How much will Google TV cost?

Almost five months after telling the world about its television aspirations, Internet search giant Google is providing more details on its forthcoming Google TV service.

The first devices featuring Google TV, from Sony and Logitech, will be available this month, Google said in a blog post on Monday.

Google also listed a variety of media and technology companies whose content and services will be available on Google TV, including HBO, Netflix, Twitter and music video website Vevo.

GoogTVScreenGoogle’s efforts to conquer the living room represent another front in its increasing rivalry with Apple, with the two tech companies also competing in smartphones, tablets and mobile advertising.

In September, Apple announced a new, overhauled version of its struggling Apple TV product, which will allow users to rent television shows for 99 cents a pop from News Corp’s Fox and Walt Disney Co’s ABC (It probably doesn’t hurt that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is on Disney’s board of directors).

Google’s Brin: Make smartphone apps searchable

For more than a decade, GOOGLE/Google has reigned supreme as the main gateway to online information.

But with consumers increasingly accessing the Internet through specialized apps on smartphones like Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Web search engine could be at risk of playing a smaller role in the Internet’s next phase.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has an answer: Make apps searchable.

On the sidelines of the press event in San Francisco to unveil Google Instant on Wednesday, Brin offered some thoughts on the future of apps and search.

War of Words: Google’s Android sharpens speech-recognition in duel with Apple’s iPhone

Google fired the latest salvo in the smartphone war with Apple on Thursday, jazzing up the allure of its Android phones with new voice recognition capabilities.

Google’s new Voice Actions feature lets users of Android phones quickly send text messages, play online music or find a restaurant’s phone number by barking commands into the handset.

SAMSUNG-PHONES/Anyone who’s ever been behind the wheel on a long drive, or running through an airport carrying multiple bags, will recognize the appeal of firing off a quick missive by saying something like “send text to Marlo, I’m running ten minutes late,” instead of stopping to type everything out.

Apple: think different, apologize different

Apple AntennagateNot many companies can get away putting out an expensive product with a pretty big technical glitch and still have sales zoom to the stratosphere.

Unless of course, you happen to be Apple.

The company held a rare press conference on Friday, where Chief Executive Steve Jobs addressed issues that the antenna on the iPhone 4 is not exactly up to snuff.  Depending on how the user holds the phone, the signal could drop. Lefties are particularly hard hit by this snafu.

So Jobs offered up iPhone owners a free case to help alleviate the problem, and, after being pressed on it during a question and answer session, issued an apology to customers.

Poll: Did Apple get it right?


Apple is giving iPhone 4 users a free phone case to address growing complaints about reception problems that have hurt the company’s shares and image.

Was Apple's offer of a free case the right response?

    Yes No

View Results Loading ... Loading ...

Does the free case offer make you more or less likely to buy an iPhone 4?

    More likely Less likely No difference I already own an iPhone 4

View Results Loading ... Loading ...

Has the controversy over iPhone 4 reception made you less likely to buy one?

    Yes No No difference

View Results Loading ... Loading ...

Do you plan to return your iPhone 4?

    No Yes I've already returned it I don't have one

View Results Loading ... Loading ...

Apple’s iPhone 4 press conference LIVE BLOG

iphone steve jobs

Apple is expected to announce a fix for the iPhone 4′s reception problems, rather than a recall, at a surprise press conference on the device on Friday. The event, which comes only days before Apple reports its quarterly results, may find the company offering hardware or software tweaks, ranging from a rubber bumper case to something more drastic. Or perhaps no fix at all.

Reuters is live at the event, and we are hosting a live blog with updates as fast as we get them. Stay tuned for more, and please post your comments about Apple’s decisions.

Sun Valley: Jane Goodall and the primary primates

John MaloneIt’s day three of the Sun Valley media conference and the event has started to feel like a Jane Goodall documentary, in which we’re Jane and the moguls are the apes who have become comfortable letting us observe and record their movements. Several media executives groggily making their way to the morning’s first session (scheduled to kick off at 7:30), stopped to chat with the throng of press waiting to greet them.

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone voiced concerns about the economy for nearly 10 minutes while NBC’s Jeff Zucker, who once warned of the risks to media companies of trading analog dollars for digital pennies and later upped the exchange rate to dimes, posited the idea that the media industry was now within reach of collecting digital quarters. It’s change we can believe in.

Later on Thursday, Google’s chief executive Eric Schmidt (who for reasons unknown has been toting a camera with a beefy zoom lens throughout the event, even after-hours at the bar on Wednesday evening) will hold his traditional Sun Valley press roundtable, possibly with co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who are here.

Motorola Droid X ads make quiet digs at iPhone 4

droidxsmallerMotorola’s phones may not draw overnight campers and lines outside stores that Apple still inspires four years after its first iPhone launch. However Motorola is getting to have a different kind of fun.  

Taking advantage of  widespread complaints about the iPhone 4 around antenna related reception problems, Motorola has been making some thinly veiled digs at Apple in its advertising for the new Droid X, which launches July 15.

While Apple has suggested that users avoid holding their phone in a certain way to help improve their phone reception, Motorola happily offered an alternative with Droid X.  After listing the Droid X features Motorola had this to say in a full page ad in New York Times on June 30:

Friday’s Media and Technology Roundup

Fans scramble for Apple’s iPhone upgrade-Reuters

“Apple fans lined up overnight by the hundreds outside stores in the United States, Europe and Japan to snap up the latest iPhone, setting a new benchmark in the fast-growing smartphone market,” writes Franklin Paul, Marie Mawad and Sachi Izumi.

Twitter settles privacy charges with U.S.-Reuters

“Microblogging service Twitter has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over charges it put its customers privacy at risk by failing to safeguard their personal information,” reports Sinead Carew.

Broadband spurs new businesses and ideas in Kenya-Reuters

“When Kenyan graduate Roy Wachira, 25, set out to start his first business, he turned to the Internet, whose growth in the east African nation is spawning opportunities unthinkable even a year ago,” writes Duncan Miriri.

Entrepreneurs swarm at iPhone launch

In New York, the annual launch of iPhone upgrades has morphed from being a odd meeting of tech-geek-love into an  giant marketing opportunity for scrappy business-minded folks looking to promote a small business.

Hey, why not? Where else can you find hundreds of potential customers, stuck in line for hours with wallets deep enough to buy a pricey piece of hardware, a swarm of TV news cameras as well as myriad other member of the media (including yours truly), and minimal security?

As far as the business of the day — Apple selling a new phone; customers buying them — the iPhone 4 launch was business as usual. The real show in New York was on the periphery, watching entrepreneurs at work hawking websites, phone-swapping services, a radio station, vampires and more. Is there an economy growing here?