General Motors will introduces Apple’s chatty voice assistant Siri into several of its car models in 2013. The feature will be available to iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 owners, and Siri will be working through these cars’ standard Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system. Users will be able to make hands-free calls to contacts on their iPhone, play songs in their iTunes library, listen to, compose and send messages and add appointments to calendar.
FuzeBox launched Fuze for Mac, the world’s first native video-conferencing app for OS X. FuzeBox is one of the only apps that was built on Apple’s campus. By going native on the Mac, FuzeBox was able to add more features than it has in the browser-based version as well as take advantage of everything the Mac has to offer, including the retina screen.
Minimizing the likelihood that miscommunication could lead to lower quality medical care, Polyglot Med Spanish offers the immediate audio translation to over 3,000 common medical words, phrases, and assessment questions in both Spanish and English. The app is free and can be found in both the Apple AppStore and Google Play marketplaces.
YouTube has released an app optimized for the iPhone 5 and iPad, returning true, full-screen mode to users who have been without it since the launch of iOS 6 in September. YouTube was forced to launch its own independent app in September, but it was optimized only for iPhones and iPod Touches with 3.5-inch screens, not the 4-inch screens used for the iPhone 5 and latest generation of the iPod Touch. The app was also not optimized for iPads. YouTube also improved the general functionality of the app.
Company Wahoo Fitness developed RFLKT (pronounced “reflect”). It is an iPhone powered computer for street bikes expected to launch at the end of December or early January. The device attaches between the bike’s handle bars and it uses Bluetooth to connect to other devices. RFLKT shows you your biking stats, you can control your music, and more.
Google’s smartphone app team, Niantic Labs, has released a new multi-player game. Ingress — which is available for free download on Android via Google Play — turns your real-world location into a virtual world. The app requires actual movement and encourages you to get outside to unlock new features, weapons and adventures. This means if you are in Times Square, the app’s built-in scatter map technology knows where you are and adds a virtual layer to it. It leads you to real statues and landmarks to continue the game. The same principal applies to rural communities as well.
An update to the YouTube app for Android and Google TV gives you the option to automatically pair these devices. Google has been working on connecting Android devices with Google TVs for several years. Now you you can browse videos on your Android YouTube app and click the TV icon to play them on your Google TV
Macy’s has added a new feature to its iPhone app that provides indoor turn-by-turn directions for its massive flagship location in New York City’s Herald Square. The software startup Meridian is making two of its indoor positioning software development kits available to third-party developers, who can use it to build an indoor GPS experience into new or existing apps.
NBC Universal and American Express have partnered for a program that lets viewers use their mobile devices to buy stuff they see on TV. Zeebox, an iOS and Android app which NBC hopes to persuade viewers to download, allows consumers to click-to-buy items from an NBC-owned website. Zeebox’s app, which launched in the UK last November and has amassed 1.5 million users so far, became available in the U.S. last month after Comcast made an investment in the company.
Apple asked Scott Forstall to leave the company because Forstall refused to sign his name on a letter apologizing for Apple’s Maps app. The Wall Street Journal reports that Forstall (pictured), a 15-year veteran at Apple, wanted the company to address the poor reception for Maps without apologizing. However, CEO Tim Cook disagreed and sent an email to customers on Sept. 28 stating that Maps “fell short.”
Apple can no longer continue selling iPhone-branded products in Mexico, as of a Thursday ruling by courts in Mexico City. The court ruled against an injunction by Apple requesting that a Mexican company with the registered name iFone cease using their brand, in order to avoid possible confusion among customers. The Mexican company had registered its brand in 2003, four years before Apple’s registration for the iPhone brand name in the country.
The Android app was inspired by Dragon Go!, Nuance’s app for iOS; it performs similar functions to Siri, an intelligent voice-controlled personal assistant that works with iPhone 4S and 5. Dragon Mobile Assistant can help you send texts, make calls, set appointments and provides access to web content from more than 200 content providers. Dragon Mobile Assistant is currently available in beta (English only) for free on Google Play in the U.S. It supports Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and above.
A Russian online newspaper The Village has created “Parking Douche”, a mobile app created to highlight poor parking practices in Russia. Cell phone users can take a picture of the pesky car, type in a physical description and the license plate number, and send it to the paper. The Village will then post it as a pop-up advertisement on their webpage and — even more embarrassingly — the pop-up will only be posted for people who are reading within the immediate vicinity of the car (the idea being that someone will recognize the car and its owner). The app has won several awards, including the Grand Prix at the Golden Drum Awards for Mobile, Digital Campaigns, Mobile Campaigns and Innovative Campaigns; and the Silver Drum for Digital and New/Innovative.
Mobiplex, a Silicon Valley tech company, recently released a device called SwingTIP, which is a light-weight, Bluetooth-enabled clip that attaches to your golf club. It analyzes your swing and provides real time feedback. Inside the clip there is a wireless 3-D motion sensor that’s paired with an app. When you swing, the device analyzes 900 samples of data — including speed, swing tempo and the overall path of the clubhead — and produces a 3-D animation video for you to watch and critique afterwards. The app is available for free download on both iOS or Android.
The nPower PEG (Personal Energy Generator) turns your personal kinetic energy into electrical charges to keep devices fully juiced up. The more energy you create, the more you push into your phone. The device contains a weight, springs, and inductive coil that stores power in the internal battery with each movement you make.
Facebook has launched a new service that enables people to send gifts to friends through Facebook. People can choose a gift such as a Starbucks gift card, a Gund teddy bear or chocolate, select a friend to send it to, and add a card. The recipient of the gift enters his or her address, so the giver doesn’t have to worry about that. Facebook is tightly integrating the gift service through the site’s existing birthday reminders that show up on the side of the Facebook News Feed. Now you won’t forget your friend’s birthday and you can send him/her a gift even from your phone.
“It’s not about being connected, it’s about being connected with a purpose.” says Larry Irving at 2012 Social Good Summit. Irving referred to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and how many people sent money through text messaging. People are monitoring climate change in arctic areas, taking pictures of the degradation of nature caused by oil spills in the Gulf region and conducting blood analysis — all through mobile devices.
The new update for Apple’s operating system, iOS6, was release today without the usual built-in YouTube and Google Map apps, which have been native to the iPhone since their first release. Apple assures that you can still access YouTube via the browser. On the other hand, Google released its own YouTube app last week (though it’s ready only for iPhone, not iPad users). The real bumps in the road, however, may come with the introduction of Apple’s updated Maps app.
Catherine Wong is a 17-year-old high school student from New Jersey who was a finalist in the second annual Google Science Fair for creating a Bluetooth-enabled device that allows for remote cardiac examination. Wong successfully created a cell-phone compatible wireless EKG prototype with the hope of giving some of the millions of people in this world with limited medical access, but who have cellphones, a way to get their heart tested.
BlackBerry owners will finally be able to enjoy some Facebook capabilities that iPhone and Android users can enjoy on the Facebook app. RIM has rolled out a new Facebook update for BlackBerry smartphones (version 3.2), featuring a more personalized look and support for birthday alerts and events. The app is already available for download and it can provide birthday reminders of Facebook friends on the home screen of the mobile device, even without opening the Facebook app. Also, there is more enhanced support for events, upcoming happenings, and event notifications from your BlackBerry smartphone.
Google Maps has gotten even better with new turn-by-turn navigation with traffic conditions, biking directions, Map Maker, and new Street View imagery for more than 150 university campuses globally. They recently released Google Maps Navigation (Beta) as a free and accessible app to any smartphone user running Android 2.2 or later, with voice guided, turn-by-turn directions in thousands of towns across India. Google Maps Navigation takes advantage of your mobile Internet connection and Google’s comprehensive map data to help you plan your journeys with confidence.
Mobile security company Lookout has revealed its State of Mobile Security Report 2012. This report analyzed threat detection rates for its user base over a 12-month period. The new study suggests that the likelihood of contracting mobile malware is largely dependent on your geographic location. Lookout found that the likelihood of contracting mobile malware is 41% in Russia, compared to about 5% in the U.S. Meanwhile, the percentage is significantly lower in Japan (0.04%).
Mobile device increased usage has changed the way companies do online marketing. Consumers are often accessing websites from their mobile devices. Tablets are getting more popular and more affordable; then there are the tablet/phone hybrids that are now on the market made popular by Samsung and Google Galaxy. Now days, web developers have to keep in mind all these facts and build websites that are accessible to users via smartphones and they should follow Google’s recommendations on how to produce smartphone-optimized content.