Richard Williamson, former Apple executive who led Maps team, Loren Brichter join Facebook

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According to Bloomberg‘s Adam Satariano, Richard Williamson has joined Facebook. We’ve independently heard the same. Williamson is a former iOS executive from Apple who was reportedly terminated over Apple Maps. Williamson ran Apple’s iOS 6 Maps team and also worked on Siri features.

Williamson joined Facebook in the past couple of weeks to be a manager within its expanding mobile-software group, said two of the people, who declined to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Facebook’s hire of Williamson is notable as the social network reportedly has hired several former Apple engineers to work on various projects, including the Facebook Home software and various other mobile applications. Williamson’s hire marks one of the more high-profile hires of former Apple employees.

Following up on this morning’s news that Loren Brichter is working with Facebook some capacity, Bloomberg also notes that the company has actually hired the Letterpress developer and former Apple employee as a consultant.

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WSJ profiles app developer responsible for inventing/popularizing pull-to-refresh and other GUI innovations

Loren-Brichter
pull-to-refreshThe Wall Street Journal published a piece last night that profiled influential app developer Loren Brichter of Atebits and Tweetie fame. The 28-year-old developer is the man behind several apps that were first to implement or help popularize well-known gestures and UI features that have since become design standards for many popular apps and developers. Perhaps the best example is “pull-to-refresh”—a feature that Brichter built into his Tweetie app before selling to Twitter:

Mr. Brichter got his start in the mobile industry while at Apple from 2006 to 2007 as part of a five-person group working out early kinks in technology that made the iPhone’s graphics hardware and software communicate… In 2008, Mr. Brichter built Tweetie to have a better way to use Twitter and eventually included the “pull-to-refresh” feature. After selling the app to Twitter for what he says was “single digit millions” in 2010, he stayed on at Twitter working remotely on the company’s apps for about a year and a half. He left to keep experimenting.

Other features Brichter helped to popularize include the slide-out panels that we see in apps such as Facebook and a feature described as “cell swipe” that’s popular in Twitter apps for revealing lists of hidden functions by swiping. WSJ was quick to point out that Brichter has filed for a patent on at least the “pull-to-refresh” gesture (now owned by Twitter), but Brichter explained that he allows most developers to implement the features freely: Read more

Rabbit, Foursquare, Skype, TomTom, Cut the Rope, Borderlands Legends, deals, more

Rabbit: Launching today in closed beta, Rabbit is a new video chat and content sharing app– initially available exclusively for Mac– that has been getting a lot of attention. The app lets you chat with an unlimited number of people, create and customize chats, as well as watch movies, listen to music, and share content in chats in real-time. If you are a pre-teen who hasn’t heard of Google Hangouts, you might want to check this out.

Rabbit is kind of like a virtual living room. It runs in the background on your computer just like Skype, so you can always find your friends online and invite them to watch a movie or listen to music at any time. You can share this content directly from your computer, or you can use the Rabbit “SharePad” of integrated content sites to instantly launch TV shows, videos and music you want to watch and listen to with your friends.

Foursquare version 5.4.3: Foursquare gets an update today that brings improvements to check-in notification settings including an “Always” option to get notifications for all check-ins, as well as new “Nearby” and “Off” settings to apply to specific users.

✓ Choose “ALWAYS” for close friends and family you always want to keep up with. You’ll get notifications for all their check-ins, no matter where they are in the world.
✓ Choose “NEARBY” for friends you’d like to hear about from time to time. We’ll only notify you when they’re close by.
✓ Choose “OFF” for those acquaintances you don’t really want updates from. And that bike messenger friend who checks in at every spot on his route.

TomTom version 1.13: TomTom updated the majority of its iOS navigation apps today. On top of the most up to date map data, users can also now backup and restore settings and stored destinations from iCloud. With today’s update TomTom is also providing a free 30 day trial to its HD traffic subscription. In addition, the app now includes compatibility for iPad mini.

Borderlands Legends version 1.1.0: 2K’s Borderlands Legends (and the HD iPad version) is updated today with new features including a new sniper mode, new enemy and mini boss types, night versions of the Wasteland map, iPhone 5 & Game Center support, new Eridian Weapons, and more. Read more