FTC Probe On Apple as they Reach 25 Billion App Downloads

Today’s mobile roundup features a Democrat senator’s request for FTC probe on Apple and Google, Apple reaching 25 billion apps download, poison apps, and more.

FTC Probe

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is requesting the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Apple Inc. and Google Inc. regarding the applications on their mobile systems that steal private photos and contacts, and post them online without consent.

“These uses go well beyond what a reasonable user understands himself to be consenting to when he allows an app to access data on the phone for purposes of the app’s functionality,” Schumer said in a letter to the FTC.

He added that “it is not clear whether or how those terms of service are being enforced and monitored,” and that “smartphone makers should be required to put in place safety measures to ensure third party applications are not able to violate a user’s personal privacy by stealing photographs or data that the user did not consciously decide to make public.”

Apple

Apple may be facing yet another probe into their privacy methods, but the biggest buss around Apple’s brand is the upcoming iPad 3. Only two days more until Apple’s big reveal, where the company’s expected to release the next generation of their popular tablet line.  Amidst all the excitement comes more rumors than you can shake a stick at.

The upcoming Apple device is said to be bigger and thicker than its predecessor because of all the upgrades it’s getting.  According to Ars Technica, it will have the Retina display found in iPhone 4 and 4S, a resolution of 1536 x 2048 and a pixel density of 260ppi, an 8 megapixel rear camera and the front camera will also be upgraded, an A5X processor, Wi-Fi/3G/LTE support, 0.81mm thicker than the iPad 2 and more.  But here’s something more interesting: Here’s a video from M.I.C. Gadget, a China-based blog, which shows what the next iPad supposedly looks like.

Here’s another high for Apple: they just reached 25 billion apps downloaded to users’ iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices.  On February 13th, Apple launched the 25 Billion Apps Countdown promotion, which gives away an App Store Gift Card for credit in an amount equal to USD $10,000, redeemable in the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBook Store, to the person who helped them get there.  The winner will be posted 10 days from the end of the promo.  The top paid app downloaded is Angry Birds and the top free app is the Facebook app.

And Apple is proud to announce that they have created more half-a-million jobs for US workers.

“Throughout our history, Apple has created entirely new products — and entirely new industries — by focusing on innovation,” the company said.  ”As a result, we’ve created or supported more than 500,000 jobs for U.S. workers: from the engineer who helped invent the iPad to the delivery person who brings it to your door.”

Poisoned Apps

With news of billions of apps downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Android Market, bad new accompanies it: malware.  As the number of app downloads increase with every iOS and Android device activated each day, the number of cyber-attacks also increases.  More malicious criminals are targeting mobile devices and they are using apps as their weapon of choice.  According to a report from Juniper Networks, the pool of bad apps increased by 86% from January to February.

“We’ve identified malware that can steal credentials from e-mail and mobile banking applications,” Dan Hoffman, head of Juniper’s mobile security business said. “These attacks can be devastating.”

Other Mobile News

NHN Japan Corporation announced that “LINE,” their free calling and free messaging app for local and international use, reached 20 million downloads in total for both iPhone and Android devices in approximately 8 months since it was launched.

And according to unnamed sources, after the unofficially named Android Jelly Bean’s launch will come Android 6.0 which will be named Key Lime Pie.  Nothing has yet been discussed about Key Lime Pie, its features or the implications of yet another OS before the current 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich reaches wide use.

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa is a staff writer for SiliconAngle, covering social and mobile news. She is fascinated by technology and loves imparting what she learns through her journey as a writer. Got a news story or tip? Send it to mellisa@siliconangle.com