What We’ve Been Thinking
search, mobile, app marketing, events and some random stuff.
search, mobile, app marketing, events and some random stuff.
Barclaycard has unveiled a new app to bring check-out free shopping for those using mobile phones.
The app works with shopper snapping an image of the barcode and their credit card being charged automatically which means they do not have to queue to check out.
The new app is currently being trialled at shops within the company’s HQ and will be piloted in the UK in early 2018.
Barclaycard says that while they are focused on their own app, they could integrate the technology with a retailer’s current app for wider take-up.
The retailer would also be to monitor transactions in real time and there is also access to a virtual receipt to deter shoplifters.
The announcement follows news from Amazon that it’s also trialling checkout free shops that will facial recognition cameras on a shelf to determine what customers are buying.
Fears over the loss of personal data have been underlined with news that seven in 10 smartphone apps are sharing the user’s data with a third-party service.
Among the services accessing data are Facebook and Google.
The findings from the US-based research firm reveal that when users install an app on Android or iOS, it will ask for their permission to access personal information.
The researchers say that because apps do not have to tell users which software libraries they are going to use, the user will never know what data is being handed over.
Of the millions of apps and games available in the Google Play Store, the firm has unveiled the 12 best ones.
The list was unveiled at the latest Google IO event in May with the focus on what makes its Android platform more popular.
They include Mushroom 11, Hooked, Runtastic Running & Fitness – which is also the winner of the best Android wear experience award – Red Bull TV, for offering the best TV experience.
The list also features IFTTT, Woorld, ShareTheMeal, Animal Jam – Play Wild!, HearthStone while the best game award went to Transformers: Forged to Fight.
Winner of the best app in Google’s awards is Memrise which offers users an advanced form of flashcards to help studying.
Adobe has unveiled an app that enables a smartphone to be turned into a document scanner. The Adobe Scan app will take images of paper documents and then turns them into PDFs. In addition, the app also turns the page’s text into searchable digital text automatically which users can then edit and annotate as well as highlight and upload to a document cloud.
Sony PlayStation has made waves by announcing its first mobile game aimed at Android and iPhone smartphones with the first one being ‘Everybody’s Golf’ which is coming to Japanese smartphone users soon. The app itself will be free to download.
Users who have the Alexa app installed on their Android or OS device can use the new Amazon function to call and message people via its Alexa platform. The calls will be free since the feature utilises mobile phone data and Wi-Fi so users do not need to have a mobile data plan. The Alexa Calling app is available now.
Industry watchers say that Asia will be the main area for mobile banking. That’s down to the high economic growth being predicted and the growing use of mobile phones from people living there. Apparently, there is a big market for apps to fill too.
Researchers have revealed that Brits believe that apps are as important as eating and breathing and many cannot live without them. The findings from A10 Networks also show that British employees are the largest users, it is 41%, of non-sanctioned apps at work in Europe. Worryingly, 24% say they have had their mobile device hacked which is more than any other country in the world.
Hello. Welcome to this week’s video.
I’m going to talk about volumes in the UK App Store. You might have seen, in one of my tweets, a little sort of before and after App Store optimization metric. I’ve been to a lot of events lately, “Oh, ASO didn’t work for us.” ASO isn’t for everybody. People immediately think just because somebody without a semi-successful app says that, that its not for you.
For example, the people that I’ve been working with, ASO is very much for them. There’s volume in those categories, there’s people working for what they’ve got. Comparison, that I’ve shown you, one day on another day. And all ranking, for everything in the world, ranking for a few good terms, the latest business.
The App Store actually has volume, and if your app fits a lot of searches that are going on there, so that you’ll do really well.
Investigate it, have an open mind. Don’t just feel if it didn’t work for somebody else, maybe they rank properly. There’s a lot of things going on. For a lot of my clients, Facebook doesn’t work. Different channel for different companies.
That’s this week’s video. Gonna count my tweet. Put a link somewhere, maybe in … Down the bottom of the screen.
— Nicholas Duddy (@nickduddy) May 16, 2017
Google has been criticised for refusing to block fake apps in its store that claim to protect users against the WannaCry ransomware virus.
Researchers from McAfee say the apps do not work as advertised and will instead bombard the phone with adverts.
For those interested in the apps to protect their phone will be wasting their time since WannaCry exploited a flaw in the Microsoft operating system.
In addition, McAfee says the apps might contain malware that could steal user’s bank details though this was not found on the malware they tested.
Now industry watchers say that Google should do more to screen apps and days after McAfee reported the malware to Google, the apps were still available for downloading.
Google says it has now taken action.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Homeland Security has announced the vulnerability of a flaw in the networking software Samba which could leave thousands of computers open to a similar WannaCry attack.
While hackers are not exploiting the vulnerability, the Department is urging administrators and users to apply a security patch.
T-Mobile customers in the US will be able to use their phone number across multiple devices by installing an app to do so.
The phone network says it will create a seamless integration so customers can access their service from a variety of devices rather than just a mobile phone.
The phone number is free to customers though they can pay for extra packages including in-flight Wi-Fi. The app is available for devices including tablets and wearables as well as laptops.
The move is similar to that from the tech giants and sees the phone number being separated from the phone in the same way Google Voice and AppleID do.
One reason for the move is that T-Mobile says that 30 million people in the US, particularly business owners, own two phones and two plans and they are effectively wasting $10 billion every year.
Parents in one US city can download a new app that will help them find free nutritious meals for their children in Minneapolis. The app is being created by charity aimed at helping children enjoy a healthy start to life.
A new app launched by a start-up technology firm in Leeds will help users find budget friendly mobile phone contracts. The app, yboo, has been launched after research revealed that the average UK phone user is overpaying by nearly £160 every year on their mobile phone bill.
Police in Hertfordshire have unveiled a new app to help people report crimes as well as receiving news and accessing a live web chat facility with staff.
A judge has ruled that British paedophiles can be banned from using the Snapchat app because it deletes images. The landmark case follows an appeal from a convicted sex offender who was prevented from using a device capable of not retaining its Internet history.
The popularity of the Chinese chat app, WeChat, is rocketing in popularity with one in three of the app’s 890 million active users spending four hours a day on it.
Microsoft has unveiled a new app for Android and iOS called Mixer Create which enables users to broadcast live streams of their activities to their Mixer audience. Users will, in future, also be able to livestream their mobile phone games.
A new app from what3words is offering to make Google Maps obsolete by offering more accuracy. Instead of using postcodes, the app uses a system that reduces mistakes by using 40,000 words and an algorithm to break the world down into 57 trillion squares covering 3 square metres.
Hello, welcome to this week’s video.
We’re going to talk about Chinese phone farms. They’ve been in the news over the past couple of days … again.
About a year ago, maybe two years ago, it was all exposed. For me, it’s incredibly interesting, the technology, the infrastructure they’re building to create frauds. I know, it’s not necessarily a good thing. You’ve got to admire it when they’re that clever.
Also if you’ve seen the video and seen the historical ones, they’ve cleaned things up a bit. More room, more phones.
Another question, where are they getting all these phones? Getting them out the back of factories? Somebody else bigger funding it? Some paranoid stuff coming out there. It’s all kind of creative. Google it, read all the stuff. It’s interesting, should be aware of it.
That’s this week’s video. See ya.
It one of the most anticipated days for developers around the world, and Google’s annual developer conference this year did not disappoint.
Among the many announcements, was one of the software firm’s announcement to develop mobile phone apps.
Google says it will spend less time developing its Android mobile operating system and more time developing its digital assistant and popular photo app.
Industry watchers say Google has effectively revealed that apps and its voice assistant are now increasingly important to its future.
Meanwhile, those attending the conference also heard that the firm’s stand-alone Daydream VR headset already has more than 150 apps available and developers are working on more.
A flaw in Android that is used by 74% of ransomware attacks is set to be fixed this summer.
That is when the firm’s new operating system, Android O, is being released.
While many legitimate apps use the SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW command, it can be used by ransomware attackers to lock users of their phones.
Also, industry watchers say the new operating system will offer improvements for text-based verification services.
Apparently, the Android O system will check text messages automatically and should the relevant code be detected the user will be able to access apps directly without the need to seek permissions.
A survey from Eagle Eye has revealed that retailers in the UK are failing to utilise mobile phones to enhance their customer’s shopping experiences.
In a report, the firm says that 60% of young buyers will use their phone while in a store but less than 20% will use it to redeem promotions or make payments.
Eagle Eye says that consumers are open to receiving mobile promotions and 68% said they would find it helpful to receive vouchers while shopping.
People visiting pubs would be encouraged to spend more if they could use their smartphone as a digital wallet, according to research. There has been a sharp rise in numbers using mobile technology in hospitality and there is potential for apps to help pubgoers order food and have the items delivered to their table.
Payment apps have taken off in Russia and their usage is now 60% higher than those who pay for services on websites. The most popular apps are for making money transfers, ordering from online stores and paying for mobile phone services.
A survey in China has revealed that expats living and working there are enthusiastic users of Chinese apps including WeChat. Many expats are using the service for video chat as well as voice calls and tend to communicate with emoji stickers – and their use is more popular than with Chinese people.
Apps being sold in the Chinese App Store have been told to remove tip functions since Apple has decided these are in-app purchases and liable to 30% commission. The move follows a growth in free apps that enable users to offer monetary tips to content creators and authors.
Users of Microsoft’s GroupMe apps can now access polls on their mobile devices. The function enables users to sort and collect their friends and contacts into easier to manage groups.
A burglar in Ipswich has been jailed after a barking dogs’ app alerted the homeowner to the break in. The owner had internal cameras fitted to monitor her dogs and the app alerted her to them making a noise. When checking her phone, the owner saw the burglar in her kitchen and then called police.
Users with an Android smartphone that’s been ‘jailbroken’ will not be able to access Netflicks’ mobile app, the firm has announced.
More than a year after being unveiled at Google IO, the firm has launched Instant Apps.
The aim of the feature enables mobile phone users to use apps without installing them first which enables more storage to be available for other apps and games.
Instant Apps pulls the interface from, for instance, a retailer’s app in the Google Play Store and this will run as if the user has downloaded the app.
It’s not currently available for every device, but it is a feature on Google Pixel but app industry watchers say the feature will be more widely available soon.
It appears too that users will also need to opt in for Instant Apps with their Play Store ID to access the service and Google believes it will prove very popular.
One of the big attractions is for those phone users who do not have large data allowances since they can access many more apps for purchasing and browsing experiences without downloading them.
Apple has unveiled its latest app analytics tool which will enables developers to gain more insight into how users are discovering their apps.
The latest version will reveal what users were looking for when they discovered the developer’s app and where they were on the iTunes store when they did so.
There will also be access to metrics to analyse the referring apps and sites to reveal which are the most effective ones for driving users to the developer’s products.
Apple says the new tool should help developers deliver better marketing campaigns.
The tool was first unveiled two years ago and in addition to helping developers understand how often their apps crash on the iOS platform, the tool also measures the retention of users and the number of active devices that are using a particular app.
A growing number of apps are using ultrasonic cross-device tones which enables a mobile device to pick up a signal from an advertiser.
German researchers say the tones cannot be heard but are detected by apps in the phone and are being used by advertisers and billboards to offer phone users discounts and offers for goods.
Essentially, apps that have access to the device’s microphone to pick up the tones and then build a profile of where the user has been and seen the adverts.
There are around 234 Android apps currently available that have this ability for tuning into ultrasonic tones without the mobile user’s knowledge and the researchers say there is a potential for breaching privacy rights.
Nissan have developed a Faraday cage in the armrest of the Juke car where the ‘Signal Shield’ blocks the phone’s signals and wifi connections so drivers won’t be tempted to check their phone while driving.
Google has reacted quickly to an app called ‘Google Docs’ which is a sophisticated phishing scam by hackers to access a user’s Google Doc account. They can also then access emails and other personal information.
Sophos Labs says that users should avoid two Android apps, the Full Optimizer and Full Optimizer Lite, as they do nothing but serve adverts. While claiming to ‘fully optimise’ an Android phone, users will find this is all that they do and Sophos says there is no optimisation taking place simply numbers being generated.
Google has apparently just filed a patent for a smart drag-and-drop system to enable users to better use and close apps. Experts say that the hand gestures that will work on smart phones will also extend to computers and augmented reality headsets so users only need to learn the gestures once and apply them to a range of digital devices.
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