The $19 billion Facebook is paying for WhatsApp makes it seem like a desperate move to retain users, but it is also a sign that Mark Zuckerberg is more than willing to disrupt his own company rather than letting others do so Read more »
Alcatel-Lucent says it’s begun deploying its tiny capacity-boosting base stations in Verizon’s network, and Ericsson is probably is doing the same. Don’t expect the big small cell deployment we’re seeing from AT&T, though. Read more »
For a web-based computer, Chrome OS devices aren’t yet showing much overall web traffic. That’s the gist of Chitika’s latest report although the share of Chrome OS usage has doubled in five months. Read more »
Fleksy’s iOS keyboard app SDK is now available to all developers, increasing the potential to bring a better typing experience to your iOS device. Read more »
Shop [x] for Glass is an early alpha app that isn’t looking to reinvent shopping lists; it simply wants to bring them closer to your field of vision so that you don’t have to stare at a smartphone while shopping. Read more »
Samsung is expected to introduce the Galaxy in less than a week, and a new report suggests it could hit store shelves shortly thereafter. Read more »
HTC has a trio of wearables in the works: a possible rebadge of the Toq, a music-playing bracelet and perhaps most intriguing, a watch built around Google Now. Read more »
The carrier group is being unusually smart about taking on the threat of rivals like WhatsApp and Viber, offering one major thing they don’t: the ability to communicate outside the walled garden. Read more »
Facebook’s blockbuster $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp won’t necessarily kick off a consolidation wave. There aren’t that many more major OTT players left in the market that aren’t focused on Asia. Read more »
There’s a new Microsoft Surface 2 model on the way and this one will have LTE built in. An FCC filing was spotted by Dave Zatz who tweeted out the news and Engadget was able to dig up the details. The only difference seems to be the LTE support from AT&T; Microsoft had previously said the Windows RT device would arrive with LTE in 2014, although it hasn’t said what the extra cost would be. While FCC certification isn’t a product launch guarantee, I’d expect the Surface 2 with LTE to launch between now and Microsoft’s April Build event, bringing more mobile freedom to the tablet.
Visa and Mastercard are bypassing the smart card in NFC phones used to verify transactions, moving those credentials into the cloud. The result will be a lot more apps that can take advantage of contactless payments. Read more »
Why bother getting low scores on an addictive iPad game when you can build a robot to play — likely better — for you? That’s what Tom Randle did for Leap Sheep using an iPad, Arduino board, sensors and tablet styli. Read more »
The biggest bogeyman of any cellular network is interference, but Perlman’s new startup Artemis Networks claims to make interference work for a network, not against it. Read more »
While discussing plans for the mobile flavor of Ubuntu, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth made a very interesting aside remark about Apple in a conference call on Wednesday. Read more »
Meizu and BQ, which you will be forgiven for not recognizing, will be the first manufacturers to release Ubuntu mobile devices, and Canonical claims bigger names will follow in 2015. Read more »
Sometimes it makes sense to not reinvent the wheel. It looks like Microsoft is taking heed of that advice with its new Action Center for Windows Phone 8.1, which looks just like Android’s quick settings. Read more »
Mobile wallet startup Loop has launched its iPhone app and is selling its credit-card emulating fob and iPhone case on its websites. I gave a Loop a spin this week, and it works as advertised. Read more »
It ought to be pretty difficult to actually lose your keys, bag or other personal belongings if you have a Nokia Treasure Tag. The small device measures 30 millimeters square and 10 millimeters thick. Inside are both Bluetooth and NFC, which are used to pair with and communicate with a Windows Phone. A Treasure Tag app will alert your phone if you’re ever more than 30 feet from the Treasure Tag, and therefore from the attached object. Nokia is offering the Treasure Tags in four colors for $29.90 each in April. The app supports up to four Tags and if your belongings are left behind, you can track their last location using Nokia Here maps.
The strategic partnership is important for Silent Circle, as it promises to make the encrypted Skype rival much more usable by widening its pool of users. Read more »
Based on a leaked press image, it appears the next HTC One will indeed have a pair of rear cameras and dual-LED flash. One could be for low-light pictures while the other would be used for more general purposes. Read more »
The LG G2 Mini is only half an inch smaller – but a lot less impressive on the inside – than its predecessor. Read more »
Thanks to a new audio stack, Voxeet offers “3DHD” sound with wideband audio codecs for improved conference call clarity. The updated app makes it easy to schedule calls and switch between devices while talking to the group. Read more »
Legal issues forced Microsoft to rename SkyDrive, which it’s now officially pushing worldwide as OneDrive with some new features and, yes, free stuff. Read more »
Are you sure you’re using the right mobile phone carrier? Glove for Android is a free app that helps you answer that question by analyzing your usage patterns for three days and comparing them to a crowdsourced database of network information. Read more »
Windows desktop, meet the cloud. And what runs in the cloud generally runs on a Chromebook. Tune in to this week’s Chrome Show podcast to hear more about Windows on Chromebooks and new Chromecast apps in the works. Read more »
Yandex.Kit, for which there are already two takers, includes rivals to Google Maps, Play Store, Chrome and more. Read more »
Connecting your home may seem daunting, but is there enough value in connecting a lamp or a coffee maker to make smart outlets an entry point to the internet of things for mainstream consumers? Read more »
USA Today says that Samsung is ditching Android in favor of Tizen for the next Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Read more »
The Magic Kingdom will use the mobile industry’s latest network sorcery. AT&T is installing tiny base stations throughout Disney World and Disney Land to boost mobile voice and data capacity throughout the theme parks. Read more »
A better way to organize Chrome apps is in the works and you can see what it looks like now. Dragging and dropping one app on top of another creates a folder inside the Chrome app launcher. Read more »
The latest Galaxy S5 leak further suggests the phone will come packing a 16-megapixel camera. Read more »
Opera is getting ready to release its mobile data compression app Max to a wider audience: The browser maker opened up preregistration for a beta test of the Android app Tuesday, promising that the app will help users to get the most out of their data […] Read more »
Why should iOS and Android devices have all the Chromecast fun? Windows Phone owners can check out Tube Cast, a bare-bones app to stream YouTube videos to a Chromecast that shows potential. Read more »
Got an older Samsung smartphone or tablet? You still might get Android KitKat 4.4.2 according to the company, which announced a full list of devices that will see the software update beginning today. Some are nearly two years old, which is surprising as many devices 18 months old or more typically don’t receive updates. Here’s the full list for the U.S. market: Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy S4 zoom, Galaxy S III, Galaxy S III mini, Galaxy Mega, Galaxy Light, Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Tab 3, Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.
HTC’s new program promises the latest Android updates, free Google Drive storage and one-time screen replacement for its One line of smartphones. Read more »
IBM and AT&T are teaming up to share and analyze smart city and utility data so municipalities can react to traffic incidences, energy demand and other potential problems in real time. Through the partnership AT&T will handle the sensor communications and tracking happening over the cellular network and IBM will bring its analytics platforms into play. The two companies are going to build out apps for cities, so right now there’s not a lot to see here except for the possibilities.
Although Windows Phone already has a solid software keyboard, improvements never hurt. Windows Phone 8.1 will reportedly bring a swipe keyboard to the platform according to this video of the leaked software. Read more »
The patent describes a headphone-based monitoring system that can detect metrics such as heart rate, perspiration and temperature. Read more »
Irish game development and publishing company King, best known for creating freemium smash hit “Candy Crush Saga,” filed for an IPO Tuesday. The company, which hopes to raise $500 million, pulled in $1.9 billion in 2013 and says 78 percent of its total gross bookings last year came from Candy Crush Saga, which launched on mobile in November 2012. King’s revenues in 2012 were just $164 million. King says 70 percent of its gross bookings — which it defines as the total amount its users pay for virtual items and access to skill tournaments — are on mobile, and just 4 percent of users (roughly 12 million) regularly make in-game purchases.
The early adopter set and tech darlings can’t stop talking about the internet of things, but the normal consumers of the world aren’t getting excited about connected diapers or coffee makers just yet. Read more »