Apple has been issued a couple new patents by the USPTO today, including one for hover touch sensing the likes of which we’re starting to see rolled out in Android-powered devices lately like the Samsung Galaxy S4. Another patent issued today covers an embedded heart rate monitor that could add one more sensor to the iPhone, with potential for biometrics and fitness apps. Continue reading
BlackBerry isn’t hosting its own big annual conference this year, the company announced Friday. The event has been called various things, including BlackBerry World, and BlackBerry Live once the World name became what BlackBerry called its mobile app store and things got confusing. This is the first year since 2002 that BlackBerry hasn’t held one of these big events, and it’s a sign of the change taking place at the company under new CEO John Chen. Continue reading
Google has added a new UI and radio stations to Google Play Music for iOS 7. Continue reading
When I was in Shenzhen last month I met James Sung, the guy who brought us original dual SIM Peel case and turned countless iPod Touches into iPhones. Now you can do the same thing, but wirelessly. Continue reading
As you may have already figured out, Instagram has launched private messaging this month, calling it Instagram Direct.
It lets users send a photo up to 15 people without publicly broadcasting that photo to their entire following. Recipients can like the photo and participate in live chat underneath it.
So, what do we think? Continue reading
Apple and China Mobile just announced that they’ve reached an agreement that will see the iPhone 5s and 5c launch on the China Mobile’s 4G and 3G networks early next year.
Pre-registration is supposed to begin on December 25, with phones actually available on January 17 of next year.
“China is an extremely important market for Apple and our partnership with China Mobile presents us the opportunity to bring iPhone to the customers of the world’s largest network,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in the release. Continue reading
Every week for this column, I write about something related to mobile technology or apps. It would be only natural, then, for me to devote at least one column to the intersection of mobile and commerce, especially during such a festive time of year. I’ll state upfront that I don’t particularly love the hecticness of holiday shopping — the overcrowded stores, the same holiday songs on an endless playback loop, and the quintessential Black Friday stampedes. As I result, I try to take care of all shopping online. If you’re reading this, you probably feel the same way. Up to this year, I’d complete 99% of shopping via Amazon, but this holiday season, I wanted to see what the state of consumer mobile apps were on the market. The result, I must admit, brought out my inner “Grinch.”
Vine following Instagram to the web as profiles are teased. Continue reading
My least favorite part of Snapchat is mistakenly opening video Snap when I can’t hear it, like in a noisey public place or when my sound is off. Snapchat tried to address that today with an experimental new Replay feature that lets you rewatch one old Snap per day. But by fixing that problem it created a much bigger one. It killed off some of its ephemerality. Continue reading
We now have more details on Facebook’s plans to acquire Bangalore-based Little Eye Labs, an Indian startup whose primary product is a software tool for analyzing Android apps’ performance. Multiple sources have told us that the two companies exchanged the term sheets few weeks ago, and that a final announcement could be made by mid-January. The deal size is expected to be in the range of $10-15 million. Overall, the Little Eye Labs acquisition fits right into in Facebook’s mobile ambitions, an area where it has lagged rivals like Twitter, despite having some 874 million of its 1.19 billion-strong (September figures) user base logged on via mobile devices. And Facebook has been on the lookout for startups that could potentially help it gain a greater foothold on mobile devices. As part of its aggressive mobile strategy, Facebook acquired Parse, a mobile-backend-as-a-service startup in April of this year. A Facebook acquisition of Little Eye Labs would mean a lot for an Indian startup that’s less than one-and-a-half years old, and it would mean much more for the Indian startup ecosystem as a whole, where acquisitions of this profile have been tough to come by. While exploring potential acquirers, Little Eye Labs also pitched to Twitter, but Facebook seemed to offer a better deal, another source added. One of the sources who shared some details about this proposed acquisition said that if the deal closes, most of the Little Eye Labs’ founding team will move to Facebook’s U.S. headquarters, and work there as part of the mobile engineering team. Little Eye Labs caught the attention of potential acquirer(s) in Seedcamp, London, where the startup was refining its product along with 20 other companies. Gaurav Lochan, who joined Little Eye labs from India’s largest e-commerce company, Flipkart, earlier this year, had this to say about using the startup’s tool for fixing a bug in Google’s official I/Q app at the event. Flipkart, was also the first customer for Little Eye Labs. Kumar Rangarajan, co-founder of Little Eye labs, had even acknowledged that the company was in discussions with Facebook earlier this month, after reports of the acquisition first surfaced. However, Rangarajan could not be reached at the time of publication. A Facebook spokesperson, who had earlier declined to offer any comments, has also not responded. The Little Eye founders — Kumar Rangarajan, Satyam Kandula, Lakshman Kakkirala and Giridhar Murthy, all worked together previously at IBM. Continue reading