Apple Named Most Valuable Brand, Instagram Gets a Makeover

Apple remains the king of all brands, Instagram enjoys a makeover, the sun sets on the Sunrise calendar app, the Nintendo 2DS is getting cheaper, and watch a spear take down a drone.

Apple Is the Most Valuable Brand (Again)

Forbes has named Apple the world’s most valuable brand for 2016. Tim Cook and co. secured the top spot with a brand value of $154.1 billion, almost double Google’s second-place brand value of $82.5 billion.

To arrive at these seemingly arbitrary figures, Forbes takes financial results from the past three years into account. Which explains why Apple is still number one despite experiencing its first quarterly revenue decline for 13 years, and a falling stock price.

Apple has actually won this particular honor every year since Forbes started the list in 2010. Which goes to show just how long this run of good fortune has lasted. The question is how much longer will it last? The iPhone 7 had better impress, or else.

Microsoft was third with $75.2 billion, Coca-Cola was fourth with $58.5 billion, and Facebook was fifth with $52.6 billion. Other tech companies on the list include IBM ($41.4 billion), Samsung ($36.1 billion), Amazon ($35.2 billion), and Intel ($27.7 billion).

Instagram Has a Brand New Look

The new Instagram icon maintains the same basic shape and layout, but the details have all disappeared, replaced by simple lines and a colorful background. The company reportedly tested more than 300 different icon designs before settling on the one you can see in the video above.

Instagram has undergone a major redesign, giving its mobile apps a visual makeover. Nothing has really changed under the hood, but users should notice a cleaner, more modern interface. Instagram has also updated its icon, turning the recognizable camera into a more stylized logo.

The app itself has switched from having a blue and white theme to a black and white theme, letting the content take center stage, with the menus and overlays fading into the background. It’s a subtle change, but one which should help Instagram continue to grow as it adds more users to the 400 million it has already.

If you’re an Instagram veteran, be sure to check out some Instagram tricks you probably don’t know about. And if you’re an Instagram newbie, why not peruse our top tips for Instagram n00bs.

Microsoft Kills Sunrise Calendar App


Microsoft is killing off its Sunrise app. The app, which Microsoft acquired in 2015, will disappear from app stores in the “next few days” and this much-loved calendar app will stop working altogether on August 31.

The Sunrise team announced the news in a blog post which revealed the reasons behind the culling:

“The entire Sunrise team is now working side-by-side with the Outlook team and it’s a thrilling moment for us to work on an app of this scale. As heartbreaking as this sounds, we’re hard at work bringing the magic of Sunrise to the Outlook apps, with all your most loved features – interesting calendars, event icons and calendar apps.”

While this is annoying for fans of Sunrise, Microsoft acquired the team responsible for this app for this very reason, and the Outlook app has improved as a direct result of their involvement. If, for any reason, you hate Microsoft though, there are plenty of other cracking calendar apps to choose from.

Nintendo Cuts the Price of the 2DS

The Nintendo 2DS, which plays most 3DS games (just without the 3D effect) has no hinges, and is primarily targeted at younger children. Two new games — Style Savvy: Fashion Forward and Disney Magical World 2 — were announced alongside the price cut, with both set to be released later this year.

Nintendo is dropping the price of the 2DS in the U.S., from $99.99 to $79.99. This latest price cut comes just nine months after the last one, when Nintendo dropped the price of the 2DS from $129.99 to $99.99. The new Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), which includes a digital copy of Mario Kart 7, takes effect on May 20.

A Drone Is no Match for a Spear

And finally, we already know a healthy portion of our readers want to shoot drones out of the sky, but will they feel the same about using a spear to get the job done? After all, we know a spear can hold its own against a drone, because this video shows what happens when they two met on a battlefield.

The incident reportedly occurred during a historical reenactment taking place in Central Russia. A drone is flying over the crowd, recording their every move, when one man takes it upon himself to knock the drone out of the sky. Why? We don’t know, but perhaps he was simply annoyed by the presence of this anachronistic piece of technology.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Do you agree with Forbes that Apple is the world’s most valuable brand? Do you love or hate Instagram’s new look? Are you sorry to see Sunrise going away? Are you tempted to buy a Nintendo 2DS? Would you rather own a drone or a spear?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: ZeevveeZ via Flickr

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