Mobile news: what happened this week?

Mobile Phone News

We’ve had heatwaves and thunderstorms all rolled into one this week, but now as we approach the weekend, it can mean it’s time for Mobile News! This week, we’ve got updates on  Samsung’s newly released Samsung Pay, Ikea are talking AR, and we’ve got details of iOS 11’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature. Read on to find out more.


IKEA are bringing AR to home décor

Have you ever wished that you could see what that sofa would look like in your home before you bought it and physically put it there? Well, IKEA are working on a way for you to do exactly that.

They’re using Apple’s much talked about ARKit, and the upcoming AR friendly iOS 11, to create an app where you can select a product, then hold up your phone or tablet and be able to place it exactly where you want in your home. So, no more guesswork and hoping that the colour of that new sofa will actually go with the walls.

There are reports that this app will be able to place things to the milimeter, although as with all of these types of exciting ideas using new technology, it’s best to take claims like that with a pinch of salt. That said, it’s still an exciting idea that could pave the way for AR to finally break through from experimental to useful technology.

Samsung has finally released their Android Pay competitor, Samsung Pay, in the UK

Way back in 2015, Samsung released their Samsung Pay service in Korea, then rolled it out in the US a few weeks later. In 2016 they released it in Australia, and after a long delay, they’ve finally brought it to the UK. If you’ve got an S8, S7 or S6, of any model, you’ll be able to use it right now.

It works in much the same way as Android Pay, although it has one nifty trick that means that it stands out. By using a technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission, or MST, Samsung Pay can work even on non-contactless points of sale. Essentially it works by bombarding the magnetic sensor in the machine with a variety of changing magnetic fields that mimic the magnetic strip of a card being swiped. In places where contactless isn’t available, think more rural places, this could be pretty useful.

In the UK, however, we’ve got on board the contactless train so there’s not much advantage currently over Android Pay, and because the service requires Samsung to have a deal with your bank, only Santander, MBNA, Nationwide, HSBC, First Direct and M&S Bank support it currently. If that roster expands though, it could well become a real competitor to Android Pay.

Do Not Disturb While Driving – Apple’s latest safety feature comes to iOS 11 beta

Distracted driving is, sadly, a major contributor to driving accidents each year. The numbers sit at roughly 10% of all accidents being due to the driver not looking at the road, and a good majority of that 10% comes from people using their phones.

To that end, Apple have added Do Not Disturb While Driving to iOS 11 in an effort to combat this problem. Essentially, it’s an inbuilt feature of the OS that can detect when you’re driving, either by being connected to the car through USB and Bluetooth, or by using the GPS to sense your speed, and will stop all incoming messages, phone calls and notifications from showing. It will even send an automatic response to anyone trying to get a hold of you telling them that you’ll get back to them once you stop driving.

One caveat to this, before you ask the inevitable “but what if it’s urgent?”, is that you can reply “urgent” to the auto reply to have your original message show as a notification on the driver’s phone. This means that you can always still get in touch with people, or be contactable, while driving, something that many are worried about when it comes to these types of restriction apps.

The feature is available right now to testers who are using the iOS 11 beta, and will roll out with the launch of the OS.

That’s everything for this week, we’ll see you next week for more Mobile News!

Mobile Phone News