Engadget: Study finds over 3,300 Android apps improperly tracking kids. “There’s little doubt that mobile apps sometimes overstep their bounds by collecting more data from kids than the law allows. But how often does that happen? It might be more than you think. Researchers using an automated testing process have discovered that 3,337 family- and child-oriented Android apps on Google Play were improperly collecting kids’ data, potentially putting them in violation of the US’ COPPA law (which limits data collection for kids under 13). Only a small number were particularly glaring violations, but many apps exhibited behavior that could easily be seen as questionable.”
Read the Tea Leaves: Introducing Pinafore for Mastodon. “I love the Mastodon web app, and I’ve even contributed code to it. It’s a PWA [Progressive Web App], it’s responsive, and it works well across multiple devices. But eventually, I felt like I could make something interesting by rewriting the frontend from scratch.” Big thanks to Kathy J. for alerting me to this.
TechCrunch: App Store shrank for first time in 2017 thanks to crackdowns on spam, clones and more. “The App Store shrank for the first time in 2017, according to a new report from Appfigures. The report found the App Store lost 5 percent of its total apps over the course of the year, dropping from 2.2 million published iOS apps in the beginning of the year to 2.1 million by year-end. Google Play, meanwhile, grew in 2017 — it was up 30 percent to more than 3.6 million apps.”
NoCamels: Israeli Startup Launches AI-Powered Alert App To Help Farmers Save Crops From Disease, Pests. “Saillog, a Tel Aviv-based agriculture tech startup founded just last year, has come up with an innovative way to help farmers stay ahead and devise a containment and management strategy. The company launched a free smartphone app, Agrio, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision algorithms to identify plant diseases and deficiencies. Agrio allows users to take images of crops they suspect are affected, upload them to the platform and, within moments, receive a diagnosis and recommendations on how to proceed.”
Economist: A new app listens to the problems of bees. “YOU might expect to hear an angry buzzing when honeybees have been disturbed. But some apiarists reckon they can also deduce the condition of their bees from the sounds they make. A steady hum could be the sign of a contented hive; a change in tone might indicate that the bees are about to swarm. That intuition is about to be put to the test. Soon, beekeepers will be able to try to find out what is troubling a colony by listening to the buzz using a smartphone app.”
MakeUseOf: 10 Exciting iPhone Education Apps for Kids. “In a little more than a decade, the combination of the iPhone and apps have transformed so many parts of our lives. From social networks and communication to games and much more, the iPhone has made learning, play, and everything in between easier and more enjoyable. One area that’s seen huge change is education. Thanks to the iPhone’s slim form factor, easy to use software, and touchscreen, even toddlers can use the smartphone to learn while having fun.”