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The Week in Mobile: August 28 – September 3, 2016

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Apple event is this week, Google introduces “In App” search, Alphabet moves Nest under Google umbrella 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.

The Apple Event Is Here

The much-speculated about Apple event arrives this week. The company is expected to unveil the iPhone 7 as well as an updated model for the Apple Watch. Rumor has it that the new iPhone will look similar to its predecessor, minus the headphone jack (a revelation that many aren’t excited about). The new device is thought to be water resistant and come with a dual camera system. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch 2 is expected to feature a better GPS system and a camera for the first time. Luckily, all the rumors will be cleared up on Wednesday, September 7, when Apple executives take the stage.

That’s not all Apple is rumored to have up its sleeve. Although it’s unlikely to be announced anytime soon, the company is also reportedly working on a new social media app that could compete with Snapchat. The new app will allow users to record and share videos in less than one minute. Reports state that these videos can then be shared through iOS or Twitter.

Google is introducing “In Apps”, a new search mode for the Google Search app which allows users to unearth content living inside their apps, including contacts, messages, music, videos, tasks, notes and so on. For example, a user can search for the name and location of a restaurant their friend mentioned via Gmail or pull up their favorite song from a music app. For now, the “In Apps” search can pull information from Gmail, Spotify and YouTube. Google plans to add Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, Evernote and a number of others over the next few months. Because the feature needs access to your operating system in order to access this information, “In Apps” is only available on Android for the time being.

European Commission Orders Apple to Pony Up $14.5B

Following the European Commission’s investigation into tax benefits Apple received from the Irish government, the commission has ruled that Apple must pay Ireland up to $14.5 billion, plus interest. The European Commission asserts that Ireland gave Apple illegal tax benefits — something that has been going on since 1991. It appears that both the Irish government and Apple are displeased with this ruling. The Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he plans to seek cabinet approval to appeal the decision. Similarly, Apple announced plans to appeal and noted that they are confident the decision will be overturned.

Google’s Waze to Offer Ride-Sharing

Google is getting into ride-sharing with an update to its navigation app, Waze, in which drivers can offer low-cost rides to fellow commuters. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, select Waze users in the San Francisco area have been testing the new feature since May, and Google is expected to roll it out to all San Francisco area users this fall. The update, should it roll out nation-wide, would mean more competition for companies like Uber and Lyft — especially since the current rate for a Waze ride is much more affordable, at just $0.54 per mile.

Nest Developer Team to Move Under Google

Alphabet announced a restructuring in which Nest Labs will become part of Google. That means the Nest platform development team will operate under the “Google” umbrella from here on out. The move should take some of the financial stress off of Nest’s team, as the subsidiary has been missing the mark on sales targets. What’s more, Alphabet says the move is meant to improve upon and expand the company’s Internet of Things platform.

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