Google unleashed an insane amount of news during its marathon keynote at the I/O developer conference today in California. A new music subscription service, Google Maps update, and messaging platform were just a few of the announcements.
Software and services was the name of the game at I/O this year, and here’s a roundup of everything Google unveiled earlier this afternoon:
Apple just announced that the App Store just hit its 50 billionth app download ever. To celebrate the event, Apple said it would give a $10,000 App Store Gift Card to the person who downloads the 50 billionth app. Apple’s also giving $500 App Store Gift Cards to the next 50 people to download an app after the 50 billion mark.
Google Maps is already one of the best mapping services on the planet, but Google isn’t content to rest on its laurels. At the Google I/O keynote this morning Google announced that it will launch a new version of Google Maps for iOS and Android later this year.
The new Google Maps will come with a simplified UI, as well as new features like real-time traffic, dynamic re-routing, reviews from Zagat and there will even be a dedicated Google Maps app for iPad.
Apple’s got to keep the ever-mounting demands on its Siri servers down somehow, so here’s a new one. If you ask her something too long, Siri will respond with trite quotes upon the power of brevity, such as this one by William Strunk of Strunk & White fame:
A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
Of course, it’s not up to a voice-recognition program to dictate what is an unnnecessary word or sentence, any more than it is up to a pencil which line in a drawing is “unnecessary”, or an engine schematic which part isn’t needed.
But here’s something ironic! Take that exact quote above by Strunk and modify it into a question. “Siri, should a sentence contain any unnecessary words, or a paragraph any unnecessary sentences, for the same reasons that a drawing should not have any unnecessary lines or a machine any unnecessary parts?” And guess what! Siri will accuse Strunk of being long-winded. Take that Elements of Style!
By now, you’ve probably see Commander Chris Hadfield’s tear-jerking farewell to the International Space Station: a cover of David Bowie’s classic space song, Space Oddity, filmed and performed by Hadfield himself in zero-g. In case you haven’t, we’ve embedded it above: it’s hard not to be proud of humanity after watching it.
But do you know how Hadfield actually recorded it? With his iPad, of course.
On my part, I seriously doubt iOS 7 will look anything like this: Ive’s sense of design sophistication is not going to have him making app icons that look as if they would be right at home in a preschoolers sticker book. But it’s a nice concept none the less.
Some more images after the break to wet your whistle.
The iPhone 5S could come with a sapphire crystal capacitive touch home button that incorporates a new fingerprint sensor, according to supply chain sources in Taiwan.
Apple is expected to do away with the traditional physical home button, which has long been one of the most unreliable components on iOS devices. It’s thought that using sapphire crystal, which has a hardness second only to diamond, will prevent the button from getting scratched and ruining the fingerprint sensor.
Steve & Steve, an online graphic novel being undertaken by Patrick Sean Farley, has got to be the trippiest thing you’ll ever read about the friendship between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, in their early HP/Atari days.
How trippy? Well, in the graphic novel, Steve & Steve drop acid in a strange geodesic dome in the middle of the woods, where they begin to debate the origins of technology, Steve Jobs called Arthur C. Clarke a degenerate, Wozniak eludes to a strange criminal past and fantasizes about kissing a girl in his chess club. Then, a Russian nuclear weapon is fired straight at Silicon Valley… or is it?
And that’s just the prologue. It’s beautifully illustrated and written, with some incredible typography. We’ve included a few panels after the jump, but check out the official Steve & Steve site for more. This is already shaping up to be the best Steve Jobs comic we’ve ever seen.
For a long time, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were two of the biggest competitors in the technology industry. They were both early pioneers of desktop computing, and their companies were battling each other for every ounce of market share they could get their hands on.
But those shared experiences eventually led to the two becoming good friends. In a new interview for CBS’ 60 Minutes, Gates fondly remembers his old foe, and emotionally recalls his last visit to Jobs’s Palo Alto home before he passed away in October 2011.