Categories
Android mobile news

Current Smartphone market: Android 81%, iOS 12.9%, WP 3.6%, BB 1.7%, Others 0.6%

The latest market intelligence from analysts at IDC sees Google’s mobile operating system Android reaching more than 80pc global market share for the first time, while Apple seems to be suffering for its smaller screen sizes.

 

http://www.siliconrepublic.com/business/item/34832-android-takes-more-than/

Categories
resource

Wolfram announces ‘most important’ project: a general-purpose programming language, like C++ or Java, that can be used to create a variety of different applications.

The power of Wolfram Alpha — the intelligent search engine that can answer natural language questions and solve complex math problems — is being built into an upcoming programming language that its founder, Stephen Wolfram, says will be incredibly easy to use. The language, Wolfram writes, is “a way to go from an idea to a fully deployed realization in an absurdly short time.” It’s called Wolfram Language, and it’s an evolution of what’s been used inside of his company Wolfram’s popular Mathematica software for over 25 years now.

 

http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/14/5103446/wolfram-language-announced-intelligent-knowledge-based-programming

Categories
iPhone mobile news usability

App unlocks Mac with two thumps on your iPhone

A new iOS app, Knock, uses Bluetooth low energy technology to let you skip over the password process on a Mac and simply tap the back of your iPhone. The founders of ‘Knock’ want to make getting into your computer as easy as rapping your knuckles through the pocket of your jeans.

The iOS app is $3.99 and works in conjunction with a free Mac counterpart.For the app to work (which it does with moderate regularity in my limited experience), your iPhone must have the app running in the background at all times. However, the phone does not need to be unlocked to register the knocking.

Here is a promotional video for further explanation.

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57610972-94/knock-knock-app-unlocks-mac-with-two-thumps-on-your-iphone/

Categories
iPhone

Theremin I/O turns your iPhone into a touchless music instrument

Theremin uses your iPhone’s camera and flash to measure light reflected off your hand. This signal is then passed in to the synthesizer, creating a tone. Theremin uses your iPhone’s camera and flash to measure light reflected off your hand. This signal is then passed in to the synthesizer, creating a tone. Theremin ships with 8 default effects. Sound like Wall-E or create a symphony. We’ll keep adding effects in future releases. Playing a theremin can be hard – that’s why we bundle a harmony quantizer that snaps the frequency to a note. Create your own scale or select one from the many presets.

 

http://theremin.io/

Categories
Android usability

Cover introduces Android lock screen customization

Cover, the product of ex-Facebook, Google, and Yahoo engineers, replaces your default Android lock screen with one that knows where you are and what time of day it is to provide you with quick shortcuts to the apps you use the most in each scenario. For instance, when you are at work, Cover might put Gmail, Calendar, and Dropbox icons right on your lock screen, while at home it might replace those with Netflix, YouTube, and Sonos apps. The system learns your behavior, and after a few days of use, it puts the most used apps at the top of its vertical list.

Cover is a good start. We’ve been testing it on a number of Android smartphones, and performance is impressive; scrolling is smooth, the app is quick and responsive, and it doesn’t use a whole lot of resources, even with its Peek and quick app-switching features.

The app was built from scratch in a mere seven months. Right now, the app is most useful for right-handed people — all of the gestures and layouts work best using your right thumb. It’s not possible to pin or customize the app shortcuts on the lock screen (that is a planned feature in Cover’s roadmap), and there’s plenty of empty space that can be used for things such as upcoming calendar appointments and message previews.

 

http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/24/5024652/cover-android-lock-screen-context-movement

Categories
Android iPhone mobile news usability

Smartphone notifications via smell of bacon

 

Scentee wants to expand your smartphone horizons and add smell to the senses your phone already stimulates. The plug-in accessory attaches to headphone socket on both iPhones and Android smartphones and, when told to by the companion app, releases a burst of fragrance, paired with a customizable LED light.

In no particular order, aromas include rose, mint, cinnamon roll, bacon, coffee, curry, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lavender, apple, coconut, strawberry and, corn soup.

 

http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/25/scentee-accessory-smell-android-ios/

Categories
mobile news

T-Mobile making changes in the mobile provider market

This tiny carrier that once seemed content to just barely scrape by is now a leader forcing enormous rivals to follow or risk losing waves of subscribers to the scrappy wireless service provider. Following T-Mobile’s last Uncarrier moves, AT&T and Verizon each unveiled their own copycat programs almost immediately.

“The cost of staying connected across borders is completely crazy,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said of his company’s move to provide free unlimited data roaming around the world. “Today’s phones are designed to work around the world, but we’re forced to pay insanely inflated international connectivity fees to actually use them. You can’t leave the country without coming home to bill shock. So we’re making the world your network – at no extra cost.”

 

http://bgr.com/2013/10/10/t-mobile-free-international-roaming-analysis/

Categories
mobile news

Voting with Mobile-ID in Estonia

As you may know Estonia has really great digital identity infrastructure. Citizens can sign fully legal documents either with their ID-card or with  Mobile-ID. While the first is more common, the latter may need some explanation and examples. In both cases there are certificates on the chip (on the SIM-card) and they’re protected with strong crypto. The private certs and keys never leave the chip. For proper authentication 2 things are needed:
– your certificate (on the chip)
– your PIN-code that unlocks the private key on the chip

 

http://measure9.varkel.net/2013/10/voting-with-mobile-id-in-estonia-how-it-looks/

Categories
mobile news

Introducing Vertu’s new Android OS smartphone: Constellation

With the Ti liberating Vertu from the Symbian shackles, it was only a matter of time before the luxury phone maker released its second Android device. The Constellation, as it’s called (instead of “Constellation V” as listed by the FCC), takes a small but bold step away from Vertu’s usual design language, as it lacks the iconic ceramic pillow on the earpiece. What it gains instead is the largest piece of tough sapphire glass that Vertu — or any phone maker for that matter — has ever crafted, as well as a layer of soft but durable calf leather wrapping around the Grade 5 titanium body. It’ll also come in five colors: dark brown, orange (our favorite so far), black, light brown and cherry.

Vertu’s CEO Massimiliano Pogliani told us that this “less is more” approach is to have a more neutral, less showy offer that he believes will appeal to a larger audience.

“It tested extremely well [in study groups] in China and Russia,” said the exec. “In terms of design and appearance, it is being luxury but not too bling, too wild, too pushy, so I’m very happy and very confident.”

Vertu's new Constellation is its second Android phone, and you still can't afford it

Vertu's new Constellation is its second Android phone, and you still can't afford it

Of course, the relatively more affordable €4,900 (about $6,630) Constellation will co-exist with the more masculine Ti that comes with extra goodies.

“The service proposition is also different,” continued Pogliani. “You want the full monty, concierge? You go for the Ti. You want a more easy approach, still belong to the group with privileged access, sleekier design, more unisex? You go for the Constellation.”

In terms of specs, the Constellation is actually slightly more powerful than the Ti. For one, it comes with a newer but still lightly customized Android 4.2, which runs on top of a larger 4.3-inch 720p display and a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 SoC — but with a more powerful graphics processor than the Ti’s MSM8260A, so this is likely the MSM8260A Pro with Adreno 320. There are also a 13-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, a 1.3-megapixel front imager, a larger 1,800mAh battery (which is, sadly, still dwarfed by many new phones) and the usual radios like NFC, WiFi plus Bluetooth 4.0 (with aptX audio support). On the cellular side you get WCDMA 850/900/1700/1900/2100, so it’ll work just fine on AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks.

Vertu's new Constellation is its second Android phone, and you still can't afford it

Alas, you only get 32GB of built-in storage instead of 64GB, and there’s still no LTE radio to please the speed freaks (though this is good news for the battery), as many of Vertu’s active markets lack LTE service. The pin-eject SIM tray is also a slight let-down compared to Vertu’s more convenient pop-out back panel on previous models, so hopefully the latter is here to stay.

As part of the Vertu Certainty offering, the Constellation comes with the option to subscribe to “a unique offer of global, unlimited Wi-Fi access” from iPass, as well as an advanced version of Kaspersky anti-virus app. Users can also sign up with security company Protector Services Group to enable personal tracking and an alert button on the phone, which can be very handy if you’re entering a high risk area — especially for insurance purposes. Like the Ti, the newer phone also supports Silent Circle’s encrypted VoIP call service, and it’ll soon include encrypted instant messaging, too.

For those interested, the Constellation will be available in select Vertu boutiques starting this month, but you’re advised to make an appointment ahead of time should you wish to check it out. You’ll probably also want to start looking into suitcases that can carry all your cash.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/01/canada-stolen-phones-blacklist-database/

Categories
mobile news

Pantech Vega LTE-A gains fingerprint-based mobile payments

Thanks to the hard work of two South Korean companies, the Pantech Vega LTE-A picks up the ability to pay for goods by authenticating with your fingerprint. This news comes from Danal, a mobile payment provider, which tapped the fingerprint technologies of Crucialtec to create the BarTong app. While the concept of fingerprint-based payments isn’t entirely new, it’s claimed to be an industry first for the mobile phone. The BarTong app is currently exclusive to South Korea, but its creator is looking to expand the payment service into the US and China. Naturally, Danal may want to hold off until fingerprint readers become more widespread in smartphones, but we certainly won’t fault the company for being ambitious.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/02/pantech-vega-lte-a-gains-fingerprint-payments/

Categories
mobile news

Mobile apps linked to messaging services are taking over the two most important Asian app markets, Japan and Korea.

Mobile apps linked to messaging services are taking over the two most important Asian app markets, Japan and Korea. Today, nine out of the ten biggest revenue generators on South Korea’s Google Play app chart are Kakao apps. It is effectively becoming impossible to launch a major hit in the Korean app market unless you use Kakao’s messaging app as your platform. This in turn means that everyone interested in mobile apps is using Kakao. The messaging app has turned into the dominant platform for game distribution.

According to The Hindu, people in India now spend 27 minutes per day on chat apps, up from 7 minutes just two years earlier. Their share of the daily leisure time of consumers is rapidly expanding. This will inevitably give messaging app vendors a golden chance to turn into content delivery companies. And to stage a serious offensive against Facebook, Twitter and Google.

http://bgr.com/2013/09/26/mobile-messaging-app-analysis/

Categories
Android

FOAP wants to pay Android user for their photos

Foap, the royalty free stock photo market, has had an app available on iOS devices for a while, but on Wednesday, September 18th, the app finally made its way to Android. With Foap, you aren’t limited to purchasing stock photos, though — you can sell your own pictures as well. It’s as simple as logging in with your Facebook account or creating an account with your email address and then uploading your cell phone shots to the market. The photos are reviewed by the community, and if they are approved, they will officially go on sale. For each $10 unlimited license of the photo someone buys, you make $5. But that’s not the best part. There’s even more money to be made with huge brands such as Sony, Puma and Axe offering hundreds or even thousands of dollars in photo missions, which task amateur photographers with taking very specific photos that the brands will then buy.

 

http://bgr.com/2013/09/24/foap-for-android-pay-take-photos/

Categories
disruptive technology mobile news

Republic Wireless offers new phone and new data plans

Republic Wireless, a startup that launched in 2011 with unlimited cellphone service for $19 a month, is growing up. The carrier is overhauling its plans, introducing LTE data service, and, most importantly, offering its customers a true, quality smartphone that isn’t an embarrassment to carry around. That phone is the Moto X, and it will soon be available for $299 without a contract.

 

To go alongside the new hardware, the carrier is offering new plans as well. All offer unlimited talk, text, and data over Wi-Fi (though there’s no proper MMS support). The most expensive plan, at $40 per month, lets you use Sprint’s nascent LTE network when Wi-Fi isn’t available, and a $25 plan uses Sprint’s 3G CDMA service instead in those situations. A $10 plan doesn’t let you use data if you’re outside range of Wi-Fi hotspots (but still lets you make calls and send texts when traveling). Lastly, a $5 plan only works when you’re on Wi-Fi. Republic hasn’t revealed when the Moto X and its new service plans will be available, but it should be soon.

 

http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/19/4748032/republic-wireless-moto-x-off-contract-price-launch

Categories
mobile news

Google makes Office editing free on iOS/Android

Google made Quickoffice—its app for creating and editing Microsoft Office documents—free to all users of iPhones, iPads, and Android devices with a Google account.

A free version of Quickoffice doesn’t really change the competitive balance between Office 365 and Google Apps for Business, since both cloud services cost money anyway. But it does give Google users one less reason to pay for the ability to create and edit Microsoft Office documents on mobile devices.

 

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/09/microsoft-wont-make-office-editing-free-on-iosandroid-so-google-does/

Categories
mobile news

Microsoft Mobile Developers Face OS Challenges

A report released today entitled “Entering the Brave New World of Mobile Apps” emphasizes both the demand Windows developers are facing for mobile software as well as the reality that the two platforms most in demand by their users are Google Android and Apple iOS, not Windows platforms, which rank third and fourth in the survey. The report was authored by Dimensional Research and sponsored by software development tools vendor Embarcadero Technologies. Participants included 1,337 persons involved in Windows desktop application development, either as developers, engineers, or development managers.

The survey found that 85 percent of respondents had requests for mobile applications, which involve mobile capabilities for existing applications, new applications altogether, or replacing existing mobile systems. Android was the most requested platform, with 83 percent getting requests for it, followed by iOS (67 percent); Windows Phone (33 percent), Windows RT (13 percent), and RIM BlackBerry (14 percent).

 

 

http://www.infoworld.com/t/mobile-development/reality-windows-developers-users-want-android-ios-apps-226578

Categories
mobile news

Fast-Food Chains use App to pay for meals

McDonald’s is currently testing out a mobile app that would let customers order food and pay from their phones.  The app would let customers order and pay online and pick up their food curbside, in the store, or through the drive-thru window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-11/at-fast-food-chains-paying-by-app-makes-for-happier-meals