A man who was given a ticket two years ago for using a map app on an iPhone 4 while driving had his conviction overturned by a Fresno appellate court on Thursday, which agreed that drivers should be able to use map apps on a smartphone while on the road, FresnoBee reports. “The Fifth District Court of Appeal unanimously concluded that the state Vehicle Code applies to listening and talking and texting on a cellphone while driving – not looking at a map application,” the publication writes. More →
Do you play a lot of Candy Crush Saga or Clash of Clans but almost never spend any money on in-app purchases? If so then you’re free riding on the backs of a tiny number of users who are spending ungodly sums on virtual goods that enhance their enjoyment of their favorite games. Re/code reports that a new study from app-testing firm Swrve claims that half of all in-app purchases are made by just 0.15% of mobile gamers, which is pretty stunning considering how lucrative in-app purchases have become for mobile game developers. More →
Following concerns from consumer groups in Denmark, Britain, Italy and Belgium, the European Commission wants to know more about in-app purchases that are available in mobile applications and that can cause unexpected credit charges, especially for games played by children who may not aware what in-app purchases really mean. According to Reuters, the EU has invited industry – including Apple and Google – policymakers and consumer protection authorities for talks on Thursday and Friday. More →
Plenty of the apps on our smartphones provide us with entertainment and information, but how many protect us from the dangers of the world around us? As far I know, there aren’t many, but the upcoming Android app Audio Aware from the developers at One Llama could do just that. According to MIT Technology Review, Audio Aware will be capable of comprehending noises in the environment that could signal danger, alerting “hard-of-hearing smartphone users and distracted walkers” to an oncoming emergency vehicle or the sound of tires screeching on the pavement. If you happen to be wearing headphones when the background app picks up a distressing noise, it could pause your music and emit a word of warning. One Llama is also looking to include the app in wearable devices in the future as well. The technology is far from perfect, but if an app is able to detect danger before the human ear, it could speed up our increasingly sluggish reaction times.
One of the less enjoyable parts of living in a city comes when you go to your car and see a brightly colored parking ticket envelope slapped onto your windshield. Sure you can always contest your parking tickets but doing so means you’ll have to waste a lot of time filling out paperwork or going into traffic court. This is one reason why a lot of parking tickets simply go unchallenged. More →
The EverythingMe Launcher Android app has been updated to offer users advanced contextual features including predicting what apps the user wants to use at a certain moment of the day, The Next Web reports. The software will automatically sort apps into folders based on certain themes, and then it will place the apps on the homescreen at different times of the day, based on what it learns about the user. More →
While a Rutgers University professor is working on an Android application that will tell you when other apps access the GPS functionality of your smartphone in order to track your location, well-known developer Chainfire has already released its first version of a new application called Pry-Fi. The incredibly useful new app can completely turn off Wi-Fi tracking without actually turning off Wi-Fi features of Android devices, in order to stop, or at least minimize tracking. More →
One thing Android smartphones are highly criticized for is the amount of bloatware – whether it comes from OEMs or carriers – that can clog the overall experience, not to mention take up precious storage space on the device. Such software that’s preloaded on devices can’t be deleted by users in most cases – at least not in an easy, user-friendly fashion – but starting with April that’s about to change, at least in South Korea, ZDNet reports. More →
Are you a mobile app developer who dreams of instant overnight Snapchat-like riches? Well, you should probably find a more realistic dream because new research from Gartner predicts that you’re not likely to be financially successful. In fact, Gartner projects that by 2018, less than 0.01% of consumer mobile apps will be considered financial successes by their own developers, which means app developers should probably hold off on their plans to buy that beautiful house in Palo Alto until they actually start generating consistent revenue streams. More →
Apple revealed last week that it had raked in over $10 billion from App Store sales in 2013, a clear indicator that the market for mobile apps is still booming. This week, Flurry Analytics has released its own yearly data, and according to the report, overall app usage is up 115% year-over-year. In fact, each and every app category the company measures posted growth in 2013, including games, fitness and news apps, some of which were feared to be reaching their peaks. The leading factor for growth was, perhaps unsurprisingly, social and messaging apps, such as Snapchat, Kik, WhatsApp and LINE. More →
The explosive growth of mobile apps isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. According to research company Gartner, 102 billion apps will be downloaded from mobile app stores in 2013, nearly 40 billion more downloads than 2012. Total revenue of app downloads is also expected to increase from $18 billion last year to $26 billion by the end of 2013. Although Gartner‘s projections show continuous growth through 2017, the rate of growth is expected to slow starting next year. More →
Wondering why Apple (AAPL) is sinking so much effort into building its own Maps application? Because it doesn’t want Google (GOOG) to gobble up all the revenue from big-name mobile applications. ComScore has published its most recent monthly review of the top iOS and Android apps in the United States ranked by unique visitors and has found that Google captured 5 of the top 6 spots with Google Maps, Google Play, Google Search, Gmail and YouTube. In fact, Facebook (FB) was the only non-Google app to crack the top 6, although it also had the benefit of being the most-visited app in the entire country by a margin of more than 10 million unique visitors. iTunes was the only Apple app to crack the top 10, meanwhile, as it ranked eighth with roughly 46 million unique visitors last month.
Some day, we may refer to lazy and docile people as “app potatoes.” New data from Flurry Analytics shows that Americans are spending more time using mobile apps than ever before, and are now spending nearly as much time using them as they spend watching television. According to Flurry, U.S. consumers now spend 127 minutes per day using mobile apps, up from just 94 minutes per day one year ago. Television, by contrast, has remained constant as Americans spent an average of 168 minutes per day watching TV in both 2011 and 2012. Flurry doesn’t think that apps are just a fad either, as the firm writes that “we ultimately expect apps on tablets and smartphones to challenge broadcast television as the dominant channel for media consumption.”