In December, Starbucks will launch an app that will allow customers to pre-order and choose a pickup time. Fast food restaurants such as McDonald's, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza Subway, and Dunkin' Donuts are already using, testing, or developing similar apps.
OrderAhead, a three-year-old startup based in San Francisco, is assembling a network of merchants and taking a 5 percent to 10 percent cut of each transaction. Mobile-payment startup Square released its preorder app for restaurateurs in New York and San Francisco in October and has signed up hundreds of businesses. The Starbucks app allows customers to choose their item and pickup location; they will then receive an approximate wait time.
Smartling attacks such problems with a translation hub that eliminates inefficient document-based communication. Developers no longer pass around Excel sheets filled with words; the system automatically sucks up Pinterest’s new content and delivers it to preapproved translators around the world. (Smartling contracts with thousands of translators and has a staff of roughly 160.) Translators then interact with the content in its proper context, with an editing system that resembles changing words on a live website. The “home” button is immediately distinguishable from “Apply for a Home Mortgage.”
“The traditional tools work like a 1995 PC, but Smartling is more like Facebook or Twitter–it’s sexy,” says English-German translator Anja Jones. She expanded her own agency with work from Smartling. Jones says she onboards new freelancers in less than half an hour.
GM is partnering with AT&Tto provide 4G LTE service through its Onstar subsidiary. Because it’s embedded into Onstar’s high-powered antenna and operates any time the car is on, you’ll get a more robust 4G connection in and around the car without draining a mobile device’s battery. Passengers can connect as many as seven devices to the car, making it faster and easier to surf the Web, stream live video, or get improved access to Onstar services like vehicle diagnostics and remote vehicle access. A stronger data connection opens up all kinds of new possibilities for enhanced digital services, which could provide a nice additional revenue stream for GM and Onstar.
Under the plan, all these services will be accessed through a single online platform. People will be able to buy their transport in service packages that work like mobile phone tariffs: either as a complete monthly deal or pay as you go options based on individual usage. Any number of companies can use the platform to offer transport packages, and if users find their travel needs change, they'll be able to switch packages or moved to a rival with a better deal.
It sounds like part Google Maps, part City Mapper, part Boris Bikes, part Uber, and part capitalist free for all — but the Helsinki vision isn't as farfetched as it might sound.
The inspiration behind an initiative that would send many cityplanners running for the hills comes from a master's thesis by transport engineer Sonja Heikkilä. Commissioned by the Helsinki City Planning Department, Heikkilä's thesis argued young people's changing attitudes towards cars, coupled with the growing functionality and takeup of mobile technology, could transform the way people get around the capital.
Summer vacation is over for students at Houston's A+ Unlimited Potential school, but they won't be stuck in a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom all day. Instead, the middle school's students will have class in places such as coffee shops, tapping into free wireless networks to collaboratively edit texts, or visit city parks to photograph wildflowers before researching them online. They will spend roughly half their time out and about, and the rest at a rented space in the heart of Houston's Museum District.”
It’s about time – introduced with the new iPad Air 2
“The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you—with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.”
Actually, UPS delivery staff have had it with their DIAD (their Honeywell device) - on the fly switching between GSM and CDMA networks, leading to improved network coverage and lower costs from standardized device provisioning and deployment – for years now
The difference from past generations of educational software–think programs that teach typing or basic math–is that these apps feel like games, not homework. More than 18 million people have downloaded Lumosity, a puzzle program created by neuroscientists in collaboration with game designers, since it launched last year. Duolingo, an app that teaches foreign languages, grants users experience points and badges as they learn new grammar skills, much as console titles like Call of Duty do. And Codecademy teaches the basics of computer programming in short tutorials.
The company (Xiaomi), founded only four years ago, hopes to sell 60 million handsets this year, up from 18 million last year. Next year’s target, according to Bloomberg News, is 100 million phones. In the first quarter of this year, Xiaomi was the third-largest smartphone vendor in China and sixth-largest globally, according to research firm Canalys.
A 24-inch tablet sounds like an oxymoron. "That's basically an iMac," several people have told me in unrelated instances. Except that it runs Android, and has a 1080p high-def capacitive touch screen capable of registering 15 simultaneous finger taps, and a built-in battery. Not that the battery will last more than a half-hour, but it's enough to get this 13-pound monster from room to room without having to reboot everything.
A huge tablet changes the playing dynamic entirely. The kids play well together when it comes to Lego or puzzles, but they have never been known to share a tablet, except maybe to stare dumbly at it while a movie was playing.
A few years ago, a DC-based band called Bluebrain set out to reinvent the entire idea of an album, reorganizing it entirely around location. Visitors who downloaded the group's National Mall app and walked the paths of that Washington landmark would receive a suite of different looping sounds, each cued to one of 264 separate zones and triggered by GPS locations. If you left the mall, all the sounds faded to silence; Bluebrain created an experience that was available only to a listener willing to make the trip, to step inside the space the band had consecrated. As a way of organizing music, it was unprecedented, a flash of insight on par with the magical moment when albums first came into their own as coherent works of art. (As The Washington Post's pop-music critic, Chris Richards, put it: “Somewhere, Sgt. Pepper is smiling.”) The band also made apps for Central Park and Austin's downtown, and announced plans to create a fourth for California's Pacific Coast Highway.