Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. Apple Apologizes Over Siri Audio Recordings, Huawei’s next phone will not have Google apps, Blockchain is bolstering the Internet of Things and much more.
Apple Inc. apologized for privacy mishaps surrounding its Siri voice assistant and said that it would no longer retain audio recordings of Siri interactions, among other changes.
The announcement follows criticism of the iPhone maker and other technology giants for employing humans to listen to recordings of user interactions with voice assistants in a bid to improve the product. Apple had hundreds of contractors listening to Siri in a process called “grading,” but the company suspended the program a few weeks ago after some consumers raised concerns.
Huawei’s next flagship smartphone will not come with Google’s popular apps including Maps and YouTube.
Google confirmed that due to a US government ban on sales to Huawei, it could not license its apps to the Chinese smartphone giant. It also means the next Huawei phone will not have access to the Google Play app store, which could leave customers without access to other popular apps. Analysts suggest Huawei will struggle to sell a phone without Google’s apps.
T-Mobile is expanding its support for eSIM technology today, offering the digital SIM card technology for its post-paid plans, in addition to the prepaid options that it’s supported since last December.
Unlike the prepaid options, though, which can be purchased and configured through an app, converting a post-paid SIM to an eSIM requires visiting a T-Mobile store or contacting T-Mobile customer support. Once you’ve gotten your account set up with an active eSIM, you can download it to a new device by following the instructions on T-Mobile’s support document here.
Kids used to run wild in the great outdoors for hours at a time, completely disconnected from parental oversight. Moms and dads would shout at them in for dinner or have to go hunting around the neighborhood to track them down if they didn’t return at the agreed upon time. Kids also used to run wild through virtual worlds, playing games, and surfing the internet largely unobstructed and free of parental inquisition.
The biggest role technology played in many childhoods was babysitter, inviting kids to bask in the warm glow of TV or sucking them into game worlds for hours at a time. Times have changed.
South Africa’s Standard Bank has taken a stake in local fintech firm Nomanini to offer credit to potentially millions of small shop owners and other informal retailers across Africa that have limited access to banking services.
Africa’s biggest bank by assets has invested $4m in Nomanini, which connects informal merchants with distributors via an e-wallet, and aims to roll the service out across 14 African countries by early 2021.
Across the electronics industry the terms “blockchain” and “the Internet of things” (IoT) are beginning to be linked together. Blockchain first gained attention as part of the cryptocurrency wave, typified by Bitcoin, challenging the norms of financial transactions. But it’s not so much monetary interactions that have caught the attention of IoT providers as it is data transactions. Blockchain at its core provides a tamper-proof, distributed, recordkeeping mechanism that looks to be highly applicable to resolving key issues associated with networks of autonomously interacting connected devices.
Any snooty film critic worth their weight in pretentious non-fiction books has, at some point, uttered a variation of the following line: “Put your phone down and watch the damn movie!”
While television is a different beast – particularly with the rise of contemporary habits such as second-screening – it remains virtually unheard of for someone to say: “Pick up your phone to watch this, because it’s been designed especially for it.”
Facebook is developing a new messaging app called Threads that is meant to promote constant, intimate sharing between users and their closest friends, The Verge has learned. Threads, which is designed as a companion app to Instagram, invites users to automatically share their location, speed, and battery life with friends, along with more typical text, photo, and video messages using Instagram’s creative tools. The app, which is designed for sharing with your “close friends” list on Instagram, is now being tested internally at Facebook.
Instagram declined to comment.
By the end of 2019, the global gaming market is estimated to be worth $152 billion, with 45% of that, $68.5 billion, coming directly from mobile games. With this tremendous growth (10.2% YoY to be precise) has come a flurry of investments and acquisitions, everyone wanting a cut of the pie.
In fact, over the last 18 months, the global gaming industry has seen $9.6 billion in investments and if investments continue at this current pace, the amount of investment generated in 2018-19 will be higher than the eight previous years combined.