Google has officially launched offline maps of Android devices in 150 countries around the globe. Google announced the advent of this new functionality earlier in June at the SMX West. Google explained the functionality of the new maps- “Now, you can download the latest version of the app in Google Play, then select and save a region of a map from more than 150 countries for use offline. Whether travelling internationally, carrying a WiFi-only device, heading underground on the subway or restricting your mobile data usage, you can now save up to six large metro areas (e.g., Greater London, Paris, or New York City and surrounding area) and use Google Maps for Android to find your way.”
What Bing is calling as its ‘largest satellite release to date’- includes 38 million square kilometers of satellite imagery. This release was announced in a blog post by Bing which said, “The latest Aerial release includes new Satellite imagery as well as Global Ortho photography. Both releases total 165 terabytes of new data live on Bing Maps. Prior to this, our existing Aerial footprint was 129 terabytes total.”
Microsoft's Bing has entered into a partnership with Yelp, after which the local search results will include Yelp's reviews. Yelp has been quoted on the deal as- “Yelp will surface content including, review snippets, photos, business attributes, and more, to Bing users in the U.S.”
Search experts are of the view that this collaboration between Bing and Yelp is to relieve the pressure built on Bing after Google acquired Zagat.
Microsoft Bing has teamed up with Encyclopedia Britannica to add more data to its search results. It was announced on Thursday by the search engine that it will include Britannica Online answers directly in the Bing results page. With this new feature the company has made it easier for users to find details on the topics they search for.
Google officially rolled out the red carpet for US merchants wanting to get on board the free Trusted Stores seal program. This program was announced in October 2011 and was being tested, and has now opened its doors for US based businesses. Interested merchants can head here to sign up for the program. The program will allow the participating business to get a Trusted Store badge and clicking on it will give the customers all they want to know about the store’s shipping and customer service record. This badge will appear beside the store’s AdWords ads.
Google has simplified the domain verification process required in Webmaster Tools and Google Apps. The search engine announced that together with eNom and Go Daddy webmasters will have a faster way of verifying their sites in certain Google services. As per the new service offer, customers of Go Daddy and eNom can go through a simple sign-on process and verify their ownership of a domain without much fuss.
Google's CEO, Larry Page gave a presentation titled "Beyond Today" at Zeitgeist 2012 in the UK. He spoke of search, priorities, Google glasses and Google’s self-driving cars. He threw light on the direction Google is going to take ahead and where the priorities of the company lay. Page discussed a lot about the year he’s spent as CEO of the company after Eric Schmidt stepped down from the post. Page revealed details of Google’s evolution in the past year and how the company’s focus has altered towards other better things to come.
Google has formally introduced its “Knowledge Graph” with the tagline- “things not strings”. This means get ready to get real answers and not just links. Google will share its knowledge with users on many things including: places, people, things, technology, entertainment, fine arts, sports, geography, weather and much more. All these things will be revealed by the ‘knowledge graph’ apart from usual search results. This is a step forward in the direction of people getting answers about concepts/meaning of the search term; and not just getting to see pages with the search query in them. As Google says, “This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.”