New Steve Jobs email a treasure trove of information about Apple TV, Google ‘holy war,’ and behind-the-scenes strategy

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A new email from Steve Jobs that was published during today’s Samsung lawsuit (via The Verge) has revealed a lot about Apple’s plans for its products in 2011 and beyond. As we’ve previously noted, Jobs referred to 2011 as a year of “holy war” against Google, but this document goes above that and describes how exactly Apple planned to wage this war.

A few choice bits are below, followed by the complete email.

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Facebook prepares major updates to iPhone apps as top engineer returns to Apple

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Screenshots of upcoming Facebook Graph Search for iPhone update

Facebook is preparing a pair of major updates for its most popular iPhone applications, according to a source familiar with the apps. Facebook is testing an updated version of its main iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch client that integrates the social network’s powerful Graph Search tool. Graph Search is a feature that allows Facebook users to locate fellow users that have similar interests. For example, a Graph Search user can search for all friends who “Like” a certain Facebook page, musician, or movie. The upcoming app update incorporates Graph Search into the Facebook app’s main search bar.

In addition to the aforementioned update to the main Facebook for iOS application, Facebook is preparing a redesign of its Messenger app. Facebook is said to be internally testing two new versions of Messenger. The first version is said to look largely similar to the Messages application bundled into iOS. That version includes green interface elements. The second version in testing, which the source says is more likely to ship to end-users, is heavy on white space and very fitting for iOS 7′s design. It is not filled with blue interface elements like the new Facebook app. The new app has tabs for active/recent chats, contacts, and settings across the bottom…

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Facebook aims to declutter the iOS Contacts app by no longer syncing friends without useful contact info

Facebook-Contacts-iOS-6Over the past week a number of 9to5 readers have noticed issues with their Facebook contacts within the Contacts app on iOS 6 and up that are automatically synced when logging into Facebook through Settings. Some users have taken to the Apple support forums to discuss the problem, noting that a large portion of their contacts from Facebook no longer appear in the iOS Contacts app. Rather than a bug, we reached out to Facebook about the problem who told us it’s actually Facebook’s new effort to remove “phone book entries that were not useful.”

In other words, Facebook is trying to remove some of the spam from your iOS Contacts app by no longer syncing friends that have no useful contact information. According to a Facebook spokesperson, friends that have no contact information on their profile other than a @facebook.com email address will not be synced to the Contacts address book going forward.

The result, of course, is you might notice more than a few of your Facebook friends disappearing from Contacts. You can always add them back manually, but Facebook is thinking the majority of users will be happy with its decision to declutter its iOS sync feature.  Read more

Facebook releases Messenger app for iPhone

Facebook has released Facebook Messenger which is an extension of Facebook’s Messages service and will allow you to send a text message to your phone’s contacts and a Facebook message to your Facebook contacts.  Bonus: You get to send pictures as well.

The app obviously competes with Apple’s iMessage, Blackberry messenger and all of the other silo-ed messaging apps out there but with a user base of 700 million+, it is well positioned to be a contender.

Messenger is available in both the iTunes App Store and Android Market and is based off the Beluga technology which the company recently acquired.  With all the Google+ noise of late we’ve forgotten about Facebook’s assault on mobile.  They’re back.

Update: Oh, and there is video conferencing hidden in the app.

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