Total Number of App Store Apps Shrank in 2017 Thanks to Apple’s Quality Crackdown

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The number of apps available in the App Store shrank for the first time ever in 2017, according to data shared today by App Store analytics company Appfigures (via TechCrunch).

At the end of 2017, there were 2.1 million iOS apps available in the App Store, compared to 2.2 million apps at the beginning of the year.


Starting in September of 2016, Apple told developers it would be removing old, outdated apps that had not been updated with compatibility for more recent devices or no longer complied with current review guidelines.

Apple also created new App Store guidelines limiting apps created from commercialized templates or app generation services, and officially banned virus scanning apps, plus it cracked down on clone and spam apps, all of which contributed to the company’s App Store cleanup efforts.

Changes in iOS 11 may have had the biggest impact on the available number of apps in the App Store, though. With iOS 11, Apple stopped supporting 32-bit apps, which the company began phasing out in 2013. 32-bit apps do not open on devices running iOS 11, nor can older 32-bit apps be found in the App Store.

Since 2015, Apple has required all apps and app updates to use 64-bit architecture, so apps that became defunct with iOS 11 had not been updated in at least two years.

Appfigures says that the decrease in apps can also be attributed to a dip in the number of new apps submitted by developers in 2017. Just 755,000 new apps were added to the App Store in 2017, down 29 percent from the previous year. This too could be attributed to Apple’s more restrictive App Store policies cutting down on low-quality apps.


While the number of App Store apps has declined due to Apple’s efforts to make sure apps in the App Store are prioritizing quality, Google Play growth has accelerated. In 2017, Google Play reached 3.6 million available apps, a growth of 30 percent. Android developers released 1.5 million new apps in 2017, up 17 percent.

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How important to you is display quality?

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Samsung Galaxy S9

Our phones have improved so much over the years that it might be easy to think that we don’t have to really deal with any settling as far as features are concerned. We might not have to make many sacrifices, to put it another way. At least that seems to be the case with high-end phones. We expect our flagship phones to be the best possible hardware in every single category, especially if we’re forking over so much money.

That’s a bit of a blessing and a curse, though.

Just look at the Pixel 2 XL last year. That’s a smartphone that Google pegged as one of the best-of-the-best, especially in terms of the camera and build quality. Software, too, of course. But it didn’t take long before the Pixel 2 XL was embroiled in a pretty big controversy related to its display. A lot of folks were unhappy with the screen’s overall quality, and many were running into hardware defects.

Some of those issues were pretty big, and definitely needed Google’s response. Some, though, were pretty minor, and probably would have gone under the radar if those other problems weren’t cropping up at the same time. But it just goes to show how we all expect these devices to be worth the money, and if we’re seeing distinct defects or we’re made aware that the screen might not be as good as what else is out there, well, that can rub buyers the wrong way.

Google did right and improved the elements of the display it could. And I imagine, or hope, that they don’t run into the same issues this year with the successor to the Pixel 2 XL.

I’ve been thinking about displays lately. I think it’s one of the more interesting parts of a new phone’s release, even if it’s also pretty straightforward. We know that when Samsung launches a new phone it’s going to have the best display on the market. But that’s where devices from LG, Motorola, HTC, Essential, OnePlus, and others can be exciting. Maybe we’ll finally see one of these other companies surprise us and launch a phone with an even better panel.

That’s what Apple did last year with the iPhone X. We knew they were going to adopt OLED (finally), but the results were outstanding. The blue shift when the phone’s tilted is pretty harsh, but that’s just a byproduct of the technology. Even with that notch, the iPhone X’s display is fantastic.

And then we’ve got the Galaxy S9 which managed to oust the iPhone X as the best display and we’re neck-deep in the cycle all over again. Which is great! But I want to see other companies start to make a run for the crown, too. Can’t always be a head-to-head race with Samsung and Apple.

That being said, I’m curious how important the screen on your smartphone is. After all, it’s the window to all of our content on our most important device in our daily routine! Looking at a sub-par panel isn’t any fun. But I can also understand why it might not be the most important part of your phone’s many different aspects.

So how important is the display to you? Let me know!

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Watch: iPhone X vs. Galaxy S9+ video quality compared

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The latest installment in our Galaxy S9 comparison series examines the video quality of the cameras in Apple’s iPhone X against Samsung’s Galaxy S9+, including a close look at Samsung’s new Super Slow Motion feature.
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Disgruntled HomePod owners say firmware update alters sound quality

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A number of HomePod owners are airing their dissatisfaction over Apple’s first firmware update for the device, saying the new software tweaks the speaker’s sonic fingerprint, a specific sound for which customers paid a hefty premium.
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InMobi, GeoEdge to Regulate Ad Quality Standards and Improve User Experience

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InMobi, a global independent mobile advertising platform, recently confirmed a partnership with GeoEdge, a leading provider of ad security and verification solutions for the mobile advertising ecosystem.

Together, the partners will work “to ensure high ad quality and a clean marketplace that offers a safe and engaging user experience.”

The mobile advertising industry is battling several challenges around ad quality with a rise in auto-redirect, auto pop-up and other malicious ads appearing over the past year. InMobi and GeoEdge have independently worked tirelessly to ensure the mobile apps are safe and free of malicious ads that may otherwise damage the user experience, or negatively impact the trust between publishers and their audiences.

This partnership emphasizes InMobi’s continued investment in its machine learning based real-time solutions with partners such as GeoEdge, with its rapid independent review, to bolster all defenses against ad quality issues.

GeoEdge’s technology is integrated with InMobi to ensure that every single creative meets the ad quality guidelines established by the publishers, removing any that don’t, and to guarantee a positive end user experience.

“InMobi has a reputation of creating award-winning ads that users want to see, and we have invested heavily in this area to create a seamless user experience that will also benefit our publisher partners,” said Abhay Singhal, co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer at InMobi. “While every player in the industry is eager to ensure buyers are shielded from the sell side fraud, we don’t want to forget our trusted partners on the sell side. By deploying GeoEdge, we are fully committed to solving this trust-eroding issue that affects the whole ecosystem.”

The post InMobi, GeoEdge to Regulate Ad Quality Standards and Improve User Experience appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Smaato, Protected Media Work to Ensure Quality of Online Advertising

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Smaato, a leading global real-time advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers, announced ahead of the weekend that it has implemented Protected Media’s in-app and video ad fraud protection technology to protect its network of 90,000+ publishers and app developers, as well as the 10,000+ advertisers on its platform.

The partnership will provide Smaato with advanced cyber security tools, including sophisticated evaluation of the legitimacy of ad impressions with precise data verification.

Smaato is taking these proactive, preventive measures for fraud protection, in order to safeguard its mobile in-app ad formats which are in high demand. The percentage of in-app ad spending on the Smaato platform has grown from 80% to 96% of the total in the last year, while in-app video ad requests have increased by a remarkable 14X. Advertisers like that in-app inventory experiences significantly less ad blocking than desktop and mobile web; however, without proper management it provides a new opportunity for fraud.

Over the past six months, Protected Media has seen in-app fraud, where fraudsters mask low-quality apps to look like premium publishers, rise to almost 10 times the previous rate across its installed base.

According to Forrester, while video accounts for 45% of total ad spend, it’s linked to 64% of all ad fraud, and also requires additional fraud prevention in-app. Protected Media’s innovative technology paired with Smaato’s rigorous standards for its publishers delivers the antidote to fraud.

“At Smaato, advertisers receive high-quality traffic for all of their mobile ad campaigns across our vast publisher base, and this partnership ensures that quality and value are maintained,” said Georg Fiegen, COO of Smaato. “With Protected Media, we can ensure that the traffic on our exchange is viewable, brand-safe, transparent and protected from fraud.”

The post Smaato, Protected Media Work to Ensure Quality of Online Advertising appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Pluto TV 3.5 adds picture-in-picture for Oreo, On Demand resume, and stream quality settings [APK Download]

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Free television streaming service Pluto TV updated its Android app to v3.5, adding Oreo picture-in-picture support, the ability to resume previously-watched On Demand content, and settings to configure the stream quality to conserve data.

The official changelog follows:

  • Oreo user? Now you can watch your favorite Pluto content using Android Oreo Picture in Picture mode.
  • We know you were asking for it: Now you can resume playback of On Demand content.

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Pluto TV 3.5 adds picture-in-picture for Oreo, On Demand resume, and stream quality settings [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Best Air Quality Monitors for Allergy Sufferers in 2018

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Runny nose? Sneezing? Itchy eyes? Yeah, Claritin might help, but you should also check out an air quality monitor!

Until a few weeks ago, I honestly didn’t know smart air quality monitors were a thing, but boy was I pleasantly surprised. So much so, that I delved deep into their world to learn more about them, as quite the allergy sufferer myself (not to brag or anything, but I’m allergic to a lot).

These are the best smart air quality monitors for your home, whether you’re allergic to all the things, have a newborn, or simply value clean air.

Awair Glow

iMore Choice Award

I received the Awair Glow for a review a few weeks ago and went head-long into using it to its fullest, and I’m happy to stay I’m still absolutely loving it. The Glow is Google Home- and Amazon Echo-compatible and doubles as a smart plug so you can plug in dehumidifiers, humidifiers, air conditioners (or lamps or whatever) and actually schedule them within the app. This is incredibly handy because it syncs with Awair’s air quality criteria, so if, for instance, the humidity drops below 30%, you can tell the app to trigger the humidifier at that point.

Awair’s app is elegantly designed, easy to navigate, and offers helpful and valuable information, like the air quality trends in your home over time, your “Awair score” (an air quality score based on Temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide levels, and chemicals in the air), as well as helpful tips for improving your air quality. Mine told me to up the humidity for my allergies, so we went and bought a humidifier. Lo and behold, I now find myself sniffling a lot less and my nose isn’t cracked and bleeding all the time (I had never considered humidity relating to allergies before).

What I also love about Awair’s app is the ability to switch your air quality preferences between General, Allergy, Sleep, Productivity, and Baby, so you can optimize your air quality depending on your needs and preferences. At roughly $ 125, the Awair Glow is the perfect entry point to home air quality management. The fact that it also has a wonderful night light built in is just icing on the cake.

Check out my full review on Android Central

See at Amazon

Dylos DC1100 Pro

As the name would suggest, the Dylos DC1100 means business in a big way. This isn’t a smart air quality monitor, but it might just be the most intense of the bunch and should be considered by those with severe allergies (and/or bubble boys). This unit has an LCD screen to give you all your readings and is so sensitive it can pick up smog, detecting particles to half a micron (that’s one millionth of a meter in size).

You’ll get small and large particle counts on the screen in the form of a bar graph, and you can get daily, hourly, or by-the-minute readings. If you’re serious about your air quality, then this is absolutely the monitor for you, though its price does reflect the technology that’s gone into it (roughly $ 260).

See at Amazon

Awair air quality monitor

Awair’s other air quality monitor is a larger, self-contained unit that looks more like a radio from the ’50s. It’s simple LED display has a colored LED for your Awair score, and white lights for the score and the levels of each measurements. It really is an understated thing of beauty and is perfect for folks who love the Apple aesthetic. Sadly, it’s only compatible with Nest products and Amazon Echo, so HomeKit and Google Home users get left out (but Home users will love the Glow).

This Awair monitor uses the same app as the Glow and offers the same readings and suggestions for improving your air quality. You will, however, also get a measurement of dust in the air, helping to paint a better overall picture of your home’s air quality. So if you’re severely allergic to dust, I’d go with this one over the glow. It’s starts around $ 165 on Amazon, but it’s accurate, good-looking, and uses that awesome Awair app, so for my money, it’s worth it. Comes in brown, green (Ocean, $ 199), or pink (Baby Rose, $ 199).

See at Amazon

Elgato Eve Room

Elgato’s Eve Room sensor is a HomeKit-enabled indoor sensor that monitors your indoor temperature, humidity, and air quality, just like Awair’s monitors. For $ 80, however, you certainly get a price break. It’ll give you daily, monthly, and yearly breakdowns of your home’s air quality and provide with readings, including VOCs.

The Eve Room can operate between 32 degrees Fahrenheit and 130 degrees and takes three AA batteries. The Eve Room is fully integrated with HomeKit, so you can use it in scenes to trigger humidifiers before bed, heaters during the day, or any other smart environmental devices (or really any other HomeKit-enabled devices) you have around your home. The Eve app gives you visual insight into your air quality via graphs and other readings, and you can choose to monitor your air quality based on various categories.

See at Amazon

AZ Instruments wall-mountable indoor air quality monitor

AZ Instruments’ monitor is another highly functional and accurate monitor, much like the Dylos selection on this list. It’ll measure the carbon dioxide in your air (from 0 to 2000 ppm), temperature (from about 14 degrees Fahrenheit to 140), and humidity. All the controls and readings appear on the digital watch-like screen and in the button on the unit itself. It’s kind of reminiscent of a device Doc Brown might use, so it may not fit everyone’s aesthetic, but if you’re looking for a great solution for your greenhouse, or you’re very sensitive to humidity and temperature, then check it out. Carbon dioxide is no good for productivity, as high levels cause fatigue, so if you’re anywhere lots of CO2 is produced, this monitor is perfect.

It’s about $ 140 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

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YouTube Music v2.21 prepares to add streaming audio quality settings for Wi-Fi and Cellular, possibly first step toward absorbing Play Music [APK Teardown]

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It’s no mystery that YouTube will be absorbing Google Play Music – that much we’ve known since July – but seven months later and we still don’t really know any details outside of some rumors about a rebranding to YouTube Remix. The latest update to the YouTube Music app might shed a little bit of light on what we can expect regarding the apps we’ll actually be using.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android’s application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.

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YouTube Music v2.21 prepares to add streaming audio quality settings for Wi-Fi and Cellular, possibly first step toward absorbing Play Music [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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