1. Google Looks To Help Startups Start Up, Unveils Hub Network
Google announced on Wednesday that it would be partnering with co-working spaces and startup hubs (a place where companies can get access to an office, mentors, and other resources) to create a hub network. This initiative is being overseen by Google for Entrepreneurs. Google already has startup hubs in London and Tel Aviv, but this new network will cover seven less-prolific startup towns, from Chicago to Nashville to Minneapolis. Google says that they will back these hubs financially and technologically. Companies at the hubs will have more access to Google products, which includes cloud storage, Google App Engine credit, and Google Maps API. Google will check in with the hubs once a month and arrange annual events. Startups will have access to many Google marketing employees for mentorship.
Outreach to startups is becoming increasingly common among big companies, as they try to find innovation before another company does. Earlier this month, Samsung created its own accelerator.
2. China To Lift Ban On Sale Of Video Game Consoles: Reports
China is moving to repeal a 13-year ban of the selling of video game consoles. This came through a set of rules issued by the State Council in regards to the new free-trade zone in Shanghai. Foreign companies are now free to begin selling their products in China as long as the companies operates within the free-trade zone. However, each device must be pre-approved by the Culture Ministry. Consoles were initially banned in 2000 over concern that video gaming would be detrimental to the younger generation.
3. App Developers Refuse To Give Up On BlackBerry 10
BlackBerry isn’t in a good place right now, especially not after just having posted a billion-dollar loss for the second fiscal quarter. But, some good news for BlackBerry comes in the form of a report from Digitimes, in which application developers claim that they aren’t going to bail on the Blackberry 10. At the BlackBerry Jam Asia 2013 conference this week, many developers said they planned to continue building and supporting applications for the BlackBerry 10. Some developers say that smaller mobile platforms like the BlackBerry 10 are more attractive, because the iOS and Android app stores are too noisy, and thus harder to break in to. BlackBerry is currently in talks with Fairdox Holdings for a $4.7 billion acquisition. It this buyout goes through, it is uncertain what lies ahead in BlackBerry’s future.
4. Web Site Leaks Images of Gold iPad Mini
Apple is taking note of the tremendous success and popularity that was the gold iPhone 5S. After their numbers blew away Wall Street’s prediction and even their own predictions, Apple has decided that the more gold, the better, and may launch a gold iPad mini. ZOL, a Chinese web site, has leaked images of an iPad mini in the same color scheme as the 5S. There have also been leaked images of the iPad mini in Apple’s “space grey” color, so Apple may be bringing new color schemes to all of its iDevices. In additional to the new color scheme, pictures of the new iPad mini also confirmed that it will also have touchID fingerprint scanning and retina display.
5. Samsung Exec Reportedly Admits Galaxy Gear Smartwatch ‘Lacks Something Special’
When a new product launches, the last thing you want is bad press, whether it be internal or not, and it seems like someone at Samsung missed this memo. According to a report from The Korea Times, a Samsung executive admitted that the company wasn’t happy with the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch. ”We’ve acknowledged that our Gear lacks something special,” said an unnamed Samsung official to the site. “With more investment for user interface and user experience, Samsung devices will be better in terms of customer satisfaction.” Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smartwatch launches early in October and is seem as a preemptive strike against Apple’s rumored “iWatch.” Galaxy Gear preorders opened just last week.
6. Panasonic Quits Smartphones to Focus On…Feature Phones
Japanese electronics giant, Panasonic, confirms that it plans on stopping development of smartphones for the mass market. This is not new; the company said in July that it wanted to review its smartphone strategy after posting losses due to weak sales of smartphones in Japan; this is the only market where the company had any presence in the smartphone market. Panasonic says that it instead plans on reallocating the resources to manufacturing and selling feature phones (the clam-shell type handsets that came before the smartphone era). Features phones still have a large following in Japan and account for roughly 30% of all mobile phones sold. This figure is, however, shrinking, as time passes.
7. Key dates from Google’s 15-year history
- September 27, 1998: Google.com is born.
- May 9, 2000: The search engine becomes available in 10 new languages
- June 26, 2000: The first search engine to index 1 billion web pages is… Google!
- April 1, 2004: The beta version of Gmail is launched
- February 8, 2005: Google Maps is born.
- November 13, 2006: Google purchases YouTube for roughly $1.6 billion.
- May 25, 2007: Google Maps Street View is born.
- November 5, 2007: Google announces the OS, Android.
- September 1, 2008: Google chrome is born.
- July 7, 2009: The Google Chrome OS, which is based on Linux, is announced.
- January 5, 2010: The “Google phone” is introduced by HTC.
- June 15, 2011: Google presents the first Chromebook, equipped with Chrome OS
- June 28, 2011: Google+ is born.
- June 29, 2011: Google starts testing their cars in Nevada.
- April 5, 2012: The first Google Glass prototype is worn.