This Week in Mobile

Posted February 10th 2016



According to research from the National Retail Federation, consumers shopping for gifts are increasingly making those purchases on mobile devices, and Valentine’s Day purchases are expected to follow the same trend.

  • Of the 7,293 consumers surveyed, 54.8% were planning on making a purchase to celebrate Valentine’s Day, with spending averaging $147
  • 17.3% will make the purchase on their tablets, up from 13.7% last year
  • 20.3% will make the purchase on their smartphone, up from 17.7% last year
  • Female consumers are making the biggest leap: 162% said they will buy gifts on their smartphones, up from 10.2% in 2015



1. The U.S. government might use your smart devices–from baby monitors to fitness trackers–to spy on you. U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified that “intelligence services might use the IoT for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials.”

2. Ready to move beyond cardboard? Google is. The search giant is said to be launching a new VR headset made of solid plastic and featuring improved sensors and lenses.

3. Instagram is rolling out a feature that will let users switch between accounts. The feature had long topped users’ wish lists for improvements to the popular app.

4. Tired of worrying about your phone’s battery life? It looks like UK-based Intelligent Energy is in the process of refining its fuel cell technology for commercial smartphone integration.

5. In the age where stadiums and music venues have become targets for terrorist acts, ticket vendors have increasingly turned to mobile solutions to ensure safer events. The future of ticket sales will be one in which it’s more difficult to purchase an anonymous ticket because tickets will be tied to mobile device IDs.





For anyone who knows the pain of having to look for a public notary, you may be interested in the new Notarize app that released a week ago. Notarize users can get documents legally notarized conveniently from the iPhone. Notarize simplifies the notarization process by allowing users to upload their own documents over email, cloud services like Dropbox, or any app that supports iOS document sharing. Each document notarization costs $25, and both public and private institutions will accept documents notarized out-of-state.

This iOS-only app will save you a trip to a notary, and it’s legal in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. You may still want to remain fully clothed, though, even if you’re in your home while using Notarize, as the app essentially sets up a video chat with an authorized notary so you can get your paperwork — whatever it is — notarized.

Notarize is available for free in the App Store and is compatible with iPhones on iOS 8 and higher.



Mobile World Congress February 22-25, 2016 | Barcelona, Spain

Connected Cars March 15, 2016 | Detroit, MI, USA


Contributed by Tathagata Samanta and Tracy O’Neil