What We’ve Been Thinking
search, mobile, app marketing, events and some random stuff.
search, mobile, app marketing, events and some random stuff.
The TSB has unveiled plans for its customers to use an app that will enable access to their account with the blink of an eye.
The iris recognition software will be introduced from September for some Samsung Galaxy phones.
The bank says that this is a secure form of biometric authentication.
A spokesman for the bank said: “Iris recognition will enable a customer to unlock their TSB mobile app with a simple glance so there’s no need for passwords, IDs or memorable information.
“It’s also a customer friendly approach to identification and a secure method.”
However, one national newspaper asked cyber security experts what they thought about biometric logins.
Their reaction was for the bank not to assume that a biometric login cannot be compromised.
One chief executive, Richard Parris of Intercede, said that biometrics are quickly becoming the de facto security measure for a range of consumer and business applications.
He added: “However, German hackers have been able to trick the Samsung Galaxy S8 iris scanner with a picture of the phone owners eye and a contact lens.”
He said that biometric authentication is not immune to potential attacks and should not be the sole means of verifying a user’s identity.
For students in Australian schools a new app has been unveiled that will control their phone usage.
The app will monitor the students use of their mobile phone and can disable ‘distracting’ apps.
Developed by Family Zone, the app will give schools control over how students use their devices and help control online predators and cyber bullying.
Parents must give the school permission to apply the service and the option of monitoring mobile phone use in their home.
So far 40 schools in Australia have begun using the app which also gives parents control over the apps being accessed and the ability to deactivate the phone’s camera.
The worldwide appeal for mobile messaging apps is continuing to grow with usage set to increase by 15.5% this year.
The research from eMarketer reveals that there will be more than 1.8 billion people using apps such as WeChat and Facebook Messenger.
In addition, they are also predicting that an extra 243 million people will start using mobile phone messaging apps this year.
While growth is expected around the world, the popularity of mobile messaging apps is being fuelled by new users in five countries: China, the US, India, Brazil and Indonesia.
They will also be home to the biggest number of mobile messaging app users – though, not surprisingly, they are also the most populated countries in the world.
For lovers of history that like to learn about dark moments and gory sites, academics in Bristol have developed a mobile app for them.
The app will notify users who pass some of the region’s gory historic sites of what occurred there hundreds of years ago.
The University of the West of England has funded a series of guides that will play court proceedings and ballads to a listener when they pass the scene of a gory and notorious crime.
A survey of Brits and their disposable incomes has revealed that the amount being spent on mobile phone apps has rocketed by 227% over the past year.
The Chinese mobile phone market has seen a huge rise in the number of date-for-hire apps to help meet the growing demand from users to have a date when meeting relatives. Some apps aim to find an ‘instant partner’ who the user can hire and present to their relatives when visiting to help prevent conversations about getting married.
Microsoft has begun testing its Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps under its new ‘Fluent Design’ aesthetics.
A new app for making public transport payments by smartphone has hit the buffers with pioneers struggling to use it. The firm behind the app in the Netherlands says the ability to pay by mobile phone has been ‘chaotic’ and the first few days of operation has been ‘worthless’.
In a bid to tackle the growing threat from spyware and malware masquerading as apps, Google has apparently installed a panic mode function for its Android platform.
The aim is to kill the user’s device when activated.
The panic mode will detect when the user has an issue and return them to the home screen immediately.
It will do this when it detects the user is rapidly pressing the back button in an effort to exit a rogue app.
While it’s not public knowledge yet, one security expert says that Android’s operating system source code does contain the panic mode.
Users interested in the function will need to ensure their phone is updated to Android 7.1 Nougat.
An app aimed at ending University binge drinking has been unveiled.
The app is now undergoing a $300,000 trial to help reduce the levels of student binge drinking in the US.
Users will be sent a survey at 6pm and depending on the answers, they will then receive regular text messages to remind them of their obligations the following day in a bid to act as a deterrent.
Researchers say the VicHealth app works almost like ‘a cyber parent’.
An app that has been described as the ‘Uber for escorts’ has ruffled feathers after launching in Scotland.
Rendevu has been popular after launching elsewhere in the UK and with more than 2,000 downloads after its launch in Scotland a month ago, critics are lining up saying the app exploits women.
The app enables clients to arrange hook-ups with the click of a button though the entrepreneurs behind the app say it’s creating a safe space for those in the sex industry.
The on-demand app allows masseurs and escorts to publish prices, availability and their location when requested.
The take-up of mobile phone personal assistant apps has declined as growing numbers of people switch to devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo.
Verto Analytics says that 71 million smartphone owners in the US used a personal assistant app in May but that’s a big fall from the 88 million users who did so in November last year.
Apple Siri’s is still the most popular assistant app but its annual usage has dropped by 15% and the number of daily users is also falling.
In contrast, Amazons Alexa has seen a 325% increase over the year in unique users and the number of daily users has doubled.
A mobile phone app designed to help the prevention of pregnancy has been approved by the European Union. The app, Natural Cycles, was launched in Sweden in 2014 and while there are many other similar apps available, it’s the first in the world to be approved by a European health agency for use as a contraceptive.
Researchers in Australia have revealed that, on average, Australians will use 36 mobile phone apps every month. Aussies also have more apps on their phones than Europeans and Americans with most users prioritising utility apps followed by social networking apps.
Cardless ATMs have taken off in America after Wells Fargo installed 13,000 of them in various locations. The users have an app that receives a code from their bank which they then enter into the ATM to access funds. Cardless ATMs look like taking off since consumers can use digital wallets but will need to greater take greater care of their personal information, say the banks introducing them.
Durham county council is the latest authority to use ‘The Noise App’ which enables people to record and report any noise disturbance to the authority from their mobile phone.
A mobile phone app developed by Ticketmaster could see queues at concerts and gigs becoming a thing of the past.
The app uses ‘smart tones’ to check people into the event rather than scanning a barcode or a QR code from a paper ticket.
The app also enables concertgoers to skip the queue by showing a green ‘approved’ screen on their smartphone.
Gig-goers will need to download an app and open it as they get closer to the venue where microphones will detect a unique signal from the phone and it’s this signal which is then checked against the database of ticket buyers.
It’s also thought the technology will reduce fraud since the ticket will be tied to a particular mobile device.
Data has revealed that growing numbers of people in the UK are setting up their savings accounts online and managing their bank account with their mobile phone.
Homeowners are also managing their mortgages this way too.
According to the British Bankers Association, nearly 20 million people in the UK logged into their mobile banking app last year – an impressive 4.9 billion times.
And, while using their app, 932 million transactions were completed.
Research reveals that the shift from branch banking to online banking is gathering pace with 86% of people now using an app to access their bank’s services.
Security researchers say there’s a new malware strain entitled CopyCat which has infected 14 million Android devices.
The malware will hijack apps to create fraudulent ad revenue and generate millions of dollars as a result.
Check Point says most of the victims are located in Asia and around 280,000 Android users in the US have also been hit.
They say that Google has been tracking the malware for two years and has updated Play Protect in a bid to block CopyCat.
However, millions of those who are affected have been using third-party app downloads and have been victim to phishing attacks as well.
Meanwhile, Russian security firm Group-IB has also highlighted a new virus attacking Android phones which will use their mobile banking app to attack the victim’s bank account.
Apparently, the virus is spreading quickly and masquerades as a text message from a contact in the user’s phone book.
Industry experts say Google is facing another massive anti-trust fine from the European Commission (EC) in relation to its Android operating system. European regulators say that Google is denying consumers a wider choice of mobile services and apps and is preventing innovation by third parties. Part of the problem is the preloading of Google apps, says the EC.
The growing number of apps for smart phones is leading to the death of the compact camera with sales declining quickly, says CIPA. The most popular five cameras for those who are uploading to photo sharing site Flickr are versions of the Apple iPhone.
Microsoft has announced it is closing Windows App Studio for those who use the Windows app building tool and instead users will need to use Windows Template Studio.
A new law in China means bloatware, or pre-installed apps, on mobile phones must have software available for these apps to be uninstalled and no apps can pass on the user’s data without their permission.
Guests at Hilton Hotels in future will be able to use a mobile phone app as a key to open their room’s door. Rival groups say they remain wary of technology like this because of their security concerns but the system has been trialled at more than 1,700 hotels in North America without problems.
Hello! I’ve started to curate some good resources for those that want to learn a little more about research methodology for their jobs. This is mainly aimed at newbies with no formal or academic research education or training.
Need to work out a statistical sample size? Here’s a sample size generator: https://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm
Not sure what statistical test to use? No problem! Bill Trochim’s Center for Social Research Methods has got a great little took for helping you find your way the correct stats test: http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/selstat/ssstart.htm
Want to learn more about specific statistical formulas and methods? They are pretty much all here: http://www.statsoft.com/Textbook
This resource from University of South Carolina will help beginners and those out of practice get back into designer research and writing research proposals. The UI could use a little work but all and all it’s a very useful tool: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/purpose
CIRT has a one pager for those of you that would like a brief idea on how to design research. https://cirt.gcu.edu/research/developmentresources/tutorials/researchdesigns
What are the different types of research methods, I hear you say?
Great intro video on research methods
I’ll update this as I come across new resources but if you find any yourself, please share below or ping me on twitter.
A new ‘walk mode’ app from Samsung is aimed at keeping users safe while they text and walk.
The idea is to prevent distracted mobile device users from bumping into other pedestrians and vehicles.
It’s available for downloading from the Google Play Store and will send an alert to the user when danger is imminent.
The app itself runs in the background and will flag up a danger regardless of what the user is doing.
Security firm Trend Micro has revealed that more than 800 Google Play Apps have the malicious code Xavier in them.
The full list has been published by the firm and include wallpaper changers and photo manipulators.
A spokesman for Trend said: “The embedded malicious behaviour will download a code from a remote server and execute it. It also goes to great lengths protect itself from detection.”
The firm says that the apps containing dangerous malware can take control of the user’s Android smartphone without them even realising it has taken place.
The warning comes just weeks since the Judy malware strain was also revealed to be infecting 36 million Android devices.
Not everyone is happy to see people using mobile phones during classical concerts and a new app will text notes to users during a performance.
The app will deliver programme notes as the orchestra plays so curious audience members can read along.
The first in Britain to use the app is the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra which has already trialled the app and will use it in a future performance in a special seating area.
The app is called Octava and is aimed at helping users through the ‘musical journey’ and is aimed particularly at younger and new audiences.
Researchers have revealed that the biggest barriers for consumers taking up VR is the lack of apps, needing additional software and hardware.
The findings from Vibrant Media also reveal that consumers in the UK, US and Germany are worried about ads being delivered with VR services which will use up their mobile Internet data allowance.
A spokesman said: “Those content providers requiring extra hardware for viewing content will only appeal to niche audiences and VR creatives in advertising and content need to learn about consumer’s needs.”
The firm points to the 3-D TV market which is struggling since special glasses are needed for viewing but these have provided a big barrier for the system’s adoption.
Popular game streaming service Twitch has announced big changes to its Android and iOS app including features requested by fans. Game players will now have the ability for streaming directly on mobile devices from the app and better navigation bars are among the changes.
According to a survey from KPMG, Indian language users will account for a massive boost in the number of Internet and app users in the coming years. Indeed, by 2021, they are predicting more than 500 million Indian language users will be online compared with around 230 million English language users.
App users on Camden High Street in London will be among the first to use a new digital street where they can enjoy ultrafast speeds of 1 GB per second as well as free digital services and free phone calls. The InLink units are replacing payphones with more being rolled out to other major UK cities this year.
Research by Ordnance Survey has revealed that hill walkers are relying on phone apps too much and are unprepared for emergencies, particularly when they do not have a phone signal. In addition, 75% do not plan their route properly or pack the correct gear.
Police forces around the UK are warning parents to turn off ‘Snap Maps’ that may be installed on children’s smartphones after SnapChat introduced the location sharing mode. Police say they have child safety concerns as the app which could be used by stalkers and will reveal the user’s location.
For any app developer interested in Android O then they can use the public beta launch to test it.
To try out the upcoming OS, users will need a compatible Pixel or Nexus device.
The new platform is promising fluid experiences and a raft of new features including a multi-window mode for picture-in-picture use, autofill and smart text selection.
The new platform will see devices boot twice as quickly and help apps to run more quickly and smoothly.
Sega has revealed that it will publish its classic games for use on mobile phones with each game available as a separate app.
The Forever Collection will be available for free.
The apps will be available for Android and iOS from June 22 with Sonic the Hedgehog among the first games available.
Sega then plans to release a new title every two weeks to boost the library.
While the games are free, most will have ads and they will also be playable off-line.
Should users want to avoid the ads then they can buy each game to do so.
A firm that says it has developed ‘find my phone’ tech has filed a lawsuit claiming several smartphone makers have stolen its ideas and patents.
The military comms developer says Apple, HTC and Huawei are among those who have used their tech.
AGIS Software Development has developed a desktop and mobile app called LifeRing which enables the tracking of individuals through their tablets or mobile phones – the aim is to help firefighters and first responders find people.
The firm says that four patents in particular have been pilfered.
The developer also points out that while Apple is accused of directly infringing the patents with its iOS software, Google is not accused of doing the same though some phone makers using its Android platform are.
YouTube has announced that its new mobile phone up will be able to resize video footage automatically.
Essentially, users who take video upright, which appears to be most people, will find that the fixed vertical size will soon be adapted to widescreen automatically for better viewing on the YouTube platform.
In addition, YouTube has unveiled VR180 – a new VR video format.
The new format is being licensed to camera manufacturers with new devices being available later this year.
Men wanting to test the quality of their semen can do so with the Seem system which has just won the Grand Prix at Cannes. Users need to use a lens and then video their sperm for analysis for mobility and count.
An institute in Australia is trialling a new mobile phone app that will help teenagers deal with insomnia and boost their sleeping habits. The ‘Sleep Ninja’ app is a chat bot offering tips.
A new app called HealthUnlocked will enable those with chronic health conditions or a disease to connect with people with the same health issues. The idea is to create a social network for health around the world so users can access support and advice easily.
Fears for millions of WhatsApp users that their app will stop working this month will be relieved to hear that this will no longer be the case. WhatsApp announced it was stopping support for older phones but this has now been withdrawn and they will continue supporting older mobile platforms.
A Brunel University student has unveiled a new food allergy testing app and device which should reach the market at a fraction of the price of rival products. The creation of Imogen Adams is called ‘Ally’ with the pocket-sized device offering a quick and easy test for various food allergens.
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