How many billions does it cost to be the default search engine on iOS?

It’s no secret that Google and Apple are ardent adversaries, but the two companies can co-exist nicely … it just takes some big bucks, apparently. According to Bloomberg’s analysis of court transcripts from Oracle’s big battle with Google over copyright issues, Google paid Apple $1 Billion dollars to be the default search engine on iOS devices. It’s part of revenue-sharing deal that gets Apple paid a percentage of the cash Google draws from being on Apple devices. $1 Billion. Yikes.

In other Apple news: If there was any lingering doubt over whether Apple was going to jump into the VR and AR fray, it’s been laid to rest as reports indicate the Cupertino company has recruited Virginia Tech professor, Doug Bowman, widely considered to be a top brain in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

Pair this with the fact that Apple also recently acquired Emotient, a company that specializes in face tracking and emotion reading, and it begins to look pretty certain that Apple is cooking up something cool to bring to the burgeoning world of VR. It’s just a clue, though, no hard evidence yet. But then again, isn’t that how all Apple awesomeness starts out?

If you like the idea of mountain climbing but don’t feel like spending three paychecks at REI, training, exercising, and generally putting out all that effort along with willfully endangering your life, then you’ll be happy to know that Google is making it possible for you to explore famous peaks from the comfort of wherever with your phone. Google Maps released a 360-degree map of Mont Blanc on street view.

It took a bad-ass team of skiers, mountaineers, ice-climbers, runners, photographers and some genuine hard-core adrenaline junkies to capture all the footage so that you, dear couch surfer, could summit the famous peak without breaking a sweat or succumbing to frostbite.

Aside from looking generally awesome, Google says the footage is meant to be an archive of the mountain today and as it changes in the future because it is slowly melting due to global warming. If you try Mont Blanc on for size, you can also explore El Capitain in Yosemite National park, or this 3,842 meter French peak with a name I can’t pronounce.


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