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Google Currents Takes on Flipboard, Other Elegant Newsstand Apps

googleThe world’s largest Internet search company, Google, today unveiled a new HTML5-powered news and media aggregator for mobile and tablet devices, Google Currents, that elegantly displays user customized content from a number of sources, including from Google News, Google Reader, RSS Feeds, and even the company’s latest social network Google+.

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Google Overhauls iPhone Search App, New Interface/Features, Available Now

The world’s largest Internet search engine, Google Inc., has released a new search application, Google Mobile App, for Apple iOS devices that includes a revamped user interface with new gesture controls, new features, and improved performance, among other enhancements.

The new swipe features make searches more intuitive by utilizing new swipe gestures that bring up contextual menus. For example, if you swipe from left to right, a contextual menu appears that allows you to filter your results by time, Google Places, Images, News, Videos, Blogs, Discussions, among other parameters.

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Google Goggles Updated, Could Even Solve Sudoku Puzzles

googleThe world’s largest online search engine, Google, has updated its popular Google Goggles mobile search application, making it a whole lot smarter.

Google Goggles works by utilizing the camera in your smartphone to retrieve useful information in search results, essentially, you could snap pictures of objects, text, photos, people, landmarks, among other things, and the app then retrieves search results after scanning the photo.

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Windows Live iPhone app updated with better Facebook integration

Microsoft has made a significant update to its Windows Live Messenger application for the iPhone, bringing the app to version 1.1.

The update includes a number of new features; such as improved social networking capabilities by allowing you to better integrate your Facebook account directly with the app.

Integrating the app with your Facebook account allows you use Facebook chat directly and view updates from friends. However, the native Facebook app for the iPhone is far more comprehensive and already offers Facebook chat.

Additionally, you cannot integrate Facebook with the app directly from your iPhone. You must go to the Services section by logging into your Windows Live profile from your computer.

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Microsoft brings Windows Live with IM to the iPhone

Microsoft Corporation today made available (iTunes) Windows Live Messenger on the iPhone.

The application is the first official release of the instant messaging and social networking client on the iPhone, years after the iPhone first launched.

The application includes support for push notifications, meaning users can sign in and leave the application on in the background to receive notifications and alerts without straining the battery; similar to how the BlackBerry works.

Users were previously able to use popular third party multi-client instant messaging applications on the platform that also include push notifications, however, this release from Microsoft is more comprehensive and includes more than just messaging capabilities.

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iPhone Facebook 3.1 app brings push notifications

Facebook today released its latest version 3.1 of its mobile iPhone app, bringing a key heavily requested feature to the device: push notifications.

iPhone users no longer have to obsessively manually refresh their Facebook app for new messages or activity. They can just let it run in the background, and get the notifications pushed to them as they happen, in almost real-time.

The Facebook 3.1 app now lets users get push notifications from Facebook messages, wall-posts, friend requests and confirmations, tags, events, and comments, with a pop-up message and a sound.

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Yahoo releases Flickr iPhone app, Finance BlackBerry app

Yahoo today released two new important mobile apps, a native Flickr iPhone app (iTunes) along with a Yahoo Finance BlackBerry application.

The Flickr iPhone app is now the best way to upload, manage, and share your photos on Flickr via the iPhone. You can seamlessly upload photos and add information to photos such as descriptions and tags. You can also view and comment on photos from other users.

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First GPS iPhone app, AT&T Navigator

Yesterday we thought the first iPhone GPS turn-by-turn app to become available would be the MobileNavigator from Navigon.

Today, AT&T released its Navigator app, becoming the first full featured voice-prompted turn-by-turn GPS navigation app to become available on the new iPhone in North America.

The AT&T Navigator app offers voice-guided turn-by-turn notifications, 3D maps, automatic rerouting, POIs, local search, current speed, estimated time to arrival, search for lowest gas prices, search results also tell you how far they currently are, among other features.

The app is a free download, but requires a constant monthly fee of $9.95. The subscription also includes app and new map updates.

The app is now available on iTunes.

AT&T Navigator is built by Sunnyvalue, California-based TeleNav.

The AT&T Navigator seems like a good alternative, and a good option for anyone looking for a GPS solution who wants to use the service for say one month and only pay that small amount.

One of the biggest drawbacks of AT&T Navigator, compared to the other GPS iPhone apps such as the one from Navigon and the upcoming one from TomTom, is that the apps are downloaded in real-time on the AT&T app, meaning if you don’t have cellular coverage in an area, it simply won’t work. So, maybe the other higher priced GPS apps are more worth while, and even more cost-effective in the longer run.

It remains to be seen when TomTom will release their confirmed iPhone app.


AIM becomes first IM client with push notifications on iPhone

With the launch of the new iPhone 3G S, the first push IM client for the iPhone has been launched and is now available in iTunes. AIM is the first client to roll out with the new push notifications. The app can remain running and messages, alerts, sounds, and icon badges, and all other notifications happen as they occur. You can customize how the alerts are displayed, you can choose to have them play a sound, a pop up tool tip, or have an icon badge, or any combination. The downside to the app is the free version (iTunes) is supported with advertisements. The full non-ad version costs $2.99 (iTunes).

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First full GPS iPhone app almost here

The first more advanced GPS turn-by-turn navigation app to launch on the iPhone seems to be the MobileNavigator Europe app from Navigon. The app is now listed on iTunes and marked as “available soon” on the company website.

The app features 2D and 3D displays, most recent NAVTEQ maps with 2.1M+ European POIs, Real Sign Post display, Take Me Home function, Speed Assistant, portrait and landscape support, among many other features. The complete feature set can be found here.

The app currently only supports maps of select European areas. The total download size required on your iPhone is 1.65GB.

This app is very aggressively priced at $94.99.

The same company also offers its app on other platforms such as Symbian and Windows Mobile.

The other large players in the GPS navigation space such as TomTom will also offer their own iPhone apps (see the TomTom iPhone video here) given how lucrative the app store can be. The iPhone now offers TomTom the possibility of a real revenue stream given how closed the iPhone OS is when it comes to cracked software, compared to other platforms TomTom is available on such as Symbian.

The other big player in the space, Garmin, has opted to develop its own branded smartphone dubbed the Nuvifone (see hands on video) with its GPS app installed. Although unveiled on February 12, 2009, the Nuvifone is still not on the horizon for a release. Although unannounced, we can likely expect Garmin to also release an iPhone version as well to remain competitive.

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