Tech Roundup / What Else? A Smart Launcher; Soccer Still Popular

Galaxy S4 takes off in Israel, FTBpro raises $5.8 million, and who's cool? Gartner will tell you.

13 Israeli companies make Gartner's cool list: That's out of the 300 on the Gartner Cool Vendors list. They are: web companies SundaySky, SeatID and WalkMe; security firms Cyvera, GreenSQL, BioCatch, and Landa Digital Printing, which is working on heavy-duty printers; mobile marvel Ctera Networks and Perfecto Mobile; IT companies Mobideo Technologies, Evolven and Garantia Data; and alternative environment on mobile maker MobileSpaces.

What Else? A smart launcher for big phones: Just when you thought it was safe to forget about Emblaze - its mobile group is back, and it's got a solution for the millions of miserables who bought big mobile smartphones like the Galaxy Note or the Optimus Vu, and can't operate the thing using one hand, poor dears. Now called "Else," last week the Israel-based company launched a home-page launcher app for android, enabling you to easily operate the phone with the flick of your thumb. The app, called Splay, presents a menu splayed out like a fan that's easy to navigate using the thumb. Touch one of the menu categories and a sub-menu opens, and so on. Mazel tov.

FTBpro raises $5.8 million: Israeli media company FTBpro, proud owner of the surfer-driven content site on football, announced completing a $5.8 million financing round this week. Lest you think this is the place to share your pearls about the local pub teams' smackfest, the site focuses on fan clubs for the likes of the UK premier league, the German Bundes league, Italy's Serie A and the Argentine, Spanish and Mexican champion leagues. The site says every day some 200 fresh articles are loaded in English, Spanish, Italian and German by a thousand registered writers. It also claims to 20 million views a month. Among its charms are templates to show forecasts of results.

Golan Telecoms offers Galaxy S4 deal: Samsung has launched the globally popular Galaxy S4 phone in Israel, for NIS 3,600 a pop. Golan Telecom, owned by market back-breaker Michael Golan, is offering consumers four free months of mobile service if they buy a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone at a Bug electronics chain store for that same price. The big mobile operators are all offering the phone in various deals: Cellcom for NIS 3,699 in six payment installments; Partner Communications for NIS 3,700 in up to 12 installments; Pelephone for NIS 3,683 in six payments or NIS 4,320 in 36 payments. Best Mobile beats all with NIS 3,275 thanks to parallel import. Regarding the Bug deal, check with the store if your old phone is eligible for a trade-in.

With reporting by Yair Mohr, Orr Hirschauge, Amitai Ziv
 

Nir Keidar
AP