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December 13, 2012

Technology News Briefs — Dec. 13, 2012

Apple TV Project in the Works

Apple is in the “early stages” of testing its television product, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The company is reportedly working with Asian manufacturers to design television sets, although it is not clear if the device will be an actual TV or an improved version of the Apple TV set-top box.

Sources told the WSJ that Apple could be looking for the best way to make a television set that meshes with other devices and the iCloud service.

Yahoo Debuts Flickr Update

Yahoo launched a much-revamped version of its Flickr iOS app Dec. 12, making good on CEO Marissa Mayer’s promise to concentrate on mobile improvement.

It is the first makeover since Flickr was launched three years ago.

Users can immediately log in using their existing Yahoo, Google or Facebook accounts.

Once logged in, the app offers tooltips to walk users through its features.

The app, which sports a clean, modern look, now has 16 filters, varied monochrome and color effects that can be applied before users upload their photo to the service and enhanced editing tools.

This is the second major app overhaul released by Yahoo in as many days — the search engine debuted a revamped Yahoo Mail for iOS, Android, Windows 8, and the Web on Dec. 11.

FreedomPop Offering Free Internet Service

Internet service provider (ISP) FreedomPop is launching a new broadband package offering free high speed Internet for all devices anywhere is the U.S.

The ISP, which is still in beta, is guaranteeing 500MB free to users each month at 4G speeds. According to the company website, the package has no data caps or throttling speeds and customers can cancel anytime without fees or commitment

“Unlike DSL and Cable Internet technology that require physical at home or at the office connections, wireless Internet technology, including Wimax and LTE allow Internet access anywhere, anytime, with any device,” the website reads. “Connect your desktop, iPad, iPhone, laptop or any device wirelessly, ensuring Internet access no matter where your life takes you.”

The company is also accepting pre-orders for its new FreedomPop Hub Burst modem, which is expected to start shipping as early as next month.

Tablets Top Seller Over Holidays

Tablets will be the Christmas gift of choice this year, followed by Smartphones, according to IDC.

The popularity of the devices will push shipments to record levels.

“Holiday season growth will be driven by tablets and smartphones which are expected to grow 55.8 percent and 39.5 percent year-over-year respectfully, while PCs are expected to decline slightly from this quarter a year ago. ” IDC said this week.

IDC said Samsung and Apple continue to be the devices of choice, with Samsung in the top position with 21.8 percent of the smart connected device market. Apple has 15.1 percent.

Trailing the leaders is Lenovo with seven percent of the market, HP with 4.6 percent, and Sony at 3.6 percent.

 

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