Startup Develops Secure Method to Access Data on Your Phone

Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint reader, released with the iPhone 5s, includes a sensor the thickness of a human hair, a sapphire crystal button, capacitive tech and complex data analysis. Alabama-based startup IDair believes it can replicate the quality of the Touch ID with a simpler approach that uses existing smartphone cameras to capture images of users’ fingers. IDair’s tech uses an algorithm the company has patented to convert the image into a means of identification. Continue reading Startup Develops Secure Method to Access Data on Your Phone

Google Buys Green Throttle’s Atlas Controller and Arena App

Google has acquired Green Throttle Games’ Atlas controller and Arena app-maker in a move that could point to new gaming features for its long rumored set-top box. Green Throttle’s Bluetooth Atlas controller and Android Arena app essentially allow users to transform tablets or smartphones into game consoles. As part of the deal, two of the three co-founders, Matt Crowley and Karl Townsend, will be joining Google. The third co-founder, Charles Huang (“Guitar Hero”) is reportedly keeping the rights to the Green Throttle business. Continue reading Google Buys Green Throttle’s Atlas Controller and Arena App

News Reader Flipboard Strikes Deal with CNN to Acquire Zite

Digital magazine platform Flipboard has acquired rival app Zite from CNN for an undisclosed amount. Flipboard, a popular cross-platform news reader app, is expected to launch custom magazines linked to a number of CNN shows. It also announced a new advertising partnership with CNN to help monetize combined coverage. CNN bought Zite in 2011 for a rumored $20 million. Flipboard, which generates 2.5 billion page views per month, launched on iOS in 2010 and landed on Android in 2012. Continue reading News Reader Flipboard Strikes Deal with CNN to Acquire Zite

Aereo: Internet TV Service on Hold in Denver and Salt Lake City

TV startup Aereo has temporarily shut down its service in Denver and Salt Lake City. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit refused to overturn a preliminary injunction granted by a Utah District Court judge that prohibits Aereo from operating in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. Aereo is issuing full refunds for this month to customers in the two cities. Despite the setback, Aereo continues its expansion with a recent launch in Austin, Texas one week before the SXSW conference. Continue reading Aereo: Internet TV Service on Hold in Denver and Salt Lake City

Samsung Enters the Music-Streaming Market with Radio Service

Samsung launched a free radio-streaming service in the U.S. last week, which aims to attract customers for its Galaxy-branded smartphones while taking on the likes of Pandora, Spotify and Apple. The initially ad-free “Milk Music” combines content licensed from Slacker Radio’s catalog of about 13 million songs with music obtained exclusively for Samsung. It differs from other services in that users do not need to log in or even register. The application can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Continue reading Samsung Enters the Music-Streaming Market with Radio Service

SXSW: Google on Chromecast Sales and SDK for Wearable Tech

During his SXSW keynote in Austin, Texas yesterday, Google SVP of Android, Apps and Chrome, Sundar Pichai said that the company has sold “millions” of its $35 HDMI Chromecast devices since the product’s launch last summer. Pichai’s comments mark the first time anyone from Google has publicly addressed Chromecast sales. Pichai also told the crowd that Chromecast will be available for “many more countries” in the coming weeks, and Google will release an Android SDK for wearable devices. Continue reading SXSW: Google on Chromecast Sales and SDK for Wearable Tech

Threat Report Indicates Mobile Malware Increase for Android

Security firm F-Secure released a 40-page Threat Report this week for the second half of 2013, which shows that Android receives the most malware attacks. Mobile malware on the Android platform increased 18 percent from 2012 to 2013, from 79 percent to 97 percent. Three fourths of the malware detections came from Saudi Arabia (42 percent) and India (33 percent). The United States and Finland are next on the list at 5 percent each, followed by Germany, Great Britain and Hong Kong. Continue reading Threat Report Indicates Mobile Malware Increase for Android

Make Your TV Smart: Roku to Ship $50 Streaming Stick in April

Video-streaming set-top box maker Roku is planning to launch its anticipated Streaming Stick with Wi-Fi remote next month for $49.99. The thumb-size media stick plugs into a television’s HDMI port and offers a similar interface available through the Roku set-top boxes with access to a host of online streaming services. A simple solution to make your TV smart, the Roku Streaming Stick will compete with the popular $35 smartphone-controlled Chromecast device from Google. Continue reading Make Your TV Smart: Roku to Ship $50 Streaming Stick in April

Worldwide Tablet Sales Up 68 Percent, Android Takes the Lead

Global tablet sales reached 195.4 million units last year, a 68 percent increase compared to 2012, according to Gartner. While sales of iOS tablets declined to 36 percent of the market in 2013, Android tablets captured the number 1 spot with with 62 percent of the market, thanks to the growth of low-end smaller screen tablets and first time buyers. However, when looking at sales by vendor, Apple still holds the lead, followed by Samsung, Asus, Amazon and Lenovo. Continue reading Worldwide Tablet Sales Up 68 Percent, Android Takes the Lead

Disney Launches Online Movie Service Powered by Keychest

Disney has launched its new Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA), that allows consumers to purchase movies and store them in the cloud. Launching initially for iOS and the Web, the service is integrated with the Apple iTunes Store. Users can browse, buy and view more than 400 Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies (however, R-rated movies are not included). DMA is powered by Keychest digital storage and streaming tech, developed by Disney, the first to offer movies and TV shows through iTunes. Continue reading Disney Launches Online Movie Service Powered by Keychest

Project Tango: Google Aims to Bring 3D Sensor Tech to Phones

Google recently announced a new initiative dubbed “Project Tango” that plans to integrate 3D sensor technology in a series of prototype Android smartphones. The venture involves a 5-inch phone built by Google that features sensors for tracking the device’s movement while modeling the surrounding space and landscape. “This could impact future game design, virtual set construction and location scouting,” notes ETC staffer Phil Lelyveld. “It could enable crowd-sourced 3D stitching of location modeling data.” Continue reading Project Tango: Google Aims to Bring 3D Sensor Tech to Phones

Apple Acquires Burstly to Provide Support for App Developers

Burstly and TestFlight provide support for developers and the App Store ecosystem in the form of beta testing services, app monetization, and analytics. TestFlight began as a technical hack that included over-the-air updates for enterprise apps. In 2011, the two companies merged to become Burstly, which Apple has now acquired. Development support is a much needed component of Apple’s system. Apple App Store customers spent more than $10 billion in 2013, with 3 billion app downloads in December alone. Continue reading Apple Acquires Burstly to Provide Support for App Developers

LTE Advanced: Qualcomm Demos Blazing Download Speeds

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Qualcomm demonstrated the next generation of 4G LTE, called LTE Advanced Category 6, which produces download speeds of 300Mpbs. This technology will be integrated into Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 processor, which will be used in next-gen Android tablets. The technology is already being used for networks in South Korea, mainly due to interest from broadcasters who want to use it for delivering 4K TV. Continue reading LTE Advanced: Qualcomm Demos Blazing Download Speeds

Puzzle & Dragons: First Mobile Game to Top $1 Billion in Sales

Japanese game developer GungHo Online recently released its 2013 financials, revealing sales of $1.5 billion, 91 percent of which came from the game “Puzzle & Dragons.” This marks the first mobile game to officially earn over $1 billion. The company noted that $775 million of these sales were generated through Google Play, and $650 million through the Apple App Store. GungHo also announced that the game generated $155 million in January this year.  Continue reading Puzzle & Dragons: First Mobile Game to Top $1 Billion in Sales

Phone Makers Target Emerging Markets with Low-End Devices

Although high-end smartphone makers such as Apple and Samsung usually get the most press, other established companies are attempting to tap into emerging markets by focusing on inexpensive, low-tech versions of their phones. At the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, companies including Nokia, Google and BlackBerry displayed phones priced between $100-$200. Other companies are aiming to go even lower, below $100, including China’s ZTE Corp. Continue reading Phone Makers Target Emerging Markets with Low-End Devices

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