One of my fave and most used features on the Moto X smartphone got a little bit smarter: Motorola improved the Touchless Control app with a new update available in the Google Play Store. As noted by Android Central, the app now interacts with more Google Now commands even when the Moto X is locked. And, assuming nobody is around, you can unlock your Moto X by speaking your PIN code. Lastly, the app has a new listening sound when you say “OK Google Now”; just in case you weren’t sure the phone was always listening. (Hint: It is.)
Pebble owners that haven’t already updated their smartwatch firmware today have a nice surprise waiting for them. PebbleOS v.1.14 launched late on Thursday evening, adding a few new features and fixes. Among the more prominent additions is a customizable Do Not Disturb mode, which disables notifications moving from your smartphone to your watch. Overall control of notifications is improved as well and data coming from iOS devices will begin to appear quicker after the update. The firmware update is available both for iOS and Android users directly from the Pebble smartphone app.
Good news for the iPhone-toting If This Then That lovers out there. The service has added a native iOS location tracking channel, which means you can make recipes based on where you are (or rather where your phone is). So you can get the weather of a city you are traveling to when you land, or tell your WeMo, Hue or SmartThings-enabled lights to come on when you get home. IFTTT also has a FourSquare channel for those who might want to use location but don’t have an iPhone. It’s just a wee bit less automated.
After months of private beta status, Cover is now available in the Google Play Store. The free app, still in a public beta status, is a smart lock screen of sorts for Android devices, showing specific apps based on context such as time of day or location. That means apps you use at home would appear when your handset location is home as compared to work apps showing while at the office. Cover even learns which apps you use or would be most likely to use on the road, showing maps, music and messaging apps while in your car.
Consumer identity theft protection LifeLock is already securing the cards in your wallet. Now it wants to provide a digital version of the wallet itself. On Thursday, LifeLock said it has acquired Lemon for $42.6 million in cash. The Maveron- and Howard Shultz-backed startup began as a receipt-tracking service but expanded into the mobile wallet by adding Apple Passbook-like features. Lemon raised $8 million in a Series A round in 2012 and its app has been downloaded 3.6 million times. LifeLock will continue to offer the wallet under its own name, layering its security features on top.
Mocana, a company that provides security for enterprise computing and is branching out into securing connected devices, has scored a $15 million round of funding led by GE Ventures. Existing investors Shasta Ventures, Southern Cross Venture Partners, Symantec and Trident Capital also participated in the round. Getting GE as a strategic investors is a coup for the company as GE is heavily investing in the internet of things on the corporate side. Mocana’s cryptography engines are in five of the top seven Android handset makers and inside devices from Panasonic and Honeywell.
Android Device Manager, Google’s answer to Find My iPhone, is now available to download from Google Play. Introduced back in August but only available on the Web until now, you can install the app on any device running Android 2.3 or later. The software lets you locate a missing device on a map, make a phone ring to help you find it, and remotely lock or erase a device if necessary. Google is still just playing catch up with this one, but better late than never.