New and Next

by Katie Essner on September 10, 2010

By Katie Essner

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a regular series that will feature new and upcoming technology and devices.

Over the past month Google and Apple have released several new applications and made even more advancements in technology. From the iTunes social network to the new Google phone abilities, here’s a look at what’s new and next.

Make a phone call – from a computer
With the new Google Voice feature, calling online is as simple as going to the Google Voice website, punching in a phone number and pressing call. It’s that simple and it’s all from a computer. The application is also accessible through Gmail, so instead of chatting with contacts, you can call them instead. Want to know the best part? It’s free.

Place a video call – through an iPod
iPhone 4 users looking for friends to Facetime with may now rejoice. Apple’s free Facetime application is now available on the new generation iPod. Apple released news at a recent conference that the latest iPod will be equipped with Facetime as well as HD video recording. Giving Skype a run for its money, Apple is taking the webcam to portablecam, one device at a time.

A new social network – just for music
Stealing the music social network title from MySpace, Apple rolled out its new iTunes feature called Ping. Ping allows users to follow friends and music artists to see what they are purchasing on iTunes. The customizable application also allows users to give status updates, post pictures, make music recommendations and create likes. The application is built into iTunes and can be accessed on a computer or through iTunes via iPhone or iPod.

The search engine that thinks as fast as users can type
Google recently released Google Instant Search to make searching through the site a quicker process. As a user types in a term, Google reads what has been written and creates live results, thus eliminating the need to press enter. What prompted the sudden need for the speed is uncertain, but it is clear Google is once again proving they can stay ahead of the technological curve.