Your mobile app is spying on you. About the danger in free apps.

The study also found that a large proportion of apps contain third-party code with the capability to interact with sensitive data in a way that may not be apparent to users or the developers of the apps themselves. The third-party code is generally used for advertising or analytics. The project found that 47 percent of free Android apps included this third-party code, while 23 percent of free iPhone apps use it. Third-party code represents a security risk because it is difficult to update (and patch a vulnerability) on a global basis. Apple changed its terms of service for the iPhone recently because of its concerns about what third-party analytics and other companies were doing with private data.

  • Nokia’s JavaScript Peformance Best Practices. Contains a lot that was taken from Steve Souders’s research and common knowledge, but also a few things I’ve never heard before. I’d really have to do an evaluation of some of the practices. Also contains a few ugly-but-necessary tricks for Symbian WebKit (S60).
  • Also from Nokia: Introducing Ovi Browser Beta for Series 40. Nokia, too, has produced a mini-browser that relies on a server for the actual rendering and sends out the fully-rendered page, just as Opera Mini does. Now I need to lay my hands on an S40 device so that I can test it.
  • From Bruce Lawson at Opera, finally, comes Mobile-friendly: The mobile web optimization guide with useful tips and tricks for making your website mobile-friendly.

    [...] mobile users are in a hurry; they're on the go and want to perform one specific task and then finish. A common example cited is that of a restaurant site. The mobile user wants to find the location, the menu and the opening hours so, the argument goes, the mobile site should contain this and nothing else.

    This is a good argument, but it's only half true. If it were 100% true, what would be on the "full" website? Presumably, a movie of the decor, some atmospheric music, animated representations of the house special dishes, and a downloadable menu in some fancy font. The fallacy here is that users of desktop computers are not task-focussed and have time to waste on an immersive branding experience.

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    Four mobile links

    Here are four interesting mobile articles that caught my eye in the past 24 hours:

    This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, web developer, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter or Mastodon.
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    1 Posted by Webdesign Bodensee on 3 August 2010 | Permalink

    I am curious to see how Google and Apple will react to these. I am sure we will see rootkits on these devices sooner or later.