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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.

This week..  report finds 90 per cent of mobile health and finance apps vulnerable, Apple controls half of the smartwatch market, Google hires official VR boss and US bank customers now prefer mobile to branches.

Report: 90 per cent of mobile health and finance apps vulnerable to critical security risks

Tech Republic

In analyzing 126 of the most popular mobile health and finance apps, app security company Arxan found that 90 per cent of them had one thing in common—major security vulnerabilities. What’s even more concerning is that many consumers in the space don’t realize that this many of the apps are unsafe.

The data comes from Arxan’s fifth annual State of Application Security Report, wherein the company found a great disparity between the perceived security of mobile apps in the space and the reality of their level of security.

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Researchers say that Apple controls over 50 per cent of the smartwatch market

Business Insider

Apple sold over half of all smartwatches in 2015, according to research firm Juniper.

Android Wear, which is developed by Google, captured 10% of the market, despite having smartwatches made by Samsung, Motorola, and Acer.

The remaining 38 per cent of the market was captured by independent makers, such as Nabu or Martian.

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iOS Shipments Overtake Windows PCs for the First Time

Mobile Marketing Magazine

iOS shipments overtook Windows PCs for the first time in 2015, according to a graph shared by Asymco.

Shipments of all Apple devices (iPhone, iPad and Mac) combined broke 300m last year, with iOS accounting for all but 10m of that figure. By comparison, shipments of Windows desktop devices dropped to 275m. Android is a notable absence from the graph, for the simple reason that it vastly outperforms the other two.

Elsewhere, Apple announced that 75 per cent of active iOS devices today are running iOS 9. The majority of the remainder (19 per cent) are running iOS 8.

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Google Now Has an Official Virtual Reality Boss to Take On Facebook’s Oculus


As Facebook and Microsoft have plowed ahead with virtual reality, Google has looked like it’s behind. But, in 2016, it may be serious about catching up.

The search giant is forming its own dedicated division for virtual reality computing, with CEO Sundar Pichai moving over a key deputy to run it, according to multiple sources. Simultaneously, the move signals Google’s emerging intent to build a viable enterprise business. Because with the executive shift, Google’s massive consumer Web applications now fall under incoming SVP Diane Greene.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the changes, but declined to comment further.

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US bank customers officially prefer mobile to branches

Mobile Money Revolution

New data from Javelin confirms that US bank customers are switching en masse away from the high street and towards the app.

In said that in 2015, 1 in 10 US adults began using mobile banking for the first time – that’s 25 million new mobile bankers.

As a result, mobile banking finally exceeded branch banking. Javelin found 30 per cent were banking by app, compared to 25 per cent in buildings.

“Mobile is on a growth path to unseat PCs to become the “first screen” through which bank customers interact with and judge their primary financial institution (FI),” said Daniel Van Dyke, Mobile Analyst, JAVELIN.

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Attempts to regulate WhatsApp, other OTTs could get ludicrous


If South Africa’s biggest mobile networks get their way, over the top (OTT) services such as WhatsApp could soon be regulated. According to Fin24, parliamentary hearings have been set for later this month aimed at exploring “necessary policy interventions on how to govern OTTs, regulatory interventions on the guidelines to regulate OTTs” and the “impact of OTTs on competition”.

The hearings, which will take place under the remit of the the Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services will also discuss, whether “there (is) a need for the OTTs to be defined as telecom services (voice or data) or telecom infrastructure, and thus whether they should be subject to licensing and regulatory obligations (such as legal intercept and emergency call access) or not?”

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What you need to know about the mobile wallet war in India

Tech in Asia

“Buy this through XYZ digital wallet and get Rs. 50 (US$0.75) cashback on every ticket booked,” read a recent email I received from PVR Cinema.”

I usually receive this a few times a week and it keeps me informed about the latest movies. The bottom of the emails, as seen, are peppered with advertisements for mobile wallets. All of them vying for your attention and begging to pay part of the ticket price on your behalf. All I have to do is make the transaction through them.

Just like this email I received, the mobile wallet space has seen the density of brands in the market soar. We now have a never ending list of applications offering consumers discounts, cash-backs, vouchers and coupon codes.

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Southeast Asian kids are 20 per cent more active on mobile than U.S. kids


U.K.-based startup SuperAwesome found in a survey that children ages six to 14 in Southeast Asia are 20 percent more active in mobile usage than U.S. kids.

The report examined markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The finding is interesting because, despite the big impact these kids have on family purchase decisions, there is very little detailed analysis for the age group, according to SuperAwesome.

The results showed that, in terms of mobile, the children in these markets are among the most digitally engaged on the planet.

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BlackBerry Says It’s Done With Its Home-Grown BlackBerry OS – All 2016 Products Will Use Android Software

Android Police

Pour one out for the little guys, folks… even if this particular little guy used to be a 700-pound gorilla that dominated corporate and government sales all over the world. After a mostly positive response to the BlackBerry Priv, the company’s latest flagship and its first to run the Android operating system, CEO John Chen says that the older BlackBerry OS is not going to be used in any of the new phones it has planned for the 2016 calendar year. He told Cnet the news at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

A full switch-over to Android makes sense – many software and app developers are ignoring the BlackBerry platform completely after its marketshare has dived into the single digits over the last few years. Even so, seeing such a rapid shift from BlackBerry, a company that has staunchly committed to its in-house operating system for the better part of a decade even as Android and iOS have crushed it, is more than a little surprising.

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Charities must build confidence to unlock £1.7bn text donation opportunity

Charity Digital News

Only 17 per cent of UK adults prefer to use theirsmartphone to make a charity donation according to new research released today by Fonix and One Poll, with pushy communication techniques impacting on how consumers engage with charities.

The study found that when it comes to donating to charity, concerns over trust and harassment clearly influence the channels that consumers use.

Overall, 33 per cent of consumers prefer to donate through a charity’s website. Direct debit is the preferred method of choice for 29 per cent while 17 per cent opt for mobile and just four per cent prefer to pick up the phone.

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