This week: New Facebook Messenger functionality and its threat to the phone market, China’s booming mobile expansion and opportunities for app/game developers, and the encryption debate continues before Congress.
- Facebook Adds Group Call Functionality to Messenger
Facebook Messenger now offers group calling worldwide for iOS and Android. With this new feature, those who use Messenger for voice calls now have all their calling needs covered, and with abilities like how easy it is to block calls, Facebook has taken one step closer to being able to replace your phone number, Skype, and SMS.Learn more about Facebook’s new group call functionality at Digital Trends.
- Chrome App Passes the 1B User Mark—Poised to Overtake Desktop Usage
Google’s Chrome has reached a milestone—and is coming up on a second. There are now more than 1 billion monthly active users on the app for Chrome, and smartphone usage of Chrome is close to overtaking desktop usage. With these trends, Google is focused on reducing the amount of data needed to use Chrome. With many of its new users using their smartphones as the entry point to the web, Chrome will need to keep data use lower.Read more about Chrome’s impressive growth and plans for the mobile market at Business Insider.
- China Moves into the No. 2 Spot in iOS Revenue
According to mobile analyst group App Annie’s market index for Q1, China has replaced Japan in the number 2 spot for iOS revenue (the U.S. is number 1), with a growth factor of 2.2 compared to Q1 2015. With a mobile market potential of $11.1 billion by 2019, China is on the radar for developers of apps and particularly games. If this growth continues, China will bump the U.S. for the top spot within a few quarters.Learn more about China’s booming mobile expansion at VentureBeat.
- Encryption Debate Goes Before Congress
The encryption battle between the government and private sector continues. As law enforcement pushes tech companies harder to hand over data when a warrant requires it, the tech companies continue to dig in, defending their trend towards stronger encryption as protecting the privacy of users. So far, the two sides have not come up with a solution. According to one law enforcement official, this was not a problem in the past; the problem developed because of default encryption that even companies can’t break.
- Read more about the ongoing battle over encryption at c|net.
- Apple: iPhones Unlocked 80 Times a Day on Average
In a related story around the ongoing encryption debate, Apple reported that iPhone users unlock their devices 80 times a day on average. With 89 percent of iPhone owners using either a password or fingerprint to unlock their devices, Apple illustrated the importance of cybersecurity with consumers.
- Read more about the popularity of cybersecurity at The Verge.