Iron Man couldn’t save smartphone sales and he couldn’t save the jobs of two key HTC executives, either. The company’s CMO and Engineering head are both out of the picture, leaving the company with some big gaps to fill. Read more »
Hit an Apple Store in Japan and you can digitally purchase in-store credits for all things Apple. The new program, called iTunes Pass, could hint at Apples larger mobile payment ambitions. Read more »
Mediatek makes a lot of chips for inexpensive Android smartphones, but its latest system on a chip has features commonly associated with more cutting-edge mobile chips. Read more »
Kosta Grammatis, who believes broadband is a fundamental human right that should be available to everyone, has a new startup and business model. The startup, Oluvus, buys bandwidth from an undisclosed telco and then offers free mobile phone service to the U.S. The hope is that people will shell out for extra services and fund broadband services for other parts of the world. The model reminds me of Toms Shoes, where each purchased pair of shoes pays for a pair for a needy child. Whether or not Grammatis succeeds, the Wired article detailing his efforts and failures is worth a read.
The agreement will make it easier for companies using Thinfilm’s NFC barcodes and sensor-equipped labels on their products to manage the data flowing from those items, through Evrythng’s identity management platform. Read more »
This week we are all about internet of things standards and certifications as we welcome the head of the AllSeen Alliance to the show and discuss a new radio certification introduced by Samsung, Nest, ARM and others. Read more »
That didn’t take too long: Star Trek fans with Android Wear smartwatches can already download and install a free watchface based on the fictional LCARS computer interface of the U.S.S. Enterprise from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Daniele Bonaldo created and uploaded the “Starwatch” app to Google Play on Monday night, announcing the custom design on his Google+ page. The watch face displays the time, date and — just for kicks — the Unix Epoch, which is the total number of seconds (not counting leap seconds, of course!) since 0:00:00 Coordinated Universal Time on January 1, 1970.
A terrible Google+ experience keeps me from using Windows Phone handsets full time. This weekend, I tried gPlus — a Metro client for Google’s social service — and it (along with Windows Phone 8.1) is good enough for me to keep my SIM in a Lumia 930. Read more »
Startup BloomSky is making personal weather stations that link to a larger crowdsourced climate network. It hopes one day to tell you temperature and rainfall on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood level. Read more »
After its “Scroogled” ad campaign against Chromebooks, Microsoft is now reiterating it has “a great value proposition against” Google’s Chrome OS laptops. Look for $99 Windows tablets and sub-$200 Windows laptops later this year as Microsoft rallies the troops. Read more »
Launching third-party Android Wear apps by voice doesn’t always work and searching through menus to get at them isn’t ideal either. Enter Wear Mini Launcher, a touch-friendly app launcher for Google-powered smartwatches. Read more »
Apple has put a dedicated beacon device through FCC testing, but as it is outlined in the documents, the product seems clunky and odd. Read more »
One of the product leads behind both Google Glass and Google’s smart contact lenses is moving on to Amazon. What new project might Jeff Bezos be cooking up that might focus on giving vision to products? Read more »
Production challenges for a 5.5-inch handset could see Apple launch just a single new iPhone model this year says one analyst. That’s not necessarily a problem: Apple may not need to debut two larger iPhones for continued success. Read more »
Samsung has suspended business with a supplier called Dongguan Shinyang Electronics, after China Labor Watch (CLW) exposed the apparent use of child labor in Shinyang’s factory (along with other labor violations including a lack of necessary safety equipment) four days ago. On Monday, Samsung said it had regularly audited the factory and found no cases of child labor, but an investigation following the CLW report showed “evidences of illegal hiring practices.” If the investigation concludes child labor was used, Samsung said it will scrap its contract with Shinyang. Chinese authorities are also examining the allegations, the manufacturer added.
Coming soon from Amazon Web Services: ERP? CRM? E-mail ? I’m betting yes, well, because, why not? The week in cloud. Read more »
Got a Linux box at home or at work? Now you can access it remotely through the Chrome browser or from a Chrome OS device. On this week’s podcast, we discuss the new beta support for Linux in the Chrome Remote Desktop app. Read more »
When planning a trip with family and friends, keeping up with each member’s last minute schedule changes can be time consuming. Using the following iOS tips will help by keeping everyone well informed during the event. Read more »
A new Senate bill proposes a way for companies to fulfill 40-year old FCC device labeling requirements by showing certifications digitally, on a device’s screen. Read more »
By revamping the E-Rate rules, the FCC is making it easier for schools to get funding for Wi-Fi networks, but overall funding levels for internet access in schools remain the same. Read more »
News that Chromecast now officially supports Android screen mirroring got a lot of people very excited this week — followed by disappointment by some who had to find out that their Android device isn’t officially supported yet. An unofficial, experimental hack just published on the XDA Developers Forum brings the functionality, which lets users beam anything happening on their phone or tablet screen to their Chromecast-equipped TV, to plenty of additional devices, including the Moto G, Moto X and the first-generation Nexus 7. However, devices have to be rooted in order to get this to work — and with anything of this nature, it’s not for the faint of heart.
Caribbean operator Digicel is the latest carrier to take exception to its customers trading its voice services for OTT apps. It’s trying to block VoIP, but Viber is still getting through. Read more »
According to a new report, bigger phones are starting to cut into the sales of 7- and 8-inch tablets. Read more »
Chinese media, which tend to toe the government line, have already cast aspersions on Microsoft’s Windows 8, IBM’s servers and pretty much the entire U.S. tech industry. Read more »
The Samsung Z, which will be the first smartphone to run Samsung’s homegrown Tizen operating system, has suffered another setback. The device was supposed to be launched first in Russia in conjunction, with a Tizen developer’s conference taking place in Moscow. However, no device has been launched, and Samsung told the Wall Street Journal that “the smartphone will appear on the Russian market later, when we can offer our users a [sic] fullest portfolio of applications.” Earlier this year, a device running Tizen was supposed be released in Japan, but the launch was canned after carriers pulled out.
Syntonic is launching an app store in which no content consumed counts against your data plan. The store is the latest example of new business models coming out of AT&T’s controversial sponsored data program. Read more »
Samsung’s newest processor includes an LTE radio, a first for the Korean giant. Read more »
Attention people with ideas for connected products: We want to send 30 of you to Gigaom’s Structure Connect event in October and give you space to show off your connected device in our Garage@Connect program. Read more »
Encrypted communications outfit Silent Circle, which has telco distribution deals for its secure voice app and $30 million funding in the bank, has introduced the ability to call out to regular phone numbers while maintaining a modicum of security. The “Out-Circle” feature lets users make calls to 79 countries that are encrypted between the device and Silent Circle’s servers, then sent out to the normal phone network. That means calls are secure in the country where the caller is, even if they’re not on the recipient’s side – useful in certain circumstances, and certainly more secure than Skype. Plans start at $12.95 for 100 minutes.
Amazon is fighting the government over claims that it let kids buy digital goods without their parents’ permission — even though Apple settled over similar accusations. The court case will be a test of strength for the FTC. Read more »
Dish Network has signaled to the FCC that it wants to go after even more spectrum. It will participate in two upcoming auctions to get more airwaves, including the controversial incentive auction. Read more »
A new update to Google’s camera app allows users to trigger the camera on their phone on a Google Wear smartwatch. Read more »
Microsoft’s CEO weighs in six months into his new gig with a call to action that is, frankly, not new. Read more »
Taiwanese semiconductor giant is shipping chips to Apple for inclusion in the upcoming iPhone, according to the Wall Street Journal. Previously, Samsung was the Apple’s sole iOS semiconductor partner. Read more »
FreedomPop’s free mobile voice and data plans have taken off in the U.S. so the MVNO is trying its luck in Europe. It will launch in Belgium this year and expand to other countries in 2015 Read more »
New Relic is launching Insights real-time analytics tool in a bid to bring smart data analytics to mere mortals. Read more »
About the Android screen fragmentation issue that’s been bandied around for years: It’s a myth says one developer because Google has long ago introduced tools to let apps adjust icons and layouts based on screen size and pixel density. Read more »
The new wrist-worn fitness tracker from Adidas eschews typical smartwatch features, like a screen, for a fitness-focused experience. Read more »
Ten months after announcing acquisition, PayPal has merged it and Braintree’s payments platform and developer operations. Startups and big companies alike now can offer PayPal services and Braintree’s card processing through as single API. Read more »
You may think the U.S. fell short on telecom competition, but in Mexico a single company has long dominated the communications landscape: América Móvil. It services 70 percent of all mobile connections and 80 percent of all landline phone links in the country. But billionaire Carlos Slim, the carrier’s controlling owner, is bowing to regulator pressure and is divesting substantial portions of Slim’s empire, according to Bloomberg. The sales and spin offs will reduce América Móvil’s market share in mobile and wireline to below 50 percent, as well as remove it from the communications tower and satellite TV businesses. It doesn’t look as if América Móvil’s substantial operations in Latin America or the U.S. (where it owns prepaid giant TracFone) will be affected.