When you play a game on your phone, use an application to play music or order food for delivery, you probably assume the app is working in a pretty straightforward manner — it’s letting you crush candy or add extra tahini sauce to your order. That wasn’t the case for more than 250 apps previously available in the App Store, which have been banned by Apple for secretly collecting and storing users’ personal information.
Now that Amazon’s music streaming service – Prime Music – has been up and running for more than a year, the e-commerce giant is apparently cleaning house in the music department by ditching a three-year-old application that allowed users to upload previously purchased music into their Amazon Music library. [More]
Just weeks after Starbucks said it would roll out its mobile ordering feature to all U.S. stores by the end of the month, the coffee chain made good on its promise, extending the feature – on both iOS and Android devices – nationwide on Tuesday. The coffee chain had previously anticipated mobile ordering would be ready by the end of the year. Executives for the company said that the service was so popular – allowing coffee drinkers to skip long lines as they order and pay for their beverages with their mobile devices – that the company sped up implementation. [The Seattle Times]
They say that staring at a computer for hours at a time can ruin you vision, so it might be hard to swallow claims that a mobile app can improve your vision… especially when science doesn’t back it up. [More]
Android users – and those living in areas of the country where mobile ordering isn’t available at their local Starbucks – can soon order and pay for their morning cup of coffee straight from the comfort of their phones with little human contact, as the coffee chain announced today that it would expedite the rollout of its mobile ordering feature to all U.S. stores by the end of the month. [More]
In a relatively novel idea, Amazon has launched a new store called Amazon Underground that claims to provide Android users with a list of top apps that are actually free – no hidden in-app purchases here. [More]
If you’re a diner that enjoys providing your social media followers with (sometimes) artistic shots of the food you plan to shove down your throat, but are getting tired of just getting little hearts from Instagram, have no fear. Google is reportedly working on a new feature that will put your foodie photos on the map, literally. [More]
The Federal Trade Commission’s vendetta against robocalls continued today as the agency announced the winner of a contest – and $25,000 – for building an app that blocks and forwards the annoying calls. [More]
In the pre-Uber days of New York City, if you needed a ride to show up at a certain time and location, you’d call a car service in your neighborhood (everyone had their favorites) and arrange for a livery driver to pick you up, instead of risking it and trying to find an available yellow cab. Some of those local car service companies are now turning to their own new technology, introducing smartphone apps to try to compete with the growing presence of Uber.
Earlier this year, fitness gear maker Under Armour bought fitness-tracking apps MyFitnessPal and Endomodo for a total of $560 million. Now Adidas has decided to keep up with its competitor by downloading its own set of fitness apps, buying the eighteen apps in the Runtastic family for about $240 million. [More]
Target wants to track your every move while shopping at its stores. Or at least that seems to be the gist behind the retailers’ new test of transmitters – known as beacons – that link to shoppers’ smartphones through the company’s app, sending coupons, deals, product recommendations and recipes based on their location inside the big box store. [More]
Now that nearly every American has a smartphone permanently fixed to their hand, a long list of restaurants including Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Taco Bell and Dominos have upped their mobile presence by way of ordering and payment apps, and now one of the largest chains in the country is joining the ever-growing list: Subway. [More]
Time to brace ourselves, Internet: image-sharing site Instagram is down. While as of right now you can still view pictures and feeds directly, users can’t log in if they aren’t already logged in, and can’t like or comment on photos if they are logged in. Update: Instagram is working again: you’ll be able to browse your friends’ farmer’s market hauls with no problem. [More]
While car service customers have the power to set their pickup location as precisely as they want to — either by entering a specific street address or dropping a pin on the mobile app’s map — that doesn’t mean it’s always a safe or easy place to get picked up, depending on traffic, or a place with space for a driver to wait. After some prodding, Uber will now implement a feature that recommends safe and convenient pickup spots when riders request a car.