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.
After more than a week of cruising the streets of Seattle, Amazon’s Treasure Truck was supposed to start handing out goods on Saturday. But that didn’t happen, as the company announced in the early hours of the weekend that it would postpone its big debut. [More]
Around half of all humans, at some point in their lives, experience menstrual cycles. Keeping track of different parts of that cycle is part of paying attention to general health, and there are plenty of mobile phone apps designed for that purpose. That’s why when Apple announced that a central repository for health information, HealthKit, would be part of iOS 8, many people assumed that menstrual cycles would be in there, right along with blood glucose levels and blood pressure. It wasn’t, until today. [More]
It’s perfectly acceptable for a company to want to know what its workers are up to on the job, but one woman in California says her employers took it too far when they allegedly required her and others to not only keep their phones on around the clock, but submit to GPS monitoring via an app she says had to install as a condition of her employment.
When it comes to telling the time with an Apple Watch, there’s only one king of the roost so far as the company is concerned, which means any other developers trying to enter the App Store with watch apps for the Apple Watch will get roundly rejected.
Amazon Shuts Down Service That Let Users Test Apps Before Buying Them Because No One Was Really Using It
If you haven’t used — much less heard of — Amazon’s TestDrive service, designed to let customers check out how an app works before buying it, you’re not alone. The company says it’s shutting the program down due to “a significant decline” in usage, among other factors.
While it can be very useful to have say, a weather app on your smartphone that knows where you are when you want to find out current conditions for your location, does that mean that those apps should be able to know where you are even when you aren’t using the app? That’s a question raised by a new forthcoming study that found about dozen apps for Android smartphones are not only tracking where you are right now, but three minutes from now. And three minutes after that. And so on.
Have a hankering to play Super Mario at the bus stop but don’t have the portable gaming console to satisfy that urge? Soon video games from Nintendo will make the move from consoles to mobile devices, as the company announces a partnership with an online gaming firm to develop and operate new apps.