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The Week in Mobile: May 31 – June 6, 2015

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Apple releases first wave of HomeKit Accessories, Microsoft acquires Wunderlist, Instagram and Pinterest join the buy button bandwagon and more

Each week we round up the top news stories, think pieces and other content that centers on the fast-paced, quickly changing world of mobile technology. We tell you which companies are employing clever mobile strategies, illuminate new ways of thinking about mobile and offer a peek at meaningful trends in the industry. This content is designed to inspire you and your company to take advantage of the many benefits mobile can offer.

Apple Releases First Wave of HomeKit-enabled Accessories

Apple’s smart home program is finally up and running with the first wave of HomeKit-enabled accessories hitting the market last week. These third-party devices, which include everything from sensors and lights to thermostats and smart outlets, can now be controlled via Siri. HomeKit connects these devices, creating a single ecosystem in which users can manage settings. For example, Elgato’s Eve is a wireless sensor system that monitors indoor air quality, temperature, humidity as well as outdoor conditions. HomeKit allows iOS users to check on Eve stats from their phone. And many of the new HomeKit-enabled devices allow for monitoring as well as control features such as ecobee3, which provides climate control for multiple rooms at a time and allows HomeKit users to control climate remotely.

In Microsoft News: Official Launch Date Set for Windows 10 and Another Top App Acquired

Microsoft announced that its latest operating system, Windows 10, will be available starting July 29. And with the launch of the new operating system comes Microsoft’s universal apps program in which apps run the same across all devices – desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones and the Xbox One. Cortana will also be available on all devices, including iOS and Android, starting July 29. It appears Microsoft is hoping to attract developers with all of development opportunities made available in its latest release.

The company also purchased Wunderlist, a popular third-party task management app. The acquisition follows a number of popular iOS and Android third-party app purchases including Microsoft’s acquisition of Acompli and Sunrise. These moves bolster Microsoft’s attempts to boost its mobile presence as well as stay in the game with the latest in productivity software.

Instagram and Pinterest Join the Buy Button Bandwagon

Both Instagram and Pinterest announced last week that they will be adding buy buttons to their social media apps. The news follows Google’s announcement that it will test buy buttons in mobile search results. Instagram’s planned integration of buy buttons is part of its new “action-oriented” format, which will give users the option to buy a product, install an app or sign up for a service by clicking a button below images. Not coincidentally, this was announced alongside Instagram’s opening up of their ads program to all brands later this year. In a similar move, Pinterest plans to update its apps with “action buttons” allowing users to purchase products directly from pins or add items to a wishlist.

6.1 Billion Smartphone Users Globally by 2020

According to the most recent annual Mobility Report from Ericsson, smartphones are set to overtake the number of worldwide active fixed line subscriptions by 2020, with an estimated 6.1 billion smartphone subscriptions. That’s more than double today’s 2.6 billion smartphone subscriptions globally. Set to lead the mobile charge, smartphones will account for 80 percent of all mobile data traffic in 2020. Additionally, the report estimates that there will be 26 billion connected devices by within five years.

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