At Mobile World Congress, Seven Trends Point to the Future

At Mobile World Congress, phone manufacturers introduced new hardware and software. Rivals Samsung and LG competed with new screens, cameras, and payment technologies. From the perspective of advertisers, however, other mobile capabilities are emerging that are likely to have significant impact on how brands and consumers interact. Among those developments, messaging evolves into a dominant platform, artificial intelligence becomes “our best friend,” and ad blocking forces mobile content behind a pay wall. Continue reading At Mobile World Congress, Seven Trends Point to the Future

Periscope Releases Several New Features in iOS App Update

Twitter’s live video streamer Periscope updated its iOS app this week to include a new mute feature that prevents users from being interrupted by new broadcast notifications. Version 1.1.3 also brings a refreshed global feed for discovering streams around the world, the ability to access your broadcast stats from previous streams (not just at the conclusion of a broadcast), the option of language preferences in profile settings, and Handoff support that allows users to initiate viewing on one device and pick up the same stream on another device. Continue reading Periscope Releases Several New Features in iOS App Update

Twitter Launches “Quality Filter” to Help Combat Cyberbullies

Twitter wants to put an end to cyberbullying on its popular social platform. CEO Dick Costolo recently addressed the issue in an internal memo and mentioned plans to intervene against abusive Twitter users whenever possible. Among those plans is the “quality filter,” a feature designed to help verified users remove inappropriate, offensive and abusive Tweets from their notifications timeline. As of now, the new feature is only available to iOS users with verified Twitter accounts.  Continue reading Twitter Launches “Quality Filter” to Help Combat Cyberbullies

New Google Now API Could Impact the Future of Android Apps

Google will release an open API for the Google Now dashboard/personal assistant, which will allow developers to integrate their apps into the service. Android users might one day be able to get all of the relevant information from Google Now without ever having to open the apps. Currently, Google Now only pulls notifications from Google-based apps like Maps and Search, but another 40 third-party apps are in a pilot program to integrate their apps with Google Now. Continue reading New Google Now API Could Impact the Future of Android Apps

SXSW Will Use Beacon Technology to Push Festival Information

The 2015 South by Southwest (SXSW) Music, Film and Interactive Festival — which runs March 13-22 in Austin, Texas — plans to employ the latest beacon technology to help attendees navigate the sprawling event this time around. SXSW has partnered with Eventbase to install 1,000 Apple iBeacons that will deliver location-based information about who else is nearby and what acts are performing nearby. These Bluetooth-enabled devices send the information to the 2015 SXSW Go app. Continue reading SXSW Will Use Beacon Technology to Push Festival Information

New Hardware Lets Developers Make Their Own Smart Devices

Startup Haltian has created a hardware device for the Internet of Things so that developers do not have to worry about designing and manufacturing the gadget. Developers can get straight to finding new ways to implement the open-source Thingsee One device, which is packed with different types of sensors that can send notifications back to an app. Thingsee One uses a 2G radio to communicate with the mobile app, so that battery life can last up to a year without charging. Continue reading New Hardware Lets Developers Make Their Own Smart Devices

Apple Releases its WatchKit SDK for Apple Watch Developers

Developers can now start creating apps for Apple’s new wearable, the Apple Watch, with the company’s newly released development platform. WatchKit includes the Xcode 6.2 beta and the iOS 8.2 software development kit. Apple also provided design and user interface guidelines, so that developers can craft seamless apps for the Apple Watch. The iPhone itself will actually do most of the processing in the apps, but the watch will receive the user’s input and display output. Continue reading Apple Releases its WatchKit SDK for Apple Watch Developers

Guggenheim Museum Testing Beacon Technology for Exhibits

The Guggenheim Museum, a premier art museum in New York City, is making its exhibits more interactive by integrating beacon technology. The beacons are small, box-like sensors that use Bluetooth technology to detect when a smartphone is in proximity. The museum will use its 20 to 30 beacons to track traffic flow through the building. In the future, the beacons may transmit informational alerts to visitors’ phones as they approach a painting or sculpture. Continue reading Guggenheim Museum Testing Beacon Technology for Exhibits

Android Wear Is Promising Software for the Future of Watches

The first Android Wear smartwatches will enter the market next week. The Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch will both run Google’s Android Wear operating system, which requires an Android smartphone with the companion app to work. Users with an Android Wear smartwatch can check their smartphone’s notifications from a quick look at their wrist. The most notable feature of the new software is Google Now, an online personal assistant. Continue reading Android Wear Is Promising Software for the Future of Watches

WWDC: Apple Announces New OS X, iOS 8 and iCloud Drive

Apple kicked off its Worldwide Developer Conference yesterday in San Francisco with a software-focused, two-hour event that highlighted the future of OS X, iOS 8, and a collection of new developer tools intended to encourage the creation of new apps. Apple’s new OS X Yosemite, with a visual overhaul inspired by iOS, will have a public beta this summer and will be available this fall. The company also announced iCloud Drive, a file system for storing documents in the cloud. Continue reading WWDC: Apple Announces New OS X, iOS 8 and iCloud Drive

Snapchat Agrees to Settle with FTC Over Deceptive Marketing

The Federal Trade Commission recently charged Snapchat of deceiving users about the privacy of their personal data and their image and video messages. Under the terms of a new settlement with the FTC, Snapchat will be required to implement a privacy program that will be independently monitored for the next 20 years. If Snapchat violates the agreement, the company may be subject to fines. Snapchat has reportedly resolved most of the privacy issues over the past year. Continue reading Snapchat Agrees to Settle with FTC Over Deceptive Marketing

Gamification: Samsung App Rewards Drivers for Not Texting

A new app from Samsung was developed with the intention of keeping drivers off their phones while behind the wheel. Startling statistics indicate that text messaging while driving makes you 23 times more likely to get in an accident. More startling yet is that more than 77 percent of young American adults believe they’re able to text while safely driving. To combat that, Samsung’s new Android app, “Eyes on the Road,” turns not texting into a game with tangible rewards for safe driving. Continue reading Gamification: Samsung App Rewards Drivers for Not Texting