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Ground-breaking App Used by Air Ambulance Crews

A new app which enables air ambulance services to see patients before arriving to treat them is currently under trial.

The GoodSam app is being put through its spaces in two areas in England with the app sending a link to whoever called 999 on a mobile phone to open live streaming.

The images will then show medics how poorly the patient is before they set off.

Results so far, claim those air crews who have tested it, ‘have been promising’.

New bank app allows access to 21 different banks

The new mobile phone app from HSBC enables users to access up to 21 different banks including Barclays, Lloyds and Santander.

Customers will now be able to see all their accounts on one screen, regardless of who they bank with.

The Connected Money app also allows users to add their savings, mortgages and loans accounts but it’s only available for iOS users currently. Android users will be able to use it ‘soon’.

iOS Messages users hit by ‘Black Dot’

Users of Apple’s Messages app are being warned over a malicious text called the ‘Black Dot’ which will force their iPhone to freeze and, potentially, overheat.

When the text message is opened there is a black dot followed by thousands of Unicode characters which are invisible and flood the phone’s CPU until the Messages app stops working.

The users that open the text message will find their phone will be paralysed and removing it will be difficult since restarting means they will jump back into the app – and the issue begins all over again.

Indeed, until Apple releases a firmware update to address the problem, users will struggle to overcome the problem.

WhatsApp users get a warning too

Meanwhile, WhatsApp users are being warned not to open an innocent looking message since it is malicious.

The subject line reads, ‘This is very interesting!’ but has hidden characters within it which will force the phone to shut down or stop working.

Google’s Play Store security questioned

Researchers have questioned Google’s security protection after apps that had been banned from the Play Store simply changed name and were put back on sale.

Symantec say they found seven malicious apps that were previously removed by Google after being flagged up as security risks.

However, they say that the apps have been re-uploaded from new developer accounts with a new name and are available for download.

After the apps were re-reported, Google has now removed them once more.

In other Miratrix news …

It has been revealed that the UK government has asked five app consultancy firms to develop an immigration app that will be used to help register’s EU citizens after Brexit.

A class action lawsuit has been launched in California against Facebook after revelations that the firm collected data logs of phone calls and messages through via its smartphone apps.

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 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.