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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.

This week..  WhatsApp and Facebook to face EU data taskforce, Target Adds AR Tech To Mobile Shopping, CEO of ARM says Cybersecurity is a mess and much more…

WhatsApp and Facebook to face EU data taskforce


WhatsApp and Facebook will be scrutinised by a data protection taskforce, after they were accused of “non-compliance” with EU laws.

The regulators took issue with the messaging app’s plan to share user data with parent company Facebook.

A group of watchdogs and regulators from EU nations, known as the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, said WhatsApp had not fixed issues raised.

WhatsApp and Facebook have yet to reply to the BBC’s request for comment.

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Target Adds AR Tech To Mobile Shopping Experience

Mobile Marketing Magazine

Discount retailer Target has added AR technology to its mobile site, so customers can see how furniture will look in their home before purchasing the product.

With ‘See It In Your Space’, customers shopping with Target’s new Project 62 line can are able to select proper scale 3D versions of home products and move them around a room – through their phone’s camera – to see how well it goes.

The mobile web feature is currently available for 200 Project 62 Target home products. The retailer says it will roll the functionality out to hundreds more products by the end of the years and thousands more in 2018.

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Cybersecurity is a mess, mobile chip chief says


Artificial intelligence and the internet of things will change the way we live, but they’re still plagued by one big thing: a lack of security.

That, at least, is the perspective of Simon Segars, CEO of chip technology company ARM Holdings.

“Cybersecurity is a mess,” Segars said Wednesday during a keynote at the ARM TechCon conference in Santa Clara, California. “The bad news is, unless we do something, it’s going to get worse.”

ARM is the UK company whose designs are the basis for most of the world’s mobile processors, including those made by Apple and Samsung. Last year, Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank bought ARM for nearly $32 billion (£24 billion).

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Apple says claim that it reduced accuracy of Face ID to meet demand is ‘completely false’

Tech Crunch

A Bloomberg report today made claims that Apple had reduced its requirements from suppliers on the accuracy level of Face ID. Apple has issued a statement stating that the report is “completely false” and that it expects Face ID to be the new gold standard of facial authentication.

The statement from Apple:

Customer excitement for iPhone X and Face ID has been incredible, and we can’t wait for customers to get their hands on it starting Friday, November 3. Face ID is a powerful and secure authentication system that’s incredibly easy and intuitive to use. The quality and accuracy of Face ID haven’t changed. It continues to be 1 in a million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone with Face ID.

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African e-health startups multiply but shun mobile

Capital Business

According to the African E-health Startup Ecosystem Report 2017, released by Disrupt Africa, 115 e-health startups are currently operating in 20 countries across Africa.

The number of startups launching annually continent-wide has risen over the past three years, and investors are also beginning to pay more attention – the number of startups raising funding to grow their businesses is increasing each year.

To date, Africa’s e-health startups combined have raised investment in excess of US$19 million.

However, contrary to Africa’s global reputation as a “mobile-first” continent, the majority of e-health startups tracked in the new report do not use mobile to reach their customers.

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Chipmaker Qualcomm Bets On Healthcare’s Wireless Future


IMAGINE YOU’RE IN a futuristic clinic, standing in front of a middle-aged man. One of his arms is outstretched while the other stays limp, giving him the effect of a zombie. His face droops on one side. When he speaks, it sounds like his mouth is full of marbles.

You talk to him, ask him to raise that limp arm, try to figure out what’s wrong with him. If you were a doctor—and maybe you aren’t—you could save him, could figure out that this man is having a stroke and treat him in time to stop the bleeding in his brain.

There’s no stroke victim in front of you, though. The man is not real. The clinic exists only in virtual reality, and your patient is a figment of the digital world, his symptoms a mere illustration of what might happen in real life.

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Pay with Google offers businesses a way to streamline payments for mobile users

Tech Republic

On Monday, Google launched a new service called Pay with Google that will allow users to pay for products or services using payment information that is already tied to an existing Google account, such as YouTube or the Google Play store, the firm announced in a blog post.

The service is meant to help streamline the mobile payment process and make online checkouts less frustrating, the post said. The service was originally teased as the Google Payment API back in May 2017, with one of the key value adds being that it could help developers “enable an easy-to-use checkout experience for their customers.”

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They’ve conquered shops and cafes; now WeChat Pay and Alipay are taking the fight to China’s trains

South China Morning Post

From November, passengers will be able to buy their train tickets using Tencent’s WeChat Pay on the official booking website, and its mobile app, according to China Railway, the national operator.

The move breaks the four-year dominance of Alipay over mobile payments in China’s multibillion-dollar train ticket booking market. Alipay is owned by Alibaba, which also owns the South China Morning Post.

The potential rewards for the payment service that attracts the most bookings are huge: official data shows the country’s railways carried 2.81 billion passengers in 2016, up 11 per cent from the previous year.

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Unity partnership with GameCredits will bring blockchain to mobile games

Silicon Angle

Game developer tools outfit Unity Technologies SF today announced a partnership with blockchain company GameCredits Inc. to accelerate the adoption of digital assets in the gaming industry.

The partnership would potentially bring blockchain assets to 3 billion unique mobile devices running Unity-made games and apps. Founded in 2014, the vision of the GameCredits team is to revolutionize game payments with distributed ledger technology, also known as blockchains. This is the same technology that underlies the tradable digital currency bitcoin, which recently exceeded a market valuation of $97 billion.

The company uses its own proprietary blockchain technology to provide the means for game developers to issue their own blockchain-based tokens as currency. This will allow app creators to transact securely and privately with those tokens and make money from apps without the need for a third-party payment processor such as Google Inc. or Apple Inc.

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McDonald’s prepares to ‘flip the marketing switch’ to drive up mobile ordering

Marketing Week

McDonald’s is getting ready to “flip the marketing switch” on digital services such as mobile ordering and delivery as it looks to drive up usage and ensure the features become a meaningful part of its business.

Speaking on an analyst call this afternoon (24 October) following its third quarter results, McDonald’s US VP Chris Kempczinski explained: “We are still in the early innings of digital but we’re seeing a really nice start to it.

“We are seeing strong offer momentum… and as we’re rolling out mobile order and pay, the power is going to then bring together the offer with the ability to do mobile order and pay. Right now we’re really focused on getting the operations right. What happens in 2018, when we flip the marketing switch on it and start to drive really much more increased usage? We want to make sure that we’re ready when we do flip on the marketing switch that we’re ready to handle the business with it.”

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