Google Phone Apps Are Listening In

An investigation has revealed that apps on Google’s Play Store are allowing firms to listen in on the TV shows being watched by users so they can target adverts more effectively.

The findings from the New York Times reveals that more than 250 Android apps are using listening software that will control the smartphone’s microphone.

The same method is being used by 24 apps found in Apple’s App Store.

Most of the apps tend to be free games that are being downloaded hundreds of thousands of times and are being rated as suitable for all age groups.

The apps are using software from an American company called Alphonso which collects television viewing data for advertising firms – they say the technology is being used in more than 1,000 apps but refuses to disclose which these are.

They point out that the app’s terms and conditions make clear the app’s monitoring activities and users must give their permission to opt in.

Conflicting advice sees drivers prosecuted

Drivers in the UK are being prosecuted when using their smartphone as a satnav because of conflicting advice which is causing confusion.

Motoring organisations say that police forces and government ministers are creating the confusion by offering advice about what is legal and illegal when it comes to using a mobile phone when driving.

With tougher new penalties being introduced last year to clamp down on drivers using phones to send text messages and make calls, the move also covered the use of satnav apps.

Drivers are warned by the Department for Transport they should not to ‘use’ their phones while at the wheel but police in some parts of the UK say drivers are not allowed to ‘touch’ their phone or it should be placed ‘out of sight’.

With more than 200 drivers being prosecuted every day, motoring organisations are urging clarity over the use of mobile phones and any apps that can be used safely.

App can find people in an emergency

Researchers have developed an app that can find people who have had an accident in a remote area without a phone signal.

The team from Universidad de Alicante in Spain say the app can also be used for other emergency situations including floods, earthquakes and forest fires where the local mobile phone infrastructure has been destroyed.

A spokesman said: “The app can be used with any smartphone and without the signal will emit the WiFi signal which will act as a distress beacon over several kilometres.”

The signal carries the co-ordinates of the person who has had an accident along with a short message that gives brief details about what has happened to them.

To operate, the mobile phone app needs to be activated will which will then activate the distress signal.

In other mobile phone app news …

The new version of the iconic Nokia 3310 phone will soon connect to 4G and will run a number of basic Android apps. One of those will be a stripped down version of WhatsApp.

Apple has unveiled an update to its App Store guidelines including those apps used for exhibitions and live events.

Google has announced that its Android Auto app will go wireless this year without the need for a compatible head unit to access apps.

A report from online travel agent Opodo has revealed that Millennials are so obsessed with their smartphones that 75% of them say that they worry more about their battery life than enjoying the holiday.

Visitors to St Mark’s Square in Venice can use a new app which will tell them when to avoid the area if it’s overcrowded. The implementation coincides with the introduction of traffic lights to help control pedestrian access.

Apple SearchAds, What to Watch Out For When Matching | MTX61

Watch this video on YouTube.

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.

2016 App Store Clean Up! | MTX41

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Video Transcript:

2016 App Store Clean Up! | MTX41

Hello, welcome back, I’m gonna say it again.

Apple’s at it again, doin’ more stuff.

They’re basically doin’ a massive clean-up, of the app store, yeah.

What that means is, if your app doesn’t meet the Apple guidelines, it’s probably is gonna to get stuck back in review.

Be something really minor, be something pretty major, if you don’t want to get caught out at the last minute.

Do a quick review yourself, or you may end up with one of those e-mails, see you’s next week.

That’s likes, and subscribes, that’s likes and subscribes that.

ES Transcription:

2016 App Store Clean Up! | MTX41

Hola, bienvenido de vuelta, lo diré de nuevo.

Apple está en eso de nuevo, haciendo más cosas.

Básicamente están haciendo una limpieza masiva del app store, ¡si!

Lo que eso quiere decir es, que si tu app no cumple con los lineamientos
de Apple, probablemente se quedará bloqueada en revisión.

Sea algo bien pequeño, sea algo bien grande, si no quieres ser atrapado al último minuto, haz una revisión rápida tú mismo, o puedes terminar con uno de esos correos electrónicos.

Nos vemos la próxima semana.

Dale a me gusta y suscríbete, Dale a me gusta y suscríbete,

Aprende sobre mercadeo de app’s, ASO y Crecimiento Móvil con ¡Suscríbete, es Gratis!

Si te gustó eso, mira esto

Más consejos gratis en

Phone Apps Face Cull on Apple’s App Store

From September 7, Apple will begin reviewing apps on the App Store and removing those that do not meet its exacting standards.

The firm says that apps that are up-to-date and of good quality will be safe but those apps that crash when launched will be immediately removed from the store.

Other apps that do not meet their guidelines will see developers getting 30 days to make changes to improve them.

Apple also says it’s also going to crackdown on the naming of apps including those that use words purely to push the app up search lists. Long app names are also going to be curtailed – a new limit of 50 characters is going to be introduced.

Many of those being removed initially will be apps that have not been updated for a long period of time and which no longer function as they were intended to do.

With more than 2 million apps in the firm’s App Store a clear-out may well be overdue though Apple watchers are waiting to see how many are actually removed.

Australian banks criticise Apple Pay

Four banks in Australia are accusing Apple of operating a cartel over its mobile payment platform, Apple Pay.

The banks want access to the firm’s contactless technology so they can develop third-party applications for its customers without them having to use Apple Pay.

With more than 3,000 financial institutions now using Apple Pay, it’s unlikely the banks will succeed with their aim but they’ve put a complaint into the country’s Competition and Consumer Commission and is urging the watchdog to act.

Students are addicted to their smart phones

Researchers have revealed that students are addicted to their smart phones with some owning more than one and apps play a big part in their lifestyles.

The findings from Mobile World Live reveal that 83% of respondents check their phone within five minutes of waking up every morning.

The most popular apps for students are WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram which account for 65% of the market and all are owned by Facebook.

Students also make great use of mobile banking apps and despite the dominance of Amazon, many prefer real-world bookstores to buy books for their studies.

However, it appears that using smartphones for making voice calls is now falling in popularity with many students opting to use messaging services instead.

Meanwhile, in a UK survey of children’s use of smart phones, it appears that games are the most popular uses for them, for 63% of mobile phone owners, while apps come a close second for 58% of children.

The study by Halifax revealed that 73% of youngsters aged between eight and 15 now own a mobile phone and nearly all of them own a tablet too.

It also appears that other digital devices are falling out of favour with one in three owning an iPod and just 22% owning an MP3 player.

In other mobile phone app news…

Coming soon – booking Uber by phone rather than by app. Uber and Lyft in the US have realised that there’s a massive market of elderly customers who would use their services but who don’t own smartphones, hence the introduction of phoning an operator to book a car.

A survey has revealed that half of the UK’s mobile phone users do not know their data allowances. The findings from giffgaff reveal that 52% are unaware of the limits with many regularly going over their allowance with users mainly accessing the web, social media and messaging functions.

Big App Store Update! Title Change | MTX40

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Video Transcript:

Big App Store Update! Title Change | MTX40

Hello, moving house, doin’ this from my van.

It’s kinna big one for ASO and the App Store.

Apple has went from 255 characters in the title to 50.

Now you were only ever using 255 if you were a spammer.

Didn’t hurt too many people but it’s big news means you wanna tighten up on spam and keyword crammin’.

I think it’s good, improves the user experience.

50 characters is more than enough to get on your keywords and make it
work, sorry I need to run.

Need to unpack this van, the dancin’, the likes & subscribe.

More head bop, head bop for likes & subscribes.

Can’t dance in a van.

I can in a bat.

Who do the shit that I do, do?

ES Transcription:

Big App Store Update! Title Change | MTX40

Hola, se mueve la casa, haciendo esto desde mi camioneta.

Es algo grande para ASO y para App Store.

Apple fue de 255 caracteres en el título a 50.

Solo usabas 255 si era un spammer.

No hirió a muchas personas pero fueron grandes noticias, significa que tendrás que ajustarte en el spam y con el atestado del teclado.

Creo que es bueno, que mejora la experiencia del usuario.

50 caracteres es más que suficiente para entrar en tu teclado y hacerlo funcionar. Perdón, me tengo que ir.

Tengo que vaciar la camioneta, el baile, lo me gusta y suscríbanse.

Más golpe en la cabeza, golpes en la cabeza por me gusta y suscripciones.

No se puede bailar en la camioneta.

Si puedo hacerlo en un bate.

Who do the shit that I do do

App Store Revamp Will Change How People Discover Apps

A new makeover is being planned for Apple’s App Store in the next few weeks which will introduce a ‘For You’ tab to make finding apps easier.

It also makes it easier for Apple to push phone apps it believes users will want based on prior downloads and purchases.

This is the first time the App Store will have tailored content that is based on a user’s preferences though they have previously had ‘Apps we love’ and ‘Hot right now’.

Industry watchers say the new tab will work in a similar way that Apple Music offers recommended artists to users and will mine a user’s data to find out what they like.

App allows users to summon special forces

It was only a matter of time but now there is an app that enables users to summon ‘Special Forces’ at the touch of a button.

It’s been launched by a London-based company that will track a user’s location around the clock and also analyse where they are for nearby threats and alert the user by sending messages to their phone.

It’s called ‘Overwatch’ and it also has a panic button that will alert a team on the ground, and they may be armed if necessary, to rescue the user in one of 88 countries in which they work.

The idea is that the rescue team will save them from terrorist attacks and natural disasters as well as medical emergencies and criminal activity.

The price for round-the-clock protection starts at £65 a month.

Switzerland unveils security app

In a bid to alert people that a natural disaster or terrorist attack is underway, the authorities in Switzerland have announced plans for a new mobile phone app.

The app will be on sale next year and will be run by the federal police and the Federal Office for Civil Protection.

The move follows similar systems that already exist in some German states and in France.

Switzerland already has a text alert system to warn people of child abductions which was launched in 2011 but it is only available for those who register for the service.

Now the mobile phone app will be a fully-fledged online disaster alert service and will send out warnings in French, German and Italian to warn of floods, earthquakes as well as nuclear accidents. The app will also warn people of terror alerts.

App will detect when phone is used by drivers

Drivers in Qatar who use their mobile phones behind the wheel will find this will become more difficult after the government unveiled its own app that will detect when a mobile phone is being used by a motorist.

Work on the app started in 2014 and the government says it expects a low take-up for what is a voluntary app.

However, the government is targeting employers to install the app onto their employees’ phones to encourage wider adoption since the government believes that employers have a range of regulations that restrict the use of mobile phones while driving.

Essentially, managers can set the parameters for when the app can and cannot be used and any violation can be used by the employer as a result.

The government has also a consultation about how drivers can restrict the use of mobile phones when they are driving.

Prisma heads to Android

It’s been a popular app on iOS for a while now, and the makers of photo editing tool Prisma have launched it for Android users.

Prisma is popular because it enables users to turn a photo into a work of art by simply overlaying filters that turns the images into a painting.

In other Miratrix app news

Facebook is apparently targeting users on Chrome and Safari to use their Messenger. So far around 900 million people use the app regularly but many Facebook users have used a loophole to avoid using the Messenger app as they use the browsers that do not force users to commit to Messenger.

Windows Office has received another minor update in its Windows Store. The official release has made the use of various apps much easier including the ability to move and drag tables in Word Mobile.

Apple App Store Spamming Might Get Harder

This could be one for the books, Apple has admitted that the App Store has a spam problem and they’re going to tackle it.

Watch this video on YouTube.

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EN Transcription:

ASO: Did Windows Copy Apple App Store Algorithm | MTX15

Hi, I’m Nick Duddy from miratrix, and welcome to this week’s video.

This week I’m asking a question. Is the Apple App Store going to tackle spam?

And it’s kind of a loaded question, ’cause it looks like they actually are going
to be tackling spam.

And they’ve kind of already started. They’ve got a new boss over there called Peter Schiller, I think his name is. And he’s first started by refreshing the Best New Apps category more often, so people can’t kind of like, jam themselves in there for a while and get loads of installs.

And after a lot of Twitter pressure, Twitter is good for one thing, if not advertising, they’re going to deal
with the Highlighted Apps section in the App Store.

Which, people have essentially, been creating multiple publisher accounts with names that favor them.

In the alphabetical rankings. That would be numbers. And releasing slight variations of them and dominating the best new apps. Section of the App Store.

So he’s officially said, “This shouldn’t be happening, we’re going to look into it.”

Which is probably news for everybody who’s doing legit stuff, and probably not terrible news for spammers, because by their nature they’re pretty good at this stuff and they’ll find another way to get installs, but at least it’ll take away one problem from the genuine Apps that are there.

So, that’s this week’s video, and I’ll see you next week. Don’t forget to subscribe, you’ll get the button after this.

ES Transcription:

Hola, soy Nick Duddy de miratrix, y bienvenidos al vídeo de esta semana. Esta semana voy a hacer una pregunta.

¿La App Store de Apple va a abordar el spam? Y es más bien una pregunta con segundas, porque parece que van a abordar el spam de verdad. Y ya han empezado un poco. Tienen allí a un nuevo jefe llamado Peter Schiller, así creo que se llama.

Y ha empezado actualizando la categoría de Mejores Apps Nuevas más a menudo, así que la gente no puede, quedarse ahí durante un tiempo y conseguir muchísimas instalaciones.

Y tras mucha presión de Twitter, Twitter es bueno para una cosa, que no es publicitar, van a ocuparse de la
sección de Apps Destacadas de la App Store.

En la cual, la gente básicamente, ha estado creando varias cuentas de editores con nombres que les favorecen.

En las clasificaciones alfabéticas. Eso serían números. Y sacar ligeras variaciones de ellos y controlar la sección de mejores nuevas apps de la App Store.

Así que ha dicho oficialmente, “Esto no debería ocurrir, vamos a revisarlo.” Lo que probablemente sean buenas noticias para aquellos que hagan cosas legítimas, y probablemente no sean noticias malas para los spammers, porque son muy buenos con estas cosas por naturalezay encontrarán alguna otra forma de conseguir instalaciones, pero al menos solucionará un problema para las Apps originales que hay ahí fuera.

Y este es el vídeo de esta semana, nos vemos la semana que viene.

No olvidéis subscribiros, veréis el botón tras esto.