Articles about Mobile Apps

Microsoft drops Windows Dev Center fee -- expect a crap app avalanche

Microsoft drops Windows Dev Center fee -- expect a crap app avalanche

Free's good, right? Who doesn’t like something gratis? Microsoft has -- sort of -- cottoned onto this idea and dropped the annual fee associated with the Windows Dev Center. The 'sort of' caveat remains because signing up for a Dev Center account is not completely free; there's still a registration fee of $19 to pay, but this is for a lifetime account -- no more annual charges. Announcing the move on the Windows blog, Todd Brix explains that "each of our 600,000+ registered developers will no longer need to pay any additional fees to maintain their account. It’s also a very good time for developers new to the platform to get a Dev Center account and start submitting apps".

Having paid the fee, developers are then free to submit apps to both the Windows Phone Store and the Windows Store. But this is not the only change that's coming to the Dev Center. In what is becoming something of a trend, Microsoft clearly pinned back its ears and made it easier to promote apps and provide offers to users. Improvements to in-app advertising means that campaigns can be more easily run on a global scale and pay outs are made faster.

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B1 File Manager adds streaming support

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Popular Android app B1 File Manager has been upgraded to 0.8.7 with the addition of cloud streaming support.

As previously, the app can access Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box and 4Shared accounts, as well as connecting via FTP, SFTP or SMB.

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Smartphone users sticking with the same apps rather than downloading new ones

Mobile device apps

Research has shown that smartphone users are spending more time on their favorite apps rather than downloading new ones, illustrating how difficult it is for new apps and developers to break into the industry.

The study, carried out by Boston-based firm Localytics, also found that consumers are now using apps 21 percent more than they did last year. This rise is apparently down to users opening applications more often, rather than simply spending longer within them. App session length stayed constant at 5.7 minutes, whereas the average amount of app openings increased by 22 percent from 9.4 to 11.5 times a month.

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MediaTek and Opera put the squeeze on mobile data consumption

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It is no secret that mobile data is still very expensive. Going overboard with audio and video streaming, browsing or app downloads will unavoidably lead to throttling, a pretty steep bill from the mobile operator or a brisk run through the remaining credit. But there is one way of giving mobile device users more breathing room, and that is through data compression. It offers obvious advantages, and comes with no major downsides. What's not to like about that?

That is the selling point that Norwegian browser maker Opera Software and Taiwanese processor maker MediaTek hope will impress new customers, as they announce their new partnership, which will see the former's Opera Max data-savings app being built-into the latter's 4G LTE-enabled offerings. The first fruits of this partnership are two 64-bit chips. The touted data savings are rather impressive.

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Amazon Kindle's new old bug could expose your account credentials

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A security flaw in Amazon's Kindle software could allow hackers to access your Amazon account details.

Benjamin Daniel Musser, a security researcher, discovered the issue, which arises when downloading e-books from websites other than Amazon itself.

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SwiftKey: Top Android keyboard reaches iPads and iPhones

SwiftKey iOS

Stock mobile keyboards tend to suck. There's always a deal-breaker somewhere that offsets all their strengths. There is friction when typing in multiple languages, the language support is limited, abbreviations and the like are a no-go, the layout can be unintuitive, there is a limited amount of customization options, or the touch vibrations are too harsh. Take your pick. I have ran into all of them. But, fret not, there are some solid keyboards out there.

The one keyboard which I am a huge fan of is SwiftKey. It shames every stock keyboard and it's generally better than any other third-party offering. With Google being the only mobile operating system maker to allow third-party keyboards, it has only been available on Android. But, now that Apple has followed suit, you can get your hands on SwiftKey on an iPad or iPhone too. And you should, first of all because it's free!

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Over three-quarters of mobile apps will fail security tests by 2015

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New research by analysts at Gartner shows that more than 75 percent of mobile apps are set to fail basic security tests by 2015.

This is a particular worry for enterprises as employees may download software from app stores. These apps offer minimal or no security assurances but are able to access sensitive business data and violate company security policy.

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Flipboard for Windows Phone: It's coming, damn it!

Flipboard

I remember it like it was yesterday: when Lumia 1020 was unveiled, Microsoft and Nokia were very happy to announce that Flipboard would "soon" be coming to Windows Phone. That was in mid-July 2013. Fast forward to today and the app is still not available. "Soon" has a certain urgency to it, which, for some strange reason, always seems to be missing in its association with Windows Phone.

Microsoft and Nokia could have jumped the gun more than a year ago by touting that the app would arrive shortly after Lumia 1020's announcement, and Flipboard could have inadvertently delayed the launch since. No matter, "soon" sure ain't soon. Regardless, Flipboard is still on its way as its public listing on Windows Phone Store implies. This is one of the major missing titles; the sooner it is available the better for the platform.

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85% of Android and iOS apps are failing on privacy

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A report carried out by the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) has revealed that the majority of apps are failing when it comes to user privacy.

Of the 1,211 apps examined, the study found that 85 percent didn't clearly explain what data was being collected and nearly one in three requested an excessive amount of personal information.

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Focus on Lymphoma guides patients through treatment and beyond

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Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer with over 60 subtypes. It is the fifth most common type of cancer (after breast, lung, colon and prostate) and has an unprecedented prevalence among young adults and adolescents -- it’s the most common form of cancer in the under 30s. It’s also the cancer that killed my mother.

The disease is still largely ambiguous to many, however, and so ahead of World Lymphoma Awareness Day (15 Sept), the Lymphoma Research Foundation is pushing its first-of-a-kind mobile app, Focus on Lymphoma, which provides comprehensive information and tools to help patients and caregivers understand the disease and manage treatment.

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Cirqle gives you more control over sharing photos and videos

Cirqle

We all have photos and videos that we want to share with other folks. We do it all too often on Facebook, sometimes without even considering that it's a broad audience we are sharing them with, who may not want to, or should not, see all our intimate moments on display.

And let's be real for a minute: not all of us are in awe about someone drunk dancing on video, baby pictures, or mirror selfies (sorry that you had to hear that now) -- some of us may be, sure, but others may be more interested in, just as a totally and completely random example, seeing photos of fast cars (guilty as charged!). For those who want to fully control who can see their photos and videos, there is new app to consider, and it's called Cirqle.

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iOS performance in the spotlight ahead of Apple's launch event

Mobile device apps

In the run up to Apple's latest eagerly anticipated launch event, mobile benchmarking specialist Crittercism has released an Apple edition of its Mobile Experience Benchmark Report.

Focussing on statistics gathered from over a billion users across more than 120 countries it looks at key performance metrics including crash rates across iOS versions and devices along with latency by carrier and Wi-Fi.

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Geekbench offers redesigned and simplified results view, adds ARMv8 support

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Primate Labs has updated its cross-platform, flagship benchmark tool with the release of Geekbench 3.2 for desktop and Android. Also available on iOS, the latest build’s main highlight is a redesigned results page.

The redesign aims to simplify how results are shown, particularly on mobile platforms. Version 3.2 also comes with added support for the forthcoming 32-bit ARMv8 processor due to launch on Android later this year.

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Evernote for Android 6.0 unveils fresh new look, adds Web Clipper support

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Evernote Corporation has released Evernote for Android 6.0, a major new version of its note-taking tool for a platform it says is its fastest-growing.

Version 6 unveils a major new redesign, adds support for the Evernote Web Clipper, allows users to create Quick Notes and promises improved navigation and handwriting support, plus a simpler, cleaner layout for its note-editing tool.

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The app fraud people should be aware of

Mobile device apps

In any fast growing and competitive market there are pressures which can sometimes lead people to undertake controversial practices to gain an edge, or put simply, cheat to get ahead. The app promotion market is a prime example of these pressures in action.

Increasingly, bots that create fake click and install IDs have been deployed to boost apps "popularity". This is much more than simply mixing incentivized and non-incentivized traffic to grow volumes and lowers costs; it is clearly fraud.

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