Android Is Killing iOS, Uber Launches Self-Driving Cars… [Tech News Digest]


Android claims more market share from iOS, Uber launches a fleet of self-driving cars, proof that not everybody loves Pokemon GO, Ubisoft gives Rayman Origins away for free, and seeing the world through Prisma.

Android Increases Its Market Share

With the amount of coverage the iPhone enjoys across the tech press you’d be forgiven for thinking that iOS is THE dominant mobile operating system. But it isn’t. In fact, it pales into insignificance when compared to the mighty Android. And the gap between the two is growing ever larger all the time.

According to Gartner, Android now boasts a global market share of 86.2 percent. Apple’s iOS is a long way behind with a market share of just 12.9 percent. The rest may as well not even exist, with Windows on 0.6 percent, BlackBerry on 0.1 percent, and “Others” on 0.2 percent.

These figures, which cover the second quarter of 2016, show that Android has actually increased its market share by 4 percent over the last year. All other operating systems are down, with iOS losing 1.7 percent, Windows losing 1.9 percent, and BlackBerry losing 0.2 percent.

OK, so iOS is losing ground, but Apple is still the biggest smartphone vendor, right? Wrong. Samsung takes that crown, with a global market share of 22.3 percent. Apple is languishing in second with 12.9 percent, with Huawei (8.9%), Oppo (5.4%), and Xiaomi (4.5%), rounding out the top five.

Apple fans need not worry, of course, as Apple is still making billions of dollars. It’s also believed to be developing new products in areas unrelated to smartphones, so it’s not going away anytime soon. However, I think it’s fair to declare Android the winner in the mobile operating wars at this point.

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Uber Wants to Get Rid of Its Drivers

Uber is preparing to launch its first fleet of self-driving cars, with autonomous Volvo XC90s expected to start picking up passengers in the next few weeks. This first fleet will be available for hailing in Pittsburgh, and passengers will travel for free on account of them being guinea pigs, for want of a better word.

Unfortunately for those of us who want the future to arrive already, there will actually be more humans occupying these self-driving cars than regular Uber vehicles. This is because current laws dictate that each car will has human supervisor sitting in the driver’s seat “with their fingertips on the wheel.” A second supervisor will be sat in the passenger seat taking notes.

Uber expects to grow its fleet of self-driving cars as time goes on, partnering with multiple companies along the way. The plan is to develop a fully autonomous car which Uber hopes to have on the road by 2021. And with the likes of Google, Tesla, and Apple all working on self-driving cars, this technology is likely to arrive sooner than most people are expecting.

The French Town Banning Pokemon GO

The mayor of Bressolles, a small town to the north-east of Lyon, is trying to get Pokemon GO banned from this small French settlement. And he has written a strongly-worded letter to both Niantic and The Pokemon Company asking them to remove the creatures from Bressolles.

Fabrice Beauvois told The Associated Press:

“When a cafe or a restaurant owner wants to open a business in any French town, they have an obligation to request prior authorization to the mayor. The rule applies to all people wishing to set up an activity or occupy a space on a public property. So it applies to Niantic as well, even though their settlement is virtual.”

Beauvois claims the Pokemon GO phenomenon is spreading in a “contagious” manner, and that it could lead to young people succumbing to a “dangerous addiction”. This might contain an element of truth, but it doesn’t justify banning a game that only exists in the digital realm. Does it?

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Rayman Origins Is Now Free on PC

You can now get Rayman Origins on PC completely for free, and all you need is a Uplay account. Ubisoft is giving away the colorful, side-scrolling, 2D platformer as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations, with the French company having launched in 1986.

Ubisoft has previously given away Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell as part of the same promotion. And there are four more free games to come, one each for September, October, November, and December. So even if Rayman Origins isn’t your thing, it’s well worth signing up for a Uplay account.

Prisma Makes Everything Look Beautiful

And finally, it turns out that Prisma can make everything look like a work of art… even short vignettes shot in different locations around the world. That’s the only conclusion we can draw from this video, made up of leftover footage shot by the Juliet Zulu creative agency while filming for an ad campaign.

As the team explains on Vimeo, “This project is an exploration of those bits and pieces we collected over the 9 months that we floated somewhere between dreaming and waking life, small vignettes that, through the implementation of this powerful app, seem to mimic the subjective experience of the jet lagged ponies that captured it.”

For those of you unaware of the phenomenon, Prisma is an app which turns any photo into a work of art, and it’s currently free both on Android and on iOS.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you surprised to discover the size of the gap between Android and iOS? How long do you think it will be before self-driving cars are standard? Should towns be allowed to ban Pokemon GO? Will you be downloading Rayman Origins for free? What do you think of Prisma?

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Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Maurizio Pesce via Flickr


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