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China’s App Economy Surges Ahead

The world’s largest app market is in China with revenues expected to reach $42 billion (£29.9bn) by 2020.

That’s an increase from 2016’s figure of $25 billion (£17.8bn).

The app economy in China also outpaces nearly every other market in terms of consumer spending, the overall time spent on apps and the number of apps being used, says App Annie.

Spending on apps in China has rocketed by 207% in the last two years to reach $33 million (£23.5m).

Also, the average Chinese smartphone user has more than 100 apps on their phone compared with 80 apps, on average, for other smartphone users around the world.

Police trail fingerprint scanner app

West Yorkshire Police has unveiled plans to trial a smartphone fingerprint scanner app.

The force is working with the Home Office on the new system with a rollout of 250 scanners taking place over the coming weeks. Already, 5,500 frontline police officers have access to the smartphone app.

When using the app on their phone and the handheld scanner, officers will be able to check instantly against immigration and criminal fingerprint records.

By the end of this year, it is predicted that another 20 police forces around the UK will also begin trials of the system.

Nick Hurd, the Minister for Policing, said: “This is one of a series of systems nationally the Home Office is designing to give police officers information faster than before.

“By removing unnecessary trips to and from police stations, mobile technology will help save valuable time and enable officers to cut crime and keep us safe.”

West Yorkshire Police say that the system will be secure and all fingerprints will be automatically deleted from the officer’s device once the system has checked them.

Payment apps will grow in popularity

The number of payment apps will continue to grow as countries and phone users move towards cashless societies, says one survey.

ForexBonuses says that Sweden, Canada and the UK are the world’s most cashless countries.

Sweden tops the list with 59% of all money transactions being cashless. The country now has 70 million fewer bank notes in circulation than four years ago as a result.

China is also seeing a surge in cashless payments with tech giants introducing apps.

Google unveils chatbot for apps

Google has unveiled a new chatbot that will fool friends into thinking they are communicating with the smartphone owner.

The tool is called ‘Replay’ and will work with a range of popular apps including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter.

The bot will interpret what friends are saying on an app and suggest replies that match the respondent’s usual conversation.

It will also use other data from Google including the user’s daily schedule and location to give any replies a touch of authenticity.

In other Miratrix mobile phone apps news …

Some of the most popular apps are among those guilty of draining batteries for smart phones, says security firm Avast. They point to Facebook, Netflix and Snapchat as being the biggest offenders. However, the two worst offenders are Samsung  apps while Google maps, and WhatsApp also feature in the top 10.

Mobile phone industry watchers are pointing to the remarkable resurgence of Nokia which is seeing sales rocket and has already, in one year, overtaken Sony and looks set to enter the top 10 of the biggest smartphone makers.

Researchers in America have developed a child detecting algorithm which will lock a smartphone when it detects it is being used by a child. The algorithm has been developed by researchers at the University of South Carolina who say there is no need for an activity monitoring app as this will need to be switched on whenever the device is handed to a child.

Smartphone users in the Congo can use an app called ‘Dr Love’ to learn about safe sex. Aimed at younger users, the app will answer a range of questions.