Microsoft Joins Qualcomm-Backed AllSeen Alliance
Microsoft has joined the AllSeen Alliance, an effort backed by Qualcomm to provide a standard for connecting the Internet of Things. The alliance already has 50 companies on board, including LG, Panasonic, and Sharp. The group's goal is to make it easy for devices to interact with one another by devising a single standard through which they can communicate. Qualcomm's rivals, however, are prepared to form their own group, according to unnamed sources cited by Reuters. The competing consortium may launch as soon as next week, and will seek to create its own standard for connecting the Internet of Things. Apple has already announced HomeKit, its own protocol for connecting smartphones and tablets to devices around the home. Further, Google recently released an SDK for its Nest thermostat, which will eventually allow smartphones, tablets, and other apps to interact with Nest. Multiple standards may make it more difficult for consumers to find devices that work with one another. Reuters didn't say which companies are going to support the competitor to AllSeen.
Google Home Max Now Available for $399; Verizon Discounts LG V30
Verizon Wireless today began selling the Google Home Max in-home assistant and speaker. The Max relies on the same Google Assistant that powers the Google Home and Google Home Mini devices, but packages the voice-based tool in a larger, music-focused box.
Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS Now Available to All
Microsoft today said its Edge browser for Android and iOS has exited preview and is now available as a final, public application. Microsoft Edge for mobile devices ports over popular desktop features, include Favorites, Reading List, New Tab Page, and Reading View.
Google Launches Multi-Purpose File-Wrangling App
Google today released the final version of Files Go, its new file-management app for Android. The app serves multiple purposes: it includes a file browser, local file transfer tool, and a tool to help free up storage on your phone.
PMA and A4WP Rebrand As the AirFuel Alliance
The Power Matters Alliance and Alliance for Wireless Power today announced plans to fully merge organizations under the AirFuel Alliance brand. The standard-bearers for wireless charging agreed to work together earlier this year, and today's rebranding is the final step in the process of creating a single consortium committed to improving the standards for and experience of wireless charging.
GE to Make Qualcomm- and Apple-Connected Light Bulbs
General Electric today revealed new collaborations with Qualcomm and Apple that will see its light bulbs interact with consumers' smartphones. With Qualcomm, GE says it will offerer "retailers a way to connect with shoppers' smartphones through technology embedded in LED light bulbs" through beacons, according to Reuters.