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We'll get into the details in a bit, but the big news Wednesday had to be Google unloading its Motorola Mobility unit to Lenovo at what appears to be a huge loss — and during the same week that the Android maker announced a sweeping patent-sharing deal with Samsung, which can't be just a coincidence. More on that in a moment, but for now, here's what else went down on Wednesday...
The calendar may still read January, but love is in the air on the Apple Online Store, which kicked off its Valentine's Day promotions this week. "iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display: Two ways to your valentine's heart," one such promotion reads, encouraging buyers to "include a few love letters on any iPad with free custom engraving." Apple has assembled a collection of top Valentine's gifts, which we're guessing is aimed at clueless males in search of the perfect love offering, rather than the ladies who tend to have it more together at this time of the year.
Ed Hamrick is a one-man killing machine when it comes to bringing scanner support to Mac and Windows users, having beaten more than 2,400 such devices into submission with his popular VueScan software since 1998. The developer's Hamrick Software has been well-rewarded, announcing this week that the company now has 400,000 customers, a milestone the founder and president intends to make half a million later this year. Judging from the latest release, which adds support for 84 more scanners from Plustek and Fujitsu, we'd say that goal certainly looks attainable. Hamrick also offers VueScan Mobile, an iOS or Android app that supports wireless scanning on HP, Canon, Brother, Samsung and Epson models.
There's a new iOS 7 update available, but if you're reading this from the good old United States of America, look away, there's nothing to see here. According to MacRumors, that's because iOS 7.0.5 is a "minor maintenance update to correct network provisioning in China," although the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models in question are also sold in Europe and other parts of the world. Sorry, Americans, but we have a feeling the next update in these parts might be the coveted iOS 7.1, and there should be plenty of good stuff for everyone when that one finally arrives.
The more complicated the app, the more likely it probably is for bugs to rear their ugly heads, especially one like Plex for iOS which interconnects with so many other moving parts. That's why the update released Wednesday night will be welcome to many users, as it improves the reliability of detecting servers on local networks as well as localizations for international users while squashing those pesky bugs, including playback of videos from old channels, direct play of videos with 5.1 audio streams, playback of synced content with low quality settings and correctly updated the On Deck and Recently Added sections after playing videos. As always, the update is free for existing users and available now from the App Store.
If it wasn't already clear that Nintendo has turned a deaf ear to calls for the company to create mobile apps for other platforms, a strategy briefing held Wednesday should silence critics once and for all. According to MacRumors, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata reiterated that the game console maker has no plans to introduce iconic brands such as Mario or Donkey Kong on third-party mobile platforms (i.e., iOS and Android), but does plan to "actively" take advantage of smartphones and tablets with so-called "service apps" intended to engage more with customers. The news comes on the heels of a $15.3 million loss for the holiday quarter and $355 million for all of 2013, which suggests maybe service apps aren't going to be enough to staunch that bleeding.
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