Verizon (VZ) on Thursday announced a new cross-platform update for its text messaging app for Android and iOS devices. The application, known as Messages, allows users to send and receive a text message from a PC, smartphone or tablet. Messages are stored on Verizon’s cloud for up to 90 days or until deleted and can also be saved permanently on an SD card. Unlike services from WhatsApp, Google Talk and iMessage, the application utilizes your smartphone’s phone number rather than a username or special PIN. The service sets itself further apart from the competition with a handful of unique features such as the ability to send automated replies to a text when busy. Verizon’s Messages application is available now in Google Play and the iOS App Store. A video demo follows below. More →
We’ve known for a while that Apple (AAPL) design guru Jonathan Ive would look to put his own distinct stamp on iOS and now unnamed sources have told The Wall Street Journal that Ive may go with a “flat design” for the next version of the operating system that will be “starker and simpler” than the current version. The Journal’s report follows a New York Times report from last year that claimed Ive would waste no time overhauling the design of iOS to make it fit in more with his own minimalist hardware designs. The Times’ report similarly indicated that Ive’s iOS makeover will incorporate “clean edges, flat surfaces” to “replace the textures that are all over the place right now.”
Itching to replace Siri with Google Now on your iPhone? Well, you might have to wait a while longer. TechCrunch reports that Google (GOOG) chairman Eric Schmidt on Thursday said that it was up to Apple (AAPL) on whether Google’s voice-enabled personal assistant application would make its way to the App Store anytime soon. When asked about Google Now coming to iOS at the Google Big Tent Summit in India this week, Schmidt responded that “you’ll need to discuss that with Apple” because “Apple has a policy of approving or disapproving apps that are submitted into its store, and some of them they approve and some of them they don’t.” In other words, it sounds as though the company has submitted Google Now to Apple for approval and that it’s currently waiting to see whether it gets approved. More →
Apple (AAPL) released iOS version 6.1.3 on Tuesday to update its Maps application and fix a security vulnerability. In early February, an iOS bug was discovered that allowed unauthorized users to bypass the lock screen on a passcode-protected iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. While this particular security concern was fixed in Apple’s latest iOS update, a second vulnerability has now been discovered: the passcode security on an iPhone can be bypassed by using the voice control feature to dial a number. If the SIM card is ejected while the phone is dialing, the device will end the call and give unauthorized access to the address book and photos stored on the device. The latest vulnerability was tested on an iPhone 4 running iOS 6.1.3 and a video demonstration follows below. More →
Apple (AAPL) on Tuesday released iOS 6.1.3 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update fixes a recent vulnerability that allowed unauthorized users to bypass a device’s lockscreen. The update also includes several improvements for Apple’s Maps application in Japan. iOS 6.1.3 is available immediately as an over-the-air (OTA) update, and it will be available for download shortly in iTunes.
Rovio has made one its classic mobile games available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch available for free by slashing the prices of Angry Birds and Angry Birds HD to nothing for iOS users in both the United States and United Kingdom. It is unclear if this is a permanent move or just a limited-time offer, however Rovio also removed the free demo versions of the apps, which were limited to only a few levels. Since debuting in 2009, the Angry Birds franchise has found great success and the games have been downloaded more than 1 billion times.
A new study has found that Google’s (GOOG) mobile operating system is targeted by hackers far more than any other mobile platform. Security firm F-Secure found that Android accounted for 79% of all mobile malware in 2012, an increase from 66.7% in 2011 and 11.25% in 2010. Apple’s (AAPL) iOS platform on the other hand has remained nearly untouched throughout the years. Malware on the operating system, which is the second most popular among smartphone buyers, was found to account for only 0.7% in 2012. The firm also found that Android saw a significant increase in malware at the end of the year, accounting for 94% of all threats in the fourth quarter. Most malware, however, is found in emerging markets. A majority of mobile users in Europe and the United States will never be affected but should still be cautious of suspicious text messages, links and emails. F-Secure’s graph outlining mobile malware threats is posted below. More →
Although you wouldn’t think it after reading some gloomy recent analyst assessments, Apple (AAPL) is still a pretty popular company. And the latest numbers from comScore show that the launch of the iPhone 5 has helped Apple’s iOS gain some ground on Google’s (GOOG) rival Android operating system. According to comScore, iOS took a 37.8% market share in January 2013, an increase of 3.5 percentage points from its 34.3% market share in October 2012. Android, meanwhile, saw its market share dip slightly from 53.6% in October 2012 to 52.3% in January 2013, while BlackBerry’s market share continued its pre-BlackBerry 10 tumble from 7.8% in October 2012 to 5.9% in January 2013. More →
If there’s one thing that iPhone fans love to tease Android fans about, it’s the perceived lack of security on Android devices. But AppleInsider points us to a new study from mobile security vendor Appthority showing that free iOS apps may actually be less secure than free Android apps when it comes to leaking user data. Overall, the study found that a greater percentage of the top 50 free iOS apps sent and received data without encryption than the top 50 free Android apps. What’s more, the study also found that the top 50 free iOS apps were more likely to have access to users’ contacts and calendar information, were more likely to employ location tracking and were more likely to rely on ad networks to generate revenue than the top 50 free Android apps. The study does not address the impact of mobile malware, but as AppleInsider notes, “mobile malware affects only one percent of apps” and the potential security risks described in the study are far more common.
Despite increasing efforts from vendors to appeal to business customers, a new report found that Android’s enterprise market share actually declined in the fourth quarter. In the latest Device Activation Report released by Good Technology, iOS was found to be at the top of the enterprise market with 77% of all activations, an increase from 71% in 2011, and it captured eight of the 10 spots for most popular devices. Enterprise activations for Android devices fell 6.3% year-over-year for a 22.7% share of the market, while Windows Phone came in at a distant third with 0.5% of activations. More →
BlackBerry’s (BBRY) struggling platform will remain a part of the Department of Defense’s mobile strategy for the time being, however it will begin to see increased competition from the iPhone and Android devices. The Pentagon plans to implement a more “platform agnostic” mobile policy starting by February 2014 when it opens its network to smartphones and tablets from Apple and Android vendors. More →
During the three-month period ending in January, Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system once again surpassed iOS in U.S. smartphone sales thanks to the help of an unlikely partner. According to Kantar Worldpanel, Android smartphone sales at Sprint (S) helped the operating system climb 6.4 percentage points to account for nearly half, or 49.4%, of all U.S. smartphone sales. In the same period, iPhone sales dropped 4.7 points from a year ago to make up 45.9% of U.S. smartphone sales, while sales of Windows Phone’s share increased to 3.2%. More →