What We’ve Been Thinking
search, mobile, app marketing, events and some random stuff.
search, mobile, app marketing, events and some random stuff.
While Facebook’s app log in tools are popular, they are being updated to better serve their users.
The platform’s Account Kit which enables users to log into a Facebook app using their phone number will be enhanced so, in future, the system will enable users to verify their identity by using a text message or voice call in 19 different languages.
Facebook has also revealed a Basic Web SDK so developers of Account Kit can reach people through the Free Basics platform, run by Internet.org.
Developers will also be given permissions to gain deeper insights into how users are using the system and monitoring their behaviours.
Also, for app developers working on location awareness applications, Facebook has also launched Places Graph API which enables access to its knowledge base for real-world locations.
The platform has also unveiled a Developer Circles project that will help developers improve coding skills within a community environment.
Chinese authorities have unveiled plans that will make demands on Apple to review the live streaming apps available in its store.
The government says it wants to control the live streaming apps and new services from Chinese sources to ensure they meet with regulations.
The move follows the revelation that three news outlets do not meet legal requirements and all are offering their apps via Apple’s Chinese App Store.
Tesla, the electric car and battery storage maker, has unveiled an updated smartphone app which will enable customers to manage their home energy needs.
It’s essentially the same platform that owners of the firm’s electric vehicles will be using and will tell owners of their storage ‘power flow’ and solar generation.
The idea is that users can control energy storage levels when bad weather is predicted or electricity outages are planned.
A survey in America has revealed that black teenagers are the most active people when it comes to using social media apps.
Among the most popular apps are Instagram and Snapchat with nine in 10 black teenagers using Snapchat, whereas just seven in 10 white teenagers do so.
Of all teenagers, three quarters say they use Snapchat and Instagram while two in three say they use Facebook on a regular basis.
Also, texting is still popular for nine in 10 teenagers but four in 10 teenagers are also using messaging apps including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Skype.
A mobile phone app has been developed in Limerick in Ireland to help fight back against invasive plants. The idea is to feed data into the country’s biodiversity database to control plants such as Japanese knotweed from taking control.
Italian researchers have unveiled an app that monitors high pollution levels wherever the smartphone user is cycling or walking. The smog tracker has been devised by scientists at Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development.
A smartphone thief at the Coachella music festival was caught with 100 phones after users tracked him down with their Find My iPhone app. He was arrested and charged with the thefts.
Smartphone users in Manchester can take part in a Google-funded trial which could see daily news and events listings being beamed direct to their phones. The developers say the new service could transform the way people enjoy local news and information though users do not need a specific app’ Local stores could send information about discounts and promotions also.
A deal with privacy watchdogs may see Facebook using data from WhatsApp this summer. The messaging service was bought in 2014 and an investigation took place by EU watchdogs when Facebook announced it would begin sharing data earlier this year because the firms had not obtained the valid consent for this to take place under European regulations.
Hello. Welcome to this week’s video.
I’m gonna talk about Apple search ads and something that I’ve noted. May not universally be correct. Feel free to stick that in the comments and we can talk about it, share what we’re seeing.
What I’ve been very lucky to have is a client that allows me to be a broad match generic term. This has allowed me to roughly see how the app store match and algorithm works. For example, if you have a generic keyword, that generic keyword will match really, really well to a brand. I’m assuming that that generic keyword in it’s keyword group. Equally, brands will match very well to that generic keyword.
However, generic keyword doesn’t match to other generic phrases that are similar to it. What this means, using broad match trying to build big generic keyword pools not as useful as it could be. The matching algorithm doesn’t fully understand the relationship between different keywords. Kinda makes sense ’cause it’s app. It also means, if you only want to target the generic keywords, you’re gonna have to have a really, really big negative keyword pool built with brand terms.
That’s an observation I’ve made over the past couple of weeks. If you see anything different or you see the same thing, stick it in the comments below or tweet me @NickDuddy and figure out how this thing works.
That’s this week’s video. See you all next week.
Legal experts are warning that drivers in the UK who pay for fast food at a drive-through restaurant on their mobile phone may be breaking the law.
The warning comes after the penalties for driving and using a mobile phone were doubled for those caught on British roads.
However, lawyers at one Scottish legal firm say that using a phone app to pay via contactless methods could land the driver with a £200 fine and six penalty points.
The law firm says that to use a smartphone app in anyway while the vehicle’s engine is running is illegal.
And the rules which are applied to drivers using mobiles when behind the wheel also apply to those who using their mobile devices to pay via contactless methods.
Phone users are also being warned about sneaking a peek at their social media sites including Twitter and Facebook while they are awaiting their order to be delivered.
Some regional newspapers are also reporting that Cleveland Police have been advising people to switch off engines before paying at a drive-through with their smart phone – though they point out that ‘common sense’ will be applied before anyone is prosecuted.
Researchers in America have concluded that more than half of car smashes are caused by drivers using a smartphone app.
The study was carried out by Cambridge Mobile Telematics by analysing 1,000 real-world car crashes along with tens of thousands of near misses.
Among the most common forms for distraction are texting, social media and email use.
The study reveals that drivers are distracted for at least 135 seconds when they use their phone.
The research concludes that drivers who use their phone most when driving are around six times more likely to be involved in a crash in those who are not as distracted.
Google has revealed that it’s Android Pay app is no longer needed for those making mobile payments after the search giant integrated the app’s functionality into a wide range of mobile banking apps.
After hitting the headlines, the mobile app for United Airlines is being deluged with one star reviews from outraged users after a man was forcibly dragged from an over-booked flight.
Beach walkers are being urged by the RNLI to use apps for checking the weather and tide times after 55 people were stranded on a beach near Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.
Researchers at Newcastle University have revealed that hackers can steal passwords and PIN numbers just from analysing how a mobile phone will tilt when being held. The researchers managed to crack a four-digit pin with 70% accuracy and had cracked it completely by the fifth attempt. Apparently, phone makers know of the problem but have not devised a solution.
Facebook has announced that its Messenger app has now reached 1.2 billion users. The firm now has three apps with more than 1 billion users each, including WhatsApp.
A study by researchers at New York University has revealed that the fingerprint sensors being used by many smartphones are not as reliable or as safe as users may believe. They managed to use artificial fingerprints that could match the user’s real prints to unlock the phone in 65% of attempts.
More bad news for users of Windows phones after an announcement that Spotify, one of the world’s most popular streaming services, is to stop maintaining its app for the platform.
Oxfam has been trialling contactless donation boxes with donors able to use their mobile phone contactless payment apps for making a donation, along with debit and credit cards.
A study has revealed that thousands of apps on Google’s Android system are colluding to share their user’s data without any consent.
In addition, this is leaving the phones vulnerable to hacking.
The researchers at Virginia Tech in the US found that trusted apps were able to communicate with each other and exchange information which creates various implications for phone users.
A spokesman for the research team said: “It’s the first-time real-world evidence has been found that apps are colluding with each other.
“Apps are getting information from each other when they do not have the permissions for doing so.”
One problem is hackers could use a malicious third party app which, when downloaded, will collude with an authentic application which thinks is genuine and enable hackers to access personal data.
These apps are, apparently, accessing data from Google Play, Gmail, Google Photos and Google Docs, among others.
A report reveals that businesses should step in to provide mobile security when users are reckless with their devices when downloading apps.
The RiskIQ report highlights that smartphone users often stray from the official app stores when downloading applications which then puts them at greater risk from malware and ransomware.
While the report highlights that the UK’s smartphone users are more conservative than their US counterparts, they are still taking risks.
One of the issues is that mobile users are ‘jailbreaking’ their devices, around 14% of users do so, so they can download apps they would not be able to use otherwise.
The report states: “While jailbreaking allows more choice, it bypasses the security mechanisms put in place by official app stores and carriers.”
The report concludes that businesses should be more proactive in fighting mobile threats since ‘careless users’ lack the relevant mobile security acumen.
A study in America has revealed that drivers who are distracted by their phone’s apps cause 52% of smashes.
In addition, 25% of drivers will use their phone with a minute of having a crash.
The findings come from Cambridge Mobile Telematics and a spokesman said: “This is a big problem for drivers and pedestrians and it’s a dominant factor in whether you will have a crash.”
Smartphone users in India are being warned that the mobile apps for seven banks have been infected with malware. The warning comes as users are urged to install a personal security certificate which has been sent by hackers.
To help launch their new album, The Charlatans have turned their popular singles into phone apps. Fans have to guess the song from the icons on their screen.
A researcher says more funding should be provided to help people access digital health services in the UK. Lecturer Siobhan O’Connor said more research is needed to understand the barriers users face which include lack of mobile phone signals and not understanding how health apps can help.
Social media users in the US may be due a pay-out after a judge in San Francisco ruled that the user’s privacy may have been compromised. The ruling will cost eight firms including Kik, Foursquare, Twitter and Yelp more than $5million. The action focused on those who used their smartphone to access the platforms between 2009 and 2012.
A mobile phone app may help users access cheaper electricity from 2020 after an EU ruling. The idea is to use apps to encourage people to use electricity when it is cheap and abundant – usually on sunny days when renewable energy such as solar panels are effective. The move would see flexible prices being introduced to match energy production.
Google has launched its Duo app and some industry watchers are predicting it could be a WhatsApp killer.
The app will enable one-to-one video calls between smartphone users and the calls will be encrypted.
From later this year, users will also be able to use voice calling as well.
Duo has been developed for the Android and iOS platforms which means it can be used by those who use Facetime and Skype.
The app has a feature which enables the person being called to see live video of who is calling before they answer the call.
The app has been designed to be easy-to-use and is available now.
It was unveiled at a Google conference last year and can be used by those who download the app around the world.
Security experts say there has been a huge increase for smartphone users suffering with mobile malware infections which are causing greater levels of damage.
A security report from Nokia reveals that there are more security threats than ever before with cyber criminals now targeting mobile devices rather than PCs.
In their latest study, the firm says the number of mobile malware attacks rose by 400% last year compared to previous years.
And, worryingly, 85% of all infections were aimed at mobile devices.
The criminals are mainly targeting Android, they account rate 81% of attacks, but the number of attacks on Apple’s IOS platform are also on the rise.
Indeed, iPhones are being targeted with surveillance software that will track their calls, social media apps, text messages and GPS locations.
The report also highlights that the number of attacks aimed at Windows PC systems has seen a fall in numbers.
The Facebook app is about to stop working for those with older smartphones.
From the end of March, support for the Facebook Messenger app will also come to an end on the devices.
The social media outfit says it’s ending support for those devices running older versions of its apps including v10 of Messenger and v55 of Facebook.
That’s for apps running on Android and Facebook has also announced that the Facebook app for most Windows phones (mainly those with Windows 8 and 8.1) is also coming to an end.
It is possible to migrate to a latest version should smartphone users find the Facebook apps no longer work.
However, should the apps still not work, Facebook says users should access their service through a mobile phone browser.
New York’s Attorney General has revealed that three health apps for mobile devices have reached a deal over allegations that they deceive consumers.
Two of the apps concerned, Runtastic and Cardio, claimed to measure the user’s heart beat accurately while My Baby’s Beat claimed it could turn a smartphone into a baby heart monitor.
Altogether, the phone apps have been downloaded by users more than one million times.
However, all three apps have been found not to have carried out sufficient testing that would prove their claims.
Now the developers have agreed to undertake more testing, change their ads and pay $30,000 in fines.
The apps will also alter their privacy policies and deliver more protection to consumers and reveal whether they collect and share any information that could identify the user.
A major update for the eBay app on iOS and Android platforms has now been rolled out. For avid users of the website there are lots of new features though some depend on the mobile device being used.
Smartphone users in the US can use Walmart’s on demand video streaming service to turn their DVD discs into digital titles by using a mobile app. The Vudu function is in place now and costs $2 for converting a DVD and $5 for Blu-ray.
Scammers are moving from the internet and using mobile apps for selling cars to fleece money out of unsuspecting car buyers, particularly in the US. Apparently, the crooks are increasingly moving from Craigslist to apps such as LetGo and Facebook’s Marketplace.
There’s a new NSPCC Childline app available to help children looking for support and counselling. Developed by four teens, ‘For Me’ will deliver support and advice in confidence.
Hello. Welcome to this week’s video. This week, will progressive web apps kill App Store optimization?
For yous who don’t know what progressive web apps are, you need to check out Google. Just Google progressive web apps. They’re fast, reliable and they’re engaging. Vague and wonderful.
Obviously, it’s in my interest to say, “No, definitely not,” but I do generally think it won’t. For one, progressive web apps require a tonne of adoption from brand, anywhere through a website, really. There’s also companies out there who are heavily invested in their apps already so they’re going to turn that boat around.
As much as I quite like progressive web apps, I don’t think it’s going to have a massive effect yet, due to adoption rates, like Google app index, and I’m taking a softer stance. As much as I probably think it is the future, not going to come in the next 12 months really, is it?
That’s my tip this week. If you don’t know what progressive web apps are, you need to go start looking at that.
See you next week.
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