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mobile development mobile news

Kickfolio Brings iOS Applications To The Browser

Kickfolio is a neat little start-up backed company that is really making a push to be relevant. Kickfolio offers, “a way for developers to upload builds of their mobile applications to its platform, allowing others to then interact with the apps on the web, as opposed to having to download a test build locally to their mobile device.” So, that means no downloads and no UDID’s and you have a fully interactive app in your browser. There are other similar products already out there such as Pieceable or AppSurfer. However, Kickfolio differs in a couple regards. Kickfolio uses HTML5 and not Flash. Kickfolio’s CEO Edward Dowling said that, “Their solution was great, but it was not terribly performant.”

 

 

Kickfolio Brings iOS Applications To The Browser

Categories
mobile development

Cardign Launches A New Way To Network With The iPhone

Cardign is an app that essentially puts a name to a face. The app uses the facial recognition as a sort of QR code to pull up information. If you want to connect via social media and you are at a conference all you have to do in snap a picture of their face. After taking a picture, you can then pull up all of their contact details, FaceBook page, Twitter page, etc. Cardign founder Jean-Luc David believes that, “it’s a far easier way for people to connect at in-person networking events and other social functions,” since it eliminates some of the finicky elements of contact transfer apps like Bump.

 

When you download the app, it makes you take 3 photos of yourself in order to be added to the database. TechCrunch posted a review and give it generally positive notes, but did harp on some key issues. “Cardign is an impressive, interesting tech demo in its current form, but with a growing user pool it could become an extremely useful networking service.”

 

 

Cardign Launches A New Way To Network With The iPhone Via Image Recognition

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disruptive technology mobile development

Basis Takes Finally Launches Its $199 Health Tracking Band

Basis has finally started shipping their health tracking wrist watch on Thursday. The watch/health tracker hopes to, “to capitalize on the desire by offering a gadget and Web interface designed to make it easier and more interesting to do the work necessary to achieve a healthier lifestyle.” Although the watch is currently sold out on Basis’ website, you are still able to reserve them for $199. Basis is hoping to dethrone Nike and Jawbone as the dominant workout tracker. The CEO of Basis,Jef Holove, said the issue with previous health trackers was that, “consumers were left wondering what to do with all that data after the novelty period wears off. There is often the ‘now what’ reaction from users.” Basis hopes to change that ‘now what’ reaction with consumers. “The Basis system uses multiple sensors on the wearable band that can detect when a user is sleeping or exercising, and data is sent via Bluetooth 2.1 to the cloud. The answer to “now what” from the Basis standpoint is not only to track the user’s activity but also to provide the data in a way that can be useful.”

 

http://www.technewsworld.com/story/76730.html

Categories
mobile news

Apple Will Start Selling Unlocked iPhones In The U.S.

A report from 9to5Mac is saying the company will begin to offer unlocked iPhones on their online store. They went on to say that also begin to sell unlocked iPhones in physical retail in the near future.  9t05 said that, “the unlocked iPhone 5 price range will likely be $649, $749, and $849 depending on a choice of either 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of storage.” These unlocked devices will allow customers from any carrier that has the iPhone for purchase to be able to use it through their carrier.

Here is a snippet from the article:

“Unlocked devices are on the market through Apple in other markets, like the Canadian store. These come SIM-unlocked, meaning you can use them with the carrier and plan of your choice. Customers still have to ensure that the version of the iPhone they pick up is compatible with the network of their choosing. In the U.S., Apple offers two versions of the iPhone, one that works with Sprint and Verizon 4G networks, and one that works with AT&T frequencies. It’s unclear from this report whether both versions will be made available unlocked, but hopefully we’ll find out later this evening.”

 

Apple to start selling unlocked iPhone 5 through online store as soon as tonight in the U.S., retail stores soon

Apple Will Reportedly Start Selling Unlocked iPhones As Early As Tonight In The U.S.

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mobile development mobile news

Texas Instruments Cuts 1,700 Jobs As It’s Driven Away From Mobile Chip Market

Yesterday, Texas Instruments announced that they are cutting 1,700 jobs as part of reconstructing their business. The company is shifting their focus away from the mobile chip market. This is a move the company has been forced to make because it has become too investment intensive and has decided to focus their attention elsewhere. Texas Instruments released the follow statement, “Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) announced today it will reduce costs and focus investments in its Wireless business on embedded markets with greater potential for sustainable growth. Cost reductions include the elimination of about 1,700 jobs worldwide.” This movie has not come as much of a surprise to analysts as Texas Instruments has previously said it plans to focus its OMAP processors and wireless chips on a “broader set of embedded applications with long life cycles.”

 

 

 

Texas Instruments Cuts 1,700 Jobs As It’s Driven Away From Mobile Chip Market By The Rise Of Custom Chipmaking

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mobile development mobile news

Flint To Take On Square With Its Camera-Based Mobile Payment App

Flint has officially entered the mobile payment world. Flint, like Square and PayPal, is targeting merchants that have been considered, “too small to accept card payments, because they do not have a high enough volume of transactions.” Flint methods are slightly different from Square and other mobile payment platforms. Instead of swiping a card and using NFC technology, Flint “uses the camera on a phone to “scan” a card’s numbers.” This enables Flint to take the NFC compatibility issues out of the equation because they are not relying solely on the hardware.

 

“Flint’s mission is to empower everyday small business users who are out and about and who are underserved by other solutions,” said Greg Goldfarb, co-founder and CEO of Flint Mobile, said in a statement. “We’ve worked very closely with our beta users to develop a compelling app and are excited to make it available to a broader audience.”

 

 

Flint Exits Beta To Take On Square With Its Camera-Based Mobile Payment App

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disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Starbucks Offers Square Wallet Beginning Today

Starting today, Starbucks will begin accepting Square’s mobile payment application in over 7,000 locations. The deal between Square and Starbucks came three months ago back in mid August. Square wallet will give Starbucks  customers another way to enjoy a quick, seamless payment experience at their various locations. Wondering how it will work? Well, it is a fairly simple process, “a barcode is displayed on the smartphone screen and is scanned by a reader at the register.” Square aims at staying atop the mobile payment platform and this is a move in the right direction for CEO Jack Dorsey. Starbucks also invested $25 million into Square and Square will eventually, “be processing all of Starbucks’ U.S. credit and debit card transactions.”

 

http://allthingsd.com/20121107/7000-starbucks-locations-added-to-the-square-wallet/?refcat=news

Categories
mobile news

AT&T, T-Mobile share networks to help Sandy victims

The victims of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York have been experiencing difficulties in getting reception and making cell phone calls. AT&T and T-Mobile are making an effort to make that a little bit easier for the people of those states now. The two wireless providers have agreed to team-up (for the time being) and share their networks.  This will allow customers to use whichever network gets coverage in their areas. The customers do not even have to call a specific number to activate this service; it will happen automatically. “The combining of networks will happen entirely behind the scenes, so all customers need to do is dial out. They’ll automatically be routed over whatever network is currently the strongest in their location.” Moreover, there will be no additional charges and there is not a timeline as to how long this will last.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/31/tech/mobile/att-tmobile-networks-sandy/index.html

Categories
mobile development mobile news

AT&T offers free cloud storage for iOS and Android

AT&T is now allowing customers to to store 5GB worth of videos and photos for free  on the cloud. This news came on Thursday and the service is, “available through a free app in the Apple App Store or the Google Play store. he app requires subscribers use either an iPhone 3Gs or newer device. And Android users must be on version 2.1 or higher of the Android OS.” Customers who have older phones then the specified requirements will still be allowed to use this service. However, they will have to connect their device to a computer in order to upload the photos or videos.

 

Here is a short snippet on what AT&T’s Locker will offer:

“From the AT&T Locker, users can share their videos and images on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or e-mail. Users can create and customize albums for photos and video on the device or online from their computers. AT&T also allows customers to store music and other files in the AT&T Locker.”

 

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57543700-94/at-t-offers-free-cloud-storage-for-ios-and-android/

Categories
mobile development mobile news

Time Warner offers free Wi-Fi and charging stations to NYC

With the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Time Warner is trying to do the best they can do in order to help those owners without power or Internet access. According to Time Warner Cable, they will be “multiple vehicles outfitted with WI-FI access points and charging stations headed into areas of New York City as of yesterday. Anyone able to find their way to one of the vehicles could charge their smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and tap into a 4G Wi-Fi connection to get online.” Time Warner Cable is also offering updates via Twitter feeds as to when and where the vehicles will be stopping at. In addition, TWC will be allowing owners to come into their retail stores and charge their mobile devices.They are also offering “Wi-Fi hot spots throughout New York City so that subscribers and non-subscribers can get online.”

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57544266-94/time-warner-offers-free-wi-fi-and-charging-stations-to-nyc/

Categories
mobile development mobile news

Social Network Everloop Releases Their First Mobile App (For Kids)

Everloop is an online social media platform that is specifically designed for kids under the age of 13. The site allows the kids to connect with friends, play games, listen to music and watch videos. Everloop has released their first mobile app called Goobit which focuses on the network’s most popular features ‘goobs.’ “Everloop’s app presents a safer alternative for kids’ social networking, than allowing them to lie about their age in order to set up an account on Facebook, as many unfortunately do.” It is impossible to stop kids nowadays from joining FaceBook and Everloop is not hoping to stop them. However, Everloop can stall those kids and prevent them from joining FaceBook and other social media sites by providing them with a safer environment that is fun entertaining. The Everloop app will offer, “a variety of social activities for kids, without the embarrassment of mom commenting on kids’ posts. Parents are kept informed through notifications, but this is not their network – it’s for the kids.”

 

 

Social Network Everloop Hits Mobile With New Goobit App (Yes, It’s For Kids)

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mobile development mobile news

Parse Bets On Windows 8, Supports Back-End Development For Its Apps

Parse, a mobile app platform that eases back-end development, has added Windows 8 to their Software Developer Kits (SDK). Parse has been known as a company whose mission is to help developers be more efficient. With this move, the company believes that adding Windows 8 to the SDK will open the doors for many developers. Ilya Sukhar, co-founder, said, “We think Windows 8 will be an important contender and we want our existing clients to be able to build apps on Day One.” Parse believes that Windows 8 is going to be able to compete with Android and iOS in the world of tablets. Sukhar later goes on to talk about how widespread Microsoft is and their impact on large companies. “People in the Valley don’t quite realize how big the Microsoft developer ecosystem and how entrenched it is in many big enterprises.” Parse is banking on Microsoft putting a lot of resources into Windows 8 and their new Surface tablet.

 

YC-Backed Parse Bets On Windows 8, Supports Back-End Development For Its Apps

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mobile development mobile news

Amiigo Is A Fitness Bracelet App That Knows What Type Of Exercise You’re Doing

Workout and sports sensors like Nike Fuel and BodyBug have become increasingly popular in the past year and are great at keeping track of your daily and weekly workouts. However, they are not so great at determining what it is that you are doing. Amiigo has taken aim to fix that by launching their own workout sensor brand. Amiigo will be able to differentiate between exercise and keep track out what exact workout or training that you are doing. Amiigo states that their upcoming device, “will be able to determine a person’s actual activity. It will be able to tell the difference between things like running, cycling, lifting weights, and swimming.” Amiigo will also have an app that goes with the bracelet and keeps track of things like heart rate, blood oxygen levels and skin temperature.

 

Below is some information on their startup:

The startup is kicking off an Indiegogo on October 29 with the aim of raising $90,000, and hopes to be ready to ship in April 2013. First taker backers will be able to snag the device for an extremely tasty price of $89, after which it will be sold for $119 — which is still pretty neat considering it undercuts some of Amiigo’s less-capable competitor devices.

 

Amiigo Is A Fitness Bracelet (Plus App) That Knows What Type Of Exercise You’re Doing — And What It’s Doing To You

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mobile development mobile news

Validity Sensors and TeleSoft To Bring Fingerprint Security To Mobile Payments

Validity Sensors and TeleSoft Partners has took great aim at attempting to make payments with a mobile phone more secure. “The company has developed fingerprint sensor tech that enables authentication, device login, access to digital and mobile wallets, password management, app launching and so on — for smartphones, tablets and notebooks.” In addition, the company believes that fingerprint technology is the simplest and safest form of security. This is important because many people download security apps in attempting to make their phone more secure. However, those apps are still limited to pin, pattern, voice or facial recognition. Many people believe that face recognition is more secure than fingerprint recognition. However, there are easy ways to bypass facial recognition software, such as printing out a picture of the person’s face and holding it in front of their smartphone.

 

Validity Sensors Raising $20M From Qualcomm, TeleSoft To Bring Fingerprint Security To Mobile Payments

 

Categories
disruptive technology mobile news

Africa not just a mobile-first continent — it’s mobile only

Toby Shapshak, who is a technology journalist based in Johannesburg, wrote a great article on how mobile phones are growing in Africa and how it affects its citizens. Here are some snippets from the article:

 

“In Africa, hundreds of millions of people will experience the internet for the first time on a 2-inch cellphone screen. Probably in black and white. And probably only as text. They may not even know they are using the internet. Google, for instance, offers search and Gmail via SMS, the text message service that is still the most popular form of communication.”

 

“More people in Africa have a mobile phone than access to electricity. That means, for a phone to be functional, it needs decent battery life. These feature phones have anywhere up to a week. Secondly, many have the two other must-have features: an FM radio and a torch. Radio remains the killer app in Africa, especially for mass communication.”

 

“Africa, once labeled the “hopeless continent” by The Economist a decade ago, is leading the way. The Economist renamed us the “hopeful continent” last year, after it noted that six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the last decade were in Africa.”

 

“In South Africa, for instance, Google says 25% of its searches during the week are via mobile, rising to 65% on the weekends. Simply put, Africa is not just a mobile-first continent. It is mobile-only.”

 

http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/04/tech/mobile/africa-mobile-opinion/index.html

Categories
disruptive technology mobile development

Microsoft Office coming to Android and Apple devices in Q1 2013

There has been rumors building for months that Microsoft is planning to release their Microsoft Office suite to Android and Apple tablets. However, no one knew when Microsoft Office would be coming to the tablet market. That is no longer the case. Microsoft product manager Petr Bobek let it slip that Microsoft plans to unveil Office 2013 in the first quarter of next year. It looks like companies and businesses will get the first crack at Office 2013. “Bobek said that these new versions of Office will be available to larger companies and Microsoft partners In December 2012.” This is a big move for Microsoft, who is company that usually makes money for its own software licensing. Some analysts are saying that it is a questionable move to offer Microsoft Office 2013 to its competitors.

 

 

http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-office-coming-to-android-and-apple-devices-in-early-2013-7000005563/

Categories
iOS mobile development mobile news

Apple Allows Apps To Sell Other Apps Directly In iOS 6

On Septemeber 12th, Apple made a change to their developer guidelines by adding a clause that stated, “Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected.” However, they have recently changed that clause that  will allow developers and their” apps to display other items on the App Store, including other apps, for purchase directly.” So, what does this mean? We now know that Apple will not ban apps that promote the sale of other various apps in the Apple store. Experts believe that this is a smart move that promotes, “an organic way to promote App Store growth and help surface good stuff for iOS users.”

 

http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/02/good-news-for-discovery-apps-apple-allows-apps-to-sell-other-apps-directly-in-ios-6/

Categories
mobile news

Samsung’s Q3 operating profit to hit $7.3B

Samsung is reporting another record breaking Q3 operating profit, which is expected to hit $7.3 billion in earnings. This marks the fourth consecutive quarter in which the Korean based company has broke the previous quarter’s record. Smartphones, specifically the galaxy devices, and high-end TV’s have bolstered the Q3 profits. Furthermore, “Samsung also continues to be a key component provider for Apple.” Samsung is expected to rake in a record profit of $25 billion by the years end.  Though, experts do not think that Samsung will be able to break the $7.3 billion record in Q4. “Analysts expect Samsung’s run of four record quarters to come to an end in Q4 when Samsung ramps up marketing costs to combat rival smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone 5 in the battle for holiday sales.” Nevertheless, Samsung has become one of the biggest and most thriving technology companies in the world and looks like they will continue with their recent success.

 

http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/05/samsung-expects-another-record-quarter-7-3-billion-profit-fuelled-by-its-galaxy-smartphones/

 

http://www.zdnet.com/samsungs-q3-operating-profit-to-hit-7-3b-7000005284/

Categories
mobile development mobile news

Firefox OS Will Have 1% Of Smartphones In 2013

Mozilla Firefox, who is known for their web browsing service, has made a push onto the low-end of the mobile smartphone market. However, they will only own 1% of all global smartphone shipments in 2013.  Strategy Analytics do not see much of a growth for Firefox. “Firefox OS will continue to remain “niche” because of low brand awareness, a limited retail presence (especially in the U.S.) and an ecosystem of developers that is still too small.” Android still owns 67% of all global smartphone shipments and it could take up to two years for that to turn around.

 

http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/27/firefox-os-will-only-take-a-niche-1-of-smartphone-shipments-in-2013-predicts-strategy-analytics/

Categories
disruptive technology mobile news

LG Display Files Patent Suit Against Samsung

Once again, Samsung has found themselves in hot water over potential legal action. LG Display is taking Samsung to court over seven patent infringements relating to their OLED technology. LG said on Thursday that they are seeking, “damages and a permanent injunction against the sale in South Korea of infringing devices.” Those alleged infringing devices include the Samsung Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Tab 7.7 and the Galaxy Note. Moreover, an LG Display spokesman had this to say on the matter, “This lawsuit has been filed both to enforce LG Display’s intellectual property rights and promote fair competition.”

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443507204578021572847519276.html

Categories
mobile news

Square’s new pricing model: A bold move

Square, who has changed the format of mobile payments, has announced a new pricing format that big business will benefit from. Now, instead of having to pay 2.75% per transaction, a company can opt to pay a monthly fee of  $275. This will save any company significant money that makes over 10,000 transactions per month. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Square, says, “it is all part of a move to make it easier for consumers and merchants to move away from cash.” Dorsey hopes that this new pricing method will make it more approachable to businesses and business owners.

 

The article includes a Q&A with CEO Jack Dorsey and below are some highlights from the interview:

You are offering fixed pricing to merchants. Why?
If you look at the history of the industry, 1950 was first time that a merchant was charged to accept a credit card. It was 7% per transaction for Diners Club. And that per-transaction fee has not been changed in 62 years, it has not been rethought as a model. Two hundred and seventy-five dollars a month and zero fees is something entirely new. The reason we are doing it, is to make it more approachable. When a merchant has to pay credit card fees, they often don’t know how much it’s going to be.

But your previous pricing plan of 2.75% per transaction was already pretty transparent.
Yes, you know exactly what you are paying. But you still have to calculate that. [Now] you pay $275 per month and everything you swipe is in your bank account the next day.

So this represents a shift, if not of your goal of serving both sides of counter with new technology, but at least in focus for Square?

No. It’s always been merchant based. Small merchants self selected into it. You can imagine many, many retailers enabling Pay with Square.

Are you building a sales force to go after larger retailers?
No. I talk to them to them. But I’m not going out and doing a tour [of major retailers].

 

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/08/16/squares-new-pricing-a-bold-move/

Categories
mobile news

Wal-Mart and Target to drop Amazon Kindle devices

Wal-Mart and Target will no longer be carrying any models of the Amazon Kindle tablet and e-readers. Target made this news public back in May and Wal-Mart just made the announcement on yesterday. Wal-Mart did not make a statement as to why they are choosing to stop selling the Kindle devices. However, many analysts say it is clear as to why they are deciding to stop selling the Kindle. “Physical retailers have been worried about customers who browse in stores and then buy from online competitors instead. Displaying the new Kindles encourages that behavior”, analysts said. The Kindle fire is taking away from some of Wal-Mart’s other sales, such as books, movies, etc. Other stores, including Best Buy, Staples and Office Depot, stated that they would continue to carry the devices.

 

 

Categories
iPhone mobile development

Redesigning Apps for iPhone 5

Designers will be forced to redesign their apps to fit the new screen dimensions of the iPhone 5. Moreover, doubling the dimensions, which was the solution for the Retina display, will not solve the issue for the iPhone 5. The difficulty of redesigning and reconfiguring your app to make it look atheistically pleasing will depend on the interface of the specific app. Milen Dzhumerov, developer of Clear, said,

“The amount of work depends solely on whether the interface in question is inherently stretchable. For example, a lot of applications are size-constrained thus they employ scrollviews. For those types of applications, supporting the new screen should be a matter of removing assumptions in any layout code about the screen height.”

So, redesigning an app for the iPhone 5 will not be terribly difficult, but it is not trivial for mobile application development companies. Hopefully, when you receive your iPhone5 there will be no black bars.

 

http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/13/developers-on-iphone-5-redesigning-apps-not-hard-but-also-not-trivial/

Categories
disruptive technology mobile news

How mobile phones have changed lives in Africa

Ten years ago, mobile phones in Africa were thought of as items of luxury and were primarily owned by the rich. Today, that is no longer the trend. Nigerians now access the internet from their mobile phones more than actual desktops. Furthermore, the President of Rwanda said, “In 10 short years, what was once an object of luxury and privilege, the mobile phone, has become a basic necessity in Africa.” Mobile phones have dramatically changed the way people communicate in Africa. Here are the seven ways on how mobile phones are changing lives in Africa:

  1. Banking
  2. Activism
  3. Education
  4. Entertainment
  5. Disaster Management
  6. Agriculture
  7. Health
The one that really sticks out to me is education. South Africa uses a program called MoMath, which is a mathematics training tool that utilizes social networking and instant messaging. CNN has posted a seperate page/series called Our Mobile Society which demonstrates the vaiours way that smartphones are changing our lives. If you have some free time, it’s worth the read.

 

 

http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/13/world/africa/mobile-phones-change-africa/index.html?hpt=te_r1

Categories
mobile development mobile news

Apple Seeks to Create Pandora Rival

Apple is currently developing a music service that is similar to Pandora and Spotify. The music service, which has yet to be named, will work on all existing Apple products. The WSJ article suggests that this service may be announced at Apple’s conference nest Wednesday, September 12th. Apple also plans on working with record companies on licensing deals, instead of paying government-set rates like Pandora.

Apple is negotiating for its own licensing deals with record companies, these people said, because it wants to offer users a greater degree of interactivity than allowed by so-called compulsory licenses used by Pandora and other webcasters.

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443589304577636110080423398.html

Categories
mobile news

On A Mission To Be Mobile Payment Agnostic, LevelUp To Roll Out NFC-Capable Terminals

LevelUp is a start-up company that allows you to make mobile payments through iPhone or Android. LevelUp realizes that QR Code’s are not cutting it anymore and has now shift their attention to NFC payments.

The startup added another big piece, announcing new hardware that supports NFC payment for any phone with NFC capabilities. Seth Priebatsch says the company’s goal is to have 6,500 merchants onboard by the end of the year.

Many Android phones currently have NFC capabilities and the iPhone 5 is rumored to also have NFC capabilities. This could be a giant step forward for a company that raised $31 million and has 3,600 merchants on board with their project.

Here is how LevelUp currently works:

 

http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/06/on-a-mission-to-be-mobile-payment-agnostic-levelup-to-roll-out-nfc-capable-terminals/