Items tagged with Google Play

Fortnite fans on Android weren't happy when word surfaced that the game would be an exclusive title for Samsung on the newly unveiled Galaxy Note 9 and other newer Galaxy devices via Galaxy Apps. Fortnite is a huge deal with massive numbers of players battling it out and has turned over a billion dollars in revenue for a game that costs nothing to download. The good news for Android Fortnite fans with no intention of buying a new Samsung device was that Fortnite exclusivity was promised to be short-lived. Samsung's exclusive deal wore off over the weekend and that means that Android gamers on other... Read more...
If you want to install Fortnite on your Android device when that version of the game launches later this summer, you won't be going through Google Play. It is a rather curious, but understandable move considering that Fortnite is a worldwide gaming hit and has been a huge revenue generator for Epic Games. But in the end, it all comes down to money. If Epic were to distribute Fortnite through Google Play, it would have to forfeit 30 percent of the revenue from in-app purchases to Google. To put it simply, Epic wants complete and total command of this revenue stream and thinks that side-loading... Read more...
Pandora is taking a page from Spotify's book and has unveiled a new plan that will let multiple family members have their own sub-accounts. The Pandora Premium Family Plan costs $14.99 per month, which is the same price Spotify asks for its family account. The new membership gives full access to Pandora Premium features for up to six people in the family. That is where Pandora is trying to set itself apart from the Spotify family plan with its five member slots. Each family member can listen to what they want, when they want. Each can create radio stations and custom playlists, download music for... Read more...
Over 1,000 North Korean citizens try to defect to South Korea each and every year, and for each of them, the sudden sense of freedom must feel overwhelming. Naturally, North Korea isn't happy with anyone who decides to leave, and the country certainly has the means to seek out and track those who've done so. While the country may not send out investigators to follow everyone who defects, the North Korean government has other creative ways to keep tabs on its former citizens, including creating its own sophisticated malware. More specifically, this mobile device malware will read your personal... Read more...
It's May 4th and at least one person near you has said "May the 4th Be With You Today" which is the official catchphrase of Star Wars Day. If you are a Star Wars fan and want to celebrate the day by spending some money, Google Play has a sale for you. To celebrate the day all sorts of audio books, comics, TV shows, and games are on sale. Most of the audiobooks are 25% off with some of the notable titles including The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition, Thrawn (Star Wars), Aftermath: Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Catalyst (Star Wars): A Rogue One Novel. If audiobooks aren't... Read more...
One of the things that sets Android apart from other mobile devices and tablets is access to the Google suite of apps that are commonly called GApps. The GApps suite includes a number of applications including Google Play, Gmail, Camera, Keyboard, and others. Google is now adding tighter restrictions on what devices can access the GApps suite. Normally when an OEM complies with Google's requirements for GApps and pre-loads them on their devices, the devices have been certified for the apps to ensure everything works as Google intended. The problem is that some smaller OEMs were skipping that certification... Read more...
If your Android phone has suddenly started bombarding you with advertisements, you might the victim of malware, and specifically a strain that recently infiltrated Google Play by disguising itself as a bunch of handy utilities. Researchers at security firm Sophos discovered the tricky malware, saying that infected apps amassed over half a million downloads before Google removed them. Six of the booby-trapped apps claimed to be QR code readers, while another billed itself as a smart compass. All of them actually worked as advertised. To further mask the scent of foul play, the hidden adware in each... Read more...
Google is extending its Instant App experience to now includes select games in the Google Play Store. Called "Google Play Instant," the new feature allows Android users to play game demos by clicking on a link instead of actually downloading and installing the full app. This is an added convenience for Android device owners, and should also benefit developers who can more easily tempt users with their games. "With Google Play Instant, you can just tap and try a game without having to download it first—whether you’re looking to storm a castle on Clash Royale or become a wordmaster with... Read more...
Google's Android operating is often seen as having a bad reputation with regards to security. We often hear about malware coursing its way through the Google Play Store that can hijack your smartphone, but Google is here to tell us that Android is secure -- or rather, it is at least as secure as Apple’s iOS. With over 2 billion devices actively running Android, securing the wide variety and types of devices can be a challenge. But Google says that "Android security made a significant leap forward in 2017 and many of our protections now lead the industry." Google lays out its long-running... Read more...
Google has announced that it has beefed up its efforts to keep Android users safe by expanding the enforcement of its Unwanted Software Policy. The updated policy will help Google to reduce unwanted and harmful behavior on Android. Android users will now see Google Safe Browsing warnings on app and websites that collect the user's personal data without their consent. Google's Paul Stanton wrote, "Apps handling personal user data (such as user phone number or email), or device data will be required to prompt users and to provide their own privacy policy in the app. Additionally, if an app collects... Read more...
A fake WhatsApp application was downloaded more than 1 million times from Google's Play Store before it was finally removed, and that should serve as a wake-up call that Google needs to do a better job vetting its submissions. In this case, the malicious app slipped through the cracks by spoofing the legitimate version, both in appearance (it initially used the same icon) and the developer field. The malicious version was spotted by Nikolaos Chrysaidos, a security researcher at Avast, one of the better known antivirus companies (particularly in the realm of free AV). According to Chrysaidos, the... Read more...
There is strength in numbers, and that is part of what is driving an increase in cryptocurrency mining malware. The idea is to infect as many mobile devices as possible, and tap into the combined computing power to crunch numbers for profit. Unfortunately, this seems to be a trend (on both mobile and PC)—security outfit Trend Micro says it found apps with malicious cryptocurrency mining capabilities on Google Play. This is not the first time these kinds of apps have appeared in Google Play, and it probably will not be the last. What they have in common is that they use dynamic JavaScript loading... Read more...
Google knows that exploits make it through the app development process and could be lurking in some of the most popular apps on the Google Play Store, waiting for a nefarious hacker to take advantage. To help weed out these vulnerabilities, Google has launched the Google Play Security Reward Program. Developers of popular apps are invited to opt-in to the program and if they do, Google will pay out  up to$1,000 for bugs found in those apps. Google writes, "Developers of popular Android apps are invited to opt-in to the program, which will incentivize security research in a bug bounty model.... Read more...
Samsung has updated its two-year-old Flow app to now support unlocking Windows 10 devices using compatible smartphone devices and Windows Hello, a handy security feature that is baked into Microsoft's latest operating system. For this to work, the Samsung-brand smartphone must have a fingerprint scanner, and of course Samsung Flow needs to be installed (it is a free download from Google Play). While not all smartphones support this feature, there are nearly a dozen that do. They include the following handsets (as listed by Samsung on the app's Google Play listing): Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ Samsung... Read more...
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