Adobe, Google and Facebook make splashes in Barcelona

All the news in the tech world today seems to be coming from the Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona. Here’s a tapas-like serving of the latest:

• San Jose-based Adobe has released a stripped-down version of Photoshop for Apple’s iPad 2. According to Bloomberg News, the release of Photoshop Touch comes as Adobe mends its relationship with Apple and moves its newer products away from Flash, which doesn’t work on Apple’s mobile iOS operating system. The image-editing software, which has been available for Android devices since the fall,  will sell for $9.99 on the iTunes App Store, and is already drawing rave reviews.

Google’s Android mobile operating system is going strong and perhaps even surpassing Apple. In a blog post, Mountain View-based Google announced 850,000 Android devices are activated each day, up from 700,000 a day reported in January, which has pushed the total number of Android users around the world to more than 300 million. After its blowout January earnings report, Apple edged ahead of Android in global market share, 44.9 percent to 44.8 percent, but based on the latest numbers from Google, that lead may have changed hands. Google also said that the number of apps in its Android Market has tripled in the past year, to more than 450,000. That compares to the roughly 500,000 in Apple’s App Store.

Facebook has announced an effort to make mobile apps more user-friendly. According to a report by IDG News, Menlo Park-based Facebook is looking to simplify the mobile payment process and is pushing to standardize HTML5 to ease the development of new apps. “There’s rampant technology fragmentation across mobile browsers, so developers don’t know which parts of HTML5 they can use to deliver their app to customers,” Facebook chief technology officer Bret Taylor said during a session Monday at the Barcelona conference. Facebook, which has been joined by Mozilla in the standardization effort, hopes to devise a single-step payment verification system convenient to both consumers and developers, which conceivably would open up a major new revenue stream for itself and other companies.


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