Circle connects You to People and Events Nearby

Circle is a local social mobile app for the iPhone and is actually growing in users.  It has exceeded 10 million users with over 1 million  joining every month.  It is in 1,765 cities across the country.

This app lets users know what is happening near their current location.  It will show you activity feeds of local occurrences.  Circle can be used to post questions, ask for help, or just post general information of what is going on in the city.  The CEO states it is different than Facebook and Twitter in that everything is localized.  He also wanted Circle to be “relevant to where you are, than who you are.”

A big concern still is privacy and location sharing.  Their CEO believes, however, that users are starting to use apps like Circle and be ok with sharing their location.  New features that were recently introduced were categories for trending, news, family, sport, question, events, nightlife, and other.

Need a spare tire or free doughnut? Circle connects you to people and events nearby

mobile news

Samsung and Fingerprint Create Mobile Apps Network for Kids

Fingerprint Digital is really getting their name out there and trying to make a child friendly mobile world.  They have teamed up with Samsung to create a mobile kids app network for Samsung devices.  The main purpose of this network, called Samsung Kids’ Mobile Network Powered by Fingerprint, will be to provide safe apps and games “with an educational twist for kids ages 3 to 7.”  The apps will be specifically designed for Samsung’s own select devices.

Parents will have full control of what the children play.  It will recommend more content for that child and even generate reports on his/her activity.  The service will first open up in Southeast Asia and Oceania with plans of global releases later on.

Samsung and Fingerprint team up to create safe mobile apps network for kids

mobile development

Snapdragon Brings 4K Video Playback to Smartphones

Qualcomm just recently released their newest high-end mobile processor, Snapdragon 850.  They claim this chip is 40 percent faster than its predecessor and that it was designed from the ground-up for 4K video playback.  Though this high-res format is UltraHD, the implementation is slow and rather expensive.

4K means that the horizontal resolution has over 4,000 pixels.  This is roughly twice as much as the current 1080p.  Not surprisingly, consumer interest is rather low.  Other companies, however, like Nvidia and Netflix are interested a want to support it in some way.

Qualcomm states they will not ship the chip to manufacturers until next year.  This may be a good thing and smart marketing move allowing 4K to get bigger and showing that 1080p is the old way in HD resolution.

Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon brings 4K video playback to smartphones (for some reason)

disruptive technology mobile news

Coin Opens More Preorders & Adds New Security Features

With Coin being the new big hype for the universal digital card holder, the company has opened even more preorders.  Coin hit their crowdfunding goal of $50,000 in just 40 minutes.  This type of hype is bound to get some criticism, however, with security and how reliable this card will actually be.

With that in mind, Coin has added some new security focused features.  Now you can lock Coin to a single card so nobody can swipe multiple cards in the same sitting.  Also, an alarm can be sent to your phone if Coin is being swiped too many times.  They put up a new FAQ to assure people of their credit card safety.

Coin opens up more preorders for its connected credit card, adds new security features

mobile news resource

Ninja Metrics Uses Predictive Analytics to Unlock the Value of Social Gamers

Before Ninja Metrics opened up their predictive analytics business yesterday, they spent 10 years of research in developing it.  They have developed the Katana Analytics Engine.  It “tracks social interactions among gamers and predicts which ones will drop out, buy items, or share your game the most with friends.”  This tracking, however, is not like normal statistics tracking.  It tracks a lot more items ultimately to give gamers’ measurement of social influence and how much that is worth in real monetary value.

This is extremely important in the mobile gaming world.  Having your users share your app is the best advertisement any company can get.  It is more personalized than any one ad can make.  If Ninja Metrics can lock down this predictive trend, companies will be swarming all over them trying to get ahold of that data.

Ninja Metrics aims to unlock the value of social gamers through predictive analytics

Android mobile news

Google Will Now Officially Translate Your Android Apps

Google officially released yesterday a translation service for Android Apps.  The process is rather simple.  Android developers submit their applications and the desired language they wish for it to be translated to.  Google finds a native speaker and completely translates your entire app for you.  The cost can range anywhere from $75 for a small app and $150 for a large one per language.  This price is extraordinarily cheaper and more time efficient than trying to find your own translator.

According to Strategy Analytics, Android has 81 percent of the global mobile marketshare.  This new translating service could be a huge breakthrough.  It saves companies money and time having to only focus on one language.  More languages can mean more downloads.  More downloads can mean more money.

Mobile devs: Google will officially translate your Android apps

mobile development resource

Augmented Reality to Drastically Jump in near Future

Juniper Research came out with a new report stating that 200 million people will use augmented reality apps on a regular basis by 2018.  It also claims that AR is expanding from gaming and going into the lifestyle and healthcare category.

This can be seen already in hospitals and clinics.  Some rocket companies are using some of this technology as well.  It seems, however, that some of this report is based off of Android’s growing dominance.  Juniper appears to claim that a more standardized platform to work from will create a better AR user experience and adoption.

Either way, this study looks very promising for AR developers.  The report looks extremely thorough and something to not just take lightly.

Smartphones + smart glasses: Augmented reality to jump 333% by 2018

Android iOS

Gogo and Glympse Gives Your Location from the Sky

Location-sharing app Glympse is partnering with Gogo to allow you to checkin from the sky.  The nice thing about this app though is that you specifically describe who you want to share your information with.  The user puts in phone numbers of who they want to inform and then can even power down their device afterwards.  Glympse then shows the recipient your status and location.  The ETA is dynamically updated for the entire flight so the person picking you up doesn’t have to guess.

I’m not one for checking in and sharing my location but this seems like a useful tool for everyone.  Plus, I do not have to share my info with everyone and their mother.

Check in from seat 34C with Gogo’s in-flight location service

mobile news resource

Facebook Mobile Ads Prove to be Effective

Mobile advertisement seems to be the way to go.  This is again seen with Facebook in their quarterly results.  In general, mobile monthly active users increased 45 percent.  49 percent of all Facebook’s revenue came from mobile revenue.  Facebook now accounts for a 15.8 percent share of all global mobile ad spending.

Whether these results are just from more users or Facebook has found a way to market smarter, their profit is increasing.  Other companies must learn and follow suit if they do not want to get left behind in our ever increasing mobile world.

Facebook ads firing on all cylinders: Revenue up 63%, profit up $484M

Android iOS

Blend Gives Students Free Stuff for Sharing Photos

Blend is a mobile app for college students that gives them free stuff for sharing their photos.  A new theme is set each day and students then share photos related to that theme.  Friends can like the photo and earn “snaps.”  These snaps are then used to redeem gifts from popular college brands.

Personally, it is a combination of Instagram and Snapchat.  There are some pretty neat brands, however, and the audience is specifically for college students.  This makes it a little more private than Facebook or Twitter.

Blend is currently active on 30 campuses around the country and has raised $1.325 million in seed funding to continue its national expansion.

Woohoo college! Blend’s mobile app gives students free stuff for sharing photos

mobile news

Samsung Fined For Fake Online Reviews and Comments

We know in the Apple app store that if you are caught making fake reviews, they completely wipe all the comments on all your products.  However, is this better or worse than getting fined $340K for doing the same thing?  Samsung was found guilty by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission for “using a large number of hired writers and designated employees to post good reviews and comments about its own products, and criticism of competitors’ products.”  These criticisms seemed to be mainly focused against HTC.  This article also states that Samsung seems to follow a pattern of cheating.  This is not their first time getting in trouble for astroturfing or fake advertising.

Samsung fined $340K for fake online reviews and comments — by Taiwan

mobile news

FreeMyApps Works To More Engage Users

The competition to compete for a user’s attention is fierce and getting more difficult. Many will look and if they are not impressed, go back.  Of course, the majority way to attract users is through advertisements.  FreeMyApps is trying to change some of this.  The company states it is trying to help their app publishers achieve deeper levels of engagement from users.  Previously, this app rewarded users if they just downloaded the app.  Now it is going to require them to do more things.  They must do something in the app such as register, reach a certain game level, etc.

Now the question is, how deep in the app will one go for a reward?  There is a fine line between keeping the user engaged and completely frustrating someone leaving a bad impression on the app company.

Fiksu upgrades FreeMyApps to reward users for actions, not just downloads

mobile news resource

A Third of Google’s Paid Clicks Come from Mobile

The Search Agency has just published a report on the state of paid search report.  It found that 33 percent of clicks on Google ads are now from smartphones or tablets.  Google has greatly increased their mobile usage overall but their biggest growth comes from its product listing ads.  They have found a way to mingle mobile and desktop advertising in a single, blended format.

This is just further proof that our society is moving to a more mobile age.  With better enhanced mobile functions, come more users and possibly more money.  Users want it, but it has to be in a user-friendly unobtrusive way.

A full third of Google’s paid clicks now coming from mobile (report)

Android iOS

Fitness app Endomondo Making Success

Endomondo is a fitness app that strives to make working out social.  You can publicly log your physical activities and challenge your friends to do the same.  It is a way to provide positive peer pressure into mileage.  This article states that research even showed a strong correlation between workout activity and the number of friends a user had.

The most important milestone this app has reached is that it is now profitable.  The app launched five years ago and is seeing success.  This can go to show, however, the long process an app takes to gain profitability.  Even with one billion miles of activity tracked and an international user base, the process can be slow especially in a market that is flooded with fitness apps.

Fitness app Endomondo surpasses 20M users, 1B miles logged, and is now profitable 

mobile news

BlackBerry Talking About Breakup Instead Of Going Private

Even though BlackBerry has accepted an offer to be taken private for $4.7 billion, there is still talk of them breaking up the company instead.  This means selling off patents, proprietary technology, and other parts to rivals and interested parties.  This could be very crucial for Samsung and Cisco (which BlackBerry has already reportedly talked to) with the patent business.  BlackBerry holds some very important patents and this article suggests they actually may make more selling the sum of its parts than it would for the entire business.

BlackBerry may wind up selling off limbs before going private


Auto-upload functionality in Flickr’s iOS App

Flickr has finally released an update that allows you to auto-upload your entire camera roll to their website. They are behind Facebook and Dropbox, but maybe not too far behind. Here are just a few pros and cons about this app and its update.


  • The photos go to a cloud storage locker in Flickr. This means every photo is private until you edit and make them public.
  • Every photo uploads in full resolution. It does not compress them like Facebook or Instagram does. That means you can pull the actual copy later on their website instead of a lower resolution one.
  • It has some neat editing tools like auto-straightening.


  • Uploading full resolution with an 8mp camera can take a lot of data. If you do not have an unlimited plan, you may have to limit what you share.
  • It does not have native iPad support.

Flickr’s iOS app finally does the uploading for you.

mobile news resource

Cheap Smartphones Overtaking High-end Sales

Juniper Research has predicted that “ultra-low cost” smartphone sales will grow to 200 million in 2018.  They also predict that the high-end smartphone market will “diminish proportionally.”  If this is true, some companies, especially Apple, may have something to worry about in the next few years.  This could have been the reason for introducing the 5c.  Juniper also states that high-end hardware in other countries are being sold for lower prices than in the US.

Juniper: Ultracheap smartphone sales to grow 20 times by 2018 while high-end phones suffer

iOS usability

Paying Restaurants With Wallet and Phone In Pocket

Cover launched an app today allowing customers to pay their bill using their phone without having to wait or worry about the check.  The unique function about this app is that it can split the bill between customers on the same check.  The downside is that it only splits it evenly.  This app is still in its infant stages but looks promising if they can make different methods of splitting the bill and get more restaurants on board.  It would seem that college towns would want this because the majority of checks are split causing more time and hassle for the waiter.

Cover launches in NYC to let you pay restaurant bills with your phone

disruptive technology mobile development

Smart Armband Myo

Myo is a smart armband that lets you control other devices with the swing of an arm. They say it is compatible with Windows and MacOS, with APIs available for Android and iOS.  It is the first wearable interface, meaning it is always available, and can be used in mobile applications.  This could be disruptive for phones’ current gyroscopes or other IR and camera features that detect motion.  The creators of Myo claim that this device will make interacting with digital devices more seamless in the future.

Smart armband Myo: ’The line between man and machine is blurring’

mobile development mobile news

Fingerprint Digital Works With Astro Digital 5

Fingerprint Digital has launched an app platform that screens out inappropriate content and promotes approved apps, games, e-books, and educational content for children.  This is huge since children using mobile devices to play and learn are ever increasing.  Parents feel more comfortable allowing their children to play and want them to because it is educational.  Partnering with Astro is a big deal because they will be adding over 3.6 million customers located in Malaysia.  According to Ambient Insights, Asia leads the world in mobile learning market revenues of $2.6 billion in 2012.

Fingerprint Digital takes its kids mobile edutainment platform into Malaysia

mobile news usability

Banks Addressing Mobile-only Users

Another trend that is ever increasing is mobile banking.  Simple and ING Direct are adopting this by creating branchless banking.  They state that behaviors are switching to a “mobile-only or mobile-first” outlook.  I certainly know that I use my phone for about 95% of all my banking needs.

New banking opportunities arise to address mobile-only users.

mobile news resource

Kids Favor Tablets Over Smartphones For Games

We talked a little bit in class about how tablets are exponentially increasing.  Here is just some more proof from Mixpanel confirming that.  The percentages are drastic.  This allows us to see where the mobile market is going, and we must be prepared for it.

Little fingers love big touchscreens: Kids favor tablets over smartphones for games.

mobile news

Aisle411 Create Digital Maps of Physical Stores

This app allows shoppers to find something in a store without having to search the entire building.  They claim to be the first to market with a mobile product search service.  It could also allow stores to provide real-time customer service and make data-driven decisions since customers are using their location services.  Some people obviously want it since they were able to raise $6.3 million.

Aisle411 raises $6.3M to create digital maps of physical stores

disruptive technology mobile development

Glasses-free 3D Tablet on Indiegogo

Two guys, Nick Spriggs and David Briggs, created a glasses-free 3D tablet after being backed up from its supporters on Indiegogo.  TWO guys created this by themselves and it could be pretty competitive.  Now they are trying to go commercial and grow dramatically.

From crowdfunding to ‘real’ business: this glasses-free 3D tablet is trying to go big.