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Tuesday Recap: Lightroom 4 Beta, iLounge on iPad 3, iPad Kindle Store, Mac Snapseed

Kindle Store for iPadLadies and gentlemen, we have liftoff! The International Consumer Electronics Show is officially in full gear for 2012 in Las Vegas, with new product announcements coming fast and furious. If you’ve had enough CES news for opening day already, keep reading — we’ve got a handful of other tech news that you might enjoy on this fine Tuesday, January 10, 2012.

Adobe Releases Lightroom 4 Beta, Announces Carousel Rebranding

Not all new products are coming out of the Las Vegas desert this week. Case in point: Today Adobe Labs released a public beta for Lightroom 4, a major new update for both Mac and Windows. “I kept hearing from customers that they love Lightroom but needed to leave the Lightroom to complete X, Y or Z,” the release notes explain. “Lightroom 4 tackles those issues with improvements to image organization, adjustment tools and comprehensive publishing options.” The beta is open to one and all and does not require a serial number or previous version to install. Also tucked away inside the release notes is word that the company plans to rebrand its Adobe Carousel product as Adobe Revel in the near future. Senior Product Marketing Manager Chris Quek explains, “We now plan to offer additional photography solutions on this platform, including but not limited to the ‘carousel’ feature. Our rapidly expanding charter for this new platform requires a name that is less narrowly descriptive of the current product features.” No word on when that change might take effect, but the Lightroom 4 beta includes support for an “Adobe Revel export workflow,” so we’re guessing it might be sooner than later.

CES 2012: iLounge Dishes on Purported Next-Gen iPad

We’re going to take this with a grain of salt for now, but iLounge editor Jeremy Horwitz filed a report this morning claiming that he saw “what’s supposedly the next-generation iPad.” The good news for iPad 2 owners is that the next iPad will presumably be a modest upgrade that’s primarily internal — Horwitz describes it as more akin to the leap from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S, with “a roughly 1mm increase” in size that’s almost imperceptible unless you’re looking for it. The rear camera hole is now bigger with a silver ring around it, which lines up with recent rumors of better cameras in the next model. Instead of screaming “I touched the iPad 3!,” Horwitz wisely tempers his report by predicting that Apple will call the next device something like “iPad 2S” or “iPad 2 HD” — after all, there aren’t many radical changes that Apple could make and why fix something that’s not really broken?

Amazon Launches Web-Based Kindle Store for iPad

One of the unfortunate parts of Apple’s clamp on in-app purchases with the App Store is the inconvenience of leaving an app like Amazon Kindle when you’re ready to make a new ebook purchase. While the e-tailer hasn’t found a way around that quite yet, they are making it just a little bit easier today by rolling out what Macworld is calling a “new, touch-friendly, web-based Kindle Store.” The iPad-friendly market “offers a large, horizontally scrolling list of ebooks recommended for you, quick links to sections like New York Times Bestsellers and Newsstand, and the top 100 paid and free Kindle books in the store.” The company’s web-based Kindle Cloud Reader is also more iPad friendly, should you prefer buying an ebook and reading it straight away without leaving Mobile Safari.

Apple Posts 2012 Proxy Statement

MacRumors is reporting that Apple posted its 2012 Proxy Statement on its investor relations page Monday afternoon. The PDF document is traditionally posted prior to the company’s annual stockholders meeting and “details voting procedures, background and compensation information on the company’s directors, and information about executive perks and compensation, among other items.” The actual shareholders meeting will take place on Thursday, January 23 at 10am PST in Building 4 of Apple’s Cupertino campus. Among the tidbits disclosed in the Proxy Statement: Current CEO Tim Cook “owns a total of 13,754 shares of Apple plus 1,362,500 RSU’s which will vest into shares if [he] stays with the company for the foreseeable future, worth 0.5 million at current prices.” It’s good to be the king…

CES 2012: Snapseed Photo Editor Making Leap to Mac

How does a developer follow up a successful iOS app? According to Cult of Mac, by going back to the Mac. Nik Software, the developers of the popular Snapseed photo editor, have announced at CES 2012 that they’re poised to introduce a .99 Mac App Store version, currently in Apple’s hands awaiting approval. Fans of the iOS app will be stoked to learn that Snapseed’s user interface is “almost identical” to the mobile version while retaining its simplicity and ease of use. When can you buy it? Only Apple knows for sure, but keep an eye on the Mac App Store for its arrival.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter

(Image courtesy of Macworld)



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