Weemo, a service that offers a WebRTC-based real-time video chat platform for software vendors, service providers and developers, launched its new mobile SDK today that brings the company’s services to third-party vendors who want to use its WebRTC capabilities in iOS, Android and PhoneGap apps. Continue reading
As we inch ever closer to the madness that is the holidays, I’ve been thinking that two Android smartphones deserve just a little more attention than the rest: the Nexus 5 and the Moto X. The former has a stellar spec sheet and access to frequent updates straight from Mountain View, but the latter makes do with a slightly older version of Android propped up by some awfully valuable software tweaks. Except that isn’t really the case any more. Well, for some of them, anyway — Motorola has just announced on its blog certain Moto Xs out there will get the Android 4.4 KitKat update as soon as today. Are there caveats? You bet. For now the update is going being pushed out to Verizon Wireless customers, so those of you who fell for the temporarily exclusive Moto Maker customization ploy at AT&T will have to wait in line. And as usual that update is being seeded to Verizon Moto Xs in waves so there’s little telling when your Verizon X will cheerfully notify you of the bounty waiting to be installed. That carrier-induced delay is at once unsurprising and sort of a bummer, especially considering that Motorola has pledged to work with carriers to ensure on-time KitKat updates for its less-powerful (but arguably more important) Moto G. Still, this is pretty interesting territory that Google, Motorola, and Verizon are exploring. It used to be that software updates could be feature-complete and ostensibly ready to go before getting caught in a quagmire of carrier testing that drove some users crazy for weeks. Now the latest build of Android is ready to be pushed to the public less than a month after Google officially unveiled it at a curiously intimate event in California. Not even the Google-sanctioned Play Edition HTC One has managed to get its KitKat code in order — the build was submitted to Google yesterday but it’s unclear when it’ll go live for users to install. These days it’s looking like the firewall that reportedly exists between Motorola and Google is much more porous than either organization let on. While may ultimately mean big things for consumers, I have to wonder how other faithful Android OEMs will take this. Continue reading
Yesterday, we wrote about a new Facebook feature that was getting spotted by a few users showing them when their online friends were on web or mobile versions of Facebook. We were told by Facebook that it was a test. Now, Facebook says it is getting rolled out globally.
Nobody loves keeping up with bills and credit card statements. While you can automate most payments these days, you still have to keep an eye on them just in case your credit card was charged twice at a restaurant or your electricity bill has suddenly gone haywire. Finovera, which is launching out of its closed beta this week, wants to help you keep your sanity by checking if your bills look alright and if you’re spending too much. Continue reading
Kabbage, the Atlanta-based company offering working capital to online merchants and sellers on marketplaces like Etsy, eBay and Amazon who wouldn’t otherwise be able to get a bank loan, is today expanding its business to mobile. The company is officially introducing its new apps for both iOS and Android, which will enable Kabbage users to quickly add funds to their associated bank or PayPal account while on the go.
As announced earlier this fall, mobile security company Lookout today launched its new security suite for business customers. The product, Lookout for Business, represents the first time the company has gone after the corporate market where the growth in BYOD (bring-your-own-device) programs has necessitated the need for I.T. departments to better secure the various mobile devices attaching to their network. Lookout had previously focused only on its consumer-facing mobile security service, which includes anti-malware and privacy protections, backup, as well as other useful features for tracking down or remotely wiping lost or stolen phones. It’s a feature set that also makes sense in a business environment, of course, where employee devices carry even more sensitive information. As Lookout CTO Kevin Mahaffey explained earlier, the company’s consumer-first strategy started to pay off around a year and a half ago, when the firm began to receive inbound requests from businesses interested in buying licenses in bulk. He noted that Lookout had fielded “thousands” of inbound requests and claimed that over half of the Fortune 1000 already has employees using Lookout on their work devices. (Today, the company has dialed that figure down to “over 40%”). The new Lookout for Business product protects a range of devices, including both personal and company-owned phones and tablets, from malware, malicious links and suspicious apps. It offers protection against theft or lost devices, too, with tracking and remote wipe capabilities like those introduced in the consumer version of the product. Both admins and employees alike can track, lock and wipe devices from an online dashboard. And in order to protect user privacy, if an admin or user attempts to take any action on the device, like a remote wipe, the other is notified. The entire system is designed to be more self-serve in nature than some traditional MDM (mobile device management) solutions, as employees are sent a link to download the app, and can install and register devices themselves. It’s very hands off from an I.T. standpoint. Essentially, the new suite of products is everything that’s offered in the consumer-grade service, only with the added invitation to corporate I.T. to now join in order to get a bird’s-eye view of devices across the network. The dashboard lets staff know how many devices are protected, what threats have been blocked, and lists current activity. There’s also a search box where admins can find a device by owner’s name, device Continue reading
Home Automation Startup August Raises $8 Million From Maveron And Others To Make Smart Locks Mainstream
Home automation startup August is getting ready to start shipping its first product to consumers early next year. But first, it’s raised a bit more cash to add personnel and ramp up production of its mobile-operated smart lock. August raised $8 million in a funding round led by Maveron, with participation from Cowboy Ventures, Industry Ventures, Rho Ventures, and SoftTech VC. Continue reading
London’s Private Taxi Marketplace Apps Move Up A Gear As Kabbee Gets Backed By Octopus, And Just-Eat CEO Invests In Minicabster
Minicab marketplace apps Kabbee and Minicabster are both announcing new funding as the private taxi-booking app space in the UK moves up a gear. Kabbee has raised a £3.8m Series A round led by Octopus Investments. Meanwhile, Minicabster has raised £2 million in funding from a number of angel investors including David Buttress, CEO of takeout marketplace Just-Eat. Continue reading
LinkedIn is announcing a new feature called a Showcase Page that will allow businesses on the professional networking site to target the fans of a specific product or brand.
David Thacker, the company’s vice president of marketing solutions products, said that when companies with a number of different products are trying to discuss all of them from a single page, it can become “a little bit overwhelming” for followers who aren’t necessarily interested in all of that content. Continue reading
GrabCAD is pushing out a significant update to its Workbench product, adding a raft of new features that it says now makes it a complete platform for what it calls Collaborative Product Development (CPD) and the ideal tool to help hardware startups and other small to medium-sized hardware companies. In other words, the startup is keenly positioning itself to ride the hardware renaissance. Continue reading