Planet Google

Ingress Now Available on iPhone, Turns NYC Into a Sweaty Sci-Fi Battlefield

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iPhone-equipped New Yorkers now have something to do outside this summer besides defend their devices from thieves and sweat to death in this heat. Ingress, an augmented reality game popular in urban areas and previously available only on Android, is now officially available on iOS devices.

Ingress uses geomapping to transform real urban landscapes into a playing field that gets players moving around their city, fighting over portals and collecting resources — a smartphone game that’s played entirely IRL. The game’s sci-fi backstory, which involves an invading alien force that opposing teams of players either welcome or resist, evolves and grows constantly depending how well the real-life teams are doing. Read More

Expert Thoughts

Google Is a Supervillan: It’d Be Funnier if It Weren’t True

Superhero or supervillain? (Wikimedia Commons)

We imagine, for a second, that we are writing a movie script.This script features an international technology company run by a pair of charismatic billionaires. It’s omnipresent and yet difficult to define, with deep pockets and huge, high-profile projects that seem to bear only a passing resemblance to actual revenue streams. Most of these projects involve eerily sophisticated methods of finding out as much as possible about everyone on Earth. In recent months, this company has made headlines buying drones, home monitoring software, artificial intelligence, and a firm that makes military robots. Read More

Apples and Androids

Reading Habits Indicate Android Users Are Fun, iPhone Users Are Lifehacking Megalomanics

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In the war between iOS and Android, there are a few things we know: iPhone users are big spenders, live in more affluent neighborhoods and are vastly outnumbered by their Android counterparts. But now, we also intimate knowledge of their reading habits, which shows us more about their personalities than anything we’ve seen so far.

Oyster, the Netflix for books, released a study of their readers this morning, comparing the reading habits of iOS users with the Android users that have signed up since their recent Android release and redesign. Oyster told Betabeat that they pulled from their entire user database for the study. Read More

Planet Google

Google Puts Ancient Social Network Orkut Out Of Its Misery

lol bye (Screengrab: YouTube)

Start saying your farewells to Orkut — if you’ve ever even heard of it, that is.

Google is shutting down Orkut, the outdated social network the company launched 10 years ago. Starting today, the site will no longer accept new accounts. Current Orkut users (we hear they’re out there somewhere) will have until Sept. 30 — the site’s official closing date — to export all their precious photos and posts. Read More