Mozilla just bought Read It Later -- the developer of the Pocket software for storing articles, videos and other content on the Web, as CNet reports. “Ten million people actively use Pocket monthly as a mobile app or browser add-on, Mozilla said, with more than 3 billion pieces of content saved so far,” it notes. “The app also lets people discover what others have already stored, an idea called discovery.”
A forthcoming iPhone will reportedly have a flexible display. “Apple had been studying flexible organic light-emitting diode … screens similar to those used by rival Samsung Electronics Co. and had asked suppliers for prototypes,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “People with direct knowledge of Apple’s production plans said [it] has decided to go ahead with the technology, and it will release a phone model using the OLED screens this year.”
Google is changing up the Play Store’s promotional algorithms so that more games get promoted based on their continued user engagement, Android Authority reports. “It’s a fact that trying to find new games in the Play Store, especially ones made by small indie teams, can be very hard indeed,” it notes. In the near future, Google is also expected to add game-related pages to the Play Store.
FCC head Ajit Pai does not expect the commission to review AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, according to The Verge -- thus “clearing the way for the Justice Department to very likely approve the deal,” it writes. “Pai has long been critical of the FCC putting conditions on mergers and even signaled in the past that he’d be okay with a mega-merger like the one proposed between Comcast and Time Warner Cable.”
Ahead of its IPO, potential Snap investors apparently have some tough questions for startup. As Business Insider reports: “Snapchat executives in New York were peppered with questions on Tuesday about competition from Facebook, user growth for the disappearing-message app, and accessibility in less developed markets as they pitched prospective investors on the company's shares.”
AT&T is testing LTE-enabled drones, which, among other uses, could sustain cellphone service after natural and manmade disasters disrupt existing networks. LTE -- or “Long-Term Evolution” -- is a standard for high-speed wireless communication for mobile phones and data terminals. Going forward, the drones “could be deployed if networks go down in the event of a disaster, to assist in scenarios like forest fires, or for large events like concerts,” ZDNet reports.
Tinder is buying collaborative video messaging app Wheel. Wheel “functions similarly to Snapchat’s ‘Live Stories’ format,” Business Insider explains. “A total of four Wheel employees, including cofounders Paul Boukadakis and Chris Shaheen, will join the Tinder team in West Hollywood,” it writes. To date, Wheel has raised $3.2 million in funding.
Signal is rolling out new features to its encrypted communication app, including video, and the ability to answer calls from a locked screen. “Signal’s popularity grew in part because it has long made certain privacy tradeoffs to make the app more usable,” Wired writes. “It integrates a phone’s existing contacts for convenience, for instance, but requires that a number be added to a phone’s contact list before it can be called.”
Risk aversion is hurting Apple’s acquisition strategy, sources tell Bloomberg. “Apple has struggled for years to pull off bigger deals because of a series of quirks: an aversion to risk, reluctance to work with external advisers like investment banks and inexperience in closing and integrating large takeovers,” it writes. “Apple’s biggest deal in its 41-year history was the $3 billion purchase Beats Electronics in 2014, followed by the $400 million acquisition of NeXT Computer in 1996.”
Amazon and Google might turn their smart speakers in phones, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources. “Amazon’s Echo or the Google Home could be used to make or receive calls … a functionality that would give them further control over consumers’ digital lives at home,” it writes. “The tech giants could launch the feature this year.”