Items tagged with Google Play

Threat researcher Zhi Xu is reporting a widespread vulnerability in Google's Android operating system that is capable of exposing up to 49.5% of users to spyware, via a two-front alliance formed between apps downloaded from Google Play and from legitimate third-party app stores such as Amazon and Samsung. Given the not-very-creative name "Android Installer Hijacking", the vulnerability reported by Xu — who is a senior engineer at Palo Alto Networks — allows potential attackers to modify or replace seemingly benign Android apps with malware without the user's knowledge. In the event scenario, the attack begins with an innocent-seeming app downloaded from Google Play first becoming entrenched.... Read more...
Google has taken heat over malicious apps in Google Play that feign innocent intentions but are really up to no good. To Google's credit, it removes such apps once it's aware of them, though that's a reactionary solution to the problem. Moving forward, Google will review all apps and updates before making them available in Google Play. This is a human-driven effort involving a team of experts, Google says. Their job is to look for any and all violations of Google's developer policies, and to root them out earlier in the app lifecycle. According to Google, the process is swift and won't unnecessarily delay an app's release. Think hours, as opposed to weeks for Apple's review process. "We value... Read more...
As online shopping experiences go, Google Play is remarkably clutter free. Whether you’re in the apps section or browsing movie selections, you’re greeted with the same, clean design. Right now, searches in Google Play don’t include the kinds of sponsored results you see when you search on Google.com. But soon, that will change.“We are always looking for new ways to help you get your apps in front of potential new users,” Google told app developers in a statement. “That’s why, in the next few weeks, we will begin piloting sponsored search results on Google Play, bringing our unique expertise in search ads to the store.”The first developers to try the advertising program will be those who are... Read more...
News broke last week that YouTube was going to follow in the footsteps of Netflix and offer a family-friendly version of its streaming service for kids, and the report turned out to be true. The YouTube Kids app is now available to download from Google Play and Apple's App Store, the two most popular mobile platforms in the world. "Today, we’re introducing the YouTube Kids app, the first Google product built from the ground up with little ones in mind. The app makes it safer and easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore, and is available for free on and the in the U.S.," YouTube stated in a blog post. The YouTube Kids app filters out content that isn't appropriate for... Read more...
Sony released “The Interview” in select theaters as well as on YouTube and Google Play despite a massive data breach and terrorist-style threats that were meant to stymie the project. Thanks to the publicity that stemmed from the attack on Sony Pictures, “The Interview” has become Sony’s most successful online movie by raking in $15 million in sales though Saturday. According to Sony, The movie was rented or downloaded over 2 million times since it was released on Tuesday. It is Sony’s highest grossing online release of all time, far outpacing successes such as “Snowpiercer” with $7 million and “Bachelorette” with $8.2 million. Meanwhile, the limited theater release earned... Read more...
Despite #GOP’s, the hacker group claiming responsibility for the massive data breach at Sony Pictures, efforts to make sure “The Interview” is never shown in theaters, such is not the case. While Sony originally announced that the movie would not be shown in theaters, it later rescinded that decision and will be showing the movie in select theaters. However, Google has announced that “The Interview” is now available on YouTube and Google Play.According to Google chief legal officer David Drummond, Sony had been contacting various companies to ask if they would make “The Interview” available online. While Google was eager to help, Drummond stated that the security implications were Google’s main... Read more...
We're fast approaching the finish line for 2014, and with less than three weeks remaining before it's time to pin up a new calendar, it's a good time to reflect on the past 12 months. Google made it easy for Android users to do exactly that -- the search giant posted a list of the most downloaded Android apps, games, movies, music, news, and books of 2014 on Google Play, and there are a few surprises on the list.As you would expect, apps like Facebook, Netflix, TripAdvisor, and Panodra made the list in their respective categories (Social, Entertainment, Travel, and Music). However, the fastest growing app category of the year was Health & Fitness, with MyFitnessPal rising to the top of its... Read more...
It looks as though Amazon has been up to some shenanigans with its main app on Google Play. The online retailer launched a hidden and functional app store inside of its Android application, which resulted in Google removing it from the Play Store. Back in September, Amazon rolled out a new feature within its main app that contained a fully functional Appstore, circumventing Google’s standard operating procedure for installing apps from rival app stores. Within two weeks of releasing its "app store within an app", Google updated its Developer Distribution Agreement to forbid the practice.Performing a search now for the Amazon app on Google Play no longer shows up in the results,... Read more...
Google has ramped up its efforts to distance itself from sites and services that are known to engage in or otherwise promote copyright infringement. Earlier this year, Google retooled its search algorithm so that it would sink search results associated with copyright infringement, and now the Mountain View company has begun pulling apps from its Play Store that are associated with Pirate Bay, one of the most popular hangouts on the web for pirates. According to TorrentFreak, Google showed at least four Pirate Bay-related apps the door so far. They include The Pirate Bay Proxy, The Pirate Bay Premium, The Pirate Bay Mirror, and PirateApp. These are basically mobile friendly GUIs of the torrent... Read more...
A growing trend in mobile is fitness, and if you're concerned about your health, there are tools available to help you reach your fitness goals. It's not just one platform either -- Apple is pushing HealthKit, Samsung has S Health, and Google is officially in the game with Google Fit, a new Android app capable of tracking your activity. With Google Fit installed, just carrying your phone in your pocket is enough to track your walking, running, and cycling activity. There's no voodoo magic going on, the app uses your phone's built-in sensors and is capable of displaying information from any third-party app or service that uses the Fit API. You can set and monitor your fitness goals based on your... Read more...
One of the most frustrating realizations as consumers is knowing that you just purchased the wrong item, or that the item doesn't live up to your expectations. Heck, it might not even work at all. Where mobile marketplaces are concerned, running into this issue is common. When an app costs only a buck or two, people tend to be a little more laid-back when it comes to purchasing. That still doesn't mean that people don't get burned though, or run into an issue that warrants a refund. While it was once a staggering 24 hours, Google's Play Store currently offers a 15-minute return window that kicks-off as soon as an app is purchased. The idea is that if you download the app and don't like it, or... Read more...
Box continues to think outside of itself (see what we did there?) with new and improved ways to approach the cloud storage game. Following the launch of a redesigned app for iOS users, Box just rolled out an overhauled version for team Android, as well as a special bonus for LG device owners -- 50GB of free space. Dubbed "Box for Android 3.0," this latest release represents a pretty significant update focused on making the cloud storage service both faster and more intuitive. To accomplish those goals, the latest release offers up a bunch of features. There's now a lightening quick document previewer with pagination, search-in document, presentation mode, and more tricks, which supports a wide... Read more...
You can now use eBay's PayPal service to pay for purchases made through Google Play, the search giant announced. The new feature went live in a dozen countries, including the United States, Canada, and Germany. If if you live in one of 12 countries being served by the new feature, you'll find PayPal as a payment option in your Google Wallet. "Just enter your PayPal account login and you'll easily be able to make purchases. Our goal is to provide users with a frictionless payment experience, and this new integration is another example of how we work with partners from across the payments industry to deliver this to the user," Google explains. Image Source: Flickr (shannonpatrick17) In addition... Read more...
As much as we like Android -- and we like it quite a bit around these parts -- there's no denying that Google could step up its game and more actively police its app store (Google Play) for malicious or otherwise deceptive content. Taking a step in that direction, Google made some changes and additions to its Google Play Developer Program Policy. Most of the changes are outlined in a new section called "App Promotion" and deal with deceptive behavior. Google isn't necessarily pointing the fingers at any developers here, though it is making things clear that app developers are responsible for doing their due diligence when selecting an ad network or affiliate to work with. The new rules in place... Read more...
Security researchers at Trend Micro report finding a new Android malware family designed to mine crytocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin. The malicious mining code is being repackaged in copies of popular apps like Football Manger Handheld and TuneIn Radio. To hide the code, malware writers modify the Google Mobile Ads portion of the app, allowing them to slip into Google Play. Once installed, the hidden code gets busy mining virtual currencies in the background. It detects when there's an Internet connection so that the CPU miner can connect to a dynamic domain, which then redirects to an anonymous Dogecoin (or other virtual currency) mining pool, Trend Micro says. In one example,... Read more...
Believe it or not, malware for Android exists, and the best way to avoid it is by only downloading apps from trusted sources, such as Google Play. That said, you're still not immune to threats, and according to security firm Avast, makers of self-titled antivirus software, the newest threat to the Android platform is a night vision camera app it found on Google Play. "We’ve already blogged about plenty of threats that sneak onto your device from trusted sources, but here we have a really fresh one, one that is still undetected by other security vendors. An Application called Cámara Visión Nocturna (package name: com.loriapps.nightcamera.apk), which is still available in the... Read more...
App developers hoping to make a quick buck piggybacking on the Flappy Bird craze that somehow has been able to simultaneously entertain and frustrate scores of gamers will have to be at least a little more creative than building an obvious clone and calling it "Flappy" something or other. In an attempt to fend off a barrage of clones, it appears both Apple and Google are now rejecting games with "Flappy" in the title. The folks at TechCrunch went and collected a handful of Twitter posts from developers claiming their apps (or apps from people they know) were denied entrance into iTunes or Google Play because they used "Flappy" in the title. For example, Ken Carpenter of Mind Juice Media from... Read more...
Good news, photography buffs -- all Android users now have access to Motorola's Droid Zap, a photo sharing application that was previously exclusive to Droid devices. Prior to the latest update, the best a non-Droid user could do was peek at which photos were being shared by Droid Zap users within 1,000 feet, but they weren't allowed to share their own. The latest update -- version 2.1 -- removes the requirement for a members-only jacket so that any Android phone can send and receive photos. The lone exception is a feature called Zap Zone, which was just added and is exclusive to Droid owners (for now). "For Droid owners on Jelly Bean OS or higher, we’ve also added Zap Zone, which allows... Read more...
Google apparently isn't thinking straight these days, or at best, you could say the search giant's logic is flawed. How so? Well, the sultan of search contacted famed modder CyanogenMod and told him he could either remove his CyanogenMod installer from Google Play, or Google would remove it for him, adding that the app is in violation of Google Play's developer terms. Here's the deal. The CyanogenMod installer has one purpose and one purpose only -- it guides users through installing the custom CyanogenMod firmware on their Android devices with a single tap. Part of that process involves enabling ADB, a build-in development and debugging tool, but that's not what Google takes issue with. "After... Read more...
You can debate all day long how much of a threat malware truly poses to Google's Android platform, but if you want to err on the side of caution, there are antivirus solutions available to you. The most popular appears to be AVG's free AV app, which just leapfrogged over 100 million downloads on Google Play. That's an impressive achievement and one that puts the app in the same company as WhatsApp, Skype, Twitter, and others that fall into the 100-500 million downloads club. Even more impressive than making it into the 100-500 million downloads category is being the only the AV app represented in that particular tier. Clearly Android users feel security is necessary on their smartphone and tablet... Read more...
Without a doubt, Google's upcoming Nexus 5 smartphone built by LG has to be the worst kept secrets on the web, and perhaps that's by design. The latest confirmation that a Nexus 5 exists -- and is close to being released -- is that someone on Google's web team was a little overzealous yesterday and posted the product live in Google Play. Marketing stunt? That's certainly a possibility, though it could just as easily been a clumsy error since hardly any details were provided. One thing that did appear, however, is the price tag. The Nexus 5 was listed at $349 for the 16GB model, and if that ends up being the cheapest model available, it will mean having to spend a little more than what some users... Read more...
Good news, soccer fans -- you can practice your "Gooooooooooaaaaal!" celebration because FIFA 14 from Electronic Arts is now available for iOS and Android devices. Even better, it's a free download, though if you're insistent on lighting the load in your wallet, you can make in-app purchases for FIFA points. One thing to keep in mind is that you'll need at least 1.35GB of free space available, so check your storage beforehand and make any necessary adjustments. Once installed, you'll have access to 33 leagues, over 600 licensed teams, and more than 16,000 players. "From the English Premier League and La Liga to the German Bundesliga and beyond. March toward glory in 34 authentic stadiums. Plus,... Read more...
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