- By Dave Handelman
Google Maps now include “Promoted Places” on Android
Google Maps, the most used, free mapping app on Android is testing out a new feature, called “promoted places.” The trial, announced back in March, is specifically set up for the holiday season, includes these three businesses: Walgreens, Starbucks and MAC Cosmetics. Clicking on a desired location will display a variety of ads, such as in-store sales or new products. Google claims the added information will help users decide where to go. If or when this attribute will officially be available to other businesses or make its appearance on IOS is undetermined.
Here Maps and Microsoft to offer greater connectivity
Tech giant Microsoft began using HERE maps with the release of Windows 8.1 in April of 2014. Since then, Here has become imbedded in Bing maps and Cortana, the Microsoft AI. Now, Tech Crunch reports that Here maps, formerly owned by Nokia and purchased last year by automakers Audi, BMW and Daimler, plans to expand their mapping deal with Microsoft, who aim to introduce automobile connectivity at some point in the near future. Microsoft announced back at the beginning of the year that Volvo, Nissan Toyota, Ford and others have partnered with them to enhance their connected car strategies. With access to real-time traffic flow and public transit info, the deal with HERE is part of a multi-year relationship between the two companies.
Google’s Year in Search highlights the year’s biggest trends and events
Google’s Year in Search, formerly Google Zeitgeist, re-emerged this week with a powerful video, reviewing the many highs and lows of this year. The “Trends” page is made up of nine different categories: Searches, Global News, People, Consumer Tech, Global Sporting Events, Losses, Movies, Musicians and TV shows. Each category can be expanded to see the top 10 searches with the options to copy, embed or share the list. Pokemon Go won the prize for the most searched overall.