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Mobile Monthly: The biggest developments that happened in August

Where everyone will be creating hyperlapse videos, Snapchat’s big plans are revealed and a different approach from Samsung.

Image: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

A LOT CAN happen in the space of a month, especially in technology. New developments, product announcements, changes to existing apps and services, it’s all too easy to see something and forget about it a few days later.

To help out, we will be highlighting the most important (and sometimes fun) stories each month Here are the most important developments that happened in the world of mobile in August.

Hyperlapse ahoy!

August seemed to be the month of the hyperlapse with two different projects emerging. The first came from Microsoft Research which was able to take pre-recorded shaky footage and reconstruct the scene, creating a smooth video.

hyperlapse-2 Source: Johannes Kopf/YouTube

The second instance came from Instagram, which released an app called (appropriately enough) Hyperlapse only last night. By allowing you to record footage through the app, it automatically creates a hyperlapse video, the speed of which you can adjust.

Expect to see your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram feeds filling up with these kind of videos over the next few weeks.

App-athy towards mobile payments

While there are obvious breakaway apps, overall downloads could be set for a bumpy ride. A recent report from Deloitte has suggested that almost a third of smartphone users (31%) haven’t downloaded an app this year.

Perhaps most strikingly, nine out of ten smartphone owners never paid for an app or in-app purchases which will be worrying news for developers who charge for downloads or adopt a freemium (in-app payments) model.

Social Media Stock Source: Edward Smith/EMPICS Entertainment

Internet for everyone!

Facebook and Google have made no secret of their desire to bring internet to the world (and connect people to its own services), but it’s the former which has made progress by introducing a specialised app for smartphone users in developing countries.

The app, which features basic internet services relating to health, education and jobs (as well as Facebook and Wikipedia), was launched in Zambia with plans to expand it to other countries.

Internet.org GIF Source: Facebook/Vimeo

Regroup and refocus

August wasn’t a great month for Samsung. Slowing profits, getting knocked off the top smartphone spot in China by a local rival and greater competition has meant it’s needed to take a different approach.

Which is why it announced the Galaxy Alpha, its attempt to abandon the plastic design it’s usually opted for and go for a steel frame instead. The phone is expected to be released sometime next month, but no word on how much it will cost or the countries it will be available in.

Source: Samsung Mobile/YouTube

This news update will self destruct in ten seconds

Snapchat is working on a new service which will see news and media get on board the disappearing trend. Called Snapchat Discovery, the section will feature ads and content from advertisers and media companies as they try to reach the app’s younger audience.

Combine that with the $10 billion valuation it’s now set to receive, and other rivals trying to copy it with limited success, and it’s been a very successful month for an app that specialises in disappearing content.

Source: Snapchat/YouTube

Read: Want to brush up on your Irish? Duolingo (unofficially) launches its own course >

Read: Explainer: Why did Amazon spend $970 million on a site that livestreams videogames? >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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