50 Interesting Facts about Mobile Apps

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1Islendingabok

There is an app named Islendingabok that contains data of all Icelanders since the 18th century. Because of Iceland’s small population of 320,000 this app can be used to prevent you from having sex with a relative of yours by entering both of your names into the app.


2. In 2018, a fitness tracking app named Strava unknowingly revealed locations of secret US army bases. They released a map with over 3 million data points, showing popular running routes. Data shared by soldiers on the app was detailed enough to reveal sensitive information of users on active military service.


3. Finland’s reindeer herders wanted to reduce the 4,000 annual reindeer road deaths. They painted antlers in fluorescent colors, hung reflectors around necks, and used movable traffic signs. When all this failed, they tried a mobile app for drivers to register sightings and get reindeer warnings.


4. Because Nintendo owns the Seattle Mariners, there is a 3DS app that allows you to order food directly to your seat.


5. A study led by University of Pennsylvania psychologists found that “brain training” apps such as Elevate, Luminosity, and Peak have no influence on neural activity or choices during decision making or effects of cognitive training on measures of delay discounting or risk sensitivity.


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6Take This Lollipop

Take This Lollipop was a 2011 interactive horror short film/Facebook app that requested access to your Facebook account, then used information from that account to fill in details of the film. Its goal was to underscore the dangers inherent in posting too much personal information about oneself online.


7. A featureless app called "I am rich" was released on the app store for $999.99. 8 people purchased it before apple removed it the next day.


8. Rio residents rely on an app called "Fogo cruzado" (Crossfire) to keep track of all gun battles happening in the city on any given day in order to avoid them.


9. The Virgin Hotel in Chicago has no check-in desk. It uses a smartphone system in which you scan a QR code and retrieve your room key from a vending machine. The personal comfort assistant app named Lucy can order more pillows, control room temperature, and coordinate messages with hotel staff.


10. Facebook acquired Onavo VPN to track user's full online activity and app usage details. With this, they could tell Instagram's Stories crippled Snapchat Stories even before Snapchat made it public.


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11Picaboo

Snapchat was originally marketed as an app to send nude pictures called Picaboo.


12. Instagram started as a Whiskey meetup app. After analyzing how people used it, they relaunched it as Instagram and sold it for $1 billion two years later.


13. In 2014, researchers in the UK developed an app called, "Spider in da house", which helped identify house spiders. They discovered the peak month of spiders moving indoors is September and most are males seeking mates.


14. Before the smartphone app, Shazam was a call service that let users dial 2580 to send 30 seconds of a song over the phone, and receive the name of the song via text message. The number still works today.


15. Siri was originally an app available for purchase on the App Store until Apple acquired it two months after its release.


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16JPay's music store

There is an mp3 player, made specifically for prison inmates. It even has an app (JPay's music store) that shows songs purchased most by inmates in their prison.


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


18. 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.


19. 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.


20. 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.


21Google Goggles app

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


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


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


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


25. 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.

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