Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. European operators weigh impact of Brexit, Google stepping up smartphone wars, Myanmar set to become worlds first mobile-only market and much more.
Europe’s leading operators weigh impact of Brexit
Mobile World Live
Vodafone, Orange, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica are analysing the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
Reports vary about the potential impact of Brexit on Telefonica’s plans for an IPO of its global infrastructure unit Telxius, as well as a possible IPO or sale of its O2 UK unit.
The Spanish operator told Reuters it was sticking to its 2016 targets despite the UK’s decision. “Telefonica maintains its objectives”, it said in an email.
Google to step up smartphone wars with release of own handset
Google is planning a shake-up of the smartphone market by releasing its own handset, a move that would tighten its grip on mobile software and see it compete directly with the iPhone.
The technology giant is in discussions with mobile operators about releasing a Google-branded phone that will extend the company’s move into hardware, sources familiar with the discussions told The Telegraph.
Google already develops the Android operating system that runs on four in five smartphones sold around the world, and endorses a range of phones made by partners such as LG and Huawei under the Google Nexus brand. But unlike Apple, it leaves manufacturing to other companies such as Samsung, with the company concentrating on developing the free software that runs on its phones.
Myanmar Set to Become the World’s First Mobile-Only Market
WPP Millward Brown, Myanmar (also known as Burma) and its former capital Yangon have released the BrandZ inaugural Spotlight on Myanmar study. The report uncovers critical business insights into the country, which is rated as the world’s fastest-growing economy, and looks at the evolving psyche behind Myanmar’s 51m consumers.
The report concludes that the country could turn out to be the world’s first mobile-only market. Consumers are increasingly looking to mobile for both information and entertainment. While TV is important, the report says that brands need to consider Myanmar as not just a mobile-first environment but also a mobile-only market.
PayPal’s mobile app gets a ‘donate’ button, making it easier to give to charity
PayPal believes it has made it easier to give back with a revised mobile app that now includes a dedicated “donate” button. A press of this button starts a process whereby you can give to any of the tens of thousands of charities that participate in the payment processing company’s PayPal Giving Fund.
According to The Giving Institute, an organization that measures philanthropy, Americans gave $373.3 billion in 2015, with individuals providing more than two-thirds of that amount. And when you look at the current mobile landscape, if you wish to donate to a charity, there’s no centralized area from which to do so — can you contribute through Facebook? Square? Google? LinkedIn? Snapchat? And PayPal wants to be the market leader for all things payment-related, be they commercial or philanthropic in nature.
Parking fine chat bot ‘DoNotPay’ helps over 160,000 people beat charges in London and New York
A bot that helps people get out of traffic fines has helped 160,000 people get out of their tickets.
DoNotPay – a site that helps people find the best challenge to their parking tickets – has been used a quarter of a million times, according to its teenage creator Joshua Browder.
The service allows users to quickly find how they might be able to challenge parking tickets, and then quickly generates a letter to present to authorities. From beginning to end, people can have a successful challenge written in under a minute.
Smartphone apps putting Indians’ privacy at risk: Symantec
The Indian Express
Nearly one in two Indians have granted access to contacts and mobile data in exchange for free apps and close to 40 per cent have granted access to their camera, revealed global leader in cyber security Norton by Symantec on Tuesday.
Commissioned with 1,005 Indian smartphone and tablet users aged 16 and above, the findings from the Norton Mobile Survey shed light on the security gaps and the privacy risks smartphone and mobile applications (apps) present.
The most concerning security issues for the Indian mobile users were virus/malware attacks (34 per cent), followed by threats involving fraudulent access or misuse of credit card or bank account details (21 per cent) and hacking or leaking of personal information (19 per cent).
Line Adds End-To-End Encryption To Its Mobile Messaging App
Japan-based Line is finally bringing end-to-end encryption to its mobile messaging service, which is used by over 211 million people worldwide each month.
The company said today that a new security feature, dubbed ‘Letter Sealing’, will bring encryption to messages and features on the service, starting with one-on-one chats and the service’s location-sharing feature, on its mobile and desktop apps.
“This method of secure communication facilitates uncrackable encryption by scrambling the chat content with a key, which is stored only in user device instead of a centralized server. With the advanced security system, it is technically impossible for the chat content to be disclosed in the server or to a third party,” Line said in a statement.
Amazon Dash Buttons can now restock your Nerf ammo and Play-Doh
Amazon Dash Buttons are finally tackling the most important human needs: toys.
The online retailer has added 50 new brands to its press-to-order Amazon Prime program. The latest Dash Buttons include dozens of products, including Nerf ammunition (those foam mini-missiles always gets lost) and Play-Doh.
(Perhaps despite the slogan, “Fun to play with, not to eat,” too many kids are still scarfing down the salty modeling compound, requiring frequent re-orders? Don’t ask me how I know it’s salty.)
China announces stricter rules for all mobile apps
Tech In Asia
If you’re a mobile dev with an eye on China, be warned: the regulatory environment is about to get stricter.
On Tuesday, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) issued new regulations aimed at tightening control of China’s mobile app environment. Among other changes, the regulations dictate that beginning August 1, all mobile app providers must:
Standard Chartered to allow mobile banking with just your fingerprints
The Economic Times
Standard Chartered Bank on Wednesday launched its ‘Touch ID’ innovation on its mobile banking platform, ‘SC Mobile’, which would allow bank customers to use a touch ID in place of username and password.
Now the mobile banking customers of Standard Chartered Bank will be offered the chance to log in to their mobile banking application with a fingerprint verification system.