UPDATED 08:49 EDT / DECEMBER 12 2012

Pope Benedict XVI’s Inaugural Tweet

In today’s mobile news roundup: The Pope makes his first tweet; Surface tablets to become available in non-Microsoft retail stores; and Yahoo! upgrades Mail and Flickr app.

Pope makes his first tweet

Though this news is not that surprising, given that almost everyone, from laymen to politicians, is on Twitter, this is huge since the tweets are actually coming from Pope Benedict XVI.

“Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart,” his inaugural tweet read.

The message was sent from a tablet.  Though it wasn’t actually the Pope who typed in the message, the Vatican assured everyone that the message was from him.  Having a personal Twitter account entails the Pope to not only keep his over 700,000 followers updated with his message, but also to answer questions from people around the world.  The Pope’s Twitter handle is @Pontifex.

Surface tablets to become available in non-Microsoft retail stores

Microsoft announced that they will be increasing production of the Surface tablet, as well as the availability of the Surface in other non-Microsoft retail stores.  Plus, they announced that some of their holiday retail stores will be extended to become permanent Microsoft retail stores as they see the increase in demand for their products.

“The public reaction to Surface has been exciting to see. We’ve increased production and are expanding the ways in which customers can interact with, experience and purchase Surface,” said Panos Panay, general manager, Microsoft Surface.

In mid-December, shoppers in the US and Australia will be able to purchase the Surface tablet in retails stores, and they will be adding more retailers in various countries in the near future.  In the US, Best Buy is one of the retail shops that will be carrying the Surface tablet, while in Australia both Harvey Norman and JB-HiFi are rumored to be the first sell.

Yahoo! upgrades Mail and Flickr app

In an effort to get back in the game and make their users happy, Yahoo! has updated Yahoo! Mail in order to deliver a faster service as well as a streamlined look and experience across different devices, from personal computer, tablets and of course smartphones.

“We’ve redesigned the new version of Yahoo! Mail with speed in mind — getting through your emails is faster than ever before. We’ve also made your inbox more intuitive and easier to navigate, allowing you to focus on what matters most: your messages. And, because mobile is everything these days, Yahoo! Mail now has a consistent look and feel across devices,” Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer said on their announcement.

The new Yahoo! Mail for mobile is available for download on the App Store, Google Play and the Windows Store.

In other Yahoo! news, they’ve upgraded their Flickr app which now shows a new interface but the stand out feature is the new photo filtering options.  The iOS app now features 16 photo filters and lets you share photos to friends on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or even e-mail contacts.

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