To say it’s “early days” for wearable technology is a colossal understatement, but that’s not keeping The Financial Times from entering the field. The company just debuted a fastFT service on the Samsung Gear S, The Drum reports. “The publisher has teamed up with technology provider Spritz to create the app, which will deliver a written content stream to users at a speed of their choosing,” it writes. It’s the first deal with a publisher for Spritz.”
Sure shake up the mobile payments business -- and finally make it maintain – Apple’s next iPhone will reportedly include its own payment platform. “In fact, that platform will be one of the hallmark features of the device when it’s unveiled on September 9,” Wired reports, citing sources. “We’re told the solution will involve NFC.” Regarding Apple’s built-in advantage over other services, Wired adds: “The Cupertino company has a vast trove of credit cards already on file thanks to iTunes (over 800 million, in fact), and a huge pool of potential users.”
For newspaper publishers, a further diversification of business models is inevitable, according to Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic. Among others, he lists “an events business, a video business, licensing, marketing consulting, affiliate links, trusts, [and even] rich benefactors.” As for what works, well, according to Thompson: “I don’t think anybody knows the secret.” Oh, and he thinks “BuzzFeed is scary smart -- scarier and smarter than most journalists give them credit for.”
If consumers have room in their lives (and backpacks) for a massive tablet, advertisers could soon get the chance to serve them TV-sized ads on the go. Yes, “Apple Inc.’s suppliers are preparing to manufacture the company’s largest-ever iPad, with production scheduled to commence by the first quarter of next year,” Bloomberg reports, citing sources. “The new iPad will have a screen measuring 12.9 inches diagonally.”
How much is your privacy worth? For some, $100 a month is a fair trade for much of their digital activity. As MIT’s Technology Review reports, that’s what Luth Research is paying “tens of thousands” of participants in exchange for collecting and analyzing data from their phones and computers. “Luth’s current and former clients include Subway, Microsoft, Walmart, the San Diego Padres, Nickelodeon and Netflix,” TR reports. “The information it collects can help companies decide where to spend advertising dollars.”
Albeit in India, Mozilla is getting into the hardware business with the launch of its first smartphone. Setting the Cloud FX apart from your standard offering, “Mozilla has packed in various data monitoring features and several languages are supported out of the box, including Hindi and Tamil,” The Next Web reports. Don’t expect Mozilla to take on Apple any time soon, however. “If there’s a market for the platform, Mozilla believes it’s at the low-end,” TNW writes.
Telegraphing its plans for the wearable marketplace, ESPN just unveiled a real-time score app for the Pebble smartwatch. “The app … can track multiple games and causes the Pebble to vibrate when it receives game updates and score changes,” Variety reports. “It provides scores for all pro leagues and collegiate conferences, and ESPN is bowing the app ahead of the 2014-15 NFL and college-football season kickoffs.”
Vine is now letting users upload video via their mobile devices, while making it easier to actually capture and edit video. Regarding the new features, Wired says they “really add a level of robustness to the app it didn’t previously have, but aren’t revolutionary.” That said, “the biggest change is that people can now dip into their camera rolls and use existing videos they’ve recorded for Vines.” Meanwhile, Vine says that more than 100 million people now watch video on its platform, every month, while loops play more than a billion times every day.
Flappy Bird was so successful that its creator, Dong Nguyen, took the game off the mobile market for fear that users’ addictions were spiraling out of control. Now, Nguyen is back with an encore, Swing Copters, which some early reviewers are calling equally all-consuming. “Swing Copters captures all the ‘just one more try’ of Flappy Bird,” according to TouchArcade’s Eli Hodapp. “I love it … It feels like it's got all the same qualities that made Flappy Bird so sticky for me.”
Google is now letting AdWords advertisers track calls that occur after mobile users arrive on a Web site from an ad click. “Conversions are tracked whether a user dials the number or clicks on it from their phone,” Search Engine Land reports. “Web site call conversions can be used in conjunction with other call tracking solutions as well as with AdWords click-to-call.”