1. Apple unveils the 1-pound iPad Air with a 9.7-inch Retina display: shipping November 1st for $499
Phil Schiller announced the iPad Air at Apple’s launch event in San Francisco. The next iteration of the iPad is thinner, lighter, and more powerful. The iPad weighs just one pound (which is down from the fourth-gen iPad’s 1.4 pounds) and has a 43% thinner bezel and 20% thinner profile. The new iPad Air has a 9.7 inch retina display, 64-bit architecture and an A7 processor. The iSight camera is 5 megapixels and capable of shooting 1080P video, and the battery life is expected to last 10 hours. The Air will begin shipping on November 1st.
2. Yahoo buys image-recognition startup for Flickr
Yahoo has just acquired startup LookFlow for its Flickr service. Flickr, the photo sharing website, will use LookFlow’s image-recognitions technology. The financial terms of the deal, which was announced on Wednesday, was not disclosed. Yahoo is taking five LookFlow engineers along with the company in this deal. Although this is a small acquisition, this is one of the many 20 deals that Yahoo has made since Marissa Mayer became CEO almost 15 months ago. Most of these deals have been acquisitions of small startups, with the exception being Yahoo’s purchase of Tumblr; this move alone costs Yahoo roughly $1.1 billion. Yahoo’s (YHOO) latest acquisition will bring image-recognition technology to its Flickr service for sharing photos. CEO Mayer has expressed interest in purchasing startups with expertise in making applications for smartphones and tablets.
3. Apple updates iOS 7 to squash some bugs
Apple’s has just released an update of iOS7 to fix many of the problems that users reported. The update fixes the iMessage issue in which many iMessages failed to send, as well as the bug which prevented users from even activating iMessage. It also fixed the bug that allowed people to bypass the lock screen password. Apple’s iOS7 is being called by some as Apple’s most troubled mobile operating system update, but the OS has been installed on more than 2/3 of existing iOS devices. But many users have complained about bugs as well as the design change. However, CEO Tim Cook says that he is “thrilled” with the reception of iOS7.
4. Flipboard coming to Windows Phone 8 and Lumia 2520 tablet
One of the major complaints about Windows Phone is that the OS doesn’t have enough of the popular applications. However, Microsoft is quieting down the critics, one app at a time. Microsoft has recently added Flipboard to its list of apps that are finally coming to a Nokia device. The app will first be seen on the Windows RT tablet before it rolls out to Windows Phone 8 devices. Window’s new RT Tablet, the Lumia 2520 is set to launch with Nokia’s new Storyteller app as well as an updated Camera app.
5. WiLAN loses lawsuit against Apple over cellular data patents
Have you ever heard of WiLAN? Well, they’re a company that’s made a lot of money, and pretty solid business, suiting the wireless industry over alleged patent violations. They’ve gotten settlements out of HTC, Novatel, and other heavyweights – but, they aren’t getting any money from Apple. An Eastern District of Texas court ruled that the iPhone maker didn’t infringe on a WiLAN patent that covered CMDA and HSPA data transmissions. The court also invalidated two claims in the patent, making it harder for WiLAN to sue other companies. However, Apple isn’t getting off free – the plantiff is still “reviewing its options.”
6. Nokia’s Chris Weber says there’s no ‘silver bullet’ for Windows Phone success
Chris Weber, EVP of Sales and Marketing says that there is still work to be done for the Windows Phone. “I don’t think there’s a silver bullet,” said Weber. “It’s the portfolio, it’s great marketing to make sure people are aware of the capabilities, and it’s making sure that the apps are there.” Weber said that the levels of partnerships between the phone and apps differs from one third-party developer to another, the partnerships generally entails Nokia marketing support and technology assistance. On Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft, Weber said “We partner with Microsoft and we sort of divide and conquer what apps we go after, which ones they do, which ones we need jointly to work together on that… I think it’s a joint effort in most of the things that you see. And the reality is what’s good for the ecosystem is good for Nokia is the way we view it.
7. T-Mobile offers 200MB free monthly data for all tablets, will carry Nexus 7 in-store on November 20th
T-Mobile’s upcoming plan to offer 200 MB of free monthly data to iPad users. As of November 1st, there will be no charge bandwidth available for tablets. Customers who do choose to pay for data will get an extra 200 MB on top of their existing caps. While this is going on, T-Mobile will also launch a tablet trade-in program that will discount new devices when shoppers bring in their older tablets. T-Mobile will also carry the LTE-ready Nexus 7 in store. Customers can also get Google’s tablet with no money down for a plan of $16/month for the next two years.