Posts Tagged Google Places
AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) will accelerate the deployment of its LTE network, launching LTE markets by mid-year with the entire deployment competed by 2013. In addition, the company will debut 20 4G devices this year. Those devices will use a variety of operating systems including Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 7 and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, implying that a 4G version of the iPhone is in the works.
AT&T described both HSPA+ and LTE network technologies and said it will be releasing devices that run on both technologies. Recently T-Mobile USA has blurred the lines calling its HSPA+ network and devices “4G.” When T-Mobile did so this past spring, AT&T said that calling HSPA+ “4G” was misleading.
Speaking at the company’s AT&T developer event held here today, AT&T Mobility CEO and President Ralph de la Vega said that recent tax incentives have made it possible to accelerate the company’s LTE deployment as well as expand its backhaul capabilities. Specifically, de la Vega said that the company is equipping its backhaul network with Ethernet and fiber, which will provide network speeds of up to 6 Mbps–what AT&T calls “4G speeds.” He expects that two-thirds of the company’s network traffic will be on the expanded backhaul by year-end.
In October, AT&T Operations CEO John Stankey said at an investor conference that the company would launch commercial LTE service by mid-2011, and will cover between 70 million and 75 million POPs by year-end.
De la Vega also said that AT&T plans to introduce 20 4G devices this year, with HSPA+ devices coming in the first half of the year and LTE devices in the second half of the year. Those LTE devices will include smartphones, USB modems and hot spots and will use a variety of platforms including Android, Windows Phone and iOS. AT&T will launch HSPA+ smartphones that include the Motorola (NYSE:MOT) ATRIX 4G, the HTC Inspire 4G and the Samsung Infuse 4G.
The carrier also said it plans to launch two tablets, including its first LTE tablet, by mid summer. Additional LTE tablets are planned for the second half of the year. The first tablet, running HSPA+, is made by Motorola, has a 10.1-inch screen, runs on Nvidia’s 1 GHz Tegra 2 processor and supports the “Honeycomb” version of Android.
By contrast, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) has already launched 39 LTE markets, covering 110 million POPs. The carrier currently offers two laptop dongles, and charges $50 per month for 5 GB of LTE data and $80 for 10 GB of data. Verizon is expected to unveil a range of Android smartphones and at least one tablet here for its LTE network.
The faster LTE the faster all your Mobile Real Estate listings will populate with our QR Code mobile software. RealtyGo
Google has unveiled the awkwardly-named Hotpot, which is a kind of ratings tool and recommendation engine for Google Places.
As you review restaurants, music venues, stores and the like, Hotpot’s recommendation engine learns what you like and suggests other places you might like. Throw in recommendations from friends and Hotpot starts to sound very useful. Indeed Hotpot is useful, bringing location-based searching, algorithms that learn what you like and friends’ recommendations together in a single place.
But, perhaps because of that combination of features, it’s also awkward to set up and poorly integrated with the rest of Google’s services. It has some features that trump its main competitor, Yelp, like the awesome search tool. But the social and community aspects of Hotpot — features Yelp handles well — are too difficult to get set up.
Which isn’t to say that Hotpot isn’t useful. You just have to clear its awkward silo-style hurdles first. If you head over to the new Hotpot URL, you’ll be asked to sign in with your Google account and then to pick a nickname for use on Google Places.
Once that’s done you’ll need to find your friends and “add” then to your list of Hotpot friends. Setting up Hotpot feels a bit like you just slipped back in time five years to a web where every social service is an island.
It could be that Google was worried about another Buzz-style backlash if it made Hotpot’s social features automated. Instead, everything is manual — you’re presented with a list of friends that you can add (follow might be the more familiar verb here) much like the process Google Reader uses.
However, with Reader the sharing notices are sent inside the Reader web app. With Hotpot, the notices are sent to your friend’s Gmail account for approval. Worse, there doesn’t seem to be an “Add all” button — if you’ve got 300 friends, you’ll be click “Add” 300 times.
Once you’ve made it past the initial hurdles of setting Hotpot up, its results are actually pretty good. Having only tested Hotpot for a few hours, it’s hard to judge the quality of recommendations, but as a simple Google Places search tool, the interface is clean and easy to use.
Hotpot is also integrated into normal Google searches as well. Just click the Places option in the list of filters and you see reviews and ratings from your friends alongside the familiar Yelp, Urbanspoon and other aggregated ratings.
The aggregated reviews are a win for Hotpot. The big difference between Yelp and Google Hotpot is volume — Yelp has hundreds of reviews for all the restaurants in my neighborhood written by individuals from its loyal users. Google has a big enough database of user reviews, but it’s not as vibrant or extensive as Yelp’s.
But Hotpot gets around that limitation by culling reviews from around the web — in the case of restaurants, there’s Zagat, OpenTable, Gayot, Yelp, Blogspot and WordPress food blogs. Some places have a lot of Google user reviews, but Yelp usually always has more.
Though there needs to be a way to keep reviews from Insider Pages from showing up in Hotpot. They are universally worthless and presumably written mainly by YouTube commenters.
It’s interesting to note that Yelp is all about community, and Hotpot’s mapping and searching features are more advanced, but its community and social features are lacking. The two would be a perfect match if they were combined. Yelp reportedly screwed up a chance to be bought by Google last year — consider it salt on the wound that Google is pulling reviews from Yelp to beef up its own competing product.
Where Hotpot may find its big mojo, which would save it from the same fate as Google Wave, is inside Google’s mobile apps. For now that means Android 1.6+, though an iPhone app is in the works. There’s no word on a Windows Mobile app.
The new features in the Google Android app mean that, if you’re in an unfamiliar part of town, you can quickly find a nearby restaurant that your friends love, or an out-of-the-way music store you didn’t know about.
RealtyGo.co launches its answer to “Hot Spots” mid February of 2011
QR Codes are here to stay!
Click the play icon after selecting the link below to watch an informative video on QR Codes, you can see google is very innovative in everything they do.
To see the full article and how RealtyGo.co is striving to become relevant and a helpful tool for the Real Estate industry, visit the link provided here:
As always thank you for reading, RealtyGo.co