Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. WhatsApp has a back-and-forth in Brazil, Google gets access to healthcare data, Apple Pay readies for mobile websites and much more.
Western mobile gaming will grow to $30B, predicts Ngmoco founder Neil Young
Mobile gaming is on pace to generate $36.9 billion worldwide this year, but one of the people responsible for kicking off this industry in the first place thinks the West could reach and surpass that number by itself soon.
Consumers will start spending an average of five-to-eight times more on mobile gaming in the West, according to N3twork and Ngmoco founder Neil Young said during a fireside chat Tuesday at the GamesBeat Summit in Sausalito, California. This could push spending on iPhone and Android apps in the United States to $30 billion. To reach that massive figure, Young — who found early success with the iPhone game Rolando in 2008 — says that developers will have to create games that maximize how long people stick with a game and how much they spend each days
Mark Zuckerberg celebrates the end of WhatsApp ban in Brazil
Access to WhatsApp has been restored in Brazil, roughly 24 hours after telecom providers began blocking the messaging app in response to a court order. A judge in the Brazilian state of Sergipe ordered local phone carriers to block access to WhatsApp for 72 hours, but his ruling was overturned on appeal.
Mark Zuckerberg celebrated the end of the countrywide ban and called on Brazilian citizens to support legislation that would prevent a ban from happening again.
Mobile network operators could miss out on $142 billion mCommerce revenue
Computer Business Review
Mobile network operators (MNOs) are at risk of missing out on a $142 billion revenue opportunity in mobile money and mCommerce if they fail to address billing system shortcomings and overcome other technical barriers.
A report conducted by Ovum and commissioned by DOCOMO Digital warned that significant technical barriers stood in the way of MNOs monetising the opportunity.
Mobile network billing systems are currently unable to comply with the standards of merchants, it warned.
Paytm shakes hands with Uber and Alipay for payments across 400 cities worldwide
Till now, if you were an Uber user in India who wanted to hail a cab anywhere outside the country, you would have had to mandatorily register a credit card on your account.
But most Indian internet users don’t have a credit card. India, with its over 350 million internet users, has just 21 million credit card users.
But today onwards, Paytm wallet users can hail an Uber cab and pay with the online wallet at any of the 400-odd cities Uber runs in. Paytm has tied up with Uber for this.
Paytm is currently the one of the largest digital transactions platforms in India, bypassing India’s biggest online retailer Flipkart which ships about 8 million products a month.
Google given access to healthcare data of up to 1.6 million patients
A company owned by Google has been given access to the healthcare data of up to 1.6 million patients from three hospitals run by a major London NHS trust.
DeepMind, the tech giant’s London-based company most famous for its innovative use of artificial intelligence, is being provided with the patient information as part of an agreement with the Royal Free NHS trust, which runs the Barnet, Chase Farm and Royal Free hospitals.
It includes information about people who are HIV-positive as well as details of drug overdoses, abortions and patient data from the past five years, according to a report by the New Scientist.
India will be the 2nd largest smartphone market next year: Report
Times Of India
NEW DELHI: India will overtake the US as the second-largest smartphone market next year, and local players, led by Reliance Industries, will benefit in the near term, says Morgan Stanley in its latest report based on a survey.
“Following our survey of more than 2,600 urban smartphone buyers in India, we raise our global smartphone unit growth estimate by one percentage point in each of 2017 and 2018,” said the report.
Travel industry missing a trick on mobile payments, says Adyen report
Travel made up 15.5% of mobile transactions on global payments network Adyen in the first quarter of the year, according to a new report from the company. Compared to the global share of 32%, the Netherlands-based company suggests there are big opportunities for travel companies that invest in better mobile shopping and payments experiences.
Indeed, the company says that early movers in the travel space are already “reaping rewards”.
Opera brings native ad blocking to its desktop and mobile browsers
Earlier this year, Opera introduced built-in ad blocking for the developer version of its browser. Now, it’s making the same feature available in its regular software for both desktop and mobile devices.
The company claims that native ad blocking makes browsing the web even faster than using a third-party ad blocker or add-on, and that it reduces RAM consumption, too. The native ad blocker is deactivated by default in the browser, but can be turned on by accessing the Settings or Preferences menu. The company has also released a new tool letting users compare the loading speed of specific sites with and without ads.
Apple, Facebook and other tech firms urge presidential candidates to support encryption as ‘critical security tool’ and more
(Reuters) – Thirteen U.S. industry groups representing technology companies Amazon, Uber, Apple, Facebook and others are pushing for the next U.S. president to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and to make it easier to hire high-tech workers from abroad, according to a joint letter seen by Reuters.
Ahead of the Republican and Democratic conventions in July, the tech industry plans to issue on Wednesday an open letter charting a dozen policy recommendations for the candidates running in the Nov. 8 presidential election. The groups are not aligning themselves with either of the two major political parties.
Apple Pay Coming to Mobile Websites Before Holiday Shopping Season
Apple Pay is finally ready to move beyond apps.
Apple has been telling potential partners that its payment service, which lets shoppers complete a purchase on mobile apps with their fingerprint rather than by entering credit card details, is expanding to websites later this year, multiple sources told Re/code.
The service will be available to shoppers using the Safari browser on models of iPhones and iPads that possess Apple’s TouchID fingerprint technology, these people said. Apple has also considered making the service available on Apple laptops and desktops, too, though it’s not clear if the company will launch that capability.