News Scan: Google breaks up a mobile app set; Mobile threats target Android; more

>> Google breaks up a mobile app set

Google is breaking out its Docs, Sheets and Slides mobile apps from its Google Drive storage service. Users can now download standalone mobile apps for Docs and Sheets, with a standalone mobile app for Slides coming soon. "While the Drive app is a convenient place to store your stuff, we want to make it easier for you to quickly find, edit and create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on the go," writes Brian Levee, a Google product manager, in a blog. Read more

>> Nearly all new mobile threats target Android

Nearly all new mobile threats in the first quarter targeted the Android operating system, according to security firm F-Secure. In addition, 275 new threat families (or new variants of known families) run on Android. In the first quarter, F-Secure found the first mobile cryptocurrency miner, which hijacks the device to mine for virtual currencies; the first bootkit, which affects the earliest stages of the device's bootup routine; and the first mobile Tor trojan and the first Windows banking trojan jumping to Android. Read more

[More on mobile threats: Malware attacks on Android devices see 600% increase, says Sophos | Most BYOD firms are clueless about common mobile security threats]

>> Smartphone shipments jump 28.6% year-over-year

Smartphone vendors shipped 281.5 million units worldwide in the first quarter of 2014, a 28.6 percent year-over-year jump but a 2.8 percent sequential decline, according to the latest IDC stats. As usual, Samsung was the top smartphone vendor, with 30.2 percent of the market, followed by Apple with 15.5 percent, Huawei with 4.9 percent, Lenovo with 4.6 percent and LG with 4.4 percent. "The face of the smartphone market is changing rapidly to reflect the rise of its largest market, China, where a record 40 percent of the smartphones shipped worldwide in 1Q14 were bound to Chinese consumers," says Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. Read more

[More on smartphones: Apple regains smartphone momentum | Smartphone patent wars: You can't tell the players without a scorecard]

>> Huawei dominates shrinking mobile broadband modem market

China's Huawei continues to dominate a shrinking mobile broadband modem market, says ABI Research. The market for mobile broadband modems and hotspot routers shrank 21 percent year-over-year to 73 million units shipped, and revenues dropped 23 percent year-over-year to $6.2 billion in 2013. "It was another distressing year for mobile broadband modems, though the worst appears to be in the past. USB modems will remain an important connectivity component going forward; however, future volumes will increasingly be driven by embedded modem modules and mobile hotspot routers," says ABI senior practice director Jeff Orr. Read more

[More on mobile broadband modems: Mobile broadband modem, router market will decline slightly this year | NVIDIA launches Tegra 4i with integrated 4G LTE modem]

>> Twitter needs better mobile ad targeting

Twitter needs better targeting of its mobile ads for continued growth, judges Mobile Marketer. Twitter reported this week that 80 percent of its $226 million in ad revenue came from mobile. "Twitter's challenge is with the algorithm given the limited information available regarding users. Marketers find it difficult to deliver high value targeted ads as a result. Facebook on the other hand has a rich picture of 'Likes' and behaviors," explains Matt Witt, executive vice president and director of digital integration at TRIS3CT. Read more

[More on Twitter: Twitter buys Android lock-screen app startup | Rise of anti-social, secretly social apps presents hurdle for marketers]