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The AppAdvice Week In Review: After Google I/O, Focus Shifts To Apple's WWDC

It was a great week for Google as the company announced new and revised products. Here are just some of the headline stories from the week that was.

Google makes its case as the innovator of the year

And the award for most innovative company of 2013 goes to ... Google? Okay, so we probably shouldn’t be getting ahead of ourselves. After all, the year isn’t even half over. Still, the Android maker has made its case for the title, and it is a good one. At Google I/O, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company offered its blueprint moving forward, and even the most skeptical among us should have been impressed. The most significant announcement was the launch of Google Play Music All Access. As I explained previously, the new streaming music service doesn’t exactly play nice with iOS devices. Regardless, its launch shows that Google wants to be a player in the emerging streaming market. And Apple? Rumors suggest that Cupertino’s revolutionary “iRadio” service could be DOA, at least at WWDC. The reason: Apple and the music industry are at odds over ... song skipping. [caption id="attachment_418006" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Google Play Music All Access Google Play Music All Access[/caption] As CNET confirmed, and Joe White noted:
Apple and Sony Music, the world’s second-largest music label, are still trying to hammer out details over how much Apple would pay for songs that people listen to a fraction of and then skip, according to people familiar with the negotiations. There could be other points of contention as well. Apple’s streaming music service, which most closely resembles Internet radio leader Pandora, has some features built into it that give users added control, such as the ability to rewind a song and skip to the next after listening to a portion of it, sources say.
[caption id="attachment_418005" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Google Maps for iPad Google Maps for iPad[/caption] Google Play Music All Access wasn't the only product announced at Google I/O. The tech company also announced a new version of its highly popular Maps app for iOS. The forthcoming update includes deals from retailers and restaurants, and also Zagat reviews directly inside Google Maps. Additionally, the app's traffic alerts will soon expand to include live reports of incidents and accidents around the globe. Google also announced that an iPad specific version of Maps is coming soon.

Want to hangout?

[caption id="attachment_418007" align="aligncenter" width="283"]Hangouts Hangouts[/caption] One of the most popular iOS features is about to get some serious competition. Google's Hangout app is a new communication tool that could soon measure up quite nicely with Apple's iMessage. Among its likely new features: SMS support. Dom Esposito had the story, courtesy of this brilliant video:

For more coverage of Google I/O, see: Is Google Too Late To The Game With Its ‘Game Center’ Clone?, and Google Now Offering 15GB Of Shared Space Between Gmail, Drive, And Google+ Photos.

ABC and CW make big moves on Apple devices

[caption id="attachment_418008" align="aligncenter" width="642"]Watch ABC Watch ABC[/caption] ABC has officially become the first U.S. network to offer live video streaming of its programming. Although currently available only to residents in New York City and Philadelphia, Watch ABC goes nationwide later this summer. Meanwhile, the CW is becoming the first U.S. network to launch a native app on the Apple TV set-top box. Arriving later this year, the app will be ad-supported, feature next-day availability of full episodes, and require no cable provider authentication.

Recommending Reading List, May 19, 2013

 

My favorite app right now

[caption id="attachment_417991" align="aligncenter" width="437"]Next Issue Next Issue[/caption] If you love reading magazines, you need to have a Next Issue subscription. Now featuring 87 titles, including Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Sports Illustrated, the service is available on the iPad and other tablets. Best of all, new users qualify for a free 30-day subscription. With membership levels starting at $9.99 per month, Next Issue is not only economical, but awesome as well.

Finally

For those that have a lot of time to burn, the Google I/O Keynote for 2013.

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