GigaOM Reads: A look back at the week in tech

Samsung released S4, which is like S3, except beefier; Google has killed the Reader and we are all upset; Andy Rubin is done with Android and Sundar Pichai is in-charge along with ChromeOS; Apple and Samsung fight is getting feistier + more cool reads.

Apple announces 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

On Tuesday in San Jose Apple executives announced the arrival of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, joining the 15-inch edition announced in June that comes with the Retina display, technology that makes images and applications appear much sharper on the popular laptop computer.

The Apple Roundup: How close were we to an iCar?

Here’s our daily pick of stories about Apple from around the web that you shouldn’t miss. Today’s installment: More company secrets leak out at the Samsung trial, why an iPod nano smartwatch is “a dumb idea,” CBS’s apathy toward Apple TV, and Mountain Lion battery concerns.

Apple resurrecting the MacBook? Plus 4 other WWDC stories to read today

WWDC begins at 10 a.m. Monday. While a few potential announcements have leaked — Apple’s plans for new maps, new Macs and iCloud upgrades — as with any Apple event, there’s still plenty of mystery. Here’s the latest that people are talking about heading into the developer confab.

Apple announces new iPad textbook experience with iBooks 2

On Thursday Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, took the stage to talk about education and announced Apple’s ambitious plan to reinvent the textbook. That plan includes iBooks 2, which Schiller called a “new textbook experience for the iPad.”

Apple Speaks: Schiller Defends App Store Approval Process

In what BusinessWeek is describing as “his first extensive interview on the subject,” Phil Schiller, everyone’s favorite Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing for Apple (s aapl), has defended Apple’s application approval process.

I’ve read through it a few times, and I’d hardly call it “extensive.” I think it’s more accurately described as “PR spin” more than anything else. Schiller’s opening salvo is actually an advertisement.

We’ve built a store for the most part that people can trust. You and your family and friends can download applications from the store, and for the most part they do what you’d expect, and they get onto your phone, and you get billed appropriately, and it all just works.

It’s obviously going to transmit good vibes to the majority of BusinessWeek readers (who likely weren’t even aware of an application approval process in the first place, never mind a problem with it) but it’s unlikely to smooth the feathers of frustrated, angry developers. See, Mr. Schiller not only defended the approval process, but said that developers actually like it. Read More about Apple Speaks: Schiller Defends App Store Approval Process

Apple Hints at Mac Counterattack on Windows 7

With the release of Windows 7 (s msft) next week, senior Apple VP Phil Schiller (s aapl) is boldly asserting that it “presents a very good opportunity for us.”

That opportunity will possibly come in a series of ads contrasting Windows with OS X, at least according to Peter Burrows of BusinessWeek. The expected campaign is expected to take Windows 7 on directly, and will likely “poke fun” at the upgrade process, from backing up data and reformatting drives to reinstalling software.

“Any user that reads all those steps is probably going to freak out. If you have to go through all that, why not just buy a Mac?” says Schiller.

Read More about Apple Hints at Mac Counterattack on Windows 7

Google and Apple Debate the Meaning of “Rejected”

Google-Voice-DeleteApple (s aapl) rejected Google Voice for the iPhone. That’s not what Google (s goog) says, exactly, except by posting the unredacted response to the FCC on the issue there remains little room for interpretation.

According to Google, none other than Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller told Google Senior VP Alan Eustace “that Apple was rejecting the Google Voice application.” The main reason for rejection was “because Apple believed the application duplicated the core dialing functionality of the iPhone.”
Google claims that the letter (PDF) is being released because of requests through the Freedom of Information Act, and because Apple released the full contents of its own response to the FCC.
Apple representative Steve Dowling immediately fired back, stating that Apple “did not agree with all of the statements made by Google in its letter. Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application. We continue to discuss it with Google.” Read More about Google and Apple Debate the Meaning of “Rejected”