Google Open Sources Chrome for iOS

Google today said it has made an open source version of its Chrome browser for iOS available to developers. Google says today’s news is the result of year’s worth of work. “Due to constraints of the iOS platform, all browsers must be built on top of the WebKit rendering engine,” explained Google in a blog post. “For Chromium, this means supporting both WebKit as well as Blink, Chrome’s rendering engine for other platforms. That created some extra complexities which we wanted to avoid placing in the Chromium code base.” Google has pulled apart the code for iOS and carefully refactored it into the open-source repository. Google says developers can take the core code and use it to compile the iOS version of Chromium just as they already do for Android and other platforms. Google hopes developers will use the open source version of Chrome to improve web-based features for Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

HTC Exec Jason Mackenzie Departs After 12 Years

HTC executive vice president Jason Mackenzie said today will be his last day with the company. Mackenzie has been with HTC since 2005. He spent the last year working at a global position, but previously served as the head of HTC’s U.S. operations. Mackenzie did not say what his next move will be. His departure follows closely that of VP of Design Claude Zellweger, who recently accepted a position with Google’s Daydream virtual reality team.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Apple Releases watchOS Beta with Theater Mode, SiriKit

Released to developers yesterday, the beta version of the latest software for the Apple Watch adds new features such as the ability for theater-goers to keep their devices silent and the devices’ screens dim. The new release also expands the ability of users to use Siri, Apple’s intelligent digital assistant, on their watches.

The first version of watchOS 3 was released in September with the launch of Apple Watch Series 2. The beta version of watchOS 3.2 introduces new dimming and mute capabilities through Theater Mode. That mode not only makes it easier for users to quickly mute the sound of their Apple Watches to avoid disturbing fellow theater-goers, but also prevents the screens of their devices from automatically waking and brightening when they raise their wrists.

Apple’s latest software update also adds SiriKit to allow developers to provide more Siri-based capabilities through third-party apps built for the Apple Watch. The addition of SiriKit also makes it possible for watch owners to use the digital assistant to book rides, send messages, make payments and handle other tasks.

Haptic Notifications in Theater Mode

The developer documentation for watchOS 3.2 was first published by Apple last week. While the beta software is now available to developers, it’s unclear when the update will be released to the general public.

With the new Theater Mode, users will be able to “quickly mute the sound on their Apple Watch and avoid waking the screen on wrist raise,” Apple said in its software documentation.

While the device remains dim and quiet in Theater Mode, users can continue to receive updates via haptic notifications, i.e., vibrating alerts. To check on a notification while the watch is in Theater Mode, users can either tap the screen or press the device’s Digital Crown navigation tool.

Q1 Results Due Later Today

In September,…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Wal-Mart Opts for Free, Faster Shipping on Necessities

Wal-Mart is replacing a program that offered free shipping but had an annual fee with one that has a lower free shipping threshold and faster delivery as it hopes to answer Amazon’s powerful Prime membership success.

The retailer says it will reduce shipping time to two days on 2 million of its most popular items including essentials like diapers and pet food as well hot toys and Electronics. Wal-Mart’s average shipping time has been three to five days. Starting Tuesday morning, it’s also reducing the spending necessary for free shipping to $35 from $50.

Wal-Mart’s ShippingPass had allowed members to buy more than a million items for free shipping at Walmart.com. Last year, it trimmed its shipping time frame to two days from three, and it cut the annual fee by a dollar to $49. Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart said the service worked well, but that it concluded shoppers shouldn’t have to pay a membership fee for free shipping.

The strategy shift is one of the first big moves by Walmart.com’s CEO Mark Lore, who joined the company when Wal-Mart bought online retailer Jet.com last year. And it’s an illustration of how Wal-Mart is trying to figure out a way to compete with Amazon and its dominant Prime plan.

Amazon’s membership program costs $99 a year, but includes services like streaming music and video that have created fierce loyalty. Analysts say Amazon Prime members buy more frequently and spend more money. Amazon doesn’t disclose a Prime subscriber total, but it’s estimated to be around 65 million. Wal-Mart wouldn’t say how many ShippingPass subscribers it had, but all will receive a refund of their membership fee.

Lore declined to comment on Amazon, but said lower prices, a wider assortment of eligible goods and faster shipping alone can build loyalty. Lore promised more moves ahead to spur Wal-Mart’s…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

Dropbox Rolls Out Google Docs Competitor

Already a major player in enterprise file sharing and hosting, Dropbox is launching a public version of its new Paper service to make a name for itself among collaborative productivity suite providers such as Google Docs and Microsoft’s Office 365.

Paper, which has been available in beta since last year, is aiming to win converts from the big names in the space with a user interface that the company said makes collaboration between coworkers easier. The cloud-based platform will allow users to manage shared documents by assigning different tasks and deadlines to various collaborators.

Making Collaboration Easier

The service also includes a variety of features designed to make collaboration between team members easier, no matter where in the world they’re located. A Paper app is coming to iOS and Android devices to enable users to work on documents even while offline.

The Web interface, meanwhile, is currently available in 21 languages, an important feature for multi-lingual teams. These new capabilities join other recent additions such as presentation mode, a feature that turns documents into presentation slides and integration with Google Calendar to make it easier for teams to create and share notes.

Paper has already reached early enterprise adopters such as InVision, Ben & Jerry’s, Shopify, Campaign Monitor, Getaround and Patreon, according to Dropbox. But the company appears to be positioning Paper to steal market share away from Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365.

New Business Plans

Going head-to-head with such well-established players will likely be a tall order. To help make Paper more attractive to its enterprise clients, Dropbox is also making its file hosting environment more enterprise-friendly. The latest version of the Web interface, which was released in conjunction with Paper, is more streamlined and potentially easier to navigate.

Dropbox has also introduced a new feature that allows users to…
Source: Mobile Tech Today

AT&T Throwing 5G Tech at the Wall to See What Sticks

AT&T today said it plans to test a wide variety of potential 5G technologies throughout the year as it evolves from 4G LTE to next-generation mobile broadband. For example, the company intends to kick off field trials of AirGig later this year. AirGig relies on transporting mmWaves over powerlines. AT&T engineers have invented low-cost plastic antennas, a Radio Distributed Antenna System (RDAS), mmWave surface wave launchers, and inductive power devices. These technologies push broadband signals along or near power lines, not through them, and deliver multi-gigabit wired and wireless broadband. AT&T believes this approach will pay dividends, as it can be deployed on existing power deliver infrastructure with no need to build new towers or bury new cable. The field trials aim to determine how inclement weather might affect signal delivery as well as asses real-world costs. AT&T is also testing small cells throughout San Francisco. AT&T is testing a Centralized RAN (C-RAN) architecture, which pulls the individual basebands normally associated with each cell site and consolidates them in a single location. The small cells themselves can be installed on light posts and other existing infrastructure around the city. AT&T says this approach reduces the amount of gear needed at each small cell site and lets technicians easily update lots of sites at once due to the centralized basebands. The C-RAN tests also rely on mmWave technology. Other technologies on AT&T’s testing roadmap this year include G.fast and Fixed Wireless Internet. G.fast boosts the capacity of existing copper lines to that of fiber, while FWI will target some 400,000 rural areas by the end of the year. The International Telecommunications Union has yet to technically define what 5G will be, but that hasn’t stoped carriers such as AT&T and others from exploring a number of potential 5G technologies.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Starbucks Has a Reactionary Response to Trump’s Temporary Travel Ban

Starbucks has issued a somewhat reactionary and illogical response to Trump’s temporary travel and immigration ban policies. It says it will hire 10,000 refugees over the next 5 years in response to Trump. So instead of being served by hardworking Americans or Filipino immigrants, every time you enter a Starbucks in any part of the…
Source: Mobile Magazine

Top 10 Tech Jobs in America to Watch Out for in 2017

Increase in population means increase in occupation demand. With the vast possibilities and international standards set by schools worldwide, one can be equipped to battle the challenges ahead. In today’s world, job popularity is determined by three factors: number of job openings, earning potential or salary, and overall job satisfaction rating. Here, we listed the…
Source: Mobile Magazine