Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

Top Startup and Tech News Today: 7 Things You Missed Today

1. BlackBerry Messenger for iOS and Android Is Here


While BlackBerry Messenger’s first effort to run on the Android and iPhone operating systems, BlackBerry is not going to give up. On Monday, BlackBerry announced that BBM would be coming to the world’s leading mobile platforms soon – to avoid any further issues, BBM’s rollout comes with a registration queue. You must first download the app and reserve a spot by registering with your email address – when it is your turn, BlackBerry will activate your account and send you a notification. BlackBerry claims that six million people have signed up for information since September.“If you didn’t sign up in advance, don’t worry — we are focused on moving millions of customers through the line as fast as possible,” said BlackBerry.


2. Nokia’s answer to the iPod Shuffle might look a lot like an iPod Shuffle


Nokia’s least favorite person and serial leaker @evleaks has already shown up Nokia’s upcoming Lumia 1520 and 2520 – but now, he’s showing us an image of something he claims is Nokia’s answer to the iPod shuffle. The photo shows a small audio device that has NFC to allow easy pairing with a smartphone or other speakers or headphones. There is also a microUSB charging/sync port and some simple controls. It is unclear whether or not this device (which has been rumored to be called the “Guru) is just a Bluetooth received and DAC for headsets or an iPod shuffle copy. Nokia has not released any statements regarding this.


3. GarageBand could go free on iOS 7


Love GarageBand? Which it was mobile? Well, GarageBand could be the next free built-in app on iOS devices. Apple recently updated the icons for the iLife and iWork apps, and according to MacRumors, Apple’s music making suite will become a complimentary download. But, to fully flesh out the application you will have to purchase individual instruments and sounds. The GarageBand app currently costs $5. Apple has not released any statements.


4. Netflix tops 40 million customers total, more paid US subscribers than HBO


Netflix’s third quarter results have revealed that they have 29.93 million subscribers which is more than HBO’s last count of 28.7 million. Internationally, Netflix has 9.19 million subscribers and it is expected that this number is to rise by 3 million in the next quarter. Netflix’s growth can be traced to the popularity of its original series such as “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards.” Netflix is also rolling out original stand-up comedy specials and will soon expand into documentaries.


5. Google unveils services promoting free expression


Google will start shielding news organizations and human right groups from cyberattacks. This is coming as a part of a new package of services designed to support “free expression” on the internet. Google said it would host sites that frequently came under political attack, as Google is far more able to withstand attacks than websites hosted independently due to pure size and sophistication of Google’s technical infrastructure. This project is still in testing. Google also revealed uProxy, which is a new technology that allows citizens under certain regimes to bypass government censorship / surveillance software. This will be available for Google’s Chrome Browser and Firefox.

6. HTC says it has a ‘disruptive’ tablet and a smartwatch in the works


HTC has not been performing very well in smartphones recently, so the Taiwan-based vendor is trying to find a new market to break into. Despite having recently launched what many are calling the best Android smartphone, HTC posted it’s first-ever loss last quarter. HTC executives are looking into two new categories – with one being the ever-popular wearables market. HTC says that there is no rush in entering this market. “It has to meet a need, otherwise if it’s just a gimmick or concept, it’s not for people’s day-to-day lives. That is an opportunity for us,” says CEO Peter Chou said of smartwatches. “People laughed at us when we came out with the first smartphone… Now everyone has a smartphone. I’m pretty sure wearables will be the same, but don’t judge from what is in the market [now].”


7. Bad news, Samsung fans: Galaxy S5 might be plastic after all

Companies like Apple and HTC employ metals and other premium materials on its smartphones, but not Samsung. Samsung tends to opt for plastics, or as seen in the Note 3, even pleather. Samsung fans were excited to hear that the company seemed to be moving away from plastic on the Galaxy S5 but a new report suggests that this is false. The report, from GalaxyS5info stats that Samsung will continue to employ plastic for the device’s housing. Specifically, Samsung is said to be looking into the leather-look plastic from the Galaxy Note 3’s case. The report continues by saying that Samsug is working on a metal phone, but this will be “Galaxy F” and will not be released for a while. The report was relayed by the often reliable SamMobile.


Jessie Yen


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