This Week in Tech – Oct. 23

RIM Launches BBX Platform

Following a week of outage woes, Research in Motion, the maker of BlackBerry, unveiled the new BBX platform at their Oct. 18, DevCon event. The new platform will bring together the better elements of Blackberry and QNX, a company acquired in 2010 that focuses on real-time operating systems and development tools. The new platform/operating system is expected to be more powerful and capable of supporting applications development. BBX is expected to be available on BlackBerry smartphones and the Playbook tablets.

On another note, following the outage, RIM is offering $100 worth free apps to each BlackBerry smartphone user in an attempt to slow their shrinking customer base.

 

Apple Shares Fall, 4S Sales on the Rise

Shares of Apple stock fell 23.62 points (over 5.5%) on Oct. 19, after the earnings report came in short of analysts’ expectations. iPhone sales in its fiscal Q4, Jul. – Sep., were at 17.07 million, lower than the expected 20-22 million. Though some worry the lower than expected iPhone sales figures are a sign of a slowing company, it is likely that consumers held off on their iPhone purchase in anticipation of a newly launched phone.

Apple is reporting that its iPhone 4S phone, launched Oct. 14, roared out the gate with four million phones sold in its opening weekend. This is double the pace of the iPhone 4, a marker that counters investors’ fears of a slowing company. Many new features in the smartphone, most notably Siri have consumers scrambling for the new model.

Steve Jobs Biography Excerpts Released

 

Excerpts from the Steve Jobs Biography by Walter Isaacson which is to be released on Oct. 24, 2011, were released by large news organizations including the Associated Press. In the last year, Jobs sat down with Isaacson for over 40 interviews, shedding much light on his private life.

Josh Ronin explained the value of the biography in his response to the Quora Question ‘Why do we care so much about these incremental Steve stories?’

“Bottom line: Steve was a very private guy. When Walter asked him why he was allowing him (a journalist) to write about his private life, he responded:  ’I wanted my kids to know me. I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.’ Even his children didn’t know much about him. So why do we care? To get even a glimpse of his private life is just plain interesting. We don’t hear much about it at all.”

A “60 minutes” interview with Walter Isaacson is to be aired Oct. 23 at 7pm on CBS.

 

Lytro “Focus Later” Camera Unveiled

Lytro, a company focused on transforming light field technology into a reality unveiled its Lytro camera, which allows users to take a photo and deal with the focus later.

As Steve Lohr of The New York Times said, “For a photographer, whether amateur or professional, the Lytro technology means that the headaches of focusing a shot go away.” In an industry that seems to have evolved at the rate of batteries, Lytro appears to be the newcomer that will drive innovation and rapid improvement.

 

 

Google Updates and G+ Strategies

 

Google’s redesign of Gmail has been leaked. The new changes appear to work to improve readability and ease of use.

Gmail Leaked Screenshot

Ice Cream Sandwich, the 4 operating system on Google’s Android platform is expected to be released midway through November. An improved user interface and a rumored facial recognition passcode option will help keep android at the front of smartphone and tablet computing.

At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin took the stage to share some of the strategies behind Google Plus and how it can be the keystone of Google’s future growth. Having reached the 40 million user mark, Google Plus remains well behind Facebook which is rumored to have over 800 million members. From its dominant Maps product, to Youtube, Google may be using Plus to connect the products and harness their large audience into the dawdling Google Plus.

 

Image Sources: Techcrunch.com Engadget.com Gizmodo.com

 

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