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Saturday, May 14, 2011

This week at The Fonecast: 14th May 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

There’s one tech story that’s dominated the week’s news: Microsoft buying Skype. “Why?” and “Really?” appear to be the top questions; we’ll do our best to answer them and provide some more insight in Wednesday’s podcast.

Other big partnership news came from Google, which has been working with Samsung and Acer to create the Chromebook... which is rather like a netbook but using Google’s Chrome OS and with all your personal data in the cloud, not on the hard drive.

How will you get hold of your information?  Well, there’s 3G and there’s WiFi - and with hotspot community Fon now having over four million hotspots worldwide, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Mind you, with the volume of mobile voice and data traffic expected to grow 67-fold in the next 10 years, having both options seems a very good idea.

An assortment of mobile money stories have been vying for attention in the last few days. Visa announced mobile wallet plans for the USA. Chiltern Railways introduced mobile train tickets. Vodafone launched free text donations for charities. And a survey said over 20% of us were now using our phones for banking. We’ll be continuing the theme in our programme next week when we interview the CEO of DigiMo, the Israel-based company that’s just launched “the first true mobile payment solution”.

Finally, I’ll end with some application news. Google - not satisfied with launching the Chromebook - has a new mobile music streaming service in the USA and is updating its app store. Doing even more updating is GetJar, which has bought Infrinity to help customers find the apps they’re looking for. And usage research from Ericsson ConsumerLab inspired the worst headline I’ve written for a while. Smartphone users are 'appy in bed. Sorry. I’ll get my coat.

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Author: The Fonecast
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