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The true impact of the launch of the iPhone probably has as much to do with the software that was eventually created on Apple smartphone as much as that smartphone itself, thanks to developers who saw an opportunity and a revolutionary approach to mobile software. Read more »

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Social travel service Gogobot, is putting big pictures front and center as part of a new Pinterest-like web site redesign. But the company said it’s doing more than just helping people discover new places. It gives them the tools to get there too. Read more »

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Noom, a maker of Android-based fitness and health apps, has found success with its flagship app Noom Weight Loss Coach because it doesn’t require users to enter in a lot of data. The app tries to deliver timely coaching lessons that can still motivate users. Read more »

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At its I/O conference Google unveiled the next update to Android, version 4.1, aka Jelly Bean. The update, which will first become available as an over-the-air download next month, brings a lot of nice improvements and some cool enhancements to search, notifications and navigation. Read more »

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Placecast, which allows retail brands and operators to push out location-based offers, is now making its ShopAlerts technology available to mobile payment and mobile wallet providers. Retailers, operators or credit card companies with existing payment apps will be able to incorporate ShopAlerts into their apps. Read more »

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VeriFone is taking its newly launched SAIL mobile payment product to Android smartphones after debuting on the iPhone last month. The move helps VeriFone better compete with Square, an early mobile payment leader and PayPal Here, which are both available on iPhones and Android. Read more »

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App users are a flaky group, easily discarding apps in favor of the hot new thing. But new data suggests they are developing more loyal toward apps, abandoning them less frequently and visiting their favorite apps more often, according to app analytics firm Localytics. Read more »

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CasaHop, the first start-up out of former Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry’s incubator SoHo Tech Labs, has raised $1.2 million, led by First Round Capital, with participation from Betaworks, Lerer Ventures and a number of individual investors. The site helps users exchange homes. Read more »

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PayPal is undertaking a big reorganization that simplifies the company’s structure around a mobile theme. It’s part of a larger effort to build a more unified experience for customers that is easier to use across the company’s different access points. Read more »

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Near field communication, the wireless technology that’s forever been poised to break out, may finally get the big push it needs. Code pulled from two iPhone prototypes suggest that upcoming iPhones will have NFC controllers connected to the power management unit, according to a new report. Read more »

Shapeways

The house of the future will be outfitted with hundreds of products created on 3-D printers, everything from jewelry and home decor items to eventually more complex items like furniture or digital devices. It’s coming sooner than people think, said Peter Weijmarshausen, the CEO of Shapeways. Read more »

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Evernote is increasingly looking at how to educate people on the many uses of Evernote and its family of products. That’s one of the big themes of Evernote’s second annual Trunk Conference in August, which will feature a lifestyle series for users. Read more »

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Livestar, a new iPhone app, makes it easy to find the two kinds of recommendations that matter most to many users: friend suggestions and professional reviews. The app from former Microsoft exec Fritz Lanman serves as a sort of search engine, Q&A platform and review aggregator. Read more »

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Tumblr’s iPhone app has gotten a major redesign that introduces more robust blogging features and new speed enhancements. Tumblr still doesn’t have a dedicated iPad app but the new 3.0 update should provide a lot of improved functionality for fans of the mobile app. Read more »

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BancBox is formally launching its payment platform today, offering not just the ability to accept credit card and other payments, but also hold the funds in stored accounts and move it around between financial institutions, all in compliance with regulatory requirements. Read more »

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Smule, whose Ocarina app turned the iPhone into a digital flute, is following up its Hall of Fame app with Ocarina 2, which is designed to teach people to play songs for a price. Users can prompted like Guitar Hero to press buttons that create music. Read more »

South Korea's rising startups at the BeLaunch conference

Korea’s future as a startup hub is still a work in progress but I see a lot of reasons to be optimistic about companies emerging from this country of 50 million people. Here are four start-ups that caught my attention at the BeLaunch conference last week. Read more »

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South Korea is building a start-up ecosystem, hoping to create some of the innovation that turned Silicon Valley into technology capital. The latest step is a two-day conference next week called beLaunch, which is equipping local entrepreneurs with important lessons and getting them to think big. Read more »

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Mobile Q&A app Thumb is generating crazy engagement with users spending almost four hours a month on the app. Now, the app is evolving to allow its users to become more expressive and social, making Thumb more of a full-fledged social netwok for opinions. Read more »

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