News Bytes: Britons turn to mobile web; BlackBerry not dead yet; more
>> Britons turn to mobile devices to access Internet
UK Internet usage is increasingly happening over mobile phones, according to a survey by Oxford Internet Institute. A full 57 percent of UK web users are expected to access the Internet using their mobile devices this year, up from 40 percent in 2011 and 20 percent in 2009. People in Britain are using mobile phones to access email, 54 percent; browse the web, 52 percent; use social media sites, 43 percent; play games, 43 percent and listen to music, 43 percent. Overall, more than three-quarters of the British population use the Internet, up from less than three-quarters in 2011. Read more about the Oxford survey.
[More on UK mobility: Samsung adds PayPal support to simplify mobile app purchases | UK catching the BYOD bug]
>> BlackBerry to customers: 'We're not dead yet'
In an open letter to customers, BlackBerry is trying to reassure customers that the company will continue to exist and provide support for its products. "You've no doubt seen the headlines about BlackBerry. You're probably wondering what they mean for you as one of the tens of millions of users who count on BlackBerry every single day. We have one important message for you. You can continue to count on BlackBerry," the letter read. BlackBerry stressed that it has "substantial cash on hand and a balance sheet that is debt free" and plans to cut expenses by 50 percent, a play that includes 4,500 layoffs. Read more of the open letter (.pdf).
[More on BlackBerry: BlackBerry layoffs begin | BlackBerry previews cross-platform BYOD management solution]
>> Workers have inadequate mobile tools to work remotely, survey finds
While 84 percent of workers need to work remotely at some point, 70 percent say their mobile tools are inadequate to the task, according to a survey of more than 200 knowledge workers by cloud services firm Eccentex. A majority of respondents said that the "model company" embraces working remotely, but only 4 percent think it should be prohibited. Based on this survey, Yahoo, which has banned working remotely, would not be a model company. Around three-quarters of respondents said that they use cloud apps, but only one-third believe cloud apps are secure. Read more about the Eccentex survey (.pdf).
[More on remote workers: Infographic: Remote workers, mobility add to 'IT friction' | Some businesses really don't need a water cooler]
>>Microsoft's next Windows Phone 8 'paves way' for new smartphones
Microsoft's next Windows Phone 8 update "paves the way" for future smartphones with 5-inch and 6-inch touch screens, 1080 pixel high definition displays and a bigger Start screen accommodating six tiles across, writes Darren Laybourn, corporate vice president for Windows Phone. The update will also provide support for the more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. The new Nokia smartphones could be revealed as early as next week at the Nokia World conference in Abu Dhabi. In addition, Microsoft is launching the Windows Phone Preview for Developers program to give app developers early access to Windows Phone updates "so they can verify that their apps work as expected on the new code," Laybourn relates. Read more of Laybourn's blog.
>> Foursquare opens mobile ad platform to all advertisers
With $41 million in equity financing burning a hole in its pocket, Foursquare has decided to open its mobile ad platform to advertisers of all sizes, TechCrunch reports. Earlier this year, Foursquare made its ad platform available to 50 large advertisers, and in July open a self-service beta version to around 800 small businesses. By opening up the platform to all advertisers, Foursquare is looking to tap into the 1.5 million small businesses that are already registered for free on the service. Paying a fee will pump up their exposure as well as Foursquare's revenues. Read more on Foursquare's mobile ad platform.