"Visual malware": PlaceRaider is a trojan designed to hijack phone cameras and secretly create 3-D models of victims’ homes and offices.
"There’s 50 things loaded up on my phone at any given time, and 40 of them I never use," says Tony Conrad, Partner, True Ventures.
It seems like a waste of such beautiful hardware not to use more apps. App Mania persists much to the benefit of Google and Apple, suddenly the gatekeepers of everything you seek on your phone.
Are apps indeed the future? Will mobile browsing crawl out of infancy and be able to power experiences on a similar scale as applications you’ve downloaded? This video explores what the future of mobile browsing might look like.
See more from our Co.Location series.
Hacking the Internet!
What do you need to get online in rural Africa?
Find out from Boukary Konaté, from Rising Voices grantee project Segou Village Connection.
The Indian government is teaming up with Chinese tech giant Huawei to search imported smartphones and communications devices for signs of malware and spyware. However, some Indians are nervous because of Huawei’s close ties to the People’s Liberation Army and fear that the firm could be complicit in cyberattacks.
You can’t download an app these days without it asking for your location—and not just on check-in services like Foursquare and Gowalla. Google Maps, Instagram, Twitter, Square, MenuPages, Shazam—they all want to know exactly where you are whenever you’re using the app. Heck, services like Google Latitude won’t even let you decline to share your location—it’ll just put you through an endless cycle of notifications, almost demanding you to accept its terms.
Perhaps that’s why location sharing has become such a huge concern for users, who worry they’re giving out too much data via their GPS-enabled smartphones. According to a report out today by Nielsen, a whopping 59% of females and 52% of males have privacy concerns when it comes to location-based services.
Here’s a 3-D visualization of how Google’s Android OS became the world’s most popular smartphone OS in under 3 years.
The initial global view is interesting, but it’s the “closeups” of individual regions (like North America, Europe, and East Asia) that make this video shine. In each region, a few low-level blips flit across the darkness… and then the Motorola Droid launches, and BLAMMO: fireworks!
The pulsing cascade of Android activations in the Droid’s wake never subsides — it’s like watching a dormant global brain suddenly jerk awake. (A metaphor many iOS-hating nerds would appreciate, no doubt.) The animation has some really intelligent design touches, too. The date readout at the bottom clatters in fast-motion like an old-school train schedule, adding a giddy momentum to Android’s inexorable rise. And the little “countdown” in the upper left, cueing you to get ready for major events like that Droid launch, is just genius.
Android beat out Nokia’s Symbian (which is also open-source) as the world’s top mobile OS, and this map raises an interesting question. Even as whole continents seem to burst to Android-ey life, others — notably, Africa — remain mostly dark. Symbian held the top spot for as long as it did in part because it ran on Nokia’s cheap, simple phones — the device of choice in those parts of the world where cell phone networks are often the only technical infrastructure anyone can count on. And those markets are, apparently, still sealed off from major Android adoption. Instead of joining Microsoft to grovel with consumers over Google and Apple’s scraps, should Nokia focus instead on those empty parts of the map where they already dominate — and might actually still have a fighting chance? Or maybe they should just pack it up, milk their cash cows, and go out of business.