Google Australia has recently begun promoting its Chrome OS platform to Australian business representatives attending the company’s Apps seminars. Continue reading
HP has today switched on the ability for Australian customers to purchase paid applications from the WebOS app store, despite the device being shelved after just four days. Continue reading
Australian pizza chain Domino’s today revealed its mobile-centric future is on track, with predictions it’ll make up nearly 60% of its business within the next two and a half years. Continue reading
American-based firm Cloud Sherpas have confirmed they’ve opened a Sydney office to help Australian businesses “go Google”. Continue reading
A consortium which aims to provide a next-generation experience for cultural facilities using applications that “track” user locations indoors has received a grant from the NSW government.
The app, to be called “moveMe” will reportedly provide a next-generation experience for visitors to cultural icons such as museums and art galleries across New South Wales, and will make use of technology found in modern-day smartphones including RFID technology.
It’s been funded as part of the Collaborative Solutions program in New South Wales, which aims to encourage businesses to embrace the benefits that technology can provide.
Members of the consortium include Smartrack RFID, an international company which has already developed RFID solutions for art galleries, MOB – an Australian augmented reality developer firm, Ramp RFID which is also an Australian RFID tracking company and the NSW Powerhouse Museum — which will play host to the first implementation of the technology in Australia.
The tools which the consortium are building will allow any provider to create apps for their gallery or exhibition easily, and provide visitor feedback including time spent looking at each exhibition item and the paths guests take around exhibitions.
“I’m excited that the NSW Government has recognised our potential to develop a world-leading solution by supporting the collaboration between the members of our consortium,” Julian Bickersteth, Director of Smarttrack RFID said in a statement announcing the funding.
According to the consortium’s statement, the app will also be able to provide interactive displays and “actively deliver content” to users at selected items on display based on the way they’re facing, enhancing the way in which guests can find out more information about display pieces.
What’s so impressive about the plans for the moveMe app is how accurate the creators hope it will be in pinpointing user locations indoors – although it will require additional “indoor location tracking infrastructure” to work.
A trial of the moveMe application will be held at the New South Wale’s Powerhouse Museum’s Love Lace International Lace Award exhibition later this year.
Australian art exhibitors are rapidly taking up the advantages of smartphones to interact with visitors. Just last month, Australia’s first augmented reality art display arrived in Sydney and Melbourne allowing visitors to walk the streets and view 3D “virtual” artworks on their smartphones on famous landmarks.
Google Australia has embarked on a series of “roadshow” events across Eastern Australia in a bid to promote their Google Apps suite for businesses.
The first event entitled “The Google Enterprise Roadshow” was held in Sydney yesterday and saw a number of interested attendees listen to talks from a range of speakers – many from Australian companies who have already adopted Google Apps in their day-to-day activities including Ray White, Monash University and Flight Centre.
“The Google Enterprise Roadshow is a 6-city tour designed to bring together Google executives, customers, and partners to discuss Google’s enterprise strategy and hear from local customers about their successes since moving to the cloud,” a Google spokesperson told iTech Report.
“We have had other smaller customer/partner gatherings in Australia before but this is the first of its kind.”
Google reportedly also is offering to give away a Chromebook — yet to be released in Australia — to one lucky attendee from yesterday’s event.
The last Australian event will be held in Melbourne tomorrow at the The Grand Hyatt, starting at 2pm with registration and following on with a keynote entitled ‘The Future of Work. Today’ followed by a panel of customers who’ve already gone Google.
It’s the latest attempt by Google to push the use of their services in Australia by local businesses, after they secured a number of high profile sign-ups and recently began promoting their “Gone Google” campaign in national newspapers and media outlets.
Telstra is reportedly investigating the possibility of launching their own app store for televisions, as part of a larger plan to grow their offerings for connected devices.
The Australian today reports the telco is thinking of ways to offer more services to customers using the company’s BigPond internet service, with an app store one of the many possibilities currently being investigated.
“We are looking at how we can best deliver all the content the consumer wants to the device we have,” Telstra chief technology officer Hugh Bradlow told the Australian.
“From a technology point of view, (another) question is do we put the technology on the TV or the set-top box? (An app store) is certainly being considered.”
If the company did launch their own app store for TV’s, it would follow in the moves of almost every electronic manufacturer at the moment, with an app store craze currently sweeping through the technology sector.
Television and set-top box manufacturers such as LG and Samsung, who Telstra recently signed deals with to allow them to integrate BigPond services such as their TV offering into their products, already offer such a service, although LG’s app store is limited to mobile phones at this stage.
Samsung’s offering is more comprehensive, and allows users to install a number of applications on their internet-connected televisions from a central location, just like Apple’s App Store — the one whose success has kicked off the torrent of new stores.
The Australian article doesn’t mention how soon Telstra is looking at rolling out the app store, nor how they would implement it, but their T-Box, a set-top box which the company has sold more than 100,000 of, could potentially be the platform for which the telco would launch the store, with most already connected to the internet.
Image Credit: Telstra
Reports today suggest Telstra is looking into moving many of its customers onto Microsoft’s Windows Live service as part of a proposal for the future.
As part of its plan to “evolve” the company’s offering to customers in the future, Telstra is understood to be considering moving customers onto a cloud-based offering such as Microsoft’s Hotmail, which would see customers able to use their BigPond accounts for most Windows Live services including SkyDrive for files, Messenger for chat, Calendar and amongst other offerings the new Office Web Apps.
While Telstra spokesperson Craig Middleton told Delimiter earlier today that the move to Windows Live was one of many “options” being considered by the telco, it’s thought the close relationship between Telstra and Microsoft as shown with the Windows Phone 7 launch in Australia (Telstra has been keen to show off its custom made applications for the device) could be one of the enticements for moving platforms.
The company however is remaining coy about the move, telling Delimiter that “one of the options we’re considering is to integrate our email services with Microsoft’s Windows Live Suite platform to offer new applications and services to our customers”.
And while the telco refused to comment further, it’s likely they are also considering Google’s offering in Google Apps as an alternative. Google Australia — which recently convinced Flight Centre and Ray White to “go Google” and is boosting their local sales team — would almost certainly be encouraging the company to choose their service, which includes customised versions of Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Sites over Microsoft.
At the moment however that’s just pure speculation, with Google refusing to comment on whether or not they’ve approached Telstra about the possibility, or if they are in fact one of the “options” being considered saying “we don’t comment on any of our relationships or future relationships with other companies.”
According to Delimiter however, even if the company chose a hosted service, both options would require the company to still maintain their own web service to “meet law enforcement requests for email interception from Australian authorities” and keep track of all emails sent and received.
It’s unclear when the company will make its final decision on the matter.
In a post on the Android Developers Blog earlier today, the search giant revealed perhaps one of the biggest re-designs for the Market yet since it launched in 2008, with a number of new cosmetic changes including a new and much more vibrant colour scheme and a carousel to be found at the top of the home and category pages which will display promoted apps chosen by Google.
Google has also revealed the tabs currently found on each application’ description page will be removed to make way for a new streamlined page which will display everything in a more visually appealing manner. Content ratings and new related apps section have also been added to the revamped detail pages.
“This new Market client introduces important features that improve merchandising of applications, streamline the browse-to-purchase experience, and make it easier for developers to distribute their applications,’ Eric Chu from the Android Developer Ecosystem wrote today.
Other tweaks to the store include reducing the amount of time an application can be refunded from 24 hours to just 15 minutes, raising the limit of application sizes to 50MB to support “richer games” and new tools to allow developers to target certain devices on the store based around “screen sizes and densities”. And Google will add two new categories — namely “Widgets” and “Live Wallpapers” — to the store, promising more will come shortly based on popular demand.
Chu notes that the company isn’t finished with the Market update, suggesting we can expect to see more new features — potentially including the highly anticipated web version of the Market – within the “coming weeks and months”.
“With this release, we aimed to deliver features that are most requested by users and developers. However, we’re not done yet. We plan to continue to rapidly enhance Android Market for both users and developers and make it the best content distribution service for the Android ecosystem.”
The update will become available free of charge on all Android devices running version 1.6 of the Android operating system and above in the “sometime” in the next two weeks worldwide.