The Week in Mobile: July 29-August 3, 2018

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Facebook restricts developer access to user data, new report details smartphone addiction, Apple leaks reveal second-gen iPhone X design 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 — all to inspire you and your company to take advantage of the many benefits mobile can offer.

Facebook Cuts Off Access to User Data for Inactive Apps

Facebook has shut off access to user data for hundreds of thousands of apps that did not follow the company’s updated review process. During its F8 developer conference earlier this year, the company stated that app makers had until August 1st to re-submit apps for internal review. In the wake of Facebook’s data privacy scandal, the social network drafted new terms for developers around user data collection and use. Those who missed the deadline lost access to Facebook’s Platform API, but the company said developers who have submitted will still have access, even if they haven’t been approved yet (so long as they comply with new policies).

New Report Demonstrates How Users are Addicted to Their Smartphones

A new report showcases consumers’ growing smartphone addiction over the past 10 years. On average, users now check their smartphones every 12 minutes of the waking day — as 78% claim they could not live without their mobile device. These statistics align with growing calls from users for digital wellbeing tools to help control how much time is spent on mobile apps.

To that end, Facebook and Instagram are launching new screen-time management dashboards for users in the U.S. Through studies, Facebook claims that aimlessly scrolling — not active communications with friends — is what leaves users feeling overwhelmed and dissatisfied. It hopes that this new tool, which displays the number of minutes users have spent on Facebook and Instagram, will help alleviate some of that frustration. The new dashboard also offers a feature for consumers to limit their usage, but leaves it up to the user to close the app themselves, once they hit the self-imposed threshold.

Apple Leaks Showcase Second-Gen Iphone X, and New iPad Pro Design

A series of leaks has left users with a better sense of what Apple’s latest lineup of iPhones will look like. Ahead of the official release in September, several dummy units of the upcoming iPhone models could be seen this week. Those leaks match-up with rumors of a 5.8-inch successor to the iPhone X, as well as a much larger, 6.5-inch second-gen iPhone X Plus.

If the leaks are to be believed, that means only Apple’s mysterious, 6.1-inch budget iPhone has yet to be revealed. It is rumored that device will contain similar features to the current iPhone X, but come with an LCD screen (instead of OLED), more pronounced bezels and a much cheaper price tag. The latest iOS 12 developer beta also points to a slim bezel design, no home button and FaceID support for the upcoming iPad Pro. The new tablet is expected to debut alongside the fresh lineup of iPhones sometime this fall.

Huawei Surpasses Apple as Second Largest Smartphone Seller

Huawei has jumped past Apple as the second largest seller of mobile devices in the world. According to sales figures from last quarter, Huawei sold more smartphones than any other company not named Samsung. The popularity of its P20 Series flagship smartphones and midrange Nova devices saw Huawei deliver 54.2 million units last quarter. This helped the company beat projections for Apple by more than 10 million, in order to secure 15% of the worldwide smartphone market along the way.

The news wasn’t good for Samsung either, which saw its own smartphone sales drop by more than 10% as compared to last year. And Huawei isn’t done yet: a new report claims the company will attempt to beat Samsung to market with the world’s first foldable mobile device early next year.

Android P Will Likely Release on August 20th

Android P is allegedly set to launch in two weeks on August 20th. Although Google has yet to make an official announcement, a new report claims the latest version of Android will launch nearly a year to the date since the release of Android 8.0 Oreo. For almost a month, Google has had a “near-final version” of Android P that developers can access and use to test their apps through the Android Beta Program. The ninth installment of Google’s Android mobile OS still has yet to receive an official name, but potential frontrunners include: Peppermint, Popsicle, Pancake and Pie.

Apple’s Latest Cuts to its Affiliate Program may Shutter Third Party iOS News Sites

Apple says it will cut ties with its iTunes affiliate Program on October 1st. With the launch of its own editorial and discovery features within the App Store, the company believes it has viable alternatives to third-party websites that rank, rate and review iOS apps, such as the popular TouchArcade and AppShopper. These changes mean those publications will no longer collect a cut when it refers users to download an app in the iOS Store.

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