It hardly feels like a week since our last mobile news update, but it’s that time again! Let’s check out what’s happened in the wonderful world of mobile technology over the last seven days.
Tesco Mobile launches Xtras
In case you missed it, we’ve launched a brand new way for our Tesco Mobile customers to save money! We’ve dubbed it “Xtras” and all you have to do is view short, personalised ads when you unlock your phone. Powered through our new Xtras app, you can save an extra £3 on your monthly bill with the ability to pause or cancel at any time. Xtras is available for Android devices or SIM only customers, and can be downloaded by new and existing customers alike. To find out more and if you’re eligible to enrol, visit our Tesco Mobile Xtras page.
Create GIFs with Google
Google has launched a new camera app, Motion Stills, to help you create your very own GIFs on your iPhone 6S or 6S Plus. Designed to work with Apple Live Photos, the app stabilises and animates your image while freezing the background to create a GIF effect. The result is pretty amazing and can be shared easily on social media or via messaging. It’s completely free to download on the latest version of iOS and the possibilities are endless – there’s just no word if or when it will be available on Android.
Facebook Messenger going solo
If you haven’t already downloaded the Facebook Messenger app, then you’re about to have no choice if you want to chat with your Facebook friends. The ability to message through the mobile Facebook website is about to be stopped, just like the functionality was cut from the Facebook app not too long ago. Facebook Messenger still has its own desktop site, which isn’t going anywhere, but mobile users will need to download the Facebook Messenger app on iOS or Android in the coming weeks to keep chatting with friends. The move has likely been made to allow people to use Facebook Messenger without the need for a Facebook account.
Lenovo and Motorola announce MotoMods
Following in the footsteps of the LG G5, Lenovo and Motorola have announced their very own take on modular design with “MotoMods”. Just like LG’s “Friends”, the snap-on extensions aim to increase your phone’s capabilities and personalise it to your needs. Each MotoMod fits the upcoming Moto Z smartphone, but differs in functionality. So far, modules include the ability to project movies from your phone to the wall, amplify your music, as well as top up your battery. A major difference between MotoMods and Friends is that MotoMods are magnetised, so they don’t actually change the build of your phone. The Moto Z is set to arrive later this year with the announcement of more MotoMods expected, too.
Lenovo showcases first augmented reality smartphone
With leaps made in the field of virtual reality, sights have now been set on augmented reality with Google announcing “Project Tango”. Tango aims to map your world through motion tracking, depth perception and area learning to create an augmented reality overlay, which can be brought to life with the help of Lenovo’s new Phab 2 Pro phone. The device has a hefty 6.4-inch display with a quad HD screen and powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, as well as a wide-angle camera and depth-sensing unit to make use of the Tango technology. Lenovo is showcasing the technology through various apps, such as immersive shooting games, as well as an educational app made with the American Museum of Natural History. Augmented reality is yet to realise its full potential, but Lenovo is certainly taking a step in the right direction with their revolutionary device.
No headphone jack for Moto Z
We discussed rumours of Apple ditching the audio input on their iPhone 7 back in our mobile news last month, but Motorola has officially beaten them to the punch by removing the headphone jack on their new Moto Z and Moto Z Force devices. The traditional 3.5mm headphone jack has been dropped in favour of Bluetooth connectivity or a USB-C adapter, depending on your preference. The Moto Z is set to be one of the thinnest smartphones in the world, which may explain why the headphone jack is gone. The decision is meant to promote the use of smarter technology, particularly though the USB-C port, which is designed to offer better audio. This may force Apple’s hand to do the same, if it wants to compete with Motorola’s new flagship handsets.
Well, that’s it for another week of mobile news! Be sure to visit The Hub next Friday for all the latest updates from Tesco Mobile.