Translated by
2020/05/27 15:32:38

Mobile applications

Mobile applications - the computer program created especially for use in the mobile phone, the smartphone or a communicator which is intended for accomplishment of this or that task.


Market and platforms of mobile applications


2018: In Russia the standard of mobile application development is adopted

The state approved the preliminary standard of mobile application development, says Rosstandart, published on the website of the department on July 10, 2018. Requirements have advisory nature, but, according to authors, will have to become "a reference point at development". Read more here.

2013: PwC about the future of mobile applications

According to the forecast prepared by PwC in September, 2013, the next generation of the innovative solutions in the field of mobile technologies will be aimed at recognition and modeling of a contextual situation of the consumer. Information on users on three key parameters – physical location, virtual and social environment – will become the main resource which will allow to create the mobile applications and services having cardinally new potential and capable to predict consumer preferences. Mobile devices will be able to become really digital assistants.

The report of PwC based on stage II "New technological capabilities" within the research "The Forecast of the Innovative Development in the field of Mobile Technologies" (Mobile Innovations Forecast (MIF) Phase II: New technological capabilities) clearly demonstrates how impressions of users with the advent of mobile technologies of the next generation will change.

"We enter the new, dynamic phase of development of mobile technologies marking transition from a limited set of information and computing functions to the intellectual analysis and rationalization of physical, virtual and social medium of users of devices, – Raman Chitkara, the head of the international practice on rendering services to the companies of the technology sector of PwC notes. – Shortly mobile devices will be capable to analyze and foresee human wants, using platforms which involve the user, relying on information obtained from numerous sources. A main goal of this process – creation of even more intuitive mobile devices".

As noted in the report of PwC, the contextual intelligence in mobile calculations will be able to obtain situational information from three main sources, including:

1) data on the device (for example, power source, operating system, data storage, etc.);

2) data on a physical medium (location, weather, etc.);

3) data on the user (ID, applications, the stored information, etc.).

Opportunities which mobile devices, networks, applications and services of the next generation should have to collect data on users from such sources as touch sensors on devices, portable computers and an electronic ecosystem of transponders on other people and objects and to process them:

The 2000th: Era of communicators

By then smartphones also communicators began to win the market of mobile devices of cellular communication gradually. Having ampler opportunities and performance, they differed from normal mobile phones in existence rather developed operating system (Windows Mobile Symbian OS RIM Android Mac OS) which is open for development software by third-party developers, unlike software environment of normal mobile phones which is closed for third-party developers. At the same time It should be noted that installation of additional applications allows to improve considerably functionality smartphones and communicators in comparison with normal mobile phones. But, we will notice that each specific operating system requires installation of the applications corresponding to it i.e. created especially for this or that OS of programs. For example, the program organizer created for Windows Mobile cannot be set on Simbian OS applied in smartphones Nokia Corporation, or Mac OS (Mobile Touch version) to phone iPhone from the company Apple.

Besides, It should be noted that availability of the full-function operating system does not do smartphones and communicators more attractive in the opinion of most of users. Modern cell phones, to be exact the models belonging to the middle price range above often can quite cope with many tasks. They can work with e-mail, browse text documents and spreadsheets, photos and video files.

Besides, screens of a number of cell phones are not inferior to the majority of smartphones and communicators, and latest models are equipped also with touch screens and connectors for memory cards. Therefore today owners of normal mobile phones make the most part of consumers of software applications.

But on the other hand, smartphones in the opinion of this category of users look more attractive at the expense of other opportunities, such as, for example, advanced multimedia functions (the better camera, enhanced capabilities of reproduction of video files, the improved musical capabilities), Wi-Fi, GPS and others.

It is also necessary to understand that the programs written especially for the operating system of the smartphone or a communicator are the full-fledged sequences of low-level microprocessor commands compiled in the binary code. And owing to the fact that more powerful processors are installed in all smartphones and communicators, than in mobile phones, possibilities of the programmer on creation of such applications are almost not limited.

Customized applications are more functional, they uses processor resources, than the J2ME-programs based on a set of Java platforms more rationally, intended for work in devices with limited resources (limited computing power, limited scope of memory, the small size of the display, a power supply from the portable battery and also low-speed and insufficiently reliable communication opportunities). Therefore smartphones enjoy popularity among software developers and enthusiasts.

The 1990th: Era of mobile phones

Emergence on the mobile phone of the screen became a starting point for creation of mobile applications. Naturally, the first software for phones represented the built-in applications which intended for accomplishment of specific functions of phone and were established in the device by producers.

Perhaps, the telephone book - that part of the software of the device which arranged contacts of the user became the first mobile application, in addition to software which is responsible directly for operation of phone. At first it was possible to enter in the notebook only a name and the phone number of the subscriber. But gradually new features - in addition to a name and phone were added to this application, entering of the address, e-mail and other data of this or that subscriber became possible.

With the advent of a possibility of exchange of short text messages (SMS) to phone it was added one more application allowing to write, edit, send small electronic texts.

Time of emergence of the first mobile application installed on phone over already available software can be carried to the end of the 90th years of the last century when cellular communication began to enter gradually life of millions of people around the world. It should be noted that by then, mobile phone manufacturers already accurately represented that software for "mobile phone" is a perspective direction, both in terms of development of technologies, and in terms of their separate commercial use. Then in shell program of cell phones, in addition to the most necessary applications, steel producers to set additional software. As a rule, it were different multimedia applications - small arcadian games, editors of ringtones, calculators, calendars, etc.

Also the third-party developers who offered owners of cell phones of the application similar to set initially and also the mass of another useful and sometimes useless software did not lag behind.

With emergence in 1997 in the market of cellular communication of the WAP technology allowing to go on-line using the mobile phone, the number of software applications, as well as their developers began to grow. The matter is that now it became much more convenient and simpler to deliver on phone any program as earlier installation of the application could be feasible only using the DATA cable connecting the desktop computer or the notebook to the mobile phone. It should be noted that at that time not each model of the cell phone was delivered complete with a DATA cable that limited use of mobile applications.

The possibility of Internet connection directly via phone allowed to install on the device different software and also games even to those people who had no home computer. Besides, WAP could function even on budget phones at the expense of what the number of users of mobile applications also increased. The high cost of data transmission became the only minus of WAP access - having downloaded only a few programs for phone, the user could spend all the account.

By the beginning of the new millennium rapid development of the market of mobile content in general and mobile applications in particular began. As mushrooms after a rain appear the specialized websites selling software products and a multimedia content for mobile phones. And emergence of new data transmission technologies using cellular communication GPRS EDGE () allows to reduce the price of mobile Internet traffic. Users became in inconceivable quantities to download from network of the picture, musical ringtones, games, useful programs, etc.

Paid and free applications

Irrespective of for what device this or that program is used, mobile applications can be subdivided into paid and free.

Free applications, as a rule, represent rather simple software with a limited set of opportunities. Free software is often intended for the solution of a specific objective (for example, viewing e-mail). According to experts of the GetJar organization, free applications are in most cases used by owners of phones short time. One of the reasons of such behavior of users is caused by the fact that it is inconvenient to work with several opened free applications at once. First, it influences performance, so and device accumulator employment duration. Secondly, permanent transition between programs (especially on devices with the touch screen) and the dead time connected with it can just irritate the user.

As for paid mobile applications, they, on the contrary, offer the user expanded functionality for each separate software product. For example, the alternative user interface SPB Mobile Shell for communicators based on Windows Mobile offers the user several options of control of the device and its software using one application. Besides, developers of paid mobile software, as a rule, offer upgradeability to software.

There will be no free application left for Apple and Google

The free model of distribution of applications for smartphones will stop existence soon. The Head of Department of mobile developments of Artezio, the author of the Cost Track project Igor Esipovich told about it in July, 2017. According to the expert, to the place of free and conditional and free model the rule of a monthly subscription which at the moment for many developers becomes priority will come.

"Free and conditional free applications earn to the creators less and less money", - Esipovich says. "If earlier free applications were well monetized due to advertizing, and conditional and free made for enough profit thanks to internal purchases, then now the situation changed and the model using a monthly subscription comes out on top", - the expert noted.

A considerable role in growth of popularity of subscription model is played by the policy of Apple which stakes on monthly assignments, than on single income from sales.

"Apple seriously stimulates developers on implementation of paid subscriptions. From sale of content the corporation receives 30%, and from a subscription - only 15%, leaving 85% to the developer against 70% of income from sale as usually", - the head of department of Artezio told.

The expert notes that so far in digital shops the greatest profit is generated by projects with conditional and free model of distribution.

"The conditional and free model, is more right the Freemium and premium model while works much better, than all others. For example, Clash Royal, Clash of Clans, World of Tanks – these applications are not on sale, only the built-in purchases are provided in them. The game Mortal Combat bears in itself not less untwisted brand, than Ubisoft with Assassin’s Creed, but in Mortal Combat the built-in purchases are much more effective", - Esipovich notes.

The specialist considers that over time the conditional and free model will become unpopular, and developers will gain a basic income from the updated subscription. At the same time there will practically be no absolutely free application left.

Types of mobile applications

Also mobile applications can be subdivided into entertaining (multimedia), communication, navigation, help and applied. It is possible to carry to entertaining mobile software players of audio-and video files, the prosmotorshchiki of images and e-books, games. Messaging applications are responsible for communication of the user by phone and the SMS, its contacts in e-mail, ICQ, social networks. The applications working with the GPS system, electronic cards and geographical coordinates belong to navigation programs. It is possible to carry different dictionaries and encyclopedias, databases with a search capability to help software. It is possible to carry notebooks, organizers, the calculator, programs for work with graphics and the text to applied applications.



Roskomnadzor will block piracy applications for smartphones

On May 27, 2020 the State Duma adopted in the second and at once in the third readings the bill of blocking of piracy mobile applications. The innovation should become effective on October 1.

According to new amendments in  the federal law "About Information, Information Technologies and on Data Protection", Roskomnadzor within one day after the statement of the owner and by a court decision will be able to block illegal media content not only on the websites, but also in mobile applications. In initial edition of the bill responsibility on blocking was conferred on authors of applications and on telecom operators. Amendments to the second reading extended such duty and to aggregators of applications (in particular, App Store, Google Play and Huawei AppGallery).

The State Duma adopted the law on blocking of mobile applications with pirated content

Follows from the text of the document that Roskomnadzor sends to the owner of an information resource on which the application is placed, the notification on violation of copyright and related rights with indication of the work, his author, the owner, the name and the owner of the application with the requirement to limit access to illegal content. The information resource in turn within one working day reports about it to the owner of the application who should execute the specified instructions within one working day. In case of its failure or failure to act the information resource is obliged to block the corresponding application no later than three working days from the moment of obtaining the notification of Roskomnadzor.

Market participants suggested to mitigate the project about blocking of applications

Representatives Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC), Associations of the trading companies and producers household and computer equipment (RATEK) also The American chamber of commerce in Russia suggested to mitigate the bill of blocking piracy content in mobile applications, having limited potential powers Roskomnadzor on their blocking. Letters were sent to the chairman State Dumas To Vyacheslav Volodin, to committee on information policy and Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications. It became known on May 26, 2020.

The second reading of the bill is planned for May 27, 2020. Acceptance of this initiative will demand from Apple and other owners of app stores of investments into moderation of content in Russia and can lead to emergence for them legal risks.

Authors suggested not to block the application entirely, and to limit access to certain content if there is a technical capability. Also it is offered to prolong the term of consideration of claims of owners and notifications of Roskomnadzor up to nine days.

According to the head of the State Duma Committee on information policy with the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications and the Presidential State Legal Directorate Alexander Khinshtein, members of the committee do not support the offer of associations as the bill is directed to blocking only of content violating copyright, but not applications in general[1].

Since October 1 in Russia want to enter blocking of piracy mobile applications

On May 26, 2020 it became known that in To the State Duma there passed the second reading the bill which makes changes to information information technologies to data protection the law "About, and about". If to approve it also in the third reading, Federation Council the president will consider and will sign, then since October 1, 2020 in Russia it will be possible to block any application for Android and iOS through court if prove that it piracy or will arrive the complaint.

Owners who will find violation of the content or information will be able to file a lawsuit and demand blocking not only the website where it is, but mobile application if it is.

Responsibility for pirated content is wanted to be obliged to be born not only violators, but also services which place these applications. So here all online stores of applications, including AppStore, Google Play, Huawei AppGallery and others fall.

Russian court and requirements of Roskomnadzor can oblige them to delete the prohibited application, however, to trace installation of APK files, will not leave therefore pirated content all the same can extend, but in other ways[2].

Main article: [Blocking of the websites and applications in Russia]]


About 90% of the Russian popular Android-applications transfer personal data to the third parties

On October 2, 2019 it became known that internet- the edition The Bell using AppCensus service and the platform of audit of privacy of applications Exodus analyzed what data process and transfer popular Android-applications in Russian Google Play Store and also what permissions they request from users.

By results, 89 of TOP 100 of free applications send user data to third-party platforms. Practically all applications transfer information both on ciphered, and on not encrypted links of Android Ad ID. Thus, it not only allows the advertizing system of Google to connect easily the device with the specific user, but also provides access to the third parties to personal information of users, including a geolocation. The Read Free of Charge application from Litres — 31 channels was the leader in quantity of data transmission channels. Channel One, in turn, wins first place on number of not ciphered flows. Also it turned out that applications of Channel One, Russia TV channel and NTV at data transmission to the Mediascope media measuring instrument use the HTTP protocol instead of safer HTTPS.

Practically all analyzed applications (97 of 100) are used by the advertizing trackers helping search systems and social networks to recognize the specific account and to show targeted advertizing. Specialists of Exodus detected the greatest number of trackers in popular service of the "looped" videos Coub — 30 trackers.

As for permissions, most of all among the most popular applications of Google Play Store they are requested by VK from Group. Applications request 60 different permissions, including access to a geolocation, the camera, the microphone, history of calls and messages and data on the user's device.

According to data of Symantec company, 46% of all Android-applications request access to the smartphone camera, and 25% — to record of audio without notice of the user[3].

Comparative research of security of twelve popular mobile applications of acquaintances

On September 24, 2019 the company "Rostelecom-Solar" by "velvet season" conducted a comparative research of security of twelve popular mobile applications of acquaintances: Tinder Badoo Loveplanet Mamba, Fotostrana, Topface, Drugvokrug, MyFriends Galaxy,, Teamo and Hitwe. Applications for the analysis were selected according to criterion of popularity: to the number of downloads in Google Play and App Store and also positions in the different ratings of dating sites. All applications were considered in options for mobile operating systems iOS and Android.

Every year services of online acquaintances become more and more attractive both for target audience, and for investors. According to the analyst of the Japanese holding Nomura Instinet Mark Kelly, by 2020 the amount of the world market of online acquaintances will grow to $12 billion. The portal estimated the volume of the Russian market of online acquaintances in 2017 at $66 million. At the same time transition of audience to mobile applications which share by the end of 2018, according to analysts, reached 60% was called a relevant market trend.

Unexpectedly, based on the automated analysis, in Android - the version of the application of who is positioned by creators as the leader of the Russian market of dating services the high-critical vulnerability entering the international rating of the most critical vulnerabilities of "OWASP Mobile Top 10 2016" was detected. In case of its successful operation the malefactor can get access to the user account of the application and, respectively, to all not ciphered information which the application transfers to the server. This and other vulnerabilities did not allow to climb above the penultimate place in the list security level among applications with the number of installations more than 5 million (8 of 12 studied applications).

Thanks to vulnerability of this class the hacker can become the owner of the login and a user password, with their help to log into the application and to get access to correspondence, video and audio-content which the owner of the account exchanged with the acquaintances in the application. This content can become a compromising evidence on any person who for any of several reasons interested the malefactor. This information can be laid out in network as was in a case with the infamous dating site Ashley Madison. At last, users often are lazy to remember different logins and passwords and use the same sheaf and for the account in the application of acquaintances, and, for example, for access to online bank. What, in turn, creates already financial risks,
noted the head Solar appScreener of Rostelecom-Solar company Chernov Daniil

In general, on Android versions analysis results Teamo and Fotostrana were the most protected applications of acquaintances: the overall level of security of both applications is equal 3.2 points from 5.0. Stars of global market – the application with the number of installations more than 100 million – Badoo and Tinder showed average values of level of security, 2.9 and 2.6 points respectively. The MyFriends application (1.9 points from 5.0) was the most vulnerable.

In 83% of the studied mobile applications of acquaintances based on OS Android the encryption key is set in the source code. This critical vulnerability can lead to a compromise of the data which are contained in the program - both user, and system. Besides, all studied applications of acquaintances based on Android allow internal leak of valuable information which the malefactor for plan development of the attack on the application can use. Also all of them contain the vulnerability creating threat of accomplishment by the malefactor of any code in the application.

As for the IOS-APPLICATIONS considered in a research, the dating service Hitwe contains the smallest amount of vulnerabilities among all "apple" systems – it managed to gain 1.0 point from 5.0 on the overall level of security. IOS-VERSIONS of the world Badoo and Tinder brands, as well as in a case with Android, took average positions in rating – the overall level of security both is equal 0.5 points. The most unsafe application based on iOS recognizes Topface (0.0 points).

All analyzed IOS-VERSIONS contain the weak hashing algorithm that can potentially lead to loss of confidentiality of the data processed by them. And more than in a half of them weak encryption algorithms are put that creates threat of their cracking of method of complete search. In general, IOS-VERSIONS of mobile dating services contain 10 times bigger amount of vulnerabilities, than the Android-application that, however, is somewhat compensated by higher security of the most operating system.

The analysis of code safety of mobile applications of acquaintances was performed automatically using Solar appScreener – the Russian software product for check of security of applications. The solution uses methods of static, dynamic and interactive analysis. By preparation of a research the module of decompiling and a deobfuskation was switched-off. Static analysis was made concerning the binary code of mobile applications in the automatic mode.

Russia - the leader in cyberthreats for Android

Russia wins first place on number of the malware created under Android according to Eset for the first half of the year 2019. At the same time 68% of vulnerabilities are critically dangerous to normal functioning of devices on Android or for security of personal data of users. This indicator is much higher than last year. Experts consider that the amount of vulnerabilities in the mobile applications developed under different platforms will continue to grow in proportion to growth of volumes of development.

According to a research, the greatest number of malware was revealed in Russia (16%), Iran (15%) and also in the territory of Ukraine (8%). Experts came to a conclusion that the amount of vulnerabilities of Android devices decreased, however the share of really dangerous samples of the malware considerably increased. So, the number of mobile threats was reduced by 8% in comparison with the same period of 2018. "Racketeers remain one of the most widespread types of mobile threats. Recently detected Android/Filecoder.C uses both symmetric, and asymmetric enciphering and extends by means of Sms according to the contact list. It is a bright example of complication of functionality in comparison with early families of racketeers, such as DoubleLocker", - it is written in the report.

Researchers of ESET emphasized that with development of Internet of Things need to protect not only notebooks and smartphones, but also all devices connected to network increases.

At 76% of mobile applications unsafe data storage

On June 19, 2019 the Positive Technologies company reported that her experts tested mobile applications for iOS and Android and found out that data are stored in the majority of applications is unsafe, and the hacker seldom needs physical access to the smartphone of the victim for their theft.

According to a research, applications for Android meet critically dangerous vulnerabilities a little more often than programs for iOS (43% against 38%). However this difference is insignificant, experts consider, and the overall level of security of client parts of mobile applications is approximately identical to both platforms.

The most widespread vulnerability experts called unsafe data storage which meets in 76% of mobile applications: in hands of hackers there can be passwords, financial information, personal data and personal correspondence.

For theft of data is seldom necessary to malefactors physical access to the smartphone of the victim: 89% of the vulnerabilities detected by us can be exploited with use harmful SOFTWARE. Probability of infection increases many times on devices with administrative privileges (root or jailbreak). But the malware can raise the rights independently. Having got on the device of the victim, the malware can request permissions to access to user data, and having got permission, to transfer data to malefactors. We recommend to users to show consideration for notifications from applications on a request of access to any functions or data. You should not provide permission to access if there is a doubt in its need for normal functioning of the application,


As showed results of a research, server parts are not less vulnerable, than client: 43% have low or extremely low level of security, at the same time 33% contain critically dangerous vulnerabilities. Among the most widespread shortcomings of the high level of risk of server parts – insufficient authorization and information leak.

2010: The malware problem for mobile devices is in many respects exaggerated

Development of the mobile Internet, certainly, generated also cyberthreats for owners of phones. However, as experts consider, in many respects the problem of the malware which is specially developed for mobile devices in many respects is exaggerated. The matter is that the unimaginable quantity of viruses for normal PCs does not come within miles of "read" tens of malware for mobile phones.

For example, the lion share of mobile viruses was written for one of the most widespread software platforms of Symbian OS for smartphones and communicators of Nokia Corporation. However with emergence in 2006 of the next version of this platform the risk of infection began to tend to zero. In a word, any operating system for "mobile phones" tries as it is possible more effectively, to secure the user against possible "infection".

However it does not mean at all that viruses for these devices do not exist at all. So, in 2008 there was one of the few mobile viruses for Symbian OS 9.1 S60 3rd Edition - the Sexy View program which distinctive feature was the fact that it is signed with the valid safety certificate Symbian. This virus made SMS mailing with reference to itself, and collecting of confidential information on the infected device (IMEI, etc.) was the purpose of a virus. Besides, the cross-platform FlexiSpy application, already known according to the previous versions of software platforms, stealing personal information of the subscriber exists also for this version of OS.

To prevent "infection" with mobile viruses, it is necessary to find as much as possible information on that application which the user is going to download. For this purpose it is possible to use the Internet, as a rule, at different specialized forums there is information on the malware. Besides, it is possible to try to contact representatives of that platform from where it is going to download the program. Eventually, it is possible to address creators of antivirus software.

Portals of web applications

Today, in addition to independent inetrnet-platforms for distribution of mobile applications, own similar resources are created by leading manufacturers of cell phones, smartphones and communicators. Some of them already have or are going to open own platform selling mobile applications in the near future. Such specialized portals on distribution of mobile software already have mobile phone manufacturer iPhone - Apple company (App Store), Corporation (OVi) Nokia company, smartphone manufacturer of BlackBerry - RIM company (BlackBerry App World and Application Center), Google company (Android Market), Sony Ericsson company (PlayNow arena) and some other. In addition to applications, these online resources sell also various mobile content (music, video, pictures, e-books, etc.).

Tools for application development

Besides, producers of mobile phones, smartphones both communicators and creators of operating systems and also cellular operators release software tools for creation of mobile applications. They are offered on a basis both open, and closed SOFTWARE and are often intended for applications writing for specific operating system that often means - for specific model of the mobile device (for example iPhone, guglfona or smartphones Nokia Corporation).