You may have played any one of a half-dozen similar location-based games on the App Store, from PerBlue’s Parallel Mafia and Parallel Kingdom to Self Aware’s Fleck, but you’ve never seen a location-based game like Life Is Magic before.
Apple’s decision to ditch Google Maps in favor of its own mapping technology in iOS 6 wasn’t much a surprise. However, Amazon’s decision to reject Google Maps in its second generation Kindle Fire tablet is a bit of surprise – particularly since the Kindle Fire is an Android device.
Unlike Apple, Amazon isn’t developing its own mapping systems. Instead, the new Kindle Fire will rely on mapping functionality from Nokia. Unlike the original Kindle Fire, which had no innate location services or maps app, the new version will sport location-based services, though whether they will be based integrated GPS or solely on Wi-Fi triangulation (like the Wi-Fi only iPad models and the iPod touch) is still an unanswered question.
Square’s announcement of its partnership with Starbucks and the launch of new mobile payment company by several key retail and service chains were signs that the mobile payment industry and digital wallet concept is big business. Late last week, however, there was more news on the mobile payments front that proves that the race is far from over – one could even say that it’s barely started.
In a move that could make Square’s deal with Starbucks seem small and limited, Reuters reports that PayPal may soon be expanding its brand of mobile payments to include on the biggest fast food chains on the planet – McDonald’s. PayPal is currently testing a payment system in 30 McDonald’s locations in France. The company demoed the technology earlier this year.
When Dropbox acknowledged its recent data breach last week, the company noted that it will be adding a range of security solutions in an effort prevent such a breach from occurring again. One of the technologies that Dropbox plans to implement is two factor authentication, which requires another identifying item beyond your username and password to grant you access to your account.
The second item in two factor authentication can be any one of a range of technologies like a smart card that needs to be swiped, a USB flash drive or other mobile that contains security certifications, a one-time user password token like RSA’s SecurID, or a biometric input like a fingerprint scan.
One company has another interesting option, however, your location.
Being a Brit, one of the most disappointing things about Siri is that it doesn’t support location services in the United Kingdom. Unlike iPhone 4S users in the United States, I can’t ask Siri to find me a nice restaurant nearby, or for the nearest gas station. However, that’s no longer the case in iOS 6, because Siri now supports location services internationally.