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Overnight Recap: Hulu Plus 3.0, Google on Reader, Runner’s World on Boston

Hulu Plus 3.0

The banners are up, the weekend is here and come Monday, it will be showtime once again in San Francisco as Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference kicks off for 2013. There have probably been thousands (millions?) of words written over the last few months on what the company might debut there, but come 10 a.m. PDT we’ll all know for sure. Be sure to join us for WWDC 2013 coverage here on MacLife.com!

Hulu Plus 3.0 Introduces All-New iPad UI

There have been a plethora of iOS app updates this week, but our favorite by far is Hulu Plus 3.0, which the streaming provider released on Thursday. Although the iPhone/iPod touch didn’t get much love, the iPad features an all-new user interface that allows videos to be minimized while browsing for what to watch next. A new discovery panel offers a quick peek just by tapping on the image for any episode, and a collection of “editorially curated” shows, clips and movies will give viewers plenty to watch during the lazy sunny summer ahead. The 12.3MB download is available for download now, but requires an active Hulu Plus subscription to use.

Google Tries to Blame Reader’s Demise on Mobile Lifestyles

With the death of Google Reader less than a month away, Wired attempted to get to the bottom of why the search giant really decided to put the RSS service out to pasture — and we only have ourselves to blame, apparently. “As a culture we have moved into a realm where the consumption of news is a near-constant process,” Google Senior Director, News & Social Products Richard Gingras told Wired on Thursday. “Users with smartphones and tablets are consuming news in bits and bites throughout the course of the day — replacing the old standard behaviors of news consumption over breakfast along with a leisurely read at the end of the day.” Gingras thinks services like Google Now and its Google+ social network fill the void quite nicely, although there are an awful lot of orphaned Reader users who might disagree.

Roku Adding Redbox Instant by Verizon This Summer

Aside from Google’s YouTube, one of the biggest Roku holdouts has to be Redbox Instant by Verizon, the streaming service which launched earlier this year on mobile devices and select smart TVs and Blu-ray players. The Roku Blog announced Thursday that the wait will soon be over as Redbox Instant lands on the tiny media streaming box later this sunny summer, available on Roku 3, Roku 2, Roku LT (models 2400 & 2450), and Roku HD (model 2500) players as well as the Roku Streaming Stick. Those still clinging to kiosk-based DVD rentals, rejoice!

Runner’s World Delivers Interactive Coverage of Boston Marathon

Adobe’s Digital Publishing Blog published an in-depth look at the making of the July issue of Runner’s World magazine, which is dedicated to the Boston Marathon bombings. In addition to stories from more than 20 runners who lived to tell about their experiences, the digital issue — created with Adobe’s Digital Publishing System — includes interactive content such as a timeline that illustrates how the events unfolded that fateful day, complete with audio, video and overlays. The free Newsstand app is available now from the App Store, with the July 2013 issue ready to download for only .99.

Time Warner Cable Debuts Browser-Based Live TV

It took long enough, but Time Warner Cable is finally loosening its stranglehold on viewing cable subscription content outside the home. According to the company’s Untangled blog, TWCTV.com users can now view On Demand and Live TV from any internet connection on any Mac or PC, following the company’s recent move to unchain the iOS and Android apps. Of course, it makes sense that the mobile apps would have this feature earlier, since how many of us are actually watching streaming media on their desktops or laptops these days?

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Streets 2.0 Adds Street View Coverage Layer, Google Vector Maps

Streets 2.0Longing for the grand old days of iOS 5 when Google’s Street View was baked right into the Maps app? You may not be able to go back in time, but for only 99 cents you can get Street View back with Streets 2.0.

FutureTap announced the release of Streets 2.0 on Wednesday, a rebranding of the company’s Street View which introduces a trio of big changes — and if you act quickly, this universal app can be yours for only 99 cents.

The first big change in Streets 2.0 is the introduction of a blue overlay to indicate street view coverage. No more guesswork! Blue and orange dots will also indicate user-contributed panoramas or businesses with indoor panoramas, respectively.

Streets 2.0 now uses Google’s vector maps and high-resolution satellite imagery in place of the stock iOS Maps, while offering even greater resolution and a wider zoom range for panoramas than the official Google Maps app.

Last but not least, panoramas can be shared with friends via email, iMessage, Facebook or Twitter, or even saved to the Camera Roll for future use, complete with geolocation data.

Streets 2.0 is now available from the App Store; the universal app features an introductory price of only 99 cents through the end of July, after which time it will return to the normal price of .99.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



Unofficial Google Music App for iOS Adds Support for All Access Subscriptions

gMusic iconGoogle may be the enemy in the eyes of many iOS users, but it’s hard to deny the search giant has brought most of its coolest toys to Apple’s mobile platform — so why did it take a third-party app to add support for Google Play Music All Access?

Interactive Innovative Solutions LLC released the latest version of its unofficial Google Music app for iOS on Thursday, and gMusic 6.0 is a big one for those looking to take advantage of Google’s latest music offering.

That’s because gMusic is the only iOS app capable of supporting Google Play Music All Access, the search giant’s .99 per month answer to Spotify, Rdio and Rhapsody. The service is currently available with a 30-day free trial, and those who sign up before the end of June will only pay .99 per month.

With all of the official Google apps available on the App Store, it seems odd that Google Play Music has remained an Android (and web) exclusive, but gMusic has been a great way to unofficially add the service. The universal app includes pretty much all the functionality of Google’s offering, and now that package is truly complete with All Access support.

To use this feature, you’ll need to first sign up for the free All Access trial, then open gMusic and tap the new Web Search option. Type in the name of a track, album or artist you’re looking for, and like magic, you’ll be presented with everything Google Play Music All Access has to offer.

gMusic 6.0 is available on the App Store for .99; the universal app requires iOS 5.0 or later and also adds the ability to create and play Radio Stations in the app as well as adding All Access music to your library.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



Google, Yahoo Also Avoid Offshore Taxes by Setting Up Shop in Ireland

Tax time!A U.S. Senate subcommittee may have spent the better part of Tuesday grilling Apple executives over untaxed offshore fortunes, but Cupertino isn’t the only tech company taking advantage of the same loophole.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that search giant Google Inc. is among a long list of companies who, like Apple, have set up corporations in Ireland as a way to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes on income made offshore.

Even as the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations puts pressure on Apple to pay income tax on billion made overseas during the last four years, it turns out that Google and Yahoo! are both guilty of the same tactics.

In Google’s case, Mountain View established a pair of tax shelters in Ireland and the Netherlands, referred to as “Double Irish” and “Dutch Sandwich” by tax attorneys. According to the company’s own filings, Google avoids billion in income tax payments to the U.S. each year by shifting profits to Bermuda — a country with no corporate income tax.

Yahoo! also has an Irish subsidiary where its overseas profits are deposited, but claims to be a tax resident of the Cayman Islands rather than Ireland. The report notes that profits totaling “hundreds of million of dollars” have been funneled through the suburban home of the company’s Dutch bookkeeper, where it eventually lands with subsidiaries based on Mauritius and Switzerland.

Apple executives were quick to note that the company does not hold money in the Caribbean as Google and Yahoo! have done, and current U.S. tax laws are based on where a company is incorporated, not where it is actually managed.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of Intuit)



Hangouts Upgrade Kills Gmail-Based Google Voice

Google Voice in GmailGoogle is making a big push for Hangouts to be your new best friend, but users of the company’s free Voice service are discovering that enabling messaging on their Gmail account eliminates convenient access for the elder service.

The Verge reported Sunday that Google’s new Hangouts has created a bit of a conundrum for users of Google Voice: Gmail users who choose to enable Hangouts on their account have discovered Google Voice vanishes as a result.

While Voice users can still use Voice from their mobile devices or even the dedicated web app, the convenience of initiating such calls from within Gmail appears to be gone after enabling Hangouts there — it’s one or the other, at least for now.

Thankfully, users can revert from Hangouts back to the classic Google Talk, which also restores Google Voice calling from Gmail. Google has plans to integrate Voice into Hangouts at some point in the future (along with SMS support, which is completely lacking at the moment), so it’s possible this is only a temporary dilemma.

For now it seems that the best solution for Google Voice users who enjoy calling direct from Gmail is to keep Hangouts a mobile-only option — Google Talk on the desktop will still work with third-party clients such as Adium in the meantime, but without a lot of the swanky features introduced by the new Hangouts.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



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