Google has launched YouTube Capture for iOS on the iTunes App Store this afternoon, allowing users to upload video “in as few as 3 clicks.” The folks at YouTube released the app to make it easier for users to film and upload video to YouTube, as the app allows for video to be filmed from right within the app, uploaded, and shared to Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Besides the speed, the app is also welcomed because it offers an easier way to upload videos than iOS’ finicky uploader does. We have to wonder why this feature was not just included into the YouTube for iOS app—but, hey, we’ll take it. [iTunes]
With the highly anticipated Google Maps for iOS now among us, Google SVP of Commerce Jeff Huber shared some interesting download numbers this afternoon. In just 48 hours, Huber said that a whopping 10 million users downloaded the Apple Maps alternative from the iTunes App Store. Also, as the app climbs up the charts to the top free app, the number of downloads is likely rising quick. Google Maps for iOS was well received, garnering positive reviews and ratings, with even Google admitting that its iPhone version of Maps is better than its Android version. Additionally, things look to get even better: Google shared last week that iPad support and offline mode are launching soon.
The folks in Mountain View have launched a holiday “Surprise Calendar” page on the Google Play store this afternoon, giving customers daily free or discounted apps, books, music, TV, movies, and more. Google explained the promotion will continue through Jan. 1 2013, and started today with a download to Hotel Tonight and $35 to use toward a hotel booking (with the code “Google 35″). Last December, Google treated its customers to 10 apps discounted to 10 cents when the Google Play store hit 10 billion total apps. We can confirm this year’s page is available in both United States and Canada, and you’ll have to tune in each day for the latest surprise. [Google Play]
Google just announced it would expand Fiber to five more areas, otherwise known as “fiberhoods,” around Kansas City in 2013.
Google charges $70 a month for its Fiber Internet service that offers speeds of 1Gbps downstream. Googler Rachel Hack gave more details on the speedy service today via the Google Fiber blog, and she noted the new fiberhoods include Piper Schools, Delaware Ridge, Painted Hills, Open Door, and Arrowhead:
In 2013, we’re going to hit the ground running, finishing installations in Dub’s Dread, and then quickly moving on to five more fiberhoods. Based on pre-registration results, the next fiberhoods on the list are Piper Schools, Delaware Ridge, Painted Hills, Open Door and Arrowhead.
Those who want Google Fiber in one of the newly announced areas must select their service plan by a specific deadline: Jan. 31, 2013 for Piper Schools, Feb. 14, 2013 for Delaware Ridge, Feb. 28, 2013 for Painted Hills, Feb. 28, 2013 for Open Door, and March 7, 2013 for Arrowhead.
Sprint today confirmed in a press release that it will acquire the roughly 50 percent of Clearwire it doesn’t already own, giving it 100 percent ownership of the company in deal worth $2.2 billion:
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. & BELLEVUE, Wash. (BUSINESS WIRE), December 17, 2012 – Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the approximately 50 percent stake in Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR) it does not currently own for $2.97 per share, equating to a total payment to Clearwire shareholders, other than Sprint, of $2.2 billion. This transaction results in a total Clearwire enterprise value of approximately $10 billion, including net debt and spectrum lease obligations of $5.5 billion.
The transaction will take place for $2.2 billion paid to Clearwire’s shareholders (other than Sprint), or $2.97 per share. Sprint explained it is a “128 percent premium to Clearwire’s closing share price the day before the Sprint-SoftBank discussions were first confirmed.” Sprint also said the spectrum acquired from Clearwire, in combination with its own, will provide “an enhanced spectrum portfolio that will strengthen its position and increase competitiveness in the U.S. wireless industry.” As noted in the release, Softbank, which is currently slated to take control of Sprint in mid-2013, gave its consent to the Clearwire deal as required:
The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported this evening that the long antitrust probe/suit/investigation into Google by the Federal Trade Commission is ending after nearly two years. The debacle, centered on antitrust litigation and allegations, is said to end with Google coming out relatively unaffected—something competitors like Yahoo certainly do not want. The FTC is said to end the investigation as early as this week, with Google agreeing to make changes to satisfy the organization. The changes are not yet clear. We can only wonder if CEO Larry Page’s meeting helped push things in Google’s direction. You bet we’ll update as more develops.