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App-addiction Grips the UK

The average Brit will look at their smartphone around 28 times a day, which works out at more than 10,000 times every year, according to a survey.

Researchers say that 4,000 of the checks are being made compulsively without any particular goal in mind.

However, one in 10 smartphone users are opening their device more than 60 times a day and one in three say they are addicted to looking at their various app updates.

A spokesman for the firm that undertook the survey, Casumo, said: “The instances of compulsive checking are higher than we imagined and shows our phones are a habit as they are an aid.”

The survey found that Brits are spending 58 minutes a day using their smartphone with the most popular app being Facebook. In second place is WhatsApp, with Gmail and Instagram in third and fourth places.

However, the survey also reveals that while Facebook takes first place, users believe other apps deliver more benefits with Google Maps being number one for usefulness followed by WhatsApp and Gmail.

Black Friday sees major boost to mobile phone app use

The number of people using mobile phone apps to score a Black Friday bargain has rocketed with 39% of sales online being made over a mobile phone, according to IMRG.

Also, Vouchercloud says that 63% of its online traffic came from smartphones compared with 27% using desktop computers and 10% using tablets.

The report from IMRG says that since Friday is a working day there’s an unusual trend since most people are at work and unlike last year, mobile sales were being used steadily throughout the day.

Apple revealed to have major privacy flaw

Security researchers say a popular app has a major privacy flaw and mines information stored on the smartphone to work out where the user is.

The researchers from Stamford University say that PinMe will use data from the accelerometer and gyroscopes among other information to work out where the user is – even if the apps don’t have access to the phone’s GPS.

The app can calculate whether the person is travelling by car, foot, plane or train and also chart their travel.

The researchers say that phone makers need to introduce software that will enable a user to switch off all sensors in a bid to protect their privacy.

Meanwhile, researchers at the Yale University have found that there are hundreds of Android apps that are riddled with trackers.

They say the trackers are being used for targeting advertising, location tracking and behavioural analytics.

They point out that these apps may have a legitimate application but are operating, most often, without the smartphone user’s knowledge.

Researchers found that of the 300 apps they inspected, 75% had trackers.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Google has unveiled a new app for Android smartphones that enables users to stay under pricey mobile data limits in developing countries. The new service is called Datally and helps users close down data transmission by various apps easily.

Hundreds of new drivers in the UK have been banned for using their mobile phone while behind the wheel of a car. The bans are automatic for new drivers.

Police in Gwent are trialling a new app for sending emergency images and follows in the footsteps of West Midlands Fire Service testing a similar app. Gwent’s two-month pilot will use a mobile phone app that will enable the public to provide a livestream or photographs of emergency incidents for control room operators to use.

GPs in the UK will soon be able to offer a prescription using a clinically approved app while sitting opposite a patient; a trial will begin in Merseyside from January. The app will see prescriptions for 10 drugs being trialled with a target of 100 more being added in subsequent months.

America’s Most Used Apps Revealed

New research has revealed that the most used mobile apps in America are Facebook, YouTube and Facebook Messenger.

The findings from ComScore also revealed that the average adult mobile phone user spends around 2.3 hours every day on their mobile apps.

When the data is analysed, apps account for 87% of the time used, while the mobile web is used for 13% of the time.

However, the most popular apps that have been placed on the home screen for quick access are: Facebook, Gmail, Google Maps, Amazon and Facebook Messenger.

The findings also reveal that millennials, those people aged between 18 and 24, spent two thirds of their digital media time using a mobile app – more than any other group.

Millennial’s hate uncool app designs

Comscore’s findings also reveal that Millennials are often left unimpressed with an app’s design and are killing them off at an unprecedented pace.

They will delete the app if they don’t like how it appears on the screen and logos also matter.

The firm adds that Snapchat is closing in on Instagram for popularity.

Spyware fears leads to apps removal

The fear over spyware has led to Google removing more than 500 apps from its online store.

The move follows findings from security firm Lookout which revealed that the apps could spread spyware on the user’s Android phone.

The software has the ability to siphon a user’s personal data without alerting them or the app creator. Indeed, most of the app developers were unaware of potential security flaws.

Among the apps to cause potential problems are SelfieCity and Lucky Cash – both of these have now been fixed.

Mobile phone satnav use could lead to ban

Drivers in the UK who use their mobile phone as a satnav could be facing hefty penalties.

The government has warned motorists that they will be breaking the law if they run a navigation app on their phone while driving.

The crackdown on drivers using their mobiles while behind the wheel began in April.

However, it appears that the message has not entirely reached everyone and drivers are being warned they face prosecution if they use a mobile phone while at the wheel of a car.

In addition to a £200 fine, drivers can also be banned from driving.

Android Oreo begins roll-out

The new OS for Android, Oreo, will be rolled out over the coming weeks for Nexus and Pixel phones.

There are various cosmetic updates and new features for Oreo and the OS will be, Google claims, more popular than Nougat which is used on 15% of Android devices.

The firm says phone makers look set to launch or upgrade their new devices to Android 8.0 Oreo by the end of the year.

This is the eighth major release for what is the world’s most popular mobile OS.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Facebook has revealed that its users can take 360° photos using its app and use them as a cover image. The capability is now being rolled out and users can tag friends and also zoom into the image.

Repairing the damaged screen of a mobile phone could lead to hackers gaining control of the device. An Israeli university says hackers can plant spyware in the screen and users are warned to avoid third-party screens for their replacement since these can connect to chips in a mobile device and allow hackers access to apps and the phone’s camera.

Kaspersky Labs says there’s been an unusual spike in activity for mobile Trojan clickers to steal cash from Android users using WAP (wireless application protocol) billing. There are now thousands of affected users around the world including Russia and India.

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.

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