This week: Google begins its gradual Android Nougat 7.0 rollout, Apple continues its third-party developer acceptance and Note7’s iris scanner doesn’t live up to expectations.
Google Plans to Penalize Mobile Sites with Jarring Pop-ups
Google has made another addition to its ever-changing search ranking criteria. Beginning in January, the company will penalize mobile web sites that display invasive pop-up ads by ranking them lower in search results. The move is intended to encourage more mobile-friendly experiences and also penalizes storing content below the fold, displaying an alert bubble and more. As part of the algorithm change, Google will also discontinue the “mobile-friendly” label. Since the vast majority of sites meet the company’s mobile-friendly requirements, the label has lost its necessity.
Read more about Google’s algorithm changes at PCMag.
Some Consumers Willing to Pay for Mobile Banking
According to a recent survey from by S&P Global Market Intelligence, a small number of Americans would be willing to spend monthly on a mobile banking app. In fact, 21 percent of people said they’d pay as much as $3 a month for the service, while nearly 40 percent of people said they’d be willing to pay $1 a month. The data shows the prevalence of convenience in consumer decision making. According to the report, banks could stand to make $500 million in annual revenue by charging for their mobile apps.
Android 7.0 Nougat Makes Gradual Nexus Device Debut
After five developer previews scheduled across as many months, Google this week began rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to existing Nexus devices, including Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and General Mobile 4G (Android One). The gradual rollout is anticipated to take several weeks to complete. Nexus 5 devices will likely not receive the update. The Nougat update features several functionality improvements, from side-by-side app use to a low-power mode.
Note7 Iris Scanner not Ideal for Daily Use
While there’s been a great deal of buzz around Samsung Galaxy Note7’s iris scanner, actual implementation leaves much to be desired. Reports are filtering in of inconsistent performance, as the iris scanner struggles in specific environments. It also doesn’t look promising for glasses wearers, as the scanner struggles with the glare from the lenses. Even when the technology works as designed, some users still prefer the quick and easy access granted by fingerprint recognition.
Read more on the woes of the Note7 iris scanner at CIO.
Apple Increases Third-party Involvement by Opening Select Apps
Over recent years, Apple has gradually taken the steps needed to grow its iOS ecosystem with third-party support. Part of this comes in making select apps open to third-party developers as a means of extending the app’s intended functionality. This trend appears poised continue with the full release of iOS 10. Currently in public beta, iOS 10 has already beckoned greater interfacing with Apple apps. Take Maps for example. Now open to third-party developers, the app will let you call for a rideshare, make restaurant reservations and even send money to friends, all without having to switch to another app.
Bonus: For those of you already exploring ways your mobile strategy will shift with iOS 10, check out this list of 10 Gotchas Apple Developers Should Know About in iOS 10.
Apple Patches Long-present Trident Vulnerability
Speaking of Apple, the company this week announced it is issuing patches to address three day-zero vulnerabilities known as Trident. The vulnerabilities provide operating room for a spyware attack, known as Pegasus. A classic phishing scheme, victims of the attack would receive an SMS message with a URL which would then exploit the system vulnerabilities. Users can obtain the patch by updating to iOS 9.3.5.