Your Thursday Mobile Coffee: the top mobile stories from the past 24 hours, good to the last drop.
New Windows Phone 8 Features Gun for Apple & Android (via ReadWriteWeb)
Microsoft this morning revealed key new features for the upcoming Windows Phone 8 operating system, including the ability to resize and tweak Live Tiles, one of the flagship features of the Windows Phone operating system. Among other goodies for developers, Windows Phone 8 will include an e-wallet capability and a partially shared code base that makes it easier to quickly port apps between the PC and the phone. Perhaps most importantly, Microsoft also announced new partners who would be building Windows Phone 8 smartphones.
Layoffs hit RIM (via BGR)
Almost exactly one year ago, The Waterloo Record reported that struggling smartphone maker Research In Motion began laying off workers in an effort to cut costs. On Tuesday evening, 364 days later, the publication again reports that layoffs have begun to sweep RIM. Reports emerged last month suggesting that RIM plans to lay off at least 10% of its global workforce, or approximately 2,000 employees, as the company bides time until its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone launches later this year.
Amazon to Expand its Android Appstore Internationally (via ReadWriteWeb)
The Amazon Appstore for Android is going international. Developers that distribute through the Appstore are invited to start submitting apps for new markets such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain as of today, expanding Amazon’s global app footprint outside of the United States. It is a natural move for Amazon, but will developers jump on the new opportunities?
Square Gets In-App Loyalty Cards And A Minor Facelift
Square’s new loyalty card program for customers and tools for merchants launch today, laying the groundwork for deeper customer-merchant relationships.
Facebook Kills the Credit, Begins Peddling in Local Currencies (via PandoDaily)
Most third-party apps already had their own credit platform and payment system, so after purchasing your FB Credits (with a 30 percent fee), you still had to convert them to the monetary unit used inside the apps. Single payment systems are enough of a chore for most users, so adding another transaction just to use a placeholder currency meant most users avoided the system all together.
Android tablets, iPads still see wide gap in mobile web use (via GigaOM)
What Chitika found was that iPad users generate almost nine times more web traffic than Android tablet users. This is not a totally new insight — it’s been reported previously that iPad users interact with their mobile web browsers much more often than their Android tablet-owning counterparts — but Chitika checked very recent data, “hundreds of millions of impressions” between June 4 and June 10 on its mobile ad network, and found a still-wide gap between how iPads are used versus its competition.
Cvent Continues Mobile Acquisition Train, Snaps Up CrowdCompass for $10M (via BetaKit)
Online event management provider Cvent today announced its second multi-million dollar acquisition in less than a week; this time, it bought three-year old Portland-based event app creation company CrowdCompass. The acquired company, which Cvent paid $10 million for, specializes in making apps for enterprise events that allow attendees to orient themselves, network and otherwise make the most of their time.
Madefire Debuts Motion Storytelling for iPad, Watchmen’s Dave Gibbons on Board (via BetaKit)
Madefire, a new app launching today for Apple’s iPad, wants to give comic book fans, and people in general, a better visual storytelling experience suited to their unique devices. The True Ventures-backed startup, which is also announcing $2 million in funding raised to date this morning, is hoping to hoping to provide a better experience than existing motion comics providers by approaching the problem from a digital-first perspective, and by providing tools and an outlet for creators and artists not well-served by the Marvel and DC-dominated comics market.
Samsung Galaxy S III reviewed: The defining Android phone (via GigaOM)
I personally plan to stick with my GSM Galaxy Nexus even though it’s behind the Galaxy S III in terms of the processor, RAM and absence of LTE support. My reasoning is simple and likely to be very different from most of you: I prefer having a phone without carrier control and I want Android updates as soon as they become available — if not sooner. However, if I were replacing my Galaxy Nexus, it wouldn’t be a question of what phone to get. Instead, I’d be MULLING which carrier I wanted to use with my new Galaxy S III.
Windows Phone 8 Is A Great Big, Crazy, Beautiful Mess (via TechCrunch)
The current release, Windows 7.5, is a solid mobile platform worthy of serious consideration. Admittedly, it’s not necessarily better than Android or iOS, but rather different in key ways that make it special. And now with Windows Phone 8, and in the interim, Windows Phone 7.8, the core system might actually be better than its competitors.