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Hello and welcome to the inaugural edition of the Teknowledge newsletter. It would be brought out on the final working day of each month, and we will focus on updating general readers as well as our in-house mobile app developers about the going-ons in the tech world. In other words, the Teks newsletter is your monthly dose of all that you need to know!
Without further ado, let’s turn our attentions to the major highlights from the domain of technology that grabbed headlines in April:
The Apple-Samsung lawsuit
The fight between Apple Inc and Samsung over patent violations will be rolling over till next month. The $2.2 billion lawsuit has been referred for scrutiny under a California-based jury. 5 patents (each valued at around $40 million) are being disputed. As many as ten of Samsung’s flagship devices are under the scanner. Not the recently launched Galaxy S5 though.
Microsoft-Nokia deal completes
Months after the deal had been signed, the merger of Microsoft and Nokia was completed in the latter part of April. The financial reports for the first quarter of 2014 have been released, and the biggest point of note is that the figures on Microsoft Azure are on an upward trend. Satya Nadella would take heart from the reports.
The Heartbleed panic
It was panic station in the cyber world, as reports of the Heartbleed bug became public. It exposed the vulnerabilities of sites using OpenSSL technology, and millions of people had to change their mail/social media/e-banking and other passwords. What’s more – it was revealed that the bug stemmed from a programming error committed by Robin Seggelmann, way back in 2011!
Twitter continues to struggle
Microblogging site Twitter is not being able to make much headway in its fight to match up to Facebook’s growing reach. During this quarter, Twitter suffered a record drop in stock prices (over 10%) to touch $38.05 – a figure that’s even lower than it’s IPO level. Dick Costolo, the CEO, is hopeful that the upcoming redesigns on the Twitter platform would lead to change of fortunes.
Nokia before Apple in the tablet market?
At least that’s what David Cord, a noted journalist and a former employee of Nokia, indicates in his book – ‘The Decline and Fall of Nokia’. In 2001 (almost 9 years before the Apple iPad was launched) – Nokia had created the prototype for a Symbian-powered tablet, named Nokia 510 Web. Production was halted midway though, and at present, about 130 pieces of the device remain.
Android consolidates its stranglehold in the global tablet markets
Staying on the topic of tablets, it’s clear that Google Android is surging way ahead of Apple in this sector. During the last quarter, while the market share of Android tablets reached 65.8% (a jump of nearly 13%), that of the iPad was a disappointing 28.4% (a 16% drop). Even Windows tablets registered a rise in sales.
IPL comes on Nokia
It’s the IPL season – and professional mobile app development experts have made a custom app for Nokia Lumia and Nokia X handsets, for seamless live streaming of the matches. This cutting-edge mobile TV app has been named nexGTv (available for download at the Windows Store). Apart from free match coverage, cricket fans can catch highlights packages on the app as well.
Apple and Google go ‘Green’
April 22 was Earth Day, and both Apple and Google showed that they care for environmental wellness – via separate campaigns. Tim Cook’s company came up with the ‘Better’ campaign, focused to highlight how Apple products are instrumental in reducing the level of carbon footprints. Google, on the other hand, continued with its good work with ‘Nest’ – the thermostat it had acquired for a whopping $3.2 billion in January.
Statutory warning against Internet Explorer
With Chrome and Firefox being the preferred web browsers of most people, the number of regular Internet Explorer (IE) users have steadily dwindled. In April, the American government issued an official warning – stating that continued usage of IE could easily lead to hack attacks. This was particularly true for those using Internet Explorer on Windows XP, since the latter is no longer being maintained by Microsoft.
Founder of VKontakte refuses to return to Russia
Do you know who Pavel Durov is? The 29-year old is the founder of VKontakte – the most popular social networking site in Russia – and is often referred to as the ‘Russian Zuckerberg’. At present he is not in his home country, and has ruled out a return until his 7-point corruption removal demands are met. Incidentally, the user-base of VKontakte is nearly double of that of Facebook in Russia!
Google implements time-travel feature in Maps
Executives from almost every mobile apps company agree that Google Maps are way better than Apple Maps – and the former has now become more innovative than ever. Images of places, localities and even select neighborhoods – from as far back as 2007 – can be viewed on Google Maps. Night snaps, and pictures from different seasons are also available.
Finally, a battery with a really long life
The professional research experts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (affiliated to the Department of Energy, US) have started working on a battery – that would reportedly last for over 10 years (you read that right!) without requiring a recharge. Prototypes of this CFx battery are already ready, although production and testing would take some time.
New smartphones continue to hit the markets
The launch of HTC Desire 816, Samsung Galaxy Beam 2 and Micromax Canvas Doodle 3 might have grabbed the most eyeballs in April – but they were far from being the only smartphone models to be released in April. We had the Spice Smart Flo Glam, the Lenovo 860, the Samsung Galaxy 3 Neo (promoted as ‘your best mate’), the Asus Zenfone 4/5/6, the Nokia Lumia 630/635/930, and a host of others. It remains to be seen which ones among these manages to sustain in the mobile markets.
Nexus 5 holds sway in India
With a device share of over 11.5%, Google Nexus 5 has emerged as the leading Android phone in India. MOTO XT1033 and Samsung SM-N900 take up the second and third positions. Internationally, Xiami MI 3 (a Chinese mobile brand) bagged the top spot among Android handsets, with Nexus 5 present in the 6th position.
Amazing pay hike for LinkedIn CEO
Jeffrey Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, was already a man with a more-than-handsome pay package. Following the professional network’s strong showing in 2013 and early-2014, Weiner has now been offered a 42-times increase in his annual compensation (along with a cash bonus and a free iPad). His yearly pay-package now? A shade over $49 million!
Nokia targets all selfie-fans with ‘Superman’
The Nokia Superman handset, with a 4.7-inch display and 5 MP rear camera, is being touted as the very first selfie-based smartphone. Currently in the development phase, Superman is likely to be launched during the third or fourth quarter of 2014.
Yahoo aims to overtake Google in mobile search
Marissa Mayer, the Yahoo CEO, is making a strong attempt to make Yahoo the default search engine on Apple iPhones. At present, Google, on the Safari web browser, is mostly used for accessing the web by iPhone/iPad-owners – but all that can change if Mayer indeed manages to get a toehold in the mobile app markets. Remember, Apple already uses the Yahoo Stocks app.
Start Menu returns on Windows 8
Much of the flak that Windows 8 received was due to the absence of the familiar ‘Start’ menu on the home screen. A Microsoft update, expected to roll out in August, will address this issue. The ‘Start’ menu will make a comeback – in the form it is present in Windows 7.
Banking malware threat keeps Android users worried
Just as the buzz over the Heartbleed bug was dying down, news of a Trojan banking malware started doing the rounds. According to Android application developers, this fake Facebook app, once installed in mobiles – could compromise the confidentiality of account and transaction information.
Rajeev Suri takes charge of Nokia
On the 29th of April, Rajeev Suri was named as the new CEO of Nokia Corporation. The 46-year old was earlier the head of the Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) department. Suri is an MIT-alumnus, and has been working with distinction at Nokia since 1995.
So much for what has been going around the world of technology in April. What were we up to during this month? Let’s do a brief roundup:
Several new apps were launched
April was a busy month for our developers – with several new additions to our mobile app portfolio. Among the ones released this month, Melhor Oferta and Smart Cert have already garnered positive reviews and high popularity levels. Version 2.0 of our well-received Gym King app was also released.
We are now on Behance
We wish to reach out to peers, clients, and experts from the field of mobile app development – and our new Behance profile is the latest step in that regard. Viewers can take a look at the creative work of our UI/UX developers – and send in their valuable feedback. With nearly 220 appreciations already, we feel that we are on the right path!
Client visit from Down Under
One of our many esteemed international clients paid us a weeklong visit in April – all the way from Australia. Apart from finetuning the details about the project he had delegated to us, he was an eager participant in our monthly birthday bash. In fact, he even offered to become the photographer, for a group snap of the Teks Family. We happily obliged!
The entire team of our mobile app company headed to Mandarmani during the first weekend of the month, for a 2-day trip. From watching the sunrise and seeing red crabs, to candid photo sessions, gorging on lip-smacking delicacies, and dance music (with a bit of belly-dancing thrown in the mix!) – the tour had it all!
That about sums up what April was all about, for the world of technology as well as for our company. We promise a funnier, livelier, more informative newsletter next month…
Till then, stay zapped with apps!