This week: Bitesize mobile news

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All the big news that happened this week in the world of mobile tech...
This week: Bitesize mobile news

LG folding phone patent uncovered?

Last week it was reported that LG and Samsung could launch foldable smartphones at the turn of the year. Now LG has patented a phone design with a wrap-around screen, GSMInfo (via T3.com) reports.

The patent reveals a 5.5-inch phone that folds out into a 7-inch tablet, and closes back again to return to smartphone mode. As foldable phone rumours continue to hot up, it seems more and more likely we could see a foldable smartphone real soon. Would you buy one? Let us know in the comments below.

Google Maps to help you find a parking space?

Google Maps can help you find your way to your destination, and even help you call a cab. Now the app wants to help you find a parking space, Android Police reports. A feature spotted in the Maps 9.44 beta reveals text stating whether parking is limited, medium and easy indicating the difficulty in locating a space.

Limited parking will be indicated by a red P icon. It’s not yet clear whether this feature will land in the UK, so stay tuned for more when we hear it.

Instagram live video reaches the UK

Instagram finally launched its live video-streaming service in the UK. You can now swipe across the camera and select a ‘Live’ mode to stream footage in real-time. Videos will disappear as soon as recording ends – a move which Instagram says will make users “feel comfortable sharing what [they] want.”

Nokia planning ‘Viki’, the Siri and Cortana rival

Voice assistants are all the rage these days, what with Amazon’s Alexa being integrated into more of our future gadgets. Nokia could be the latest to join the virtual assistant bandwagon after the company filed a trademark for a piece of software called Viki.

GSMinfo reports that Viki will combine ‘all data sources into a single chat and voice-based interface’. If the report is true, it sounds like future Nokia handset owners will soon be able to issue Siri and Cortana-like voice commands to their phones.

Details are sparse at the moment, but with Nokia set to announce new devices this year we’ll soon know more. Do you use virtual assistants or are they a waste of time? Let us know in the comments below.

First Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches out 9 February

Google and LG will launch the first of many Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches on 9 February, VentureBeat reports. The LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style will feature Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, and circular OLED displays.

The Sport model will come with NFC built-in letting you use Android Wear 2.0’s Android Pay to buy small goods in cafes and shops, and a heart rate sensor. We’re expecting to hear more on Android Wear 2.0 during Mobile World Congress starting on 27 February – where the world’s smartphone manufacturers will unveil the newest mobile kit.

Super Mario Run for Android out this March

Nintendo has finally put a date on Super Mario Run for Android, by confirming a March release via its Twitter account. The popular platforming game has been available on the Apple App Store for a few months now (an won an award in our top apps of 2016), so Android users are long overdue a taste of Nintendo’s first official smartphone game.

A pre-register button on the Google Play store game page lets you sign up to receive a notification on your smartphone as soon as the game drops, so hop to it.

Facebook trials fake news filter in Germany

Facebook is great for virtually keeping in touch with friends you haven’t seen since high school, and helping you remember birthdays. One thing it hasn’t been so good at is preventing fake news from spreading.

Facebook is looking to combat this with a fake news filter in Germany, the Financial Times reports. The social network will begin fact-checking stories and flagging anything that sounds off. The move comes after fabricated news spread like wildfire during the US general elections. Hopefully such filters will be in place in the UK sooner rather than later.

Nintendo brings Fire Emblem series to smartphones

After debuting its first ever smartphone game in the shape of Super Mario Run, Nintendo is at it again with a second smartphone title. Fire Emblem Heroes – a turn-based strategy game – is coming to Android and iOS devices soon, Nintendo has confirmed.

Players will control familiar Fire Emblem characters old and new, each with their own gameplay style and the ability to level up their abilities and skills. What other Nintendo games would you like to see come to the smartphone? Let us know in the comments.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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