Apps take new lead from social games

| Apr 18, 2014

Apps take new lead from social games

by Akky Akimoto

On Japanese TV, you may notice that a lot of commercials for smartphone social games emphasize the word muryō (free). Consumers have been purchasing digital content on their phones for years, even since the clam-shell cellphone days. Now, more and more Japanese people are ...

White House puts kibosh on selfies

Apr 8, 2014

White House puts kibosh on selfies

A handshake? Sure. A selfie? No way. Some of America’s Olympic athletes say they were asked to keep their cellphones in their pockets last week when they visited the White House and met with President Barack Obama. The White House said that’s long-standing practice, ...

Mar 27, 2014

Hawaiians slam STD app name

A new dating app designed to provide proof someone is free from sexually transmitted diseases is drawing criticism from Native Hawaiians, who have launched an online petition asking for the Hula app to change its name. Hula’s Facebook page includes a post apologizing for ...

App helps American boozers to stay sober

Mar 27, 2014

App helps American boozers to stay sober

A smartphone app for recovering alcoholics that includes a panic button and sounds an alert when they get too close to bars helped keep some on the wagon, researchers found. The sobriety app they studied joins a host of others that serve as electronic ...

Smartphone cameras tread closer to high-end power

Mar 1, 2014

Smartphone cameras tread closer to high-end power

Expect sharper, clearer selfies this year. Samsung Electronics Co. has beefed up the camera in its Galaxy S5 smartphone due for release in April and added smarter software, following handset camera upgrades by Sony and Nokia. The tweaks mean smartphone photos, ubiquitous on social ...

Farmers reaping benefits with apps

Jan 26, 2014

Farmers reaping benefits with apps

by Yuko Fukaya

Smartphone apps that help farmers monitor crops and control costs are becoming popular as the rapid graying of the population continues to thin the ranks of skilled veterans in agriculture. Software developers are interested in developing applications for agriculture because the threat perceived from ...

'Talking' to appliances getting easier

Jan 12, 2014

'Talking' to appliances getting easier

Appliances are becoming part of the family, weighing in with insights while helping with chores from cooking to doing laundry. Home networks that let lamps, thermostats and locks get “smart” with Internet connections and computing power were among trends gaining steam at the Consumer ...

Dec 2, 2013

High-tech reveals shopping habits

Marketers and developers of mobile apps have developed creative new ways to help American shoppers find what they want for less. But these inventive techniques also allow for more aggressive tracking of consumer behavior, whether buyers are on their work computer, a mobile device ...