Apple Bans Developers From Sharing Data Without Consent

For years, developers for Apple’s App Store have been able to ask users for access to their phone contacts and then share or sell the data of everyone listed in those digital address books, without their consent. That practice has recently been getting a lot of negative attention, and now Apple plans to ban developers from using that information. The updated Guidelines nixes the creation of databases of address book information collected from iPhone users as well as selling or sharing it with third parties. Continue reading Apple Bans Developers From Sharing Data Without Consent

MoviePass Sells $128M in Tickets for Oscar-Nominated Films

Startup MoviePass, which charges subscribers $10 per month for the option to watch one film per day in a participating theater, said it has passed 2 million subscribers. The company also reported that it was responsible for $128.7 million of the domestic box office for this year’s Oscar nominated films. MoviePass chief executive Mitch Lowe has described the math behind the company’s claim. He also has an explanation for how the company will survive its biggest economic challenge: that it loses money on any customers who sees at least two movies a month. Continue reading MoviePass Sells $128M in Tickets for Oscar-Nominated Films

Samsung Demos Gear 360 Camera for Virtual Reality Capture

Slated for release in Q2 2016, Samsung’s new Gear 360 is a compact camera with two lenses designed to capture 360-video for its Samsung Gear VR viewing system. At 153 grams, the Gear 360 is one gram lighter than the new Galaxy S7 and includes a pair of microphones for audio capture, a microSD slot for memory expansion up to 128GB, and a removable battery for up to 140 minutes of active use. Unlike the Project Beyond 360-camera, with 16 HD cameras, demonstrated in late 2014, the Gear 360 appears to be aimed at consumer use. Continue reading Samsung Demos Gear 360 Camera for Virtual Reality Capture

Facebook Shares the Designs for its Custom Networking Gear

Facebook is designing its own custom hardware, including computer servers and networking switches — and other companies are following suit. The Facebook engines are being rebuilt so that they are more affordable, more efficient, and enable the company to easily expand its own networks. Other companies are taking a similar approach, creating a new market for custom networking gear and other hardware. Facebook shares its networking designs as part of the Open Compute Project. Continue reading Facebook Shares the Designs for its Custom Networking Gear

Gartner Predicts About 25 Billion Connected Devices by 2020

Research firm Gartner recently made a number of interesting forecasts related to the Internet of Things, notably that there will be 4.9 billion connected devices in use this year, up 30 percent from 2014. We should expect 25 billion connected things by 2020. The research firm also anticipates that by 2020, connected kitchen appliances will contribute at least 15 percent savings in the food and beverage industry. And Gartner says there will be 250 million connected vehicles with automated driving capabilities within the next five years. Continue reading Gartner Predicts About 25 Billion Connected Devices by 2020

Research Suggests Android TV Could Disrupt Apple and Roku

According to new research from IHS Technology, the introduction of Google’s Android TV platform could disrupt the streaming media player space currently led by Roku and Apple TV. While previous Android-based offerings may have been lacking, a new sophisticated product is expected to more fully integrate with Google-powered features and the Android mobile ecosystem. This may be significant, considering that 213 million connected TV devices are projected for the U.S. by 2017. Continue reading Research Suggests Android TV Could Disrupt Apple and Roku

Google to Launch Health Data Aggregation Service Google Fit

Google Fit, a health data aggregation service, is expected to launch at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco next week. The service will compete with Apple’s new HealthKit app framework, which launched last week. It will also compete with Samsung’s Sami, a similar biometric data platform. Google Fit aims to store data from wearable activity tracking devices — including Fitbit, Jawbone UP and Nike FuelBand — along with the related smartphone apps.

Continue reading Google to Launch Health Data Aggregation Service Google Fit

Apple Leads Global PC Market, Lenovo Holds the No. 2 Spot

According to market researcher Canalys, Apple is maintaining a comfortable lead in the global PC market, despite a disappointing quarter for the iPad. In the worldwide market sector that includes tablets, laptops and desktops, Apple is the number one supplier, with Lenovo gaining ground. Apple sold about 20 million Macs and iPads in the first quarter. While the decline in iPads was the sharpest to date, Canalys believes Apple will continue to dominate the tablet market, due in large part to its robust ecosystem. Continue reading Apple Leads Global PC Market, Lenovo Holds the No. 2 Spot

LG Launches Open Source Connect SDK for App Developers

Rather than copying Chromecast to webOS, LG released an open source Connect SDK late last week that integrates media casting, making it easier for developers to bring their apps to connected devices such as Roku streaming boxes, Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV and LG’s own TV sets. By combining existing multiscreen and home sharing protocols such as Google’s Cast SDK, DLNA and DIAL, developers’ mobile apps only need one set of code to work on a variety of big screen devices. Continue reading LG Launches Open Source Connect SDK for App Developers

In Strategic Move, Nike Lays Off Majority of FuelBand Team

Nike may be gearing up to shut down its wearable hardware efforts, after laying off the majority of its FuelBand fitness tracker team. The 70-person team, part of the tech-focused Digital Sport division, is responsible for developing and revising hardware including the FuelBand and Nike+ sportwatch. A person familiar with the matter told CNET late last week that about 70 to 80 percent of the team was let go. However, employees from Nike Digital Tech, responsible for Web software, were reportedly not affected. Continue reading In Strategic Move, Nike Lays Off Majority of FuelBand Team

Fire TV: Amazon Unveils its $99 STB-Game Console Hybrid

Amazon announced its new video streaming device called Amazon Fire TV that intends to take on products such as Roku and Apple TV. During a presentation this morning, Amazon’s Peter Larsen suggested that Amazon’s new hardware will address areas in which competing devices struggle including search, performance, and a closed ecosystem. The $99 Fire TV features a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Larsen claims it provides speeds three times faster than the latest Roku and Apple boxes. Continue reading Fire TV: Amazon Unveils its $99 STB-Game Console Hybrid

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

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

Internet of Things: Technicolor Brings Qeo to AllSeen Alliance

The AllSeen Alliance has announced that Technicolor is joining the organization as a premier member and will contribute its Qeo technology. According to the press release, Technicolor will work with Qualcomm Connected Experiences and the AllSeen Alliance to accelerate the unification of ecosystems related to the “Internet of Things.” Qeo was developed as a secure and future-proof communication framework that enables a user-friendly experience for connected devices and services. Continue reading Internet of Things: Technicolor Brings Qeo to AllSeen Alliance

Live Broadcasting Mobile App Possible Option for Google Glass

Journalist and ETCentric community member Adrian Pennington forwarded us some interesting news about a possible live broadcasting option for Google Glass. Users of the popular app “Hang w/” can stream live video clips from iOS devices to the Hang w/ site and share the content with friends via Facebook. While the clips are currently limited to streams of three, six, or nine minutes — the technology could possibly be used in the future by Google Glass users for longer broadcasts. Continue reading Live Broadcasting Mobile App Possible Option for Google Glass

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