Google Maps Brings Offline Navigation & Search to Android | Crunch Report


Google Maps gives Android users full offline
use, Apple Music comes to Android, T-Mobile cuts a lot of video streaming from your data
usage, and more… It’s Tuesday, November 10th and this is Crunch
Report. Starting today, Google Maps no longer cares
if you’re online in order to search for locations and get navigation instructions. Hooray! At
least, if you’re on Android, the great unwashed of iOS get it at a later date. The new feature
got demo’d at Google I/O back in May, and now is becomig a reality, which is great when
speeds are slow and data is expensive, especially outside the US. Or when there’s no internet
connection at all. So here’s how it goes – You pre-select an area you wanna download for
offline use, rather than downloading an entire metro area you might not need, and then give
the area a custom name. Once you’re offline, you’ll keep getting turn-by-turn directions,
you can search for destinations, and get other details about places along the way. Chalk another one up for Android folks today…
Apple Music is now available in beta in all of the countries Apple has Music for iOS in
— except for China, where it will be launching a beta ‘very soon’. Apple’s Eddy Cue tells
TechCrunch’s Matthrew Panzarino that “From the moment we got into music, many, many years
ago, we’ve always wanted to do things for everyone when it came down to music. Part
of that was letting you enjoy your music no matter where you were and what products you
were using.” Apple Music for Android comes with a 3-month free trial, just like it did
for iOS, and the prices are the same worldwide. Couple things missing in the beta – Music
Videos, and signing up for a family membership within the app. Although if you have a family
plan you bought somewhere else, you can log in with an authorized Apple ID to get access.
The app’s also notable because it’s the first user-centric app that Apple’s made specifically
for Android. Considering that Android market share is at 77% in China, 79% in Germany and
90% in Spain, that’s a lot of potential Apple Music streaming customers. The iTunes Music
Store isn’t available on Android to purchase songs, but who even buys music anymore anyway.
Just kidding, please don’t send me angry tweets. I used to watch Netflix on my phone at the
gym, until I realized how much data I was blowing through. If I were a T-MObile customer,
this would no longer be a concern, though.. the company just announced starting Sunday,
a few feature called “Binge On”, that will remove a bunch of video services from your
data plan altogether… along with Netflix, Hulu, Starz, HBO Now and Go, ESPN, Showtime,
MLB, Vessel, and others. Youtube is conspiculously absent, though. Streams on “binge on”
will also drop to 480p resolutions, which is doable on smaller screens, but still, noticeably
not HD. Interestingly, T-Mobile did a simiarl thing with music services like Spotify/Pandora/etc.
in June of last year, although it didn’t force any other carriers to do the same. However,
video eats up a lot more bandwidth, so this is definitely a power move. Are tech startups overvalued? Well, consider
this news – Fidelity has written down the value of its stake in Snapchat by 25%, according
to a report by Morningstar. Fidelity participated in Snapchat’s Series F round earlier this
year, at an estimated $15 billion valuation. The report says Fidelity valued its Snapchat
shares at $30.72 at the end of June, then 3 months later, shares were written down to
just $22.91. Now, we don’t really know what’s going on here because neither Fidelity nor
Snapchat are talking. But in a trend-sense, Blackrock also wrote down ITS Dropbox stake
this year. Dropbox and Snapchat aren’t the only ones having valuation pains, though:
Square recently valued itself at roughly $4.16 billion in its IPO pricing, below its $6 billion
valuation from its previous financing rounds. As for Snapchat, things look healthy – the
app just passed 6 billion videos daily, up from 2 billion earlier this year. But video
is also a cutthoat business with lots of competition. Heard of Facebook? HotelTonight CEO Sam Shank announced that
the compay laid off 37 employees today, 20% of its total workforce, in what he calls a
strategic movement to reach revenue targets and be more focused. Shank stresses this doesn’t
change HotelTonight’s overall direction or the customer experience, and that the company
expects to double bookings this year over last year and is on track to be profitable
next year. HotelTonight started out in 2010 as a same-day hotel reservation app, and added
seven-day booking options last year. It raised more than $80 million in venture funding,
the most recent round in 2013. That’s the report for today. I’m Sarah
Lane. Crunch Report airs every weekday at 7 pm Eastern,
4 pm Pacific, on Techcrunch.com. You can also find us on iTunes, and on YouTube. See you
tomorrow!

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