Mobile

Shazam can now scan objects in its quest to make the whole world Shazamable

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Shazam — not quite content with being the app you use to dredge up the name of the darn song you can’t remember — is deciding to get into the visual content game.

The company announced on Thursday it is moving beyond music identification and introducing a new visual recognition capability for users worldwide. If you have the latest version of Shazam installed on you smartphone, you should see a camera icon added to the app.

To launch Shazam’s interactive content on mobile, simply hold your camera steady and tap the icon when you see Shazam visual’s watermark — its logo with a tiny camera — displayed on anything from magazine ads to beer coasters Read more…

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Jolla Pushes BRICS Partnerships To Target Android In Emerging Markets

jolla India Finnish mobile upstart Jolla, whose linux-based Sailfish OS is marketed as a more flexible alternative to the dominant platforms of Android and iOS, is stepping up its push to win friends and influence mobile users in the BRICs cluster of emerging markets — ahead of the release of Sailfish 2.0 this summer, which will be the first version of its OS that OEMs can license. Read More

Lenovo Launches Motorola’s Moto Maker Customization Suite In China

motorola-lenovo Lenovo re-introduced Motorola smartphones to China in January, and now it has launched the Moto Maker customization service there too. Read More

Taxi app Ingogo sets new equity crowdfunding record

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Ingogo, the Australian taxi-booking app and payment platform, announced on Thursday it had closed A$12 million in a new funding round.

A$4.2 million was raised through crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd, making it the largest equity crowdfunded deal ever in Australia and the second largest in the world.

Launched in 2011 and now operating in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, Ingogo allows customers to book and pay for taxis on their smartphone

Hamish Petrie, founder and CEO of Ingogo, told Mashable Australia he was “stoked” about the news — especially its spectacular crowdfunding success. In what Petrie called a “good sign” for the sector, it more than tripled what the company raised through its last crowdfunding round in September 2014 Read more…

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On a budget? Asus’s ZenFone 2 is a ton of smartphone performance for $300

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The last time Asus launched a smartphone in North America, it was a complete failure. Do you even remember the PadFone 2? No? Of course you don’t. It was a silly product.

The ZenFone 2 is a back to basics approach: $199 gets you an unlocked 5.5-inch smartphone with Android 5.0 Lollipop, a 1.8GHz Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (expandable via a microSD card slot), 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera, 3,000 milliamp-hour (mAh) battery and dual SIM card slots.

It’s a nice bundle of specs to start, but what you really want is the $299 model, which bumps up the processor to a faster 2.3GHz, doubles the RAM to 4GB (a first world’s first for any smartphone) and quadruples the internal storage to 64GB. Read more…

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GoPro unveils drone, six camera array for VR content

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RANCHOS PALOS VERDES, California — GoPro is lifting off and branching out.

After spending years riding on the bellies of other people’s drones, GoPro is finally building its own quadrocopter for consumers. “Quads plus GoPro has been one of the most enabling combinations,” said GoPro CEO Nick Woodman, who announced the new product at Re/code‘s Code Conference Wednesday.

Woodman said the camera maker decided to build their own drone when they realized the growth of the sector reminded them of the early days of the GoPro business. “I think that it’s core enough to our business that it makes sense for us to make our own,” explained Woodman. Read more…

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Sprint plans for network dominance, despite often being rated last

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RANCHOS PALOS VERDES, California — From worst to first, that’s essentially the promise Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure made on Wednesday at Re/code‘s Code Conference.

Just eight months into his job, Claure told Re/code‘s Ina Fried that Sprint owns more spectrum than any other carrier and “in the next 18 to 24 months our network will be ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in every single market.”

It’s a tall order for a network that’s often rated last, but Claure said Sprint is already making progress. The company has undertaken a massive network overhaul. As a result, Sprint is no longer last for network quality and, by one measure, T-Mobile is now rated last, said Claure. Read more…

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Live from Google I/O 2015: Android M, wearables and more

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Google’s biggest event of the year is about to kick off. Each year, developers from around the world gather at the company’s I/O developer conference to hear the latest news and updates from Google’s top executives.

As with previous years, Google’s Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai will start the event Thursday morning with an opening keynote that will be jam-packed with news on Android, Chrome, wearables, virtual reality and other products.

The company is expected to introduce the next version of Android, “Android M,” which may come with better battery management features and fingerprint-sensing capabilities. Google is also likely to expand the reach of Android even more with new platforms for the Internet of Things and mobile payments. Read more…

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Follow Our Google I/O 2015 Keynote Live Blog May 28 At 9:30 AM PT

IMG_9984 Google’s I/O developer conference for 2015 kicks off tomorrow, with a keynote that begins at 9:30 AM PT. Google typically uses this to make big, splashy announcements about its software platforms and products, and to go into additional detail about what the changes mean to developers especially. We’ll have a special team of highly talented TechCrunch individuals at the event,… Read More

Ford is entering the car-sharing business with a London program

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As the car-sharing industry expands dramatically, one thing is clear: Automakers want a slice of the pie. Joining companies such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Ford is the latest manufacturer to enter the space with a new pilot program that just launched in London

Called GoDrive, the company launched a car-sharing service this week that will allow users to rent cars and pay by the minute. Think Zipcar.

At launch, Ford is offering 50 cars available across 20 locations but promises to expand and improve the program based on the feedback it receives from its users. The beta service is available for the first 2,000 people to sign up — you just need to be a U.K. resident with a driver’s license, have a good driving record and an iPhone (sorry, Android users). Read more…

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