Singapore Stories June 28, 2016

android-pay-uk

Android Pay has been very slowly making its way around the world and today the service has finally arrived in Asia — or at least for those in Singapore. Users in Singapore are able to download and activate Android Pay on their devices right now as long as their bank is compatible with the service.

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Singapore Stories May 18, 2016

android-pay-uk

After a false start yesterday, Android Pay is now live in the United Kingdom. Those with compatible credit and debit cards can set up the contactless payment service after downloading the app from the Play Store. Google has also announced that Android Pay is coming soon to Australia and Singapore.

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Singapore Stories February 18, 2016

google-south-east-asia

Google today announced a couple of new significant moves as it plans to refocus on development in southeast Asia. It will build its first engineering team dedicated to the area, in Singapore, and has promised to help train up to 100,000 developers in Indonesia within 4 years, in a bid to get more content out in the country, using its own national language(s).

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Singapore Stories October 16, 2014

Google Keyboard updated with less confusing Settings screen and eight more languages

Google Keyboard offers a great many customization options, but dumping them all into one screen wasn’t the friendliest of ways to access them. The latest version, v3.2, splits them up into seven separate sections to make things easier to find.

The app also adds support for eight more languages, most of them aimed at India. These are Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil (India and Singapore variants), and Telugu.

The new version should be pushed to your device automatically in the coming days. If you don’t want to wait, you can scan the QR code below (courtesy of Android Police) to download and install the APK manually.

Singapore Stories August 12, 2014

SAMSUNG

Samsung’s troubles are far from over, says credit rating Fitch, predicting that the company’s share of the smartphone market will fall from 31 percent last year to 25 percent next year, reports the WSJ.

Nitin Soni, a Singapore-based director of corporate ratings at Fitch, warned that Samsung had lost its edge with consumers as Chinese companies like Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei make cheaper and cheaper products that meet most consumers’ needs.

He added that innovations like wearable devices and curved screens – two of Samsung’s recent tricks – are “unlikely to change the trend” …

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Singapore Stories July 2, 2014

xiaomi

Samsung, HTC and Motorola are likely to be looking a little nervously over their shoulders as Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi more than doubled its year-on-year sales. The company announced (via TNW) that it sold 26.1M phones in the first half of this year, more than it sold in the whole of 2013.

These are impressive sales for a company which sold its first smartphone just three years ago, and whose sales were initially limited to China. Its growth has been fuelled by expansion into Singapore, Malaysia, India and the Philipines, with the company now eyeing up Latin America as its next market …  expand full story

Singapore Stories December 10, 2013

Google’s proposed data center (red icon) location in the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate in Kowloon, next to a golf course.

News that Google was building new data centers in Hong Kong have circulated since the beginning of the year. Google has, however, now decided to cancel the project in Hong Kong. The company blames real estate acquisition issues as the reason for the decision. It isn’t immediately apparent if Google’s contentious relationship with the Chinese Government is to blame or if Honk Kong’s operation costs were at issue. It was reported in September 2011 that Google had already acquired  2.7 hectares of land n the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate in Kowloon which was expected to employ 25 full-time Googlers by this year…

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Singapore Stories June 13, 2013

Google Maps rolls out new Street View imagery for 1,000 locations around the globe

Google announced today on its Google Maps blog that its rolling out a ton of new Street View imagery for over 1,000 locations across Asia, Europe, Latin America, the U.S. and Canada:

Today we’re adding more than 1,000 locations around the world to Google Maps, making it more comprehensive and useful for you. From historical landmarks to sports stadiums, these panoramic photos available via Street View can help you ease into vacation mode with just a few simple clicks… you can use to preview a vacation spot, to plot your next hiking route or just to become an armchair explorer from wherever you may be.

Google highlighted a number of the new addition including new imagery for historical landmarks and more in Brazil, Singapore, Denmark, Mexico City, Chile,

You can get some of the highlights here and check out the imagery for yourself in the latest Google Maps apps for iPhone and Android.

Singapore Stories May 30, 2013

Google expanding 360-degree Google Maps Business Photos program to 7 new countries

Google for a while now has been allowing businesses in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Ireland, and New Zealand hire photographers through its Business Photos program in order to capture 360-degree Street View-like imagery for the inside of retail stores and other businesses. The feature allows users to get a 360-degree, interactive tour of a business without ever leaving Google Maps. Today, Google announced it is expanding the program to seven new countries for both photographers and businesses:

Today we’re announcing the expansion of the Google Maps Business Photos program to seven new countries including: Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Russia, Singapore and Switzerland.

Singapore Stories January 2, 2013

google sign

According to a report from the Economic Times, new data centers in Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are set to bring more speed to Google’s services for many areas. Construction on these data center sites began in 2011 at the sum of $300 million, and, according to today’s report, they are pegged to bring a 30 percent speed increase to Google services for neighboring regions. The Singapore facility is expected to go up in the next few months, while the Taiwan is pegged for the second half. No timetable has been given on the Hong Kong facility.

As an Internet-relying company, one big focus area for Google is speed. The new data centers are going to hopefully bring more speed to areas that normally aren’t as fast. Lalitesh Katragadda, head of product at Google India, explained: “Internet connectivity speed in India is not very high. These data centres will be crucial to this market due to its proximity.” Outside of Asia, Google has seven other data centers across the world. Several are in the U.S., with one each in Finland, Belgium, and Ireland as well. [Economic Times via TNW]

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Singapore Stories October 11, 2012

While still taking its sweet time building a Maps app for iOS, Google is making sure to take care of its own business today by launching the biggest update ever for Street View.

Street View is a five-year-old feature in Google Maps and Google Earth that provides panoramic views of many streets in the world, and its latest update adds over 250,000 miles of roads from around the globe. Google’s Street View team elaborated on the service’s expansion in a post on the official Lat Long blog:

We’re increasing Street View coverage in Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada. And we’re launching special collections in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico, among others.

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Singapore Stories December 22, 2011

We sat down with Google Enterprise Vice President Amit Singh in his Mountain View office this week to discuss the direction and plans of the Google Enterprise team.  While he did not share the all-important revenue numbers with us, he did shine a light on Google Apps’ impressive growth across all of its markets.

Singh was a two-decade alumnus of Oracle when he came with many, many others to the GooglePlex last March to help Dave Girouard and the Enterprise Team sell to big business.  Oracle announced this week very disappointing earnings that has thrown the stock price off almost 15 percent.  Meanwhile, Google Apps is growing like gangbusters; Perhaps Singh’s timing is good.

9to5Google: Hi, Amit. I assume we’re here to talk about your big GM announcement.

Singh: We have no big announcements today but look forward to a whole assortment of announcements in mid-January.  We tend to announce new customers after implementation rather than after sign up. Here’s a hint: we’re growing very big in South America…and Asia, where we’re building three monster data centers in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore that should all be online in the next 12-18 months.

9to5Google: Speaking on that, Apps has had a pretty solid year.  It seems like you have a big announcement almost every week and new features added to Google Docs every day.

Singh: It has been incredible across the board. We are seeing double the daily signups and about 5,000 organizations per day vs. 3,000 per day at the beginning of the year [those numbers also seems to point to bigger signups] and a lot of those are paying users.

9to5Google: You mentioned the new Hong Kong data center and it appears that Google’s plan for China is to deal with Hong Kong’s system.  But what about users in China? Certainly international organizations have to be wary of Google’s relationship with greater China.

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Singapore Stories September 29, 2011

HTC is doubling down on Windows Phone. Pictured above: The HTC Titan, powered by Windows Phone 7.5 ‘Mango’ and arriving to AT&T this Fall.

HTC, the embattled handset maker from Taiwan and the second-largest smartphone vendor in the United States, is doubling down on Microsoft’s mobile platform, seemingly to reduce its reliance on Google’s Android software which has been under heavy fire lately from Apple, Microsoft and Oracle over patents. According to ZDNet Asia, a HTC manager for Singapore said during the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango launch event:

We believe that Windows Phone 7 will eventually be better than other platforms and will give Android a run for its money.

Melvin Chua, the manager, also noted that the Windows Phone platform already accounts for nearly one-third (30 percent) of HTC’s overall sales. This subtle hint points to a possible 180-degree turn for the company that made fortunes by making and selling Android phones. It’s not terribly surprising, though. Their chairwoman Cher Wang recently went on record, saying the company discussed internally a mobile operating system purchase. “We can use any OS we want”, she was quoted as saying.

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