Google released a major feature update to Google Maps for iOS today bringing a handful of useful features for navigation and travel with your iPhone and iPad including integration with the private transportation service Uber.
First up is a feature found on many dedicated GPS devices: lane guidance. The feature will present which lane is necessary with current directions to help you avoid missing important turns. Notably, Apple’s Maps software does not currently offer this feature. Google says lane guidance is currently only available for users in the US and Canada…
Google acquires smart thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 billion in cash, Father of iPod now Google employee
Google has confirmed in a press release that it is acquiring Nest Labs, the company behind Nest smart thermostats and fire alarms started by Father of the iPod Tony Fadell. Earlier reports were quickly confirmed along with the transaction price of $3.2 billion in cash in an official announcement posted on the company’s Investor website. In the statement, Google said that Fadell will be staying on board as a Google employee and continuing to run Nest:
The Digg founder and current Google Ventures partner has a storied history with Apple rumors. For instance, he predicted the Retina iPad but was just over a year early on that. In that post we noted that Rose’s predictions were a bit shaky:
Rose has been very hit-and-miss over the years in terms of his Apple predictions. Prior to the launch of the first iPhone he incorrectly predicted the device having a physical keyboard and most recently, Rose claimed the new Apple TV would be called the “iTV” and would include an App Store as well as ad supported TV stations. On the other hand, Rose was correct about the Apple TV’s September launch date, iPad remote feature, and $99 price point and was also correct about the fourth-generation iPod nano’s features and even posted a photo of it. Rose was also correct about copy/paste in iOS 3.0 as well as new iTunes features.
Kamcord, the startup offering a free SDK that makes it easy for iOS devs to offer in-game recording functionality to their users, today is announcing some pretty big updates to the service. Since grabbing $1.5 million in seed funding from some notable investors back in December (Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, and others), the Y Combinator-backed service has experienced some significant traction and the team is adding plenty of new features to stay ahead of the competition.
The big new feature being announced is voice overlay functionality that will allow users to narrate their videos while they play, as demoed by the team in the video above. CEO Matt Zitzmann also provided us with some other updates the team has added in the last month, including: Video trimming, a custom UI / white-label solution, and a new “Gameplay of the week” notifications feature.
Also being announced today: Kamcord has recorded over 500 million gameplay videos in the last 6 months alone across the 100 apps its currently deployed in. One those games includes the latest from Chillingo and Zitzmann says the company is talking to all the other big mobile game developers too.
Real Racing 3, YouTube, Socialcam 5.0, AVP: Evolution, DayOne, Cycloramic, Dunkin’ Donuts, Rabbit, deals, more
Real Racing 3: The highly anticipated third installment in EA’s Real Racing iOS series has officially arrived in the US App Store today (via 9to5Toys). Available now for free, the game’s new in-app purchase model is getting a little bit of negative attention, but otherwise reviews of the game have been quite positive.
Trailblazing new features include officially licensed tracks, an expanded 22-car grid, and over 45 meticulously detailed cars from makers like Porsche, Lamborghini, Dodge, Bugatti, and Audi. Plus, racing with friends gets kicked into another dimension with the reality-bending Time Shifted Multiplayer™ (TSM) technology.
AVP: Evolution: Fox has released another app in the Alien vs Predators series with the release of AVP: Evolution. The game was developed by Angry Mob Games, makers of PREDATORS and Guerrilla Bob iOS titles, and takes cues from multiplayer modes in recent AVP console releases.
*Two distinct gaming experiences as you engage in the ultimate battle as both the Alien and Predator
*Vicious attacks and brutal finishing moves give players a lethal arsenal to wreak havoc on the enemy
Socialcam version 5.0: Autodesk is making some major improvements to its popular Socialcam app, which has now reached 20 million downloads, with the release of version 5 on the App Store today. The update should be hitting the App Store shortly and with it will come “a complete redesign of visual effects, 720p HD video, video High Dynamic Range (HDR), and a new icon for Socialcam.”
Major new features on the iOS platform include a complete redesign of visual effects, 720p HD video, video High Dynamic Range (HDR), and a new icon for Socialcam… Developed in collaboration with Autodesk’s expert professional video effects teams, the new 720p HD video and video HDR with one click real-time mapping and color correction enables Socialcam—with more than 20 million downloads—to continue to break through barriers to mobile video adoption by making it easy to express creativity and individuality wherever inspiration strikes—anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
Day One version 1.10: The well reviewed journal/diary app known as Day One gets new features today including new options for PDF Export and Printing, historical weather reports for 30 days, a new reminder sound, Sanchez font option, and improvements to HTML styling. There are also a number of performance enhancements include for startup time, Dropbox syncing, and more. An update for the Mac app is coming soon.
Cycloramic version 2.1: The app that received much attention for its unique use of the iPhone’s vibrating motor to snap hands-free 360 degree video gets new features today. Among them is the ability to “convert panoramic photos to 24 second panoramic HD movies.”
YouTube 1.2.1: Google updated its YouTube app for iOS bringing the Send to TV feature that it originally introduced on Android devices back in November. The app will allow users to send YouTube videos from their iOS devices to a Google TV, PS3, or Xbox and Google confirmed back in January that the feature would be coming to even more smart TVs this year.
Former Googlers Robby Stein and Kevin Palms have launched a new iOS app called Stamped. Stamped is backed by Google Ventures, among other investors, and allows users to check-in to locations in a very simple way. Instead of whether you didn’t like the location, thought it was just ‘meh’, or totally loved it, Stamped uses a five star only recommendation system. If you like something you simply ‘stamp’ it. But get this — you only get a limited number of stamps to use, and earn more as your friends like your recommendations.
Stamped joins other check-in and ranking apps like the new Oink, Foursquare, and more. The ability to rank only what you only enjoy seems like a very smart idea, and throwing in the limited number of rankings makes it even better. Like any social network it’s about where your friends are, but being backed by Google this app has the chances of taking off.
Stamped is currently available on the App Store for free. An Android version is also currently in development, and should hit the Android Market fairly soon. Check out a few more screenshots after the break.