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Yandex suite of free Android tools sidesteps Google

Russian search and software company Yandex is offering a collection of free tools to turn the Android open-source foundation into a usable phone operating system.

The software, called Yandex.Kit, gives a Yandex-flavored experience by linking to the company's own services -- e-mail, maps, contacts, online storage, and app store -- rather than Google's alternatives. It's also got lower-level components like a browser and home screen.

Two phone makers who've signed up for the approach, Huawei and Explay, will show the technology next week at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Yandex announced Wednesday.

There … Read more

Facebook opens public data to Russian search engine Yandex

Facebook has cut a deal that will give it more exposure among Russian users.

The social network has given full access to its stream of public data to Russian search engine Yandex. Announcing the news on Tuesday, Yandex said that its search results will now include people and company pages on Facebook. The results will specifically tap into posts and other items from Facebook users in Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Turkey.

In the near future, Facebook posts and comments will also show up, but only those marked as public, according to Yandex. Private posts will be off limits. … Read more

Yandex co-founder Ilya Segalovich dies at age 48

Ilya Segalovich, co-founder of Yandex, Russia's largest search engine, died Saturday after being taken off life support, his company said. He was 48.

Segalovich, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer last September, died at a London hospital, the company said. Segalovich recently developed brain cancer and lapsed into a coma on Thursday. He was disconnected from life support on Friday after doctors determined he showed no signs of brain activity.

A tribute page (English translation) created by the company described Segalovich as "a scholar and a citizen with an active lifestyle... father of five children, friend, colleague, teacher … Read more

Unfaithful fiance exposed on Russia's Google Street View

Please prepare your tissues and handkerchiefs. For this is a tale of a woman's woe.

It is the tale of a woman in love, a woman who adored her man. One day, this woman decided to go to Russia's equivalent of Google Maps. It's called Yandex. She wanted to look for an address in her home town of Perm.

As NBC's Today Show reveals, Marina Voinova found herself going to the Street View mode and looking curiously at a couple in front of a building.

They seemed to be in canoodling mode. And one of them … Read more

Bing falls to 5th global search engine, surpassed by Yandex

Yandex is probably the biggest search engine few people have ever heard of.

The Russian search engine has surpassed Microsoft's Bing in the world's top search engine rankings, according to Search Engine Watch, which got its data from ComScore.

Coming in first place is Google with 114.7 billion search queries and 65.2 percent of the market share. China's Baidu ranked second with 14.5 billion queries and 8.2 percent share. Third was Yahoo with 8.6 billion queries and 4.9 percent share. And, fourth was Yandex with 4.8 billion queries and 2.… Read more

Yandex targets Google, Amazon with new Android app store

Google Play will soon have another competitor.

Russian search engine Yandex announced today that it will soon launch an "alternative" application marketplace for Android users. Dubbed Yandex.Store, the marketplace will offer nearly 40,000 applications and allow vendors to bundle another app store into their devices.

Yandex.Store is also a white-box offering, meaning vendors can place their own branding on top of it. According to Yandex, Russian carrier MegaFon has already signed on to the service.

As with other application stores, Yandex's option takes 30 percent of the revenue generated from apps. In addition, Yandex.… Read more

Yandex powers Apple's Maps in Russia, report says

Although Google has been kicked out of iOS 6, at least one of its competitors has actually been invited to the platform.

Yandex, Russia's Google equivalent, is powering aspects of Apple's iOS 6 mapping feature, Maps, TechCrunch is reporting today, citing sources. According to the blog, when users search for details in Maps, Yandex's application programming interface built into the feature will offer up information on local restaurants, shops, and other locales.

The Yandex integration was discovered in the Gold Master version of Russia's iOS 6. AppleInsider in Russia was first to discover the feature.

Apple introduced its new Maps in iOS 6. … Read more

Google to become default search choice in Russian Firefox

When the next version of Firefox hits the streets in Russia, Google -- and not Russia's own Yandex -- will be the default search engine.

That's according to The Next Web, which speculates that though Yandex enjoys a 60 percent share of Russia's search market compared with Google's approximately 26.5 percent, Google may be leveraging its support of Firefox maker Mozilla to convince the company to give it top billing in Firefox version 14.

Google and Firefox struck a three-year deal in December that set Google as the default Firefox search engine outside Russia. Financial … Read more

Yandex cloud service offers 10GB of storage for free

A new Web site is offering 10GB of online storage for free. The catch? It's only in Russian...at least for now.

Launching today as a beta version, Yandex.Disk (English translation) is the latest in a growing lineup of cloud storage sites, letting people store files online and access them from computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Files stored locally and online can be synchronized among multiple devices to ensure that the versions stay consistent. So the same document you save on your desktop PC can be accessed and edited on your mobile device. You can view and launch your … Read more

Yandex IPO strong in opening; shares down on day 2

After a strong debut on the Nasdaq yesterday, Russia's most popular search engine, Yandex, is seeing its shares slide in its second day of trading.

Yesterday, Yandex, which attracted 38.3 million unique users in March and secured 64 percent of all Russian search traffic, priced its initial public offering at $25 per share. Almost immediately, the company's shares soared, and continued to rise throughout the day. At the close of trading yesterday, Yandex shares settled at $37.75 after reaching a high of more than $42.

The company's success in its first day of trading helped … Read more