A meeting between the government and leading mobile phone networks could lead to phones having ‘drive safe’ mode software introduced.
The aim is to prevent drivers becoming distracted and help curb the number of accidents involving the driver using a mobile phone while behind the wheel.
The government says it wants to replicate the safe mode that smartphones offer users when on airplanes.
One national newspaper has reported that the move is the first part in a crackdown on the use of mobile phones while driving.
The difference between drive safe mode and that for people on planes is that the driver will still be able to make an emergency call and accept those from some designated callers.
However, it also been mooted that the phone could be automatically blocked if the vehicle’s speed reaches a certain limit using GPS technology.
From 2017, the penalty for using a mobile phone without a hands-free device will double to £200 and penalty points will double to six.
There has already been a move in the US for similar measures to be brought in with only music and satnav apps having the ability to function.
Android apps to delete
Users of Android smartphones wanting to speed-up their device should bin a range of apps to boost performance, says research firm Avast.
They say they have highlighted a range of popular apps including music streaming, dating and social network platforms that slowdown an Android’s phone.
Among them is Wattpad, a favourite with bookworms, WhatsCall, a Skype competitor, and the TayuTau pedometer.
They have joined the list of regular performance-hogger apps including Facebook, SnapChat, Spotify and Tinder.
Customers happy to interact with apps
Consumers say they are happy interacting with retail outlets and other brands on familiar mobile messaging apps including Facebook Messenger.
Around 53% of those questioned in the UK and France said they had used WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to interact with a company via the mobile messaging services.
What’s more, they are happy to do so but only if they can block those brands that do not interest them.
Just 28% of people questioned said they were not interested in using Facebook Messenger to interact with a brand, say market research firm Kenshoo.
We will be using a virtual PA by 2019
The increasing popularity of virtual personal assistants such as Google Now and Siri mean that more smartphone users will converse with them daily by 2019.
The growing popularity will be helped by the platforms offering more intelligent and intuitive ways to complete tasks.
Currently, 42% of US smart phone users and 32% in the UK have ever used a virtual personal assistant on their smartphone in the last three months.
Around 37% of smartphone owners use the VPA feature at least once every day and this figure is set to rise sharply.
Global mHealth market will rocket in value
With growing numbers of us using wearable tech means the global mobile health market will grow by nearly a third from today to reach $102 billion by 2022.
The technology uses smart phones, tablets and wireless devices to communicate with healthcare services and applications.
The market will see growth in sleep monitors, blood glucose meters and wearable fitness devices, say researchers.
However, the market for blood-pressure monitors is accounting for more than 20% of all revenue generated and likely to grow further with blood glucose meters occupying the second largest segment.
Firm claims 700 million Android phones have spyware pre-installed
Security firm Kryptowire was the first to warn about Adups collecting personal data from pre-installed apps but now it appears other smartphone makers are being drawn into the controversy.
The apps are made by a Chinese company which are pre-installed on Blu smartphones and are able to spy on the Android user and now another security firm, Trustlook, says the devices that are utilising Adups is ‘massive’.
They say there are more than 700 million Android phones that use the firmware and this is putting the user at risk of having their call histories, messages and device information collected without their consent or knowledge.
Most of the affected phones are only released in Asia or smaller markets but phones made by ZTE and Lenevo are also been called into question.
Predictions for 2017’s popular mobile apps
A brave firm has made predictions for the types of apps that will take off in 2017 and say there will be lots of innovation taking place.
Pinxter Digital says there will be a boom in mobile bot commerce as consumers switch to using apps to make purchases and this will continue to grow.
They also say there will be more food ordering apps from restaurants as well as chains.
The firm is also predicting more take-up for virtual reality while mobile apps will generally move every industry ‘into the future’.