The number of mobile phone payment apps continues to grow with news that MasterCard has launched a new app in America that is, say users, better than Apple Pay.
The move follows a makeover of its digital wallet and contactless payment offering and its new angle is to bundle several forms of payment methods into one that works in shops, online and in-app.
MasterCard says it wants to be the one-stop shop for all payments anyone wants to make and banks will be able to implement the new card service within their own apps.
While it has been launched in America, it will not be coming to the UK until 2017.
Fans of Apple Pay will not be left behind since its users will be able to pay online when the iOS10 and macOS Sierra updates are rolled out later this year.
Windows 10 Mobile gets a boost
Mobile phone app developers have received a boost after a major hardware manufacturer revealed a new phone utilising Windows 10 Mobile.
The SoftBank 503LV from Lenovo will immediately become the most powerful smartphone running Windows 10 mobile when it’s launched.
Microsoft is also looking to push the software onto an ever growing number of devices.
The new smartphone is aimed at businesses and will give access to a user’s documents, PowerPoint presentations and spreadsheets as well as incorporating several key apps including Cortana.
Essentially, should a user make any updates to documents on their smartphone, all other devices such as tablets or PCs will be immediately updated as well.
Rubbish app to remind people to put bins out
A council has created a free mobile phone app to remind people when they should put their bins out in time for collection.
Oldham Council says it is the first to offer its own ‘rubbish app’ for tablets and smartphones and users will be reminded which colour bin needs to be put out and on the right day.
The app also informs residents about which waste items should be placed in bins and whether there are disruptions to the normal collection service and also where residents can take their dangerous or hazardous waste.
Entitled the ‘What Bin Day’, the app is the brainchild of an Oldham councillor who wants to encourage residents to keep their city clean.
Mobile phone app allows doctors to look inside heads
A new mobile phone app is being trialled in Kent that enables doctors to look inside the head of their patients.
By using an attachment that is connected to the smartphone’s camera, the app will take videos and photos of the patient’s ear drum and ear canal which are then sent to a specialist consultant.
The Cupris Health app also performs a basic hearing test with a patient using headphones and the data is immediately relayed to a website for a consultant to analyse.
Lightroom mobile phone app gets makeover
Adobe’s Lightroom mobile phone app has been updated with a range of premium features which will help the app’s continued popularity with enthusiastic photographers.
The app offers raw editing and advance camera modes but some of its best features are only available with a paid subscription.
The app is available for devices running Google’s Android and iPhones and iPads running iOS.
Essentially, the new version of Lightroom is a closer match to what the software on PCs can do and will enable photographers to carry out more work on their mobile devices.
Mobile phone up boosts crop production
A new mobile phone app that can predict rain is helping farmers in sub-Saharan Africa to boost their crop production.
The app helps overcome the issues in predicting weather patterns in the tropics and will deliver a rain prediction with 84% accuracy.
This means that farmers can sow as well as harvest their crops at the best times.
The app has been developed by Swedish firm Ignitia which is now looking to expand into other African countries by using a $2.5 million grant from several sponsoring countries including Sweden, the Netherlands and the United States.
In other mobile phone app news
T-Mobile in America is offering its customers who download the Pokémon Go mobile phone app free data to play the game until August next year.
Microsoft has released an update to fix issues with its Office Mobile apps including Excel and Word in Windows Store.
It looks like Netflix has removed its mobile phone app from the Windows Store though an app for PC use remains. Users in America have revealed that the Netflix app is now unavailable and was only released last December. Apparently, users with a European-based Microsoft account can still access the Windows 10 Mobile app.