New Twitter app features on iPhone and Android

The Business Insider reports on the hidden features in the new Twitter iPhone and Android apps.

TV trends:

The basis of the TV trends section is that you can chat about your favorite show with other fans but that seems to be about it.

Timeline sort by prominence:

This element of the app is timeline that displays the most prominent trends of the day. Filters factor into this again since it scans your surrounding area and provides insight into nearby events and conversations.

More details in compose page:

When composing a message, it asks for a location to add more depth to searching for local content.

Software patent reform stopped by IBM and Microsoft

The Washington Post reports on how IBM and Microsoft lobbied to stop software patent reform.

But large software companies had other ideas. A September letter signed by IBM, Microsoft and several dozen other firms made the case against expanding the program. The proposal, they wrote, “could harm U.S. innovators by unnecessarily undermining the rights of patent holders. Subjecting data processing patents to the CBM program would create uncertainty and risk that discourage investment in any number of fields where we should be trying to spur continued innovation.”

Of course, advocates of the program disagree. They point out that software patents are disproportionately responsible for the recent rise of patent litigation. The fact that technology startups almost inevitably face patent threats is itself a significant disincentive for innovation. So it’s far from clear that subjecting software patents to greater scrutiny would be bad for innovation.

Other notable companies involved include 3M, Adobe, Dolby, DuPont, Eli Lilly, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm and Xerox. View the letter and list of companies opposing CBM expansion.

Google’s Project Link

Google unveils Project Link and writes about how the company is bringing fast, reliable internet access to Uganda

The project builds fibre-optic networks to places where internet infrastructure access is inadequate or non-existent.

Project Link goes beyond basic access; it enables local providers to offer new mobile data plans or high-speed Internet for office buildings and universities, and support newer technologies as they come to market.

This along with Google’s Project Loon is part of the company’s aim to increase internet access around the world.

Microsoft launches anti-Google merchandise line

Microsoft launches its “Scroogled” merchandise line.

This anti-Google smear campaign does more to make Microsoft look bad than it does to mock Google.

Check out the full range of products.

Instagram’s differences across mobile platforms

The differences between Instagram on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Windows Phone has positioned itself as a unique mobile OS with a strikingly different look and navigation features compared to other major platforms. Most apps on Windows Phone look and behave significantly differently than on iOS or Android, and Instagram is no exception.

The experience seems more disjointed on Windows Phone but I will have to try it myself before I comment more. Still, this is the first release on Windows Phone and it can only get better with future versions.

Android 4.4+ KitKat ships without browser app

Unwired View reports that Google will be releasing Android KitKat without a browser app.

Vendors have to pay for a license to use Chrome or create their own browser app.

Google launches Newsstand app for Android

MacRumors reports on Google’s launch of a Newsstand app for Android.

The best form of flattery, as they say.

Google lets you tour Middle Earth

The Business insider reports on Google’s interactive map that allows users to explore Middle Earth.

This map lets you click through all the important places where the action takes place (complete with music and a voiceover). You can look at things close-up, in 3D.

Tolkien fans would love this. It also highlights how powerful of web sites and web browsers have become.

Samsung gives US-based Galaxy Note 3 owners $50 Google Play credit

The Next Web reports on Samsung giving US-based owners of Galaxy Note 3 a $50 credit in the Google Play store.

It’s one way of attempting to get its users into the habit of spending in the Google Play store. However, it might be more than what most of the users will ever spend.

Samsung claims to have sold 800,000 Galaxy Gear watches

Reuters reports that Samsung is saying it has sold 800,000 Galaxy Gear, making it the world’s most popular smartwatch.

Does the figure exclude Galaxy Gear sets that consumers get for free when they buy a Galaxy Note 3? I think not.

Update: I forgot to link to an earlier article about poor sales of the Galaxy Gear. The article reports that “this product has cumulative sales under 50,000, with daily sales of only 800-900 units”. Samsung’s figure is the number of Galaxy Gear shipped, not the number sold.