Tiny Review iPhone app makes everyday photos into special moments (exclusive)

As photos become the new status update, we’re going to see big changes in the way people create, combine and consume words and images. The latest example is from a 500 Startups company called Tiny Review, which unites microblogging and social photo-sharing in its free photo storytelling app. And with a new update for the app out today, the Tiny Review craze is about to take off.

Instagram is Apple’s No. 1 app of 2011 in a year heavy on fun and sharing

If you made plans for your weekend, you might want to kiss them goodbye.  Apple yesterday released its iTunes Rewind 2011 list, with the 40 top  iPhone and iPad apps of the year. The iTunes store now has more than 500,000 apps in it, but  this year’s top apps list shows that fun is the dominant theme. Games and social networking tools dominated, and photo sharing tool Instagram was chosen as the No. 1  app of the year.

BestVendor is the utility belt for small business apps

Being successful in business is about knowing what your competitors know and being able to act on it. If you could find out what kinds of work tools are helping your competitors stay lean and mean, it could be a real leg up. You can’t just call up a competitor and ask. But a new startup called BestVendor is creating a Yelp-like recommendations network around work apps to make that kind of tool discovery possible.

Verizon fixes technical issue blamed for nationwide 4G LTE outage

Wireless provider Verizon is America’s favorite national network, but it is not immune to an occasional case of the sniffles. A technical issue is being blamed for a service disruption that knocked out 4G LTE service to wireless customers nationwide, and left them without high-speed voice, data and SMS service. The disruption began on Tuesday evening and was resolved by Wednesday night.

Edmodo wants to be the cloud leader in EdTech, raises $15M more

Edmodo, a social network for education, stands poised to benefit tremendously from the great shifts taking place in educational delivery. The company announced today that it raised $15 million from  Greylock Partners and Benchmark Capital. Greylock partner and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and Benchmark Capital general partner Matt Cohler also joined Edmodo’s board.

LivingSocial closes $176 million round. How far off is an IPO?

We reported in mid-November that the company was looking to raise $200 million at a $5 billion valuation. Investment bank JP Morgan, Lightspeed Ventures and Amazon.com all participated in the current round. One year ago this week, Amazon invested $175 million in LivingSocial. The daily-deals site has raised a total of $808 million in private funding and has spent $353 million to buy companies such as SocialMedia.com, TicketMonster and Urban Escapes. The current investment values the company at $6 billion.

Dell kills its Streak 7 Android tablet in the U.S.

If you’re curious how difficult it is to make a successful Android tablet, ask Dell. The company today announced it is killing off its Streak 7 Android tablet in the U.S., while claiming it will still sell the product through retail partnerships abroad. The 7-inch tablet will no longer be available online at Dell.com, as you can see from the screenshot below.

Teach your robot new tricks this Cyber Monday at the RobotsAppStore (video)

[vimeo 32353014 w=640 h=360] If you haven’t gotten a gift for your robot this Cyber Monday (what, you don’t have one yet?), you might want to think about visiting the RobotsAppStore, the Internet’s first portal for paid robot apps. The RobotsAppStore hosts a variety of programs created by enthusiasts worldwide who want to extend the functionality of robots everywhere.

Samsung calls Australian tablet ban “grossly unjust”

Device maker Samsung says an Australian judge who banned the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in that country does not know the basic facts of the case, and her reasoning  is “grossly unjust.” Lawyers for Samsung are appealing a temporary injunction that has frozen the company out of the market due to claims that Samsung  “slavishly copied” the iPad when creating its own tablet, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.