Google has created quite the debacle in the process of selling the ill-fated Nexus 4, with customers facing a frustrating and absolutely embarassing ordering experience through the Google Play Store. And, customers in the UK who had been promised an early shipping date, quickly found the shipping window had passed, despite any notification from Google.
Customers went on a justifiable rage, trying their hardest to get in contact with the head of Google UK, Dan Cobley. Thankfully for customers, Cobley has now responded to the thousands of complaints, offering an “unreserved apology,” as well as a notice that shipping refunds would be provided.
The letter reads:
I know that what you are going through is unacceptable and we are all working through the nights and weekends to resolve this issue. Supplies from the manufacturer are scarce and erratic, and our communication has been flawed. I can offer an unreserved apology for our service and communication failures in this process.
For those that originally received a 3-5 days shipping estimate, your orders are now in process for fulfillment. You can expect an email notification early this week which will include tracking information. Although you will be initially charged in full, you will receive a credit for the shipping charge soon after.
For others that received pre-Christmas shipping estimates, we anticipate processing your orders for fulfillment this week.
I realise that the people who ordered the Nexus 4 so early are among our most committed and loyal users and we are doing all we can to put things right.
So, if you ordered your Nexus 4 with a shipping estimate slated for before Christmas, your order will soon ship out. Other orders have not been addressed, but were sure more information will arrive as Google gets an idea of what it is doing.
As you might have heard, Google released their version of Maps for iOS yesterday finally giving Apple users a proper Maps app, or so they thought. Turns out Apple had a plan all along and they are working on a complete rearrangement of the Earth’s geography. Apparently they already started renaming streets, switching the location of buildings, and destroying some landmarks. Apple CEO Tim Cook said..
“Apple is committed to providing the best user experience possible, which is why we are working to dismantle Brooklyn Bridge and put London in Canada.”
Leave it to Apple to disrupt the entire world to straighten out their mess. Head on past the break for the full video highlighting the details, and hopefully you will get a good laugh for this fine Friday morning.
“Fat finger” users can breathe a tiny bit easier this evening as Google has introduced a new confirmed clicks feature. According to Allen Huang, Product Manager for Google’s Mobile Display Ads team, the new feature will be active for all in-app image ad banners. The new functionality will prompt users to confirm their intent to follow an ad link.
This morning brought great news for Apple users as they finally have a Maps app that just might work. Google came through and bailed out Apple with the release of the Google Maps app in the Apple app store last night. When this whole fiasco happened, I thought that Google shouldn’t bother developing an app. If Apple wanted to denounce Google, then let them wallow in their own mistakes. Furthermore, since Google wants to promote Android, wouldn’t they just keep it to Android to make it that much more appealing to iOS users?
Unfortunately that really isn’t the correct way of thinking since iOS is a revenue source for Google. Apple and Google might be major competitors, but they are two entirely different companies. You won’t find Apple-made apps in the Google Play Store because Apple has nothing to gain, but since Google derives revenues from ads and clicks, they have everything to gain by making their products available to the competition. In the past we reported that a lot of Google’s mobile revenues actually come from iOS devices, so why should Google shun that? It’s easy for me to say don’t do it, but it just didn’t make business sense for Google to ignore the situation. So iOS users now have a better experience thanks to Google. Maybe they will remember that the next time they buy a new phone. Probably not.
It looks like Shazam and SoundHound are going to have a little more competition from Google. Google’s Sound Search widget was recently only (officially) available to devices running stock Jelly Bean, which is a pretty narrow slice of devices in the Android ecosystem. It couldn’t really gain much traction against established apps like SoundHound or Shazam because it simply couldn’t get on enough devices. Google fortunately realized this, and today made the Sound Search app available in the Play Store for any device running 4.0 and above.
The Sound Search has a leg up on its competition because it links you to music directly in the Play Store, since it’s all Google-maintained. It also features search history syncing across devices, so you can identify the song when you’re out and then actually download it at home on your tablet. Not bad, right? Hit the break for the download link if you’re interested.
I’d say most, if not all, of our readers might have used Google to search for something in 2012 once or twice. Just a few times. Or probably thousands of times. Google performed over 1.2 trillion web searches in 146 languages, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Google’s got a finger on the pulse of the internet. And with the information from those 1.2 trillion web searches, Google summed up 2012 in a 2 minute video. And in typical Google fashion, there’s a handful of easter eggs in the video. Hit the break for the video and the link Google’s own page for Zeitgeist 2012.
It looks like that 67-page letter that Dish Network sent to the FCC regarding using its own AWS-4 spectrum for land-based broadband was all worth it. Today the FCC approved said use of the spectrum after previously being blocked by regulatory barriers. What’s next for Dish? According to them, they “will consider its strategic options.” That wouldn’t have anything to do with that little Google/Dish wireless service rumor from last month would it? This should prove to be interesting once we get into 2013.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt claims Android is not only winning the war for mobile software platforms, it is extending its lead over rival Apple. Citing figures from the third quarter, Schmidt indicates Android grabbed 72% market share and is seeing 1.3 million new Android devices activated each day. This compares with Apple’s 14% market share for the same period. Schmidt likened the situation to Microsoft’s rise to prominence on the desktop back in the 1990′s that left Apple as largely a niche player on the desktop. Schmidt believes the same pattern is repeating itself in the mobile software market.
Recently Google CEO Larry Page sat down with Fortune Magazine for a little interview. The first topic that came up was self-driving cars. Larry sees this as a huge “economic good” by saving millions of dollars on parking. He wasn’t just talking about the cost of just parking the car, but actually building garages. Right now the cost of building a parking garage is upwards of $40,000 per space. Larry envisions a self-driving car dropping you at the front door to the building you work at and then it would park itself. When you’re ready to leave, your phone will tell your car that it’s time to head back and get you.
As to Apple, they are both a competitor and a partner, and he said they he and Steve Jobs were friendly at times. He talked about the time that Steve Jobs tried to rally Apple employees by wanting to go thermonuclear war on Android. Larry doesn’t agree with that philosophy because it causes the employees to look at “somebody else” and what they do now and that’s not how you stay two or three steps ahead. He also talked about how Apple is a big distribution channel and they continue to talk to them to continue to provide those services and sometimes they are allowed to and sometimes they aren’t.
Google has released a fresh update to the official YouTube application for Android which features an entirely new UI for 10-inch tablets like the Nexus 10. Similar to the current smartphone application, the refreshed two-pane interface offers a more intuitive experience, allowing users to navigate the app by swiping through channels and genres on the left, while browsing content on the right.
Other than the noticeable visual changes, the update to version 4.2.16 brings a swath of much appreciated bug fixes. If you haven’t already received a notification from Google Play, you can manually retrieve the update via the download link or QR code below.
Play Store Download Link