Posts

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.

App for fed-up parents

One fed-up dad in the UK has unveiled an app that prevents his son from using his mobile phone when ignoring texts.

Nick Herbert has revealed that the app will lock his son’s smartphone when he ignores any text messages.

The 13-year-old was playing games regularly on his smartphone rather than responding to his dad’s communications.

Now, after eight months developing the app, other parents can enjoy the ReplyASAP app to encourage their children to respond to their messages.

The app works by sounding an alarm and blocking the screen with a message which prevents the mobile phone being used until the user responds.

In addition, the parent will be notified that the user has seen their message.

Parking apps are criticised

Motorists who use parking apps on their mobile phones are being fleeced, one website says.

Resolver says that despite the convenience being offered by the apps to pay for parking and find spare car parking spots, they can also offer a range of ‘sneaky extra’ charges.

This means that the overall costs can be increased by up to one third and include paying for text messages.

A spokesman for the site said: “These apps, rather than being helpful, are anti-consumer and with unnecessary charges for services the users do not ask for or need – they are ripping off motorists.”

However, the AA says that despite the growing popularity of parking apps, fewer than 20% of drivers who have them on their phones actually use them.

New app deters speeding

A new app from Toyota Europe will help deter teens from using their phones while driving and also from speeding.

The Safe and Sound needs to be downloaded by the teen driver as well as their parents and then paired.

Essentially, when the vehicle moves at speeds of more than 9mph it will use Google Maps API technology to block off every social media notification as well as incoming calls.

More importantly, the free app for Android will switch off music and play the parents’ Spotify playlist until the teen stops touching their mobile phone or returns to the road’s speed limit.

Uber users warned of malware

Customers of Uber have been warned that a virus could steal their bank card information, according to Kaspersky.

The security firm says that malware called Faketoken imitates Adobe Flash Player and disguises itself in games.

Essentially, victims are responding to a prompt to update their Flash plug-in when watching a video on their smart phone and this then downloads the malware.

Among the apps that have been hit include the Uber ride sharing app with the malware creating a fake window to steal the user’s bank card details as they are being typed in.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

A British mobile only challenger bank called Starling is attracting attention with its business model that is likely to force a rethink in the UK’s financial services sector, say reports. Without any physical branches, the bank relies entirely on its mobile phone app and those behind it say there are opportunities for other fintech firms to enter the sector.

Google has announced that its Android app will now play video previews in search results for those using mobile phones. The new offering is also available on Chrome though for those users who don’t want to watch a video start automatically, the service can be cancelled.

A new mobile phone app that enables users to jump the queue at their favourite clubs and pubs has been unveiled by three businessmen in Manchester. Viper also enables the user to buy drinks before they arrive in the venue.

Firm unveils unusual smart TV app

In the fast-growing market for food delivery apps, one firm says it will grab a big slice of the action with its smart TV app.

The announcement from Foodnfilm says its app will not be available for mobile phones and only for smart TVs.

The market for food delivery in the UK has rocketed and last year there was a 10% increase to 599 million food deliveries while visits to restaurants and other eating outlets rose by just 1%.

Now the new app will integrate with a smart TV’s operating system and enable users to order food as well as convenience items from the big screen and also track their order in real time.

They can do this while watching a movie of their choice.

The firm has now teamed up with Samsung to integrate Foodnfilm into some of its smart TVs and is also looking to partner with LG.

Apple will prevent phone use while driving

One of the new features for Apple’s iOS11 software update will be a new ‘do not disturb while driving’ for iPhone users.

The aim is to reduce driver distraction and silencing all notifications.

In addition, drivers will not be able to access the home screen to open apps when they are behind the wheel.

On top of this, Apple says there’s also an automatic text feature that will be sent to notify family friends that the iPhone user is driving.

The new features have been welcomed by road safety charity Brake who say that drivers using phones while behind the wheel are a ‘growing menace’.

The announcement comes after the UK brought in stricter measures for those caught using a mobile phone while driving with penalty points doubling to six and a £200 fine being introduced.

App will help savers

A new app aimed at freelancers and self-employed people with variable incomes hopes to change the way they save.

It’s been unveiled by the former chief executive of Uber Italy and is called Oval Money.

The personal savings app will enable users to track their spending habits and automatically save money by programming saving goals and tracking transactions as well as setting aside certain amounts of cash every month.

The firm behind the new app says users should, over a three-month period, manage to save £400.

New app will bring about the demise of loyalty cards

A new app has been unveiled that could bring about the end of loyalty cards and create a seamless shopping experience.

Bink is the brainchild of Lee Clarke who developed the idea after realising he did not have his Boots Advantage card when making a big purchase before a family holiday.

He says that loyalty and payment cards should be brought together to help resolve the problem of users missing out on potentially valuable rewards.

In addition, retailers can use the app for sending content, e-receipts and coupons to users.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Skype has unveiled its newest app and revealed that older apps for Windows users will no longer be able to access many features. The new additions see social media style apps including Highlights and bots to add to chat and group conversations.

A grandmother from Somerset claims she managed to diagnose skin cancer by using a mobile phone app after reading about SkinVision in a magazine. While most of her moles were diagnosed as being normal, an ankle lump received a red warning and weeks later surgeons removed an aggressive form of skin cancer. She has called the app ‘amazing’.

Industry watchers say Microsoft is planning to drop support for its classic Windows phone apps with a release of Windows 10 Mobile. The apps, known as Silverlight apps, will no longer work with the new version of Windows.

A new money messaging app has managed to secure €25 million in financial backing. Plynk works in the same way as WhatsApp but users essentially text money to each other.

Instant Apps is Here

More than a year after being unveiled at Google IO, the firm has launched Instant Apps.

The aim of the feature enables mobile phone users to use apps without installing them first which enables more storage to be available for other apps and games.

Instant Apps pulls the interface from, for instance, a retailer’s app in the Google Play Store and this will run as if the user has downloaded the app.

It’s not currently available for every device, but it is a feature on Google Pixel but app industry watchers say the feature will be more widely available soon.

It appears too that users will also need to opt in for Instant Apps with their Play Store ID to access the service and Google believes it will prove very popular.

One of the big attractions is for those phone users who do not have large data allowances since they can access many more apps for purchasing and browsing experiences without downloading them.

Apple’s App Analytics tool unveiled

Apple has unveiled its latest app analytics tool which will enables developers to gain more insight into how users are discovering their apps.

The latest version will reveal what users were looking for when they discovered the developer’s app and where they were on the iTunes store when they did so.

There will also be access to metrics to analyse the referring apps and sites to reveal which are the most effective ones for driving users to the developer’s products.

Apple says the new tool should help developers deliver better marketing campaigns.

The tool was first unveiled two years ago and in addition to helping developers understand how often their apps crash on the iOS platform, the tool also measures the retention of users and the number of active devices that are using a particular app.

Ultrasonic cross-device tones takes off

A growing number of apps are using ultrasonic cross-device tones which enables a mobile device to pick up a signal from an advertiser.

German researchers say the tones cannot be heard but are detected by apps in the phone and are being used by advertisers and billboards to offer phone users discounts and offers for goods.

Essentially, apps that have access to the device’s microphone to pick up the tones and then build a profile of where the user has been and seen the adverts.

There are around 234 Android apps currently available that have this ability for tuning into ultrasonic tones without the mobile user’s knowledge and the researchers say there is a potential for breaching privacy rights.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Nissan have developed a Faraday cage in the armrest of the Juke car where the ‘Signal Shield’ blocks the phone’s signals and wifi connections so drivers won’t be tempted to check their phone while driving.

Google has reacted quickly to an app called ‘Google Docs’ which is a sophisticated phishing scam by hackers to access a user’s Google Doc account. They can also then access emails and other personal information.

Sophos Labs says that users should avoid two Android apps, the Full Optimizer and Full Optimizer Lite, as they do nothing but serve adverts. While claiming to ‘fully optimise’ an Android phone, users will find this is all that they do and Sophos says there is no optimisation taking place simply numbers being generated.

Google has apparently just filed a patent for a smart drag-and-drop system to enable users to better use and close apps. Experts say that the hand gestures that will work on smart phones will also extend to computers and augmented reality headsets so users only need to learn the gestures once and apply them to a range of digital devices.

Drivers Warned Over Drive-thru Apps

Legal experts are warning that drivers in the UK who pay for fast food at a drive-through restaurant on their mobile phone may be breaking the law.

The warning comes after the penalties for driving and using a mobile phone were doubled for those caught on British roads.

However, lawyers at one Scottish legal firm say that using a phone app to pay via contactless methods could land the driver with a £200 fine and six penalty points.

The law firm says that to use a smartphone app in anyway while the vehicle’s engine is running is illegal.

And the rules which are applied to drivers using mobiles when behind the wheel also apply to those who using their mobile devices to pay via contactless methods.

Phone users are also being warned about sneaking a peek at their social media sites including Twitter and Facebook while they are awaiting their order to be delivered.

Some regional newspapers are also reporting that Cleveland Police have been advising people to switch off engines before paying at a drive-through with their smart phone – though they point out that ‘common sense’ will be applied before anyone is prosecuted.

Phone users cause car smashes

Researchers in America have concluded that more than half of car smashes are caused by drivers using a smartphone app.

The study was carried out by Cambridge Mobile Telematics by analysing 1,000 real-world car crashes along with tens of thousands of near misses.

Among the most common forms for distraction are texting, social media and email use.

The study reveals that drivers are distracted for at least 135 seconds when they use their phone.

The research concludes that drivers who use their phone most when driving are around six times more likely to be involved in a crash in those who are not as distracted.

In other Miratrix mobile phone news …

Google has revealed that it’s Android Pay app is no longer needed for those making mobile payments after the search giant integrated the app’s functionality into a wide range of mobile banking apps.

After hitting the headlines, the mobile app for United Airlines is being deluged with one star reviews from outraged users after a man was forcibly dragged from an over-booked flight.

Beach walkers are being urged by the RNLI to use apps for checking the weather and tide times after 55 people were stranded on a beach near Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.

Researchers at Newcastle University have revealed that hackers can steal passwords and PIN numbers just from analysing how a mobile phone will tilt when being held. The researchers managed to crack a four-digit pin with 70% accuracy and had cracked it completely by the fifth attempt. Apparently, phone makers know of the problem but have not devised a solution.

Facebook has announced that its Messenger app has now reached 1.2 billion users. The firm now has three apps with more than 1 billion users each, including WhatsApp.

A study by researchers at New York University has revealed that the fingerprint sensors being used by many smartphones are not as reliable or as safe as users may believe. They managed to use artificial fingerprints that could match the user’s real prints to unlock the phone in 65% of attempts.

More bad news for users of Windows phones after an announcement that Spotify, one of the world’s most popular streaming services, is to stop maintaining its app for the platform.

Oxfam has been trialling contactless donation boxes with donors able to use their mobile phone contactless payment apps for making a donation, along with debit and credit cards.

Google Apps Collude to Mine Data

A study has revealed that thousands of apps on Google’s Android system are colluding to share their user’s data without any consent.

In addition, this is leaving the phones vulnerable to hacking.

The researchers at Virginia Tech in the US found that trusted apps were able to communicate with each other and exchange information which creates various implications for phone users.

A spokesman for the research team said: “It’s the first-time real-world evidence has been found that apps are colluding with each other.

“Apps are getting information from each other when they do not have the permissions for doing so.”

One problem is hackers could use a malicious third party app which, when downloaded, will collude with an authentic application which thinks is genuine and enable hackers to access personal data.

These apps are, apparently, accessing data from Google Play, Gmail, Google Photos and Google Docs, among others.

Businesses urged to take mobile security responsibility

A report reveals that businesses should step in to provide mobile security when users are reckless with their devices when downloading apps.

The RiskIQ report highlights that smartphone users often stray from the official app stores when downloading applications which then puts them at greater risk from malware and ransomware.

While the report highlights that the UK’s smartphone users are more conservative than their US counterparts, they are still taking risks.

One of the issues is that mobile users are ‘jailbreaking’ their devices, around 14% of users do so, so they can download apps they would not be able to use otherwise.

The report states: “While jailbreaking allows more choice, it bypasses the security mechanisms put in place by official app stores and carriers.”

The report concludes that businesses should be more proactive in fighting mobile threats since ‘careless users’ lack the relevant mobile security acumen.

Phone distraction causes car crashes

A study in America has revealed that drivers who are distracted by their phone’s apps cause 52% of smashes.

In addition, 25% of drivers will use their phone with a minute of having a crash.

The findings come from Cambridge Mobile Telematics and a spokesman said: “This is a big problem for drivers and pedestrians and it’s a dominant factor in whether you will have a crash.”

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Smartphone users in India are being warned that the mobile apps for seven banks have been infected with malware. The warning comes as users are urged to install a personal security certificate which has been sent by hackers.

To help launch their new album, The Charlatans have turned their popular singles into phone apps. Fans have to guess the song from the icons on their screen.

A researcher says more funding should be provided to help people access digital health services in the UK. Lecturer Siobhan O’Connor said more research is needed to understand the barriers users face which include lack of mobile phone signals and not understanding how health apps can help.

Social media users in the US may be due a pay-out after a judge in San Francisco ruled that the user’s privacy may have been compromised. The ruling will cost eight firms including Kik, Foursquare, Twitter and Yelp more than $5million. The action focused on those who used their smartphone to access the platforms between 2009 and 2012.

A mobile phone app may help users access cheaper electricity from 2020 after an EU ruling. The idea is to use apps to encourage people to use electricity when it is cheap and abundant – usually on sunny days when renewable energy such as solar panels are effective. The move would see flexible prices being introduced to match energy production.

Mobile Apps Can Boost Child Health

A review of medical research has revealed that parents can help improve health outcomes for their children by using mobile phone apps as well as text messaging.

The review has appeared in a leading American medical journal and focuses on the effectiveness of using apps to tackle childhood obesity.

The researchers say that apps enable children to become healthier by boosting a number of behaviours and ensuring the eat a healthy diet and get the medicines they need.

Researchers wanted to analyse the previously conducted reviews for statistical evidence that proves there is a change in health behaviours for those who are 18 years old or younger if they use apps.

Those behind the study say the use of apps offers a chance to improve public health by utilising ‘mobile health interventions’.

Why Millennials get lost

If you have ever wondered why satnav users do silly things by abandoning their common sense, there’s an explanation.

Researchers have revealed that when people use handy devices, particularly satnavs, they switch off a part of their brain that we use for navigation.

They say that when we navigate, we exercise the brain in a different way to when we follow orders.

As part of the study, researchers looked at the street networks for major cities around the world and found most people struggled to navigate their way around small streets.

Essentially, researchers say that while brain training exercises will improve tasks for a given task, they do not improve performances for learning other tasks.

This is why young people particularly who do not use maps and follow satnav directions are more likely to get themselves lost without having phone apps to help them.

Charities boosted with new a donation app

Charities could benefit from a new platform that enables donations to be made by mobile phone.

DonateToday allows phone users to add a charity donation to their phone bill and also have the option to Gift Aid them.

The donation facility works while the donors are online using the app rather than asking them to make a donation through text messaging or entering credit card details.

The app also has a number of suggested donation amount buttons and whether they want to give a regular donation or a simple one-off donation.

Brits still using apps behind the wheel

Despite the punishments for using mobile phones behind the wheel of a car being increased recently, Brits are still using their phones.

The fines for using a phone while behind the wheel have increased to £200 and the penalty points have been increased to six.

However, a car insurer has now found that one in five drivers admit to checking social media apps while driving since the new punishments were brought in.

Topping the list for most used is WhatsApp with 51%, though 44% of drivers are still making phone calls and 9% of drivers are streaming videos.

In addition, drivers are also posting on and browsing Facebook as well as Twitter.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Corporations looking to make their cyber security better are faced with staff having at least one app on at least one mobile phone which means they have access to 1,427 cloud services. The findings from CSO say this provides employers with a cyber security challenge and it’s not just down to malware infected apps but also staff using legitimate apps because they enable various permissions as result.

The rapid growth in the number of apps available for gambling on mobile phones has led to a big increase in the number of gambling addicts, says the National Centre for Problem Gambling. Campaigners say the apps make gambling too easy with more than half of those seeking help from one charity admitting to being addicted to gambling on their mobile.

Researchers in India say that the popularity of mobile phone apps in the country has rocketed by 43% over the last 12 months.

Malaysia and Japanese theme park guests say they want queue busting apps to make their day out more enjoyable. The findings reveal that 91% of respondents want to buy time specific slots with a fast-track pass.

Survey Reveals Mobile Apps are Best Practice for Small Firms

Researchers have revealed that growing numbers of small and medium sized businesses (SME’s) are moving quickly towards adopting mobile apps to boost their business.

The survey by Clutch reveals that 42% of SME’s have already built their own mobile app because they say the app is an important tool to boost their operations.

The survey also reveals that 67% of SME’s say they will have a mobile app in place by the end of this year.

The firms say their need for an app must also provide a worthwhile return on investment and one of the main purposes for having an app developed is to improve customer service.

Those firms who have not created an app is down to the age of management personnel and the company size and also the resources they have to devote to developing an application.

The survey found that larger SME’s with younger managers are more likely to have mobile apps to help the business while the SME’s with owners below the age of 45 are twice as likely to have a mobile app than those aged over 45.

Apps boosted on Android Wear 2.0

It’s a few months late but the new Android Wear 2.0 release has a big impact on apps.

Previously, the smart watch would sync automatically with apps on the user’s smartphone whether they wanted the apps to do this or not.

Now, however, the user will download specific apps to the watch and choose whether they want to sync the app with their smartphone.

In addition, users can also download standalone apps for their wearable tech that do not need a companion app for the user’s smartphone.

McDonald’s reveals ‘pay ahead’ app

Fast-food chain McDonald’s has unveiled plans to launch an app that enables customers to order and pay for food ahead of arriving in a restaurant.

Starting in the US, they will be rolled out around the world’s 20,000 restaurants and industry watchers say this is the first step for the firm to begin home deliveries.

The new service will connect directly with the McDonald’s current mobile phone app.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Drivers in the UK who use a mobile phone at the wheel of their car will now be fined £200 and handed six penalty points on their licence. However, some are still confused about being able to use apps, particularly sat nav apps, though the law states they must not touch their phone when behind the wheel.

Rugby league players in New Zealand have been told to delete betting apps from their smartphones to avoid gambling on matches; betting on games is against their code of conduct and several players have fallen foul of the rules.

Research has revealed that the time US phone users spend on their apps is now five hours every day, says Flurry, an analytical firm.

The data tracking app Glasswire is now available for Android phones. The app shows users which of their phone’s apps is using the most data and when.

Apps Infected with Malware to Kill Smartphones

Millions of apps have been downloaded that contain malware that can kill a smartphone.

The warning comes from security firm Checkpoint which says the HummingWhale malware is hidden inside 20 apps for Android phones which have been downloaded millions of times by unsuspecting users.

The new malware is a variant of HummingGad but is more sophisticated – the app can even write fake reviews in a bid to entice people to download apps containing it.

Once the software has been implemented on a device, it will target adverts against the user’s will, including illegal material.

However, experts are also warning that HummingWhale could kill a smartphone by overloaded it with lots of dodgy apps to prevent it from operating properly.

Meanwhile, users of Netflix apps are being urged to check they are not using a fake app since the unofficial apps can record conversations and take photos secretly.

Testing begins on Android Instant Apps

Google has revealed that testing has started on its Android Instant Apps with the aim of developing and delivering a richer user experience and better search conversion.

The apps will run virtually on the firm’s data centres but only work with Android 6.0 and above.

They can also be run on a user’s phone without them having to install the app which should lead to big cost savings in a firm’s marketing spend.

The big attraction for firms will be a better user experience and a higher conversion rate of customers.

Essentially, a user could search for flight information on Google from their mobile device and select the link from the search results and then, without them realising it, be engaged in an app user experience without needing to download the app to do so to complete a transaction.

Chinese ‘digital envelopes’ take off

Over the Chinese New Year, millions of well-wishers will follow a tradition of giving cash-filled red envelopes to those they love.

However, offering these envelopes in the digital fashion is now taking off with millions of people using apps that utilise social messaging services.

Indeed, last year, the numbers using digital red envelopes rocketed by 10 times to 32 billion envelopes from 516 million people.

This year, it is predicted that 100 billion digital envelopes will be sent by well-wishers from around the world.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

Apple has announced that its voice-recognition function, Siri, will be installed for apps on its Apple Watch.

Some say there’s no money in apps but start-up Button has just received £16 million in funding. The app connects its users to leading brands to earn cash and makes it easier for apps to integrate with others.

Two in five people in the UK say hands-free kits for mobile phones should be banned while behind the wheel of a car. The Department for Transport survey also reveals that 40% say that all mobile phone should be banned while driving.

Chinese authorities have revealed a crackdown on ‘snatching apps’ which are aimed at stealing tickets, particularly for travel, from a user’s mobile phone.

App developers need to be aware that the Android Nougat 7.0 update has been halted after more issues. The latest has seen Sony Xperia users having poor performance issues as have Samsung S7 users.

Most Popular Apps of 2016 Revealed

2016 has been hailed as a big year for digital with Facebook dominating the most popular app chart with 146 million average unique users every month.

That’s 14% more than in 2015 and Facebook Messenger comes second in the Neilsen chart with 129 million unique monthly users.

In third place is YouTube with the fastest growing app being the Amazon App which rocketed by 43% and Instagram rose by 36%.

The chart also analysed what smart phone owners are using to access apps with 53% using Android devices, 45% using IoS, 2% are using a Windows phone and 1% use Blackberry.

The top 10 of smartphone app use in the US for 2016 sees Google Maps in fourth place followed by Google Search then Google Play and Gmail makes an appearance in seventh place.

Instagram is in eighth place while Apple Music is ninth and the Amazon app makes an appearance in 10th place.

Phablet take up soars

The growing popularity of Phablets – smartphones with a minimum screen size of 5 inches – means they will become the main form of phones around the world in 2017.

Research from Flurry reveals that Phablets accounted for 37% of new phones in the run-up to Christmas which is 10 percentage points higher than the year before.

Medium size phones, such as the iPhone 7, accounted for 45% of all new device activations though this is a fall of nine percentage points.

However, by the middle of 2017, phablets will account for 59% of mobile devices while medium sized phones will account for 29%.

The good news for mobile phone app developers is that the larger devices encourage longer app usage and better app experiences.

From their research, the firm says that the owners of a phablet will launch 21% more apps than those owning smaller screen smartphones.

Their average session length is also 3.5% longer.

In addition, developers will struggle to compete in an increasingly crowded app market which is set to reach $102 billion by 2020, according to App Annie.

In response, app developers need to adapt their strategy is to capture a rapidly growing market and stay abreast of consumer preferences and trends.

There may also, says the research firm, need to adopt different monetisation strategies for different apps.

China bans military fitness apps

Chinese military authorities are warning that soldiers using fitness apps could be posing a security threat.

That’s because the software may track a soldier’s movements and location and inadvertently reveal military secrets.

Soldiers have also been warned about posting workout results onto social media platforms.

In one instance, a fitness instructor had to delete social media posts since they revealed exactly where he is based and 43% of soldiers apparently have motion tracking apps.

In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …

From January 1, it will be illegal to hold a mobile phone while driving in California after a new law was enacted. Drivers cannot hold a phone ‘for any reason’ even when accessing apps.