Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week of October 2: Google sends out invitations for Google Wave, a new patent application inspires talks about Apple's Tablet, Apple's acquisition of Placebase has bloggers asking if Google Maps will be replaced, Twitter working on a project to make finding people to follow easier, and Apple's App Store reaches 2 billion downloads.
After Google sent out over 100,000 Google Wave invites to selected members of the community on September 29, bloggers started posting reviews of the social networking and communications tool designed by Google that lets you collaborate on documents. The service was designed to expand the capacities of email by including video, pictures, maps and social network feeds into a real-time communication platform. Tech bloggers' responses were generally positive but many complained that the service was overly crowded with instant messaging ‘noise'.
After last week's infatuation with Microsoft's Courier booklet, bloggers have gone back to spreading rumours about Apple's long-talked-about, yet-to-be-seen tablet. Talk about the Courier was not the only thing inspiring bloggers to write about Apple's tablet this week. Apple has reportedly re-hired Michael Tchao - one of the original developers of the Apple Newton (a pocket-sized digital assistant produced by Apple in the late ‘80s) and journalists are suggesting he will be put to work on Apple's tablet project. Reports of Apple lodging a new patent application that details information about a multi-touch surface capable of receiving inputs from two full hands and 3D manipulations also had bloggers writing about the device.
Apple buys Placebase, set to replace Maps?
Back in July, a reporter noticed a tweet from Openplaces.org founder Fred Lalonde, which claimed "Apple bought PlaceBase - all hush hush. Pushpin site taken offline. Hyperlocal iPhone? http://tinyurl.com/kpuro3". A few months later the journalist discovered Placebase's founder and CEO, Jaron Waldman, is now part of the "Geo Team" at Apple. The news spurred journalists to consider the implications of Apple's acquisition this week, leading them to believe that Apple may be planning to dump Google's currently native Google Maps application on the iPhone for an inbuilt mapping application designed by their own Geo Team. Some bloggers likened the suggestion of a split between Google and Apple to "mummy and daddy getting a divorce".
Twitter working on "Lists"
On October 1 Twitter announced that they had been working on a new project that aims to help make renowned tweeters easier to find amongst the growing list of spam-producing bots and nonsense posters. The project, called "Lists" gives people the ability to create a list of Twitter users that subscribe to a particular category. For example, you could create a list that includes only celebrities or a list with users that write interesting tweets on the subject of technology or even a list of people that work with you. Bloggers welcomed the news, commenting that it may soon replace websites such as WeFollow, Followontwitterlists, and TweepML - services that track and suggest high-profile Twitter users.
App Store reaches 2 Billion downloads
It seems like only a few months ago that bloggers were writing about Apple's 1 billion downloads milestone. This week they had another milestone to write about with Apple's September 28 announced that more than two billion applications had been downloaded through its App Store. Steve Jobs revealed that the rate of in-store downloads was accelerating day by day with more than half a billion apps downloaded in the third quarter of 2009 alone (that works out to an average of 6.6 million apps per day).