Google News updated with realtime coverage, larger images, and Google+ integration

Google announced on the official Google News blog three new features coming to the U.S. edition of the site, including: new larger images on the main news page; real-time updates that will cover only the latest content; and new integration with Google+ content.

The realtime coverage page provides access to “every news story as soon as they become available to Google News.” The page will also include “Google+ Discussions” to the right, which will even display on the refreshed News homepage. The discussions will only appear to those signed into to Google+ and will consist of comments from journalists, politicians, and those in your Circles currently discussing breaking news.

The Google+ discussions, new realtime coverage page, and larger images will roll out over the next week, but you can upgrade now (here). Google also provided the following instructions to turn off the Google+ integration:

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Google banks four times more revenue from iOS devices than Android devices

Google gave a testimony to Congress last year claiming it earned two-thirds of its mobile revenue from iOS devices, but now it seems as though the company’s estimate might have been low.

Google made less than $550 million in revenues for Android between 2008 and 2011, while making four times as much revenue during the same period with Apple products that employ Google services like Search and Maps.

According to The Guardian, the settlement offer provided yesterday by Google to Oracle depicted Android’s revenue streams. Settlement discussions ordered by Judge William Alsup were derailed when Oracle rejected Google’s low offer to pay royalties on Android if alleged patent infringements deem true in court.

Reuters reported yesterday that the settlement stems from a 2010 lawsuit where Oracle claimed its Java-related patents were infringed by Android. Oracle acquired the intellectual property in question when it purchased Sun Microsystems in 2010.

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Report: Apple plans to reduce Google’s iOS presence by adding Baidu to mobile search options next month

Reports surfaced in China that claim Apple plans to integrate Baidu into iOS next month as the country’s possible default search function—suggesting iOS aims to become less dependent on Google’s services.

According to Chinese news website Sina Tech (machine-translation):

Sina Technology News on March 26 morning news, according to informed sources, Apple iOS operating system next month will be formally introduced Baidu search, Baidu and Apple between cooperation component in the China region.

Google’s Susan Creighton revealed last fall that two-thirds of the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company’s mobile search comes from Apple iOS devices.

Meanwhile, recent speculation claims Apple is moving to an in-house Mapping solution that would replace Google Maps. The firm also recently removed its publish to YouTube option in QuickTime for Mountain lion. If these latest rumors deem true, Apple’s move to Baidu would further indicate a significant effort to reduce Google’s presence in iOS.

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Google posts ‘College Hoops 2012′ basketball guide, builds bracket based on search queries

Earlier this week, we got the official “NCAA March Madness” Android app, and now Google just posted a “College Hoops 2012″ website acting as a resource for all things college basketball during the tournament. At the top of the page (pictured above), Google allows you to filter the bracket based on “Search Picks” or “Actual Results.” Clicking “Search Picks” will get you Google’s picks based on the teams with the most search queries. Actual results will get you the real/updated results from the tournament, and clicking any of the teams will send you to Google search with the latest news and scores.

On the page, Google also outlined a few ways to stay in the loop during the tournament. On Google+ you can join the conversation with hashtag #GoogleHoops, and there are even a few upcoming Hangouts with ESPN analysts and others in the weeks to come. As for scores, Google reminds us that typing the name of your team followed by [score] will get you results without leaving the search results page. We also get virtual tour of the stadiums during the tournament through Google Maps.

Swing by Google’s “College Hoops 2012” website for more information.
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Report: Google plans to reinvent search by understanding words

Google is reinventing its Web-search technique with direct information for queries to better maintain the majority market share.

The Wall Street Journal said Google aims to replace some Web links with summarized answers and facts. The search formula transition will roll out over the next few months as the search engine begins to merge relevant results with semantic search, which attempts to understand the meaning of words versus keyword identification. One source said the change could influence 10 percent to 20 percent of all search queries.

Under the new strategy, a search for “Mount Everest” will display key attributes, such as the mountain’s location, altitude, or geographical history, aggregated from Google-indexed websites. Longer queries might uncover a real answer instead of links to websites. For example, the question “What are the 10 largest mountains in the United States?” would subsequently reveal a list of mountains and not ambiguous links to various state parks or hikers’ fan pages.

Google’s top executive Amit Singhal told WSJ that the new search results are the product of hundreds of millions of “entities” stored in a database. The company’s Metaweb team of 50 engineers painstakingly gathered particulars on people, places, and things over the last two years to build an immense collection for associating different words through semantic search.

More information is available below.

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Google I/O registration opens 7 a.m. PDT March 27, last year it took less than an hour to sell out

Google opens its registration for its annual I/O conference on March 27. Remember, tickets sold out last year in under an hour so set your alarms!

The conference also moved from May to June this year where Google will debut many new technologies, including some Glasses hopefully. While we do not have official word on the Glasses “Project WingFront,” we were told by a Google employee that this year’s I/O was going to be “totally insane.” Perhaps so insane that Google moved from a two-day format to three days this year.

 

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Google also updated its I/O website with some fun and games. Read more

Google publishes uncut video of weekly search quality meeting

Google decided to publish uncut video from its search quality meeting today where the company discusses and makes decisions about changes to the algorithm and infrastructure used for Google search. This is the first time Google published footage from the meeting, but the company said in a post on Google+ that it would continue doing so for each weekly meeting going forward as part of its “continued effort to be more transparent about how search works.” For this week, the group discussed issues with spelling for long queries.
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‘Google Search’ app launches for Windows Phone

Microsoft is slinging mud at Google recently with bitter videos and critical advertisements, but the Internet giant is staying silent and has only thrown one thing at the Windows company: The “Google Search” app.

“Find better results using Google from your Windows Phone. Search the web faster and easier with the latest features: Google Autocomplete, My Location, and Voice Search,” announced the app’s description.

More information is available below.

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Previously-searched places now available on Android, iPhone

Google rolled out a handy new feature yesterday to its mobile search page on Android and iPhone smartphones that provides access to the list of past places-related search queries. According to a post over at the official Google Mobile blog, the new Recent icon “shows information about places you have recently searched for on any of your devices.” You must be logged in to your Google Account when searching for places (such as the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco). Web History must also be enabled. Users can swipe to the right to see more icons for other categories of places.

Next time you are heading to a place you have recently searched for, no need to worry if you can’t remember the address or phone number. Just go to Google.com on your smartphone and tap on the “Recent” icon.

This improvement also allows you to research places of interest on your desktop and view them later while on the go— without having to bookmark or email places’ URLs to yourself. One thing to keep in mind: This information about your previously searched places will be available under the Recent icon for about a day, Google said. This handy new feature is the first in a series of enhancements aimed at unifying search experience across devices.

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Did Google really lose 7 percent of its search market share last month, mostly to Baidu?

Baidu is China’s largest search engine with a not-so secret mission to dominate the global market, and while most chuckle at the thought of it surpassing Google, one might be surprised to learn the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet giant lost 7 percent of its search market share to Baidu last month.

According to the well-regarded statistics firm NetMarketShare, Google dropped 7 percent in Desktop Top Search Engine Share Trend in February while Baidu gained a little over 6 percent. Bing, Yahoo, and other competitors remained stagnant. As seen in the chart below the break, Google and Baidu have paralleled each other in terms of share fluctuations since November 2011.

Beijing-headquartered Baidu offers a range of Web services similar to Google, including maps, news, search ranking, e-commerce, Internet TV, a browser, and a smartphone operating system based on Android OS. The firm is adamant about its business not being a Google-clone, though.

Baidu’s Director of International Communications Kaiser Kuo explained to CNN (in the 2010 video above) that CEO Robin Li actually filed a hyperlink analysis patent before Google’s cofounder Larry Page. The filing indicates Baidu envisioned the future of search long before Google dominated cyber space…

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