Technobyte

TECHNOBYE for 23 May 2016

Google sets the future on a modular phone, does Uber chose surge pricing based on your phone’s battery and our app of the week is the Opera mobile browser. Showed off a modular Android-powered smartphone it said is on track to hit the market next year.

Word that Project Ara was moving ahead, and not shelved as some had speculated during the past year, came on the final day of Google's annual developers conference in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View.

Developers interested in creating applications for the devices will get access to early versions of Ara, which provides a frame in which modules such as cameras, speakers, and sensors can be re-arranged by users like game pieces so as to customize handsets.

Google said that a consumer version of Ara should be available next year.

phys.org

It's no secret that Uber uses surge pricing at peak periods, such as New Year's Eve, when demand is high. But what many may not know is that when you download the Uber app, the company can track your smartphone battery life — and it's studying how that influences your price point. The company has determined that customers are more willing to accept surge pricing if they know their phone is about to lose power.

The ride-hailing service is alerted when a customer's phone battery is running low because the app switches into power-saving mode.

www.cbc.ca

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