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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.

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.