Smartphone Subway Hackers, Aluminum slowing down iPhone manufacture and more


China’s MIUI is ready to contend with the Samsungs, HTCs and Motorolas of the world.

  • Mashable has a great story of a group of hackers running amok on the SF public transportation system, with just their smartphones – a few mobile security researchers have used NFC (near field communication) to hack into NFC compatible cards and create free trips. While it is inevitable that smartphones will have subway (and mass transport cards on them) I do not think mass transit is ready for it yet. Via Mashable, more here.
  • TweetDeck received an update today to provide a cleaner, more usable GUI – TweetDeck is a favorite app for combining social media feeds in one place. The update today goes out for Windows, Mac, Chrome, and web. There are font changes possible and more. For more, check out TweetDeck, more here.
  • Google Play has now allowed you to sample in-app purchases before you buy – While subscriptions have been available for a few months, the “try before you buy” model has not. Developers can simply activate the 7 day subscription period option, and allow only 1 such use per application. Via 9to5Google, more here.
  • Samsung has shrunk the Galaxy S3, and the specs as well – 4.5″+ devices are not for everyone. Some people have baby hands, and Samsung is creating a device just for them. The Galaxy S3 Mini has been revealed, and the specs are pretty sorry. It drops the resolution by half, with a cut down processor and RAM, it might work for some, but if you really desire a 4.0″ device, I don’t see why one would not buy the iPhone 5. Via Gizmodo, more here.
  • HTC has dropped out of the tablet game – after one great device (the Wacom-Pen enabled HTC View/Flyer) and some other permutations that no one cares about, HTC is deciding to hang up their tablet making shoes. HTC has been really having a hard time as Samsung has created a real marketing line (the Galaxy SX), and Motorola’s RAZR lines. Via Droid-Life, more here.
  • Did you think the Apple Maps saga is over? NOPE! – Apparently Apple Maps revealed a top secret Taiwanese ultra-high-frequency radar base. These are the true growing pains of mapping software (Google’s maps had similar issues). Via Gizmodo, more here.
  • The mobile payments venture Isis is reportedly set to launch Oct 22 – unlike Google Wallets, Isis has the backing of the major US carriers, because obviously they needed a piece of any money pie generated by smartphones. It is entirely possible that the toss-up between Google Wallet and Isis is what delayed NFC on the iPhone 5 (that and the insecurities in the capability today). We shall see how the mobile payment dispute sorts itself out. Via GigaOM, more here.
  • Bloomberg is reporting that the aluminum in the iPhone is slowing down output – there have been reports of rioting and more in the Foxconn production facilities. Analysts are cutting down on sales requirements, primarily due to a lack of required components. This has hurt the firms share price, and will hurt their ability to sell smartphones in throughout the holiday season. Via Bloomberg, more here.
  • The MIUI M2 has reviews trickling around the internet (and it looks like a pretty cool device) – the MIUI custom Android ROM is a skin that is based off of iOS launcher, but with some really cool added tweaks. MIUI ROMs can be found on almost every Android device, and are gaining in popularity (especially in their home nation of China). This device will have specs that match it against the top Android devices, and will be released worldwide. Their minimalist product line should compare to any iPhone, and makes marketing a breeze. Via PocketDroid, more here.

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