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The big event on Tuesday was Apple CEO Tim Cook's return to the AllThingsD conference, which we'll get to in a moment, but we managed to assemble a handful of other tidbits for you as well. We've got an acquisition, a merger, a couple of software updates and even some gripes about Apple's plans to relocate its flagship San Francisco retail store… so dig in and enjoy!
Following the debut of the separate Hangouts app, we were wondering how Google was going to handle having the service available in two places at once, but Tuesday's release of Google+ for iOS 4.4 pretty much answered the question. Hangouts has been yanked from the Google+ app, and selecting the feature now opens the dedicated app (or encourages you to install it, if you haven't already). The update also improves Google+ Photos, with options to Auto Enhance as images are added to your account. Finally, Google+ for iOS now supports hashtags, which should make it easier than ever to find whatever you're looking for. The app is available now from the App Store.
The mayor of San Francisco may be excited about Apple's plans to relocate its flagship store to Union Square, but the design is already receiving a big thumbs down from The San Francisco Chronicle's urban design critic, John King. According to MacRumors, architect Foster + Partners -- also responsible for Apple's upcoming Campus 2 project -- have failed to come up with anything distinctive: "What's baffling is that a company renowned for design innovation has hired one of the world's most acclaimed architecture firms, only to unload a box that would look at home in Anymall, U.S.A.," King writes. "Worse, it's a box that would displace one of downtown's friendliest works of public art, a bronze fountain by Ruth Asawa that -- unlike the proposed polished Apple -- could exist nowhere else but here."
Adobe has been on an acquisition spree lately, and on Tuesday the software publisher announced its latest pickup, Ideacodes. Based in San Francisco, Ideacodes is billed as "a leading creative consultancy" specializing in "the design and user experience of smart applications, digital products and networked communities." The nine-year-old company arrives at Adobe at a perfect time: Its latest Creative Cloud offering debuts on June 17, so its influence is sure to be felt in future upgrades. The acquisition follows mobile developers Thumb Labs last week and creative social network Behance last December.
The Opera Desktop Team announced the availability of Opera Next 15 for Mac and Windows this week, a move that separates the company's internal email client M2 into its own product, Opera Mail. Opera Next will be updated every couple of weeks in an effort to refine the web browser, which includes a new Discover feature that delivers curated news and entertainment from all over the world or right in your backyard. The team also encourages those who have been using the M2 email client to download Opera Mail and submit feedback so they can continue to make it a better product.
Connected Data announced Tuesday (PDF link) that the company plans to merge with Drobo following a 30-day due diligence process. The company is best known for its Transporter product, a private cloud storage device starting at $199 with no monthly fees. Founder and CEO Geoff Barrall was the original founder and former CEO of Drobo, so the move makes a lot of sense, especially considering the recent release of the Drobo 5N has been making inroads into the cloud and connected services.
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