Google has updated its Google+ for iOS app to version 4.4.0, most notably adding new photo editing and organizational features. The app has gained a an Auto Enhance mode for improving photos with a single tap, along with Auto Backup, Auto Awesome, and Auto Highlight features. With Auto Highlight, Google+ users can view an array of photos that are automatically selected as the best of a particular batch of uploaded photos.
As announced during the Google I/O conference two weeks ago, Google’s video chat feature Hangouts has been moved to a standalone app. The Google+ update adds a one-touch access button for Hangouts.
A number of other small improvements to the mobile Google+ experience have been added, including additional profile fields and cover photo uploads, the ability to find content via hashtags, and interactive Google Offer posts.
– New Google+ Photos features keep photos organized and looking their best *Make your photos look even better with Auto Enhance *Browse highlights from all your photos *Share short animations, panoramas, and more – Hangouts has moved to its own app for messaging and video calls – Discover interesting content via related hashtags – Ability to edit more profile fields and upload a cover photo – New interactive Google Offer posts in the stream – Control how often What’s Hot posts appear in your stream – Support for displaying strikethrough text – Ability to edit comments – Ability to copy the post’s permalink
Opera has announced it has launched the first public beta of its new Chromium engine-based web browser for Windows and Mac platforms, adding some new features while also removing its mail client. Read more…
Korean site ETNews.com reports [Google translation, via Unwired View] that Apple is working on a new, larger iPad with a display measuring 12.9 inches diagonally, compared to the 9.7-inch display on the current full-size iPad. The larger iPad, which the site apparently in all seriousness says would be called „iPad Maxi“, would launch in the first half of 2014 and be intended to target the ultrabook market as well as increase utility for digital textbooks.
While some users have expressed a desire for a larger iPad, consumer preference certainly appears to be trending toward smaller screens and more portability rather than larger screens. While the original iPad has experienced significant success, several analysts have estimated that the iPad mini immediately began outselling its larger sibling upon launch late last year.
ETNews.com does not have a particularly solid track record regarding Apple rumors, and is not a frequent rumor source either. Previous incorrect reports have included claims that the iPhone that was ultimately dubbed iPhone 4S would launch in late June 2011 and that the iPhone 5 would take advantage of Liquidmetal alloys and launch in June 2012. More recently, the site claimed that fingerprint sensor firm AuthenTec had cut off its existing customer base after being acquired by Apple, a development that seems likely amid rumors of Apple deploying fingerprint technology on the iPhone 5S.
This week Google updated the notifications center and alerts to a richer, more modern experience. Although this feature is enabled by default in Chrome 28 Beta, you can also enable it in Chrome 27. Read more…
Microsoft has announced it has removed the latest version of the Windows Phone YouTube app and replaced it with the older app, as Microsoft and Google are now „working together“ on a new version. Read more…
Apple might unveil a new iPad mini at WWDC, but if the rumors are true that it might not have a Retina display, then you might want to consider getting a first gen iPad mini.
The Online Apple Store just dropped the price on all refurbished iPad mini and iPad 4 models today. The price drops aren’t huge (although a lot of models are not $100 cheaper than a brand new unit), but it’s a better deal than buying one brand new and you get the same warranty.
By Silicon Valley standards, Apple doesn’t lobby much in Washington. Last year, they spent a little under $2 million on lobbying, a drop in the bucket to Google’s $18 million spent.
But scrutiny of Apple in Washington is starting to heat up, especially the company’s accounting methods. That’s why Apple is looking to double its lobbying spending this year to close to $4 million.
According to Reuters, as part of Apple’s plan to get the U.S. tax code overhauled — vastly simplifying it by eliminating corporate tax expenditures, lowering overall tax rates, and making it simpler and cheaper to repatriate money held overseas — Apple is looking to spnd almost $4 million in Washington this year, over $2 million more than a year ago.
That’s a big jump, not just in a year, but compared to what it spent a decade ago, which was little more than half a million dollars. Apple is apparently highly selective about what campaigns it lobbies for, its most recent effort being — surprise! — unsuccessful legislation that would have allowed multinationals to bring overseas profits back home without paying a 35 percent corporate income tax. Guess what that $4 million this year is likely to be spent on?
The full panel of the US International Trade Commission has decided not to overrule a previous decision by an ITC judge, who ruled Microsoft’s Xbox 360 can continue to be imported into the country. Read more…