News Scan: Google Glass for sale on Tax Day; Online travel sites expand mobile offerings; more


>> Google Glass to go on sale on Tax Day

Google Glass is set to go on sale on Tuesday, April 15, for one day. "Any adult in the US can become an Explorer by visiting our site and purchasing Glass for $1500+tax--and it now comes with your favorite shade or frame, thanks to feedback from our current Explorers," explains Google Glass in a blog. Unfortunately, supplies are limited so if you want to get one, visit beginning at 6 a.m. PDT with credit card in hand. Read more

[More on Google Glass: 'Robust selection' of apps will be key to enterprise adoption of smart wearables, says IDC | Google launches 'Glass at Work']

>> Online travel sites expand mobile offerings

Leading online travel sites Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak, Orbitz and Priceline are expanding their mobile offerings beyond booking services, notes Mobile Marketer. Mobile services will include loyalty programs, personalized messages and mobile app recommendations for travelers. "We're actively thinking about ways to use mobile devices in the future of hotel travel. Can a phone unlock a door? Do you need a concierge? One of the most exciting things about our space is the rapid pace of technical innovation," says John Caine, chief product officer at Priceline. Read more

[More on online travel: HotelTonight travel app books $45M Series D financing round | Travel- Mobile App Holiday Gift Guide 2012]

>> Microsoft shoehorns Windows 8.1 onto 16 GB tablets

Microsoft is using Windows Image Boot to shoehorn Windows 8.1 into 16 GB or 32 GB mobile devices, such as tablets. "This new deployment option, called Windows Image Boot (or WIMBoot), takes a different approach than traditional Windows installations. Instead of extracting all the individual Windows files from an image (WIM) file, they remain compressed in the WIM. But from the user's perspective, nothing looks any different: You still see a C: volume containing Windows, your apps, and all of your data," Michael Niehaus, senior product marketing manager in the Windows Commercial group, writes in a blog. Read more

[More on Windows 8.1: Rugged mobile devices facing tough times | Microsoft gives users five weeks to migrate to Windows 8.1 Update]

>> Apple might look to health insurers to subsidize iWatch

Apple might be looking to health insurers to subsidize its iWatch because of the many fitness apps it will enable, according to Cowen & Co analyst Timothy Arcuri. "We continue to believe it is possible the product (iWatch) is backstopped by some sort of insurance subsidization model similar to the carrier subsidization model for iPhone," Arcuri wrote in a research note quoted by Investor's Business Daily. "We continue to feel this product will differentiate itself with existing wearable products primarily from a health perspective with a number of key innovations including noninvasive blood cell count and blood pressure and other more pedestrian features like heart rate," Arcuri adds. Read more

[More on iWatch: Apple's iWatch watches out for sunburn | Rumor mill: Apple beefs up iWatch staff, develops 'healthbook' app]

>> Tablet apps processor revenue to increase at 14.6% CAGR through 2018

The table applications processor market is forecast by Strategy Analytics to increase at a 14.6 percent compound annual growth rate, reaching $7.2 billion in revenue in 2018. The penetration of apps processors with an integrated baseband in tablets will increase to 17 percent in 2018 from 2 percent in 2012. This is the result of low-cost quad-core 3G/4G chips from Qualcomm, MediaTek, Spreadtrum and other vendors. Multi-core generation in tablets reached 90 percent last year, a trend that is likely to continue, says Strategy Analytics. Read more

[More on tablets: Study: Smartphones, tablets drive close to half of all online banking | BYOD market becoming lucrative opportunity for device makers]