Your Wednesday Mobile Pint: the top mobile stories from the past 24 hours, good to the last drop.
New Microsoft tech means your smartphone will know you’re not just another pretty face (via BGR)
Microsoft has released three Windows Phone apps based on the algorithms so far: Face Swap, which lets users swap faces in and out of different bodies; Face Mask, which lets users cover up faces in pictures for people concerned about their privacy; and Face Touch, which lets users alter facial expressions in pictures just through touching them on the screen.
MobileDevHQ Offers SEO for Mobile With App Store Optimization Tool (via BetaKit)
While SEO is a booming business for companies looking to increase their rank in search engines, Seattle-based startup MobileDevHQ is looking to focus on an as-yet untapped market: SEO for app stores, or what they call ASO (app store optimization). Initially focusing on iOS and Android, the team’s goal is to help app developers discover where their most valuable users are coming from. The company launched in February with seed funding from Founders Co-op and has signed up 5,000 customers, with their revenue model focusing on paid plans starting from $14 and ranging up to $150 per month.
Crashlytics Acquires Firetower for Mobile Web Analytics (via PandoDaily)
Mobile Ad Exchange Nexage Raises $10M Led By SingTel Innov8 (via TechCrunch)
The round was led by SingTel Innov8, the venture arm of Asian telecom company SingTel. Nexage CEO Ernie Cormier says Singtel is approaching this like any other venture investment, and that “there’s no requirement int the funding that we do X, Y, and Z for SingTel.” At the same time, there are likely to be some partnership opportunities, especially given Cormier’s stated “desire to expand our footprint into Asia.” The company claims that last year, bid volume in the exchange grew more than 70 percent each month. New publishers include Dictionary.com and Cut the Rope-developer Zepto Lab.
Mozilla Close to Cracking HTML5 Mobile Hardware Integration for Android (via ReadWriteWeb)
Mozilla’s quest to create an HTML5-based mobile operating system is called Boot 2 Gecko (B2G), which was unveiled as an open source project near the end of 2011. The promise behind B2G is that is will create a mobile OS that can be a platform for mobile Web apps that function just like their native counterparts on iOS and Android but are based on browser technologies. More so than any other HTML5 initiative, such as creating apps that function across platforms, the ability to be the platform and the hardware is one of the most significant development projects that developers are working on right now.
Google Maps searching for directions ahead of WWDC (via GigaOM)
Had Google introduced something that really changed the mobile mapping landscape Wednesday during an event in San Francisco, you could believe it was an event they had planned for quite some time. Instead, by introducing some nice but incremental improvements to Google Maps for Android and Google Earth days before Apple is expected to introduce its own iOS mapping software, Google accomplished little other than forcing the company to dodge questions about the ramifications of losing the iPhone.
Search beats display by large margin in mobile ad spending, study shows (via GigaOM)
According to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, mobile ad buyers in Europe and Asia are spending almost three times more on search: a combined $2,284 million versus $858 million. In North America, the discrepancy is smaller but still tilted heavily in favor of search over display: $811 million versus $572 million. Ads related to mobile messaging make up a much smaller category.