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Tech News: A Major iOS Tweak for Facebook, Plus Mayer Declares War on Google Search


Also, Lenovo claims it has no plans to buy RIM.

This column brings you the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on technology every day.

Link: Facebook Updates iOS App With Voice Messages, Video Recording and Sharing
"Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) yesterday updated its Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS app to version 5.4, giving users a few new features in what could be one of the world's most complex and layered mobile apps.

"The update brings with it the ability to share voice messages, much like iOS's Voice Memos, letting users record a cute little message and send it through the app to friends. The update also lets users record and share video from right within the app."

Link: Marissa Mayer Aims Yahoo's Guns at Google Search
"Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is going to be aggressively improving its search results in an effort to improve performance against rivals like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). That's one of the things Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made clear in going over fourth-quarter earnings in a call with analysts Monday.

"On the call, Yahoo search was one of three parts of the company Mayer called out as in most urgent need of an overhaul, along with Yahoo Mail and the homepage. A reinvigorated Yahoo search engine could mount a serious challenge to by far the most lucrative business at Google, where Mayer once headed its search product, and even restore Yahoo's long-lost position as the best place to find something on the internet."

The Next Web
Link: Lenovo Responds to RIM Acquisition Reports, Claims Comments Were Taken Out of Context
"After a Bloomberg report quoted Lenovo's (SEHK:0992) CFO Wong Waiming as saying that it was interested in acquiring Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), the Chinese PC maker has issued a statement downplaying the significance of the quote:

"'In general, we do not comment on M&A rumors or speculation.

'We are aware that Lenovo's CFO [Wong] Waiming was speaking broadly about M&A strategy in a recent interview. RIM was raised as a potential target by the journalist and Mr. Wong repeatedly answered in a manner consistent with all of our previous statements on M&A strategy: Lenovo is very focused on growing its business, both organically and through M&A. When inorganic ideas arise, we explore them to see if there is a strategic fit.'"

Ars Technica
Link: HP Piles On With Its Own 14-Inch Pavilion Chromebook
"Fans of Chrome OS are getting quite a few choices lately. According to a leaked spec sheet dug up by The Verge, HP (NYSE:HPQ) is looking to get into the game with its own Chromebook: the HP Pavilion Chromebook 14-c010us.

"The spec sheet shows a Chromebook not much different from its brethren: a 1.1GHz Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) Celeron 847 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a 16GB SSD will drive the action on the inside, while three USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, a 100 megabit LAN port, a card reader, and a headphone jack will allow for connectivity to other devices. Dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth round out the connectivity options, and a basic webcam is also included. The 3.96 pound laptop is rated for four hours and 15 minutes of battery life, in the same ballpark as Acer's (LSE:ACID) C7."

Link: The Amazon Effect: The U.S. Has 59% of All Android Tablets Worldwide
"With all the variety in the tablets that use Android, you would think that foreign markets would be buying up Android tablets the same way they do smartphones. The is one big reason that's not happening: Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

"Amazon's Kindle Fire and Fire HD lines make up 33% of all U.S. Android tablets. No other single tablet has more than 10% market share in the US, with the Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) Nook taking 10%, Samsung's (PINK:SSNLF) Galaxy tablets at 9% and the Nexus 7 at 8%."
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