Weekly Cell Phone News in Review–December 29, 2014

The Savvy Plan to Combat Malaria With Mobile Phones
Africa, where malaria kills around 400,000 children every year, is set to top 1 billion mobile phone subscriptions by next year. That means that public health researchers will have one billion ways to communicate with–and collect data from–the people who are most at risk of catching malaria, a disease that has traditionally been extremely difficult to track. “Lack of information and data is why this is among one of the deadliest diseases on the planet,” says Martin Edlund, the CEO of Malaria No More. And he believes mobile phones could change all that. Story by Issie Lapowsky for Wired.

Kodak to Launch Android Smartphones and Tablets
Kodak’s not nearly as huge a name in technology today as it used to be, but the company is going to try and make a bit of a comeback using mobile. Kodak is teaming up with Bullitt Group to release Android smartphones and tablets in 2015. The devices will have a focus on image management, including capturing and sharing features, along with “great design and UI.” Also included will be remote management tools that’ll let you provide support to friends. Bullitt says that these Kodak smartphones will be targeted at consumers that want the experience of using high-end hardware but can’t or don’t want to use “increasingly complicated mobile devices.” Story by Alex Wagner for Phone Dog.

Alabama High School Bans Cell Phone Due to Cyberbullying on Mobile App
An Alabama high school has banned cell phones because of cyberbullying, according to Cullman Times. Good Hope High School administrators issued a ban on cell phones on campus in response to “inappropriate and abusive messages” posted about students on the mobile app Yik Yak. The students were not allowed to use their cell phones without an adult present “in an effort to curb inappropriate posts generated about Cullman High School students and faculty on Yik Yak.” Story by Tiffeny Owens in the Cullman Times.

Houston-Area Restaurants Offer No-Cellphones Discount
The owner of two Houston-area restaurants has offered a holiday discount to patrons who give up their cellphones and other electronics while dining. KPRC-TV reports the 20 percent discount was so successful Monday that Gerry Sarmiento planned a similar offer Tuesday evening. Sarmiento operates the Italian restaurant Mezzanotte and the Latin American eatery Piqueo in Cypress. Sarmiento says it’s Christmas and too many families don’t talk to each other. He says the discount is an incentive for people to have real quality time with their families. Story by the Associated Press.

Mobile Banking iOS Users More Profitable Than Android Users
Android may triumph over Apple when it comes to phone sales, but in the world of mobile banking, iOS reigns supreme. According to a report from Malauzai, a mobile banking software company, iOS users are more engaged as well as more profitable than Android users. Apple phones account for 66% of Malauzai mobile banking accounts, even though Android makes up 80% of the global smartphone market. Malauzai believes this is because people who use iOS products are “older end-users who can afford the devices and who are probably more profitable consumers to financial institutions.” The company also believes that iOS devices are more user-friendly when it comes to mobile banking. Story by John Oldshue for SaveOnPhone.com.

9 Best New Phones You Should be Most Excited about in 2015
We’re big fans of the Nexus 6, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, HTC One M8, LG G3, Sony Xperia Z3 and iPhone 6, but we’re more impressed by what’s to come in 2015. Here we reveal the 9 upcoming smartphones that you should be most excited about in 2015. Story by Marie Brewis in the PC Advisor.

Metro Ordered To Stop Arresting Riders For Using Station Outlets To Charge Phones
Mayor Eric Garcetti instructed Metro officials to allow bus and rail riders to use electrical outlets at bus and trains stations to charge their phones after reports of people being arrested for the practice. Three people were arrested at Metro stations this year after using the outlets to charge their phones, Metro officials said. Story by CBS Local Media.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of SaveOnPhone.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.