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Android disruptive technology mobile development mobile news usability

Applebee’s plans to install tablets at every table

National restaurant chain Applebee’s has just cut a deal to install 100,000 tablets at tables within at least 1,800 locations. While Chili’s announced a similar move three months ago, this is one of the largest, public tablet deployments within a U.S. company. Applebee’s plans to complete the roll out at all U.S. locations by the end of 2014 and Applebee’s parent company DineEquity is considering launching similar tablets at IHOP locations as well.

The tablets will have 7-inch screens, basically the same size as a Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire HDX tablet, and operate on a custom version of Android. The tablets also allow customers to pay for their meal at any time, ideal for anyone in a rush. For families, the tablets will include a variety of video games that can be accessed through a modest fee.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/applebees-rolls-plan-install-tablets-every-table/

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iOS iPad mobile development

Apple reportedly prepping 12.9-inch iPads

A number of sites and news outlets suggest that Apple is testing large, possibly 12.9-inch tablet models, with the company looking to launch two versions next year. PadNews’ sources say the first version of what would be the tech giant’s biggest tablet to date could start selling as early as April.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/apple-reportedly-prepping-two-12-9-inch-ipads-2014-launch/

Categories
mobile development mobile news

Macy’s begins iBeacon shopping test

Macy’s is the first major retailer to roll out support for Apple’s new iBeacons, a type of Bluetooth hotspot introduced in the newest version of iOS. Within the “coming weeks,” iPhone owners who use the retail app Shopkick will start receiving a notification when they walk into either Macy’s Herald Square, New York or Union Square, San Francisco locations. The notification will direct them into Shopkick’s app, which can alert them to deals and remind them of products they were interested in that are on sale at the store.
So far the trial is limited — Macy’s will only ping your iPhone when you actually enter the store. But down the road, Macy’s might also ping shoppers on a department-by-department basis, possibly telling them about sneaker sales when they’re in the shoe section, or even recommending nearby products they could have an interest in. The iPhone integration is only a trial for now, but if it can actually get shoppers buying more clothes and goods, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Macy’s rolling support out to additional locations.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/21/5129336/macys-apple-ibeacon-support-herald-union-square-stores-shopkick

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mobile development mobile news

LG’s new flexible phone heals itself after a knife scratch

When LG announced its curved smartphone, the G Flex, it boasted that the handset was coated with a “self-healing” material. Now someone has put the company’s claims to the test. In YouTube personality / video producer Marques Brownlee’s hands-on with the device, he checks out the self-healing coating with a number of tests. First he creates some light scratches with a set of keys. The LG G Flex essentially “heals” the scratches made. It doesn’t completely remove them, but apparently makes the marks almost invisible to the naked eye. He then carves out a deeper scratch using a knife, which “half heals,” appearing far less visible than it would on a regular phone. While it might not work exactly as advertised, LG’s new coating looks to be a pretty big step forward for the everyday durability of our phones.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/20/5125194/lg-g-flex-knife-scratch-heal-video

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Android iOS iPhone mobile development

The iKettle makes coffee at the touch of your Smartphone

The iKettle is the world’s first kettle to come with Wi-Fi and its own dedicated app for your smartphone. Once the kettle is safely connected to your Wi-Fi network, you can use the app to boil up some water regardless of where you are in the house, then keep the water warm if necessary. The iPhone and Android compatible app comes with an alarm, so when it wakes you up in the morning, you’re given the option to switch on the iKettle ready for a steaming morning beverage. Currently, the iKettle is an exclusive to Firebox.com in the UK, where it costs £100, or around $160, and it’s due for release at the end of November.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/ikettle-iphone-wifi-kettle/

Categories
iOS iPhone mobile development usability

Knock iPhone App Wirelessly Unlocks your Mac

A new app called Knock allows users to unlock their computers without a password. For $3.99 Knock allows a Mac to be unlocked just by knocking on a paired iPhone. The two devices connect over Bluetooth LE, allowing a phone to automatically detect when it nears a paired computer. Though the knocking effect can also be achieved by waving an iPhone in the air, Knock suggests just tapping on it through your pants’ pocket, so you never have to pick up the device.

 

http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/5/5069614/knock-iphone-app-wirelessly-unlocks-your-mac

Categories
iOS iPhone mobile development usability

Cycloramic app turns iPhone 5s into a hands-free 360-degree panoramic camera

Egos Ventures, an Atlanta, Georgia-based company has created an app called Cycloramic. The app makes use of the high-quality camera and vibrating motor in the iPhone 5 and 5s to create a hands-free 360-degree video camera. Thanks to the flat edges and balanced weight distribution of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5, Cycloramic is able to use the handsets’ vibrating motors to actually physically rotate the devices on a flat surface while recording. This means that the phones are able to record video or capture panoramic photographs without any user intervention. Just place it on a flat surface, tap a button, and the phone will slowly rotate 360 degrees as it captures video or a panoramic photo.

http://bgr.com/2013/11/01/iphone-5s-panorama-360-cycloramic/

Categories
mobile development

Google launches new wireless charging pad for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7

Google has revamped it’s wireless charger design and added magnets for better stability. However, only the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 have the magnets built into them already and will be able to stick to the charger. It is not clear how the magnets will affect the phone’s compass and gyroscope. Unlike last year’s model, the top is now glossy. The charger will be available for purchase from the Google Play store.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/31/5051354/google-launches-new-wireless-charging-pad-for-nexus-5-and-nexus-7

Categories
Android

Cover, a new Android app puts relevant apps on your lock screen

Cover is an Android lock screen replacement that puts different apps on your lock screen depending on your location and the time of day. So when you’re at your office, for instance, Cover will put all of your most-used productivity apps right on your lock screen where you can access them instantly. Similarly, the software will pull up navigation apps when you’re in your car, games and entertainment when you’re at home on your couch, and so forth.

 

http://bgr.com/2013/10/24/android-cover-lock-screen/

Categories
iOS iPhone mobile development mobile news

Apple retail stores begin carrying a car-tracking device named Automatic

Apple retail stores have begun carrying an iPhone-connected car-tracking device called Automatic. The device connects to a car’s OBD-II port and then beams driving details like fuel use, mileage, engine status, and more back to an iPhone over Bluetooth. Automatic looks to simplify the wealth of data that they can collect, like how often you hit the brakes too hard and how much you’re spending on gas. The device sells for nearly $100 and has only had limited exposure because it’s only been sold online, but it could begin seeing a lot more success now that it’s placed among Apple Stores’ wealth of tech-savvy consumers.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/23/4947420/apple-stores-begin-selling-automatic-intelligent-car-tracker

Categories
iOS iPhone mobile development

Apple’s Phone Camera Patent Could Make Colors More Correct

Apple has ushered a patent for a new phone camera system. The system would use three separate sensors to create higher-resolution images with more color accuracy. The new camera design uses one sensor for luminance and two for chrominance. Each sensor appears to have a lens assembly in front of it to direct light toward the sensor surface, and their positioning is such that the camera can compare information from each of them to create a full image. It is unlikely to see the light of day any time soon, but the overall result would be great for the end user, offering better images.

http://gizmodo.com/apples-phone-camera-patent-could-make-colors-more-corr-961019498

Categories
mobile development mobile news

Sony’s Next Smartphones Could Charge Wirelessly in Just an Hour

Sony is working on a device that uses 10-15 watts of power. That is twice the electricity of previous devices, allowing it to charge in an hour. The new charging technology will be Qi standards-compliant, meaning it will be wireless. These charging advances will be joined by new control chips to minimize the amount of excess heat the charging generates.

http://venturebeat.com/2013/10/18/sonys-next-smartphones-could-charge-in-just-an-hour-wirelessly/

Categories
iOS iPhone mobile news

iPhone 5S users report blue screen reboots

A number of iPhone 5S users are reporting random reboots on their handsets following a blue screen. The blue screen reboots appear to be iPhone 5S specific and are largely occurring with Apple’s own iWork apps that come free with all new iOS devices. Videos detailing the issue show that multitasking between apps seems to trigger the blue screen. iPhone 5S users are also reporting random reboots during device use.

 

http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/11/4826934/iphone-5s-blue-screen-reboots

Categories
iOS mobile development

Apple Files Eye Tracking System with Advanced Gaze Controls

Yesterday the US Patent and Trademark Office revealed a new Apple invention covering eye tracking that will apply to all future iDevices, the MacBook and more importantly, for use in your car, in a future gaming console or entertainment system. Apple’s patent discusses how their system will overcome the number one problem facing eye tracking systems today: Troxler fading.

 

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/10/apple-files-eye-tracking-system-with-advanced-gaze-controls.html

Categories
mobile development mobile news

Target reportedly taking on Straight Talk with its own prepaid wireless service

Target is preparing to launch its own prepaid wireless service called Brightspot, a direct competitor to Walmart’s Straight Talk and other affordable MVNOs. Customers will be able to sign up for Brightspot (and refill their chosen plan) both online and in Target’s stores starting October 6th. While there are no contracts involved, the company will reward customers with a $25 gift card for every six months of service they complete.

http://mobile.theverge.com/2013/10/2/4794496/target-taking-on-straight-talk-with-brightspot-prepaid-wireless-service

Categories
mobile development

Early patents reveal Amazon 3D phone

Amazon was thinking about a 3D smartphone years ago, as depicted in patents from 2008. The patent which is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ own, details what such a device might look like. The 3D smartphone, would work by tracking its user’s head and adjusting the interface to make it appear to have depth. Some illustrations show a card-style interface that would appear deeper or shallower, or shift left or right depending on where the viewer was looking from. Other illustrations show how an item might appear to physically depress.

http://mobile.theverge.com/2013/10/3/4799170/amazon-patent-history-illustrates-3d-phone-ideas

Categories
iOS iPad iPhone

Hackers foil Apple’s new Touch ID system

Hackers from the Chaos Computer Club claim to have successfully bypassed Apple’s new Touch ID fingerprint scanning security system. The method is complicated enough that most everyday thieves would probably not be able to achieve access. However, it involves photographing a left behind fingerprint and creating a glue model of it. Fingerprint readers have long faced vulnerabilities, but perhaps the most serious security issue here is really is a matter of user fingerprint privacy.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/22/4759128/chaos-computer-club-biometric-hack-apple-touch-id

Categories
iOS iPhone

Apple releases iOS 7.0.2 to fix security flaw

There is a simple bug that allows anyone to bypass the new iOS 7 lockscreen, access multitasking, and view photos. The bug is present on both the iPhone 4s and iPhone 5, as well as the iPad. Apple released iOS 7.0.2 today to fix this exploit.

http://gizmodo.com/anyone-can-bypass-your-ios-7-lockscreen-to-see-and-sha-1350617707

Categories
iOS iPhone mobile news

Google Translate for iOS adds handwriting support and new UI

Google is finally updating their iOS translate app with a feature that has been present on Android for almost two years. This is the first time the iOS app will be able to read your handwriting on the iPhone screen. The user interface and icon have been redesigned as well, to coincide with the new minimal iOS 7 design.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/20/4751184/google-translate-for-ios-adds-handwriting-support-and-new-ui

Categories
iOS iPhone mobile news

YouTube adding offline viewing to mobile apps

YouTube announced on Wednesday that a new feature will be introduced allowing users to “add videos to their device to watch for a short period when an Internet connection is unavailable.” The company will be relaxing their restriction on downloading videos and starting next month, users will be able to store videos offline on mobile devices for up to 48 hours.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/18/4743474/youtube-adding-offline-viewing-to-mobile-apps

Categories
Android iOS mobile development mobile news

Facebook Tests Silent Auto-Play For User Videos In Mobile Feed

For a small subset of iOS and Android users, Facebook is testing auto-playing user-uploaded videos while scrolling through the mobile feed. The effect is similar to videos in the Instagram feed, as videos play silently until tapped to full-screen. This test could also pave the way for Facebook’s new upcoming video ads. For now, brands and off-Facebook video sources will not auto-play. Facebook’s more heavy-handed video ad unit is expected to launch in October.
http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/12/facebook-tests-silent-auto-play-for-user-videos-in-mobile-feed-foreshadowing-video-ads/

Categories
iPhone mobile development mobile news

Apple’s Patented Technology Would Make iPhone Virtually Unbreakable

A patent was recently published detailing how Apple might go about creating an indestructible iPhone. According to the patent, this plan would involve sandwiching the glass screen between two thin layers of sapphire. After diamonds, sapphire is the second hardest stone. It would be an expensive material, but Apple has dealt with costly materials before, and the fingerprint-scanning home button on the iPhone 5S is already made of sapphire crystal.

http://gizmodo.com/apples-patented-technology-would-make-iphone-virtually-1302171875

Categories
iPhone mobile development mobile news

Apple Reportedly Testing 6-inch iPhone

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/09/06/apple-reportedly-testing-6-inch-iphone

Apple has been using a 4-inch display since the introduction of the iPhone 5, but now Apple is exploring the possibility of releasing a 6-inch iPhone. As competition from the Android platform continues to grow, more and more high-profile devices are hitting around the 6-inch range. Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5S and the rumored, low-cost iPhone 5C next week, although both devices are said to include display sizes under 6-inches.