Now that 2010 is almost over, we’re looking back at the year in tech business news. Any “top stories” list that’s not based purely on traffic is going to be ridiculously subjective, but with the help of VentureBeat’s writers, I’ve tried to focus on the news that had the biggest effect on the tech world and drew the most interest from readers, while also touching on the biggest companies and trends of the year.
The next-generation iPad 2 rumors are in full gear. Today, the Japanese Apple blog MacOtakara reported that the new device from Apple, rumored to be coming in February, will get a new flat back panel, a wide-range speaker (pictured at bottom) and a smaller bezel, or border.
A few months ago, Cognito Comics and gaming company Tall Chair demonstrated one of the coolest media experiences that I’ve seen on the iPad — Operation Ajax, a graphic novel created specifically for the device. At the time, the idea was still very much in development, but today the Operation Ajax application has gone live in Apple’s App Store.
It’s been a big year for mobile news. Android continued its strong growth in the smartphone market, Apple shook things up with the iPhone 4 and completely rejuvenated the tablet market with the iPad, and former mobile titans like RIM, Palm and Nokia struggled to maintain their relevancy.
We knew that Amazon was making a killing with its $139 third-generation Kindles, but since the retailer doesn’t discuss Kindle sales numbers, it’s always been unclear just how well it’s doing.
HP is gearing up to unveil its long-awaited tablet running Palm’s webOS software. It will show off the device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month, according to Fox News’s Clayton Morris, who also managed to dig up some details on the device.
Sharp is gearing up to spend around $1.2 billion on expanding its product lines for small and midsize LCD panels, most of which are meant for Apple’s iPhone, Reuters reports.
Even though we’re seeing a slew of Android tablets on the horizon, Apple’s iPad is expected to maintain its leading place in the tablet market into 2012, according to J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz.
Despite continued questions over its legality, the hot iPad social magazine Flipboard shows no signs of slowing down. The company announced the latest update to its app last night, bringing with it support for Google Reader, Flickr, live previews and more.
Could the iPad be Apple’s key to gaining a bigger slice of the global personal computer market? If you consider it a PC like Goldman Sachs does, then yes.
In the footsteps of Google, which posts a yearly zeitgeist of the most searched terms, Facebook and Twitter have decided to unpack some of their trends of the year from tweets and status updates.
Now that Samung’s Galaxy Tab is out, Motorola’s Android tablet has become the iPad competitor to pine over. Google’s Andy Rubin briefly teased conference-goers with the device at last week’s D: Dive Into Mobile event and since then even more details have leaked out.
Here’s our roundup of the week’s tech business news. First, the most popular stories VentureBeat published in the last seven days:
Startup Subutai continues to charge ahead with its digital publishing experiment The Mongoliad. The writing team, which includes popular science fiction authors Neal Stephenson (who is the company’s chairman) and Greg Bear (its senior creative advisor), has now published around 15 chapters, and the company has also released applications for the iPhone and iPad.
We have new details on Apple’s iPad 2 from component suppliers, but none of it is all that surprising. There’s word that the new iPad will have front and rear-facing cameras, and that it will be thinner, lighter, and feature a higher-resolution display, Reuters reports.
Google released its Zeitgeist 2010 list today, highlighting the top queries in its search engine from around the world. More than the list itself, which held relatively few surprises, I was impressed by the effort that Google put into the presentation, with a video tour of the top searches (embedded below) and an interactive website showing different searches in different regions.
A long-awaited 3D game hit Apple’s App Store today.
Apple has released a list of the top-selling apps of 2010 across its iTunes store, with the hit game Angry Birds topping the list of paid apps.
Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is shaping up to be one of the most exciting devices in the coming months. Now we have 10 minutes of the tablet in action (below), courtesy of the folks over at the mobile device site BGR.
Graeme Devine gave Apple a lot of credibility when he joined the company to work on iPhone game technologies. But Devine told the game blog Kotaku that his last day at Apple was Friday.
Intel has quietly formed a new business unit dedicated to tablets and netbooks, the New York Times reports.
Electronic signature cloud platform DocuSign announced today it has closed $27 million in third round financing and added two key hires to its executive team.
The plucky startup Peel, which recently launched an iPhone app to help you find things to watch on TV, is making a big step forward today by launching hardware that will turn its app into a powerful universal remote control.
Apple’s new tablet — iPad 2 — will ship by the end of February and be available for sale in April, according to DigiTimes’ sources from Foxconn Electronics in Shenzhen, China, which manufactures most of Apple’s products.
OnLive is announcing today that a limited version of its online game service is now available for the iPad and a beta version for Android devices will soon be available. Not only will you be able to watch live video games in action on the iPad. You’ll also be able to use the OnLive app to run Windows 7 apps on your iPhone.
Is this the end of Amazon’s ebook reign? Google is launching its new open ebook store today, simply called Google eBooks, with over 3 million titles, in a bid to take on the ebook world dominated by Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple.
Jon Miller, the chairman and chief executive of News Corp.’s digital media group, walked an amusing tightrope today at Business Insider’s Ignition conference today. When asked about News Corp.’s in-development iPad newspaper called The Daily, Miller emphasized that the company hasn’t confirmed the iPad newspaper’s existence — then he proceeded to talk about what News Corp. would be thinking if it was working on such an app.
News Corp mogul Rupert Murdoch is making a big bet on the iPad by hiring big-name (read: expensive) reporters for a new “iPad newspaper” called The Daily. And other media organizations are skeptical.
I’ve been playing with the recently released iPhone and iPad apps for The Economist magazine in the past week, and I’ve got a stinging critique: not of the app itself (although it falls short in several ways), but of the new media and publishing 2.0 naysayers who incessantly repeat, “those old media farts got it wrong again!”
Here’s our roundup of the week’s tech business news (shorter than usual due to the Thanksgiving holiday). First, the most popular stories VentureBeat published in the last seven days:
The holiday selling season is about to kick off and, slow economy or not, tech gadgets are going to be high on the wish list for a lot of us. At VentureBeat, we like gifts that work, that are fun, and that are affordable.
Samsung announced this morning that its Android-based Galaxy tab sold 600,000 units globally in the first month of its launch. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPad sold over a million units in the same time period (and in even fewer nations than Samsung’s global count). Furthermore, some pundits see consumer anticipation of the “iPad 2″ as weakening the whole tablet market till Q1 of next year when such a product could be announced by Apple.
It’s time to get updating: Apple today rolled out iPhone OS (iOS) 4.2 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, bringing with it some long-awaited new features like multitasking support on the iPad, and a surprise reveal that its “Find My iPhone” device location service is now free.
A much craved-for feature by mobile users, microblogging platform Twitter has finally taken notice and added push notifications for mentions to your username (dubbed @mentions) in its iPhone and iPad apps, as well as through SMS.
It turns out that the world’s best-selling book, the Bible, has now produced one of the smartphone world’s most popular apps: YouVersion, which added its 10 millionth user Tuesday.
Google may have selected Motorola’s upcoming 7-inch “Motopad” tablet as its flagship Android 3.0 device, according to Mobile Review’s Eldar Murtazin.
Graphics chip makerNvidia’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang thinks Google’s Android team is pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.
YuMe, a well-funded video advertising startup, announced today that it’s bringing its technology to the mobile world.