In case you haven't been paying attention, the Windows Phone Store is growing and expanding into a legitimate contender right before our very eyes. By Microsoft's count, the Windows Phone Store now boasts over 300,000 apps and games, with over 2 billion app downloads to date. Sure, that's only a fraction of the available apps on Android and iOS, but it's a big fraction.
A dispute over unauthorized in-app purchases made by children
Amazon had a chance to settle with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission out of court over allegations that it let children make millions of dollars worth of unauthorized in-app purchases, but apparently the offer wasn't too good to refuse. Having rejected the settlement, the FTC is now suing Amazon for an undisclosed sum of money, and also to force the e-commerce giant to make some changes to such purchases.
Microsoft is on the lookout for private beta testers
The lack of tablet-optimized apps has for long been a major source of frustration among Android tablet owners. What’s worse, even Android’s emergence as the overwhelming leader in the tablet market has done little to alleviate this shortcoming, with even some big-name developers refusing to offer tablet-optimized versions of their apps for the platform. Well, Microsoft is willing to help.
If you're a fan of Google's Quickoffice apps, download them now while you still can. Google's planning to pull its Quickoffice apps from Google Play and iTunes over the course of the next few weeks, as the company feels they're no longer needed after recently overhauling its Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which are now available as standalone apps rather than being lumped together.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and for BlackBerry, that means opening up your ecosystem to run Android apps -- some of them, anyway. BlackBerry announced today that Amazon Appstore will be available with the launch of the BlackBerrry 10.3 operating system this fall. The deal will give BlackBerry users access to more than 240,000 Android apps, including popular titles like Netflix, Pinterest, and Minecraft.
No other Android app has been downloaded more times than Gmail
High fives are in order for Google's Gmail team, as Gmail is the first Android application to notch 1 billion downloads in its belt. The feat, which actually occured a few days ago, was announced today by Google VP Sundar Pichai, who posted the achievement on his Google+ page. It was a succinct (albeit excited) recognition, though crossing 1 billion downloads doesn't mean there are a billion people using Gmail.
New security measures keeps your installed Android apps in check
It's not unusual for a malicious Android app to sneak into Google Play, though they're obviously much more prevalent from third-party sources, especially from sketchy areas of the web. To help protect users from falling prey to an app's malicious intentions, Google is rolling out a new enhancement to its security scheme that will examine an app's behavior after it's been installed.
Android is by far the biggest target of mobile malware
Security firm Kaspersky says it has logged 10 million dubious Android applications to date. It comes down to a numbers game for cyber criminals, and since Android is the most popular mobile operating system on the planet -- market research firm Canalys estimates that Android accounted for 80 percent of smartphones shipped in 2013 -- it attracts the most attention from malware writers.
Rovio responds to reports of NSA taking advantage of leaky apps
Several news agencies on Monday reported that the National Security Agency and its U.K. counterpart (Britain's Government Communications Headquarters) have been working together to collect data from dozens of so-called "leaky" smartphone apps, including Rovio's popular Angry Birds game. Top secret documents claim these apps transmit all kinds of user information over the web, which spy agencies scoop up and store. Having been called out specifically by several reports, Rovio issued a statement denying it collaborates with any spying organization.
Expand your Facebook experience with additional apps
Facebook Home failed to catch on the way it was anticipated to, so it appears Facebook is investigating other venues to keep the brand afloat while making it easier for users to access their profile and other information. It looks like the advent of standalone Facebook apps may be upon us.