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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. This week… WhatsApp to let users message without their phones, Smart Toys and How they May be Invading our Privacy, PayPal’s Domination Of Mobile Payments Is Coming To An End and much more…

Google seeking privacy boost in search app

Mobile World Live

Google introduced new features for its search app in a move to increase its safety and privacy credentials in light of ongoing pressure over its practices to access user data.

JK Kearns, group product manager, announced a new setting allows users to delete the last 15 minutes of their history in the Google Search app on iOS, with the option coming to the Android version before the year-end.

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Netflix lays out mobile games plan that could set a collision course with Apple

Market Watch

Netflix executives confirmed Tuesday that the top streaming-video company is in the early stages of expanding into videogames. Netflix has experimented with the genre somewhat, including interactive television shows like “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” and a “Stranger Things” mobile game, but hired a new executive last week to jumpstart the actual production of mobile games for Netflix’s app.

“We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV,” Netflix executives said in a letter to shareholders Tuesday. “Games will be included in members’ Netflix subscription at no additional cost similar to films and series.”

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Mobile Payment Rates Surge During Pandemic

Crowdfund Insider

Mobile payment use has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, research from eMarketer finds. Total mobile payment use hit one trillion in 2020, with YoY growth of 22.2 percent. Smartphone user penetration hit 44.6 percent, up from 38.3 percent in 2019.

Growth in mobile payment users will continue, but at slower rates, eMarketer predicts. This year’s 1.278 trillion users will be an increase of eight percent over 2020.

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Neurotechnology unveils mobile image recognition app

Biometric Update

Neurotechnology has launched a mobile app for its image recognition platform, which allows developers to build, train, and deploy deep learning models without an in-depth understanding of the artificial intelligence method.

The mobile app is intended to compliment’s online dashboard, and is available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. It enables users to use the image similarity search function, make predictions with photos uploaded from the mobile device, and save predictions as image labels within the dataset using SentiSight’s AI-assisted labeling feature.

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RCS: Let’s give it to Google, say US telcos

Telecom TV

After about 10 years as an apparent up-and-coming messaging service for telcos, Rich Communications Service (RCS) has had more comebacks than Sinatra, with a string of different telco alliances, new names and new business models, all in an attempt to breath life into the concept of a more feature-rich SMS and make the resulting service interoperable across carrier boundaries. So far none of these aims has been anything close to successful.

But now the tide may have turned, not because of telco stubborn persistence, but rather the opposite.

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OEMs will lose the race for user data if they don’t learn from mobile

Automotive World

The advent of the connected car age will profoundly affect the automotive industry, not least in the relationship between automakers and car users when data comes into play. Whoever controls the data will control a new form of relationship with car users, with the promise of reaping the resulting financial rewards. So how do OEMs ensure that their current customer relationships carry through to this always-on, data-focused environment?

This is a question OEMs and Tier 1s often ask me. I always respond by telling them to consider very carefully what happened to the mobile industry. In my view, automakers and Tier 1s are fortunate to have examples from other sectors as they plan their next steps towards the always-on connected car.

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MTN Nigeria launches telco-driven mobile advertising

Mobile Marketing Magazine

Nigeria’s leading telecommunications company, MTN Nigeria has partnered with mobile advertising company, Out There Media (OTM) to launch telco-driven mobile advertising.

OTM’s ‘Mobucks’ technology, combined with its network of brands and brand agencies, will strengthen the mobile operator’s digital advertising strategy, driving advertiser interaction and engagement with its 65m subscribers, nearly two times the reach of Facebook in Nigeria.

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Going Mobile: Netflix Wants to Be the Everything App

Hollywood Reporter

Despite its reputation as the king of subscription streaming video, Netflix understands it has never had the dominance on mobile devices that it has on TV screens.

When a subscriber plops down on the couch and opens the Netflix app on their TV, they are welcomed with an array of content the service thinks they will want to binge-watch. On mobile, when a user may only have 30 seconds or a minute or two to check their phone, a two-hour movie simply isn’t the right recommendation.

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Ericsson’s setback in China linked to Sweden’s crackdown on Chinese firms: source

Global Times

Swedish telecom behemoth Ericsson scored poorly in a recent 5G radio tender in China, which is linked to the Swedish government’s arbitrary crackdown on Huawei and other Chinese firms, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Tender results revealed by China Mobile, the world’s top mobile carrier by subscribers, showed that Ericsson settled for a mere 2 percent, down sharply from about 11 percent the year before.

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