The Week in Mobile: October 4-10, 2015


Apple acquires new AI technology, Nest updates its third-party developer program, Visa and Chevron launch mobile payments initiative 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.

Apple Acquires Two New Artificial Intelligence Companies

Apple announced the acquisition of two artificial intelligence companies. The first is Perceptio, a company that develops image-recognition technology, which allows smartphones to independently identify images without the help of external data libraries. Apple also acquired VocalIQ, a startup developing a natural language API, which allows users and smartphones to have a more natural dialogue. While Apple has not explicitly stated what it plans to do with these new technologies, it’s likely the company will use them to improve its virtual assistant, Siri.

Apple Releases Fourth Beta of iOS 9.1 and New tvOS Build for Developers

Apple released the fourth beta version of iOS 9.1, which fixes a number of bugs and introduces a few new features including larger emojis and the ability to disable contact photos in iMessage. The new beta is available to developers and public beta testers. Apple also released a new build of tvOS for developers. These operating systems can be downloaded in the developer center. In addition to the new operating systems, which are steadily moving toward general release, Apple plans to launch its new iPad Pro device in early November.

Nest Updates its Third-Party Development Program

Nest has made a number of updates to its third-party “Works with Nest” program in an attempt to give developers more flexible options for communicating with Nest products. Nest opened up its Weave communications protocol, which means developers can now use the technology to connect power-constrained products with connection redundancies, without using Wi-Fi. The company also released an API for Nest Cam, which allows developers to utilize camera actions connected to apps.

Visa and Chevron Partner to Bring Mobile Payments to Gas Stations

Visa and Chevron announced a new initiative, which aims to bring mobile payments to gas pumps at more than 20 Chevron stations across San Francisco and Silicon Valley. While many gas stations support mobile payments inside their facility, Chevron, with the help of Visa, will be one of just a few gas stations that support mobile payments outside at the pump. Chevron stations will use NFC technology, so users can simply tap their devices on a panel at the pump and go. The technology will support Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google’s Android Pay.

Windows 10 for Mobile Coming to Lumia 950 and 950 XL

Microsoft’s new smartphones, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, are set to launch next month. They will be the only devices to run on the mobile version of Windows 10, at least for awhile. Windows 10 for mobile will begin rolling out to the new smartphones in December. The upgrade will only be available for devices running on Lumia Denim.