Consumers shouldn’t plan on gifting or getting Apple Watch’s for this year’s holiday season, or even next Valentines Day. Rather, according to The Information, the highly-anticipated gadget might not appear on shelves until well after February, 2015. Make no mistake, this is not all part of Apple’s master plan. Rather, as the The Information reports, “Apple [needs] more time [to work] on the software and the apps.”
While no one’s lining up around block to buy a desktop computer, the domestic PC market managed to grow nearly 3% during the 10 week “Back-to-School” period -- from the week of July 4th through Labor Day week -- according to new NPD Group data. That’s pretty impressive considering that PC sales declined by 2.5% during the same period, last year.
Google Currents -- what you might call the search giant’s own personal Flipboard -- is getting a facelift and some additional features. “The company is also ditching the name ‘Currents’ and renaming the app “Google Play Newsstand’ in keeping with Google’s now-preferred naming scheme where its apps and services begin with ‘Google Play,’” TechCrunch reports. “This change also follows the shift from Google Currents on Android, where the Currents mobile app has now been deprecated … in favor of Google’s own Newsstand service.”
Apple just bought digital magazine platform maker Prss. The Dutch company’s core app helps people design magazines for Apple's Newsstand and rival magazine platforms. Dutch tech blog iCulture, which first reported the deal, suggested it might be mostly a talent grab for Apple. “As noted by the site, however, Apple could adopt Prss's publishing platform, making it much simpler for people to publish iPad magazines,” Mac Rumors writes.
Mobile apps remain a work in progress, and a start-up named Branch Metrics just raised $3 million to address their many shortcomings. “The company has come up with an advanced ‘deep linking’ technology for app developers, which allows for a more powerful means of sharing content from within apps, referring or inviting others to install apps,” TechCrunch reports. “The solution goes beyond the current set of deep linking technologies, which only work successfully when users have the app already installed.”
Ray Ozzie, formerly chief software architect at Microsoft, unveiled a new app named Talko, this week. It “lets users conduct and record conversations -- with a focus on making voice calls and messages more accessible, interactive and collaborative,” GeekWire writes. “Features include the ability to tag and bookmark specific moments of a call for easy reference and sharing afterward.” Users can also share additional media during their conversations, like photos and text massagers.
If you were unaware, Digg has been “revived.” Yes, as Vox reports, the community-driven news aggregator has been slowly returning to its former glory since Betaworks picked it up in 2012 for $500,000. More broadly, “the story of Digg’s comeback -- and the Betaworks strategy overall -- tells us a lot about how the web has matured over the last decade,” according to Vox. “New technologies and business models have taken much of the guesswork out of Web site development, making it possible for the Betaworks team to reinvent Digg in a matter of weeks.”
Though highly experimental, Gannett Co. will soon let readers “experience” some news story via virtual reality. “The project -- produced by Gannett’s digital division and the Des Moines Register -- requires users to wear a futuristic headset called the Oculus Rift,” Poynter reports. “Part of a Register special report on Iowa agriculture, the company’s first virtual reality presentation is a 3-D immersive walking tour of a southwest Iowa family farm.”
CNet takes a look at Kevin Lynch -- the guy in charge of the team behind wearable software at Apple, or what some would simply call the company’s future. Ironically, Lynch came to Apple from Adobe, where he butted heads with Steve Jobs over Flash and its place on Apple’s mobile devices. At the time, the hire inspired “Apple ultra fanboy John Gruber, of the Daring Fireball blog, [to call] Lynch a ‘bozo’ and a ‘bad hire,’” CNet reminds us. Also of note, so secretive is Apple’s corporate culture that Lynch’s wife insisted she didn’t know her husband was working …
Facebook is reportedly working on a new app for private communications between small groups of close friends and family. Codenamed “Moments,” The goal is to make selective sharing to different sets of people much faster than the main Facebook app, which focuses foremost on content rather than audience,” as TechCrunch reports. Sources tell TechCrunch that Moments is a lot like Cluster -- a mobile app that lets users create “safe spaces” for sharing content with small groups.