Facebook Messenger may soon let you pay your friends, code leaks reveal

A modified version of the Facebook Messenger has revealed that person-to-person payment interfaces and other elements are already integrated into the app. The discovery was made by iOS developer Andre Aude.

Just like sending a message or sending a photo, Facebook’s payments implementation is integrated into the chat window. The idea being, that if you talk to a friend about getting coffee, you can pay your half of the bill in the same place. A history of payments appears in the settings pages.

Facebook has not confirmed that the feature is coming any time soon. Zuckerberg has floated the idea of Facebook tying mobile payments before, but warned it was a long way off.

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Hundreds of businesses in London are about to flip the switch on payments via iBeacons

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In Brixton, South West London, hundreds of businesses will soon integrate iBeacons as part of one of the first real-world networks for mobile payments using Apple’s Bluetooth LE iBeacon tech

In Brixton, businesses introduced a local currency in 2009 that eventually switched from paper into mobile payments by text. Around 250 businesses in the area accept the currency, which is meant to keep the money in the community and support smaller independent local businesses. By the starting of next month, the currency will have its own mobile app called Brixton Pound, and iBeacons will make it easy to automatically prompt users for payments. The Brixton Pound organization teamed up with Dingo for the payment solution and kontakt.io for the iBeacon hardware and integration: Read more

A&E and History Channel add live TV stream in iOS apps

A&E Networks has just updated iOS apps for two of its most popular TV channels, A&E and History, with the ability to watch live TV on both iPhone and iPad. The apps, which previously provided full episodes and clips on-demand to users in the US, will now provide a live stream of what’s playing on the TV channels. The live TV feature, however, will require a cable subscription.  Read more

Behind the scenes look at Apple TV app development w/ the new Bloomberg channel

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Unlike its developer program and vast ecosystem of apps on iOS and Mac, there’s not much we know about Apple’s strategy for content on the Apple TV. There’s been a lot of talk that a much rumored refreshed Apple TV set top box— or perhaps even the rumored full-fledged TV set— might also come alongside a more open developer platform with app distribution.

For now, however, Apple is slowly and quietly behind closed doors making deals with select content partners that are building apps for the platform. How is Apple working with developers to build and approve these apps? Does it have an Apple TV SDK that could in theory be released to all developers? With Bloomberg TV today becoming the latest app to launch on the platform, we’ve talked with the people that built the app to get some insight into the Apple TV development process. Read more

Bloomberg launches on Apple TV globally with 24/7 live news stream, on-demand content, iOS integration & more

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Following Apple’s steady release of new content and features for its existing Apple TV platform in recent months, this week it adds yet another as Bloomberg becomes the first channel to live stream business news 24/7 to Apple TV customers. We spoke with Bloomberg’s head of mobile Oke Okaro who told us all about the new Apple TV app.

The majority of the content you’ll find in the new app is the same Bloomberg TV content you’ll find on its website and in its mobile apps but specifically optimized for the larger screen. That includes a live stream of business news, on-demand content with a mix of full TV show episodes and clips, and a special live stream that will appear only for events and breaking news. While there is similar news programming already on the Apple TV through apps like The Wall Street Journal and SkyNews, Bloomberg will be the first to have a 24/7 live stream of business news. That’s compared to the WSJ app which often only live streams content on certain hours throughout the day. It’s also going beyond the other news apps by offering all of its content for free in full-length form in addition to integration with its iOS apps coming in a future update. Read more

Flint mobile billing app adds invoicing, Passbook coupon support, and card scans via camera

iOS users looking to accept payments on their mobile devices now have another option. Flint has just been updated to version 2.0. The app adds several new and useful features for small businesses, such as the ability to create invoices right in the app.

The app also introduces support for Passbook coupons. Merchants can create their own coupons and issue them to customers as Passbook passes. The Flint app can then scan these coupons and apply them directly to a transaction.

The 2.0 update also allows merchants to create orders with multiple items, and scan credit and debit cards using the camera on their iOS device. Cash and check sales can also be tracked within the new app and customers can get receipts for their transactions.

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iPad helps iOS maintain lead against Android as most valuable mobile ad platform

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Opera MediaWorks is out today with its latest report on the state of mobile platforms for Q3 2013. The report, which gathers data from billions of ad impressions each month, notes that iOS continues the lead for mobile advertising, with around 44.4% of all ad requests and 50% of revenue on its platform. That’s compared to 31.32% for Android, but the lead for Apple is mostly thanks to gains from iPad.

Remove tablets from the equation and ad impressions on iPhone and Android smartphones fall to just 31% vs. 30.3%:

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FedEx Mobile iOS app gets ‘Delivery Manager’ with customized delivery options, lets users sign for packages

FedEx has updated its iOS app today providing users with access to sign up and use a new FedEx Delivery Manager feature to customize delivery options and even sign for packages directly from within the app.

Once users have signed up for Delivery Manager, they will be able to schedule deliveries, provide instructions for pending deliveries, and even sign for packages using the universal app for iPhone and iPad. Other delivery options that users can customize include: Deliver to another address, Schedule a vacation hold, and Hold your package at a FedEx location.

Get convenience and flexibility for deliveries to your home. You can view upcoming deliveries to your home address, get status updates, or request to schedule a delivery by choosing your preferred date, time, or date and time combination. Or you can request FedEx to deliver to another address — in your neighborhood or across the U.S. — or select from free options such as Hold at FedEx Location.

The new Delivery Manager feature is initially only available for residential deliveries within the US. Users interested in signing up or learning more about the new feature can do so at fedex.com/delivery.

The updated FedEx mobile app is available on the App Store now.

Report claims Microsoft roadmap has iOS/Android support scheduled for fall 2014

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Since we first heard rumors that Microsoft was working on Office for iOS as far back as 2011 and got a look at alleged leaked images of an iPad app that Microsoft later denied were real, every couple of months we’ve seen reports that say the app is coming soon. First it was November 2012, then early 2013, and others claimed “sometime after” March 2013. The latest rumor: Microsoft has Office for iPhone and Android is scheduled for fall 2014.

ZDNet claims to have got its hands on Microsoft roadmap for next year and says on it is “iOS/Android support for Office”: Read more

Nuance launches ‘Voice Ads’ platform to bring a Siri-like experience to mobile advertising

If Nuance gets its way with the just announced ‘Voice Ads’ mobile advertising platform, soon every mobile ad could include Siri-like functionality that lets you communicate with and ask questions about the product being advertised.

Nuance, the company behind the voice recognition module now used in Apple’s Siri, today announced a new project to bring its voice recognition technology to the mobile advertising world. The basic concept of the new platform, which Nuance made available through an SDK for advertising companies, is to bring a two-way, interactive conversation to mobile ads. As highlighted by Nuance in the video above, ads that implement the Voice Ads platform will allow users to engage in a Siri-like conversation with an advertisement:

Nuance Voice Ads gives mobile advertisers and creative agencies an opportunity to go beyond the limitations of the four-inch mobile device screen and create a conversation with consumers through the power of voice recognition. Voice Ads finally creates an opportunity for brands to deepen the relationship with their consumers, with targeted interactive ads that deeply engage their core audience – much in the way that the world’s most popular mobile personal assistants have deepened consumers’ relationship with their mobile phones.

In the demo above, Nuance shows an advertisement for a fictional deodorant brand that uses a magic 8-ball theme to answer any question that users might have. The ad of course ends in a pitch for the product in question, as you might expect. Other ads could allow users to ask specific questions about a product’s release date or specs…
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LinkedIn introduces updated iPhone and Android apps, releases HTML 5 mobile site

LinkedIn has announced a new HTML 5 optimized page for mobile browsers and updated iPhone and Android apps with 2-10X speed increases.

The new app is now focused around four key areas: Updates, Inbox, You, and Groups & More.

The Inbox will allow you to view your messages and invitations in one centralized location. The You area presents your profile, connections, and to share updates. Lastly, LinkedIn is now introducing their most requested feature Groups, into the app.

Interestingly, LinkedIn also announced their mobile platform is growing 400 percent year-over-year. Check it out in your mobile browser, or hit the download links below:

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