The results 2013: mobile apps
Mobile device in 2013, and become truly popular, while sales of desktop computers continued to fall. Gartner has already called the outgoing year “the year of the largest decline in the use of personal computers in their entire history.” Why did this happen? Analysts say that until recently, computers were the only type of devices connected to the Internet. In 2013, everything has changed, and users now have the choice to use the to surf PC, tablet or smartphone.
According to a November study by Gartner, the year the world was sold about 322 million PCs and 185 million tablets. Analysts suggest that next year sales of tablets will grow to about 263 million Many of those who could not afford a modern camera before, bought it last year, because the mobile device for a year become much more accessible.
World “mobilization” is in full swing, and downloads of popular apps in the Google Play and App Store already in the hundreds of millions. Information about which system is more popular, very controversial — different agencies give different information. According to the company NetMarketShare, iOS continues to maintain its leadership in the market of mobile platforms, but Android is constantly gaining momentum. Recent studies NetMarketShare show that iOS takes up about 55% of the market, while Android is used on about one third of all mobile devices. If we consider only smartphones, Android popularity has surpassed iOS: more than half of smartphones running the operating system from Google, and only about 40% use iOS.
As a rule, developers of mobile software oriented to both platforms and try to make their apps available for both iOS users and Android fans. It is therefore not surprising that the most popular mobile apps work on both platforms.
Over the past year, Instagram, which began several years ago as a mobile app with some social features, has become a real social network, available not only with popular mobile devices, but also through the web interface.
However, the beginning of 2013 was for a service not too good — in the period from mid December 2012 to mid January 2013 he lost about half of the active users. The reason for this was changes in the user agreement. According to the new edition of this document, Instagram reserved the right to sell to third parties the photos posted by users of the service without any notifications and payments. In addition, the owners of Instagram could give advertisers detailed information about their users. The new rules were to take effect January 16, but after the mass Exodus of users and criticism from many well-known companies, the service administration backed down. The Creator of Instagram Kevin SISTROM (Kevin Systrom) directly said that anyone with to sell user content does not intend, and photos belong to only users. Sections of the user agreement relevant to the advertisement, has been updated again and returned to the original view.
Users then cooled and slowly began to return. By October the number of active integraserv using the service at least once a month, has reached 150 million, and the total number of published photos exceeded $ 16 billion. Daily on Instagram publishes more than 55 million new photos, and every second users put photos of friends 8500 likes.
All year the creators of Instagram didn’t rest on our laurels and continued to improve the service and add new features. In February, to see photos not only from the screens of mobile devices, but also through the browser on the website instagram.com.
From the browser you can browse your feed, like and comment on photos, but to publish a new not — such a possibility is contrary to the idea of publishing pictures on the go.
In may, the function of “Pictures with you”, through which users had the opportunity to tag photos of people and various organizations and locations. The mark can contain the name of the person and his nick in Instagram. In the second case, he receives a notification about the appearance of the picture, which is present.
June saw the addition of another essential function, users of Instagram can share videos. For the first day after the appearance of this the service has been downloaded more than five million clips. Their maximum duration is 15 seconds. To videos you can apply special filters and select the frame to view in the ribbon. Of course, the available (and widely used) possibility of posting videos on Facebook and Twitter.
In November, Instagram became available to users of the Windows Phone platform. At the time of writing articles this is still a beta version, but it already has the ability to add videos and tag people, so the beginning of the conquest of new Instagram for the platform it should be.
The last significant event of the year for Instagram — the emergence of the possibility of direct exchange of content between users. Feature Instagram Direct lets you send photos and videos as individual users and groups of up to 15 people. Thus, some of the images you can now hide from prying eyes, making them available only to a limited circle of people.
In the ranking of the most growing mobile applications made by the marketing company GlobalWebIndex, Vine remains solidly in first place, ahead of closest competitor’s growth rate by 2.7 times. Introduced in January 2013, the Vine app have managed to more than 23 million users in less than a year. The potential of Vine for advertising have been appreciated by many brands, such as Lexus unveiled the service two of their new car.
The Vine was conceived as the Instagram for videos, and thanks to this app Instagram added the ability to download videos. The original idea of Vine is to give mobile users the ability to share short videos lasting up to six seconds, laying them in his belt, as well as sending to Twitter feed and Facebook. Live at the Vine on a loop and played endlessly. The movie itself does not have to be captured at one time it may contain a few short fragments, all rolled into one.
Company Vine joined the team on Twitter at the end of last year, and in January was released the first mobile app for iOS. A version for Android was introduced in summer and autumn Vine could use and owners of devices with Windows Phone 8. In November, Twitter said that about 80% of service users reside outside the US and released the international versions of an application. They are now available, in particular, Russian.
Authorization in the application may occur for a Twitter account, and if the user selects this option, the Vine account and transferred all of its data. Recently, the application users have the opportunity to get your feed address vine.co/username, and for those who want to use the same name as on Twitter, the corresponding reference is automatically reserved.
On Google Hangouts users first learned in 2011, when it submitted its social network Google+. The function “Call” (Hangouts), built-in social network, from the first day of appearance of Google+ gave the opportunity to organize a video conference in which can participate up to ten people.
In 2013, from Hangouts appeared a different value. In may, Google introduced a new platform for instant messaging and video chat. Originally known under the code name Babel platform eventually received the name Hangouts. She replaced three of the product for communication between users, which was developed by Google: the above mentioned feature of “Hangouts” on Google+ messenger, Google+ and mobile Google Talk for iOS and Android.
Google Hangouts provides simultaneous communication between two or more people. Some of them can use a mobile app, and other built-in functions for services like Gmail, Google+ or appropriate extension for the Chrome browser. Unlike Google Talk, the new Hangouts app does not use an open Protocol XMPP. So most applications that work with Google Talk by third-party developers, do not work with Hangouts.
In the new Hangouts was offered an unusual approach to the interface: instead of a list of contacts there is displayed the last dialogues. Them whenever you want to turn into a video call, which can take up to ten people. Each dialogue has its own name, and message history is stored in the cloud and therefore accessible from any device. In the dialogues, users can send each other photos that automatically uploaded to a private album on Google+.
Android 4.4 Hangouts became the default application for working with SMS. Users of devices with earlier versions of Android also recently can choose it as the main tool for reading short messages and answer to them.
Applications for communication between users consistently take the top lines of ratings of popularity, after all, anyway, and the main purpose of a phone is communication with loved ones.
In 2013, a leader among similar applications out WhatsApp. In mid-December the number of active monthly users exceeded 400 million people, and the last 100 million joined the audience WhatsApp for only four months. Every day WhatsApp users worldwide exchanged 10 billion messages.
One of the trump cards WhatsApp — cross-platform. In addition to Android, iOS and Windows Phone, messenger also works on BlackBerry, Nokia S40 and Symbian, that is covered even by not very popular, cheap and just plain old phones.
Sending text messages using the service costs a mere $1 per year. Forwarding multimedia data in messages is also supported: audio file, video or image is uploaded to the server, then the recipient will receive the download link.
Facebook Home featured in our review are not among the most popular mobile apps. It is the winner in the category “Failure of the year”. For the first month after the presentation in April, the number of downloads of Facebook Home from Google Play amounted to about 1 million, and since then almost not increased. If you consider that mobile apps Facebook, 200 million active users, this figure is more than modest. Most of the people who have downloaded Facebook Home, disappointed in him. Among the assessments of the applications most units.
Facebook Home was conceived as a shell, that help make communicating with friends in social networks. After installing all the main events on Facebook (to update the tape status, receiving new messages, the appearance of photos) are available right on the home screen of the device, and to exchange chat messages Facebook works with any application.
However, as it turned out people didn’t like that Facebook Home has completely replaced all the usual Android settings device. Few people uses a smartphone for only social networking and a new obsession with the shell as would limit its scope. The only smartphone that came with Facebook Home — HTC First — stayed on the market for less than three months. During this time the operator AT&T sold the phone in the USA, managed to implement only 15 thousand units. And this is despite the fact that the HTC First was you can disable Facebook Home in favor of the standard Android shell.
In late December became available the updated version of Facebook Home, however, its output, few people noticed. Hard to say what the redesign of the shell need to do to make users want to try to install it again. Probably easier to develop and launch a new product.
The development of mobile threats
Long gone are the days when mention of the fact that mobile phones could threaten malware, caused a smile. The first notable threats for portable devices appeared in 2011, and last year may be considered the year of maturity. In 2013 not only increased their number but also observed qualitative growth. Mobile threats have become more and more like threats for computers: cybercriminals began to use almost all the same methods and technologies, aiming to earn more money.
According to the December safety report from “Kaspersky Lab” revealed more than 148 thousand modifications of mobile malware, which make up more than 750 families. Only in October, appeared 19 966 modifications — half of the amount, which the “Kaspersky Lab” found in the whole of 2012. The vast majority of mobile malware is written for Android operating system. Its attractiveness to virus writers due to several factors: easy application development, the popularity among users, the ability to download programs from any source.
Among mobile malware, the leaders are SMS Trojans, although also popular for backdoors, Trojans and Trojan-spies. In 2013 appeared first on mobile botnets. Compared with botnets based on computers, mobile much more stable (after all, phones are almost never turned off) and therefore profitable for cybercriminals. Botnets are mostly used for mass mailing spam, DDoS attacks and massive tracking of users ‘ personal information.
Another important event in the world of mobile threats — the emergence of mobile banking Trojans. They steal information about credit cards, you can check account balances, transfer money from Bank cards to mobile phone and from there to the QIWI wallet and so on.
Summing up the year, we just can not get past the malware Backdoor.AndroidOS.Obad, which is considered the most complex malware app for mobile platforms. It is composed of three exploits, a backdoor, SMS Trojan, bot, etc. After installation on a portable device the victim Obad is able to send SMS messages to premium numbers, download and install additional malware, infect other devices via Bluetooth and remotely perform commands from the console. Due to the fact that three Obad uses a vulnerability that was not previously known he could get on the extended device administrator privileges, but it does not fall in the list of applications which have such privileges. Control of a malicious application is via command-the server Obad sends master data with the device: its MAC address, IMEI number, account balance, local time and information about whether it was possible for him to get admin rights.
Despite the explosive growth in the number and complexity of malware for mobile devices, yet very few users protect their smartphones and tablets. According to a November poll conducted by the company ESET, only 8% of users care about installing a full-fledged antivirus on your device. More than half of respondents admitted that they do not protect their smartphones, about 20% of the respondents found it difficult to answer the question, while 17% reported that they use the built-in defenses.
However, there is every reason to believe that with the rise of mobile threats, the demand for application security will grow. Today Google Play has about four hundred such applications, among which are very popular free Mobile Security & Antivirus from Avast! and “Free antivirus” AVG Mobile commercial applications “anti-virus (antivirus) Lookout” and Kaspersky Internet Security. In short, a company that is well known to users as the developers of antivirus software for desktop systems entered the mobile market over the past year has gained popularity in this segment.
The market of mobile software in 2013, has evolved so rapidly that it can be best described with a quote from Lewis Carroll: “you Need to run just to stay in place, and in order to get somewhere, you have to run at least twice as fast!” The number of applications increases proportionally to the increase in sales of mobile devices. In July, the Google Play had over one million applications in the App Store about overcoming the mark of one million was announced in October. The application, which in the early years no one knew December was set at the offices of tens of millions of users. Some of the programmes that appeared in the Google Play and App Store two years ago, is already considered its users to hundreds of millions.
In 2014, the proliferation of mobile will continue. Surely we will get acquainted with many new interesting projects. But before you install on your smartphone is replacing APK, be sure to remember that the growth of mobile threats in 2014, too, will not stop. Cyber criminals, who in the past year, has already tested technologies like phishing and botnets on mobile platforms, is unlikely to slow down.