Stories for Aug. 13, 2014
In Brief

fire phone

A new service called Live App Testing is available for programmers making apps that run on Amazon’s FireOS devices. Live App Testing allows beta versions of such apps that developers can distribute to users who own a Kindle Fire, Fire Phone or Fire TV says Android Central. Amazon announced the Live App Testing initiative through its developer blog on Wednesday noting that end users can be invited to install and beta test applications, helping developers ensure they run properly on Amazon hardware. In that regard, Amazon’s Live App Testing is similar to programs currently available or planned for Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS platforms.

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In Brief

The steady drip of new members to the AllSeen Alliance continues. Industrial sensor and consumer appliance maker Bosch, Cloud of Things, home hub maker Revolv and building management service Shaspa have joined the effort to promote the open source AllJoyn protocol as a standard for the internet of things. Adding Bosch is significant because it brings another large appliance brand to existing members LG, Sears and Panasonic, and the addition of Revolv is also interesting since the common thinking is a protocol like AllJoyn might one day replace hubs. For more on the Alliance, check out the recent podcast I did with Liat Ben-Zur, the head of the Alliance.

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Stories for Aug. 12, 2014
In Brief

Uber and Lyft are at each other’s throats. After the CNN report yesterday that Uber employees had ordered and canceled more than 5,000 Lyft rides, Uber released a statement to The New York Times saying Lyft employees had done the same to Uber drivers 12,900 times. It didn’t explain how it reached that number. Uber did, however, claim that Lyft’s investors are upset that Uber won’t acquire it. One of those investors, Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Weiss, refuted and told The New York Times, “There’s never been a conversation to say, ‘Let’s go pressure Uber to buy Lyft,’ to my knowledge.”

Original photo by Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media. Adapted under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license from Wikipedia.

Illustration of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Original photo by Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media. Adapted under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license from Wikipedia.

In Brief

photo: Android Police

You won’t see mention of it in the release notes, but the latest version of Google+ for Android now has a Chromecast button. Android Police spotted the Chromecast icon and says you can cast a main Google+ stream to a television over Wi-Fi using Google’s $35 Chromecast dongle. Using your Android phone or tablet, you can scroll through your feed — just the “Everything” feed at the moment — or let the app automatically scroll as new content becomes available. We’ve seen situations in the past where the Chromecast icon appeared and disappeared, so it’s possible Google is just testing the feature for now.

In Brief

Yandex on Jolla

Finnish handset maker Jolla has begun offering its Sailfish OS-based smartphone in Hong Kong through the carrier 3. This is the first notable Asian channel for Jolla — when the merry band of ex-Nokians were first developing their Meego-derived platform, they were set to have a huge distribution deal through Chinese retailer D.Phone, but that didn’t pan out. Jolla handsets, which can run Android as well as Sailfish apps, will also soon be on offer through Indian retailer Snapdeal. According to recent reports, Jolla is looking to hire former Nokia employees recently laid off by Microsoft, to support its international expansion.

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