Mobile phone app users with Android phones will soon be using a new feature for the system called Nearby which alerts the user to apps that may be of interest based on their current location.
There aren’t many apps supporting the function currently but they do include an in-flight entertainment app for an airline and a photo printing app when close to a High Street chemist store.
However, Google believes there is huge potential for the service as it could offer users discounts at their favourite stores by responding to a Nearby alert to download an app and claim a discount for using it.
The idea is that the user not only saves money but then uses a shop they would probably walk past.
Another proposal is that a growing number of local taxi companies are providing apps for their users and for someone new to a particular town or city then Nearby could flag up an app for a taxi firm close by.
There’s also the opportunity for using it when going abroad to find apps for museums as well as downloading apps to help translate while visiting the country.
Nearby is currently limited but the potential for the system is huge and offers mobile phone developers incredible opportunities to meet demand from local firms and organisations.
Ransomoware is on the rise
According to a report, ransomware is on the rise and 21 popular mobile phone apps could be a gateway for the activity.
The report from McAfee says it found 5,000 different versions of just 21 mobile apps that are being used to target victims; the hackers use two or more apps in a bid to launch a sophisticated attack.
The most popular apps that hackers are using are those for health monitoring, video streaming and travel planning. One reason for the rise in attacks is that app users are not regularly updating their device software.
Mobile phone use to access the Internet will rocket
Researchers have revealed that the amount of time mobile phone users spend accessing the Internet is set to skyrocket in 2016.
The news from Zenith Media reveals that mobile phones have overtaken desktop computers as the preferred device when accessing the Internet. The trend is set to jump by 28% this year.
A spokesman for the firm said: “Desktop use for Internet will fall by 16% this year and 70% of all Internet use is now carried out on a mobile phone.”
On average, mobile phone users will spend 86 minutes a day accessing the Internet from their phones, compared to 36 minutes using a desktop computer.
Safari apps could be curtailed
The South African government has announced plans to curb the use of apps which help safari park visitors to find wild animals since there’s been a huge increase in animals being killed by cars.
The mobile phone apps help give to give visitors tips in real time about where to find animals – but this is leading them to speed to the areas and they are killing wildlife on the way. There’s also been a rise in road rage as well as traffic jams.
A spokesman for the National Park Service said: “Mobile phone apps are inducing visitors to break the rules so we are exploring legal ways to curtail their use.”
Best new mobile phone apps featured
The Gizmodo website has published an interesting feature on the latest mobile phone apps available including, for Android, a facility to add security to apps by using biometrics.
The Applock Face/Voice Recognition system recognises a specific passphrase and the user’s face to help keep mobile phone apps secure.
The Notify app is a floating bubble which enables a user to respond to a notification more quickly and easily without having to switch on another app such as WhatsApp or Gmail.
The new Android Pay also gets a thumbs up and enables users to pay for items using a contactless card reader.
Among the apps being highlighted for iOS is Sorted which utilises sticky-notes to place into a calendar and add reminders.
Gizmodo also flags up Battery Share which will switch friends and contacts when the user’s phone is about to run out of battery power – it also enables users to see how much battery their friends have left too.
There’s also Opera VPN which is a free mobile phone app aimed at unlocking the Internet and getting around digital geographic blocks. The app also blocks ads and prevents trackers.
New apps for Windows Mobile include Facebook messenger, You-Doo which is a to-do list app and Tiles to enable users to access their calendar on their home screen.
In other mobile phone app news…
Message app developer Wand Labs has been snapped up by Microsoft with the firm’s work on chat bots and intelligent agents boosting their appeal.
Apple is promising users of the new iOS 10 that iPhone users will be able to delete apps that they do not want to use. Of the 23 apps preloaded as standard, this is the first time users can delete the ones they don’t like including Stocks, Tips and Compass. However, iPhone users will not be able to delete among others, Safari and iMessage.
Users of the Instagram app on Windows 10 Mobile are apparently unable to install it because the system does not meet the app’s hardware requirements.