The Week in Mobile: September 13-19, 2015


Apple launches iOS 9, watchOS 2 gets delayed, Google and Twitter partner on an instant articles platform 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 9 Launches While watchOS 2 Gets Delayed

Have you heard? Last week, Apple launched it’s newest operating system, iOS 9. Since the release, there’s been the usual debate over whether iPhone and iPad users should update their software ASAP or wait until iOS 9.1 becomes available. Whether you choose to update now or wait for minor kinks to be worked out, the general consensus is that Apple’s latest update is worth downloading because it’s many tweaks allow users to better navigate and do things faster.

In Apple’s latest chess move against Google (and Facebook), the new operating system introduces support for Ad Blockers. This has paved the way for the new category of apps, which less than a day after iOS 9 launched, have made it to the top of the app charts worldwide.

Meanwhile, watchOS 2, which was expected to launch alongside iOS 9, has been delayed. Apple announced that they are fixing a bug and expect to release the new Apple Watch OS shortly. Apple will also release the latest iPhone models, which are expected to hit stores on September 25. The company said that global pre-orders for the new devices are on track to beat last year’s sales of 10 million in the first weekend.

Apple Offers Android App to Convert Users to OS

In yet more Apple news, the company launched its first Android app called Move iOS, which can be downloaded in the Google Play Store. The app allows Android users to easily switch from Android to iOS. Wondering how the app is fairing in enemy territory? Turns out that Apple’s attempt to steal market share from Android has resulted in a number of nasty comments and one star reviews.

Marshmallow Testers Get an Early Look at Google’s Now on Tap Feature

Google’s Now on Tap, a feature that allows users to search and access information without leaving apps, is now available for those running Android Marshmallow preview 3. The feature was released as a part of Google’s latest update, which came as a pleasant surprise for those running the test software. Now on Tap wasn’t expected to launch until Marshmallow’s release. That’s still the case for users who don’t have access to test software, but luckily the wait won’t be long, as the new operating system is expected to launch later this year.

It’s possible that an updated UI and new features like Now on Tap will encourage users to adopt Marshmallow more quickly than past Android operating systems. Currently, only 21 percent of Android devices are running on Lollipop, Android’s most recent OS release, which launched in October. The rest are still operating on old systems.

Google and Twitter Partner to Offer Instant Articles

Google and Twitter are partnering to create an open source platform that allows publishers to show “instant articles” to people accessing their content from a mobile device. That means Twitter and Google search users will be able see full articles almost immediately after they click a link. The initiative is similar to those from Facebook, Apple and Snapchat, however; Google and Twitter’s tool is unique in two important ways. First, the tool is open source, which means other technology companies can adopt it into their own platform. Second, the new tool from Google and Twitter doesn’t host publishers’ content. Instead, it pulls up cached Web pages. These subtle differences won’t mean much to users, but are important to both publishers and tech companies.

Facebook Bringing Virtual Reality to Your Mobile Device

In an attempt to bring virtual reality to your phone, Facebook is developing a new mobile app that supports 360-degree videos. The technology will allow users to change their perspective by tilting their smartphone, creating an entirely new and “immersive” user experience.

This isn’t Facebook’s first foray into virtual reality. The company acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion last year. Although a mobile-video app won’t create an experience that is as immersive as a headset, it will open up the technology to a larger audience.