mobile development

No More Where’s Waldo with Qualcomm

Qualcomm is building indoor positioning into its IZAT platform in hopes of making indoor location-based services just as common as outdoor services. The upgrades are going into its current generation of smartphone chipsets, but Qualcomm is working with Cisco on a network-based platform as well.

Like other indoor location providers, Qualcomm is making heavy use of Wi-Fi signals to determine location within a building, but it’s also utilizing cellular and GPS signals when available and further refining positioning data by using the gyroscope, accelerometer and compass sensors in the device. By tapping into all of those tools, Presutti said Qualcomm can determine location within three to five meters.

mobile development mobile news

Pending Mobile Traffic Jam in the UK

As more people use broadband-connected smartphones and tablets, the amount of data Britons consume on the move each month has hit 20 million gigabytes.  If current trends play out, said Ofcom, demand for mobile data would grow by 80 times by 2030.  To cope with the data tsunami Ofcom has drawn up plans to release more radio spectrum and make the industry’s use of existing spectrum more efficient.  The 700MHz frequency band, currently used by digital terrestrial television, will be opened up to mobile services by 2018 as part of a global plan to harmonise frequencies for mobile users.

Android iPad iPhone mobile development

Adaptive Screens Coming for Smartphones and Tablets

As anyone who has ever tried to play an immersive game or watch a movie on a phone in bright sunlight knows, the subsequent glare and lack of highlight and shadow makes for a fairly dismal viewing experience.

At IFA 2013 in Berlin, London-based company Apical unveiled an intelligent digital processing technology called Assertive Display, which offers radically improved resolution in bright light, and a dramatically reduced power consumption.  The technology has already been rolled out in Japan, where it features in devices such as Sharp’s new smartphone, the Aquos SH-01D.

Assertive Display works by adapting the contrast ratio, adjusting each pixel of the video stream in real-time, with very short latency so that you don’t notice.  The technology is based on a model of how the human eye works, tuning the pixels so that you can view a movie or play an immersive game in bright light without killing the battery.

Android disruptive technology iPhone

Cell Phones Prove to be More Useful During Election Years

Some pollsters think the support for Barack Obama is being vastly underestimated because of the prevalence of cell phones. In fact, pollster Stan Greenberg says cellphone only users are 11% more likely to vote for Obama.

President Obama’s campaign was the first ever to accept donations by text. Governor Romney’s campaign joined him shortly thereafter. Though carriers capped the amount of donations an individual could give through this method, it proved to be highly effective for the president.

disruptive technology iPad iPhone mobile development mobile news

RockMelt Social Browser Comes to IPad

RockMelt is a browser that is built around social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but instead of emphasizing chat and status updates, it’s all about using your social network to help curate a newsfeed that matches your interests.  In theory, the browser will learn, over time, what you like and what you don’t, and at any point you can add specific news sources as you would with an RSS feed.  The app is available for download today, and we’re told versions for other platforms are in development.

mobile development mobile news

AT&T and IBM Tag-team on Cloud Services

IBM has teamed with AT&T to offer secure shared cloud services to customers over private networks rather than the public Internet, the companies said Tuesday.

Customers will be connecting to IBM’s cloud computing resources, using AT&T’s virtual private network, with tightly integrated security protections.

As a result, customers will be able to shift information or applications between their own data centers in private clouds and the new cloud service, without the data leaving the security protections of the virtual private network.

Android disruptive technology iOS iPhone mobile development mobile news

AOL Jumps on Mobile Gaming Bandwagon

AOL Inc entered the mobile gaming market with a social video guessing game available on Apple’s iPhone that uses voice recognition technology to keep players from cheating.

For now, the game, Clucks, can only be played by iPhone users. The Android version of the app will be released by the end of the year, according to Sol Lipman, vice president of AOL’s Mobile First unit which identifies new market opportunities in the mobile space.

Clucks players use smartphones to record a 12-second video of themselves describing a word, for instance tree. Their opponent then receives the video and must guess the word.

You’re trying to send clues without using the word ‘tree’, or associated words like ‘wood’ or ‘leaves’ or branches,’ Lipman said.

Android mobile news

Kaspersky Mobile Security’s ‘Mugshot’ Feature Exposes Phone Thieves

Kaspersky Mobile Security’s ‘Mugshot’ enables owners of lost or stolen Android smartphones to visually identify the unauthorized use of their devices. With the click of a mouse in the web-based control center, users can remotely activate the front-facing camera on their missing smartphone, and the device will secretly begin taking photos. These photos are then automatically emailed to a pre-determined address or can be viewed directly through the web-based control center. If the smartphone has been stolen, the Mugshot tool gives users the opportunity to identify the thief, or if the smartphone is simply missing, users can recognize the phone’s surroundings to track it down.

Read more here:
Android mobile development mobile news usability

Google’s Costly Mistake – Failing to Market Android Ecosystem

The Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) upgrade appeared on my phone yesterday. I had no idea when I might see it: it was pushed by some carriers to some phones three months ago, but must Android users won’t see it for a long time. There was no roll-out plan and not much of an announcement.  There’s little attempt to market the value, probably because the Android update process is so haphazard.  So Google is getting little value from a significant product enhancement. Most Android devices won’t get this update anytime soon.

The bigger issue is: Google does not present the user with a unified view of the value offered by its mobile devices and cloud services (the “Android ecosystem”).  Each product seems to be fighting its own war.


Android mobile news

Netflix Pushes Android Update

Netflix today announced a more immersive version of its Android smartphone app.

The updated app more closely mirrors the tablet experience, which was updated late last year. Netflix has integrated more available TV and movie titles and galleries and made it easier to search and browse.

A new “Continue Watching” row allows users to scroll through thumbnails of the shows or films they paused mid-view, then tap and pick up where they left off.

Last week, Netflix announced steady growth, despite last year’s short-lived Qwikster misstep. Now, one in four American households subscribe to the entertainment service – more than ever before. Almost 60 percent of customers stream titles, on their computer, gaming or set-top-box device, or via the iOS and Android mobile platform.

The Netflix Android app is currently available for free download and upgrade in the Google Play store.,2817,2410083,00.asp

iOS iPhone mobile news

iOS Not As Secure As We Think

Researchers have broken into an iPhone 4S running the latest version of Apple iOS, making it possible to exploit the same vulnerability in the iPhone 5 that is set for release on Friday.

Because the hacked iPhone was running a developer version of iOS 6, it’s likely the same vulnerability could be used to break into an iPhone 5 or the latest iPad and iPod Touch devices.

WebKit is a layout engine used by browsers to render Web pages. The open source technology is used in the Safari Web browser in iOS and in Google’s Chrome, which recently became the default browser for Android.

The WebKit browser exploit took only a few weeks to make, the researchers told IT World.  Using the malicious code in a website would enable a cybercriminal to bypass the security mechanisms in Safari to gain access to the phone’s data.

“Apple will have to come up with an update and then people need to upgrade as fast as possible,” Pol told IT World.

Android disruptive technology mobile news

Android Hack Allows for Free Public Transportation

Contactless fare cards in the New Jersey and San Francisco transit systems can be manipulated using an Android application, enabling travelers to reset their card balance and travel for free, researchers demonstrated on Thursday during the EUSecWest security conference in Amsterdam.

The NFC (near field communication) smartphone can read the fare card balance, and once the card has been depleted, the users are able to write the initial balance back to the card over and over again.  The app, Ultra Reset, accomplishes this by taking advantage of a flaw found in particular NFC based cards that are used in San Francisco and New Jersey.

Other U.S. cities including Boston, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Chicago and Philadelphia also use a contactless ticketing system and those systems could also be vulnerable for the same technique, they said. Those systems, however, were not tested by the researchers, who said they had not been able to travel everywhere.

The vulnerability could be fixed relatively easy, according to the researchers. Transit companies could use a more secure chip, or adjust their back-end systems to make sure the bits in the cards are turned on when travel units are used, they said.

Android mobile development mobile news

Android Vulnerability Continues

More than 68% of smartphone users are on the Android platform, and over half of them are using phones that are vulnerable to attacks.  The most common complaint among Android users is the inability to receive updates and device patches in a timely manner, yet new smart devices are being introduced to the already crowded mobile market each year.  Even though the phones are new, they are being sold with outdated software, and in some cases, they are never updated.

New research from Duo Security, a startup that has received funding from the United States Department of Defense, found that more than half of all Android smartphones contain unpatched vulnerabilities.

“The stat is based on over 20,000 users who downloaded and ran the X-Ray mobile application on their device, and the current global distribution of Android versions,” said Jon Oberheide, CTO of Duo Security, in an email to InformationWeek.

Android disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Handheld Gaming to Crowd Mobile Space

In addition to Amazon’s plan to bring new cloud-game-ready Kindle Fire HD devices to market, toss in an expected Apple mini-iPad and upcoming Xbox-friendly Windows 8 phones. Also coming: a kid-centric PlayMG handheld and the larger Wikipad gaming tablet.

Spending on mobile wireless games in the U.S. is expected to grow from $990 million last year to $1.4 billion in 2016, estimates consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Wikipad will play Android games and PlayStation Mobile games from Sony. Sony’s recent acquisition of cloud-gaming company Gaikai also opens the possibility for streamed PlayStation-quality games on the tablet. “There is a big gap in the market for a crossover device that is really focused at the mobile gaming console market, but that happens to be a really good tablet as well.” says Wikipad CEO James Bower.

In contrast, the Android-based PlayMG handheld gaming device, which has a 4-inch touch-screen display, targets parents who want to wrest control of their smartphone or tablet from their children. Parents can load a digital wallet in the PlayMG so kids can buy games without a credit card. Priced at $169 and due this holiday season, the PlayMG device is being sold to Kickstarter supporters for $99.

GameStop has begun taking pre-orders for the $499 Wikipad, due to hit the market Oct. 31.


Android disruptive technology iPad mobile development mobile news

Amazon Develops Ad-based Tablet

The Wall Street Journal’s Greg Bensinger reports that  is planning to introduce a cheaper tablet computer focused on serving up ads, citing multiple unnamed sources.

Amazon and Google and other partners have been trying to make headway against the enormous dominance that Apple‘s  iPad has had in the market, but with little success so far. Price is among the major factors that analysts believe competitors can use to combat the iPad.

Bensinger writes it’s not exactly clear just what the device’s final price may be. The current Kindle Fire starts at $199, while the cheapest iPad starts at $399.

disruptive technology mobile news

China Rolls Out Mobile Browser

China’s dominant search engine Baidu Inc rolled out a mobile browser on Monday to help secure its share in a mobile Internet market that surpasses the U.S. population in size and to fend off smaller rivals such as Qihoo 360 Technology Co.

The Baidu Mobile Browser, which will compete with UCWeb Inc’s UC Browser, Google Inc’s Chrome and default Android browser, and Apple Inc’s Safari, is about 20 percent faster than its rivals based on internal tests, Li Mingyuan, Baidu’s general manager of mobile and cloud computing, told reporters on Friday at a pre-launch briefing.

However, the shift to mobile could pose problems for Baidu if it can’t find a way to make money from search traffic.  Baidu currently makes the bulk of its revenue from users searching from laptops and desktops.–sector.html