Welcome to this week’s edition of “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
This week we highlight Apple’s announcements at WWDC, Samsung’s Tizen phone, Sprint’s impending purchase of T-Mobile, and Instagram’s new photo-editing features.
Apple Makes Big Announcements at Worldwide Developer Conference
The tech world stops and stares when Apple holds its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). This year was no different.
The expectation was that Apple would reveal new hardware products at WWDC this week. Instead, Apple clearly focused on software and professed love for their developers.
Here are some highlights of Apple’s announcements:
- The company revealed OS X Yosemite, due out this fall. Improvements include a new look and additional features to Safari, Mail and iCloud.
- iOS 8 was unveiled with interactive notifications, better syncing with iCloud, availability of Bitcoin applications, HomeKit and HealthKit for connected home and quantified self junkies, and more.
- New developer tools were revealed, including a new programming language named Swift, better testing capabilities leveraging its acquisition of TestFlight, and much more.
The Verge does a great job summarizing all of Apple’s big announcements.
Samsung releases first Tizen phone
Is Tizen the next big mobile operating system? Samsung hopes so.
The company is hedging its bet on Android by launching the Samsung Z, the first smartphone running Tizen, a mobile operating system developed by Samsung, Intel and the Linux Foundation.
Mashable wrote a solid review of the phone here. The phone is basically a Galaxy 5 on the outside and Tizen on the inside and will first be available in Russia. The phone seems to perform well but the primary issue with Tizen is the lack of a mobile app ecosystem. Currently, the operating system heavily leans on HTML5 web applications but is offering 100% revenue to app developers in the first year to grow.
Sprint close to buying T-Mobile
The consolidation continues.
Sprint (3rd-largest mobile carrier in the U.S.) is close to purchasing T-Mobile (4th) for $32 billion in a deal that would help the companies better compete with Verizon (1st) and AT&T (2nd). T-Mobile has been an acquisition target for a while now, bouncing back and forth between AT&T and Sprint.
The reason for the deal extends further than just mobile market share. The purchase of DirecTV by AT&T and Time Warner Cable by Comcast gives those companies, along with Verizon, a much broader telecommunications portfolio, including landline, Internet and business services. The merger between Sprint and T-Mobile could give the combined entity the resources to expand and compete.
Instagram Launches Photo-editing Tools
Instagram has built improved photo-editing capabilities into its latest update, moving the app closer to professional-grade photography.
The app now gives users the ability to adjust the strength of the preset filters you apply. Users will now have the following editing tools available to them, using sliders to control the intensity:
- Filter strength