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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.

Google and Apple Showcase AR Platforms

Google and Apple are gearing up to go head-to-head with competing augmented reality (AR) platforms.

Both firms have unveiled their new are tools for iOS and Android devices this week that will enable a user to digitally superimpose an object through their phone onto the world around them.

Google’s AR offering will be released with its new Pixel phone and the Samsung Galaxy S8; Apple says the new iOS 11 operating system will be able use the technology on all of its devices.

However, iOS 11 has yet to be released and the apps for them have yet to be presented to consumers.

Among the apps for the Apple platform is one from IKEA that enables users to measure space in their homes and then digitally place a piece of furniture from the IKEA catalogue into the space on their smartphone.

British teenagers spend 40 days year on their mobile phones

A survey has revealed that teenagers spend around two hours and 40 minutes every day using their mobile phones, which is equal to nearly 41 days.

The research from broadbandchoices reveals that youngsters in Liverpool use their phones the most and spend 48 days browsing apps and text messages.

Teenagers in Glasgow and Cardiff claimed second and third places, while London teenagers were ranked in bottom place and use their phone for 37 days.

The firm’s research also reveals that 55% of parents say they wonder how they managed to survive as a teenager without a mobile phone or access to the Internet.

Parents warned of smart phone bingeing

Meanwhile, parents in the UK are being warned to monitor their children’s smartphone use over fears they are overindulging on social media.

In addition, the Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, says phone companies are increasingly offering unlimited data for streaming apps, messaging and social media.

Her comments came after a new mobile plan was unveiled by Vodafone called Voxi which is aimed at under 25s.

The SIM-only plan allows subscribers unlimited access to a variety of apps such as Instagram, Facebook and Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Twitter.

Tech coalition squashes botnet

As reported recently, Google was forced to bin more than 300 apps from its Play Store recently because of malware issues.

Now a coalition of tech firms has managed to dislodge a massive botnet that was using Google’s Android platform.

The malware started as a click fraud scheme with hundreds of malicious apps operating on phones but the botnet was tailored to launch distributed denial of service attacks against websites.

Researchers dubbed the botnet ‘WireX’ and it has infected more than 120,000 mobile phones.

Some of the firms that worked to take down the threat include Cloudflare, Oracle and Flashpoint.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

US sanctions have led Apple to remove popular Iranian mobile phone apps from its App Store. Apple accounts for 11% of Iran’s mobile phone market and the government there says it will pursue the company to respect its customers.

A survey by comScore has revealed that most US mobile phone users do not download any apps. They found 51% of people with a mobile phone do not download anything in a month.

Microsoft has unveiled its Mixer Create app which enables gamers to stream mobile games on Android and iOS devices.

Google has revealed that its Android Wear 1.0 will have standalone apps that will enable it to be used independently of smartphone apps.

The new Sony Xperia phone has a 3D scanning app with the phone maker believing there is a big demand from users to create and distribute their 3-D creations.

The new Apple iPhone 8 will be released this month with rumoured features including wireless charging, edge-to-edge display and facial recognition. The iPhone 7S and 7S plus will also be released.