January 11, 2013

This week in digital: EU crackdown on Google, Pebble launch date set and Facebook goes all Joey

Written By Martin Sandhu

Google facing EU crackdown for favouring its own services
European Union anti-trust investigators are said to be looking into how Google divert traffic to its own services, damaging rivals, according to reports in the Financial Times.

The EU’s competition chief, Joaquin Almunia, told the paper that the issue surrounds how Google shows search results, in particular how it presents additional services like maps, airline flight deals or shopping price comparisons.

The European Union could force Google to warn users when it’s products are being placed above it’s competitors.

Just last week the United States Fair Trade Commission ended a similar probe into the search engine without any sanctions.

Smartphone connected watch coming very soon
The Kickstarter-funded Pebble watch is set to be shipped to backers this month with general release predicted in September. The watch connects to the wearers smartphone allowing them to see call and email notifications, alerts and in some cases display text messages.
Alongside smartphone connectivity, the watch will also run compatible apps. Interested developers can already get their hands on a Pebble software development kit.
It was expected that Apple would launch their rival, the iWatch, before the Pebbles release.

Mozilla to launch smartphone this year
Mozilla, the creators of web browser Firefox, have been beavering away developing their first smartphone, which is scheduled to launch in Europe later this year.

When released the phones will compete with Google’s Andriod devices, which currently have a whopping 75% share of the smartphone market. However, analysts have already forecast Firefox OS to capture 1% of the share of global smartphone shipments in 2013 alone.

The one where Facebook does a Joey…
If you’re a regular Facebook user you may have noticed a few changes to the status update box. Bizarrely, Facebook are now asking how we are feeling, what we are up to and in true Joey Tribbiani style “How you doing?”.

It’s an interesting move for Facebook, which in recent months has come under heavy criticism from users for ‘streamlining’ newsfeeds and hiding some updates.