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Apple released its list of top free iPhone apps for the year and, once again, the list was dominated by titles created by Facebook, Google and Snap. Their apps, which combined led the top seven spots, were followed by Netflix, Spotify and Uber.
Why it matters: These companies dominate the share of ad spending so it's vital to their future to have top-ranked mobile apps as well. On the other hand, it's getting harder and harder for others to find their way to the top of the charts.
Apple also released its Top 20 for other categories, including: paid apps, free and paid games, music, movie, TV shows and books.
Read more: You can see all the Top 20 charts in this story.
Qualcomm unveiled details on its next-generation cellphone chip Wednesday and a couple of the features seem tailor-made to helping Android rivals take on the iPhone.
Why it matters: For all the criticism from regulators and rivals, Qualcomm continues to put the building blocks into its chips that are needed to allow even small smartphone makers to issue high-end phones to rival the biggest names in the market.
The internet may be global, but regulation of it is local. That's driving increasing "data fragmentation" that is becoming a threat to global business, Accenture says in a new report.
A few key points:
The takeaway: Borders matter more than ever as international rules are developed to govern how data — the "gold" of the digital age — cross between countries. These policies are usually created with good intentions, like strengthening privacy and security. The tech industry argues that's why broad global trade agreements are needed to set a standard for how data is stored and shared around the world.
Go deeper: Axios' Kim Hart and Sara Fischer took a look at this topic on Tuesday, writing about the potential for a trade war over data
My colleague Kia Kokalitcheva moderated a TechNet panel yesterday. Kia relays some of the points they discussed...
There is a stereotype that Silicon Valley's companies don't want to be anywhere near lawmakers. But four tech business leaders said otherwise on Wednesday during an event in San Francisco organized by TechNet as they discussed technology's continued impact on American jobs.
Bottom line: As technology continues to shape the the economy, there are critical areas that require regulation — or, at the very least, collaboration with government — to keep Americans from being left behind. Technology's impact is only going to become greater. Some panelist suggestions include:
The battle for smart speakers is raging on various levels. Axios' Chris Matthews has a piece looking a some of the dynamics, including just how much voice recognition on a speaker could disrupt the retail business.
Industry moves: Amazon, of course, is looking to grab a greater share of retail spending with its array of Echo speakers and Alexa-powered devices.
That leaves Google as a surprising potential white knight for big retail. The company has already linked up with Walmart, but there could be room for one or two other partners. For those that don't strike a deal with Walmart, Apple and Microsoft could be options, though it's unclear just how far either company is looking to go in this space.
Speaking of smart speakers, Qualcomm showed off a reference design for a speaker using its next high-end phone chip, the Snapdragon 845. That should allow even more players to get into the game with quality gear.
These eyeglass frames are made from old record albums. Cool.