| Cult of Mac

Mobile gaming rakes in far more money than PC and console

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PUBG Mobile
Revenue from iPhone and Android games like 'PUBG Mobile' dwarfs traditional gaming.
Photo: PUBG

Games played on iPhone and Android represents 61% of the overall gaming market, according to two market analysis firms. And mobile’s lead over PC and console gaming is growing.

The total gaming market is set to hit $222 billion in 2022. For comparison, global film revenue for 2019 (the last pre-pandemic year) was $42.5 billion.

iPhone owners are pickier about apps than Android users

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iPhone owners are pickier about apps than Android users
iPhone users have higher standards for third-party software than Android users.
Image: Cult of Mac

Third-party iPhone apps scored significantly lower than their Android counterparts, according to an analysis of user reviews of 4,400 top mobile apps.

This does not necessarily mean that Android offers better third-party software, though. iPhone users simply expect more from their apps.

“The data shows iOS users are more critical of mobile apps than Android users are,” said David Kravets, senior content marketing manager for unitQ, the company that did the research, in an interview with Cult of Mac.

And after going through nearly 122 million reviews, unitQ analysts say there’s “lots of room for improvement” in mobile software.

iPhone shipments grow while Android tanks

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iPhone shipments grow while Android tanks
iPhone shipments increased in Q1 2022. Android did not.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The global market for Android phones shrank considerably in the first quarter of 2022, even as iPhone shipments rose.

Shipments from every major Android maker declined, from Samsung on down. Their combined drops were enough to reduce world smartphone shipments in Q1 by around 10%.

Samsung copies one of iPhone’s biggest advantages

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Apple vs Samsung
Samsung promises more years of Android updates. Not as many as Apple offers iOS updates, though.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

Debates over the relative merits of iOS versus Android can go on forever, but there’s always been one area where Apple was way ahead: offering years of operating system upgrades.

Not anymore. Samsung committed itself Wednesday to releasing four generations of Android OS updates for its high-end smartphones. And for its tablets, too.

Apple’s Tracker Detect app helps Android users spot AirTag spies

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Apple Tracker Detect for Android
Worried AirTags are spying on you? Find them with Tracker Detect.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple on Monday rolled out a brand-new Android app that allows users to identify unexpected AirTags nearby. Tracker Detect can also recognize other Find My-compatible devices from third-party companies.

The app also makes it possible for those who do not own an iPhone or iPad to scan a tracker they have discovered and learn more about it — or disable it so that it can no longer report their location.

iMessage reactions now appear as emoji on Android

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iMessage reaction
But only inside the Google Messages app.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

iMessage reactions now appear as emoji inside the latest version of the Google Messages app on Android.

Prior to this release, Android users saw somewhat lengthy template messages when they received an iMessage reaction from a contact using an iPhone. This change offers a cleaner, much more streamlined experience.

Apple makes it harder for creeps to use AirTags for stalking

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Apple AirTag finally jumped from rumor to reality.
It’s getting easier to find a hidden AirTag being used to stalk someone.
Photo: Apple

Apple moved to address many of the privacy concerns raised after the release of AirTags. The item trackers launched with anti-stalking features, but a new firmware update is tightening them up further.

AirTags will start more quickly warning people if they’re being used to follow someone. And an Android app that can detect these trackers is in development.

Fleeceware apps scam $400 million out of unsuspecting users

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Fleeceware tricks people into paying enourmous subscription fees.
Don’t get fleeced.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Skitterphoto/Pexels CC

Applications that trick users into paying huge subscription fees raked in over $400 million from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, according to research done by Avast.

The so-called “fleeceware” takes advantage of a weakness in both app stores: deleting an application tied to a subscription doesn’t cancel the subscription.