The Week in Mobile: June 12-18, 2016


Apple unveils iOS 10, Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn, 4th Android N dev preview 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.

iOS 10 Announced at WWDC

Apple made a barrage of announcements during WWDC last week, unveiling improvements for tvOS, watchOS, OS X (now MacOS) and more. Most notably, the company introduced iOS 10, which will be released in September along with the iPhone 7. Here’s a look at just a few of the new features:

  • Siri Opening Up to Third-Party Developers – With this new update, the sky’s the limit for what developers can dream up for the digital assistant.
  • 3D Touch Improvements – Users will be able to quickly access rich information using 3D Touch on their app icons. For example, users could access a short summary of the weather by using 3D Touch instead of launching a full app.
  • Updates to the Lock Screen – The new “Rise to Wake” feature lets users illuminate the lock screen simply by lifting their phone. Lock screen notifications will also be easier to read and users will be able to respond to messages and see photos without unlocking the device.
  • Deep Learning for Photos – Apple is using deep learning to improve its photo library. iOS 10 will identify people in photos so users can search and sort pictures by the people in them.

For more on WWDC, check out the blog post from two of our Appcelerator developers who were able to experience to conference first-hand.

Microsoft to Acquire LinkedIn

In a deal expected to close later this year, Microsoft will purchase LinkedIn for $26.2 billion(!) in cash. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the acquisition will bring together data from LinkedIn’s network and Microsoft’s Office 365 and Dynamics software to benefit both platforms. For example, LinkedIn’s newsfeed could be tailored to provide information on the projects professionals are working on in Office, while Office could make connection recommendations based on a user’s tasks. Currently, more than 60 percent of LinkedIn traffic occurs on mobile devices.

Google Releases Fourth Android N Developer Preview

Google’s fourth Android N developer preview is now available, which means the public release is rapidly approaching. The fourth preview comes with no major updates other than the removal of “Launcher Shortcuts,” a feature similar to iOS’s 3D Touch. It appears the feature will be held for a later version. With the fourth preview now available and the final release mostly solidified, and developers can begin preparing for their app updates in anticipation of launch.

Separately, Google announced a new feature for Android called Nearby, which alerts users with recommended apps, actions and information based on location. For example, a user walking by a CVS Pharmacy may be prompted to download the CVS app or print photos directly from their phone to the store’s photo center.

Facebook Brings SMS into Messenger on Android

Last week, Facebook Messenger rolled out an SMS feature for Android, which allows users to receive SMS texts within Messenger or set Messenger as their default SMS app. For those that opt into the new feature, SMS text threads will be integrated into the Messenger inbox. The move makes it easier for Android users to spend more time in Messenger as they won’t have to switch back and forth between platforms every time they receive a text message. And it subtly nudges users towards Messenger to communicate with contacts rather than standard text messaging.

Pokémon AR Mobile Game Coming in July

Software development company Niantic is collaborating with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company to create Pokémon Go, an augmented reality mobile game. Users will look through their smartphone camera as software for Pokémon Go projects digital characters and settings into the room. While the game operates on mobile, Niantic will also release Pokémon Go Plus, a wearable that allows users to play without a smartphone. The Pokémon Go mobile game will release in July. However, the game’s accessory won’t be available until some months later.