33 Shocking Facts You Didn’t Know About Some Mobile Apps

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1Yo!

The widely popular app, 'Yo!', is being used as an improvised missile-warning system in Israel.


2. There is an iPad app named Whale Alert that shippers can use to avoid hitting whales near ports. It is part of a largely voluntary program that has reduced whale/ship encounters by 81% since 2007.


3. The Halkomelem language in British Columbia is near extinction. In 2000, it was estimated that the number of fluent Halkomelem speakers was less than one dozen. Most are middle-aged or older, and few are monolingual. To save the language, a Halkomelem iPhone app (Halqemeylem) was released in 2011.


4. There are Bluetooth-enabled toilets in Japan that can flush and bidet using an app (My Satis) and anyone with the app can control any toilet within range and activate its flushing and bidet functions because all the toilets have the same Bluetooth PIN ("0000") hardcoded.


5. The predecessor to Google Lens, the Google Goggles app (now discontinued) was able to solve Sudoku puzzles in seconds.


6Pocket Fritz

In 2009, an app called Pocket Fritz running on a 528 MHz HTC Touch was entered into a grandmaster chess tournament and won.


7. Police organizations want to ban the app Waze because it identifies police locations and makes them potential targets for harm.


8. The successful app Line was developed as a response to Japan's 2011 earthquake, helping the Japanese facilitate communications during the disaster.


9. The French soccer team Avant Garde Caennaise is managed by over 2000 ‘virtual managers’ who watch the game in real-time and use an app (United Managers App) to decide tactics, substitutions, and line-ups.


10. OkCupid found that women using iPhones averaged twice as many sexual partners as those using Android devices.


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11Tinder

Tinder was thusly named because a tinder box (your phone) holds matches (swipes to the right) that could potentially catalyze the fire of a new romance from a single spark made by swiping matches to the right.


12. Uber drivers in China changed their profile photos to ghosts and zombie images so that when potential passengers saw these pictures they would cancel the ride they had just booked, thus earning the driver the cancellation fee.


13. A woman was diagnosed with "WhatsAppitis" in 2014 after using WhatsApp on her smartphone continuously for 6 hours caused wrist pain.


14. Language learning app/site Duolingo makes its money from having its users practice translating a real-world document (e.g from CNN). Duolingo has contracts with these websites to translate stories and is earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year with this business model.


15. Since Uber was introduced in New York City in 2011, drinking-related car wrecks decreased by 25–35% in all boroughs.


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16Instagram Stories

Mark Zuckerberg attempted to buy Snapchat for $3 billion in November of 2013 but was rejected. Almost 3 years later, Instagram cloned Snapchat’s main features and launched ‘Instagram Stories.’


17. An Uber driver once sued Snapchat, alleging that the teen who crashed into him at 107 mph was using Snapchat’s speed filter while driving.


18. The popular game Candy Crush exploits mechanisms of addiction in the same way some recreational drugs and gambling do.


19. Real human skulls are traded on Instagram by a small but active underground collectors’ market. The skulls are decorated and sold by macabre enthusiasts. Some sell for tens of thousands of dollars.


20. In 2015, a smartwatch maker Pebble declined a $740 million offer from watchmaker Citizen. A year later they sold the company to Fitbit in the region of $23 million - $40 million.


21Fitbit Murder Solving

A Fitbit played a role in solving a murder. Using the Wife's Fitbit and analyzing her movements, analysts were able to create a timeline that proved the husband had created a false story.


22. In 2012, before the introduction of Uber, a Toronto Taxi license was sold for $360,000. By 2018 they were rumored to be down to $65,000 and likely still dropping.


23. Your delivery order from DoorDash or Grubhub could come from a “dark kitchen.” Basically the food you ordered is coming from a big-name restaurant under another name. Examples being Pasqually’s Pizza being Chuck E. Cheese and It’s Just Wings being Chili’s.


24. When Pokemon Go first came out, it increased U.S. activity levels by 144 billion steps in just 30 days.


25. Brian Acton and Jan Koum both former employees of Yahoo once applied for jobs at Facebook but were rejected. They later went on to create WhatsApp messenger and sold it to Facebook for $19.3 billion.

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