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Global_News_MEF 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

Google to pilot modular phone in Puerto Rico


Google plans to pilot a modular phone, on which components can be swapped, this year.

It says tests will take place in Puerto Rico, where devices will be distributed from “food-truck-style stores”.

The firm suggests phones with swappable parts will cost less to maintain and be more attractive to consumers who want to customise their devices.

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Xiaomi bolsters its high-end lineup with two new flagship phones


Xiaomi, a Chinese company and the third largest smartphone maker in the world, held one of its big events in Beijing on Thursday. Among the now-standard Xiaomi launch fanfare, the company introduced two new smartphones, a pair of premium headphones, and a TV streaming stick that looks similar to a smartphone charger.

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Apple Patents iCloud-Based Touch ID Syncing For Devices And Apple Pay Terminals

Tech Crunch

Apple has a new patent published by the USPTO today (via AppleInsider) that shows off a system through which Touch ID information could be collected on a primary device, and then transferred via iCloud to a secondary device for use in authentication, or to set up said device presumably without repeating the enrolment process. It could also be used to allow dedicated Apple Pay terminals with their own Touch ID sensors to verify user fingerprint information and process transactions without even needing the primary device to be present.

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FTC Remarks Signal Heightened Focus on Mobile Health Devices

National Law Review

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairwoman Edith Ramirez’s remarks at the International Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday signal that FTC may be paying increased attention to privacy and security issues in the mobile health industry.

The speech focused on how “the introduction of sensors and devices into currently intimate spaces – like our homes, cars, and even our bodies” results in increased data sensitivity and heightened challenges for consumer protection.  Those challenges, according to Ramirez, stem from three overarching issues: (1) ubiquitous data collection; (2) using data in ways consumers don’t expect (and the adverse consequences of such use); and (3) heightened security risks.

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Almost One in Three Americans Are Logging Personal Bio-data

Mobile Marketing Magazine

31 per cent of Americans currently use ‘quantified self’ tools to track their health and fitness, from smart watches and wearable fitness trackers to smartphone apps, a new report has revealed.

The survey by AI ad firm Rocket Fuel also revealed that 43 per cent of users are willing to share their behavioural data for more personalised digital ads, and they were five times more likely to purchase due to digital ads than non-quantified self users.

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DE-BG372_Whatsa_GR_20140528075340WhatsApp and iMessage could be banned under new surveillance plans


David Cameron could block WhatsApp and Snapchat if he wins the next election, as part of his plans for new surveillance powers announced in the wake of the shootings in Paris. The Prime Minister said today that he would stop the use of methods of communication that cannot be read by the security services even if they have a warrant. But that could include popular chat and social apps that encrypt their data, such as WhatsApp.

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Report: Most physicians use BYOD smartphones, but lack support from hospital IT

Mobile Health News

Physician adoption of smartphones and tablets is higher than it’s ever been, but poor communication between IT departments and doctors keeps those devices from being effectively used, according to a new report from Spyglass Consulting. The report estimates that 96 percent of doctors have smartphones, but only 10 percent are actually willing to use their mobile devices to access electronic health records.

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NFC and m-wallets? Half of US consumers don’t know what they are

Mobile Money Revolution

A new study into payments tech by Verifone and Wakefield Research of 1,000 adults US adults has revealed a mixed picture. Basically, there’s the ignorant and the converts. And a big divide between the two. It revealed half were unfamiliar with mobile tech such as NFC and mobile wallets. Similarly, half said they were unlikely to shop in a store because it used in-store tracking technology to provide offers on mobiles.

Yet at the same time 53 per cent said it was important for more stores to install devices that enable consumers to pay with their phones.

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New images illustrate how an iPhone app will control the Apple Watch


The iOS 8.2 beta confirmed that the Apple Watch is — unsurprisingly — getting a specific app, but a new leak purports to show just how the iPhone will manage the device.9to5Mac got access to the companion app and published screenshots from the interface

Here’s an example of some of the app configuration settings, courtesy of 9to5Mac:

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Mobile Shopping blog pic2

Malls adopt mobile solution for personalized communication with customers

Mobile Time

Each commemorative day, as Mother’s Day or Christmas, retail spends a fortune in media to attract consumers into their stores, but collects little information about them. The solution to improve this relationship may be in the customers’ pocket: your smartphones. The Kanamobi, a Brazilian company specializing in mobile marketing, created the OctoPlus, a mobile intelligence platform for shopping malls and large retailers such as supermarkets and other networks.

The first to adopt it is the Vertical Shopping in Rio de Janeiro. The second will be the Suzano Shopping, from a contract with its holding company, General Shopping. The network of shoe stores My Shoes, in turn, is under implementation. The estimated Kanamobi is approaching the end of year 3 to 5 million users using mobile applications connected to OctoPlus.

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Global News Round-up – These articles are not written by MEF and do not represent any views of individuals, members or the organisation.