Google’s Android Has a Secret ‘Panic Mode’ Function

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.

App will help tackle university binge drinking

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’.

‘Uber for escorts’ app ruffles feathers

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.

Popularity of Personal Assistant apps declines

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.

In other mobile phone app news …

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.

App Will Help Concert-goers

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.

Growing numbers rely on banking apps

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.

CopyCat hits more than 14 million Android devices

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.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

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.

New app will keep walking smartphone users safe

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.

Android users warned of security issues

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.

Classical music app will boost concert going

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.

Lack of apps prevent VR take-up

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.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

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.

Google Unveils Android O for Testing

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 releases classic games for smartphones

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.

‘Find my phone’ tech subject to lawsuit

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 app will resize footage

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.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

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.

Brits Struggle with Shopping Apps

Brits are increasingly struggling to control their out of hours shopping expenditure which is leaving them out of pocket, says a new survey.

The findings reveal that the apps encourage users to spend more than they intend to so they lose track of outgoings.

The convenience of apps and the ability to make purchases with the click of a button mean growing numbers of British smartphone users are opting to use them.

The findings from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) also found that 15% of users are using shopping apps at work, 89% are using them in the morning and 38% use apps for shopping when in bed.

Also, 61% of users say the apps make it easier to spend and 31% say shopping apps have had a negative impact on their finances.

On average, men are spending £115 a month on shopping apps while women spend £131.

New app helps offenders and families

A new app has been launched to help offenders and their families in the UK’s prison system.

The man behind it, John Burton, says the app is ‘revolutionary’ and with its £1 cost to download, it’s received more than 35,000 online recommendations.

The app aims to help families keep track of their loved one through the prison system including inspecting a log of medications, what education is being received and arranging visits easily.

Drinkers enjoy pub app

When JD Wetherspoon unveiled its new table service app earlier this year they didn’t realise how popular it was going to be.

Indeed, while its main aim is for customers in a Wetherspoon pub to pay for drink and food without going to the bar it’s also popular for another reason.

That’s because drinkers have also begun using it to ask their friends to buy them a drink using the app – regardless of where they may be in the world.

Wetherspoon’s say they are happy with the inadvertent use for its app and a spokesman said: “We are delighted the app is being used by those to buy drink and food for friends thousands of miles away.”

Users urged to be wary of scam apps

While there are thousands of high-quality apps in Apple’s App Store, there are growing numbers of scam apps too.

Indeed, many of these scams will be free to download but will hit the user with expensive weekly subscription fees.

One app was charging around £80 every seven days for users.

Researchers say the app in question was ranked number 10 for being among the top productivity apps.

The app, ‘Mobile Protection: clean and security VPN’ was earning around £63,000 every month, according to researchers Sensor Tower, mainly down to search ads.

Apparently, Apple is now improving its search ads service to prevent future scams appearing.

Progressive Web Apps will take off

Businesses are being urged to turn to Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to help recapture their audiences as app fatigue sets in for growing numbers of consumers.

The call is being made by Alchemy Digital’s Will Morris who says that these web apps will usher in a new era for brand engagement.

Among those who have begun using PWAs are Twitter and the BBC as well as stores such as Lancome with the appeal being for those firms who have an app that is not perform performing well enough.

He says that the big attraction for investing in PWAs is that they only need to be built once and can be deployed instantly across a range of platforms.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Sony has unveiled its PlayLink app which will enable users to play PlayStation games on their mobile phone. Essentially, they no longer have to watch friends playing and can now join in using their iOS or Android device.

Firm unveils unusual smart TV app

In the fast-growing market for food delivery apps, one firm says it will grab a big slice of the action with its smart TV app.

The announcement from Foodnfilm says its app will not be available for mobile phones and only for smart TVs.

The market for food delivery in the UK has rocketed and last year there was a 10% increase to 599 million food deliveries while visits to restaurants and other eating outlets rose by just 1%.

Now the new app will integrate with a smart TV’s operating system and enable users to order food as well as convenience items from the big screen and also track their order in real time.

They can do this while watching a movie of their choice.

The firm has now teamed up with Samsung to integrate Foodnfilm into some of its smart TVs and is also looking to partner with LG.

Apple will prevent phone use while driving

One of the new features for Apple’s iOS11 software update will be a new ‘do not disturb while driving’ for iPhone users.

The aim is to reduce driver distraction and silencing all notifications.

In addition, drivers will not be able to access the home screen to open apps when they are behind the wheel.

On top of this, Apple says there’s also an automatic text feature that will be sent to notify family friends that the iPhone user is driving.

The new features have been welcomed by road safety charity Brake who say that drivers using phones while behind the wheel are a ‘growing menace’.

The announcement comes after the UK brought in stricter measures for those caught using a mobile phone while driving with penalty points doubling to six and a £200 fine being introduced.

App will help savers

A new app aimed at freelancers and self-employed people with variable incomes hopes to change the way they save.

It’s been unveiled by the former chief executive of Uber Italy and is called Oval Money.

The personal savings app will enable users to track their spending habits and automatically save money by programming saving goals and tracking transactions as well as setting aside certain amounts of cash every month.

The firm behind the new app says users should, over a three-month period, manage to save £400.

New app will bring about the demise of loyalty cards

A new app has been unveiled that could bring about the end of loyalty cards and create a seamless shopping experience.

Bink is the brainchild of Lee Clarke who developed the idea after realising he did not have his Boots Advantage card when making a big purchase before a family holiday.

He says that loyalty and payment cards should be brought together to help resolve the problem of users missing out on potentially valuable rewards.

In addition, retailers can use the app for sending content, e-receipts and coupons to users.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Skype has unveiled its newest app and revealed that older apps for Windows users will no longer be able to access many features. The new additions see social media style apps including Highlights and bots to add to chat and group conversations.

A grandmother from Somerset claims she managed to diagnose skin cancer by using a mobile phone app after reading about SkinVision in a magazine. While most of her moles were diagnosed as being normal, an ankle lump received a red warning and weeks later surgeons removed an aggressive form of skin cancer. She has called the app ‘amazing’.

Industry watchers say Microsoft is planning to drop support for its classic Windows phone apps with a release of Windows 10 Mobile. The apps, known as Silverlight apps, will no longer work with the new version of Windows.

A new money messaging app has managed to secure €25 million in financial backing. Plynk works in the same way as WhatsApp but users essentially text money to each other.

New app will bring an end to supermarket queues

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.

Most apps trade personal data with third parties

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.

Google unveils 12 best apps

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.

In other Miratrix mobile phone news …

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.

Google under fire for refusing to block fake apps

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 unveils its ‘Digits’ program

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.

In other Miratrix news …

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.

Google Announces Shift to Focus on Apps

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.

Android ransomware flaw to be fixed

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.

British retailers could do more with apps

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.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

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.

Instant Apps is Here

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’s App Analytics tool unveiled

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.

Ultrasonic cross-device tones takes off

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.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

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.