apps

Thu
13
Dec
John Lister's picture

Android Ad Scam Hijacks Phones; Drains Data, Battery

22 Android apps are eating up data allowances to benefit scammers at the expense of phone owners, a security firm says. The apps are using smart phones to carry out fraud against online advertisers. Sophos says it's found 22 offending apps with a ... total of two million downloads. They are each described as offering simple games or basic utilities such as keeping the phone's flash activated to act as a flashlight. While they work as described, which helps get good online reviews and build credibility, the scam is happening behind the scenes. (Source: sophos.com ) The apps are used for click ... (view more)

Tue
27
Nov
John Lister's picture

iPhone App Prices Spark Supreme Court Battle

A seven-year-old case into Apple app pricing is heading to the Supreme Court. It's a technical case that centers on the percentage Apple takes from every iPhone or iPad app sale. The case isn't about the royalty itself, which is 30 percent of every ... sale through the iTunes store. Various legal and technical measures mean that's the only way developers can distribute iOS apps, so there's no way around paying the royalty. Instead, the legal question is whether or not consumers have the right to take legal action against Apple over the system. Such lawsuits, of which several have been proposed, ... (view more)

Thu
01
Nov
John Lister's picture

Report: Apps for Kids Contain Dubious, Unsuitable Ads

Apps aimed at very young children are a "wild west" of dubious advertising according to the author of a new study. Jenny Radesky of the University of Michigan's CS Mott Children's Hospital said the advertising was often manipulative. The researchers ... looked at 135 Android apps played by children, including the 96 most downloaded from the Google Play store in the "5 And Under" category. Their headline finding was that 95 percent contained at least one form of advertising. That's arguably a little misleading as this includes 42 percent of the apps featuring a commercial character such as one ... (view more)

Thu
16
Aug
John Lister's picture

Experiment Unveils Google Location Tracking

Google has been tracking mobile device users movements even when they have "Location History" switched off. It turns out users need to turn off a less well-known setting to stop tracking altogether. The issue doesn't just affect devices running ... Android. Some iPhones are also affected if they have Google apps such as Maps or Search running. In theory, switching off the Location History setting on your device or in a Google account will prevent the company tracking and storing location information. The immediate effect is visible as the timeline feature in Google Maps will stop updating. ... (view more)

Tue
07
Aug
John Lister's picture

New Android Pie Improves CPU, Battery, 'Wellbeing'

The next edition of the Google Android operating system for phones and tablets will include measures to help users spend less time on their mobile devices. The update also makes notifications more useful and addresses battery life problems. The ... changes come in a new version of the operating system that's officially called Android 9.0 but nicknamed Android Pie (or "Android P"), continuing a pattern of naming updates after food. It's already available for Google's own Pixel phones and will then start gradually rolling out to other models, though older handsets may not get the update. ... (view more)

Wed
01
Aug
John Lister's picture

Google Bans Apps That Hijack Device Resources

Google is to ban several categories of apps from its app store. They include so-called "cryptomining" apps that can suck up a resources from a device for somebody else's financial benefits. The changes come in the latest update of the Play Store ... Developer Policy. The relevant apps will no longer be available through the official Play Store, meaning that although users can still install them, they'll get much less prominence and exposure. The ban is specifically on apps that use a device's processor for mining cryptocurrencies. In very simple terms, mining involves computers racing to solve a ... (view more)

Tue
03
Jul
John Lister's picture

Google Apps, Assistant Coming to Basic Cellphones

Google has invested $22 million in a company that makes software for bare-bones smartphones. As part of the deal, it hopes to bring some of its key apps to the budget handsets. The investment is in an operating system named KaiOS. It's based on an ... open source system that was developed by Mozilla, the makers of the Firefox browser, before being abandoned. Originally Mozilla had hoped to make a phone for as little as $25. Cheap Handsets Get More Attractive KaiOS is specifically designed for "feature phones." That's a term with a loose definition, but generally refers to very basic ... (view more)

Tue
26
Jun
John Lister's picture

Android Apps Now have Secure ID; Avoid Malicious Installs

Google is to mark Android apps to show they originated in the Google Play store. It's described as a security measure that could be particularly helpful in places with unreliable data connections. The change is to APK files, which stands for ... "Android PacKage"; these are files used to install an Android application on an Android device. Whenever you download an app from the Google Play store, it's always an APK file which is installed. However, the format is also the same if the app were to be downloaded from a third party website. Google is adding security metadata to all APKs ... (view more)

Thu
07
Jun
John Lister's picture

Google Facing Huge Competition Fine

Google could face a fine of billions of dollars over alleged anti-competitive behavior. It disputes the claims and says they don't take proper account of the role of Apple. The fine would come from the European Union, which oversees competition ... across 28 countries. It's expected to rule against Google in the biggest of three investigations into the company. All three investigations relate to a basic principle of EU competition law: it's generally OK for a company to dominate a market, and it's generally OK for a company to carry out anti-competitive behavior, but the combination of the two is ... (view more)

Fri
11
May
Dennis Faas's picture

How to: Use a Firewall to Block Full Screen Ads on Android

Infopackets Reader Steve G. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thank you so much for your article on How to Disable Full Screen Popup Ads in Android ! Lately I have been inundated with full screen ads appearing on my smartphone and I have no idea where they are ... coming from. I tried your suggestion in the article, which says to wait for the full screen ad to appear, then press the app button on my phone to see where the ad is coming from. The problem is that these full screen ads don't have a title, so unfortunately I can't tell where the ad is coming from. You also suggested using a firewall but I am not ... (view more)

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