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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. This week.. Why mobile messaging can improve the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, China to Ban Collection of ‘Irrelevant’ Personal Data By Mobile Apps, why advertisers should be mad for mobile games in 2021 and much more…

Personal data of 533 million Facebook users leaks online

The Verge

Personal data from 533 million Facebook accounts has reportedly leaked online for free, according to security researcher Alon Gal. Insider said it verified several of the leaked records.

“The exposed data includes personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India,” according to Insider. “It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and — in some cases — email addresses.”

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Apple to start enforcing new app privacy notifications

Security

Apple announced it will start enforcing a new privacy notification rule that digital advertising firms such as Facebook have warned will hurt their profits.

According to a Reuters report, the notices will be mandatory when its iOS 14.5 operating system becomes available. The notices will require an app developer to ask a user’s permission before the app can track activity across companies’ apps and websites.

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Fueled by pandemic, contactless mobile payments to surpass half of all smartphone users in US by 2025

Tech Crunch

Among other technology trends accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of contactless mobile payments boomed in 2020. According to a recent report by analyst firm eMarketer, in-store mobile payments usage grew 29% last year in the U.S., as the pandemic pushed consumers to swap out cash and credit cards for the presumably safer mobile payments option at point-of-sale.

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Why LG is leaving the mobile phone business

Tech Radar

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, every electronics manufacturer worth its salt was making mobile phones. Mobiles were no longer an expensive business accessory, but an essential consumer good and there were huge opportunities in a market that could accommodate many entrants.

Much of the innovation was hardware-centric and the period saw rapid technological advances such as cameras and colour displays, coupled with experimental form factors. But the arrival of the smartphone changed everything – even stuffy BlackBerrys became desirable devices – and it was inevitable that there would be casualties.

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Adjust: India and Argentina lead the world in mobile gaming growth

Venturebeat

India is the fastest-growing region for both apps and games in the world while Argentina has the highest growth rate in mobile games relative to its size, according to a report on the global app economy by Facebook and measurement firm Adjust.

The report ranks countries based on their “growth score,” a measure that captures how fast a country is growing in terms of downloading apps and games relative to the number of users who are in the country.

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New Arm architecture brings enhanced security and AI to IoT

EDN

It has been nearly a decade since Arm introduced a new architecture, but growth of the IoT and the movement of artificial intelligence (AI) to these edge devices are trends the company has clearly been tracking. Arm has just introduced a processor architecture that aims to meet the growing need for both enhanced security and AI functionality at the edge.

The Armv9 architecture launched at the end of March, with the aim of enhancing AI processing in IoT devices. The need seems clear: the company estimates that 90% of new IoT applications will contain some kind of AI element. Among the applications expected to require AI are voice processing for device control, vision processing for industrial automation and consumer systems, and machine learning for robotics, autonomous mobile devices, and smart sensors.

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Is Blockchain the Answer for COVID Vaccine Passports?

Government Technology

The public and private sectors are both moving at record speed to gain ground in the fight against COVID-19, embracing every strategy and solution that could help people get back to “normal.” We’re ramping up testing, building momentum with vaccinations and setting up registries that enable people to prove their vaccination status. Recent headlines have covered different “vaccine passport” models being piloted in the U.S. and internationally.

However, a mobile app-based certification system, by itself, is incomplete and will prove to be ineffective on a global scale as much of the world’s population still doesn’t own a smartphone. To be honest, it might not even work on a national level here in the U.S., which is technologically dense, simply because not all vaccine administration sites are set up to certify vaccinations using a mobile app.

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Consumers now average 4.2 hours per day in apps, up 30% from 2019

Tech Crunch

The coronavirus pandemic has increased our collective screen time, and that’s particularly true on mobile devices. According to a new report from mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, global consumers are now spending an average of 4.2 hours per day using apps on their smartphones, an increase of 30% from just two years prior. In some markets, the average is even higher — more than five hours.

In the first quarter of 2021, the daily time spent in apps surpassed four hours in the U.S., Turkey, Mexico and India for the first time, the report notes. Of those, India saw the biggest jump as consumers there spent 80% more time in smartphone apps in the Q1 2021 versus the first quarter of 2019.

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How brands and publishers are capitalizing on mobile video ad trends in 2021

Digiday

While 2020 was an unusual year — for many media companies a time of caution, paused budgets and uncertainty — publishers are viewing it as an inflection point. Like so many other things, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated consumer consumption trends that had been building for years, particularly their affinity for mobile-friendly content.

In many ways, news consumption became a life-and-death imperative last year. People were bound to their mobile devices for the latest health and safety recommendations, as well as following the impact of social and political unrest. Although not so dire, the worlds of entertainment and social engagement were also significantly impacted.

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Facebook and Adjust on the Global App Economy: Gaming and Entertainment Top Growth Verticals

Martech Series 

Adjust, the global app marketing platform, released its second global Mobile App Growth Report, in collaboration with Facebook. Charting app growth and retention trends in 2020, the report demonstrates the extraordinary resilience of the app economy, with the strongest growth in APAC, MENA and South America. Gaming is the world’s fastest-growing vertical, led by Argentina, while India tops the charts as the fastest-growing region.

Using its own Growth Score, Adjust created a global map to highlight mobile app trends outside big, mature markets — showing app marketers where the highest growth potential can be found.

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