Items tagged with google play store

Many smartphone users would agree that bloatware, or pre-installed apps that cannot be deleted, are fairly irritating. However, several organizations are now also arguing that bloatware could potentially violate users’ privacy. An open letter from over fifty groups has requested that Google prevent bloatware from exploiting users’ data. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International, and Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) addressed an open letter to Alphabet Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai regarding pre-installed apps and privacy. This past year, Pichai stated in a New York Times op-ed that “Privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who... Read more...
Earlier this week, Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform, which alongside the Snapdragon X55 will power next year's flagship 5G Android smartphones. While the chip itself got the bulk of the attention, Qualcomm made another announcement that has huge implications for the mobile sector. Qualcomm announced that it will soon start delivering updates for its Adreno GPUs via the Google Play Store. This is huge news for smartphones, as GPU drivers typically are only updated once a year -- when a major Android release comes down (if at all). And even then, many OEMs don't even bother putting in the effort to ensuring that mobile GPUs are running current drivers from Qualcomm. With... Read more...
Malware has been a common problem within the Google Play Store, and two apps that have run a malicious adware scheme have been the latest to get the boot. The apps have been raking in the cash for their authors, but have consequently been putting the people who have downloaded them through living hell. The first of the app is called Sun Pro Beauty Camera, and it amassed over 1 million downloads since it first appeared on the Play Store. The second app, Funny Sweet Beauty Camera, which was created by the same developer, garnered in excess of 500,000 downloads. Not only would the apps display intrusive ads that were hard or nearly impossible to close out (even when the apps in question were... Read more...
Earlier this week, you brought you the news of an unfortunate turn of events that resulted in the popular app CamScanner being removed from the Google Play Store. The app, which can create PDF documents, is developed by CC Intelligence and has been downloaded over 100 million times. The problem came into play when users began getting bombarded with "unwanted features" and advertisements that took over their smartphone's display. The folks at Kaspersky Lab were able to determine that the CamScanner was carrying a malicious module dubbed Trojan-Dropper.AndroidOS.Necro.n, which was serving intrusive ads to users. After staying mum on the situation for most of the week, CamScanner's developers... Read more...
There's trouble brewing in the Google Play Store... again. This time the threat comes from CamScanner, which for quite some time has been a popular app that allows Android users to create PDF documents using optical character recognition (OCR) technology. The app was developed by Chinese firm CC Intelligence. However, in recent weeks, it appears that CamScanner has taken a turn for the worse, and has unleashed a malware campaign on unsuspecting Android users. CamScanner had previously used in-app ads and in-app purchases for its monetization efforts, but recent versions of the app have included a new advertising library tainted with a trojan. The malicious module has been identified... Read more...
How much data are Android apps gathering from your device? A recent study concluded that over 1,000 Android apps are able to take a user’s data even if that user has denied permissions. These apps are able to harvest geolocation data and other identifiers. Researchers at the International Computer Science Institute studied 88,000 apps from the Google Play store and discovered that 1,325 of these apps are able to gather data even if they have been denied permissions. Their research was presented at the Federal Trade Commission's PrivacyCon this past June. Serge Egelman, director of usable security and privacy research at ICSI, remarked at the conference that, "If app developers can just... Read more...
Google can't seem to figure out how to stop nefarious developers from offering apps via Google Play that are filled with malware and adware. In April, word surfaced that apps with ties to a group called DU Group were committing click fraud and amassed over 50 million downloads. A new group of apps with far more downloads with ties to China is now wreaking havoc and allegedly making some Android devices almost unusable. Researchers from mobile security firm Lookout have announced that 238 apps on Google Play with an aggregate of over 440 million downloads have been found to contain the BeiTaAd plugin. That plugin is a strain of adware that can make Android devices incredibly difficult to use once... Read more...
The U.S. government's war on Huawei – which has risen to become the world’s second-largest smartphone OEM -- has just taken a rather interesting turn. According to a report out this afternoon, Google has suspended its business operations with Huawei following the Trump Administration's recent move to add the Chinese-based company to a trade blacklist.  In effect, U.S. companies are now forbidden from working with Huawei over fears that it is in cahoots with the Chinese government to spy on U.S. interests and its allies (both in the consumer sector and in government operations). According to a Reuters report, Huawei will "immediately lose" access... Read more...
Who doesn’t love free credits? Google is currently offering $1, $2, $3 or $5 credits to some Play Store users. You may not be able to “make it rain”, but you may be able to nab an app you have been eyeing. Google appears to be offering a $2 credit to consumers who purchased a Pixel 3 or 3 XL. It also seems to be offering $1, $3, or $5 credits to other users, but it is unclear why. If you have received a credit, you will see a blue banner with an opened present illustration. You will need to scroll down past the first few sections of app recommendations to find the banner. Once you have clicked on the banner, simply tap “confirm” to receive your free credits. You... Read more...
Google is trying to do it best to ensure that Android users have an enjoyable app experience. The company has ramped up efforts to irradiate spam apps and malware from the Play Store, and now it is bolstering efforts to disincentivize apps that are known to crash or cause other problems on Android devices. In this case, Google says that it has “enhanced [its] search and discovery algorithms to reflect app quality”. Google has found that the majority of users that leave 1-star reviews for apps complain about instability issues, leading to frequent crashes. As a result, Google is using a combination of artificial intelligence and human curation to analyze poorly performing apps and downrank them... Read more...