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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Stories this week include…  WhatsApp to enable messaging in internet blackouts,  Android one-ups Apple’s satellite SOS with general-purpose satellite SMS,  Today at CES: Baby wearables, texts from dogs, and E-Ink cars and much more…

WhatsApp to enable messaging in internet blackouts

BBC

Instant-messaging service WhatsApp is letting users connect via proxy servers so they can stay online if the internet is blocked or disrupted by shutdowns.

The technology giant, owned by Meta, said it hoped blackouts such as those in Iran “never occur” again. They denied human rights and “cut people off from receiving urgent help”. WhatsApp is urging its global community to volunteer proxies to help people “communicate freely” and said it would offer guidance on how to set one up.

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Android one-ups Apple’s satellite SOS with general-purpose satellite SMS

Ars Technica

Hey, Android users! Are you jealous of the iPhone 14’s ability to connect to satellites? Well, it’s been a few months, and Qualcomm is already getting a similar feature up and running on Android. Meet “Snapdragon Satellite” a way to send satellite messages from a normal-sized Android phone. Unlike on the iPhone, this is real, two-way, SMS-style texting that you’ll supposedly be able to use for more casual conversations instead of the iPhone’s highly compressed, emergency-only, one-way questionnaire system that discourages composing a message.

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Today at CES: Baby wearables, texts from dogs, and E-Ink cars

Tech Crunch

It’s the first official day of CES and our team has already located dozens of the coolest new gadgets, features, and weird concept cars that probably will never see the light of day.

Halo (not Amazon’s Halo) has a wearable for babies that tracks heart rate, rollover, skin temperature, and movement. 10,000 steps a day may seem tough when you can’t walk, but it’s important to have goals. Aeolus Robotics made a humanoid robot, Aeo, that’s meant to help out at schools and hospitals by disinfecting, delivering food, and doing basic patrolling. It can also apparently take selfies.

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Meta And Apple Face Fines And Privacy Headwinds In Europe

Ad Exchanger

Turns out it’s actually better to ask for permission than for forgiveness, at least when it comes to privacy compliance in Europe.

Apple and Meta are living proof.

On Wednesday, Apple was hit with an 8 million euro fine in France (just under $8.5 million) for failing to collect tracking consent from French iPhone users. Separately, and also on Wednesday, European regulators ruled that Meta’s practice of using its terms of service to require people to consent to tracking for targeted advertising is illegal under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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IoT data generates growing revenues, but for whom?

Vanilla Plus

The growing IoT (Internet of Things) data services market is now generating plenty of new sales in the communications market. Business technology journalist, Antony Savvas looks at some of the beneficiaries.

Having a disco

Data management services firm WANdisco recently signed an initial agreement worth US$12.7 million (€12 million) with a “global European-based automotive manufacturer”, which led to a boosted trading update for the year.

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How can banks remain at the centre of customers’ digital universe?

Electronic Payments International

Consumers have significantly changed their attitudes towards personal finance, and as such, they now expect more from their financial services providers. Whether managing finances in a physical branch, online, or on a smartphone, consumers want fully personalised experiences and products, instead of being offered the same legacy menus of conventional banking services.

Fintech and BigTechs are fast developing the necessary ecosystem to personalise a whole range of services, winning over consumers with their seamless channel integration and tailored offerings designed to meet their core banking needs. What’s more, consumers have grown to trust fintechs and BigTechs with their data in return for greater personalisation and frictionless experiences.

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Razer Edge will take on the mobile gaming market on January 26

Games Radar

Razer has officially unveiled a final release date for the Edge mobile gaming device at CES 2023. The tablet and detachable controller will hit the market on January 26, arriving in the US first. The machine takes the brand’s focus on the streaming market even further than its previous efforts with the Kishi range of controllers.

There’s a lot of the Kishi in the new Razer Edge, but the 6.8-inch AMOLED display and Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 under the hood prove that this is far more than a set of gamepads with a tablet in the center. Chasing the efforts of the Logitech G Cloud, this always-connected device is designed to elevate mobile play (and boost your Xbox Game Pass experience) through play over WiFi or a Verizon 5G connection.

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Mobile games revenue set to fall 6.4% in 2022, the first drop in market’s history

Telemedia Online

After the pandemic-induced gaming boom seen in 2020 and 2021, the gaming industry is set to witness the first-ever revenue drop. In 2022, video games are expected to generate $184.4bn in revenue, 4.3% less than last year, and most of that drop will come from the mobile games segment.

According to data presented by FairBettingSites.co.uk, mobile games are expected to bring in $92.2bn in revenue this year, or 6.4% less than in 2021.

Although gaming has managed to weather 2022’s economic turbulence better than many other industries, global video game revenues are still expected to drop by $8.3bn in 2022, according to Newzoo. Around 75% of that loss comes from the mobile games market. But all other market segments will also see a yearly revenue decline.

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In A Gadget-Light Year, CES Pitches A Connected, Mobile World

TV News Check

After a 2021 show that was all-virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a 2022 in-person edition which drew only around 44,000 attendees thanks to the Omicron variant, CES 2023 looks to be far healthier this year. While it’s not yet back to the pre-pandemic levels of 170,000-180,000 attendees, the annual technology exhibition and conference in Las Vegas is expected to draw around 100,000 attendees and more than 3,000 exhibitors this week, according to show organizer CTA (Consumer Technology Association). The show officially opens today and runs through Sunday.

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