Industry News 13/09/18

13 September 2018

Reading time 4 minutes

Each week at Rokk we will be looking at the news stories from the world of software and app development in the digital marketplace. From technology developments to new market insights and trends; you can find the news in brief here.

Apple removes apps from its store which exported user data

Trend Micro, an anti-malware app developer whose mac-designed apps included Dr Cleaner, Dr Antivirus and App Uninstall, has been expelled from the Mac App store amidst concerns over user data privacy. Cyber security researchers found that the apps were collecting users’ browsing histories and sending the information to an unidentified server. Trend Micro has vehemently denied claims of stealing user data and sending this to a remote server in China, however it acknowledged that its apps did collate some browser history on a one-time basis to check the security of users’ systems. Trend Micro has since stated that this feature will be removed from the app.

Google is shutting down its Inbox app

This week the tech giant announced that it would be discontinuing its Inbox email app at the end of March 2019. The Inbox by Gmail app, which launched four years prior, was designed as an innovative way to manage emails with intelligent grouping features and the ability to ‘snooze’ emails for later. Inbox entered the market at a time when the email landscape was changing with users struggling to prioritise the hundreds of emails they received each day, increasing the risk of missing important information. Google will now be returning its attention to Gmail and incorporating many of the Inbox features to help streamline messages and boost email productivity. As Gmail product manager Matthew Izatt said, “we’ve learned a lot about how to make email better- and we’ve taken popular Inbox experiences and added them into Gmail.”

WeWork acquires meeting management software company Teem

The global shared workspace company recently bought a software start up, Teem, for $100 million. Teem specialises in office software and analytics with tools which help businesses enhance their meeting productivity. The acquisition reflects WeWork’s commitment to investing in cutting-edge technology which make everyday workplace tasks simpler and enable everyone to maximise their time usage. As TechCrunch notes, WeWork does not often make acquisitions and this partnership notably sees WeWork branch out from its real estate offering into the software realm.

Instagram to create a standalone shopping app

Following on from the success of Instagram’s video app, IGTV, the photo-sharing platform is alleged to be building a new standalone shopping app. The ecommerce app will allow users to browse and purchase items directly from retailers whom they follow on Instagram. Currently in the original Instagram app users can tag items in their photos with product information and external links to where to purchase. This is a popular feature which launched in 2016, elevating the app from a source of photo inspiration to a virtual shopping experience. The development of an independent ecommerce app will surely help e-retailers to capitalise on the rise of social media shoppers.

TomTom announces free mobile maps Software Development Kit

TomTom, the traffic and navigation solutions company, will be offering free maps and traffic Software Development Kit (SDK) to mobile developers. This means that third-party app developers will be able to utilise TomTom’s mapping features at no cost across Android and iOS, however this will mean more premium functions will be unavailable such as the turn-by-turn navigation which provides spoken or visual alerts to users along the route. The free SDK is still a great tool for companies who are newly launching apps and want to incorporate the fundamentals of location and traffic information into their offering.