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The Week in Mobile: Jan. 26-30, 2015

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Apple announces record-breaking profit, Twitter seeks greater engagement with new features and more

Each week we round up the top news stories, think pieces and other content that centers on the fast-paced, quickly changing world of mobile technology. We tell you which companies are employing clever mobile strategies, illuminate new ways of thinking about mobile and offer a peek at meaningful trends in the industry. This content is designed to inspire you and your company to take advantage of the many benefits mobile can offer.

Apple Has Biggest Quarter Ever
Last week Apple announced record-breaking profits for fiscal Q1 of 2015. The company raked in $18.04 billion, which is the largest quarter in history for any company. Moreover, in the battle for mobile device dominance, iPhone made serious headway with the highest number of new iPhone users since Apple released its first iPhone in 2007. With 74.5 million iPhones sold, Apple announced a 46 percent growth in iPhone sales compared to Q1 2014. This quarter also marks the highest switch rate from Android devices to the iPhone.

Twitter Vies for Increased Engagement by Adding Direct Messaging and Video Recording
In an attempt to keep users engaged within Twitter’s network, the company has added direct messaging and video recording capabilities to its mobile app. Users will now be able to send messages and share tweets in private group conversations of up to 20 people within the app, a move that might keep users from turning to apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to talk privately. With mobile messaging app usage increasing by 103 percent during 2014, Twitter’s decision to add direct messaging capabilities is a smart one. According to managing partner at Union Square Ventures, Fred Wilson, “The most popular apps that sustain themselves day after day, month after month, at the top of the leaderboard, are messengers.” Twitter has also added new video capabilities that allow users to record up to 30 second clips right from the app, which could boost engagement and keep users from leaving the app to find the functionality they’re looking for.

Facebook Takes the Cake in 2014 Mobile App Download Report
The top four most downloaded apps for both iOS and Android in 2014 are all owned by the same company. The original Facebook app, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram are dominating mobile usage, according to a just-released report on app trends. In the United States, the single most downloaded app in 2014 was Facebook Messenger, likely a result of Facebook removing messaging capabilities from its main app and requiring users to download a separate app to access their inbox. Facebook’s performance suggests their multiple-app mobile strategy is working.

BillGuard Joins Forces with ProtectMyID to Secure User’s Wallets
BillGuard, an app that tracks your spending, joined forces with identity theft protection service ProtectMyID to protect users from data breaches and exposure of confidential information such as social security numbers or credit card information. With credit card and debit card fraud on the rise (the cost of credit and debit card theft rose from $3 billion in 2012 to $11 billion in 2013) and new payment systems being incorporated into more and more apps, consumers are starting to monitor accounts more closely in order to ensure security. With apps like BillGuard beginning to offer fraudulent behavior alerts and on-the-go mobile access to transaction information, users will be able to respond to issues more quickly, which could make all the difference.

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