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

This week..  Facebook launches cross-platform messaging, Google launches AI secretary, businesses are reassessing the value of IoT, Japan’s mobile phone carriers brace for further intervention and much more…

Facebook launches cross-platform messaging on Instagram and Messenger

The Verge

Facebook has taken its biggest step yet in integrating its various messaging platforms, allowing select users on Messenger and Instagram to message one another app to app. In addition to the launch of cross-platform messaging, Instagram is also getting a major overhaul of its DM system, which will be expanded with features taken from Messenger.

New Instagram messaging tools include vanishing messages, selfie stickers, custom emoji, chat colors, new ways to block unwanted messages, and the introduction of Messenger’s Watch Together feature, which lets you watch videos with friends during a video call.

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Google launches AI secretary that waits on hold for phone users

Guardian

Hold music could one day be a thing of the past thanks to a service coming to Google’s smartphones.

Hold for Me, which launches on Thursday in the US for owners of Google’s Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a phones, involves Google’s AI tools taking over as an automatic secretary when on hold to a call centre, leaving the user free to put down the phone and carry on with their life.

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As the pandemic smoke clears, businesses are reassessing the value of IoT

Telecom TV

It’s not that IoT itself is a silly concept, although it has played host to a lot of very silly product ideas. But it has suffered from being overly hyped as a ‘thing’. It’s not really a thing at all, it’s better understood as a concept for mass market telematics and the collection and analysis of big sets of data.

Vodafone has historically been a leading mobile IoT cheerleader, and has just conducted a study on business IoT.

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Japan’s mobile phone carriers brace for further intervention by Suga

Japan Times

New Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has apparently been welcomed by the general public, with recent polls by local media showing approval ratings of over 60 percent. Expectations are high, but not everyone is quite so happy.

Major mobile phone carriers are holding their breath, as the prime minister has put them on notice over high-priced phone bills. From the beginning, Suga has wasted no time in setting out his agenda.

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Trump’s Administration is cracking down on mobile gaming

Fansided

National data security has become a mainstream topic amid news of a possible app ban on the social media platform TikTok. The Trump administration has targeted it due to its parent company, Tencent, based in Shenzhen, China. The move, which reflects the federal government’s growing interest in regulating mobile app data collection, could soon significantly impact the mobile gaming industry.

In September, the Trump administration began investigating two American mobile game developers with ties to Tencent. The outcome of this investigation could have serious implications for the future of mobile gaming.

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How Brands Can Leverage Mobile Messaging Effectively

Adage

As a result of the pandemic, restaurants and retailers are reworking their consumer-engagement strategies to ensure maximum safety and ease of access. Having spent the past five years as a marketing executive in the mobile app and web development industry, I’ve observed that providing mobile communication services seems to be an effective method of accomplishing this.

Curbside pickup, for example, has doubled since last year. GPS tracking is also among the most recent industry trends I’ve noticed. This feature allows consumers to “check in” when picking up their items at a store so that employees are prepared for their arrival.

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Blockchain, Internet Of Things (IoT) And Virtual Reality (VR) Are Changing The Online Gambling Industry

EIN

Technologies such as Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) and virtual reality (VR) are changing the scenario of how one can gamble in an online casino. Virtual Reality and VR Headsets have gained a lot of popularity in recent years and are a revolutionary addition to the world of online gambling. With VR, one can actually enter into a virtual casino and play all the games without having to travel. However, fraud and cheating were a major concern with the users in online gambling. A lot of online casinos and online gambling sites have been accused of not being transparent and hiding their internal workings and the methods for their dealings. These concerns can be addressed using blockchain technology.

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Post-COVID, a global approach is helping China’s mobile publishers achieve sustainable growth

Pocket Gamer

China’s complex regulations and native cultural nuances always made it a difficult market to enter without partnering with a company like Nativex.

As a result, domestic publishers arguably have had less competition from overseas publishers, which has helped the rise of homegrown talent.  It also can’t hurt to have the backing of publishing giants such as Tencent, NetEase and Lilith Games growing the global audience for Chinese IP.

As a result, we are seeing many more Chinese and APAC gaming brands region feeling confident enough to package and promote their IPs abroad.

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Pandemic spurs Africa’s mobile telcos to ramp up banking bid

Reuters

When COVID-19 hit Ivory Coast, Bonaventure Kra, who works at an import-export business, began to worry. Handling hard cash all day was a risk. Queuing in crowded bank branches exposed him to infection.

Then, in the midst of the pandemic, French telecommunications giant Orange ORAN.PA launched an entirely digital bank – its first full banking venture in Africa.

“Going back to cash would be like travelling back in time,” Kra said in the country’s commercial capital, Abidjan. “I intend to use it permanently.”

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