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Mobile Technology News, April 16, 2013

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Use the internet to defuse gang culture
    Street gang members often lead parallel lives online – and that makes cyberspace a great channel for reaching out to them, says criminologist David Pyrooz


  • Consumer Backlash Against Apple Maps Surprised Waze CEO
    waze_iconOn Monday, Waze CEO Noam Bardin took the stage at AllThingsD‘s Dive Into Mobile conference and talked (via Mashable) about how his company didn’t think Apple Maps would be “that good” but that it underestimated consumer reaction to Apple’s service.

    The social turn-by-turn navigation company had assumed that Apple Maps would be good enough for consumers, Bardin said, but this assumption led to the company being surprised by the negative reaction many users had to Apple Maps when they rolled out as part of iOS 6.

    That reaction led to an open letter from Apple CEO Tim Cook in which he acknowledged the issues with Apple’s Maps app and promised to improve the product while also recommending a number of alternatives, including Waze, while Apple worked to bring its maps to an acceptable standard.

    According to Engadget, Bardin said that consumers are rapidly acquiring certain expectations when it comes to services such as maps, expectations that are not necessarily easily met.

    Consumers now have a quality bar, and that bar is going up rapidly. Two years ago, Apple’s Maps app on iOS 6 would’ve been a fine product.

    Bardin went on to say (via VentureBeat) that with the quality bar continually being raised, companies will have to pour more and more money into mapping to match the quality consumers desire. Unsurprisingly, Bardin notes that Google is the one setting that standard.

    “Google is out there creating a standard of quality,” Bardin said. “We feel like we’re the only real competition. Rumors say it is $1 billion to $2 billion spent by Google a year.”

    waze_bardin_dive_into_mobileWaze CEO Noam Bardin at Dive Into Mobile (Source: Engadget)
    Bardin does feel that Apple Maps is getting better with time, but that Apple is being handicapped by its vendors. TomTom provides much of the data for Apple Maps, and Bardin noted that TomTom cannot put as many resources into its mapping service as Google can.

    In early January, it was rumored that Apple was in talks to acquire Waze, but it was later reported that there was no deal in sight. Engadget notes that the CEO dodged questions of potential acquisitions while VentureBeat says that Bardin wouldn’t confirm whether Waze supplies Apple with data on improving Apple Maps.


  • Funny or Die’s Steve Jobs Movie ‘iSteve’ Delayed Until April 17 [iOS Blog]
    Funny or Die‘s Steve Jobs movie “iSteve” was scheduled to premiere today on the humor site, but following today’s bombing at the Boston Marathon the company has posted a banner announcing that it has delayed the movie’s premiere until April 17.

    The movie, which stars Justin Long as Jobs and Lost‘s Jorge Garcia as Steve Wozniak, is still having an in-theater premiere at the New Beverly Cinema tonight in Los Angeles.

    tumblr_mlbrf7YW6n1qzpj8xo1_500Image via Scroll With the Punches Tumblr
    In addition to today’s announcement regarding the “iSteve” delay, Funny or Die has linked to a statement from the American Red Cross about the Boston Marathon explosions, encouraging visitors to donate to the Boston Red Cross.


  • VIDEO: Will handwriting survive the iPad?
    Could interactive technology cause a drop in the number of individuals able to write by hand?
  • Facebook in Talks With Apple to Bring ‘Home’ to iPhone
    Facebook is in talks with Apple about creating a version of its “Home” software for the iPhone, reports Bloomberg.

    Originally released for Android devices earlier this month, Facebook Home puts Facebook at the front and center of the phone, displaying photos on the lock screen and transforming the chat experience with overlays called Chat Heads.

    According to Adam Mosseri, the director of product at Menlo Park, talks are ongoing and no plans have been finalized. “We’ve shown them what we’ve built and we’re just in an ongoing conversation,” he said.

    At a question and answer session after the unveiling of the new software Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed interest in bringing Home to iOS, but mentioned that an iOS version would be harder to create as Facebook would have to work with Apple. Mosseri says that the Home software would be altered to suit Apple’s preferences.

    “It may or may not be Home,” he said. “We could also just bring some of the design values to the iOS app. That might be how it ends up. Or we could build just the lock screen. Maybe then it’s not called Home, it’s called something else.”

    Facebook and Apple have had a troubled relationship in the past, being unable to come to a suitable agreement over Facebook integration in the now-defunct iTunes social networking feature Ping, but have worked together on Facebook integration in iOS 6 and Mountain Lion.

    In addition to speaking with Apple, Facebook is also courting Microsoft. Both Apple and Microsoft representatives declined to comment on the on the situation.


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  • Apple Initiates Replacement Program for 3rd Generation Apple TVs With Wi-Fi Connectivity Issues
    Apple has notified its retail stores, authorized resellers, and AppleCare employees about WiFi issues being experienced by a small portion of its third generation Apple TVs, reports 9to5Mac. The units are having issues locating and joining WiFi networks and maintaining a connection.

    Apple has determined that a very small number of Apple TV (3rd generation) products might experience one of these Wi-Fi related connectivity issues:

    Cannot locate network

    Unable to join network

    Dropped or intermittent connection.

    Apple technicians are authorized to replace affected products for two years from the original date of purchase at no charge to the customer after verifying that the devices are running software version 5.2.1 and that there are no third party interference issues.

    The Apple TVs experiencing connectivity problems feature the following serial numbers:

    The third generation Apple TV, which features support for 1080p video, was first released in March of last year. It was later tweaked in late January to include a smaller A5 chip.


  • 6 Seconds Of Horror, On Repeat
    Within 55 minutes of being posted, Doug Lorman’s video of the Boston marathon explosion, recorded from a television news report and shared to Twitter, had…
  • Building the first 3D-printed house
    3D-printing pioneers race to make a canal house
  • Can streaming save music sales?
    Can online streaming save music sales?
  • Lisa Mirza Grotts: The Art of Conversation (What Conversation?)
    Who doesn’t love their electronic gadgets? Of course they are brilliant at relaying information. But when we engage in electronic communication, it’s important to follow some basic e-etiquette rules.
  • Boston Cell Service Unavailable After Marathon Explosion
    Cell phone service was unavailable in parts of Boston Monday following a series of explosions near the finish line at the Boston marathon, according to…
  • Mailbox Update Adds Better Snooze Controls and Improved Swiping [iOS Blog]
    Ultra popular email management app Mailbox has received its first update since being acquired by Dropbox last month, adding several improvements to the user interface.

    Mailbox’s claim to fame is its simple design and intuitive gesture-based controls that turn emails into tasks. Today’s update adds enhancements on both fronts, offering more specific adjustments for snooze times and the ability to swipe multiple items at one time.


    What’s New in Version 1.2.0
    -smarter snoozes (adjust based on time of day and week)
    -faster swipes (swipe as many items at one time as you want)
    -UI improvements (e.g. double-tap a name bubble to see email address)
    -bug fixes (including swipe-to-open bug) and performance improvements

    Mailbox is a free app for the iPhone that can be downloaded from the App Store. [Direct Link]


  • iPhone 5S May Come Equipped With 12-Megapixel Rear Camera and Improved Night Shooting
    rearcameraApple’s next generation iPhone may feature a 12-megapixel camera with an improved night shooting feature and HDR reports Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn [Google Translation] (via iPhoneinCanada).

    According to the site, the rumor comes from a source at Wonderful Saigon Electrics in Binh Duong, which specializes in providing camera modules for the iPhone.

    An improved camera has been a long rumored feature of the iPhone 5S, but there are few specifics available.

    The iPhone 5 features the same 8-megapixel rear camera with an f2.4 aperture that was introduced with the iPhone 4S, but it has a sapphire crystal for improved clarity. A further improvement to 12-megapixels with a lower aperture to improve low light photography does not sound out of the realm of possibility.

    Camera improvements have been a staple of Apple’s “S” phone releases. The iPhone 4S featured an 8-megapixel rear camera, a significant upgrade from the iPhone 4’s 5-megapixels.

    Apple has also been dedicated to enhancing the camera quality of the iPhone with each iteration as it has become a popular photography device, adding features like panoramas and a volume shutter control. The iPhone has long been the most popular camera on photo sharing site Flickr.

    Tinhte.vn has shared several Apple prototypes in the past, notably offering up a preview of Apple’s redesigned EarPods and an early version of the fourth generation iPod touch, the first to come equipped with a camera.


  • Gini Graham Scott: Mind Control Is Becoming Reality
    It’s the stuff of sci-fi movies. But a mind-control revolution is coming in which people can increasingly use their minds to control objects, moods and assorted devices, and the gaming industry seems to be leading the charge.
  • Google Person Finder launched to help with Boston Marathon victims
    Google People Finder
    Shortly after the news hit the internet that the Boston Marathon had been interrupted by explosions near the finish line, Google stepped up with a tool to help. Google Person Finder has been…
  • Your Best Weight Loss Aid Could Be Right In Your Purse
    By: Leslie Meredith Published: 04/15/2013 03:28 PM EDT on TechNewsDaily Can your smartphone help you lose weight? The U.K. National Health Service today (April 15)…
  • Cell Phone Service Shut Down In Boston After Marathon Explosion
    WASHINGTON — Cellphone companies say service is operating in the Boston area, but with heavy traffic following of the explosions at the Boston Marathon. A…
  • Bethesda officially done with Skyrim, moving on to bigger and better things
    After the game’s release back in November of 2011, Bethesda released three major DLC additions to Skyrim: Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn. If you were too engrossed in the snowy, bleak land of Skyrim before those major releases, Bethesda…
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