Ever looked at the iPhone App Store’s list of most popular apps and thought, how did that get so popular?

Apple has been asking the same question – and it has found that not all are quite as popular as they seem. This week it posted a stern warning to developers to stop using shady marketing firms that can artificially drive their apps to the top of the charts. Read more

Tech news from around the web, Super Bowl edition:

Although automotive companies were the most prolific advertisers during Sunday’s Super Bowl, many of the $7m-a-minute spots also involved tech companies – large and small. Read more

Apple has done it again. For a brief moment last week, following the announcement that it beat quarterly forecasts with record numbers, the Silicon Valley company once again became the world’s most valuable company.

This time, though, things were different, with Tim Cook, who took over as Apple’s chief executive from co-founder Steve Jobs, now at the helm. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Ultra-thin notebooks and tablets to rival Apple’s MacBook Air and  iPad 2 respectively are expected to take centre stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which officially opens on Tuesday. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Yahoo‘s new chief executive Scott Thompson has a long to-do list waiting for him at the troubled internet company, according to several reports. Bloomberg suggests that Yahoo is interested in acquiring the Weather Channel, WebMD and AutoTrader.com, according to an anonymous source, as part of a “tax-efficient asset swap” with Alibaba and Softbank. Read more

Apple had a bad week in its multi-front patent war, capped by the real possibility of an iPhone and iPad import ban in GermanyRead more

Apple has lost a bid to stop Samsung imports of its Galaxy Tab and some smartphones in the US, keeping the waters cloudy in one of the most important legal battles between the two tech titans. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Microsoft is planning an iPad version of its popular Office software suite, The Daily reports.The product is set to cost around $10 – about the same price Apple charges for its Pages, Numbers and Keynote products. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Research In Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry smartphone, is rolling out a new system that aims to help its corporate customers maintain and manage the security of their employees’ BlackBerrys as well as rival devices such as the iPhone, according to The Wall Street Journal. The new system, the first from RIM to incorporate competitors’ products, is seen as a tacit acknowledgment that an increasing number of employees are calling on their employers to allow work e-mails to be pushed to smartphones other than the Blackberry. Read more

No tablet maker has made much of a dent in the iPad’s share of the market, so why should we expect more from a couple of eReader makers looking to expand beyond books?

Price is the key reason. The Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are more than 50 per cent cheaper than the cheapest iPad and could win a new audience looking for value and pure content consumption, if only in the US. I have had a limited time using both in their launch week and initial thoughts are after the jump. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

A possible security flaw in Apple’s iOS mobile operating system could allow third-party applications add unapproved features,  Forbes reports. Accuvant security researcher Charlie Miller has found a flaw in iOS that lets applications download unsigned code that is able to change functionality after it has been installed – that could include accessing user contacts and photos, along with activating hardware features like the vibration motor and speakers. Read more

The iPad era has already held more than a few twists for news publishers: hailed as the saviour of newspapers, media owners then fell out with Apple over changes to its terms of service, only to fall back in love in time for this month’s release of its Newsstand application.

But where has all this wrangling left consumers? A timely survey by the Pew Research Center, in collaboration with the Economist Group, finds that for more than half of US tablet owners, skimming headlines or settling down for longer reads is central to their daily routine. Willingness to pay for news remains stubbornly similar to the regular web, while apps – the main mechanism for charging – are still less popular than the browser. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

As the deadline for applications for the latest Y Combinator start-up showcase nears, GeekWire reports that survey of 52 venture capital firms raised $1.72bn during the third quarter, a 52 per cent decrease in dollar commitments on the same time last year. The survey, by Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association, says the latest total is the lowest for eight years.

Mobile devices now amount to almost 7%  of all US web traffic, Apple Insider says. According to a report by comScore,  Apple’s iOS mobile operating system takes up a 58.5% slice of all mobile traffic, with the iPad now accounting for more traffic than iPhones. Read more

amazon kindle fireAmazon entered the tablet battle this week, unveiling the Kindle Fire, a $199 tablet that will run on Google’s Android operating system.

While news of Amazon’s tablet was long-rumoured, the unexpected price point caused quite a stir with some commentators. Others saw the Fire as a game changing device for media consumption. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Amazon is to unveil its new tablet computer, to be called the Kindle Fire, on Wednesday morning in New York, according to TechCrunch. The computer, which will be sold along side the existing range of e-ink Kindles, will not be ready to ship until the second week of November, TechCrunch claims. Read more

Things are heating up again in the world of tablets. While talk of a tablet war is buzzing, with the latest player soon to be Microsoft, existing tablet makers are struggling to catch up with the iPad.

This week, Microsoft showcased its Windows 8 operating system on tablets at the Build conference and RIM announced its Playbook tablet sales had fallen far below expectations. Read more

Adding insult to an injurious two weeks at Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest computer maker has discovered that the discontinued TouchPad is a hit, at least at going-out-of-business-sale prices, and has pledged to manufacture some moreRead more

From Vic Gundotra, the man behind Google+, to NPR’s All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen and Allen Paltrow, who met Steve Jobs as a young boy, the web was filled with stories of personal reminiscences about the Apple co-founder and expressions of gratitude for his visionary work.

Late on Wednesday, Mr Jobs announced he was stepping down as chief executive of Apple. Many in the tech world reflected on his influential leadership. Others pondered whether the company will continue its success with Tim Cook taking overRead more

Tech news from around the web:

References to a product called “Vibes” found in Facebook’s code has sparked speculation that it could be related to a music service, Mashable reports. The service – unearthed in the code for the installation programme for the video chat service launched in partnership with Skype this week – appears to point to a download service. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Google+ has submitted an iPhone and iPad app for the social network to Apple’s App Store, Mashable reports. Approval for the app is expected within the next two weeks, Mashable says. Facebook is yet to release its own iOS app. Read more