Kiwi mobile security app recognised by UIQ

UIQ Technology has selected SimWork's mobile phone anti-virus solution as the application of the month this November

Auckland-based SimWorks, developer of security software for mobile phones, has caught the attention of UIQ Technology, which develops the open software platform UIQ, and licenses it to mobile phone manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson, Motorola, BenQ and Arima. Based in Sweden, UIQ Technology is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Ericsson.

UIQ Technology has selected SimWork’s mobile phone anti-virus solution, SimWorks Anti-Virus UIQ3, as the application of the month this November.

Each month UIQ Technology showcases a chosen UIQ application on its website. Other recent showcased applications include dictionary application SlovoEd and travel application WorldMate.

“We are absolutely chuffed,” says SimWorks chief executive Aaron Davidson.

Being showcased on UIQ’s website has already been beneficial to the company. In terms of sales, this month is shaping up to be the biggest in 18 months, says Davidson.

Usually the number of sales goes up when there is a big virus scare and people buy the software to protect their phones, but we are not in the middle of a virus scare at the moment, he says.

Davidson reckons his company is the first Kiwi developer to be showcased by UIQ Technology, and this is the first time an anti-virus application has been selected, he says.

SimWorks, which launched the Anti-Virus UIQ3 in 2004, was the first vendor to release an anti-virus solution for UIQ phones, and the second vendor to release an anti-virus solution for Series 60 phones, says Davidson.

SimWorks develops software for both the Series 60 and UIQ platform, which are both based on the Symbian operating system.

The AV-application monitors all incoming communication and activity, says Davidson.

It will scan what is coming in via, for example, Bluetooth or MMS before it lets it through to the interface, he says. The application can be set to auto-scan and auto-update.

Mobile phones have many different ways of communicating, such as Bluetooth, infrared, SMS, MMS, GPRS, 3G, memory cards and wi-fi. They are “hyper-connected devices” compared to PCs, says Davidson, and therefore more vulnerable to attacks. People get infected by mobile viruses in New Zealand every day, he says.

However, for the average user, the odds of encountering a mobile virus are very slim, he adds.

Unless you are downloading software from the web or via cables, doing lots of Bluetooth chats in crowded places such as on public transport, and leaving Bluetooth on, the risk of being infected is very low, he says.

SimWorks Anti-Virus is available in English, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Arabic versions. The company is part of large online mobile phone application portals, such as Sony Ericsson’s and Nokia’s application shops, and Handango, where buyers can download the application.

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