Yahoo's board of directors has approved a deal to purchase the micro-blogging service Tumblr for a cool $1.1 billion (£724 million) in cash. The board meeting, according to reports, was a unanimous approval. The deal has since been agreed and is the biggest acquisition of Marissa Mayer's reign to date. The Yahoo CEO has announced that Tumblr will continue to operate independently, as part of Yahoo's promise "not to screw it up." David Karp, CEO of Tumblr, will retain his role and expressed his pleasure at Yahoo's support, saying, "Tumblr gets better faster with more resources to draw from." New York-based Tumblr recorded 117 million visitors last month and boats over 50 billion blog posts in total.
The Google I/O conference was held last week, and Android app developers saw a lot of new features, plus they got advice directly from Google about how to run their businesses more effectively. Services added to the Google developer console and Google Analytics include connecting devs to translation companies for help localising their apps for different markets, and being able to manage staged rollouts for beta releases of their apps. ITProPortal has listed the top five changes that Android developers will welcome eagerly, including staged rollouts, localisation services, clearer revenue charts, thorough information regarding tablet app usage and tips for optimising apps.
Apple's is furthering its influence outside the consumer space, after it emerged that the iPhone and iPad have been cleared for use within the US military by the Department of Defence. The breakthrough could be significant to the highly lucrative mobile wars that take place in the corporate and public sectors, as Apple competes with key rivals Samsung and BlackBerry for profitable supply contracts. BlackBerry's business-friendly handsets and tightly-secured software have seen it dominate the non-consumer mobile sphere for a number of years, and its latest BB10 platform has already been cleared for use at the Pentagon. But Apple's arrival and the approval of Samsung devices earlier this month means competition here is now fierce. Apple and Samsung still have a lot of ground to make up in the DoD device pool though, with BlackBerrys currently accounting for 470,000 of the department's 600,000 mobile products in use.
Finally, James Laird has spent the day at Shoreditch Town Hall for Digital Shoreditch 2013. Hackney Councillor Guy Nicholson delivered the opening keynote, Focusing on the future of Tech City and the "economy of tomorrow," he said that the rapid development of the technology sector represented the biggest economic change in the UK since the rise of industry in the 1700s. According to Nicholson, the government's role is to ensure that London's tech economy has the support it needs to continue to grow. James also got his hands on GfK's Tech City Futures report, which highlights the numerous issues surrounding London's Tech City enterprises. Key findings include a perceived Silicon Roundabout talent drought, with 44 per cent of the Tech City business leaders surveyed claiming that finding skilled workers like coders and developers was the biggest challenge facing their organisation. Further, a whopping 77 per cent of respondents said that this lack of skilled workers was stifling their growth.