Backed By Science Inc., FreeGameCredits.com Offers Exactly What Its Name Suggests

Startup FreeGameCredits.com doesn’t have the problem of an ambiguous name — just as you’d guess, it allows mobile game developers to run promotions offering in-game credits.

The company is announcing that it has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Los Angeles-based “startup studio” Science Inc. It’s also launching its first promotion later today — Vivid Games is making its Real Boxing iOS app free for the day, and users of FreeGameCredits.com will also receive $4 of in-game currency.

Science co-founder and partner Peter Pham told me that he likes to back things that are “kind of obvious” and look like they’re going to succeed as long as the team doesn’t screw it up. (He didn’t exactly say “screw it up,” but I’m trying to be polite here.)

In this case, he said it seemed obvious that mobile game developers would want to offer targeted promotions, similar to an app like Uber offering discounts to first-time users. However, it turned out that there’s no easy way for developers to do this — they can offer the same amount of free in-game credits to all first-time users, but the developer can’t give specific groups a bigger discount, even if “you know I’m a whale and I’m in the perfect target demographic.”

With FreeGameCredits, however, founder and CEO Joe Bayen said users can follow a special app store link (it works for both iOS and Android) from the company’s mobile site and they’ll receive a unique discount. The offers will be curated and run for a limited period of time, and he said they can be additionally targeted based on things like device type, geography, and gender.

To make this work, he said developers only need to add “a few lines of code in their app.”

Pham and Bayen both argued that this approach makes much more sense than rewarding users for watching an ad or downloading an app (something that Apple has recently become more sensitive about). After all, if Game A offers you Game A credits if you download Game B, you’re probably not that interested in Game B and are less likely to be a valuable player.

Oh, and speaking of really on-the-nose website names, Bayen has actually had some success with a related business, having founded FreeAppADay.com, a site that he said generated more than $60 million in revenue for developers. Following FreeAppADay’s shutdown, Bayen said he’d actually planned to take some time off, but he was working “literally a block away” from the Science offices in Santa Monica, and the Science partners convinced him to work on something new.

-Courtesy: Techcrunch

Mobile Ad Startup TapSense Announces Support For Wearable Apps, Starting On Pebble

If you’re building apps for the Pebble smartwatch and other wearable gadgets, startupTapSense hopes to bring you into the wonderful world of mobile advertising.

The company announced today that its mobile ad exchange will support wearable apps, beginning with those in the Pebble appstore. You can see a video demo of an ad below.

However, as you watch the demo (as opposed to the mock-up above), you might notice a lack of actual smartwatches. That’s because TapSense isn’t running ads on the Pebble itself. Instead, it’s helping developers target ads at iOS and Android users who own Pebble devices. The company says those ads will link directly to the promoted apps in the Pebble appstore.

In other words, developers will be able to promote their apps through the same sorts of ads used by other mobile developers. TapSense founder and CEO Ash Kumar added that Pebble’s store (where users find apps on their phones, and those apps are then synced with their smartwatches) exemplifies a model where the smartphone becomes the hub for your other wearable devices.

Having that hub is important, he suggested, because “the wearables market will remain fragmented for some time,” without any one device dominating.

To a certain extent, this may be a bit of experiment, allowing TapSense to explore wearables and giving them a leg up when and off the market really takes off. Looking ahead, Kumar said he plans to support other wearable apps in the same way. He started with Pebble because of its reach and the diversity of apps (more than 3,000).

Kumar also said that, as far as he knows, TapSense is the first mobile ad company to build this kind of Pebble support. (I emailed Pebble for confirmation but haven’t heard back.)

And yes, eventually he’d like to run ads within those wearable apps, too, particularly as they provide an opportunity to deliver real-time, relevant advertising that’s much better than “annoying banner ads.”

Foodie app Burpple gets major update, adds in ‘tastemakers’ and more personal curation

Burpple app update 3.0

The Singapore-based team behind Burpple, the social food review app, has been very quiet for the past nine months. It turns out they’ve been cooking up a major revamp (pictured above) that’s available this afternoon as an update to the Burpple iOS app.

Burpple co-founder Dixon Chan tells Tech in Asia that the latest iteration sees the team taking a different approach by focusing on the community and guided curation rather than simply building up the volume of food venue listings. Backed up with stronger search functions and a greater emphasis on curated lists, Chan says the idea is to guide users “to great food for any occasion, by locals, for everyone.” He adds: “The big opportunity here is being guided by local knowledge. People need easy access, not more obstacles to strong content.”

Focusing first on Singapore before expanding this curation to other cities, Burpple now has a ‘hot 100’ list for Singapore, which is based on data for the popularity of venues within the app. The startup is hand-picking some of its users as ‘tastemakers’ for each city and recommends people follow them for a sort of personal guide to the best places to eat and drink in Singapore.

Chan sees this as part of a strong trend towards data given a personal touch with human recommendations. “Most of our users tell us that they switched from traditional magazines, print media, and search directories because [Burpple] can be so much simpler, faster and trusted,” he explains. Burpple’s reinvention – in both the apps and its website – sees the service taking a more personal and even more social approach in its ongoing rivalry with Yelp.

All these new developments seem to replace what the startup was working on last year when it rolled out a food search engine. Burpple still has a search box, but it appears increasingly de-emphasized in favor of users getting guidance from lists and the new ‘tastemakers’. But it also means that Burpple’s vaunted monetization plans from last year, such as charging restaurants and venues for Burpple webpage customization, have disappeared too. Chan says the team is beta testing a new “business program” for Q3, but remains tight-lipped about it for now.

Chan says that Burpple was beta testing the ‘hot 100’ and other new curation features since March this year and he claims it has triggered a 500 percent increase in user activity.

Globally, Burpple has 150,000 listed locations in 10 major cities and claims to have 200,000 monthly active users in Singapore right now. The Burpple 3.0 update should now be in the iOS App Store; the Android update is coming soon.

-Courtesy: Techinasia

Amazon’s Master Of Commerce Move Into The Phone Game

Mobile is so 2010. So why would Amazon throw its hat into the game of phones?

That’s the thing — it didn’t. The company is headed into battle in two other markets full of potential: real-world commerce and digital advertising.

Amazon has focused its business almost solely on e-commerce since its launch in 1994. Twenty years later, the vast majority of commerce still takes place in the physical world; a 2014 Q1 US Census report shows that digital sales account for just 6 percent of total sales.

So, if 94 percent of sales still happens in the real world, how does Amazon conquer this territory? It introduces a phone.

The Fire Phone can recognize a physical object, scan a bar code, and quickly provide you with Amazon’s prices, taking showrooming to a whole new level. And then, the company is able to unlock that other 94 percent of commerce spend that it previously couldn’t touch.

Should retailers be shaking in their proverbial boots? Probably.

With an active user base of 244 million, Amazon has become a trusted provider of goods. Now, those who trust the company already can buy an Amazon phone that makes it even easier to find what they want and order it with a couple of clicks. Even if just 10 percent of active users buy a Fire, that’s still 24 million people who will have access to Amazon’s low prices, vast inventory, and shipping.

But real-world commerce isn’t the only new frontier for Amazon; the Fire Phone unlocks mobile advertising opportunities for the company, making it the third viable player in the thriving space, along with Google and Facebook.

In 2014, mobile advertising in the U.S. will total $17.73 billion and reach over $35 billion by 2017, eclipsing online advertising spend, according to analysis from eMarketer. Google and Facebook combined took home over two-thirds of mobile ad spending last year. Now, Amazon could give these two companies stiff competition due to its customer relationships and new features on its phone that aren’t available on Apple or Android devices. Amazon becomes the third major player with a mobile device tied to an immense database of browsing and past purchase data.

With this phone, Amazon is able to do exactly the same thing as Google and Facebook: utilize customer identities and interest to bring targeted mobile ads to them on their phones. But Amazon has a distinct advantage: Its users have already bought something from them! As a result, the company is even better-equipped than other companies to use past purchase data to send highly tailored mobile ads to consumers. Amazon will be able to guarantee brands a pre-qualified, “in-market” audience. Who else can do that?

In his demo of the Fire, Bezos made the real-world connections for the phone absolutely apparent, talking about how easy it is to walk down the street and use Firefly to recognize signs, goods, etc. This feature opens up so many doors: the ability to recognize places in the real world, to search for things you want based on what Amazon knows you are interested in, and the ability for Amazon to harness that data for more relevant recommendations.

In effect, the Fire could provide an understanding of the physical world and merchant locations and, when combined with everything else Amazon knows about a user, actually deliver on the promise of “Marketing that consumers find really valuable, not intrusive.” Now imagine that they start pushing you the occasional recommendation when you’re near a physical store. Imagine you can get a reminder for something you have scanned when you’re near a place to buy it, with Amazon taking its cut for driving that real-world transaction. That massively changes the game of mobile marketing.

Rebecca Lieb, an analyst with the Altimeter Group, discussed the real impact of the Fire Phone with the New York Times: “Scan a product or listen to music, and you’re delivered straight to the page on Amazon on which you can purchase it. Impulse shopping just went to a new level.”

Amazon is not in the mobile business, the phone business or the Internet of things business. And while analysts appear divided on the short- and long-term impact of the Fire for Amazon’s overall business model, they should agree on one point: Bezos and Co. are the masters of the commerce business, and the Fire Phone is just one tool that can be used to help it gain its slice of the immense cash flow happening not online, but on Main Street.

I would even go so far as to say that the Fire Phone will be key to the Amazon growth strategy for the next 50 years. Congratulations, Mr. Bezos. Well played. The only thing I am wondering is, Why isn’t the phone free?

-Courtesy: Techcrunch

Facebook Launches Slingshot, Its Snapchat Competitor

Poke, Facebook’s first attempt at building a Snapchat competitor, belly flopped. But that hasn’t stopped the social network from taking another jump.

For some time now, rumors have swirled about Slingshot, Facebook’s sophomore take on the ephemeral messaging app. Mark Zuckerberg was reportedly “personally involved” in its development, and last week the app briefly appeared in some countries’ app stores before disappearing.

Today, all the speculation can be put to rest: Slingshot is here, for real this time.

Unlike Poke, Slingshot is not a direct Snapchat ripoff. “With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator,” Facebook said in a blog post announcing the launch.

That’s right – lurkers aren’t welcome on the app.

As with Snapchat, users can send photos or videos — adorned with text or coloring, if desired — that last up to 15 seconds with Slingshot. Each message can be viewed exactly once by the recipient before disappearing for good.

Unlike Snapchat, however, opening a message on Slingshot requires that you send a message of your own back to its sender. “Here’s the deal: friends won’t be able to see your shot until they sling something back to you,” Facebook explained.

While it’s good news that Slingshot isn’t another straight-up Snapchat clone and while the intent is admirable, it’s fair to wonder whether Facebook has overestimated our collective desire to share versus our collective desire to consume. After all, plenty of people use social networks to “lurk,” spending most of their time checking up on other people’s posts instead of posting themselves. For those types, being forced to respond to a message on Slingshot might be a tough sell.

Still, Facebook is determined to try. “[Venture capitalist] Fred Wilson once said that the cardinal rule of social networks is that 1 percent of people create content and 90 percent of people consume it,” Slingshot designer Joey Flynn told the Verge, “and we want to flip that on its head.”

-Courtesy: Entrepreneur.com

 

Android Lollipop 5.0? – What to Expect from the Next Version of the OS?

 

There is no stopping Google from “accidentally” leaking its upcoming devices and software. The tech giant leaked the supposed Android version 5.0 through an image posted in the company’s Twitter account.

Android-LollyPop

According to the International Business Times, the screenshots show three phones with the match scores and schedules for the 2014 World Cup.

However, the system clock time was set to 5:00. In some previous Android OS releases, Google teased 2.3 with a phone that had a clock time of 2:30, and all devices listed on Google Play Store have 4:40 on the clocks; they ship with Android 4.4. KitKat.

Whether it’s Android 5.0 or 4.5, there is no real indication of the dessert-based name that will follow it. Having surprised everyone with its decision to go for Android 4.4 KitKat, speculation suggests Google will revert back to its generic naming convention by calling the next installment Android Lollipop.

Expected Features

Google will have its annual Google I/O developer conference later this month. The company may reveal Android Lollipop then.

Its expected features may be a major update from KitKat. Smart phones right now run on Google’s Android KitKat 4.4, the latest update in the line of candy-themed mobile operating systems. Every year in June the Google developers’ conference releases updates to its products and this year is no different. It is expected that updated features to Google Glass, the smart watch line and the range of Nexus smart phones will include Android Lollipop.

After collaborating with Nestle to release Android 4.4 KitKat, in September, last year, minor updates were released to correct bugs and fix issues with the operating system and apps. Rumored to be revising the approach it takes to web apps, images have been leaked showing what Lollipop looks like.

Project Hera, Google’s effort to unify the Chrome browser with Android and Search is also set to debut in June. The project is designed to revamp the experience for Android users who run Google’s Search and Chrome apps on their smartphones, and a major user-interface revamp is also expected.

Google is also expected to integrate HTML 5 in the software that will enable users to multi-task or open and run apps and widgets at the same time.

The next version of Android OS also plans on making OK Google, its voice search assistant, as competent as Siri, calling it Ok Google Everywhere, but integrating it deeply into the OS itself.

Reports added that the next version of Android OS will definitely support new processor and graphics chipset. Support for 64 bit-processors makes running Android smooth on devices with 2 to 4GB RAM. Android 4.4 KitKat currently runs on 512 MB RAM and Google plans to add a few additional features to make the next version better. With cross compatibility in case of mobile networks, improvements in camera features, and better audio and video experience, Google’s Lollipop is aiming to be better than KitKat. The gaming community will experience smoother multi-tasking, while an improved battery life increases performance, allowing users to support and write data on micro SD cards.

As Apple gears to launch the iWatch, Google has plans to integrate Lollipop with its wearable range of smart wear. Google Glass and the smart watch range are expected to run on Android Lollipop, but reports suggest that there may be a new wearable application that monitors devices that are connected to the smart phone. With Lollipop, these features will work better without draining the battery and data.

Security also seems to be an area of focus for Android. It is currently being targeted by mobile malware, making security its biggest concern. Apps from the PlayStore usually are loaded with bloatware, making users vary of the store itself. Preferring to use the .apk (install-able) files instead of downloading the apps, Google is losing customers who download apps from the PlayStore. Android Lollipop aims to fix this issue by setting up a rigid app selection system. Handling data with fingerprint sensors and face unlock will make Lollipop better than KitKat. More features are expected to be included in Android Lollipop, but users will have to wait for a few more days to hear more of it.

We may also see the announcement of Android Silver which will replace the popular Nexus range of products. That’s a little less likely than the Android Wear announcement but it’s all on the cards. Google I/O 2014 takes place from June 25 and 26 in San Francisco.

-Courtesy: Techjuice.pk

Viber has at least 100M ‘concurrent online users’ at any point in time

viber

Viber, a popular desktop and mobile chat app that was acquired by Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten for US$900 million, has announced new user numbers.

It reached 100 million ‘concurrent online users’, defined as the number of users who have an open connection to Viber’s servers at any point of time. It also has over 362 million registered users, up from 280 million in February.

What do these figures mean? Viber is probably the only popular chat app so far that has released concurrent user numbers, so it’s hard to compare. But based on registered users, it lags WhatsApp and WeChat, which have over 450 million and 355 million active users respectively.

Popularity-wise, it probably occupies the same band as Line but surpasses KakaoTalk. Line has 400 million registered users while KakaoTalk has 140 million. Viber’s user base is rather international, more so than KakaoTalk and WeChat where most of their users hail from a single country. A third of Viber’s users live in Asia, Viber CEO Talmon Marco tells Tech in Asia.

As far as we know, the Israel-based Viber isn’t making money: it reported a net loss of $29.5 million on $1.5 million in revenue in 2013. But the other chat apps are money spinners. Line, for example, made $338 million in 2013 from a mix of brand accounts, stickers, and in-app social gaming purchases.

An eagerly watched development is how it would integrate with Rakuten post-acquisition. Marco has nothing to announce at this point, though he adds that users can expect the chat service to take advantage of Rakuten’s services in the area of ebooks, travel, and many other verticals.

“Day to day, it’s business as usual for us – Viber maintains its brand, its culture and independence within the Rakuten group, while working closely with other Rakuten services,” he says.

-Courtesy: Techinasia

Founders, Execs, Denny’s Respond To The CIA’s First Tweet

You can now stalk the CIA back. At least within the realm of social media.

The government agency made its Twitter debut Friday afternoon with a self-mocking tweet that brought the account 50,000 followers in under 50 minutes.

The tweet, which combined a sense of humor with brand awareness–two key components for a successful social media strategy!–was retweeted over 280,000 times and drew thousands of responses from other Twitter accounts. Entrepreneurs and business leaders were among those who tweeted back at the CIA with a few jokes of their own.

Box CEO (and Inc’s Entrepreneur of the Year) Aaron Levie:

Jeremiah Owyang, founder of Crowd Companies Council:

Howard Fineman, editorial director of Huffington Post Media Group:

Billy Chasen, founder of Turntable.fm:

Dana Brunetti, president of Trigger Street Productions (and Kevin Spacey’s business partner):

And then there were brands like Denny’s, which took advantage of the tweet’s popularity to do some social media promotion of their own.

Given that the @CIA has now reached nearly 600,000 followers in the span of three days, it might not be a bad idea to spy on the account. You might uncover a few social media tips.

 

-Courtesy: Inc.com

Mobile-Enabled Commerce Will Yield The Next $100B Startup

No one can predict with perfect accuracy what technology trend will birth the next set of billion-dollar, venture-backed companies or “unicorns.” Even more difficult is determining where the next $100B+ “super unicorn” will come from, as history tells us this rare breed of company only emerges once or twice in a decade. Yet given that the last three U.S. super unicorns have all been consumer technology companies (Facebook, Google, and Amazon), and given that venture investment in consumer technology companies is increasingly dominated by mobile-first startups, it is reasonable to expect that smartphones will be the technology that unlocks the next $100B+ outcome.

Here are two bolder predictions: By 2020, smartphones and tablets will account for more than 75 percent of global online commercial transactions and more than 50 percent of spend. And the world’s first mobile super unicorn won’t be an audience company like Facebook or Google, but a commerce company like Amazon. When tech historians look back on the 2010s, they will remember it as the m-commerce decade.

The M-Commerce Opportunity

For entrepreneurs eager to capitalize on the m-commerce opportunity, the first step is to understand the lay of the land. The m-commerce ecosystem falls into six primary categories: Mobile Payments, Retail Enablement, Mobile Retail, Marketplaces, On-Demand Services, and App-Based Services.

Mobile Payments and Retail Enablement are mobile empowering, equipping smartphones and tablets with tools to support a new era of mobile-based retail businesses. Mobile Retail and Marketplaces are mobile enhanced, comprised primarily of e-commerce companies that previously existed on the web but benefit greatly from the transition to mobile. On-Demand Services and App-Based Services are mobile enabled, consisting almost entirely of companies that are not just improved by smartphones and tablets, but could not exist without them. (We excluded media, games, messaging services, and social networks, which tend to be more audience-driven than commerce-driven and monetize primarily through ads or digital goods rather than physical goods and services.)

The rise of m-commerce represents the most important wave of retail innovation since consumer brands first began selling goods and services online 20 years ago.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to build the next billion-dollar m-commerce company exist across all these categories, but are particularly concentrated in the relatively greenfieldmobile enabled categories of On-Demand Services and App-Based Services. Companies in the Mobile Payments and Retail Enablement categories like Square andRetailMeNot capitalized early on the transition to mobile by building new businesses or reinventing old businesses to take advantage of growing merchant and consumer demand to conduct commerce on smartphones.

Meanwhile, e-commerce companies like Zulily and Gilt that built their platforms as the mobile trend was gaining momentum exploited the opportunity to tailor new business models like daily deals around smartphones to gain a competitive advantage.

In Q4 of 2013, Zulily generated 45 percent of its North American orders through mobile devices versus just 31 percent during Q4 the prior year. Only in the last 18 months have Uber and Lyft emerged as the first two unicorns in On-Demand Services, while the more nascent App-Based Services category has yet to generate a single unicorn outside of audience-driven mobile media apps, which we have excluded for the purposes of this discussion.

Our bet is that the On-Demand and App-Based Services categories will spawn many unicorns, and other early stage venture investors appear to agree. Following Uber and Lyft’s success, venture capitalists have poured over $100M into a dozen meal and grocery delivery startups, including EAT Club, Munchery, Sprig, Caviar, SpoonRocket, Fluc, DoorDash,Postmates, Instacart, Blue Apron, Plated, and Good Eggs.

Ridesharing and food services have been natural initial targets for substantial investment because they boast high-frequency use cases and are time-sensitive, meaning they benefit from mobile features like GPS tracking and real-time push notifications. Other on-demand subcategories are heating up, including house cleaning, laundry, and self storage. And App-Based Services are also seeing activity, with recent investments in fitness apps (FitStar,MyFitnessPal) and healthcare apps (HealthTap, Doctor on Demand).

Below is a brief overview of each m-commerce category and thoughts on what it takes to win in each:

Mobile Payments. We define Mobile Payments companies as those that provide mobile payment infrastructure, mobile point of sale systems, and direct mobile payment solutions. This is a challenging space, characterized by razor-thin margins, large capital requirements to achieve scale, and fierce competition from credit card companies and PayPal. Successful entrepreneurs in this category must be good at accurately assessing credit risk. Given how difficult it is for payment companies to reach the scale required for an IPO, it’s also critical for entrepreneurs to keep M&A opportunities open to their companies as an exit option. One example of an exit in this category is the recent sale of Check (PageOnce) to Intuit for $360M.

shutterstock_137342978

Retail Enablement. We define Retail Enablement companies as those that facilitate mobile-based retail transactions either by helping potential customers discover items they want to buy online (contextual commerce) or by helping them find offers offline (in-store marketing, mobile couponing, and location-based offers). Most of the companies in this category depend on location tracking and/or push notifications to present the right customer with the right offer in the right place at the right time. Winning is all about engaging with users intelligently to establish habit-forming behaviors without being intrusive or annoying.

Mobile Retail. We define Mobile Retail companies as those that extend web-based retail platforms to mobile or build mobile apps to sell goods to customers through smartphones and tablets. In “E-Commerce is a Bear,” Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn argues that e-commerce startups have four survival strategies to compete against Amazon: proprietary selection, proprietary pricing, proprietary experience, and proprietary merchandise. All four strategies can be improved by leveraging advantages unique to mobile platforms. That being said, the current set of breakout companies are focused most on differentiated experiences. These companies are shifting the customer experience by embedding natural smartphone services such as picture taking and messaging.

marketplace

Marketplaces. We define Marketplace companies as those that facilitate transactions between buyers and sellers of goods or services either on mobile as an extension of web-based marketplaces or through a mobile app. The key to any marketplace is achieving liquidity, which companies can do more quickly by extending their marketplaces to mobile. Some marketplaces like HotelTonight and FOBO that involve local, time-sensitive or untethered transactions have gone mobile-only, recognizing their platform is fundamentally better on smartphones. Winning in this category is all about acquiring buyers and sellers cost-effectively and matching supply and demand efficiently to make transactions as frictionless as possible.

On-Demand Services. We define On-Demand Service companies as those that provide services to buyers in a short timeframe either through vertical integration or aggregated supply. While many of these companies function as marketplaces, we place them in this category if they provide fulfillment on-demand (usually within minutes or hours) and/or provide real-time status updates to buyers. Smartphone features like location tracking and push notifications have only made these services possible in the last few years, which is why this category holds so much opportunity. Many On-Demand Services function as utilities. This means that winning in this category is all about price and convenience, both of which are driven by who has the most scale and the best algorithms governing vehicle dispatch, delivery routes, and fulfillment.

App-Based Services. We define App-Based Service companies as those that provide services to customers entirely within a native mobile app. Given that users experience these services immersively on their smartphones, designing an intuitive user interface and seamless user experience can be the difference between success and failure. Entrepreneurs building apps in this category should emphasize accessibility, engagement, and retention. They should also take advantage of the digital nature of their products to conduct low-cost experiments, continuously refining their products to optimize their conversion funnel. Cumulatively, these optimizations translate into customer delight and more attractive economics.

The rise of m-commerce represents the most important wave of retail innovation since consumer brands first began selling goods and services online 20 years ago. Given the size of the m-commerce opportunity, entrepreneurs who successfully execute on new mobile business models before the rest of the market stand to reap outsized returns. Especially exciting are new categories of consumer-facing businesses such as On-Demand and App-Based Services that could not exist prior to the smartphone – and are sure to spawn a stampede of new unicorns.

-Courtesy: Techcrunch

New iOS 8 Feature Can Help You Find a Lost iPhone, Is Also Kind of Creepy

Lost your iPhone? Bummer. With a new feature to iCloud, Apple’s iOS 8 gives people one more opportunity to track down their lost or stolen devices.

The new feature is called “Send Last Location.” Basically, it sends a person’s iPhone or iPad geolocation data to Apple moments before the device’s battery runs out of juice. In other words, Apple knows exactly where you and/or your device is if its battery dies. 

Sounds pretty handy. Also kind of creepy.

While Apple has already had features in place to help people lock, track and wipe lost or stolen devices via iCloud’s “Find My Phone,” those tools only work if the phone is on and has a data connection. “Send Last Location” allows people to check with Apple to find out the device’s last known location before the battery drains to nothing and otherwise becomes untrackable.

Apple could store this location data for about 24 hours, though that time frame could change once iOS 8 launches officially this fall, according to a report from Apple Insider. 

Of course, Android owners have already had these types of security features – including the option to send location data from a device to Google — available via Google’s Android Device Manager.

-Courtesy: Entrepreneur.com