App Annie Predicts that App Economy Will Be Worth $6.3 Trillion by 2021

It’s a good time to be in the app business. Analyst firm App Annie predicts that the app economy will be worth $6.3 trillion by 2021, which is 380% higher that 2016’s $1.3 trillion app market. According to App Annie’s report, the global app market is set to increase due to the prevalence of smartphones and the increasing use of mobile apps by consumers. App Annie’s study also predicts that people will have spent 3.5 trillion hours using mobile apps by 2021, with the largest driver of increased mobile app usage attributed to mobile commerce, particularly in China and the Asia-Pacific region.

Read more about App Annie’s predictions for the app economy at VentureBeat

Nokia Phones Return to the U.S. Market This Month

Earlier this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HMD Global made a splash by reintroducing an updated version of the Nokia 3310 device. Unfortunately, this classic phone is still not available in the North American market. But, faithful fans of Nokia devices will be excited that the Nokia 6 smartphone will be available for purchase in the U.S. early this month. HDM Global, who owns the rights to sell Nokia-branded smartphones, will sell the Nokia 6 exclusively through Amazon in the U.S. for $229. Unfortunately, only T-Mobile customers can receive full support of the Nokia 6. Verizon and Sprint do not support the device at all, while AT&T will offer only partial LTE support. Experts predict that U.S. smartphone users will primarily continue to purchase phones through their mobile carriers, but that the Nokia 6 may be a good fit for the budget-conscious consumer.

Read more about the Nokia 6 smartphone and specs at Business Insider

YouTube’s New App, Uptime Allows Users to Watch Videos with Friends

YouTube has taken the next step in video sharing with their new experimental app, Uptime. Uptime enables users to watch a video with friends while reacting and commenting in real-time with emojis and comments. Although the app was first launched in March, it required an invitation to download and use. Now, Uptime is available to all users who locate the access code to download the app online. Users can co-watch content or look at the video playback to view the discussion and comments as they happened in real-time.

Read more about Uptime and watching videos with friends at TechCrunch

Google Will No Longer Rely on Gmail for Serving Up Ads to Users

The next time you sign in to Gmail, check out the ads sitting in the top of your inbox. How did they get there? Google used to “read” users’ Gmails for ad serving purposes, a practice for which they came under fire in several lawsuits over the past few years. But, don’t worry. Google now knows so much about its user base that it will no longer need to rely on scanning Gmail for advertising purposes. Now, ads in the free version of Gmail will be served based on search history, YouTube viewing behavior and other data Google collects about users. With more than 1.2 billion users of the free version of Gmail, Google has promised to “keep privacy and security paramount” when adding new features.

Read more about Google, Gmail and ad serving at PC Mag

Coders at Play: Anki Hopes the Cozmo Robot Will Get Kids Coding

Do you have a child who is interested in technology and coding? Anzi hopes that its Cozmo robot will continue to capture the imagination of youth coders. Last year, Anzi released a programming kit for its robot in Python, but it now hopes to appeal to children as young as six with its latest point-and-click programming interface, Cozmo Code Lab. Based on the visual programming interface Scratch Blocks, children can arrange blocks horizontally across the screen to make the Cozmo robot move and perform other actions. Cozmo’s Code Lab can be accessed from the Cozmo smartphone and tablet control app. A later version of this app will show what the Scratch Block programs would look like in real programming languages such as Python and Java, as children continue to grow in their coding expertise.

Read more about Anzi and the Cozmo Code Lab at Fast Company