Google Maps Navigation Introduced In UK, Ireland

People who – deep breath – live in the UK or Ireland, don’t like to get lost, can tolerate beta software, and own a new-ish Android phone are in luck.  An unfinished version of Google Maps Navigation has been made available in the UK and Ireland for Android devices 1.6 and higher.

Google Faces Tax Protest Again In The UK

On at least two previous occasions, UK politicians have argued that Google’s accounting is a little too creative when it comes to taxes, and this weekend, the search giant was called out again.  Lord David Puttnam even used the word "outrageous" to describe Google’s habits.

Incentives Keep Broadband Customers Loyal

Offering loyalty incentives, such as discounts on monthly fees, service upgrades and other benefits, provides a significant boost in customer satisfaction with fixed and mobile broadband Internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK, according to a new report by J.D. Power and Associates.

Around 15 percent of fixed broadband customers and 16 percent of mobile broadband customers report having received incentives from their ISP to reward their continued loyalty.

UK Leads Europe In Smartphone Adoption

Smartphone adoption in the EU5 (U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy) has grown 32 percent compared to a year ago to 51.6 million subscribers, according to a new report from comScore.

Growth can bee seen across the range of monthly subscription fees, but the mid to low tier is growing faster that high tier subscriptions in each of the EU5 markets.

UK Kids Ignoring Facebook Age Limits

A quarter of children in the UK aged 8-12 who use the Internet at home say they have a profile on Facebook, Bebo or MySpace, although the minimum age is 13, according to new research from communications regulator Ofcom.

Parliamentary Clips May Come To YouTube

Some rather important proceedings might soon become viewable to everyone with an Internet connection and access to YouTube.  A report’s indicated that a ban covering video footage of the UK’s House of Commons could be lifted in the near future.

Street View Nears Omniscience In The UK

Pick a road, any road.  So long as it’s in the UK, there’s a good chance Google will be able to provide you with pictures taken from it.  Today, the search giant made much more Street View imagery available, meaning its photographs now cover about 238,000 miles – or 96 percent – of British roads.

The figure below tells most of the story if those numbers don’t do it for you.  As you can see, just about every street in the UK has been navigated by camera-equipped cars (along with an assortment of trikes), leading to nearly total coverage.

Google Suffers Market Share Stumble In The UK

While we normally don’t comment on market share fluctuations that occur in places other than America, some recent changes in the UK may bear mentioning.  According to the AT Internet Institute, Google’s share of the search market slipped by 1.6 percent between January and February.

That’s a significant amount.  Indeed, as the slightly upsized figure below shows (sorry for any blurriness), if Ask and AOL had suffered similar losses, they’d have been wiped out, hitting zero.

Microsoft To Spend $2 Billion On Bing Ads In The UK

As fans of "The Office" may know, it’s fairly common for the entertainment industry to take a successful concept and adapt it for use overseas.  And now, Microsoft’s performing a similar conversion, launching a "Bing and decide" advertising campaign in the U.K.

UK’s Department Of Health Reveals $4.25m AdWords Tab

Google users in the UK may be unusually well-informed with regards to their government’s healthcare policies.  The Department of Health revealed this week that it spent about £2.72 million (or $4.25 million at the current exchange rate) on AdWords over the past year.

To be exact: the department spent £2,720,457.11 between February 1 of last year and January 31 of this one, according to official records.  And a whopping 21,939 keywords (including ones like "health information" and "stop smoking") were covered by its campaign.