Google’s Other Moves

Following the fevered speculation preceding Google’s announcement of the Google Video Store at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, the search goliath leaked out a couple of smaller announcements.

Google has acquired mobile application developer Reqwireless and released a version of Google Earth for the Macintosh.

Gary Will, a Waterloo-based consultant on business development with startups who also edits the Waterloo Tech Digest, broke the story of Google’s acquisition of Reqwireless on his blog. But he had inside information: He’d consulted with the wireless startup. According to Will, the deal was done in secret mid-2005.

Google confirmed the acquisition to Canada’s “National Post” on January 6.

Reqwireless builds business and productivity applications, as well as development libraries, for the mobile Java (J2ME) platform. Its products include wireless e-mail and Web applications, a mobile HTML browser and e-mail viewer for mobile phones and Palm devices.

In late December, Will noted a Google job posting for a wireless application developer based in Waterloo.

It all adds up to a mobile development center in Waterloo, home town of Research in Motion , provider of the BlackBerry mobile service.

Meanwhile, back at Macworld, Google released a version of Google Earth for the Mac. The virtual flyover application was released for the PC in June 2005. Google Earth provides animated driving directions, the ability to zoom in and out, and three-dimensional views of buildings and landscape. The Mac version, in beta, runs on the 10.4.x OS.

Finally, on Wednesday, Media Zone said it had joined the roster of content providers to Google Video Store. Media Zone offers video of international sporting events and global video content from China, South Africa and the Americas.

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