Mobile

quicker access to new info

chrome beta pull to refreshI’ve long been a fan of the “pull to refresh” gesture used on mobile apps and now you can find it Chrome for Android. You’ll need the latest beta version of Chrome — which you can install from the Google Play Store separately from the standard edition — and once you have it, you can quickly refresh a mobile web page. Just pull the browser down from the top of the page and you’ll see the web site reloaded with fresh information. If you’re further down the page, you can still manually refresh of course; tap the menu button in the address bar to see the old refresh button.

Landlines want SMS, too

ZipWhip, a startup that is extending SMS beyond the mobile phone, has raised a $5 million Series B round led by Chicago private equity firm Ronin Capital. ZipWhip has a cloud-based messaging platform that’s able to route text and multimedia messages to and from any landline number, whether it’s linked to a home phone or business. Consumers or businesses can then access those messages from a browser or app.

Not the best timing

The theoretically super-secure Blackphone had a very serious bug in its SilentText chat app, security researcher Mark Dowd revealed Wednesday after informing the phone’s makers. The vulnerability in Silent Text, which is also available for other devices from Blackphone backer Silent Circle, made it possible for attackers to decrypt messages, take over Silent Circle accounts, gather contacts and location data, and basically take over the phone. The flaw was patched before Dowd went public, and Silent Circle has expressed its gratitude. Probably not the best publicity for the firm as it criticizes other apps for their excessive permission demands on Data Privacy Day, though.

Leave the quarters at home

Add another 200,000 locations to the list of where you can use Apple Pay. USA Technologies announced Tuesday a national rollout of Apple Pay support on “coffee brewers, vending machines, kiosks, laundry equipment, parking pay stations and other self-serve appliances” that the company provides payment technologies for in the U.S. Apple Pay is rolling out at a fast pace, helped in large part of course by the many iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones that the company has sold since September. Later today we’ll know how many handsets Apple sold in its most recent quarter, but I’ll place my guess now: around 68.5 million of them, with most of them sold in China, even though Apple Pay isn’t yet available there.

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