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Re/wind: Apple's Record-Breaking Profit, Snapchat Gets a Makeover and More

And Twitter introduced two new features in one week.

Asa Mathat

Hello! We hope your week was great. Here’s the news that powered Re/code:

  1. On Tuesday, Apple said it netted $18 billion in profit during its holiday quarter, setting a Wall Street record. Other Apple news: The Apple Watch will be arriving in April, Apple has now sold 25 million Apple TVs and it looks like Apple is beginning to pull ahead of Samsung in the global smartphone race.
  2. Snapchat introduced its new “Discover” feature, stacked with a lineup of branded content from places like ESPN, CNN and more. To learn how to use the new feature (and Snapchat! Which is confusing!), here’s a guide. And here’s some info on the AT&T-sponsored scripted mini-movies by YouTube stars coming to the platform.
  3. Twitter uncharacteristically rolled out two new products this week — group direct messages and an in-app video upload and editing service. Meanwhile, chatter about a possible investor takedown of Twitter CEO Dick Costolo continued. So much chatter, in fact, that former Twitter CEOs are now preemptively coming to Costolo’s defense.
  4. The Federal Trade Commission concluded that unlimited data plans that throttle speeds for heavy usage don’t really count as unlimited. As a result, it ordered prepaid phone maker TracFone to pay back $40 million to its customers.
  5. In an AMA (Ask Me Anything) post on Reddit, Bill Gates confirmed that he’s just like us, in that he fears super-intelligent robots of the future will take our jobs and our lives.
  6. Microsoft Outlook users, rejoice! There is now an Outlook app for iPhone and Android, a shiny new toy built using technology Microsoft bought in its $200 million acquisition of Accompli last year.
  7. This could help get the clutter out of your life: Evernote’s new app, Scannable, scans and digitizes paper documents with a smartphone camera via a relatively simple interface. Also, it’s free!
  8. Online-only retail startup Tuft & Needle makes the top-rated mattress on Amazon. And like other online retailers, it has realized there’s money to be made by actually opening brick-and-mortar locations. So Tuft & Needle is doing exactly that, first in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood.
  9. AOL slimmed down again, shuttering sites like Joystiq and re-orging its ad team, as we told you it would.
  10. In a “Game of Thrones”-style turn, the executive who built the cloud services division now at the center of IBM’s business plan has left the company.

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