Each week the MEF team curates mobile stories from around the world. Essential news you may have missed, the latest market insight & data nuggets, the Global Mobile News Round-up offers an instant international mobile content and commerce snapshot.
Global News Stories
BlackPhone, the post-Snowden, pro-privacy Android smartphone joint venture between secure comms company Silent Circle and phone maker Geeksphone, has confirmed it will be adding an app store to its PrivatOS in an update early next year.
The major update will also roll out another new feature called ‘Spaces’. This will enable users to segment activity on their device by creating multiple secure spaces for particular apps, accounts or data. The feature will be powered by Canadian company Graphite Software‘s OS-level virtualization software.
Mobile shopping in America is at its busiest on Sundays but receives its lowest traffic flow on Fridays, according to research from Opera Mediaworks.
The report, which used anonymous data from the 270 million users of Opera Software’s mobile browsers, in addition to information from the firm’s mobile ad platform between November 2013 and October 2014 found that, on average, smartphone shoppers favoured shopping on Sundays, contrasting with desktop browsers who are most active on Mondays.
At Business Insider’s IGNITION event last week, Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget detailed the future of the digital landscape, pointing out some important trends. For example, more than a quarter of all internet traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets — and two big internet properties are responsible for a huge amount of that traffic.
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WayForward Technologies has been making video games for almost 25 years. In that time the studio has been trusted with some of the biggest names in the medium, making new Silent Hill, Contra, and Double Dragon games and working with big companies like Capcom and Disney. Some of WayForward’s own original games, meanwhile, have gone on to become cult classics, like the beloved Game Boy Color adventure Shantae. But the studio’s newest game is also its biggest. Called Til Morning’s Light, the game has been in development for around a year, and it takes place in a sprawling, four-story-tall haunted mansion with more than 100 different rooms to explore. “I’ve been here a decade,” says WayForward designer Adam Tierney, “and I’m pretty sure this is the biggest thing we’ve ever done.”
The crazy part? It was built for Amazon’s struggling Fire Phone.
According to the World Health Organisation, Sub Saharan Africa is home to 12% of the world’s population yet shoulders the burden of 26% of the global disease burden. In 2014 Africa’s fragile health system has undergone enormous pressure with Ebola having killed thousands of people across the continent. In addition, diseases such as Malaria (90% of the world’s malaria cases occur in Africa), HIV/Aids (60% of the world’s HIV/AIDS cases occur in Africa) and numerous chronic medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes continue to increase the death toll in Africa.
Braintree is rolling out its One Touch mobile payments platform with PayPal to international markets.Already available in the US since September, One Touch enables people to pay across their favorite apps in a single touch across platforms, eliminating the need for usernames and passwords.
Braintree is now rolling out the platform to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK, with plans to eventually extend it to 40 countries across the globe. The company says international transactions currently account for more than a third of its authorised payment volume
Walgreens is giving California and Michigan users of its Web site and mobile application round-the-clock access to doctors in its latest deep dive into the growing mobile health space.
The service, which will be gradually rolled out to other states and markets, lets users consult virtually with MDLive certified physicians who can also prescribe medication for a range of acute conditions. It is an example of how mobile can be deployed to offer consumers more choice for convenient care as pharmacy chains move deeper into the healthcare-services field.
After Delhi and Hyderabad, it’s Mumbai’s turn to log out of taxi apps. And Uber gets sued in California too
Taking a cue from the central government’s advice to states, Maharashtra has decided to ban Uber and other taxi apps until they get licences. This means Uber cabs will go off the roads in India’s two most populous cities, Delhi and Mumbai, apart from Hyderabad. The remaining eight cities in which Uber operates in India may follow suit soon.
It’s been four days since the arrest of an Uber driver in Delhi for raping a young woman in his cab, and the pressure is mounting on the American company to work out a better way of running its app in India. And in a double whammy, Uber has just got sued in the US on similar concerns about its driver screening as those being expressed in India.
Nearly two years after Facebook introduced Graph Search, its search engine, the social network is finally bringing it to mobile. The company unveiled Facebook Search on Monday, a rebranded version of Graph Search that lets users search on their phone using phrases like, “Restaurants that my friends like in San Francisco.” The new feature also lets people use keywords to find Facebook posts and photo captions, according to Rousseau Kazi, a product manager on Facebook’s search team. Previously, a keyword search would only return relevant Pages, people or Groups. (You still can’t search comments, he says.) This feature is also rolling out to desktop this week.
VCs are all over European payment companies, according to new stats from Dow Jones VentureSource and reported in the WSJ. It says payments and transaction processing companies in Europe raised $417.9 million through 26 deals in the nine months to September. That’s more than seven times the amount raised last year. And it’s the most raised since VentureSource started recording data in 2000. Needless to say mobile is at the heart of it, with the three standout deals all coming from the space.
Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.