Also, Sony suffers a hack attack on PSN, AdDetector sniffs out sponsored content, a Fast & Furious jail sentence, and Samsung shamefully hijacks the Ice Bucket Challenge.
The Most Popular Mobile Apps, Revealed
I used to think Snapchat was the dumbest thing when it first released but now it’s my favorite app on my phone
— Collin Tarrant (@tarrantcollin) August 20, 2014
Apps have become an insanely popular element of the mobile experience, but which apps are the most popular? We now know the top 25 in America thanks to the latest mobile app report from comScore. Rather than focus on the total number of downloads, this highlights which apps are being actively used on a regular basis, and there are a few surprises included on the list.
Quartz has the full list of 25, but the highlights include:
- Facebook tops the list with 115.4 million unique visitors, more than 30 million more than YouTube in second place.
- Google is responsible for six of the top 25 apps, making it the number one publisher overall. Google apps on the list include YouTube, Gmail, and even the much-maligned Google+.
- There are no games on the list, as, despite their relative popularity, they cannot compete with the big productivity and entertainment apps.
- Netflix is the most popular app requiring a subscription, demonstrating how ubiquitous the streaming service in the U.S. But then Netflix does represent good value for money.
- Pandora, which is unavailable in pretty much every other country except the U.S., is unbelievably popular, with 69 million unique visitors placing it fifth overall.
We wonder if the recent hoohah over the permissions required by the Facebook Messenger app will affect these numbers going forward. It probably won’t, because, as we have previously discovered, everybody still uses Facebook despite constantly complaining about it.
Apple Admits iPhone 5 Battery Issue
Apple has admitted the iPhone 5 has a battery problem, and is offering free replacements to all those affected. Units purchased between September 2012 and January 2013 are affected, with Apple admitting iPhones manufactured in this batch “may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently.”
Apple will replace the battery on your iPhone 5 if it’s affected and meets the eligibility requirements outlined on the Apple website. Replacements will be undertaken by either an Apple Authorized Service Provider, an Apple Retail Store, or Apple Technical Support. This program has already begun in the U.S. and China, with other countries added on Aug. 29.
PlayStation Network Suffers At Hands Of Hackers
If all you have time to do is sit around and hack PSN all day then that’s a sign of a REAL no life right there
— ADF (@DillonFan_3) August 24, 2014
LizardSquad even managed to get an American Airlines plane carrying Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) President John Smedley diverted after making a false bomb threat. Which is clearly a much more serious crime and may even lead to arrests.
AdDetector Calls Out Sponsored Content
This Chrome extension warns you when ads masquerade as articles
— Owen Williams (@ow) August 20, 2014
A new Chrome and Firefox extension called AdDetector is capable of flagging sponsored content, also known as native advertising. Sponsored content is an increasingly popular form of advertising, and we even feature it occasionally here on MakeUseOf. However, while we make it very clear when a post is sponsored rather than organic, some sites are less forthcoming.
AdDetector, created by Google product engineer Ian Webster, doesn’t seek to hide this form of content, but instead makes it clear that it’s native advertising. In other words, this isn’t an attempt to kill sponsored content, it’s more an attempt to force online publishers to be more transparent. Which is, we suspect, all that the vast majority of readers desire.
A Fast & Furious Jail Sentence
A 25-year-old British man has been sentenced to 33 months in jail for illegally recording Fast & Furious 6 from the back of a movie theater. Philip Danks later uploaded the illicit recording to the Internet, and it was downloaded in excess of 700,000 times. Danks was caught after using the same username — TheCod3r — on both a dating website and a piracy website. Which was a bit silly of him really.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Ice Bucket Challenge
And finally, Samsung has treated the Galaxy S5 to an Ice Bucket Challenge, hijacking the effort to raise money and awareness for charity to further its own ends. In the short ad, the Galaxy S5 nominates the Apple iPhone 5S, the HTC One M8, and the Nokia Lumia 930.
Let’s hope those companies all ignore this attempt to add a commercial element to a charitable meme. Because while watching celebrities take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge is fun, watching smartphones take part is just a waste of everyone’s time.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Are you an iPhone 5 user experiencing the battery issue Apple has just admitted exists? Are you a PlayStation owner affected by the PSN hack attack? Do you condone or condemn Samsung’s hijacking of the Ice Bucket Challenge?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: William Brawley via Flickr