Category: News

Defining and Discussing “Super Apps”

By Cathleen Cusachs What if we could open one phone app and access messages, social media feeds, food delivery, rideshare services, and even our bank? China’s WeChat, a “super app,” does all this and more. Super apps include functions across a wide spread of daily life. Alex Heath from The Verge predicts their rise is […]

Smartwatches and Your Health

By Cathleen Cusachs Smartwatches seem to be getting more and more popular each year. The devices track data, some of which can be used to monitor the user’s health. The Verge talked to some healthcare experts to learn how. Apple, Fitbit, Withings, and Samsung all have programs for their smartwatches that can detect irregular heart […]

Some of the iPhone 13’s Innovations

by Cathleen Cusachs Apple launched the iPhone 13 series on September 24. Though some have criticized its design as being stagnant, there are a few important innovations worth highlighting. Apple’s iPhone features often set precedents in mobile communication technology. For starters, the storage capacities have basically doubled. The minimum, once 64GB, is now 128GB. Other […]

Making Mobile Communication Accessible

By Cathleen Cusachs Designing mobile-friendly websites or social media posts to be accessible is an important part of the process. According to the CDC, one in four U.S. adults live with a disability. This is equivalent to about 61 million people. If messaging is not accessible, its reach is limited. Here are some basic tips […]

Smartphones Becoming Fashion

By Cathleen Cusachs In recent years, people with flip phones were not typically considered very fashion-forward. But now, Samsung is trying to change that. Their Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a smartphone that folds in half, much like the mobile devices of the early 2000s. Apple has been establishing their iPhones as trendy must-haves for […]

The Mysterious Industry of Phone Location Data

By Cathleen Cusachs Do you know who has access to your phone’s location data history? The Markup investigated this question recently, identifying 47 companies that work in this space. They shed some light into the harvesting, selling, and trading industry ecosystem. “There isn’t a lot of transparency and there is a really, really complex shadowy […]

Instagram and Teen Mental Health

By Cathleen Cusachs On September 14th, the Wall Street Journal published internal Facebook research on Instagram’s effects on teen mental health. The documents revealed serious dangers, with teenage girls being the most harmed. According to the Wall Street Journal’s report, Facebook conducted thorough research into teen mental health over the last three years. This deep […]

Interview with Dr. James Cummings

By Haiting Hu Dr. James Cummings is Assistant Professor in the Division of Emerging Media Studies and previously served as co-director of the Communication Research Center at Boston University. His research investigates human-computer interaction, technical affordances and the cognitive and emotional processing and effect of media use. This week, we invited Dr. James Cummings to […]

Smartphone App that can Diagnose Mental Health Issues

By Haiting Hu A start-up from Israel recently developed a mobile phone application named Brain Profiler that can scientifically diagnose an array of mental health issues using AI. The application, which is capable of performing a quicker assessment that its human counterparts, was developed by Montfort, an Israeli start-up, along with Dr. Abraham Peled, lecturer […]

Managing Children’s Screen Time

By Haiting Hu Screen time spent on cellphones and tablets has become a common tool for parents to occupy and entertain their kids. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, distance learning has made parents “redefine screen time” for their children and has raised concerns about balancing screen time usage with life outside of technology. “For teens […]