Welcome to “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
This week we cover the mega-deal of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the crazy Flappy Bird story, Square’s deal with Whole Foods, and Twitter’s redesign.
Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable
Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, has agreed to buy Time Warner Cable, the second largest, for $45.2 billion. While Comcast adds TWC‘s 11 million cable subscribers to their total of 22 million, the company will likely have to divest about 3 million of TWC’s customers to assuage antitrust concerns.
A plus is that the deal will likely be a boon to development of nationwide WiFi systems, which the cable companies have been dedicating many resources to build.
Costs may go up for consumers, though. Because Comcast and TWC don’t compete head-to-head in any geographical markets, your short-term cable bill likely won’t rise. But the combined entity will have more future bargaining power against content providers, which can cause an increase in network transmission fees, thus causing your cable fees to rise. Additionally, the deal consolidates control over broadband services, which may increase those costs as well.
Anyone down to cut some cords?
Flappy Bird becomes huge success then gets yanked
Flappy Bird, a difficult and addicting mobile game that became the world’s most popular free mobile app, is no more.
The game garnered over 50 million downloads and Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen reportedly made $50,000 a day from advertising. But Nguyen was concerned about how addicted users became to Flappy Bird. Citing guilt and discomfort with the situation, he pulled the game from the App Store and Google Play on Tuesday.
Existing downloads still remain on phones and will continue to net Nguyen a pretty penny. The game also spawned a slew of clones. So while there is no future for the Flappy Bird game, its legend lives on.
Square lands nationwide deal with Whole Foods
Square has secured its second nationwide retail payments deal by inking a partnership with Whole Foods. Square won’t replace existing cash registers at Whole Foods‘ primary checkout areas; rather, Square Stands will be used to accept payments at secondary areas of the store like the prepared foods and beverage sections.
This is Square’s second big retailer deal after it’s 7000-location partnership with Starbucks. The company also scored two additional deals with Japanese retailer Uniqlo and chocolatier Godiva. Square is well on its way to distancing itself from the reputation of a payments provider primarily for food trucks and mom-and-pop shops.
Twitter is working on a redesign…to look more like Facebook
Amidst slowing growth and what many call a unintuitive user interface, Twitter is testing a major redesign that looks a lot like Facebook.
The vertical timeline is mostly gone and there’s more of an emphasis on imagery and content cards. The company continues to make tweaks to the interface and test it with a small sample of users.
What do you think of the current and new interface? Do you think this will help spur the user growth that Twitter needs?
What do you think of these stories? Have you read other interesting mobile and technology stories this week that are worth mentioning? Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.