Free apps drain smartphone battery faster

Saving a few bucks by downloading free apps have been very ideal for spendthrift individuals. Unfortunately, your free app downloading hobby may turn your device into a battery eating machine.

Researchers from Microsoft and Purdue University teamed up and used a special profiling tool to find out the connection between free apps and a smartphone’s battery life. In one case, 75 percent of an app’s power requirement was spent not on gameplay but on operating third-party ad services.

Those pesky ads are the culprit for this.

The research team used six smartphone applications to study. These include Angry Birds and Facebook. They compared the results on three HTC handsets the Android powered Magic and Passion, TyTN II running on Windows Mobile OS. The iPhone wasn’t tested due to the restrictions built into the OS.

With free versions of the Angry Birds, only 20 percent of the power is being consumed by the game. Forty-five percent of the power is being consumed finding out the player’s whereabouts so that a specific ads can be served.

They also found out what they call a “3G tail”. This is when a battery’s energy continues to be sapped even after a particular action. They found out that this “3G tail” accounts to more than 25 percent power consumption.

So don’t be frugal and spend some hard earned bucks for your favorite apps.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion increases Privacy Control

After the long awaited released of their latest iPad, Apple is now back at it as they are working towards releasing their latest OS X 10.8 this summer.

Also known as Mountain Lion, the Cupertino based company has just released the 2nd developer preview for registered Apple developers. And according to sources, there is a marked improvement and at the same time some still need tweaking and improvement.

Like the Game Center, Air Play and the Notes app, sources reveal that these areas need improvements.

But what comes as a big boost is the much improved privacy feature.

One Dustin Courtis has discovered that if you have an app that attempts to gain access to your personal information, such as contacts, a message will pop-up and informs you whether you want to trust this app to gain access to such data.

Another security update also features the ability to revoke or opt out app permissions that you previously authorized.

If these reports are true then Kudos to Apple for taking steps in trying to protect the privacy of their clients. Privacy issues have troubled smartphone companies due to their inability to correct and protect their clients.

Good job for Apple and their development team!

New variant of Flashback Trojan for Mac OS found

Macs are known to be one of the safest, if not the safest, computers in the world. Compared to Windows, malwares are far too few in the Mac operating systems.

Unfortunately, antivirus firm Integro reported that cyber criminals that are responsible for the Flashback Trojan have been on it again and have started to spread another malware package. This seventh variant of the latter uses new techniques to infect Macs.

The Flashback is a Trojan attack that uses a number of methods to infect the system. It tries to take advantage of Java security hole to install itself. Those who do not have Java installed, it will use various techniques to trick users. It can disguise itself as a legitimate Adobe Flash installer and display certificates that appear from Apple to trick users to install the program.

Once installed, it injects the code into the web browsers and other applications in order to get passwords and other personal information. One good thing is that affected programs crash most of the time so users need to reinstall them.

So to be safe, Mac users should install a malware scanner and update it regularly.

Image source:

Study: iOS apps crash more often than Android ones

The mobile platform wars is just heating up and it looks like the winner might not be proclaimed sometime soon. Two of the most popular platforms, the iOS and the Android, continue to wage war against each other. Though each of them feels that they are the most coveted platform out there in the market today, there clearly is now way to know which of the two dominates the market.

But Crittercism, a mobile app statistic service, has created a study on the number of crashes per platform. Though not the data we needed, still this deserves some recognition as they were able to find out which platform has the most number of app crashes.

It turns out that Android is not the one leading the app crash race. The iOS crashes more often than the latter. According to Forbes, apps running on the iPhone, iPod and the iPads are not as stable as those running in Android.

The Crittercism report that Apple and Google continues to develop and release updates on their Operating Systems. App developers have to upgrade and develop newer versions of their apps to keep up with the platforms. The study was done last year. They tested 23 iOS versions and 33 Android versions from December 1 to 15. The iOS 5.0.1 was fairly new then. But older versions of iOS showed a huge number of crashes as well. The study also shows that not everyone updates their devices as soon as it is available.

Looks like its one-nil for the Android.

Android beats iOS as developers choice?

Ovum Research has unveilied its annual developer survey. And the results are quite surprising.

The results showed that Android appears to be closing in on Apple as the platform of choice by developers. It also said that majority of the developers preferred to support both the iOS and the Android platforms.

Another unexpected result that came about in the survey is the positive interest of developers in Microsoft’s Windows mobile device. Can this be the result of the hype that is being generated by the upcoming release of the Windows 8.

Though Apple is not losing ground and Android getting the lost market, it seems like the developers are deciding to create apps that can be used on both platforms.

One good news is that developments seems to be going out of the way of propriety platforms (Java, Flash, WAP). This is in facvor of HTML 5 based apps.

Unfortunately, the report does not state the profits of the developers from making these apps. This is supposed to be important since it would be clear if developers are creating apps due to the popularity of the device or is it because the app is suitable for the device. The iOS seems to be more profitable over Android.

Image source:

Apple iOS beats Android in Christmas activations

Statistics show that people bought had bought a LOT of  iPhones and Androids last holiday season and these two combined have a total of 6.8 million activations on December 25. This figure was according to the analytics firm Flurry.

Yesterday, Google’s senior VP for mobile Andy Rubin said that there were a total of 3.7 million Android phones activated the weekend of Christmas and on the 25th. Last December 20, the latter tweeted that there were about 700,000 devices activated each day.

If a 50% growth was established by Android this year (pertaining to holiday activations) then figures would put 1.1 mllion activations are recorded and not higher than 2.6 million.

If we assume this as true then at about 4.2 million iOS devices were activated on the 25th of December. And Apple would have bested Android devices by 1.6 million

Fortune columnist Elmer DeWitt believes that the iPad and the iPod touch were the once responsible for Apple’s surge this past Christmas and not the iPhone 4S. According to him this is due to the fact that Android smartphones have increased their market share this past year.

These figures are based on projections. Mr. DeWitt also said that his estimate doesn’t account sales or activations for Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The compnay also hasn’t released figures for their device. Reports from eDataSource estimated that 850,000 to 2,000,000 units were sold in the span of 15 days from November to December of 2011.

Sony’s Playstation Vita sells 321,000 in two days

Some bad news for the Japanese brand Sony. According to game-tracking firm Enterbrain, Sony’s Playstation Vita only sold 321,400 units on its first two days out in the market. While their rival Nintedo sold 50,000 more units of 3DS during the same period early this year.

Sony launched its latest toy last weekend. The new device has similar Playstation buttons on the right side and dual thumbsticks. It also has a Wi-Fi capability, 3G and front and rear cameras. It has a 5 inch display that is touch screen and has touchpads at the back of the gadget.

Though boasting of awe-inspiring features, the Vita is fighting an uphill climb in the tight gaming market.

2009 statistics show that the Nintendo DS captured 70 percent of the portable gaming revenue in the U.S.. Apple’s iOS and the Android had a combined 19 percent share while Sony’s PSP lagged behind with an 11% market.

According to Flurry Analytics, Nintendo’s share has dipped to 36 percent in just two years and Sony dropped to 6 percent. By year’s end, it is estimated that Android and iOS will account to 58 percent of the portable gaming devices sold in 2011.

The issue here is that Nintendo and Sony’s devices are solely for portable gaming. Smartphones such as the iPhone and the Galaxy Tabs gives individuals the ability to use their gadgets both for gaming and to make calls, access the web and popular apps.

According to CNET’s Jeff Bakalar, “portable console gaming no longer has a practical place in the current landscape of casual flick, drag and swipe games. He also added that, “there is no room for the 3DSes and Vitas of the world when all-in-one functionality is now more important than high-tech, gaming-focused mobile systems.”