Google Announces Marvell And NVIDIA Chipset Options For Project Ara
Most of you guys have probably heard of Google’s Project Ara by now. For those who haven’t, this is an upcoming smartphone by Google that will feature modular components. What this means is that users will be able to swap out certain components depending on their need, so for example you could swap out a camera module for one with a better sensor, or one that records video better, and so on, all the while keeping the rest of the phone’s specs intact. According to a new Google+ post, Google has revealed other options which will include a Marvell PXA1928 SoC and an NVIDIA Tegra K1 chipset which can also be found in the recently released Nexus 9.
Xiaomi secures over USD 1 billion in funding round
Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi is raising over USD 1 billion in its latest funding round. This values the Chinese smartphone maker at over USD 45 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter. Expected to close on 22 December, the funding round is led by tech investment fund All-Stars Investment, the source added.
Boeing and BlackBerry create ‘self-destructing’ phone
Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry will help Boeing with its self-destructing “Black” phone, designed for government agencies with a need for secrecy. The device has been in planning since 2012 and is thought to include biometric scanners for security and a special tamper-proof case which will wipe all data if anyone tries to open it and access the components inside.
Biometrically enabled devices to reach 2Billion users by 2020
According to Acuity Market Intelligence, there could be as many as 4.8 billion biometric devices by 2020. With the global market projected to see 2.5 billion users, the growth in these devices will be fuelled by intensifying demand for smart phones, tablets, and wearable mobile devices that incorporate biometrics. According to Maxine Most, Acuity Market Intelligence Principal and lead analyst, “The market for biometrically enabled mobile devices will surge over the next five years.”
Microsoft is closing its Office 365 web service
Microsoft is shutting down its SharePoint Online Public Website service, from January 2015. The website allows Office 365 users to create a website and customise it with in-browser tools. A statement from Microsoft read: “Starting in January 2015, Microsoft is making changes to the SharePoint Online Public Website feature. As part of the evolution of the Office 365 service, we periodically evaluate the capabilities of the service to make sure that we’re delivering the utmost value to customers.”
BT to trial Fibre-to-the-Basement technology
BT has announced trials of a solution which could deliver superfast broadband to hard-to-access locations in cities across the UK. The new form of Fibre-to-the-Basement technology – developed and funded by BT – will be piloted in two City of London buildings from next month.
Microsoft removes unofficial Snapchat apps from the Windows Phone store
Microsoft has removed a host of third-party Snapchat alternatives from its Windows Phone store after the photo messaging service indicated that it would start cracking down on unofficial apps in a bid to tighten security. Rudy Huyn, the developer of popular Windows Phone Snapchat alternative 6snap, confirmed on Twitter that his app — and all other third-party Snapchat apps previously available on Microsoft’s operating system — had been removed.
Reddit to give millions of dollars in shares to users
Reddit is to give away $5 million to its users, through Reddit Notes that will be distributed through a lottery. The social network and community site raised $50 million in funding in September, and reserved 10% of that for giving back to its users. The site asked users soon after how they should distribute the money, and have settled on Reddit Notes, a kind of money, and is working out the details now. The notes will be able to be used to “tip, donate, or trade” on the site.
BBC iPlayer tops list of corporation downloads
The BBC iPlayer app is by far the corporation’s most popular download, with 30 million transactions since its 2012 launch, while CBeebies Playtime is the most popular programme-related app with 3.4 million. The iPlayer app was recently tweaked to extend the catch-up window for TV and radio programming from seven to 30 days making it even more attractive to users. In second place in a list of the BBC’s 10 most popular apps published on Monday is BBC News, the corporation’s oldest app launched in 2010, with 15million downloads.