Nintendo claims non-Mario games chosen for mobile launch to broaden appeal of brand

Many Nintendo fans were disappointed when the company chose to launch a new game Miitomo for its first move into mobile, rather than the popular Super Mario series. The company later revealed that it will be bringing existing Nintendo game franchises to iOS later this year, but again, no sign of Mario. Instead, we can expect Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem.

Engadget notes that Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima has offered some explanation for the decision.

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As HTC shifts focus to virtual reality, executive teases upcoming mobile VR headset

These are not the best days for HTC. The Taiwanese company has been stumbling for quite a while, both financially and in the eye of critics and consumers. One thing seems to have paid off, however: its VR efforts. That’s why, as per a CNET interview, the company is looking forward to progressively shifting its core business to that…

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Twitter’s new mobile site looks a lot like the upcoming Material redesign to its Android app

Twitter has been A/B testing a re-designed Android app for nearly a month with a launch likely coming soon as more people are seeing it. In the mean time, Twitter has completely overhauled its mobile site with a new design that matches the Android revamp.

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LG sends out invites for its Mobile World Congress event on February 21st

Mobile World Congress is still more than a month away, but that’s not keeping LG from sending out invitations to its upcoming press event in Barcelona. The company’s keynote is scheduled for February 21st, according to the invite, at 14:00 local time. Beyond that, though, there’s not much to learn here. The invite shows what looks to be a jack-in-the-box along with the slogan “Play begins.”… more…

LG announces mobile payment service to compete with Apple, Google and Samsung

The mobile payments industry is getting more crowded by the month. Early this morning, LG confirmed on its Facebook page that it will be entering the market with LG Pay, and has signed up a couple of Korean partners to do so. The company has joined forces with Shinhan Card and KB Kookmin Card in its home country, but didn’t say when the service is going live, or when it’ll expand to international markets.

The service will work on most LG phones, new or old. Although the company has been light on detail, we’re assuming that means those with built in NFC. Although, conceivably, it could be like Samsung Pay in that it works with both contactless NFC card readers as well as traditional Magstrip ones. Like Samsung and Apple, the service will only work on its own devices and isn’t cross-platform or cross-manufacturer.

Although we’re not surprised that LG has decided to follow in the example of Sammy, it’s still bemusing that any Android OEM should seek to release their own payment system when Android Pay is already here and will eventually work on most devices as long as they have an NFC antenna.

We’re skeptical of LG’s chances of success in a crowded market, but you can be sure that — in the future — LG’s mobile payment app will become yet another piece of bloatware to add to an already bursting collection of unnecessary duplicate apps and services.

Lenovo restructures mobile group with co-presidents, Rick Osterloh leaves Motorola

At CES, Lenovo announced that the Motorola brand name would be phased out in favor of ‘Moto’ and ‘by Lenovo’ branding. Today, the company announced a restructuring of its Mobile Business Group that sees the exit of long-time Motorola president Rick Osterloh.

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Google launches Reminders to bring to-dos into Calendar mobile apps

Today Google Calendar for both Android and iOS gains a handy new Reminders feature that works alongside the app’s to-dos feature.

With the Reminders feature, users will be able to keep track of to-do lists across Google platforms including Inbox, Google Keep, Google Now, and Calendar.

Here’s how the new reminders work:

You might already create calendar entries to remind you to call the doctor or pick up groceries on the way home. But while those entries come and go, Reminders stick with you over time so you can track them until they are actually done. If a Reminder isn’t completed, it will appear at the top of your Calendar the next day. And the next. When you do finally call the doctor or pick up those necessities, just swipe the Reminder away … and you’re onto the next to-do.

And since the reminders work across Google apps, you can create them from Inbox, Google Keep, Calendar, and even using Google Now voice commands: “Ok Google, remind me to buy birthday candles.”

The new Reminders feature for Calendar on Android and iOS is rolling out this week. Google says it will come to the web apps in the near future. The updated Google Calendar app for iOS also adds 3D Touch to create events or reminders.