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Apple in talks to acquire Swell, an app that creates personalized talk radio from podcasts

Apple is in talks to purchase Swell, a mobile app startup that produces a personalized stream of podcasts for iPhone, according to a report from Re/code. Unnamed sources close to the deal said that it could be worth $30 million. While there are no shortage of podcasts available to download, including GeekWire’s own weekly radio… Read More

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New Microsoft ad touts Cortana, slams Apple’s Siri

Siri vs. Cortana might just be an updated version of the PC vs. Mac showdown. Microsoft just debuted a new video ad touting Cortana, its virtual assistant found on Windows Phone. The 30-second spot features Cortana accomplishing tasks like scheduling reminders and providing traffic alerts. Meanwhile, Apple’s digital assistant cannot understand the human commands. “Now that is a smart phone,” Siri… Read More

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GeekWire Radio: Fire phone, iPhone 6 and Microsoft’s smartwatch, with Essex Porter and Andru Edwards

We get a glimpse of the future this week on the GeekWire radio show, talking about Amazon’s newly released Fire phone, the widely rumored iPhone 6, and Microsoft’s unannounced smartwatch — with some Windows Phone thrown in for good measure. Joining me in the studio are Andru Edwards, editor of the GearLive tech news site, who extends his record as our… Read More

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Q&A: Nokia HERE targets iOS and Android, expanding its role as the ‘location cloud’

The launch of Amazon’s Fire phone today marks an important step for Nokia’s HERE location-technology business, which is supplying the underlying mapping platform used by the new smartphone. But it’s just part of a broader expansion strategy for the Nokia-owned company — including the planned release of new consumer services for iOS and Android later this year. That’s one of the… Read More

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Apple posts mixed quarterly financial report with $37.4B in revenue, EPS of $1.28

Apple announced today that it made $37.43 billion in revenue during its fiscal third quarter, up more than 6 percent year-over-year. That’s on the high end of Apple’s guidance from earlier this year, but missed high analyst expectations of $38 billion in quarterly revenue. The company also beat expectations with earnings of $1.28 per share, up… Read More

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iTunes U update brings course creation to iPad, aims to expand Apple’s footprint in schools

An update to Apple’s iTunes U app, announced this morning, will let teachers create and manage courses directly on the iPad for the first time, as the company tries to integrate its tablet more deeply into classrooms. Teachers will now be able to develop content for their students on their iPad by importing files from iBooks… Read More

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Google’s Android chief pushes back against Apple, wishes Amazon were ‘more aligned’ with mainstream Android

When Tim Cook took the stage at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote earlier this month, he had a lot of very pointed things to say about Android. Quoting ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Cook called Google’s mobile operating system a “toxic hellstew” of security vulnerabilities. Unsurprisingly, Sundar Pichai, who heads up Google’s Android division, takes issue with… Read More

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Amazon’s iOS video app gets free first episodes, plus HBO shows, in bid to attract new users

Amazon is giving TV-loving iPhone and iPad users a new incentive to try its Instant Video app. The company released an update today that allows iOS users to view the first episode of many shows for free, with interstitial ads. That means people interested in trying a show out before buying it can get a taste of what they would… Read More