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Warning Over Apps Leaking Personal Data

Internet security firm Kaspersky is warning that nearly four million smartphone apps are leaking sensitive data about the app’s user.

The data being lost includes phone numbers and email addresses which is being transmitted unencrypted over the HTTP protocol.

This was, researchers say, instead of using HTTPS, a more secure way for data communication.

The firm says that careless design means that a user’s data can be easily intercepted.

In the worst case scenario, they say this data could be used for blackmail purposes.

More Windows phone apps killed off

Microsoft has revealed that more apps for its Windows phone are to be killed off.

From May, support for Teams, Yammer and Skype for B usiness will be dropped.

Users have been told that they have a month to find alternative apps or use the functions using a web browser.

Yammer will still be available as an app for Android and iOS phones and the firm says it will still continue investing in Skype for Business as well as Microsoft teams.

Phones and apps are crucial for British job hunters

Nearly 90% of jobseekers in the UK looking for new jobs believe that their smart phone is crucial in the jobhunting process.

Research from Textlocal reveals that 89% of those questioned agreed with this sentiment and the firm says there’s been a 55% rise in people opting into recruitment communications.

The firm says that 45% of jobseekers are looking for new jobs on their mobile phones every day and 59% of those questioned us saving a potential job to apply for later.

Crypto crackdown questioned

Researchers say that despite Google’s best efforts to prevent any crypto currency apps being available on Play Store, there are still lots of these apps available.

TheNextWeb says that even after Google took action recently to clamp down on crypto currency apps, many are still available.

The research also highlight that there was a malicious app available, it mimics MyEtherWallet, and it received 500 downloads before Google took the app down.

As part of their research, the firm says that across the mobile phone app sector they uncovered 661 malicious apps and most of these appeared on Google play.

In other mobile phone app news …

Over the past year, around half of adults in the US have increased their use of mobile banking apps with one in three using their banking app more than any other app on their phone, a survey has revealed.

Swiss drugs firm Novartis has unveiled a mobile phone app that will collect data from those taking part in eye disease studies. The ‘FocalView’ app has been put together using Apple’s ResearchKit and will enable researchers to track eye disease progression from patients without them needing to visit a doctor.

The new Gmail app will feature the ‘snooze’ button, says Google. The function will resend emails when the user chooses – or when they can deal with the emails properly.

Research from Ofcom has revealed that nine in 10 Brits believe that using the Internet has more benefits than risks but nearly all are turned off by digital advertising. The average time spent online is 24 hours a week which has doubled from what it was 10 years ago. The research also highlights that using apps and smartphones is an important part of this growing popularity, with 74% of those aged under 24 saying they could not live without their phone.

Google Rolls-out New Chat Messenger

Google has revealed that it has begun the global roll-out of a new Chat messaging service which they have designed to replace text messaging on Android phones.

The firm has also revealed that it is pausing development of its Allo app.

The Chat messaging service will have features including group text, read receipts and videos, currently not available with text messaging.

The new service will eventually be integrated as the default messaging app for Android.

However, it still needs mobile phone operators to enable the service and it will not offer encrypted messages.

The Chat messenger is the latest after several failed attempts by Google to create a feature-rich mobile messaging app but these have, so far, failed to attract a large audience.

TaskRabbit app hit by ‘cyber security incident’

The popular app which helps people find a handyman for hire, called TaskRabbit, has been taken down after a ‘cyber security incident’.

Professionals and customers alike have been left in the lurch after those behind the app said they are working with police and IT experts to work out what has happened.

Now, app users cannot access their account and service professionals cannot be contacted.

The app works in four locations in the UK: Manchester, London, Birmingham and Bristol, but there is no indication of how many customers or service providers have been affected.

Also, there’s no indication of what information may have been breached in the incident – though users are being warned to change passwords on other accounts.

The TaskRabbit website has also been taken down and the California-based company, which is owned by IKEA, says it’s working hard to resolve the problem.

Netflix launches mobile previews on iPhone

Netflix has revealed that iPhone users can watch previews of its shows and the app will soon be available for Android phones as well.

The mobile previews are available to boost the video browsing experience on mobile phones and users simply use a slideshow and swipe to find the preview they want to see.

The previews load quickly and have been personalised to the user’s own tastes, Netflix says.

New Smart Pension app is a ‘game changer’

Smart Pension, a workplace pension platform, says it is launching an app that will prove to be a ‘game changer’ and transform the way a new generation saves for a pension.

The app enables users to track in real time their pension balance from their phone and then encourages dynamic engagement so they can opt for self-selecting their own funds and increasing contribution levels.

The app will replace paper annual reports and there’s a planned daily video along with animated financial illustrations and talking avatars.

The firm’s co-founder Will Wynne said: “The young organise their lives around their phones and have high expectations of how transparent and intuitive their mobile interaction is, particularly for their money.”

In other mobile phone app news …

A drug dealer is the first to be convicted after an image he sent of himself holding ecstasy tablets on WhatsApp led to his identification through a pioneering fingerprint identification technique by South Wales police.

The winners of a competition to design technology that would rectify a social challenge saw students from Worcestershire’s Bishop Perowne College winning for an antitheft bike app they developed.

An Australian tech firm has launched a legal action in the UK accusing Google of abusing its dominant position. The firm, Unlockd, rewards customers for watching adverts on a smartphone but Google is seeking to cut the advertising content to the app.

New AR Apps and Games Unveiled

Google has unveiled a raft of new augmented reality apps and games for Android phones.

The tech giant has unveiled more than 60 ARCore apps that are now available in its Play Store.

ARCore is the platform that enables app developers to create augmented reality experiences for Android smartphones.

Essentially, by using the phone’s camera, and app will track the user’s position in real time and place them into digitally rendered worlds.

This week has also seen Google unveil its Instant Apps to attract game developers to use will allow its services.

Google Play Instant allows a game demo to be played on an Android device by simply clicking a link rather than the user installing a full game.

Google is also highlighting improvements to its gamepad ecosystem and an improved way to create multiplayer game servers.

Security flaw discovered in Siri

A serious security flaw has been discovered in Siri which means it can read out private notifications even when the phone is locked.

Apple says it is working on an iPhone fix for the phone’s next software update.

While Siri will not read out notifications on iMessage, the flaw means that messages received via Signal, Slack and Facebook Messenger could be.

Wagamama’s launches tasty app

The world’s first Uber-style bill free app has been launched by Wagamama and diners will save around 12 minutes on every visit.

The restaurant app allows diners to order and pay automatically without having to deal with a waiter.

The restaurant chain says its app is the first ‘frictionless payment app’ in the world.

The new system is about to go live in all of their 129 restaurants.

Details of new EU immigration app revealed

With 3.7 million EU citizens, along with their non-EU partners, needing to apply for ‘settled status’ when the UK leaves the European Union next year will see a new app being created.

The Home Office has unveiled plans for the app to make the process easy since they will need to deal with 5,000 people every day over two years.

The aim is to create a hassle-free and simple system for those who want to remain in the UK.

The Home Office is now consulting widely to design a system that will help people pass the settled status test rather than rejecting them.

Behind the app will be a complex, interlinked database which will link the applicant’s submission to evidence of their current presence in the country.

In other mobile phone app news …

Small firms wanting a digest of lots of data could use a new app called Ikoolo which brings together sales software, invoice and social media. It has been launched by a British entrepreneur.

Researchers have launched an app to help farmers in Africa combat the spread of a maize-eating pest, funded by the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation.

A new mobile app from developers at the University of Turku in Finland will help smartphone users monitor their risk of suffering with a stroke.

After an update, Google Lens is now available on iOS. The app is a visual search engine and will provide information about a landmark or artwork when pointed at it. Also, Google’s Files Go app has had a search bar added.

Vodafone has unveiled an app called Get the Flow which helps those who suffer with stuttering deal with it with a rap. It’s available in the Netherlands and uses well-known Dutch rappers to help children who stutter practice with others to help boost their confidence.

Fears That Malware is Preloaded on Phones

Security experts have raised fears that some popular Android smartphones have malware preloaded on them.

The warning comes from Check Point who say that RottenSys is disguised as a tool to help users manage their wifi connections.

They say the ‘aggressive’ type of malware has infected nearly five million devices.

The malware asks for sensitive permissions and has entered devices from the supplier chain.

The phones infected have been made by Samsung, Honor, Huawei and Vivo, among others.

Checkpoint says that RottenSys is an aggressive ad network which has, over a 10-day period, created 13.2 million impressions and nearly 550,000 clicks.

NHS staff disciplined for using apps

It has been revealed that NHS staff have been disciplined because they have been relying on various apps to communicate with other staff members and also patients.

Among the apps being used include Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Apparently, around one in 50 of the NHS personnel who have been disciplined have been for issues including confidentiality threats and malicious uses.

However, around 43% of NHS staff say they rely on instant messaging apps while at work.

In a report, the staff are using consumer apps to communicate and for those staff aged between 18 and 24, the usage of apps to communicate was greatest.

Those who admitted to using communication apps said they did so because the NHS channels provided were unsatisfactory and patient care has not suffered.

One in four Americans are ‘online constantly’

Research has revealed that more than a quarter of Americans admit to being almost ‘constantly online’.

The Pew Research Center says numbers have risen since 2015 by 4%.

However, internet habits are affected by age, race and income level and only 11% of Americans say they never go online.

Of those going online most often, their use of apps is a major attraction, say researchers.

Co-op rolls out payment app technology

While tech giants have grabbed the headlines for making paying for groceries easier, for instance Amazon Go’s checkoutless stores, the Co-op has unveiled its own plans.

The six largest supermarket in the UK has launched its Pay in Aisle technology.

The app will enable customers to pay for purchases on their phone without needing to visit the till. The app utilises MasterCard’s secure digital payments platform.

It’s currently under trial in Manchester with a roll-out starting in the summer.

In other mobile phone app news …

It’s likely to be one of the biggest games apps of the year, and Fortnite will, this week, go live on smartphones after its maker Epic Games began sending out invites to players.

The next step for Australia’s Department of Defence after they barred staff from using Chinese-made smartphones is to ban them from using the WeChat app. The move follows a warning to the US Senate Intelligence Committee, from the FBI, over issues of firms that are run by, or are close to, foreign governments.

A security flaw on Facebook Messenger enables fraudsters to exploit the opportunity to impersonate users of the app to target friends and family. While it is possible to use Messenger with just a mobile phone number, users cannot report another person for impersonating them on Facebook and must sign up and do so via their profile. Facebook says it is aware of the issue and is looking to fix it.

A day of silence was ordered in the Indonesian city of Bali where social media was shut down for a day of silence to mark New Year. Phone companies agreed with the request, for the first time, to turn off the island’s mobile internet connection.

Venmo says Millennials are increasingly signing up to their app because they want to watch their money more carefully after experiencing a recession.

A row has broken out in Leeds after it was revealed that motorists are forced to pay more to park if they use an app for doing so. Motorists say they are unhappy given there aren’t enough cash machines available.

Major Data Leak for Millions Revealed

A popular virtual keyboard has been leaking the data of 31 million users, say security researchers.

The massive data breach is for the app Ai.type used on the Android platform after researchers found an open database online.

Apparently, the database holds the personal data for 31 million Android users including their names, locations and phone numbers. The data also contains the Google search queries of those users.

The revelations come from the Kromtech Security Centre after they found a huge number of customer files had been leaked online and are now publicly available.

The details of data for 31.3 million users of mobile phones and tablets and the discovery has led to questions over how much data is being gleaned by app developers from users.

A spokesman for the firm said: “The database exposure shows just how much data developers can access and they are able to obtain a treasure trove that the average app user is not expecting to be data mined or extracted from their phone or tablet.”

Banking app flaw discovered

A massive security flaw has been discovered in hundreds of apps from major banks leaving account holders vulnerable to hacking.

The findings from the University of Birmingham reveal that the apps for banks such as NatWest and HSBC may have left 10 million account holders vulnerable.

The findings come after researchers developed a tool for performing a semi-automated security test of the banking apps.

Of 400 apps tested, the researchers uncovered a critical vulnerability that could have enabled hackers to retrieve the user’s username and their password.

Banks have now been told of the flaw which has been removed.

Researchers say the issue was over ‘certificate pinning’ which is meant to improve the app’s security  but failed to detect the vulnerability.

Tamagotchi to live again

Back in the 90s, the digital pet Tamagotchi was a must have toy and in 2018, it is due to live again in a new mobile phone app.

The toy’s creator, Bandai, says fans will be able to hatch a digital pet on their phone, play and feed with them and care for them. The app will be free to install on Apple and Android devices.

There will also be augmented reality technology similar to that used for Pokémon Go.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Whatsapp is reminding users that its app will no longer work on some phone platforms from the end of this month. The popular messenger app will no longer be available for BlackBerry’s OS or 10 and Window’s Phone 8.0.

Google has announced that any apps for the Android platform that will force a user to submit personal information or to click on an ad for advertising purposes before using an app will now be prohibited.

The Netflix app is now found on one in three Dutch smart phones while the Youtube app is on 83% of phones. The Netflix app is being used by 2.7 million people every week, according to a survey of the country’s app market.

Facebook has unveiled a new Messenger app aimed at children. There’s no Facebook account or phone number required for users to access the Messenger Kids app which is aimed at those between the ages of six and 12. The idea is for youngsters to communicate with family and friends on a mobile device but they will not need a SIM card, for example, but they will need a Wi-Fi connection to use the app.

Global App Downloads Reach Record Levels

The growing popularity of apps has been underlined with news that nearly 26 billion apps were downloaded around the world, a rise of more than 8%, over the past year.

The figures are for new downloads and do not cover app updates or reinstalls.

The worldwide consumer spend for apps for Google Play and iOS has also increased by 28% to reach nearly $17 (£12.9) billion.

The researchers also reveal that app usage is also increasing at ‘significant pace’ and the time people are spending an apps is also increasing to 325 billion hours in the third quarter of 2017.

The growth of apps being downloaded is driven by new smart phone owners with the consumer spend on Google Play is nearly double in the third quarter of this year than that recorded by iOS.

The world’s largest market for spending on apps is China which has just recorded its highest ever annual growth figures.

Half of young Brits use banking apps

Banking apps are proving increasingly popular with more than half of British ‘Millennials’ regularly using their mobile phone for their financial affairs, says a survey.

The findings from Visa reveal that 38% of Brits are using banking apps regularly while for 18 to 34-year-olds, the figure rises to 53%.

However, 31% of millennials confessed that they have never used a banking app before.

Of the financial activities, most are using the apps for making payments securely and the users are increasingly keen to use biometric technology for authenticating their identity.

A spokesman for Visa said: “The retail banking industry has been revolutionised with mobile technology and until recently conducting simple transactions meant visiting a bank branch.

“Now banks are embracing the flexibility being offered by apps to enable customers to stay on top of their finances while they are on the move. Anyone with a tablet or smartphone can now take their bank branch with them.”

Dating apps have hacking vulnerabilities

A number of dating apps have been found to have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers, says Kaspersky Lab.

The Russian firm says the vulnerabilities enable a user’s location to be accessed easily while the Android versions of some apps enable a user’s messages to be accessed.

Hackers can also, in some cases, log into a person’s profile.

The researchers say that the apps, including Zoosk, Tinder, WeChat and Happn, can have their location data hacked.

In separate research, Kaspersky also points out that growing numbers of us prefer to use mobile devices rather than computers for our online activities.

However, they add that there is a blasé attitude from users about their device’s security with online threats increasing.

In other Miratrix mobile app news …

An app unveiled by Facebook which is aimed at making users be more productive is now available as a desktop version. Workplace Chat, which is similar to Slack, could only previously be accessed via a mobile phone and, Facebook claims, around 30,000 organisations are now using the app.

Security experts at Check Point are warning that the Reaper botnet has now infected more than one million organisations and their computers and mobile devices. The firm says that those behind the network may be gearing up to wreak havoc soon.

Travel firm Booking.com says that in 2018 travellers will increasingly use technology and apps when arranging their travelling experiences. They also want to use technology to better understand their accommodation and destination before booking.

Amazon has unveiled a new Kindle app which will, the firm claims, encourage people to read more e-books using their mobile phones. They say the new app has been inspired by books and so the app has the ‘look and feel’ of reading a real book with larger book covers and new fonts. There’s also a new community tab for readers to access the Goodreads community.

New Bank App Will Push Deals to Customers

A new app from the bank First Direct will enable it to push personalised broadband and energy deals to its customers in a move that could see the end of price comparison websites.

The firm says the smartphone app will trawl thousands of deals from third-party providers and will recommend specific products to its customers.

First Direct says the app will allow consumers to hand over their saving and spending data from their financial accounts in return for notifications on money-saving deals.

Consumer groups say the move could lead to a revolution in the way consumers shop for deals and warned that banks that flog poor deals would damage their reputation.

Apple devices to be future ‘AI’ platform

Apple’s chief executive, Jeff Williams, says the new iPhone X offers developers a great platform for apps and those wanting to develop artificial reality functions.

The new phone will use facial recognition and users can pay for goods by simply glancing at their phone.

Mr Williams told a conference: “The neural engines we have in the phone and our watch are a huge piece of our future and we believe these frameworks will enable developers to create apps that will do more.

“I think we are the point with our devices and computing, and with AI’s potential, to really change the world.”

Zombie apps turn up on Google’s Play Store. Again.

According to a report, there’s been a big leap in the number of zombie apps that are generating fraudulent app clicks turning up on Google Play Store.

According to eZanga, they have found 43 fraudulent ‘live wallpaper’ apps which come from three developers but have had more than 1 million downloads.

They work in a similar way to apps identified in July so the phone does not have to be touched before the app will generate a click for a fraudulent advert.

Critics say the issue is a growing problem with Play Store which, unlike Apple’s App Store, does not have the same review processes in place and removes fraudulent apps retrospectively.

Mobile devices are increasingly the choice for online activities

Research reveals that people today are increasingly preferring to use their mobile device for online activities rather than a computer.

The findings from Kaspersky Lab found that people are using their mobile devices more often, particularly for accessing email.

Users are also increasingly shopping online while the use of computers for both of these activities is in decline.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Irrespective of age and occupation, the focus of our digital lives is shifting increasingly onto our mobile devices; people are trusting them with their secrets, confidential information, money, files and other things.”

He added that cyber criminals are changing tactics to attack mobile platforms and says tablets and smartphones need to be effectively protected as a result.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Vodafone has unveiled passes to help users access apps when burning through their monthly data allowance. There are four passes available and are grouped by the type of app, for instance, the video pass is £9 a month and will cover Amazon Video, Netflix and YouTube, among others.

After two massive earthquakes hit Mexico, the number of users of early warning app start-up SkyAlert has doubled to nearly six million, making it one of Mexico’s most downloaded apps.

Researchers in Norway have reveal some alarming security flaws in smart watches aimed at children. They say hackers can seize control of these watches to eavesdrop and track the young users. The issue comes with those watches that use a mobile phone function for parents to communicate with their child and stay up-to-date with their location via an app.

App Helps Avoid Shopping Queues

A supermarket has unveiled a new app that will enable its customer to scan and pay for their goods on their mobile phones as they make their way around the store.

The money is deducted directly from their credit card or bank account.

Sainsbury says its trial could make queues a thing of the past as customers scan their goods as they put them in their basket.

While it’s still early stages, the app is being tested by the supermarket in a London branch where shoppers buying the £3 lunchtime meal deal can use the app to pay.

Sainsbury’s says feedback has been positive so far though they do not know when the scheme will be eventually rolled out to its other stores.

Investors warned over mobile share trading apps

Cyber security experts are warning that some of the most popular mobile phone apps for trading shares are open to attack from hackers.

IOActive Labs says that criminals could steal money, trade shares and also check the customer’s net worth.

Indeed, the firm has checked 21 of the most popular stock trading apps and say they are worse than the personal banking apps tested by them four years ago.

A spokesman said: “There is better mobile app security when checking bank balances and paying our gas bill than found in trading apps that transfer billions and help shape the financial markets.”

Among the issues found in the apps, two exposed passwords in clear text while two in three of the apps stored sensitive data including account balances and investment strategies in an unencrypted form.

Twitter unveils lightweight mobile app

Twitter has joined the trend to slim down its mobile app for those regions where data may be slow.

The social media platform has confirmed it is testing a lightweight version in the Philippines where limited data and slower mobile phone networks make the standard app impractical.

The firm says the app focuses on Twitter’s core functions without the data chewing media abilities.

While Twitter says its move towards a light app is an experiment, they refuse to reveal whether it will be available in other countries but they have now joined Google and Facebook who are targeting similar regions with their own slimmed down mobile apps.

iPhone X face recognition restriction

Those buying the new iPhone X have been warned by Apple that children should not be using its facial recognition technology.

They say that the faces of children under the age of 13 are too similar to each other and are unable to protect the phone from intruders.

The system, called FaceID, will unlock the phone and enable access to apps and also verify payments.

Now Apple says, in a security paper it has published, that children’s faces are still developing and siblings could unlock the phone.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Indian mobile phone users are being warned of the dangers of fake ‘Blue Whale’ apps masking malware that will attack their phone. The country is in the grip of Blue Whale, a social media game challenge, mania currently.

Police in Shanghai are using a mobile phone app to deal with food delivery employees committing traffic violations in the Chinese city. Every food outlet must now install the app for their couriers so police can track activities and record on the app the latest violation.

Electric carmaker Tesla has boosted its mobile application in its latest update offering and the app will now open the Model 3’s boot directly from the phone. The app also enables users to unlock and lock the car and also start the engine.

Android phone users are complaining that the latest Android 8.0 Oreo update has led to apps crashing unexpectedly on the firm’s Pixel and Nexus devices.

A security company in Russian has unveiled a smartphone that will prevent apps on it from collecting personal data. The Taiga phone from InfoWatch prevents apps from tracking user activities including work-related emails, photographs and documents. It also prevents an app from sending the user’s data to the creator.

UK ‘glued to their smartphones’

The level of mobile device adoption is reaching new heights as the UK’s public is increasingly ‘glued to smartphones’, say researchers.

The findings from Deloitte revealed that 53% of those aged between 16 and 75 are using their smartphones while they are walking – though for the 16 to 24 age group, this rises to 74%.

It’s a worry that 11% say they use their smartphones while crossing roads and again the proportion is higher for 16 to 24-year-olds where 21% say they do this. Apparently, this could mean that 4.5 million people regularly cross a road while using their phone.

Users are also using their smartphones to watch video content in ever increasing numbers which may put demands on networks to deliver the infrastructure to meet higher video consumption.

A spokesman for the firm said: “The first 10 years have been about changing our social lives and the next 10 could be about changing our working lives.

“The attractiveness for smartphones lies in the fact it’s a multipurpose consumer device with a set of tools that is millions of apps deep.”

Android app users face unexpected bills

Malware that has infected millions of Android devices has led to big bills being run up for unsuspecting victims.

According to Check Point Software, the malware dubbed as ‘Expensive Wall’, will send a fraudulent text message to a fake fee-based service without the permission or knowledge of the user.

Researchers say this particular malware has now been downloaded more than 4 million times before Google removed the apps in August.

Most of the malware was found in the Android app Lovely Wallpaper.

However, researchers say that the variants of the malware has now been downloaded between 6 million and 21 million times.

A spokesman for Checkpoint said: “The users of these apps are still at risk and should remove them manually from their devices.”

Alert issued on Red Alert

Meanwhile, Android users are being warned about malware called Red Alert which will steal their credentials.

The trojan has targeted more than 60 social networking and banking apps so far.

SyfLabs warns that the malware will also take over text messaging functions and can block calls coming from financial associations and banks.

Researchers also warn that the malware has been written from scratch and is not evolved from older trojans.

UK shoppers want better apps

Researchers have revealed that most people in the UK are increasingly selective about sharing their data with well-known brands.

By doing so, they expect the brand to better personalise offers and make their experience of the brand including interactions, much better.

The research from Mindshare reveals that mobile phones are becoming increasingly important to retailers and 37% of people use their tablet or phone to research a product while they are in a store.

The findings also reveal that 60% of shoppers want retail brands to improve their apps and technology to benefit their customer experience.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Mobile phone apps have been praised by attendees at the International Coastal Clean-up conference where thousands of volunteers use apps to coordinate efforts to clean America’s coasts every year.

Industry watchers say that in early October Google will unveil a new platform called Andromeda which will merge its ChromeOS and Android platforms.

Consumers in the UK say they are unhappy with their communication experiences, including the use of apps, despite businesses saying they communicate effectively. The findings reveal 42% of those questioned say communication is ‘poor or terrible’ and it is difficult to communicate with a business and not enough of them recognise the impact of the communications experience on revenue and their brand.

Cyber attacks on mobile devices rocket

The number of cyber attacks being faced by mobile phone users are increasing and there is growing demand for secure mobile apps as a result.

Digital security firm Avast says there’s been a big leap on attacks targeting Android tablets and smartphones in the second quarter of this year.

The firm says that attacks are up 40% compared to last year.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Mobile cyber security attacks are growing quickly as the hacker strategies become more dangerous and agile. The user’s personal privacy and data is at stake.”

The growth in mobile cyber attacks is now reaching 1.7 million incidents every month and the number of viruses have also increased by 22% over the year to 788.

The top three mobile threats facing users are designed to steal personal information, spy on users and also to spam mobile users with ads.

UK consumers looking to ditch cash

Growing consumer confidence in mobile apps, including digital wallets, means shoppers are increasingly less likely to use cash for purchases.

In a report from Paysafe, a payment provider, 55% of shoppers in the UK said they will stop using cash in the next two years.

Already, 34% of Brits are visiting a cash machine once a month or less and one in six of the respondents say they rarely carry money at all.

The findings reveal that 24% of people have already adopted mobile wallets, while 12% have adopted crypto currencies for making payments.

However, 29% of people said they worried that their mobile phone could be stolen and a thief could use it to pay for items; despite these worries, 63% said they are growing increasingly confident about using a mobile phone for shopping.

The most popular way for paying is with contactless debit cards, a choice for three out of five consumers who use contactless cards regularly.

App will create augmented reality tutorials

A start-up company in Germany has created an app that will create augmented reality tutorials from a normal video.

IOXP says it can take a single video of someone who is correctly performing a task and then use artificial intelligence to convert that into an AI tutorial.

The idea is that by using augmented reality headsets, users can have step-by-step instructions to complete a task or project with the app correcting any mistakes or missteps.

Essentially, the firm’s software uses algorithms to separate the video into comprehensible chunks that will detect the user’s hands and what they are doing and recognise when they are making mistakes.

Apparently Bosch has trialled the system already with its engineers and is discussing a larger roll-out of the app’s potential.

Car keys to be replaced with apps

BMW says it is looking into replacing car keys with mobile phone apps.

The firm says that all of its customers carry a smartphone and that BMW will enable them to unlock their vehicle using it which would make keys redundant.

The move to replace keys was announced at the Frankfurt car show where BMW executives pointed to new vehicles which no longer need a key to be placed in the ignition for the vehicle to start.

A spokesman for the firm said: “If customers do not need to take the key out of their pocket, why do they need to carry it around?”

In other Miratrix mobile phone news …

Apple has revealed that it is reducing the bloat from iTunes by removing iOS App Store so users cannot sync apps from their PC or Mac to an iPhone. Users will instead need to use the new App Store on iOS to download their apps and updates.

Greater Manchester Police is asking its officers to submit their ideas for apps that will enable them to work efficiently and make better decisions while on the beat. The officers are being offered the opportunity to present their ideas to a panel of experts for them to decide whether it should be funded and then rolled out across the force’s mobile platform.