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Evaluation of Multiplayer Modes in Mobile Apps

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Smartphones have become increasingly common over the past few years, and mobile games continue to be the most common type of application (Apple, Inc., 2013). For many people, the social

Smartphones have become increasingly common over the past few years, and mobile games continue to be the most common type of application (Apple, Inc., 2013). For many people, the social aspect of gaming is very important, and thus most mobile games include support for playing with multiple players. However, there is a lack of common knowledge about which implementation of this functionality is most favorable from a development standpoint. In this study, we evaluate three different types of multiplayer gameplay (pass-and-play, Bluetooth, and GameCenter) via development cost and user interviews. We find that pass-and-play, the most easily-implemented mode, is not favored by players due to its inconvenience. We also find that GameCenter is not as well favored as expected due to latency of GameCenter's servers, and that Bluetooth multiplayer is the most well favored for social play due to its similarity to real-life play. Despite there being a large overhead in developing and testing Bluetooth and GameCenter multiplayer due to Apple's development process, this is irrelevant since professional developers must enroll in this process anyway. Therefore, the most effective multiplayer mode to develop is mostly determined by whether Internet play is desirable: Bluetooth if not, GameCenter if so. Future studies involving more complete development work and more types of multiplayer modes could yield more promising results.

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  • 2013-12

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How Much Do They Know? A Study on Mobile Phone Information Use

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Smartphone privacy is a growing concern around the world; smartphone applications routinely take personal information from our phones and monetize it for their own profit. Worse, they're doing it legally.

Smartphone privacy is a growing concern around the world; smartphone applications routinely take personal information from our phones and monetize it for their own profit. Worse, they're doing it legally. The Terms of Service allow companies to use this information to market, promote, and sell personal data. Most users seem to be either unaware of it, or unconcerned by it. This has negative implications for the future of privacy, particularly as the idea of smart home technology becomes a reality. If this is what privacy looks like now, with only one major type of smart device on the market, what will the future hold, when the smart home systems come into play. In order to examine this question, I investigated how much awareness/knowledge smartphone users of a specific demographic (millennials aged 18-25) knew about their smartphone's data and where it goes. I wanted three questions answered: - For what purposes do millennials use their smartphones? - What do they know about smartphone privacy and security? - How will this affect the future of privacy? To accomplish this, I gathered information using a distributed survey to millennials attending Arizona State University. Using statistical analysis, I exposed trends for this demographic, discovering that there isn't a lack of knowledge among millennials; most are aware that smartphone apps can collect and share data and many of the participants are not comfortable with the current state of smartphone privacy. However, more than half of the study participants indicated that they never read an app's Terms of Service. Due to the nature of the privacy vs. convenience argument, users will willingly agree to let apps take their personal in- formation, since they don't want to give up the convenience.

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  • 2016-12