You don’t like a helicopter salesperson, but you like to be addressed by name when you enter your favourite retail store. You have little time to browse through the products randomly piled across the shopfloor, but you hate to be prompted along the way. You are a fastidious shopper, but you don’t mind relevant suggestions while negotiating the aisles at the store.
BARCELONA: Billionaire 29-year-old Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stars in the mobile industry’s biggest fair Monday, fresh from his $19 billion (14-billion-euro) takeover of smartphone messenger WhatsApp.
The keynote speaker on the opening day of the February 24-27 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Zuckerberg has come a long way in the mobile world in a short time.
When Facebook sold its shares to the public in an initial public offering in May 2012, “it literally had no mobile advertising revenues,” said Eden Zoller, analyst at the research house Ovum. Read More News>>
Google makes the new Maps a default interface, offers improved keyword search, new imagery of all places and better directions for all transit modes.
Google has rolled out the latest version of Maps for all users worldwide after working in pre-view mode for nearly a year. The new interface is more streamlined and offers smart route navigation, better integration of search results as well as easier access to picture galleries.
The search giant has included several new features including search results embedded right into the maps. The results will include the business name, along with its rating, reviews, price guide and much more.
The navigation system will now include real-time traffic reports and previews of the destination using Street View graphics. Different routes for car, bike, public transportation, or pedestrians are all shown, with complete time estimates, on the same screen.
Street View has also been expanded to include more user-submitted photos, giving you access to places where Street View cameras have not reached yet. In the Street View mode, a user willl now see a “carousel” of images at the bottom of the screen that can be searched through. The new Google Maps interface will be rolled out for everyone over the next few weeks. Read More News>>
NEW YORK: Facebook Inc will buy fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, as the world’s largest social network looks for ways to boost its popularity, especially among a younger crowd.
The acquisition of the hot messaging service with more than 450 million users around the world stunned many Silicon Valley observers with its lofty price tag.
But it underscores Facebook’s determination to win the market for messaging, an indispensable utility in a mobile era.
Combining text messaging and social networking, messaging apps provide a quick way for smartphone users to trade everything from brief texts to flirtatious pictures to YouTube clips – bypassing the need to pay wireless carriers for messaging services.
And it helps Facebook tap teens who will eschew the mainstream social networks and prefer WhatsApp and rivals such as Line and WeChat, which have exploded in size as mobile messaging takes off.
“People are calling them ‘Facebook Nevers,'” said Jeremy Liew, a partner at Lightspeed and an early investor in Snapchat .
WhatsApp is adding about a million users per day, Facebook co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said on his page on Wednesday.
“WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “Since WhatsApp and (Facebook) Messenger serve such different and important users, we will continue investing in both.”
Smartphone-based messaging apps are now sweeping across North America, Asia and Europe.
“Communication is the one thing that you have to use daily, and it has a strong network effect,” said Jonathan Teo, an early investor in Snapchat, another red-hot messaging company that flirted year ago with a multibillion dollar acquisition offer from Facebook.
“Facebook is more about content and has not yet fully figured out communication.”
Even so, he balked at the price tag.
As part of the deal, WhatsApp co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jan Koum will join Facebook’s board, and the social network will grant an additional $3 billion worth of restricted stock units to WhatsApp’s founders, including Koum.
That is on top of the $16 billion in cash and stock that Facebook will pay.
“Goodness gracious, it’s a good deal for WhatsApp,” Teo said. Read More News>>
While it might seem obvious that an Android phone is cheaper than Apple’s iPhone range, the average price of a phone running Google’s OS is now half the price of that from the Cupertino brand.
According to statistics site Statista (where you can see the price differences rising over the years) that difference currently sits at $374 (£224, AU$414), with iPhones selling at an average of $650 (£390, AU$720) and Android’s selling with a mean value of $276 (£165, AU$305).
In truth, the numbers are more indicative of a worldwide trend rather than that of the western world. While Android flagships like the HTC One or Galaxy S4 do generally come in cheaper than their Apple counterparts, the price issue is much wider.
Android handsets have dominated the budget market for quite some time thanks in no small part to the open source nature of Android. No cost to license the OS has led to a proliferation of super-cheap device, and even using the ‘full fat’ Android OS means lower-cost handsets like the Huawei Ascend G510 or the Samsung Galaxy Fame still bringing a relatively premium experience. Read More>>
Bored of S5 rumours? Well, here’s another: Samsung could be struggling to make enough high-res screens
Last week we’d have bet heavily on a few inalienable truths about Samsung’s next flagship phone: the Galaxy S5 will have a larger screen, it’ll come in two flavours, and the headline model will have a QHD display.
Separate sources have also confirmed this to TechRadar as well, which means we’re inclined to believe the veracity.
QHD chicken or Full HD egg?
The question is whether it’s the display itself that’s tough to make, or Samsung being able to increase the graphical processing power to a sufficient level to run the pixels – either way, the QHD panels have not even begun production, according to the report, while Full HD versions (which use a new type of pixel arrangement to improve the screen over the Galaxy S4) are already rolling out.
There’s also a question over the frame to be used with the S5 – will the QHD model come with a metal frame, or will that be used to give the Full HD flagship some lustre?
Rumours suggest that it might be tricky for Samsung to produce metal bodies to the level required for a widespread handset like the S5, which would explain the need to have two options on sale.
Either way it’s less than a week until we see one of the (likely) big-hitting phones of 2014 – we just can’t wait until the speculation stops.