Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world.
This week.. Microsoft adds mobile streaming to re-branded Twitch competitor, China mobile chief warns unlimited data plans unhealthy for industry,Mobile fraud is a blind-spot for eCommerce merchants, Korea rank #1 in mobile finance and much more.
Microsoft on Thursday is announcing a new name for Beam, the live streaming app that it acquired last year. Mixer, as it will be called now, is getting features that are available from other apps people use to stream games and other content.
The rebrand comes three years after Amazon acquired Twitch.tv and almost two years after Google’s YouTube launched the standalone YouTube Gaming app.
Microsoft will replace Beam for Android and iOS with the Mixer app, and Mixer will take the place of Beam on the Xbox One and in Windows 10.
Unlimited data plans may increase revenue in the short run, but are ultimately unsustainable for the industry, China Mobile chief executive Li Yue said on Wednesday.
Li told reporters after the company’s annual general meeting that unlimited data plans without a cap on how much data can be used may be profitable for operators today, but will ultimately cause losses for the industry in the future.
His comments came after China Telecom and smartphone maker Xiaomi announced an unlimited data package for Xiaomi users earlier this month, much to the delight of Chinese netizens. China Mobile has also pushed out similar data plans, but data speeds are throttled once users use over 12 or 20 gigabytes of data per month depending on their subscription plans.
Last year’s Black Friday online sales smashed sales records, generating $3 billion with more than $1 billion of sales coming from mobile. This year, over two billion users are likely to purchase at least once using mobile devices. The shift to mobile is driven by younger consumers. The growing trend validates companies’ efforts and investments in building mobile-ready online stores. However, dangers loom as merchants are scrambling to meet the demands of the threat posed by mobile fraud.
Plenty of attention has been given to improving customer experience for mobile. Ecommerce development has been largely focused on design and performance for the past years. The often-cited Google study on mobile speed warns about the consequences of slow-loading websites. Experts have also compiled mobile user experience (UX) best practices that promise to deliver better conversions.
South Korea has trumped other Asian Pacific countries in terms of mobile financial service usage, a report showed Monday.
Users in South Korea had over 7 billion sessions in banking apps in 2016, which was nearly four times as many compared to Australians, according to the latest report by online-based global mobile app tracker App Annie. The report was based on the screening carried out in 13 Asian Pacific countries.
The report analyzed how mobile devices are transforming banking and financial services in the region, covering the growth of retail banking and fintech apps.
Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology have released a full report on a new attack vector that affects Android up to version 7.1.2. The exploit, called Cloak & Dagger, uses Android’s design and screen behaviors against users, effectively hiding activity behind various app-generated interface elements that lets a hacker grab screen interactions and hide activity behind seemingly innocuous screens.
The team, Yanick Fratantonio, Chenxiong Qian, Simon Pak Ho Chung, and Wenke Lee, have created proof of concept users of the exploit including a bit of malware that draws an invisible grid over the Android screen that exactly mirrors – and can capture – the onscreen keyboard.
Mobile phone users will be able to switch operators by sending a text to the provider they want to leave, under plans drawn up by the regulator.
Ofcom said customers could avoid an awkward and long call to their operator and instead send a text. In turn, they will be sent switching codes.
The proposal means Ofcom’s previously preferred option – a more simple one-stage process – is being dropped.
That system was more expensive and could have raised bills, it said.
Close to half of enterprises believe that their C-level executives, including CEOs, present the biggest risk to the business of being hacked through extensive use of unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots.
This is according to mobile connectivity provider and network aggregator iPass, which, in its latest annual Mobile security report, found that cafés and coffee shops were perceived as the number one risk venue on a list that included airports, hotels, exhibition centres and planes.
The supplier compiled responses from 500 enterprises in France, Germany, the UK and the US to get an overview of how businesses are approaching concerns around mobile device and hotspot security.
Designing a successful healthcare app requires more than a problem to solve and a programming team.
In practice, while it may seem like everybody loves apps, users really love only a relatively small number of apps that engage them and keep them engaged, write Simone Orlowski, Ph.D., Scott Covington Newland, M.Des., and Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D., all of Partners HealthCare, in NEJM Catalyst.
Making an engaging healthcare app raises the level of difficulty further, because healthcare researchers are so used to solving problems via the scientific method, the authors write.
Kik Interactive today announced plans to launch a new cryptocurrency called Kin. Once it’s up and running, each Kik user will get a Kin wallet and opportunities to earn Kin for being part of the community. The currency can be exchanged for products, goods, and services within the chat app and any others that adopt the currency.
The move appears to be an attempt to monetize Kik’s young user base. Roughly 30 percent of Kik users are teenagers, and now minors ages 13-17 will be able to collect Kin currency, along with the rest of Kik’s users.
You can already make purchases within a bot by entering credit card information through a webview. This allows you to do things like order clothes from H&M or bras from Aerie, but no form of payment has been possible directly within the Kik app.
African consumers are spending more time and more time on their mobile screens as their adoption of social media, mobile commerce and mobile video accelerates. The result is that mobile is rapidly outpacing traditional channels such as television and print as the medium of choice for accessing information and entertainment.
Given the mobile phone’s central role in people’s lives, it’s worth asking whether brands and agencies in Africa are investing enough in mobile advertising and marketing. For millions of people across the continent, it is their only voice communications device, their payments channel, and their place to access news and information. As such, it should be the starting point for a marketing strategy in Africa.