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Apple announces new $229 16GB iPod touch: 4-inch Retina display, no rear-facing camera, CyanogenMod may offer a “heavily privacy-focused” version and more

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cyanogenmodHere are the top mobile news and stories of the day.

  • Apple announces new $229 16GB iPod touch: 4-inch Retina display, no rear-facing camera - Apple has announced their latest iPod Touch offering. The iPod touch was a huge seller at first, because it allowed people to get into iOS in a non-iPhone way (I had a friend who got a dumb phone and a iPod touch – because “WiFi is everywhere”). It used to be as powerful as the iPhones it mimicked, but no longer. I think the lack of a rear camera will be a huge hit to its value to the customer, especially when iPad Minis can be had for $329, and numerous Android devices for far less. Via The Verge, more here.
  • Mary Meeker’s 2013 Internet Trends: Mobile Makes Up 15% Of All Internet Traffic, With 1.5B Users Worldwide – Meeker’s most recent Internet study foudn 2.4B total Internet users, with 1.5B Mobile subscribers. The mobile numbers grew around 30% year over year. That mobile internet subscriber number shows about 30% of all mobile numbers are smartphones, which gives them a lot of room to grow (albeit mostly in developing countries). Via TechCrunch, more here.
  • HTC to Possibly Allow Existing One Owners to Remove Sense UI From Their Device? – After news of the “Nexus” edition Samsung Galaxy S4 was released, many asked if HTC would offer a similar version for the One. While initial reports indicated no, it appears that HTC will be releasing a “Sense-less” version of the HTC One. In my opinion Sense (HTC’s Android skin) is a total disaster and this is a big step. HTC now may be making their “Sense-less” version available to any One user, which is a huge step. I wouldn’t mind “skins” so much if they were optional. We’ll see if this becomes a fad (we can only hope). Via Droid-Life, more here.
  • Verizon GALAXY S 4 one-click root tool released – For those of you avid rooters, who are still stuck on Verizon, here’s some good news. The one-click root tool for the Galaxy S4 on VZW is now available. While I cannot comment on the quality of ROMs available, at least you’ll be able to get your Titanium Backup up and running to restore your apps. Via Android Community, more here.
  • Google announces Google Play Music and ‘All Access’ streaming coming to iOS in next few weeks – Google’s Play Music with the ‘All Access’ streaming will be coming to iOS. Google Play Music is an excellent capability which enables access to your music via the cloud. Google’s new ‘All Access’ function enables streaming of music from studios. This is just more evidence of Google offering as good (if not better) capabilities on iOS than Apple themselves. Via 9to5Mac, more here.
  • CyanogenMod may offer a “heavily privacy-focused” version – CyanogenMod is one of the top custom versions of Android available for your rooted device, apparently, they are discussing a privacy-focused device that offers a great deal of anonymity to the user.  Neither the feasibility, the implementation nor the actual creation of this version is decided, but it is certainly interesting. While no OEM is looking to offer a smartphone with privacy, those who desire that might start buying phones supported by CyanogenMod (or they could get bought out!). Via Android Community, more here.
  • The Moto X phone will be made in the US and is coming this summer, says Motorola – Motorola’s XPhone is a last shot in the dark from a struggling manufacturer. Many thought Google’s 2011 acquisition of Motorola would give them the inside edge to Nexus devices (which can help drive overall sales). Not at all, they have steadily declined in quality and capability of what they deliver to their clients. The XPhone will actually be assembled in the US, which may lead to a high price tag, scant availability, or both. Via The Verge, more here.
  • Not afraid to fail: Google Glass spat highlights clashing cultures at Apple and Google – While I believe I’ll be comfortable as the “freak in the Google Glasses,” many of the rest of you are not. However, the fact that Google is using Glass to push computing paradigms may be symbolic of their efforts to change computing, no matter how weird. I often denigrate Apple for their consistent “incremental upgrades” instead of innovation. Their reliance on legal measures to curb Android’s growth is also an indicator. At the end of the day, Apple needs to innovate or they will lose out on the entire “economy” market, most of the niche markets, and have a strong presence only in the “first world” markets. Google’s willingness to fail will lead to success, Apple’s aversion to fail may let them down. Via Boy Genius Report, more here.

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More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

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