Author Archive | Laura Locke

Steve Jobs on the iTunes Music Store: The Unpublished Interview

Steve Jobs at the iTunes Music Store announcement.

Steve Jobs announces the iTunes Music Store.

On April 28th, 2003, moments before I was about to interview Steve Jobs at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, I was jittery. Anticipation? Nerves? Excitement? You bet. All of those visceral emotions were firing. Knowing Jobs’ storied reputation as an irascible and exacting Silicon Valley CEO had me on edge. But I had prepared a tight set of questions. Secretly, I was hoping he might enjoy the line of inquiry. In turn, I would have a lively and candid report for my editors at TIME.

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Scribd’s New Social Dashboard for Reading

Reading, writing, and publishing is morphing like crazy thanks to the Web’s evolution along with social media innovations such as news feeds, “likes” and sharing.  Word that an iPad-only newspaper from Apple and News Corp. is on its way further amplifies just how much things are changing for digital content. But perhaps an even more transformative development, albeit lesser noticed, is already here. Scribd Stats, which quietly began rolling out last week, is an analytics tool– a social dashboard–built specifically for reading.

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Tango, the Little Video Calling App That Could

Have you noticed?  Facebook, the world’s favorite social networking tool, has been jockeying for position lately. So have Skype and Twitter. These giants lost their lead after an unprecedented run-up from newcomer Tango, a new free mobile-to-mobile video calling service. Hours after launching on September 30, Tango became the #1 free social networking app—knocking off Twitter, Skype and Facebook in the App Store—in nine countries including the United States, Hong Kong, France, Taiwan, Spain and South Korea. And, just yesterday, Tango announced its 1 millionth download from the App Store and Android Marketplace. (At the moment, it’s slipped to the #2 spot, after Facebook.)

Without any cheerleading by Apple or any existing brand awareness or installed user base to speak of, Tango’s explosive rise is a feat of virality that every app developer dreams of. “It’s unheard of,” says Patrick Mork of GetJar, the world’s largest independent app store. Clearly, there is pent-up demand for free, two-way video calls that work reliably across platforms (Android and iOS) over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi.  Yahoo is moving in fast, too, with its newest version of Yahoo Messenger, announced Monday, which does video chats on iOs devices over 3G and Wi-Fi and allows users to place video calls to and from desktops: it’s already #4 in the App Store’s “Top Free” social networking category, just behind Tango (#2) and Skype (#3).

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