Apple Programming Language Swift Helps to Develop iOS Apps

Apple released a test version of its new programming language called Swift on June 2, and it is rapidly gaining popularity. Now developers for iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps can write code in an integrated development environment (IDE) and changes to the code can be added during a running process. The Playgrounds tool lets developers experiment with their code and learn new skills. Swift may well be on its way to becoming a mainstream coding language. Continue reading Apple Programming Language Swift Helps to Develop iOS Apps

Solar-Powered Park Bench Serves as Mobile Charging Station

Changing Environments, a spin-off of MIT Media Lab, has created a $3,000 solar-powered bench called Soofa (a play on “smart urban furniture”). The bench features two USB ports that allow users to charge their smartphones and other mobile devices. On its website, Soofa provides info about weather, noise level and air quality around its benches, which are currently springing up in parks and campuses across Boston, with plans to soon launch in New York and San Jose, California. Continue reading Solar-Powered Park Bench Serves as Mobile Charging Station

Nielsen Teams Up with Facebook to Measure Mobile TV Viewing

Facebook and Nielsen are joining forces as part of an ambitious campaign to better measure how consumers are using their mobile devices for accessing entertainment media. As part of the mobile ratings Nielsen plans to introduce this fall, Facebook will scan its databases for the age and gender of its users who watch a TV show on their phone or tablet. The data will be shared with Nielsen and ultimately help networks and advertisers learn more about the viewing habits of consumers. Continue reading Nielsen Teams Up with Facebook to Measure Mobile TV Viewing

Adtile Plans New App-Style Store for Interactive Mobile Ads

Adtile, a startup that promotes interactive mobile advertising, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding, with plans to introduce an app-style store for mobile ads. Adtile’s Motion Ads format encourages users to play with ads by shaking and turning their phones. The result could be spilling a virtual coffee cup, for example, that then displays a list of nearby stores. Building these ads can be an extensive process, so the store plans to sell pre-designed and pre-coded Motion Ads. Continue reading Adtile Plans New App-Style Store for Interactive Mobile Ads

Increasing Number of Smartphones Are Capable of 4K Video

An estimated 160 million phones sold this year will feature 4K video-capable cameras, while only two percent of TVs shipped to North America will have 4K screens. These cameras will be available on high-end models, including the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Sony Xperia Z2 and the LG G Pro 2. Meanwhile, cable, satellite and telecommunications companies are unlikely to move to Ultra HD for a few years as they wait for more TVs to show up in American homes. Continue reading Increasing Number of Smartphones Are Capable of 4K Video

Skimo App Allows Users to Quickly Catch Up on TV Episodes

A new app called Skimo, short for “skim the video,” allows users to skim a 20-minute video in about two minutes, straight from their smartphone or tablet. The Skimo video summarization engine uses an algorithm that analyzes the scenes, shots and frames of videos and summarizes them, letting users catch up on television series in a fraction of the time. The service focuses on the formula that writers and filmmakers use to create a captivating show, focusing on the six crucial scenes from each episode.

Continue reading Skimo App Allows Users to Quickly Catch Up on TV Episodes

New Report Predicts Massive International Growth for Netflix

Netflix is poised to significantly expand its international subscriber base, according to research from Goldman Sachs. The company is expected to add six new markets this year, followed by four new markets annually. Its total of 11.7 million paid international subscribers, reported at the end of the first quarter, is projected to grow to 62 million by the end of 2017. Since mobile is considered a platform for potential growth, Goldman expects a shift in viewing among toddlers and children. Continue reading New Report Predicts Massive International Growth for Netflix

Google: Project Tango Tablet with 3D Camera in Development

Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) has some notable new technologies in development, including a tablet with 3D scanning, a modular phone and digital storytelling. The tablet will feature Project Tango 3D technology to make games and images come to life. LG is planning to manufacture the tablets to debut in 2015. The digital storytelling content will be available on all Android phones later this year, but the modular phone will not hit the market for some time. Continue reading Google: Project Tango Tablet with 3D Camera in Development

Google I/O: The Future is All About the Android Mobile OS

During yesterday’s keynote event at Google I/O, the company unleashed its Android Everywhere strategy and a slew of related announcements. Google envisions us taking the more contextually aware Android mobile OS from place to place through every part of our lives, including our televisions, laptops, vehicles, bodies and workplaces. Major announcements unveiled details regarding Android L (5.0), Android Wear, Android Auto, Android TV, and integrating Android applications into Chromebooks. Continue reading Google I/O: The Future is All About the Android Mobile OS

Attention Broadcasters: Mobile Video Viewing is on the Rise

According to a study from Ooyala, mobile devices are increasingly playing a major role in the consumption of online video. The research indicates that during the first quarter of this year, smartphones and tablets were responsible for 21 percent of all online video-plays worldwide, up from 9 percent in 2013 and a mere 3.4 percent two years ago. Considering that mobile and tablet video viewership is up 532 percent since 2012, the data should be of particular interest to broadcasters. Continue reading Attention Broadcasters: Mobile Video Viewing is on the Rise

SK Telecom Introduces New LTE-Advanced Broadband Service

Korea’s largest mobile operator, SK Telecom rolled out its new LTE-Advanced broadband service last week. South Korean customers will now have access to 4G wireless network speeds up to 225Mbps (three times faster than other current mobile connections). This speed will allow users to download 800MB movies in less than half a minute. A new version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be the first to support LTE-A speeds, while LG and Pantech plan to launch compatible devices next month. Continue reading SK Telecom Introduces New LTE-Advanced Broadband Service

Amazon Unveils New 3D Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the company’s new Fire Phone yesterday in Seattle. The 4.7-inch smartphone, which features a 3D display that detects where eyes are looking on the screen with “Dynamic Perspective,” will be available July 25 starting at $200. The device includes a scanning feature with its Firefly app, which allows users to scan products, signs, UPC or QR codes (ideal for shopping on Amazon), and Shazam-like features to identify songs and pinpoint scenes in movies or TV shows. Continue reading Amazon Unveils New 3D Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective

LiveSphere: 360-Degree Immersive Broadcast Video Platform

Journalist and ETCentric contributor Adrian Pennington forwarded us news that the LiveSphere 360-degree broadcast video application, which is presently under development in France and is at least a year from a commercial product, was tested during the recent Roland-Garros tennis tournament. LiveSphere is being developed by compression specialist ATEME in partnership with Kolor, maker of photo and video stitching software, and mobile interaction expert Finwe. Continue reading LiveSphere: 360-Degree Immersive Broadcast Video Platform

Amazon Releases App Figures in Preparation for Launch Event

Following several hardware launches over the past year, including new Kindle Fire tablets and its Fire TV streaming box, Amazon is expected to unveil its first smartphone during a launch event in Seattle on Wednesday. To generate buzz, the company posted a YouTube video about a mysterious new product and announced that the number of apps in its Appstore nearly tripled over the past year. More than 240,000 apps are now available, and Amazon claims developers can make more money with its apps. Continue reading Amazon Releases App Figures in Preparation for Launch Event

EU and South Korea Team Up for Faster Mobile Internet Access

South Korea and the European Union announced a new pact today to develop 5G networks for faster mobile Internet service. The two will launch a joint group with plans to develop systems, set standards and ready radio frequencies in order to help establish a global vision on 5G by the end of next year. According to EU data, the six minutes required to download a one-hour HD movie on a 4G mobile Internet would only take six seconds on a superfast 5G network. Continue reading EU and South Korea Team Up for Faster Mobile Internet Access

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