When Google first mentioned ChromeOS, we figured it was their reaction to launching Android, then seeing Palm come out with webOS, and smacking their heads -- they could have done that with V8! (What, too nerdy?)
Did Apple meet with mobile advertising company, AdMob before Google acquired them last week for $750 million? That's what "people familiar with the matter" told Bloomberg:
Buying AdMob would have allowed Apple to expand into online advertising, a strategy that Nokia Oyj is pursuing, [IDC analyst Karsten Weide] said. “If a lot of traffic goes through my devices, why can’t I become the middleman that serves ads against that inventory? AdMob would have allowed them to do that quickly.”
When Google opens their wallet, big buyouts follow, and this time it's iPhone/mobile advertising company AdMob for $750 million, and VoIP startup Gizmo5 for about $30 million.
AdMob is an obvious choice for Google, as it's built mobile and in-app advertising (especially on the iPhone) into a $100 million a year business, enough to get Brin and Page personally involved in the courtship. Says TechCrunch:
Google Dashboard gives you one handy, dandy place to keep track of all your Google stuff. Let's face it, more than any other device, the iPhone is the mobile internet. Google -- well it is the internet. If you're a big Google user, they know what you search for, the contents of your Gmail, the appointments in your Google Calendar, the data in your Google Docs, your Google Latitude coordinates, and who knows what else...
Well, now you do. Let us know how that works for you.
(NB- No iPhone/Mobile WebKit optimized version yet but it shows up just f
UPDATE 3: As pointed out in the comments, there's no sign of ad support in Google Maps Navigation (at least not yet). It's just free as in free.
UPDATE 2: According to Gizmodo, Google:
implied they are working closely with Apple now on [Google Maps Navigation].
iPhone 2.2 saw Google Street View, could iPhone 3.2 see Google Maps Navigation? Let the drooling begin!
UPDATE 1: Replaced video with official version, moved TechCrunch preview below the fold. Enjoy both!
ORIGINAL: Just a few hours ago TiPb posted about the rumors surrounding a free (with ad support, of course) Google Navigation app, and now TechCrunch has the goods -- it's real, and it's (so far) exclusive to Android 2.0. And we quote:
Search in plain English. No need to know the address. You can type a business name (e.g. “starbucks”) or even a kind of a business (e.g. “thai restaurant”), just like you would on Google.
Search by voice. Speak your destination instead of typing (English only): “Navigate to the de Young Museum in San Francisco”.
Traffic view. An on-screen indicator glows green, yellow, or red based on the current traffic conditions along your route. A single touch on the indicator toggles a traffic view that shows the traffic ahead.
Search along route. Search for any kind of business along your route, or turn on popular layers such as gas stations, restaurants, or parking.
Satellite view. View your route overlaid on 3D satellite views with Google’s high-resolution aerial imagery.
Street View. Visualize turns overlaid on Google’s Street View imagery. Navigation automatically switches to Street View as you approach your destination.
Car dock mode. For certain devices, placing your phone in a car dock activates a special mode that makes it easy to use your device at arm’s length.
To quote our own editor-in-chief, it looks "bad@$$", and so far it also looks exclusive to the US, and to Android 2.0, at least for now. But come on Google, you want to give it to everyone outside the US too, right?
Google already provides the free Google Maps service, but could they be planning to step up to full on turn-by-turn navigation? Forbes thinks so:
Google, which generally gives its software away for free and recoups its investment through advertising, would likely sell ads within the navigation application rather than charge users, experts say. The ads could be particularly valuable because the program would know users' precise locations and destinations, allowing advertisers to pinpoint specific kinds of consumers. Google recently started running sponsored link ads in Apple's ( AAPL - news - people ) iPhone map application, which it helped build.