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Found 20 results

  1. New Algorithm in Google Play Focuses on Smaller App Updates The new delta algorithm for Google Play rolled out recently The information about the new algorithm appeared on Android Developers blog, together with tips on how app developers can reduce the size of their APK. Delta updates are more efficient ways in bringing improvements to applications. A delta update only updates certain files in the APK, without having the need to update the whole APK. Google stated that 98% of app updates are delta updates to the APK, which also helped users save data. The new algorithm does much more than that, it's named bsdiff and it was created to make updates and app downloads smaller, so that they wouldn't take that much out of data plans. Google announced that the new delta update can reduce the size of patches by 50% or more. Bsdiff was created to produce more efficient deltas of native libraries and take advantage of ways in which native code changes between versions. Information about data used and download size is displayed in a clearer way The blog provided an example of Google Chrome, whose latest major update from M46 to M47 had a patch size of 22.8MB, which was reduced using Bsdiff to 12.9MB. The M47 minor update had a size of 15.3MB and was reduced to just 3.6MB. But that's not all, APK Expansion Files allows developers to include additional large files up to 2GB in size, like high resolution graphics or media files. Download size of initial installs can be reduced by 12%, while update by 65% in average. Google Play Store now displays information about data used and download sizes in a more clearer way. Users can view the actual download size, not just the APK size. The changes have already started rolling out. Source
  2. Quick Tip Today am gonna show you how you can download your favorite Android Apps directly from Google Play Store. From the Play Store, search for your favorite app, copy the link with the app id visit apps.evozi.com/apk-downloader/ Paste the link and click generate download link. Wait for some seconds as your download link is been generated. After some few seconds, your link should be ready for download. eNJOy!!! source: thetechblog
  3. Ads try to trick users into installing fake antivirus app One of the malicious ads shown by the app An extremely popular flashlight app for Android devices is showing malicious ads that try to fool users into installing potentially dangerous applications on their smartphone. Trend Micro security researchers report that the app Super-Bright LED Flashlight, available from the official Google Play Store, is pestering users with ads after they install it. While apps that show ads are nothing new, this app shows ads with a scareware tendency that tell users that their phone is infected, or their battery has a virus. At this point, some more experienced users will just uninstall the app and replace it with another. Less experienced ones might click the ad, and might be tricked into downloading another app, a so-called virus remover or antivirus. Security experts call these types of apps PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications) because often they harbor malware. In its annual report, the company admitted that 0.15 percent of all Play Store app installs in 2015 contained malicious code. The app's makers might be innocent, or they might be not Trend Micro does say that the app and its developers might not be to blame since the ads are retrieved and displayed via an advertising network, but the high number of negative user comments shows they're not doing anything about it either. Currently, the app is still available on the Google Play Store, where Google reports that users installed the app over 100 million times. Trend Micro says they've informed both Google and all the stores where the app is available for download. Because most phones don't have a built-in flashlight functionality, such apps are in high demand. In the past, crooks have often used games and flashlight apps to distribute malware because of their popularity. While most of the times these malicious apps are distributed via third-party app stores, sometimes, these apps found their way into Google's Play Store as well. Article source
  4. Ad fraud, scareware slinger Android.Spy.277.origin found in more than 100 apps Security researchers have discovered a strain of Android malware that keeps finding its way onto Google Play – despite the store supposedly being scrubbed clean of infiltrated apps. The software nasty – Android.Spy.277.origin – is hidden in more than 100 applications on Google Play. Sketchy programs harboring the malware masquerade as legitimate popular games and the like, but they come with a secret backdoor. Once the infected app is installed, the attacker can remotely download a malicious APK called "polacin.io" to the device. After the victim is tricked into allowing the code to be installed, the Android device sends a wide array of information about the hardware to command and control servers, plus the user's email address and location. Hackers make money from the malicious app through ad click fraud and by pushing mobile scareware. Users are induced into installing fraudulent apps by saying the device has battery issues that can be solved by downloading utilities which, in reality, have little or no use. Even after Google removed samples of the dodgy software from Google Play, Check Point's Mobile Threat Prevention research team found an additional app, called Street Stick Battle, containing the same malicious payload. The rogue app has notched up between one million and five million downloads. The incident provides further evidence that users can't strictly trust official app stores to stay protected. Malware can infiltrate these stores on multiple instances even after initial detection. El Reg asked Google to comment on the incident but we've yet to hear back. More details about the return of the Google Play scam – complete with screenshots and more technical information – can be found in a blog post by Check Point's Oren Koriat here. Article source
  5. The search giant has just updated its content policy website Google Developer Policy Center Google recently updated its content policy update for the Play Store and clarified one of the most controversial aspects while at it. The search giant clearly states in the new policy rules that it is not alright for an application to block or interfere with another app displaying adds. There has been much talk around Google's ban on ad blockers in the Play Store, as the company did not have a clear stance on the subject. Devs of those apps found interfering with third-party apps or services displaying ads usually received a letter that informed them that their creations are against the company's distribution agreement. But not anymore as Google updated section 4.4 of the old distribution agreement that goes back almost three years. Here is an example of what your apps should not do if you want it to be accepted in the Google Play Store: “Apps that block or interfere with another app displaying ads. Game cheating apps that affect the gameplay of other apps. Apps that facilitate or provide instructions on how to hack services, software or hardware, or circumvent security protections. Apps that access or use a service or API in a manner that violates its terms of service. Apps that attempt to bypass system power management that are not eligible for whitelisting.” We're still in a gray area, but improvements have been made However, Google has decided that in-browser ad blockers are quite alright, so Android users will still be able to download apps like Adblock Fast, Adblock Browser, and Brave Browser. In-browser ad blocking has been allowed on iOS platform for quite some time, so banning these apps that facilitate this function would have put Google in an awkward position, especially that a big chunk of the company's revenue comes from web ads. Since in-browser ad blockers are so popular among Android users, it would have hurt Google more to ban rather than allow them in the Play Store. Article source
  6. Google has given Android users a way to bypass the Play Store by allowing you to install an app directly from the Google Search results page. This feature began rolling out this week, so from now on when you Google search for an app, you will see an install icon next to it and rather than it taking you to the store page, it will ask for your permission to install. This feature isn’t available in the Chrome browser just yet but rather, in the Google app itself if you happen to use that. However, this feature could be brought over to the browser later. This has the benefit of reducing the amount of clicks necessary to research an app. Now, instead of using google to look up an app and then heading to the Play Store to download it, you can do it all in one place. However, you could also argue that you could just use the Play Store app and look up reviews to do your research, rather than Googling anything. Google seems to just be testing the waters with this feature at the moment as it is still rolling out to users and is limited to the Google Search app, rather than appearing on browsers. View: Original Article
  7. New App Inspection Tool Finds 30,552 Malicious Apps on Google Play 127,429 suspicious apps found in 33 Android marketplaces Their research found over 127,429 suspicious applications, hosted in 33 Android app marketplaces. What is more worrying is that Google's Play Store was in the report, with 30,552 malicious apps detected, representing 7.61% of its total of 401,549 hosted applications. "We implemented MassVet over a stream processing engine and evaluated it over 1.2 million apps from 33 app markets around the world," say the researchers. According to their findings, MassVet not only can scan an app in less than 10 seconds but also "outperformed all 54 scanners in VirusTotal in terms of detection coverage," finding 34,026 new malicious apps. From over the 125,000 suspicious apps it detected, the researchers also found "20 likely zero-day malware," each installed over one million times. MassVet comes with a new approach to app checking Compared to Google's Bouncer service and all the similar app vetting systems used by other app marketplaces, MassVet does not analyze app source code and its operations in a simulated environment. How MassVet works is by comparing an application to other similar apps on the marketplace or its database. By doing this it identifies possible cases of repackaging, a technique used by attackers to hide tiny bits of malicious code inside legitimate apps. "These bogus apps are built for two purposes," say the researchers, "either for getting advertisement revenues or for distributing malware." This statement can be backed up by their work, the researchers observing that Play Store developers that had malicious apps taken down, didn't have any problems re-uploading them. "Among the 2,125 reappeared apps, 604 confirmed malware (28.4%) showed up in the Play Store unchanged, with the same MD5 and same names," noted the researchers. "Further, those developers also published 829 apps with the same malicious code (as that of the malware) but under different names." As a conclusion outside of the research paper, since the researchers that worked on the project are claiming that their app vetter works in less than 10 seconds, there's a case to be made that Google needs to implement it as an alternate checking tool running in parallel with Bouncer. Below is a MassVet video demonstration and the report's full results, broken down per marketplace. Source
  8. Google play store is kind of creepy to me. It eats all my data like crazy. Shows problems in downloading apps. It has two services - foreground and background. The background service uses more bandwidth than the foreground does. If I disable the background service, play store won't work anymore. So is there any solution available for no-root users?
  9. Google removed several popular Pirate Bay apps from the Play Store today. An email sent to developers claims that the apps violate intellectual property provisions of Google's content policy. TF spoke to one developer who appealed the decision, arguing that his app does nothing more than Google's own Chrome browser. Facing harsh criticism from copyright holders, Google is gradually changing its attitudes towards sites and services that are often associated with piracy. A few weeks ago the company implemented a major change to its search algorithm, aimed at downranking sites that often link to copyright infringing material. Another drastic move came today when Google began removing many Pirate Bay related apps from its Play store. The apps in question include “The Pirate Bay Proxy,” “The Pirate Bay Premium,” “The Pirate Bay Mirror” and “PirateApp.” The apps targeted by Google offer mobile optimized web-browsers for The Pirate Bay. In addition, many of them used proxy sites so users could easily circumvent local ISP blockades. The apps appear to have been removed proactively as there is no mention of a DMCA takedown notice. According to an email sent to the developers, the apps in question are violating the intellectual property provisions of Google’s content policy. “REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the intellectual property and impersonation or deceptive behavior provisions of the Content Policy. Please refer to the IP infringement and impersonation policy help article for more information,” the email reads. The developers are further informed that they received a “policy strike” which may lead to the termination of their accounts, if similar problems arise in the future. TF spoke with Gavin, the developer of “The Pirate Bay Proxy” app, which has 900,000 downloads and 45,000 active users per day. He is disappointed with Google’s decision and has filed an appeal hoping to get his software reinstated. According to Gavin, his app doesn’t do anything different than other browsers, Google Chrome included. It simply points people to a working proxy site and then acts as any other browser. “The app is no different from Firefox or Chrome in that it’s a tool which provides access to TPB or any other web address,” Gavin says. Gavin originally developed the app as a simple tool to bypass court-ordered ISP blockades. However, the app itself is now being censored as well, which is somewhat ironic. “The removal has a sense of irony as the app is described as an anti-censorship tool,” Gavin notes. Those who have already downloaded the apps can continue to use them, for now. New downloads from the Google Play Store are no longer allowed, but a copy of “The Pirate Bay Proxy” is available on the app’s website. Alternatively, people can still use Google and the Chrome browser as these points of access remain uncensored for now. Source: TorrentFreak
  10. Google recently published the Nexus 6 in the Google Play Store with almost all of its details listed. The latest smartphone from Google will be available in midnight blue and cloud white. Pre-orders start on October 29th. The Nexus 6 is available in 32GB and 64GB variants and priced at $649.00 and $699.00 respectively. The listing goes on to talk about the device in various ways, like how comfortable it is in the hand and how you can listen to audio in full stereo with front-facing speakers. You’ll have to scroll all the way to the bottom if you want to see the entire spec sheet. Google’s Nexus 6 comes with a 5.96-inch AMOLED display capable of a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. Inside, it has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SoC, so that means it has a 2.7GHz quad-core processor paired with the Adreno 420 GPU. There’s a nano-SIM slot, an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, an ambient light sensor, and a barometer. It comes with Qi Wireless Charging and a non-replaceable 3,220mAh capacity battery. The back of the Nexus 6 houses the 13MP rear-facing camera with OIS, and there’s a 2MP front-facing camera as well. This might be too big for some of us, but we certainly can’t say Google skimped on any of the features. Is the Nexus 6 the device for you? Let us know by leaving a comment below. Source
  11. Google has released the Android Wear application on the Play Store. Although there is not much you can do with it right now, the app will become useful once those who ordered their Android Wear devices start receiving their orders next week. Google has also added a new section in the Play Store for Android Wear applications. Note, that these are not exactly separate apps that will run on your watch but your usual apps meant for your phone or tablet but now with Android Wear support to push relevant information on to the device. For now, the list is not particularly long but it’s good to see even this many developers get on board this early with Android Wear. I’m sure as more developers get their hands on Android Wear devices we’ll start seeing more apps optimized for them. Playstore Source
  12. Google's Android Mobile operating system for smartphones and tablets have Google's own Play Store that provides its Android users the most visible way to access the world of millions of apps. App developers produce more than thousands of applications each year, but majority of newbie and unprofessional developers use unsafe, unreliable, and insecure coding practices, as many developers store secret keys in their apps that could potentially allow cybercriminals to steal users’ sensitive data. A team of researchers from the computer science department of the Columbia University havediscovered a critical security problem in the Google’s official Android app store from where millions of Android users download various apps. Researchers have found that most of the Android application developers often store their secret keys in their app's code, similar to usernames/passwords information, which could be then used by any bad actor to maliciously steal users’ information or resources from the service providers such as Amazon and Facebook. These vulnerabilities in the implementation of the Android applications can affect users even if they are not actively using the Android apps. Even "Top Developers" designated by the Google Play team as the best developers on Google Play, included these vulnerabilities in their apps, according to the researchers. Google play store contains millions of apps, including free and paid apps, and over 50 billion app downloads. “But no one reviews what gets put into Google Play—anyone can get a $25 account and upload whatever they want. Very little is known about what's there at an aggregate level," said Jason Nieh, professor of computer science at New York-based Columbia Engineering. Researchers built and make use of a tool called PlayDrone, the first scalable Google Play store crawler tool that uses various hacking techniques to deceive the security measures that Google uses to prevent indexing of its Google Play store content. One can successfully download Google Play store content and recover their sources. (Slides) (Download PlayDrone) "We have been working closely with Google, Amazon, Facebook and other service providers to identify and notify customers at risk, and make the Google Play store a safer place," said one of the researcher, Nicolas Viennot. "Google is now using our techniques to proactively scan apps for these problems to prevent this from happening again in the future." PlayDrone managed to download more than 1.1 million Android apps and decompile over 880,000 free applications and analyzing over 100 billion lines of decompiled code. WHAT GOOGLE SHOULD DO? With the widely spread platform of Android operating system in the mobile phones, no doubt it’s become an easy target for cybercriminals. Now, this weakness in the practices of apps development found on the official Google play store is icing on the cake for cybercriminals. I would not call it a vulnerability in the Google play store because its not flaw in their server or network, rather it’s the fault of app developers, who take their users’ data security as granted and Google itself, which approves apps with weak development practices and have never implement any strict guidelines to stop developers from doing so. Google should actively encourage and enforce new policy on the app developers, so that they give top priority to their users’ data security and any violations to the policy could lead to suspension of that developer’s licence. Source
  13. The stock Email app that has been part of Android for a long time is now available to download in the Play Store. The app is also updated with a few new visual additions that reflect the latest look and feel of Google’s apps. As part of the changelog, the Email client now sports increased security for Gmail accounts as well as easier account setup flow (not that it was difficult to start with). Moreover, you can now send emails for print directly from the app and you’ll be able to do so more effortlessly thanks to the numerous bug fixes. There’s one slight annoyance, though. It is only available for stock KitKat users (Nexus and Google Play Edition devices). Download Link Google Play Store Mirror http://d-h.st/K8w Source
  14. Couple of weeks back, a fake app called Virus Shield came to light when Android Police did an exposé, revealing that the app did nothing in reality other than swindle you out of your $4. The story quickly gained momentum and it wasn’t long before Google pulled the app from the Play Store. But what about those who purchased the app? Turns out, Google is now giving a refund to all those who purchased the app. On top of that, it is also offering a $5 store credit as an apology. If you purchased the app, you will get a mail informing you of your refund, along with a redemption code for the $5 store credit. Source
  15. Google launched a refreshed camera app for Android devices. Dubbed Google Camera, the application is now available to download in the Play store. The most notable new feature which Google Camera app brings is called Lens Blur. It allows users to change the depth of field of a photo after its capture. A dedicated slider allows the user to change the point and level of focus. Panorama mode has also been improved in the new app. Users can now capture panoramas in high resolution. Photo Sphere is present too. Mobile photographers can capture 360 degree photospheres at up to 50 megapixels. Google Camera is available on all Android smartphones and tablets with Android 4.4 and up. Download the app by hitting the link below. Google Camera Source
  16. Google has started rolling out an update for the Play Store app on Android. Version 4.6.16 brings with it some much needed features, along with some UI changes. One of the major additions is the ability to batch install apps from your apps history. This will come extremely handy when you get a new device and want to install all your apps on it. You just go to the All tab in My Apps section and press and hold apps to start marking apps you want to batch install. Also, the app won’t take you to the top of the list anymore after you remove an app from your list. Another change is that you can now set how and when the Play Store asks for your password while downloading paid content. Earlier, you can either set it to ask every time or never. Now you can set a 30 minute timer, so after you enter your password once to purchase an app, it won’t ask you again for the next 30 minutes, similar to the App Store. Another change is to force the Play Store app to update itself. Previously, there was no way to do this and you either had to sideload an APK or wait for Google to push the update to your device. The app would then discreetly update itself in the background. Now you can tap on the version number in the Settings and check if there is an update available. There are also some changes to the UI. The Settings and Help menu, which were left behind in the Action overflow menu, have now been moved to the sidebar and the overflow menu has been removed. The oddly named Add-widgets option, which actually just put an icon of the newly installed app on the homescreen, has now been renamed to the more correct Add icon to Home screen. You will also see IAP being shown in app permission dialog while installing an app and the Google+ count is now a proper number instead of the nearest approximate value. - |dOWNLOAD Link| - Google Play Store Play Store 4.6.16 Source
  17. App "encourages users to void their warranty," in violation of Play's dev terms. Late Wednesday, the CyanogenMod team received a notice from the Google Play Store: their CyanogenMod Installer application, which automates the process of replacing an Android device's operating system with the popular CyanogenMod alternative ROM, needed to be removed from the Play Store. The Google folks gave the CyanogenMod team the opportunity to voluntarily take down the application, which they did. Had they instead chosen to decline, Google would have pulled the application themselves. The reasoning given by Google is that the CyanogenMod Installer violates the Google Play Store's developer terms by actively encouraging Android users to "void [the] warranty" on their devices. As we saw when we took the app for a test drive, the Installer does indeed de-hair the hairy process of unlocking an Android device's bootloader and getting an alternate ROM installed; apparently, though, the Installer made things just a little too easy. As our Android expert Ron Amadeo noted, the CyanogenMod Installer is mostly a "one-way street," without a quick way to return the device to its stock state—it's certainly possible, but not with the same level of ease. The CyanogenMod Installer application didn't even last a full month on the Play Store, but the CyanogenMod team still says that they've seen "hundreds of thousands of installations of the application." Even if the Google Play Store won't be hosting the Installer anymore, the CyanogenMod team will continue to offer it for direct download and installation. Would-be ROM-swappers will have to first sideload the application to get it ready to go, but that shouldn't be much of a roadblock for the right type of user. Source: Ars Technica
  18. With BlackBerry 10.2.1 currently being tested internally at BlackBerry, a few screenshots have leaked out allegedly showing the Google Play Store running on the BlackBerry 10 platform. A new Android Runtime is expected on the next build of BlackBerry 10 which would allow the Android flavored application store to be available to BlackBerry users so that they can download and install Android apps and other content. For BlackBerry 10 users, having the Google Play Store on their device would mean no more sideloading of Android apps. And this could quickly address one of the major shortcomings of the BlackBerry 10 platform which is the lack of apps. Could this lead to improved sales for the beleaguered company, or will those who want to run Android apps just stick to buying an Android phone? Alas, this is just a rumor for now, and as much as it makes sense, and as badly as BlackBerry 10 users might want this, we need to take this with the proverbial grain of salt until BlackBerry makes it official. In the meantime, for you dreamers, check out the slideshow below. Source: PhoneArena
  19. Google has released a survey app where users are rewarded with free Play store credit. Want a quick and easy way to earn some Play store credits by offering nothing but some time and your opinions? Of course you do!And Google wants your opinion, so it has released an app called Google Opinion Rewards for Android users. The app is free and only takes a few minutes to set up, with the process requiring you to take a survey. Your answers to the initial survey will be used to customize the surveys you'll receive on your device in the future. According to Google Consumer Surveys announcement on Google+, users of the app can expect one survey a week. After giving your honest opinion on the matters at hand, your Play Store account will be credited with a yet to be determined amount. Surveys can range from multiple questions to simply picking your preferred logo. Download Google Opinion Rewards via the play store and get started if you are interested. Source
  20. Though the regularly-leaked Nexus 5 was rumoured to be released mid-October, the latest is that we’ll see it arrive at the end of the month. A couple press images surfaced online, one sporting a TELUS logo and the other straight from Google. We’ve been tipped that Google will make the Nexus 5 available via Google Play on Thursday, October 31st, then arrive on Canadian carriers — Rogers, Bell, TELUS, Koodo and Virgin — up to 8 days later, either November 7th or 8th. source