Find out the week’s top mobile tech stories from around the world.
This week…Dish and Amazon discuss wireless partnership, Google’s new mobile data experiment, Tencent hits success with mobile gaming, Jay Z’s digital only album goes platinum… and much more.
Dish Network Corp Chief Executive Charlie Ergen and Amazon.com Inc head Jeff Bezos have discussed a partnership to enter the wireless business, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Amazon could help bankroll a network Dish is building focused on the “Internet of Things”, and could possibly offer its Prime members an option to pay a little more per month for a connectivity or phone plan, the Journal reported on Thursday, citing one person.
Amazon could also offer a one-way broadcast signal for its Prime video on Dish’s airwaves, the paper said, citing a person close to Dish’s plans.
Google recently began testing a new tool for helping people better manage the mobile data used by their smartphones. The new Android app, called Triangle, is currently being tested in the Philippines, and lets you do things like view your data balance, see which apps are accounting for the most data usage and even block individual applications from using your mobile data, among other things.
The problem of limited data is not one that’s as common here in the U.S., where unlimited data plans are the norm, and bandwidth is more readily available. However, in a number of emerging markets, mobile data usage is often a concern. With Triangle, Google is experimenting with a different way to cut down on mobile data by giving users more granular control over how that data is being used.
Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s investments in blockbuster video and gaming content are paying off — big-time.
China’s largest internet company posted record quarterly sales and profit that topped all analysts’ estimates as blockbuster titles including Honour of Kings drove a billion-plus users on WeChat and QQ to spend on game items. Chairman Pony Ma’s strategy of stockpiling rights to hit anime and novels and developing shows in-house is transforming the company into a hybrid Marvel Studios-Netflix style content factory.
Jay-Z’s digital-only album 4:44 has gone platinum within five days – despite limits on who could access it.
The music was only available on Tidal, the star’s own streaming service, and to customers of US mobile firm Sprint.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) platinum certification, which requires more than one million sales, is rare for digital-only albums.
The RIAA only started counting digital streams last year, with 1,500 plays considered equal to one album sale.
There is no lack of data supporting the continuing rise in mobile apps and the app stores that house them. The five leading app stores alone have over 6.5 million apps. Worryingly, this proliferation of inventory across app stores has been accompanied by an increase in blacklisted apps, which have doubled between 2015 and 2016. The vastness of this ecosystem provides the perfect hiding place for malicious actors. Why is this?
Most people are familiar with the leading app stores such as Apple and Google, but would be surprised to know that there are hundreds of stores out there. Some stores redirect users back to one of the primary stores for download while others hold their own inventory. Some do both.
There’s a growing movement among medical device manufacturers to develop industrywide cybersecurity standards that offer flexibility to innovate while providing basic protections against the emerging threats facing internet-enabled devices.
Robert Ford, Abbott’s executive vice president of medical devices, advocated for that approach during an event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center. Outlining his company’s methods—which include a product team devoted entirely to cybersecurity—Ford pushed for industrywide standards that could fix common vulnerabilities and urged for better threat sharing among industry leaders.
That approach was echoed in a report released (PDF) by Abbott and the Chertoff Group, which outlined potential standards that would cover encryption and data storage, authentication, software updates and patch management.
The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) said the telecoms sector is now a critical element in the country’s economy, as it revealed strong figures relating to mobile payments for goods and services.
In a report, CA noted the telecom industry’s contribution to Kenya’s broader economy laid a foundation for growth in mobile money services. The regulator also hinted mobile financial services could be a boon for operators moving forward by helping to offset declining voice and SMS traffic.
According to CA statistics, the value of payments for goods and services made on mobile money platforms hit KES627.4 billion ($6 billion) in the opening quarter of 2017, placing mobile payments comfortably ahead of cash and card payments, which totalled KES471.1 billion during the period.
Despite ruling that the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust breached the Data Protection Act in working with Google DeepMind, information commissioner Elizabeth Denham has told the NHS “it’s not a choice between privacy or innovation”.
The ICO this week published the findings of an investigation that concluded that the Royal Free failed to comply with its data-protection responsibilities in sharing patients’ details with the DeepMind artificial intelligence platform during a trial of a new mobile application.
Royal Free, which employs 10,000 people across three hospitals and more than 30 other sites in north London and Hertfordshire, began working with DeepMind in September 2015. Details of about 1.6 million citizens were shared with the AI specialist during a trial programme for a mobile app it had developed, called Streams, that is designed to help with diagnosing acute kidney injuries and alerting patients accordingly.
Two of China’s major telecom carriers, which trail the market leader, have joined forces to step up efforts to introduce phones that can access all networks.
China United Network Communications Group Corp, better known as China Unicom, and China Telecommunications Corp have intensified the campaign for smartphones that can support six different communication technologies (to wit: GSM, CDMA, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA, TD-LTE and FDD-LTE).
In the domestic mobile services market, the duo trails China Mobile Communications Corp. Once such six-mode handsets become popular, it will be far easier for consumers to buy a new phone.
Customers want more than just a good mobile app or efficient online banking if they are to remain loyal, banks are being told.
Professor Henry Chung, an associate professor in the Massey University Business School, has conducted research that shows banks cannot rely on the strength of their technology platforms to create loyalty with their business customers.
Chung said mobile and online technology revolutionised banking, but no one had studied whether it created the same brand loyalty that was achieved through face-to-face relationship building.