Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. US Senators Introduce New COPRA Digital Privacy Act, Australia moves to clamp down on digital platforms, IoT and blockchain integration is booming among US businesses and much more.
In the United States, it’s now looking more and more likely that some form of comprehensive federal privacy legislation will become law sometime in 2020. After two Silicon Valley lawmakers introduced a draft bill in the House of Representatives, a group of top Democrats in the U.S. Senate have now introduced an even more comprehensive piece of legislation known as the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (COPRA). This digital privacy act would offer U.S. consumers the same types of data privacy protections as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and would also create a full-staffed bureau directly within the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce those privacy rights.
Australia’s government accepted key recommendations by the nation’s consumer watchdog regarding implementing reforms to boost transparancy and protections around the privacy and use of people’s data.
The government tasked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) with overseeing the development of a new code which will address the power imbalance between platforms and media companies, and to probe the digital advertising tech supply chain, with a focus on digital display ads.
Tech analytics firm Gartner has news for companies planning to integrate their Internet of Things (IoT) systems with blockchain: You’re not alone.
Seventy-five percent of organizations have already merged the two, or plan to do so within the next year. That number jumps to 89% within two years, signaling that companies with heavy investment in IoT technology nearly all see the value of using blockchain tech to improve IoT security and reliability.
A snapshot of the mobile industry shows a tremendous, rapidly growing appetite for data. Over the past year, there has been a 68% increase in mobile data traffic usage across the globe, according to the most recent Ericsson Mobility Report.
This increase in mobile data traffic is expected to grow in the coming years, coinciding with increased adoption of 5G and continued expansion of 4G coverage. By the end of 2025, Ericsson expects 5G to have 2.6 billion subscriptions, covering up to 65% of the world’s population and generating 45% of the world’s total mobile data traffic. It will be the fastest developing mobile communication technology to have ever been rolled out on a global scale.
It’s not only fintechs that can lure millions of customers their way. Bank of America’s voice-activated virtual assistant Erica now has more than ten million users. It’s also on track to complete 100 million client requests in the coming weeks and that’s all since its launch in June of 2018.
“Erica is ushering in a new era of personalized banking and providing our clients never-before-possible convenience,” said David Tyrie, head of advanced solutions and digital banking at Bank of America in prepared remarks. The digital offering is delivering more efficient banking to its millions of customers, he said.
Visa hailed a partnership with digital financial technology company MFS Africa which will allow the payments giant to supply secure credentials to mobile money users across several markets in Africa.
In a statement, Visa said the deal significantly expanded its reach into the continent and enhanced its ability to “open up commerce in the region”.
After rolling out on smart speakers and displays earlier this year, Google’s interpreter real-time translation mode is finally landing on mobile. A far more handy application for such functionality, the feature arrives on both Android and iOS handsets globally, starting today.
The feature works in tandem with Assistant. Say something like, “Hey Google, be my German translator” or “Hey Google, help me speak Thai,” and the feature kicks in, offering up a real-time translated transcript and audio. The feature also offers some Smart Replies à la Gmail, to help keep the conversation going.
Google is adding and expanding a couple of security-focused features to its Android Messages app from today.
The first of these features is something called “verified SMS,” which involves Google working with “trustworthy” businesses to ensure that text messages they send to customers are clearly labeled as legitimate. This means that when an end user receives a critical communication from a company, such as a one-time password or appointment confirmation, they will know the message is definitely from the company — rather than from a bad actor who may be trying to phish the user or direct them to a spurious website.
When Transsion went public on Shanghai’s NASDAQ-style stock exchange Sept. 30 topping a $6.5 billion market cap, the industry was a-buzz around the little-known manufacturer from Shenzhen, China whose brands, Tecno and Infinix have grown rapidly to make it Africa’s No.1 maker of cellphones in just a few short years.
But what has received much less notice is the host of other Chinese-owned cell phone makers gaining traction in the African mobile phone market.
The annual India Games Development Conference was held from November 22nd to 23rd. It was an opportunity for industry members from all around the world to see how the market is growing in India.
PocketGamer.biz had the opportunity to sit on the panel for the Upcoming Game of the Year category for the IGDC 2019 Awards. During the panel, we saw a variety of titles and genres, demonstrating the rising trends in the country. “We are a mobile market. It is this whole market, gaming is taking off because of mobile,” IGDC chairman Rajesh Rao told PocketGamer.biz.