Adding yet another positive note to Instagram’s biggest week ever — Facebook on Monday announced that it will acquire Instagram for $1 billion — the company’s new Android application has been downloaded more than 5 million times after less than one week of availability. Instagram launched for Android-powered devices on April 3rd, and it took less than one day for the highly anticipated app to reach the one million download mark. As of Monday, April 9th, the application had been downloaded from the Google Play marketplace more than 5 million times, The Next Web reported. Instagram allows users to capture photos or import them from a smartphone’s camera roll, and then apply retro effects before sharing them with their contacts. Facebook expects its acquisition of Instagram to close later this year. More →
Despite reinforcements arriving this year from Nokia, Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform will only account for 2% of all mobile application downloads in 2012, a recent report suggests. Market research firm ABI Research recently released a new study stating that nearly 36 billion apps will be downloaded to smartphones and tablets this year, and an overwhelming 83% of those downloads will be served to either Android or iOS-powered devices. “Although Windows Phone lags behind RIM’s BlackBerry and even Nokia’s Symbian, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the two percent that we forecast for 2012 would be twice the share the platform achieved last year,” ABI analyst Lim Shiyang said in a statement. “Microsoft is gaining momentum, but its starting point is frustratingly low.” Devices like Nokia’s new Lumia 900, which BGR reviewed on Tuesday, are expected to improve Microsoft’s position in the smartphone market while the firm works on its next major OS release, Windows Phone 8. ABI Research’s press release follows below.
U.K.-based Android and iOS app developer Gareth Wright recently discovered a security hole in Facebook’s native mobile apps that can be used to steal a user’s personal information. Facebook’s Android and iOS apps do not encrypt login credentials, instead storing them in plain text files and allowing the information to be easily accessed and transferred over a USB connection, or more likely, through a malicious app. Wright explained in a blog post that Facebook’s plist file, or property list file containing personal data, is stored insecurely and not set to expire for 2,000 years. Once a plist file is copied to another device, one can simply open the normal Facebook app and will automatically be logged in the user’s account. Wright’s claims were confirmed by TheNextWeb, which also discovered that Dropbox’s iOS app includes the same security hole. The vulnerabilities do not require a device to be jailbroken or rooted, and exploits can be performed with a simple file explorer.
Update: Dropbox reached out to BGR regarding the issue, the company’s statement can be found after the break. More →
Lookout Mobile Security on Tuesday published a report stating that a known malicious Android program has been updated with the ability to harm a device without depending on a user’s interaction. The new version of the “Legacy Native” (LeNa) app utilizes an exploit called GingerBreak to gain root permission on Android phones. The new variant of LeNa hides its payload just past the End of Image marker of an otherwise fully-functional JPEG. The malware is then able to communicate with a command and control server to install and launch packages unbeknown to the phone’s user. According to the report, this new version of LeNa is currently being distributed in a fake version of Angry Birds Space, but the malicious program is not believed to have made its way into the Google Play marketplace at this time. More →
Wealthy smartphone users are more likely to own an Apple iPhone and less likely to play games or post on Twitter than average users. According to research from The Luxury Institute, 62% of U.S. consumers earning at least $150,000 per year own a smartphone. 45% of people falling to that category own an iPhone, 35% use an Android-powered device and 25% have a BlackBerry. More than 80% of wealthy smartphone owners download mobile apps, with the most popular categories being weather (63%), news (51%), travel (42%), business/finance (39%) and sports (34%). Facebook, Angry Birds and Words With Friends are the most popular apps, however higher-income consumers use far less entertainment apps than the average smartphone user. “As you get older and have family and significant others, aging parents, and a lot more assets and investments, you’re going to need apps for far more relevant things than playing games and chatting with your peers,” The Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza noted. More →
Earlier this month, Apple crossed a record 25 billion downloads from more than 550,000 available apps, while Google in December surpassed 10 billion downloads from 400,000 available apps. Analytics firm Flurry on Friday announced the results of a new study that examined various mobile app markets, and interestingly enough, the study found that apps in Amazon’s competing Android Appstore earns three times more revenue than those within Google’s own marketplace. Apple’s App Store took in the most revenue, with the Amazon Appstore earning 89% of the revenue Apple did and Google’s Play marketplace making just 23%. “Another way to interpret the results is that for every $1.00 an app generates in the iTunes App Store, it generates $0.89 in the Amazon Appstore and $0.23 in Google Play,” Flurry analysts wrote in their report. “These results mirror those of a similar analysis conducted by Flurry last December, where we found for every $1.00 generated in the iTunes App Store, developers generated $0.24 in the Android Market.” The statistics come from 11 million daily active users of top-ranked applications available on iOS and Android over a 45-day period between mid-January through the end of February. More →
At its core, Facebook is a social network built on the premise that people want a central location where they can keep track of and interact with all of their friends. With nearly a billion active monthly users, the site’s strategy is seemingly in line with the wants of the masses. One developer seems to think the world’s most popular social network is too bright and cheery, however, and he recently released a Facebook app that looks to rain on users’ parade. More →
Telenav on Tuesday announced the company’s “Scout for Apps” HTML5 voice-guided GPS navigation service. The service is being offered to developers who are looking for a free, turn-by-turn, voice-guided GPS navigation solution that can be built directly into their apps or websites, and the first mobile apps to incorporate Telenav’s service are scheduled to roll out soon. Avantar’s popular Yellow Pages app, which serves more than 90 million listings each month, will be among the first to incorporate the Scout for Apps service. “Currently, when users click on an address in our Yellow Pages app, we provide a standard map experience to help users get to their desired destinations,” said Adrian Ochoa, CEO of Avantar. “Once we launch with Scout for Apps, our customers will receive full-blown turn-by-turn, voice-guided directions, and they will never have to leave our app to get those directions and guidance. We love being able to offer this type of service on our platform.” Read on for more. More →
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom previously confirmed that an Android version of the company’s popular iOS application was in the works, even claiming that “in some ways its better than our iPhone app.” On Saturday, the company launched a teaser page, allowing users to sign up to become “first in line for Instagram for Android.” The release date for Instagram’s Android app is still unknown, however. As an iOS exclusive, Instagram has already racked up more than 27 million registered users, making it one of the App Store’s most popular photography apps. With an Android release imminent, Instagram will soon solidify its position as one of the top photo-sharing app makers in the mobile world. More →
Rovio on Monday announced that the company’s latest Angry Birds installment has been downloaded 10 million times in less than three days. Angry Birds Space launched last Thursday on iOS and Android devices, as well as on OS X and Windows PCs. In the fourth major Birds release, users are faced with new challenges such as zero-gravity planets and new gameplay features like slow-motion and lightspeed destruction. The game has over 60 levels, including some hidden ones, and Rovio has promised that it will receive content updates in the future. Since the game’s release, fans have dubbed it the best Birds game since the original. More →
Many industry watchers argue that software ecosystems now present one of the biggest hurdles to mobile platform owners looking to combat the mobile juggernauts that iOS and Android have become. BGR has been covering the issue for years, and in November 2010 we said that absent apps were a huge barrier for Microsoft as it re-entered the mobile space with Windows Phone. Now, nearly a year and a half later, the Windows Phone platform is being taken a bit more seriously by mobile developers, however the issue of getting premium apps onto the platform in a timely fashion persists. In an effort to combat this problem, Microsoft and Nokia have launched a new program aimed at attracting attention from emerging developers. Read on for more. More →
Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace has reportedly reached another milestone according to Chinese website Sina. The company’s chairman and chief executive officer for the Greater China region Simon Leung said that the mobile platform is now home to over 100,000 registered developers who have made more than 70,000 apps available in 63 different markets. The number of apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace, however, is still a relatively small figure when compared to Apple’s App Store, which boasts more than 500,000 apps, and the 450,000 apps in the Google Play marketplace. More →
Apple on Wednesday revealed that its newest iOS app, iPhoto, has sold 1 million copies in less than 10 days, The Loop reports. The Cupertino-based company unveiled the iPhoto app towards the end of its iPad press conference in San Francisco earlier this month. The application relies heavily on gestures and features smart browsing, auto-enhancing, professional quality effects, brushes, photo beaming between devices, photo journals and multi-touch editing, and it allows users to share images via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and email. iPhoto is available in the App Store for $4.99. More →