Since the launch of the App Store, there were many other mobile apps development companies which joined the fray of having their own app stores. Google's Android Market is the most notable market. Mobile developers can work better with network providers instead of using storefronts for publicity. Device manufacturers, who mostly do not have dedicated storefronts, can help developers to create apps across a range of operating systems and devices of the mobile market.
With the growing market, AT&T has created a strong developer program which gives mobile access to 80 million customers, while LG opened its Applications Store for helping out users of LG devices for downloading apps. Storefronts are currently generating the most buzz but users can always download apps from independent off-store websites too. Off-store downloads account for most of the app downloads and eat up the revenue. The number of off-store downloads mostly are expected to decrease with time once storefronts become more popular, but independent sites might serve to be effective distribution channels.
With hundreds and thousands of apps for the user to choose from, there are many customers who are willing to spend billions of dollars on different types of applications every year. The consumer spending on downloads was expected to reach 14 billion dollars by the end of the year. This revenue generated by mobile market is more than all the professional sports combined together in US. For mobile device users, apps are usually very accessible this also means that there is a greater chance of malicious code to slip through. In fact, there are many rogue apps which easily sneak into storefronts.
As mobile apps become more popular, it is evident that there will be malware attacks in hordes with vandals storming the market with malicious apps. These apps are mostly next to impossible to spot. Parts of standard developer toolkits are used to create malware bots and these apps are known to exploit several user information elements including location and contact lists. Most users are unaware of the attacks and presume the app to be safe and legitimate. Many users do not even read permissions notices closely and hence grant access to notorious apps. A quick click can give the application access to sensitive information across the web.
The App Genome Project recently discovered that nearly 28% Android apps and 34% Apple apps are able to track user's location with the help of the GPS. There are some apps which can even access contact and address lists of users and can gather personal information at will. These are the apps that are an ideal target for hackers since they replicate their code to create malware. These unsecured apps are prone to hackers who can alter some lines of code and convert them into information-stealing malware. An existing application can ferret out malicious programs easily. Even though end users are more careful nowadays, malware is here to stay in a new form. Securing your mobile applications is extremely important for all types of users mostly to safeguard customers and your business reputation.
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