The Week in Mobile: August 14-20, 2016


Google working on new OS, Intel inks deal with ARM, Minecraft now in VR and more

Each week we round up the top news stories, think pieces and other content that centers on the fast-paced, quickly changing world of mobile technology. We tell you which companies are employing clever mobile strategies, illuminate new ways of thinking about mobile and offer a peek at meaningful trends in the industry. This content is designed to inspire you and your company to take advantage of the many benefits mobile can offer.

Google Has a New OS in the Works

Google is working on a new open source operating system called Fuchsia. Since Google has yet to officially announce the new OS, it’s unclear exactly what it will be used for, though it doesn’t appear to have anything to do with Android or Chrome OS. This is something entirely unique. Some are speculating that the OS could be used to better power IoT devices, while others suggest Fuchsia might be for augmented reality. It’s also possible that the OS will be used as the basis for all Google devices. As the project is still in the early stages of development, we’ll have to wait and see.

Intel Announces New Deal with ARM and More at Developer Forum

Intel made several exciting announcements last week during its annual developer forum. Most notably, the company announced a new deal with processor competitor ARM, which will allow Intel to produce ARM chips. Intel’s new licensing is an attempt to break into mobile as PC sales decline. Thanks to this new agreement, Intel will also produce chips for LG Electronics, Netronome, and Spreadtrum.

Meanwhile, Intel unveiled Project Alloy, a new standalone virtual reality device. Not only does Project Alloy promise to sever dependencies on gaming consoles, PCs or smartphones, but it also offers up a “merged reality” experience. Users will be able to engage with real-world objects within a virtual environment. Additionally, Intel announced Aero, a drone built specifically for developers interested in creating and testing apps for drones.

Minecraft Now Comes in Virtual Reality

Minecraft, the wildly popular game in which users create their own animated worlds, has teamed up with Oculus to release the first ever virtual reality version of the game. Last week, Minecraft released a free update to Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition, which allows users to access and play the game using the Oculus Rift. It’s a completely immersive experience that allows users to navigate and look around their world as if they are truly inside it. And, for those that need a break from immersion, Minecraft developers have included a virtual Minecraft living room that allows users to play in 2D and then zoom back into full VR with the press of a button.

Instagram Rolling Out New Business Features

Instagram is introducing new features for businesses, which allow brands to create profiles and better connect with followers thanks to a new “contact” button. What’s more, these profiles offer a more robust set of analytics to help companies monitor audience behaviors and demographics so brands can better target a specific audience. It’s a move that mirrors Facebook’s business Pages. For now, new features are rolling out in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, but the business features will be available globally by the end of the year.

Salesforce Rounds Out Inbox App with Tempo Calendar

Following the acquisition of Tempo just over a year ago, Salesforce announced that it will use the technology to integrate a new calendar system into its Inbox app. The calendar will use contact data from the Salesforce database to give users on-the-go background on the people invited to each meeting. The move is intended to bring Salesforce’s Inbox app a step closer to becoming an mobile sales hub for enterprises. Inbox’s new features will roll out to iOS and Android users in September.