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The Week in Mobile: September 27 – October 3, 2015

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Google announces new devices and Marshmallow rollout, Apple sets new iPhone sales record, the privacy battle continues 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.

Google Announces Nexus 5X and 6P, Pixel C Tablet, Chromecast 2 and More

Last week, Google made a number of announcements at its September event, introducing two new Nexus smartphones, a new tablet and an upgraded version of Chromecast. Here’s a roundup of key announcements in case you missed it:

  • Introducing the Nexus 5X and 6P – Google unveiled two new Nexus smartphones, which sport a slightly larger display screen and are lighter than previous models. The devices come with a number of new features, including improvements to the camera app and a fingerprint scanner.
  • Marshmallow is Here – Google announced the final release of Android 6.0, which will begin rolling out this week. The new operating system will debut on the Nexus 5X and 6P.
  • Announcing the Pixel C Tablet – Launching in time for the holidays, Pixel C is a 10.2-inch tablet with an optional Bluetooth keyboard. Google announced that the new device will run on Marshmallow. This will be the first time that Android has been offered on a Pixel device. Historically, the Pixel line has run on Chrome OS.
  • Chromecast Gets an Upgrade – Google introduced Chromecast 2, the second generation of its streaming device, which has been updated to meet new WiFi standards and uses three antennas for a stronger connection.
  • Increase in Platform Adoption – There are now more than 1.4 billion active devices running on Android, according to Google. The company announced the increase, which is up from 1 billion last year, along with news that Google Play now has 1 billion active users.

Google Increases the APK File Size Limit for Anroid Apps

In addition to the myriad of announcements from Google’s Nexus event, the company also announced that it has increased the APK file size limit from 50MB to 100MB in order to allow developers to create richer apps. The increase went into effect last week, which means more powerful apps will likely be appearing in the Google Play Store soon.

Google Under Antitrust Scrutiny for Bundled Products on Android

The FTC is investigating whether Google has stifled competitors’ access to its Android operating system. The tech giant is under antitrust scrutiny for bundling products on Android devices, a product delivery method that may affect other services’ ability to compete. This isn’t the first time Google has been under scrutiny. Similar concerns have been raised in Europe and, a few years ago, the FTC launched an investigation into Google’s search functionality, which has since been closed. At this time, it is unclear whether or not the investigation will lead to charges.

Apple Sets New Record with iPhone Sales

Apple’s new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are now available in-store. The company reported record sales of 13 million new iPhones during the devices’ first weekend on the market. That’s a significant increase from last year’s launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, in which 10 million units were sold in the first weekend. In addition to news of record sales, there has been buzz that the iPhone 6S may be waterproof. Apple hasn’t advertised waterproof capabilities, however; a series of YouTube videos testing the new iPhone’s water resistance seems to unearth a hidden feature.

The Privacy Battle Continues

Apple has updated its privacy website with details about how data is collected for new and updated iOS 9 features like the News app and Siri. The privacy statement reminds users that securing personal data is a priority for the company. Apple also makes some not-so-subtle digs at competitors by stating that Apple does not use data to sell products or ads — a tagline that has been used to criticize companies like Facebook and Google.

That said, Google has been transparent about how data is used for advertising. In fact, Google and Facebook have similar privacy initiatives in place. These sites use simple language to explain what type of data is collected and how it is used. The goal is to assure customers that their information is secure as data becomes increasingly important for creating intuitive and innovative user experiences.

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