Delta to Offer Free Use of Messaging Apps In-Flight

Starting October 1st, Delta will begin offering free in-flight use of the popular messaging apps WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage. Although passengers will not be able to send traditional SMS messages, it will still be possible to chat with friends and family while in-flight. Delta passengers can access these messaging apps by logging into Delta’s Gogo in-flight wifi portal. At the launch of this service, users will only be able to send text-based messages. Passengers will not be able to send photos and/or video content through these apps at this time. In addition, passengers will not be allowed to live stream from flights.

Learn more about Delta and in-flight messaging at TechCrunch

A Bicycle Built for Two: Mobike to Use IoT Solutions for Smart Bike Sharing Service

For users of Mobike’s smart bike sharing services, its bicycles are about to get a lot more connected. Mobike will be leveraging new IoT solutions, including AT&T’s LG LTE connectivity and Qualcomm Technologies’ LTE IoT modems along with its own smartphone app, to facilitate its services. Users will be able to easily find, unlock and pay to ride the nearest available Mobike bicycle. Once users have completed their rides, this new technology will make it easy to find the nearest “Mobike Preferred Location” or a bike parking area to return the bicycle. The marriage of IoT technology and Mobike’s smart bicycles will enable Mobike to better manage its services, providing incentives for users to return the bikes to areas where they are in high-demand. Through technology and bike sharing, Mobike hopes to help with transportation and distribution to advance the sharing economy and the future of smart cities.

Learn more about Mobike and IoT technologies at PR Newswire

Levi’s New Smart Jacket is Now for Sale

Now that fall is here and temperatures are dropping, it may be time to invest in a new jacket. For consumers looking for more connectivity on their commute, the new Levi’s smart jacket could be a good investment. This denim jacket is the product of the collaboration between Levi’s and the Google Advanced Technology and Products group’s Project Jacquard. The jacket features a snap tag on the cuff of the left sleeve that enables the wearer to interact with his or her smartphone on the jacket with gestures, LEDs and haptic feedback. Primarily targeted to bike commuters, this $350 jacket utilizes the Jacquard app to allow both iOS and Android users to customize the capabilities of the jacket, including receiving messages, sending calls to voicemail, hearing directions and music, etc.

Read more about Levi’s new smart jacket for commuters at Engadget

Apple Changes Default Search Engine for Siri to Google with macOS High Sierra Release

Have you asked Siri to do a web search lately? If you have, then you may have noticed that there is a new default search engine. Before, when Siri was asked to do a web search in iOS and in Spotlight on a Mac, her default search engine was Bing. But now, Apple has changed the default search engine to Google. By making this switch, Apple will be able to provide a consistent web search experience in Safari. Apple will retain Bing as the default search engine for images, while YouTube will be the default search engine for video content.

Read more about Apple and its default search engine settings at The Verge

Uber Adds Basic Sign Language Feature to its App

Uber has recently added a new feature to its app to better support its deaf and hearing impaired drivers. Launching in conjunction with Deaf Awareness Month, Uber’s app will feature instruction in basic sign language in the feed of the rider app when a passenger is paired with a deaf or hearing impaired drivers. Riders will have the opportunity to learn basic words and phrases in American Sign Language (ASL), such as “Hello” and “Thank You.” The app will even teach riders to spell out the drivers’ name in ASL. Uber currently employees thousands of deaf or hearing impaired drivers, who have completed millions of trips for the company.

Read more about Uber’s new in-app ASL feature at TechCrunch