickly swipe between different pages. You can also swipe between types of search like Images and Places. While viewing a page, you can quickly search just within that page by tapping the magnifying glass icon at the bottom. At any point during your search, you can also swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal all available search modes.

On the image search front, Google has will display a grid of high-res images. Tapping them will blow them up full-screen, letting you--you guessed it--swipe back and forth between them. Tap and hold the image if you want to save it, set it as wallpaper, or share it.

On the home screen of the Google Search app, you will find an "Apps" button. This button can take you to any of Google's web apps like Gmail, Picasa, or Google+. But this button also knows which Google apps you already have installed on your phone. If you have a mobile app installed, you can use that app instead of the browser version.

Raspberry Pi For The Kids

In a bit of softer news, Google is buying some of those 25$ Raspberry Pi Linux computers and Arduino starter kits for some of UK's poorest students. As part of the program, they are also providing these students with capable teachers specializing in computer science.

Auction Insights

AdWords users will be pleased to learn that Google is offering a new report that shows how your competitors' ads are doing. I could go on about this, but The Daily Google is not a marketing blog. So, check out the AdWords blog link above or this article on Search Engine Land.