Augmented reality hasn’t caught on as some may have hoped, but as smartphone adoption increases we have begun to see more developers incorporating the feature into their mobile applications. Google (GOOG) is just one the companies that has embraced the technology, launching an AR-enabled mobile game this past Thursday. Smaller companies, such as Japanese developer Crossfader, have also looked towards AR to help their applications standout in a crowded marketplace. Crossfader’s AR-MAPS application for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 allows users to enhance maps by using a live video feed from their smartphone’s camera. The app lets users search for specific addresses or landmarks, and even places a pin on locations that can be viewed through the camera. AR-MAPS can be programmed to use mapping data from Apple Maps or Google Maps and is available for free in the App Store.
Samsung (005930) and Apple (AAPL) have a rather unique relationship. The South Korean company supplies a number of components for the iPhone, making the two business partners. At the same time however, they are bitter rivals fighting over mobile market share and patents. Earlier this year, a court found that Samsung had infringed Apple’s protected technology, although the company appealed the ruling and remains confident that it will prevail — largely because it thinks Apple is clearly infringing upon its own technology
Facebook (FB) beat Wall Street’s expectations in its second earnings report as a public company after the closing bell on Tuesday. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the social networking site to earn $0.11 per share on sales of $1.23 billion. The Menlo Park-based company reported third quarter earnings of $0.12 per share on revenues of $1.62, however, an increase of 32% from $954 million in the third quarter of 2011. Advertising remained the company’s main source of income, totaling 86% of total revenue.
ISIS, the joint mobile payment venture that is backed by AT&T (T), T-Mobile and Verizon (VZ), announced on Monday the official launch of its Mobile Wallet service in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah. The service already supports nine smartphones available through the three major wireless providers and is expected to offer 11 additional devices by the end of the year.
A number of industry watchers have voiced concerns that touchless mobile payment solutions will not truly find widespread adoption until Apple (AAPL) joins the fray and adds the functionality to its popular iPhone line of smartphones. While Apple has yet to give any indication that its smartphones will support NFC-based mobile payments in the future, one firm is confident that the market will soon take off like a rocket.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Thursday detailed plans to offer additional wireless spectrum to mobile carriers. The agency is on track to free up 300MHz of new spectrum that will be available for commercial use by 2015, IT World reports. Mobile carriers have been in dire need for additional spectrum, some have even turned to massive acquisitions and mergers in an effort to build-out their respective networks. Genachowski revealed that the FCC will auction several blocks in the AWS band essential for LTE networks to wireless carriers in 2015. The wireless trade association CTIA is not satisfied, however, and is seeking additional spectrum from the 800MHz band by 2015.
Here’s a fun little story as we approach the end of another weekend. New Yahoo CEO, Marissa Meyer, has kicked off a new program at the company that will see all employees receive a brand new smartphone. Just so long as it isn’t a BlackBerry. Instead, there’s some pretty sweet Android devices on the list to replace those aging RIM phones that have been carried by employees for so long.
Google has authored J2ObjC, an open-source tool that can convert all the non-UI bits of Java code into Objective-C source code for use in iOS apps. It’s not the first translator of this type we’ve ever seen, but coming from Google makes us have a serious look at this one.
Over the summer, Facebook had a rocky update to its iOS app when they tried to shift everything away from HTML5. Ultimately focusing on HTML5 was a mistake, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a recent interview. He promised that we would see much better native apps (including one for Android at some point), and that mobile was going to be a huge part of the company going forward. Zuckerberg went so far as to say that Facebook is now a mobile company and that he expects mobile revenue to surpass desktop in the near future. As a side-note, Zuckerberg reiterated that no, they aren’t working on making their own phone and that the strategy is still to wriggle onto every platform out there.
Watch out, Las Vegas: app developers are aiming to take your most tech-savvy and/or lazy customers away from you. Bloomberg reports that mobile gambling apps, which turn iPhones into mini-slot machines that let users place bets with real money, are on the rise and will soon be in fierce competition with one another over which ones get to separate the most fools from their money. Indeed, Bloomberg notes that Juniper Research estimates that smartphone and tablet owners will use their favorite devices to place upward of $100 billion of bets by 2017.
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