mobile apps

Are Your Apps Trustworthy? 6 Questions to Ask

Posted by MelissaLoudon on Jun 30, 2011

Smartphones (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Symbian) and many feature phones allow you to download and install mobile applications (“apps”). Apps do many useful things. However, some apps (and other types of software, such as your mobile operating system) can also present security risks. These include:

  • Apps and other software may have access to information stored on or generated by your phone.

  • Apps and other software may have the ability to transmit this information using your phone’s Internet connection.

Malicious apps or other mobile software installed on your mobile device can expose you to the following risks:

  • Your conversations may be listened to or recorded without your knowledge.

  • Your text messages, emails and web traffic may be monitored and logged.

  • Data stored on your phone (contacts, calendar entries, photos and video) may be accessed or copied.

  • Passwords stored or entered on your phone may be stolen and used to access your online accounts.

  • Your locationmaybetracked, even when your phone is switched off.

With smartphones gaining market share, malicious apps are beginning to pose a serious threat. In an article titled “Your Apps Are Watching You”, the Wall Street Journal tested popular iPhone and Android apps, and found that of 101 apps tested, 56 transmitted a unique identifier for the phone without informing the user or asking for consent. 47 apps also transmitted the phone’s location, while 5 sent age, gender or other personal details to various companies. The App Genome Project reports that 28% of all apps in the Android Market and 34% of all free apps in the Apple App Store have the capability to access location, while 7.5% of Android Market apps and 11% of Apple App Store apps have the capability to access users’ contacts.

It can be very difficult to tell which apps are safe and which are not. App behaviours that might not bother most users, such as transmitting the phone’s location to an advertising server, can be unacceptable to people with higher privacy and security requirements.

This article offers suggestions on how to assess risks to security and privacy posed by apps.

Four Questions Non-Profits Should Ask Before Jumping Into Mobile Apps

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Nov 24, 2010

Mobile applications gets a lot of attention today.  The market is growing every day. Cellular-News recently reported that this quarter’s worldwide smartphone sales increased 96% compared to a similar period last year, and that smartphones now account for nearly 20 percent of worldwide phone sales. Apps are admittedly a great way to reach out to new audiences.

But for non-profits, developing mobile apps can be a tricky undertaking. There’s a lot of hype around apps, and it’s hard to know how to approach the smartphone market. Planning for a mobile app that fits into a non-profit’s mobile communications strategy can make the difference between a great app and an app that doesn’t meet expectations. For non-profits wanting to develop apps, it’s important to make sure that they are meeting a real need – both for the organization and for users. Before launching an app, there are four questions non-profits should ask themselves: 

Four Questions Non-Profits Should Ask Before Jumping Into Mobile Apps data sheet 4514 Views
Countries: United States

ACS CAN for iPhone

Posted by ckmasak on Sep 01, 2010
ACS CAN for iPhone data sheet 2789 Views
Organization that developed the Tool: 
Main Contact: 
Problem or Need: 

In the pursuit of legislation that will increase funding for cancer research and provide greater access to cancer treatments, advocates for cancer issues need the latest news and updates to be easily accessible.

Main Contact Email : 
Brief Description: 

This application allows advocates for cancer issues to access action-taking tools (petitions, new volunteer sign-ups) and news on their mobile devices

Tool Category: 
Is a web-based application/web service
Key Features : 
  • Enables volunteer recruitment via mobile phone.
  • Provides list of advocacy-related events and news
  • Links to mobile content from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Display tool in profile: 
ACS CAN for iPhone Screenshot
Tool Maturity: 
Currently deployed
Release Date: 
Program/Code Language: 
Organizations Using the Tool: 

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Is the Tool's Code Available?: 
Is an API available to interface with your tool?: 

The Mobile Minute: RIM Caves in India, Mobile Ownership Numbers, Thoughts from Tech@State

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Aug 12, 2010

Today's Mobile Minute covers the unfolding BBM security controversy, Ushahidi's new Crowdmap online platform, a roundup of mobile apps for the disabled, a break down of what mobile ownership numbers actually mean, and the take-away on mobile remittances from the Tech@State conference.

The Face-Off: Mobile Web (and not Apps) are the Right Choice

Posted by PrabhasPokharel on Jul 22, 2010

There are now over 5 billion mobile subscriptions around the world. Smartphone ownership is steadily growing, both in the United States and abroad.  Smartphone ownership is projected to be above 50% of all mobile phones in the United States by next year. This has many NGOs and other content and media prodicers wondering about how best to produce content for mobile phones (high-end devices, in particular). SMS and voice-based applications have their use cases, but many content producers today are wondering whether to produce a mobile website or a mobile application (app) to distribute their content.

Mobile Done Right? How National Public Radio Embraces the Mobile Web and Apps

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on May 21, 2010

Branching out into the mobile space can have big rewards for media organizations that take the time to do it right. However, recognizing the right moments, investing in the right technology, and marketing to the right audience are tough to do. To learn how one mainstream media organization is doing it we called Robert Spier, Director of Content Development for NPR Digital Media, to talk about NPR’s mobile strategy.

Five years ago, NPR first entered the digital media space with podcasts. According to Spier, the lessons NPR learned from this first foray into the 'new' media world provided the jumping off point for later content dissemination and engagement via the mobile web and mobile application. He says,

Mobile Done Right? How National Public Radio Embraces the Mobile Web and Apps data sheet 10395 Views
Countries: United States

Deadline Extension for Mobile App Developer Challenge for Android

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Jan 30, 2008

We have written previously about the Android Developer Challenge by Google that has a strong emphasis on humanitarian applaications. Because (we think) the process and SDK was rather buggy, Google has decided to move the submission deadline for the first Android Developers Challenge to 14 April 2008.

From the Android blog: