Next iPhone could read your fingerprints

CNET Update will thumb wrestle an iPhone:

In this episode of Update:

- Expect fingerprint scanning in a future iPhone after biometric reader code was found in iOS 7.

- Don't let Dora invade dad's Netflix recommendations with new profiles rolling out in August.

- Access Comedy Central stand-up on the Xbox without paying for a cable subscription.

- Reap the benefits of the Overstock and Amazon book-pricing battle.

- See if Sprint's 4G LTE is available in your town, now that it added coverage to 41 markets.

- Check out the new free Zagat website and appsRead more

Google redesigns Zagat site, releases iOS and Android apps

In an attempt to continue its real-world indexing and the unification of all its services, Google has relaunched Zagat, the dining review and ratings company it acquired in September 2011.

Alongside the overhauled Web site are new iOS and Android apps. But most importantly, Zagat is accessible -- for the first time -- with no registration or fees required.

When Zagat was fully integrated into Google's services in May of last year, its Web site still required users to sign in with a Google+ account. Now with the barriers removed, Google's location-based dining guide is taking aim at … Read more

Maps is navigating toward Google Now

On Tuesday night, Google released an update to Google Maps on Android, featuring a redesigned interface that more closely incorporates a cleaner, card-based look, and a reduction in onscreen menu items and buttons.

Both design changes for Android phones and tablets resemble each other for the most part. Navigation received a noticeable upgrade; so now, when you search for directions, Google Maps will suggest alternate routes during heavy traffic periods and potentially even during inconvenient delays in public transportation.

Whereas much of this is reminiscent of the iOS version a couple months back, Google Maps still retains its signature Android … Read more

Google draws new battle line with Frommer's acquisition

Google is known as the search company that makes money on advertising -- nearly $38 billion in revenue for 2011. It's also a company that has tentacles gripping almost every corner of the digital world, competing with Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, GroupOn, Expedia, Open Table, Yelp, Square, phone companies and a host of others.  It's a company that appears to know no boundaries in its quest to digitally reengineer the planet, other than those placed on it by government bodies. 

Google's latest grab, Frommer's travel guides, expands its content base in an … Read more

Google acquires Frommer's, pushes further into travel info

Google is once again investing in the travel space.

The search giant is acquiring travel guide provider Frommer's from John Wiley & Sons. It's not immediately clear what Google might have planned for Frommer's, and a purchase price has not been divulged.

Wiley announced earlier this year that it would put Frommer's, which includes everything from travel guides to hotel ratings, on the purchasing block, though the company did not have any potential suitors in mind.

It's not all that surprising that Google has jumped in to swipe Frommer's. The company has been making … Read more

Google+ Local app hits iPhone with voice search, Zagat ratings

The Google Places iOS app has a new name and new features.

Redubbed Google+ Local as of yesterday, the travel app now offers iOS users several handy, new options.

First up is voice search. You can speak the name or description of what you're seeking.

For example, saying the phrase "Mexican restaurants" displays a list of places serving Mexican cuisine in my local area. Uttering the words "Dunkin' Donuts" shows me a list of all Dunkin' Donut establishments nearby. And speaking the name of a local restaurant calls up its specific listing. Simply tap the … Read more

Google fills search with Zagat ratings

It's time to rate your world on Google+ Local, double down on secrets and lose the hashbang:

Google+ has teamed up with Zagat to add a new feature encouraging users to review local establishments. It's called Google+ Local, and even if you don't use Google+, you'll start to see these ratings pop up around Google search and maps.

Apple CEO Tim Cook shared some interesting comments at the D10 conference Tuesday. To summarize, Cook didn't say if Apple was working on a television set, he vowed that the company will "double down" on … Read more

IPO mania: Angie's List soars and Yelp wants in

It might be coincidence, but somehow I doubt it.

Customer-review site Yelp filed to go public today--the same day that a key rival, Angie's List, started trading. And given how well Angie's List did, the folks over at Yelp must be pretty happy.

Shares of Angie's List, which serves up reviews of businesses to 1 million playing subscribers, jumped 25 percent in its first day of trading, closing at $16.26.

The company, which Angie Hicks began in 1995 and rates everything from plumbers to doctors, raised about $114 million and now brags a market value … Read more

Google reveals it paid $151 million for Zagat

Google, which didn't disclose the amount it paid for Zagat when it announced plans to acquire the restaurant-rating service last month, revealed the price in a regulatory filing today: $151 million.

The Web giant also disclosed in its quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it bought the German Groupon-like service, Daily Deals, for $114 million. Google began its own Offers service in June.

For the first nine months of the year, Google said it completed 54 other acquisitions and purchases of intangible assets for about $502 million.

The Zagat deal boosts Google's local business strategy, … Read more

Google's price for Zagat $125 million, says WSJ

One Motorola Mobility is worth 100 Zagats. That's the latest rate on the Google currency exchange, from a company that acquires historic brands with as much gusto as Jay Leno scoops up vintage rides at an antique car show.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Mountain View, Calif.-based Google paid $125 million for the legendary restaurant review company, or about 1 percent the proposed purchase price for Motorola, which Google came to terms with last month.

Zagat put itself on the block three years ago. Back then its estimated value was $200 million, but apparently there were … Read more