Google will offer another Android 6.0 upgrade for Android Wear devices over the next two weeks, following its ill-fated launch on an LG Watch in November. The upgrade adds support for 4G service, as well as for speakers and voice-activated messaging.
The National Football League will sell the digital rights to its "Thursday Night Football" lineup, and Verizon Communications is among the companies identified as potential bidders, Variety reports, adding that the telecom, if selected, would stream the games over its Go90 mobile-video service. The NFL said it was "in active discussions" with interested parties, which could reportedly also include Apple, Amazon and Google.
The rollout of Apple Pay at retail and restaurant chains including Chick-Fil-A, Au Bon Pain, and Crate and Barrel has made the mobile-payment service an option in more than 2 million locations, Apple said. The service has grown globally, and 16.6% of consumers with newer iPhones had used Apple Pay as of last October, up from 9% a year earlier, a Pymnts and InfoScout survey found.
Apple increased its share of the US smartphone market last year by 1.3 percentage points to end 2015 with a 42.9% share, comScore found. Second-place Samsung Electronics' share slipped slightly to 28.4%.
AT&T has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission for a three-year license to begin a series of tests of 5G technology in Austin, Texas, an FCC filing states. The telecom said that it wanted to begin trials before the setting of 5G standards, which are expected to be approved by 2019.
Verizon Wireless hopes to boost its prepaid brand by offering new subscribers more data. For $45 a month, Verizon will provide those who enroll and activate a smartphone with 2 gigabytes of data, while $60 will buy 5 gigabytes. And Verizon prepaid plans still come with unlimited voice and texting. Verizon will add an additional gigabyte to those who sign up for the Auto Pay monthly debit program.
Dropped calls are more prevalent on Voice-over-LTE networks than over 2G and 3G systems, Amdocs' annual networking report states. The telecom vendor said that on average, VoLTE suffered three to four times more call drops than the legacy networks. The report's author cited radio access network issues as the main reason for the problem.
Researchers have developed a prototype for a 168-core chip designed for smartphones and other devices that they say will be able to recognize and recall faces, objects and audio. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology said the energy-efficient and powerful Eyeriss chip would add artificial-intelligence technology to devices without the need to link to cloud-based hardware.
Microsoft's purchase of the SwiftKey keyboard-swiping software is aimed at enhancing the company's mobile apps, as well as boosting the emerging field of artificial intelligence, industry observers said after the company confirmed the deal Wednesday. "The big benefit will be beyond the touch-screen keyboard," the University of Cambridge's Per Ola Kristensson said.
Mobile advertisers will have 60 seconds, twice as much time as previously allowed, to showcase their wares on Instagram, the photo-sharing service announced, adding that it has begun rolling out a software update ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl. Instagram said the additional time would provide advertisers with more flexibility to create content.
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