Tech Week In Review

Tech Week in Review 11-11-11

Google+ Launches Pages

Many Google+ users have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of business-focused pages on Google+ since it first launched. This week, Pages finally became available, but they may not be exactly what you would expect. The two most compelling features for Pages include the ability to +1 the page itself and something called Direct Connect.

Google+ Direct Connect lets you quickly navigate to a Google+ page (and even add that page to your circles) when using Google Search. For example, if you searched for the query ‘+youtube’ or ‘+pepsi,’ you could be immediately taken to the YouTube Google+ page, or the Pepsi Google+ page, and given the option to add the page to your circles.

via Google Help Center

What I find most interesting about the new pages is the protection it gives to the user. The Google+ Page posted 5 Cool Tips about the new feature. For instance, a Page cannot circle you or even mention you until you have circled them. This should serve to make things a bit more genuine when it comes to brand pages since they will have to actually work for your +1 and your attention.

On the heels of the of the official Pages launch, it appears Google+ has your stinking badges and you definitely need one if you want to step your Plus game up. Keep in mind that you do need to set up a Page to use the badge. They do not appear to work for standard Google+ profiles.

iOS 5.0.1 Aims to Fix Battery Issues on iPhone 4s

Apple launched the much-anticipated update to iOS 5 which is supposed to fix the abysmal battery life many iPhone 4s customers have been experiencing. The jury is still out on whether these battery issues have actually been addressed. Another factor that will probably complicate results is the fact that most users aren’t aware of iPhone basic troubleshooting for battery life, including understanding multitasking. Other improvements and bugfixes include:

  • Multitasking gestures for original iPad
  • Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud
  • Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation

Many iOS 5 users will want to use this opportunity to try the new OTA updating feature and many have already done so without incident, but be sure to backup your device first and also have your computer handy. Your device could end up in Recovery Mode and require a Restore via iTunes. Don’t want to be out and about with an iPhone in recovery mode. Check out Apple’s own how-to on updating your device to iOS 5.

Adobe Shifting Focus Away from Mobile Browsers

While many iOS users are still hoping Flash will be available someday, it looks like that day will really never come. First, Steve Jobs snapped in a public memo explaining why he didn’t want Flash on his devices. Many are now crediting Jobs with the latest move by Adobe, which looks like it will halt new Flash development for future devices.

Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores.  We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.  We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations.  We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations.
via Adobe
This doesn’t mean Flash is necessarily dead or that Adobe won’t be doing mobile development at all. The new focus will be on HTML5. Adobe states that “HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively.” This should open up opportunities for Adobe to work within the mobile arena.

Barnes & Noble Challenges Microsoft on Android Patents

Microsoft has been making a pretty penny off of Android by aiming their legal guns at any manufacturer making Android devices. If not aiming to make revenue off someone else’s work, Microsoft is at very least scaring some manufacturers away from using the mobile OS. Barnes & Noble is apparently not going to take this lying down. You may recall that the B&N Nook Color is powered by Android, so they have a vested interest in protecting our green robotic friend.  To this end, they are urging the U.S. to probe Microsoft on these patents and have published four public letters and a presentation to the Justice Department in a filing with the commission yesterday.

“Microsoft is embarking on a campaign of asserting trivial and outmoded patents against manufacturers of Android devices,” Barnes & Noble said in an Oct. 17 letter to Gene Kimmelman, the Justice Department’s chief counsel for competition policy. “Microsoft is attempting to raise its rivals’ costs in order to drive out competition and to deter innovation in mobile devices.”

This whole patent game is pretty serious and it’s good to see a company like B&N taking a stand. Most are just folding under the pressure of litigation with the likes of Microsoft and Apple.

via Bloomberg

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