It seems there’s a new app for iPhone users who feel like they’re being watched. Per Technology Review, the new Silent Circle iOS app encrypts every call, text or email sent from users’ iPhones and thus prevents them from being intercepted by third parties. The app is the brainchild of Phil Zimmermann, the Internet privacy pioneer who developed the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) email encryption protocol all the way back in 1991. The app is still in its development stages and is being tested out for both iPhone and iPad, and Zimmermann hopes to have it ready to sell by the end of the year as a $20 monthly subscription service, Technology Review reports. More →
Nearly two-thirds of consumers in the United States have spent money on mobile applications on at least one occasion according to a survey conducted by ABI Research. More than 70% of users spend little to nothing on apps, however, while the highest 3% of all spenders account for nearly 20% of the total amount spent. “The median amount among the consumers who spend money on apps is much lower than the average, just $7.50 per month,” senior analyst Aapo Markkanen said. “This reflects the disproportionate role of big spenders as a revenue source.” ABI Research also found that the most successful money-making apps have typically been utility apps often used for business purposes, or iOS games that utilize in-app purchases, though in both cases the money comes from a remarkably small number of customers. Read on for ABI Research’s press release. More →
With Instagram recently having been acquired by Facebook for $1 billion and OMGPOP, makers of Draw Something, cashing in for $200 million, developers are attacking the mobile app space with a renewed vigor. Before jumping head first into a new project aiming to be the next big acquisition target, developers might be wise to look over a white paper recently put together by App Promo. More →
After reports surfaced claiming the Google Play Store was about to reach 15 billion app downloads, Google confirmed to TechCrunch that it reached the milestone “a few weeks ago.” Apple reached the same number of downloads in July 2011 and recently surpassed 25 billion downloads in March. The gap between the two marketplaces seems to be widening slightly, with Google seeing about 1 billion app downloads per month while Apple is serving about 1.25 billion app downloads per month. The Google Play Store currently has more than 500,000 apps, while Apple’s App Store has some 600,000. There have been reports, however, that claim iOS developers are making more money than their Android counterparts. Analyst Horace Dediu noted that up until the end of January 2012, Google has paid developers $320 million compared to $4 billion from Apple, but the Cupertino-based company’s app download rate is reportedly slowing, having fallen by 30% in March. Google expects to earn $35.9 million from its app store this year. More →
AT&T on Monday unveiled a new end-to-end suite of home automation and home security services ahead of the annual CTIA Wireless convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dubbed AT&T Digital Life, the carrier’s new offering is an IP-based solution that includes home security and automation features, professional installation and monitoring services, and software for PCs, tablets or smartphones that allows users to monitor and control system features remotely from anywhere in the world. “AT&T Digital Life will change the way people live, work and play — and meets a clear need in the market,” AT&T SVP of Digital Life said in a statement. “The service is smart, simple and customer centric– freeing homeowners to do the things they want to do without compromising on the things they need to do to care for family and home.” AT&T will begin trialing its new Digital Life service in Atlanta, Georgia and Dallas, Texas this summer. Digital Life subscribers will not be required to subscribe to AT&T’s wireless services. The carrier’s full press release follows below. More →
During the annual Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009, a struggling smartphone company that had once helped shape the mobile industry unveiled its next-generation platform. It was gorgeous. The design was unique and appealing, the gesture-based controls were smart and intuitive, and the company’s new smartphone operating system offered a breath of fresh air in an industry dominated by just two major players, Apple and Google.
On August 18th, 2011, less than three years after this promising new platform was unveiled, it was effectively laid to rest.
Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is scheduled to take place in San Francisco from June 11th to June 15th. Tickets for the event sold out in less than two hours, leaving many West Coast developers in the dark, and the Cupertino-based company is enforcing restrictions this year that prevent tickets from being transferred. For developers who aren’t interested in legally changing their name to get past Apple’s restrictions, there is an alternative — Indie Developer Labs. “Indie Developer Labs is an open area where developers are provided with space to work, free Wi-Fi, and an open environment to connect with other developers. Our mission is to help foster the collaborative spirit of the Apple developer community,” the organizers said, adding that a hackathon event is being planned as well. The event is being organized by Kyle Kinkade, Craig Fox and Nate True, who are looking to “help the developer community have a place to collaborate during WWDC.” IDL will take place from June 12th to June 15th in San Francisco, just blocks away from where Apple’s event will be held at the Moscone Center. More →
A new study from Parks Associates found that two-thirds of U.S. consumers are unwilling to spend more than $50 per month on mobile data plans, while almost half of smartphone users were unsure how much data they consumed each month. The report highlights the risks carriers face as they try to shift consumers from unlimited data plans to usage-based ones. “Moving mobile users to usage-based plans will be difficult and painful, but changes are necessary for operators to maintain revenues,” said Harry Wang, Director of Mobile Research at Parks Associates. “Operators would benefit by recasting mobile data services as experience-driven in order to reduce price sensitivity, fend off competition, and keep their mobile data revenue engine humming.” The firm believes that in order for carriers to maximize their revenues, they should tie in their offerings to popular apps and services, including TV, music, books, newspapers, games, location-based services, and social activities, rather than charging consumers per megabyte. Read on for Parks Associates’s press release. More →
Microsoft on Tuesday announced on its Windows Phone Blog two changes regarding its Windows Phone Marketplace that will “help pave the way for new store features and new apps in the months ahead.” The Redmond-based company will be removing the option to shop for Windows Phone apps from the Zune Desktop software and will now require handsets to be running Windows Phone 7.5 to buy and download new apps, or update existing ones. The Zune Music Marketplace will remain open, and the software will be used to back up music and photos, and to install updates on the Zune HD. More →
A group of developers in Russia recently launched the “HackStore,” a centralized location for third-party OS X applications. Like Cydia on iOS, the HackStore is a software hub that allows developers to distribute applications without having to endure Apple’s approval process. The developers behind the project claim that piracy will not be tolerated in their app store, though it is unclear exactly what measures they are taking to prevent pirated software from being distributed through the HackStore. “The biggest Mac Appstore problem is that they limit their users in everything, without giving an opportunity to expand these limits,” HackStore’s creators wrote on their website. “This is not correct, because ONLY users should decide which applications they should install and which one do not. We think HackStore [will] break through the narrow confines of Mac Appstore.” More →
While Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform may not be as big as Apple and Google’s offerings, it is still possible for app developers to find success on the emerging operating system. A year ago, FourBros Studio launched a free game called Taptitude on the Windows Phone Marketplace. The game, as of today, has earned the company over $100,000 in revenue and boasts more than 300,000 users, Business Insider reported on Thursday. Interestingly enough, the company’s revenue has spiked since the launch of Nokia’s Windows Phones. FourBros Studio uses Microsoft’s pubCenter, along with a service called AdDuplex, to sell advertisements on Taptitude, which is now making roughly $1,000 a day and averaging over 1 million daily impressions. The success of FourBros Studio could encourage more developers to join the Windows Phone platform, which has struggled to gain market share since launching more than a year ago. More →
Google co-founder Sergey Brin said during an interview published on Sunday that Apple and Facebook pose serious threats to Internet freedom because of their closed approaches to software. While speaking with The Guardian, Brin said there are “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open Internet on all sides and around the world. I am more worried than I have been in the past. It’s scary.” The executive pointed to the “walled-garden” philosophy that sees companies like Apple and Facebook maintain tight control over third-party software on their respective platforms as the cause for his concerns. Read on for more. More →