China drove 40% of mobile app spending and nearly half of all downloads in 2018

Manish Sigh wrote for VentureBeat that China drove 40% of mobile app spending and nearly half of all downloads in 2018.

China, which is the world’s largest smartphone market, also accounted for nearly 40 percent of worldwide consumer spend in apps in 2018, App Annie said in its yearly “State of Mobile” report. (Note: Google Play Store is not available in China.) Global consumer spend in apps reached $101 billion last year, up 75 percent since 2016. And 74 percent of all money spent on apps last year came from games.

Staggering numbers.

In the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and Australia, people had over 100 apps installed on their phones. In comparison, an average user in China and India had between 50 and 60 apps on their handsets. Regardless of the market, people never actively use a large number of these apps, App Annie said.

These numbers indicate that the app market in China and India are dominated by several big players. In China, the widespread use of WeChat mini-apps is a big factor. You can use services through WeChat without having to download the app on your phone.

Phone makers are messing with Android’s memory management

Jerry Hildenbrand wrote for Android Central about phone makers messing with Android’s memory management.

From Dontkillmyapp’s list, Nokia is the example I’ll use here, but the list of offenders includes OnePlus, Sony, and Samsung, too. Even Google itself is called out for making it difficult to exempt an app from getting “Dozed”. Nokia includes an app on every phone the company makes that runs Android Oreo or higher that kills every background process 20 minutes after the screen is turned off. That means fitness apps are never going to work, but it also means that your alarm isn’t going to go off if you have Android P.

Battery life is more important to Android phone makers than whether apps work well. App developers have to dance around the rules set by phone makers just to make apps that work as designed for Android users.

What’s your experience with Android apps on your Android phone?

Samsung Electronics fourth-quarter profit drop 29%

Reuters reported that Samsung Electronics says weak chip demand sent fourth-quarter profit well below market estimates.

Samsung Electronics surprised the market on Tuesday with an estimated 29 percent drop in quarterly profit, blaming weak chip demand in a rare commentary issued to “ease confusion” among investors already fretting about a global tech slowdown.

This comes after LG reported a drop in profit as well.

LG Electronics sees 80 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit

Reuters reported that LG Electronics expects an 80 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit; analysts point to thinning TV margins.

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter operating profit likely plummeted 80 percent from the same period a year earlier, falling well below analyst expectations.

Remember when Apple revised their estimates for the fourth quarter?

Facebook gave Spotify and Netflix access to users’ private messages

Casey Newton reported for The Verge that Facebook gave Spotify and Netflix access to users’ private messages.

I find it helpful to read the allegations in the Times’ story chronologically, starting with the integration deals, continuing with the one-off agreements, and ending with instant personalization. Do so and you read a story of a company that, after some early success growing its user base by making broad data-sharing agreements with one set of companies — OEMs — it grew more confident, and proceeded to give away more and more, often with few disclosures to users. By the time “Instant personalization” arrived, it was widely panned, and never met Facebook’s hopes for it. Shortly after it was wound down, Facebook would take action against Cambridge Analytica, and once again began placing meaningful limitations on its API.

This makes me wonder… would Facebook do the same with WhatsApp messages?

In search of the expert team member

Seth Godin wrote about the 10x lesson on finding the power contributor we all look for.

The reason that there are so few 10x contributors isn’t that we lack innate talent. It’s that our systems and our self-talk seduce us into believing that repeating 1x work to exhaustion is a safer path.

The impact of distractions is often under appreciated. Small distractions accumulate and wipe off hours each day if you allow them to intrude. Discipline isn’t easy but the few that are able to minimise distractions would soar above those who can’t.

Android phones unlocked with a 3D-printed head

Forbes reported that they broke into a bunch of Android phones with a 3D-printed head.

We tested four of the hottest handsets running Google’s operating systems and Apple’s iPhone to see how easy it’d be to break into them. We did it with a 3D-printed head. All of the Androids opened with the fake. Apple’s phone, however, was impenetrable.

FaceID is so understated and under-appreciated.

TikTok surpassed Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat & YouTube in downloads last month

TechCrunch reported that TikTok surpassed Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat & YouTube in downloads last month.

According to data from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, TikTok’s installs were higher than those of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube in the U.S. last month.

It surpassed the four other apps in terms of daily downloads on September 29, with 29.7 percent the downloads from this cohort of apps, the firm says.

It’s unsurprising given it’s meteoric rise in China early this year. It is an addictive platform that does very well to maximise user interaction while minimising effort needed to generate content.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Is Calling for Bloomberg to Retract Its Chinese Spy Chip Story

John Gruber wrote on Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling for Bloomberg to retract its Chinese spy chip story.

Read their statement closely — they’re not saying their story is true or that Apple and Tim Cook are wrong. All they say is they spent a year on the story and spoke to 17 sources multiple times.

And the bottom half of BuzzFeed’s story is even more damning than the top — no one in the security community has been able to verify anything in Bloomberg’s story. Anything at all. And no other news publication has backed the story. Bloomberg is all alone on this.

This is going to be a huge blow to Bloomberg’s credibility.

Google can no longer force Android device makers to include the Play Store in Europe

The Verge reported that Google will start charging Android device makers a fee for using its apps in Europe.

There is one other key change happening here. In the past, Google required that companies building phones or tablets that included the Play Store only build phones and tablets that included the Play Store — they couldn’t make other devices with a forked version of Android. Now, that’ll be allowed. So if Samsung wants to ship both the regular Galaxy S9 with Google’s Play Store and some whackadoo Galaxy phone that runs, say, Amazon’s Fire OS, it can now do that in Europe.

This is the real reason for charging Android device makers licensing fees for using Play Store and Google apps.