By "goodies," I mean apps. Google added it to its lineup last night with a refreshing refresh of its iOS app. The new edition acts more like a native app (as in, on the phone rather than the web) even though clicking on an "app" still kicks you off to a Safari page.
Take Gmail. Switch on notifications in the app, and you'll see a red bubble with a number next to the blue "g" on your iPhone's home screen whenever a new message arrives. Clicking on "Apps" and then "Gmail" within the app will take you to your inbox in the cloud.
Search has also improved. Enter any term by hand or voice, and then swipe left to right to get filtering options. The experience, shown below, is much more like the web version of Google then earlier iterations. It's more Googly and makes Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Bing app, which I also use, look lightweight by comparison.
Android getting goodies, too
Google also appears to be doing more to distinguish Android from the iPhone. According to The Wall Street Journal, The Big G is in discussions with VeriFone (NYSE: PAY ) to develop payment terminals that would accept signals from a wireless handset via technology called near field communication.
The news follows reports that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) may be cooling on its intentions of adding NFC capabilities to the next edition of the iPhone. Android, on other hand, already has a budding NFC ecosystem thanks to a software partnership with NFC specialist NXP Semiconductors (Nasdaq: NXPI ) . If retailers to take to this idea -- and both MasterCard and Visa have backed NFC for wireless payments -- Android handsets could become a must-have for flush teens headed to the mall.
Either way, Google's killer robot is adding weapons for the war for market share. Expect to see casualties.
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