Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed, March 2014

What You Might Have Missed in Mobile This Month

 

Giant acquisitions, new products, captivating surveys – it’s an action packed mobile breaking news this month! Of course the Oculus is arguably the biggest story, but there are plenty of other stories to cover, so let’s get started. Here’s all the mobile news you might’ve missed in March.

1. Oculus and Facebook

Easily the biggest news of the month: Facebook acquires Oculus for $2 billion (with a b!) dollars. While it could be a unique direction to take the social media giant, initial investors who funded the project on Kickstarter were not exactly thrilled.

2. HTC One

The HTC One hit the market, but the biggest draw of the One M8 is its unique duo camera setup. It’s also got a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor & 2GB of RAM.

3. Xiaomi’s next-gen

Will Xiaomi be the next big thing in mobile worldwide? The follow-up to its landmark Redmi, the budget phone with lots of power behind it, might just show why that could be the case.

4. Millenials Giving Away Info

Think the old folks are the ones getting duped on the phone? Turns out it’s millennials who are willingly giving away their cell phone number with marketers, as well as their address, social media profile (by a long shot), and credit scores!

5. Blackphone is the Future of Mobile Security

If you’re concerned with spying eyes seeing all your mobile phone activity, then the Blackphone and its friends may be the way to go. In fact, are these secure phones the wave of the future?

6. SMS Dying in Ireland

Interesting story out of Ireland – SMS is dying. There are just too many alternate messaging options for mobile users and they don’t see a reason to use texting. Could other countries follow suit?

7. Windows Phone Winning

Over Blackberry, that is. Apple and Samsung are still way ahead, but Windows Phone is gaining ground over the increasingly unfortunate former mobile giant.

8. Knock Code

LG, G2, and G Flex phones are getting the fancy new Knock Code “wake and unlock” feature. Similar to the pattern unlock, it lets you unlock the phone by “knocking” on a pattern. It might seem silly, but it could be a fast way to let users everywhere open phones quickly.

9. Verizon Lets You Buy Rollover Data

Rather than buy rollover minutes, now Verizon lets you purchase data in much the same way. Strange, sure, but it could be a good way to go if you’re not particularly tied to your plan, just want to check them out, or otherwise afraid of commitment.

10. Apple Patents Smudge-Resistant Coating

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use your phone without wiping it down every day? Seems you may be able to do that soon with Apple products, at least according to a recent patent. The smudge-resistant coating would be on sapphire glass using oleophobic coating.

Did we miss  anything? Share your mobile news in the comments!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed, December 2013

What You Might Have Missed in Mobile This Month

Time for the last mobile stories wrap-up of 2013! It’s been a crazy year for mobile, and December was no different. In fact, a lot of the stories are about how great mobile has been for businesses and consumers alike. Also, there a lot of “what’s coming around the corner” stories that show what 2014 might look like.

1. Windows 9

Could the next edition of Windows be around the corner? Windows 8 didn’t exactly win over the hearts and minds of new customers or old fans, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Microsoft hurried the next version out.

2. Blackberry has another bad month

While there were several stories of Blackberry not exactly having a great final month of 2013 (abysmal Christmas sales, for one), a story from the beginning of December captured just how bad things have gotten. They literally wrote two letters to their customers to remind them they are “very much alive.” Ouch!

3. Cyber Monday Sales

The numbers for Cyber Monday came in shortly after the event, and it’s not entirely a surprise that 2013’s edition was another blockbuster. Sales were way up and it seems that mobile played a huge part in helping to break records.

4. Phablets Big in 2014?

Bob O’Donnell, founder of Technalysis Research, seems to think the phablet will overtake traditional small tablets in the new year. Considering they’re a huge hit over a growing number of countries, especially South Korea, it’s not a far-fetched idea.

5. New Features Coming to Galaxy S5

While the S5 didn’t perform as expected, some new features coming out may change that. The quad HD display is ok, but reports of an eye scanner for extra security adds a much more interesting wrinkle.

6. Real Live Buttons

Remember phones that had actual buttons you could press for Menu, Back and the like? Those were the days. Well you can now relive them with the low-end Galaxy Core Advance.

7. Amazon Acquires Gopago

Amazon quietly made another acquisition in December: Gopago, an app that allows customers to pre-pay for goods before picking them up at the store. Not only that, but could this be part of Amazon’s secret “ambitious” new project?

8. Thanksgiving Apps

Thanksgiving sales were up this year, partially due to mobile – and it also turns out Americans also opened more apps than ever before. Over 1.3 billion were opened, a more than 2/3 jump over 2012.

9. Lumia 1320 Lands in China First

Showing the growing Chinese market for companies, Nokia has decided to release the Lumia 1320 in China first. The budget phone will soon also land in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other countries, yet no word about the US yet.

10. Smartphones in 2014

The smartphone war is just going to pick up like crazy in 2014. So what should smartphone companies focus on if they hope to make any ground on competitors? In short: playing with the accepted shape, form, and design.

Did we miss any big news from December? Let us know in the comments!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed, November 2013

What You Might Have Missed in Mobile This Month

What a crazy month! Some companies are doing well (Apple) while some are pretty much toast (Blackberry). Some companies are suing (Microsoft) while others are getting sued (um…Microsoft). We’ve got Terminators, Wi-Fi turning into electricity, and execs actually admitting faults – clearly, November has been a riotous one.

1. Become a Google Glass Explorer

Well, it’s that time – time to get in (virtual) line to become a Google Glass Explorer! Sign up and as soon as a spot is available (and you have a cool $1,500 extra for the entry fee) you’re welcome to step into the future. Just remember: try not to drive with them just yet.

2. LG G Flex is Basically a Terminator

Uh oh, you just got a nasty scratch on your smartphone. It’s done for, right? Well, not if you have the G Flex, as it’s pretty much the T-1000 from Terminator 2 and can heal itself. It doesn’t work perfectly, as detailed in the blog post, but it’s still a really cool feature that will hopefully improve.

3. More Lawsuits

The patent wars continue – this time with Microsoft suing Acacia over broken contracts and patent infringement. The lawsuit is actually a countersuit from Microsoft after they were sued by Acacia subsidiaries back in October…ugh, I have a headache. We’ll just wait and see.

4. Wi-Fi Signals Turned Into Electricity

You live in the future and you’re tired of your battery in your smartphone dying all the time. Actually, wait, you’re not, because your battery doesn’t die anymore since the tech for turning wi-fi signals into electricity was developed way back in 2013! You laugh, get in your teleporting space car, and go to work inside of a black hole or something.

5. Verizon Admits a Problem

Somewhat surprising for a wireless carrier company, Verizon acknowledged their customer complaints that signals are weak in bigger cities due to capacity constraints. They’ve invested $500 million in infrastructure, so at least they’re taking strides to fix it.

6. Coin Doing Well

Have you heard of Coin? If not, you will; it’s a Bluetooth enabled swipeable that allows you to store multiple cards (credit, debit, loyalty, etc) so there’s no more searching through your wallet. They’ve recently boosted availability and added new security features. Wouldn’t be surprised if this is a really big deal in 2014.

7. Apple Stores to Offer 5S & 5C Screens

If you have an iPhone 5S or 5C you know that small problems could mean a totally new phone for you since repairs weren’t “ready” yet at stores. That’s all set to change, including repairs like replacing screens.

8. Apple Leads, Samsung Nibbling at their Heels

With two new iPhone models out on the market, Apple has a large chunk of the US mobile market this month at just over 40%. However, Samsung was no slouch, gaining almost 25% stake in US mobile devices. The numbers after the holidays should be really interesting.

9. U-Verse Dropping Xbox 360 Support

Do you use your Xbox 360 to watch cable through U-Verse? Not anymore you don’t, at least at the beginning of the year. As of January 1st the feature will be gone and you’ll be forced to get a conventional box.

10. Get a Z10 for a Song and a Smile

If you were waiting for the price to drop even more on the Z10, your wait is over. If you wait any longer, Blackberry will have to start paying you to take it off their hands. That’s because the Z10 is free on Verizon and 49 cents on AT&T. Not sure which is worse, actually.

Did we miss any big news from October? Let us know in the comments!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed, October 2013

What You Might Have Missed in Mobile This Month

Time for our monthly wrap-up of all the amazing news that may have slipped through the cracks! A few new releases, other companies making big strides and taking big risks, and some interesting rumors that may or may not come to pass. Plus, one big court case that could have huge implications in the tech world. Let’s get started!

1. Google Glass While Driving – Illegal?

This has potential to be one of the biggest stories that happened this month. A cop gave a ticket to Glass Explorer Cecilia Abade while she drove around California. However, there’s no actual law saying it’s illegal and the state will have to prove she was using it as “entertainment” rather than “informative.” Definitely one to keep an eye on!

2. Motorola Backs Phonebloks

There was some good buzz this month about Phonebloks, the concept phone that lets you switch out components of a phone and not just software. Now, Motorola is throwing their weight behind it with their group Project Ara.

3. Amazon Phone…Again

It comes, it goes…but it looks like the Amazon smartphone is here to stay! New information from Bloomberg and Financial Times could mean we’ll see the phone sooner rather than later. But could it make a dent in the market?

4. Sony Backs Off US

While Sony usually doesn’t struggle with breaking into markets, their smartphone venture in the US has proven to be a little more difficult than they first thought. So much so that CEO Kaz Hirai said Sony is ceding to the competition at least until they can come up with a solid plan.

5. PayPal Thinks People Like QR Codes

To make payments easier, PayPal has gone all in with their new QR Payment Codes. To be honest, although QR codes have a bad reputation, this could be very intuitive and speed mobile payments up by quite a bit. Some big names are reportedly behind the move as well, such as Home Depot.

6. iPad Air Will be Super Duper Fast

If the numbers are to be believed, iPad Air will be a million times faster than everything else on the market: twice as fast as 4 and five times faster than 2. Want to find out the truth? You don’t have to wait long; it comes out November 1st!

7. Tablets Grow, PCs Decline

Unsurprisingly, tablets are taking it to traditional PCs this year, up 53% to the PCs decline of 11%. While PCs still have a stranglehold on the computer market as a whole, things are changing, and they are changing rapidly.

8. Coupons Through Google?

Look for coupons the next time you search around Google Maps! A little blue tag will let you know the company has linked a coupon with Maps, giving them an edge on the competition. Could your business use this new function?

9. Tweeting Bra

Wish your clothes could talk to your friends and family? Probably not, but it is an interesting application of the Internet of Things. Plus, the tweeting bra was for a good cause: raising awareness for breast cancer.

10. Technology Transforming the Less Fortunate

We know technology has done a ton for us in our everyday lives. But how much has it changed lives for the world’s poor? More than we realize, as this blog post details.

Did we miss any big news from October? Let us know in the comments!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed, June 2013

What You Might Have Missed in Mobile This Month

While we like to read every single mobile/techie news item out there every day, we realize not everyone has the time for that. You just want the heavy hitting stories – the ones that will affect you the most! At the end of the month, we like to wrap up all the really big stories so you know what you missed and can stay current. Here are the ones from June – which story was the most surprising to you this month?

1. Microsoft Surface – Dead?

There was a lot of buzz, early sales looked ok, then it dropped off from bad word of mouth, and now…is the Microsoft Surface officially dead?

2. FTC Wants Obvious Ads

Ever clicked on an ad mistakenly thinking it was the link you wanted? That era may be coming to an end now that the FTC wants ads and legit links to be even more obviously different.

3. Blackberry Q10

If Blackberry wants their turnaround to be successful it may rely heavily on the Q10. There’s been a lot of interest in the phone and it’s been selling well – but can it hold?

4. Top Advertisers Use Mobile

Want to be the cream of the crop? If you’re not using mobile to advertise, your chances appear to be slim – almost every top advertiser in the US uses mobile in some fashion. There’s really no denying it’s the way the industry is moving.

5. HTC One Mini

The HTC One is experiencing a lot of success, so to capitalize HTC is releasing the One Mini, basically a smaller version of the One. If you want all the power of the One in a version that will fit better in your pocket, your time is coming!

6. iOS 7 Released

Apple is gearing up to release their next operating system in the fall with beta releases coming out regularly. Early reviews have been mixed but it looks like they’re learning from the beta tests and improving on issues.

7. S4 On Top

It’s still a heated race between the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone 5, but when the numbers came back in May the S4 took the top spot. Will the results for June be the same or will a new contender come out on top?

8. Instagram Video

With Vine being such a success with Twitter users others were sure to follow. Sure enough, Instagram followed up – but it may have been too much too soon.

9. Cheap iPhone Not Cheap

Just because the new iPhone won’t cost all that much doesn’t mean it will be a piece of junk! One of the firms tasked with assembling the phone reports it’s very much a real phone guaranteed to last a long time.

10. 60% of Americans Own Smartphones

For the first time ever the majority of Americans own smartphones, reports the Pew Research Center. 56% 18 and older own them, up from 46% just over a year ago. What will the numbers look like next year?

Did we miss any big news from June? Let us know in the comments!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed, March 2013

What You Might Have Missed in Mobile This Month

Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. The Blackberry Recovery

Blackberry’s Hail Mary pass seems to have worked as they made over $94 million revenue and shipped over 1 million Blackberry 10 devices in Q4. Whether or not this upswing stays is another thing, but this is a good sign for the company.

2. Cheap iPhone Rumor #83297489

It’s happening, it’s not happening – every day or so the story changes. The latest rumor has the cheap version of the iPhone coming out in August. Is it true? We’ll just have to wait and see.

3. Nexus 5 – Too Much Too Soon?

Excited about the Nexus 5? Think it’s going to be the greatest thing since the Nexus 4? You might be a little premature, in that literally everything you’ve heard may be completely untrue.

4. Lockscreen Security Bug

Smartphones are having some security issues, and one of the latest in March was the lockscreen security bug with Samsung Android phones. The exploit lets sneaky people into your phone with a series of spy-worthy button presses.

5. Car Apps

Tired of playing with apps on your tablet or phone? In a few years you’ll be able to play Angry Birds 19 with an app in your car! Looks like we have some work to do when customers start shopping at your store from their windshield…

6. White House on Unlocking Phones

Surprises all around when not only did a petition to the White House to investigate unlocking phones get enough signatures but the White House actually agreed customers should be able to do so! Next step: an investigation, and what it means for businesses everywhere.

7. LTE on its Way

T-Mobile announced earlier this month the LTE is on its way, and by the time you read this they should be around the country. They’ve also included a nice update on the Galaxy Note 2 software updates.

8. Google Glass Apps

More information is coming out about Google Glass, including the programs and apps it will run. Power hitters like Gmail (obviously), New York Times, and Evernote are some of the first to announce support. Who knows what’s to come in the future?

9. Wireless Charging

Plugging in your phone to charge is and always will be a pain. Luckily several companies out there are plugging away at creating the proper tech for wireless charging, with one company sponsored by none other than AT&T.

10. Hate Your Phone?

Do you hate your mobile device? You’re certainly not alone, at least according to mobile video service Vuclip. A survey of more than 120,000 users revealed 48% of people hate their current device. With so many options out there, it may just be a case of “grass is greener.”

Did we miss any big news from March? Let us know in the comments!

The Holiday Season in 2013

Ok, wait a second. We’re just now reaching the end of the holiday season of 2012. Why are we talking about next year’s holiday season already? Can’t we have at least a few days of peace for crying out loud?

Well, we’re not trying to make you start preparing a year in advance or anything. However, there’s one thing that’s guaranteed in 2013 that you can prepare for all throughout the year: an increase in mobile sales.

Every year the numbers for online sales go up and handset sales go up right with them. 2012 was the biggest year for mcommerce with smartphones alone contributing to a 221% rise on Thanksgiving Day. There’s no indication the trend will cease in 2013. So now’s the time to get ready for it!

The Rising Trend

Why is mobile commerce becoming more of a big deal as time goes by? Consumers are less interested in hanging around their house or office while shopping on a dusty ol’ laptop now that their handheld devices are just as effective for browsing. In fact, the very act of going outside may be contributing to the trend.

For example, if you’re walking around a park on a bright sunny day and see someone with a unique dog leash, you may ask them about it. They tell you it’s the PuppyTron 5000 and it comes with a free dog bone dispenser. Normally, you’d have to head back home, remember the name of the leash, and buy it – if you recall the conversation at all.

Now that you have your mini-computers with you at all times, you simply whip out your smartphone and pull up the website for the leash. Boom, you have it, and you go on with your day. People make snap decisions, and that’s easier if you have the “store” right in front of you always.

Preparing for Holidays in 2013

Ok, that’s all fine and dandy, but what’s that got to do with the holiday season next year? It’s literally a year away!

You say that now, but that will quickly change. Soon after this goes up Christmas will have passed and you’ll be focusing on post-Christmas issues like returns and lost product. Then, the first couple months of 2013 will be spent dealing with beginning of year problems and figuring out taxes.

Suddenly it’s summertime, and you notice everyone around you is talking about what they’re going to do for Christmas. There’s no denying the holidays are seeping more and more into the rest of the year, and businesses need to keep up or fall by the wayside.

You may not want to think you’re already dealing with next year’s holidays, so focus instead on what makes your store marketable towards your mobile customers instead. When Holiday Bonanza 2013 rolls around, you’ll be more prepared than if you just pretended they were so far off you didn’t have to worry about them!

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed 1/03/12

Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. Google Glass in 2013?

Google says their augmented reality glasses will hit this year. However, the feature set is “still in flux” according to some experts and the effects of the glasses on the eye are up in the air. Still, it’s a step forward to truly never having to talk to another human being in person ever again, which is what we’re all working towards, right? Right?

2. Step on Your Battery

Want to recharge your phone battery? Stomp on it! Wait, wait, don’t do it yet, because the technology to recharge a battery by abusing it is still being developed at Georgia Tech. The technology may effectively change the recharger market forever in the future, though.

3. Nexus 4 “Sells Out”

Sure, the Nexus 4 is sold out everywhere, but sales may or may not be all that great. T-Mobile has started restocking shelves, but it may only be because the company was unprepared for the onslaught.

4. Samsung & Android on Top in USA

Apple had a great quarter due to sales of the iPhone 5, but Android still owns the US right now with almost 54% of smartphone sales. Samsung is having a great quarter as well with almost 27% of the smartphone population using a Samsung device.

5. App Development Costs

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to build an app? One of the major factors is cost – but how much does it actually cost to make an app? This infographic can give you an idea, though the final answer will be up to you!

6. Tech 150 Years in the Future

What will the world be like in 2163? Oh, wait, they’re looking at 2150, which is actually 137 years in the future…hmmm. Well, anyway, an interesting look at what could tech be out in the next 150 or so years, including cloning, the singularity, and Half Life 3.

7. iPhone 5S Colors

The iPhone 5S (or 6 or whatever) will possibly come in June, so what can we expect? Well, for one, tons of color options, plus an improved battery, a new camera, and tons of storage.

8. Blackberry Curve 9315

Want an affordable Blackberry for your T-Mobile service? You could pick up the Curve 9315…even though it’s actually just a rebranded Curve 9310, made to look “affordable” before Blackberry 10 hits (potentially) soon.

Did we miss any mobile news from the past week? Let us know in the comments!

How Engage:BDR Solved the Analytics Puzzle with Handset Detection

Engage:BDR is an international display ad network that offers  advertisers marketing solutions fully integrated with the latest  technology and branded entertainment. They offer clients a full service and self-service ad network, a mobile/video network, and an advertiser network ad server they license out in order to drive performance.

However, as wonderful as the web analytics they offered their clients were, Engage:BDR didn’t have a solution on hand for reporting which mobile handsets were accessing their clients’ sites. So they decided to hit Google and see what came up.

As engage:BDR accelerated its mobile strategy, it looked to Handset Detection to help report which mobile handsets were accessing their clients sites.

“We discovered Handset Detection about 6 months ago when we first started setting up the mobile side of our platform,” said Ted Dhanik, president, engage:BDR. “We use them in our self-serve mobile platform so advertisers can target specific kinds of handsets when they are buying media.”

“Handset targeting is a prerequisite to using any platform to buy mobile. Handset Detection is providing industry leading targeting that helps us in every mobile campaign we perform for our clients,” he continues.

In fact,  that’s exactly how we at Handset Detection got our start – we just couldn’t keep up with mobile device detection and realized that doing so would require a whole separate company.

We hope you’ll follow Engage:BDR’s example for when you need mobile device detection for your company. Just head to our website at   handsetdetection.com.

Mobile Breaking News You May Have Missed 10/19/12

Once in a while a blog or media outlet will post a little blurb about this newfangled “mobile technology” stuff. We kid! There are hundreds of important, interesting, fun and just plain cool mobile stories out there every day. Since mobile is our wheelhouse at Handset Detection, we thought we’d make it a point to round up the ones you don’t want to miss. Check back every Friday for the weekly roundup!

1. iPad Mini Coming Next Week

Ready for the iPad Mini? If not, too bad, as it’s hitting the shelves next week according to Reuters. Sources say the Mini is less about making money and more about keeping competitors from dominating any aspect of the market.

2. Facebook Offering Money for Mobile Signups

In football (soccer to you Yanks) the team that wins is often the one that doesn’t stop pushing for results. Facebook must follow the same philosophy as the company isn’t satisfied with 1 billion customers – they want another billion, and are offering $1 for Facebook mobile signups in India.

3. Apple Patents Cool Things

Two big Apple patents to potentially bring cool stuff – one is echolocation, which determines how close the iPhone is near your face and other objects for better sound and pickup, the other is text to speech voice that uses contextual data to speak in your dialect!

4. Acer Iconia Tab A110 for $230

Acer unveiled the Iconia Tab A110 to compete with the Nexus 7. The tablet goes for just $230 so it’s not exactly a powerhouse but great for those looking for a cheaper alternative.

5. Another Nexus?

Leaked photos of a supposed “Nexus X” caused an uproar, especially since how close the phone looks to the Xperia ion and Xperia T. However, the pics could be totally fraudulent, so it remains to be seen if this is for real or not.

6. Quick Settings on Android 4.2

Will there be a “Quick Settings” feature for 4.2 users? A video showed this feature which nobody knows exactly what it means or does. Speculation includes Wi-Fi and display/brightness settings.

7. Global Smartphones Pass 1 Billion

Smartphone users now number over 1 billion, which took 16 years. Projections say the next billion could come in as short a time as three years, in 2015!

8. Sprint Takes Majority Share of Clearwire

While Sprint is getting bought out by Japanese company Softbank, they’re not exactly lying down in the mobile world either. They recently gained majority share of struggling provider Clearwire, which has plan to roll out the 4G TD-LTE network in the US next year.

9. Samsung Galaxy SIII Drops to $99

To better compete with the Droid Razr HD and HD Maxx Hit VZW, Amazon has dropped the price of the Galaxy SIII to $99 on Verizon and Sprint. The holiday war for your bucks has definitely begun in mobile world!

10. Disappearing Apps

A great opinion piece about technology and apps – while we in the business care about all the new devices and constant flow of apps, the public at large only want stuff that works for them! A very important reminder what we’re all in this for.

Did we miss any big news in mobile this week? Let us know in the comments!