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Facebook has been a hive of activity this week. The social network’s Messages app has been updated and now looks more like an email inbox, iOS users have been treated to a completely re-written Facebook app, and the FTC has green-lighted the pre-IPO acquisition of popular photo app Instagram.
The FTC cleared the $1 billion purchase saying that the popular photo upload service has no revenues and as such, the merger would not create a monopoly. “We are pleased that the Federal Trade Commission has cleared the transaction after its careful and thorough review,” Facebook said.
Meanwhile, the changes made to Messages are in line with the company’s plans to make it a fully-fledged email client, and brought a host of under the hood improvements. The refreshed interface uses a new two-pane layout with all messages on the left, and the content of each one on the right pane.
Facebook also released a completely re-written app for iPhone and iPad users yesterday, moving away from HTML5 and returning to Objective-C, which should respond to commands twice as fast. “The three things we really focused on were opening the application, scrolling through the news feed and tapping into and viewing a photo. So we made all those things twice as fast,” Mick Johnson, a product manager at Facebook said.
If all that wasn’t enough, Peter Thiel of PayPal fame and one of Facebook’s earliest backers with a 10% stake in the company, dumped 80% of his shares once the lock-up ended. The move raised $395.8 million but led many to question why he sold his shares so quickly, adding to the already precarious stock price since its IPO.
Nevertheless, shares in Facebook rose slightly by 1.5% to $19.44 during trading on the Nasdaq stock market yesterday, down 49% from $38 apiece when the company first traded on May 17.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
The HTC One X runs Android 4 OS with the new Sense 4 user interface and the phone's powerful NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, which has 4 processing cores that can run at speeds of up to 1.5GHz. On the front face of the phone is the secondary 1.3 megapixel camera for video chatting, which supports the primary 8 megapixel camera, with LED flash. It measures 134.5mm x 70.8mm (5.3in x 2.8in) and weight only 134g (4.7oz).
The Google Nexus 7 has the distinction of being the first device to run the Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" operating system. It measures 198.5mm x 120mm x 10.45mm in size, weighs 340g, and features a 7-inch IPS display that is protected by scratch-resistant glass. The Nexus sports a 1280 x 800 pixel display. It runs a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM, it also comes in 2 versions: 8GB and 16GB capacities.
The Galaxy S III display is a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen featuring 720p (720 x 1280 pixel) resolution and a 306ppi pixel density. Is the Galaxy S III a worthy successor to the venerable Galaxy S II and does it help keep Samsung ahead of its rivals? In a word, yes.
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