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  1. Facebook will now freely allow developers to build competitors to its features upon its own platform. Today Facebook announced it will drop Platform Policy section 4.1, which stipulates “Add something unique to the community. Don’t replicate core functionality that Facebook already provides.” That policy felt pretty disingenuous given how aggressively Facebook has replicated everyone else’s core functionality, from Snapchat to Twitter and beyond. Facebook had previously enforced the policy selectively to hurt competitors that had used its Find Friends or viral distribution features. Apps like Vine, Voxer, MessageMe, Phhhoto and more had been cut off from Facebook’s platform for too closely replicating its video, messaging or GIF creation tools. Find Friends is a vital API that lets users find their Facebook friends within other apps. The move will significantly reduce the risk of building on the Facebook platform. It could also cast it in a better light in the eyes of regulators. Anyone seeking ways Facebook abuses its dominance will lose a talking point. And by creating a more fair and open platform where developers can build without fear of straying too close to Facebook’s history or road map, it could reinvigorate its developer ecosystem. A Facebook spokesperson provided this statement to TechCrunch: The change comes after Facebook locked down parts of its platform in April for privacy and security reasons in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Diplomatically, Facebook said it didn’t expect the change to impact its standing with regulators but it’s open to answering their questions. Earlier in April, I wrote a report on how Facebook used Policy 4.1 to attack competitors it saw gaining traction. The article, “Facebook shouldn’t block you from finding friends on competitors,” advocated for Facebook to make its social graph more portable and interoperable so users could decamp to competitors if they felt they weren’t treated right in order to coerce Facebook to act better. The policy change will apply retroactively. Old apps that lost Find Friends or other functionality will be able to submit their app for review and, once approved, will regain access. Friend lists still can’t be exported in a truly interoperable way. But at least now Facebook has enacted the spirit of that call to action. Developers won’t be in danger of losing access to that Find Friends Facebook API for treading in its path. Below is an excerpt from our previous reporting on how Facebook has previously enforced Platform Policy 4.1 that before today’s change was used to hamper competitors: Voxer was one of the hottest messaging apps of 2012, climbing the charts and raising a $30 million round with its walkie-talkie-style functionality. In early January 2013, Facebook copied Voxer by adding voice messaging into Messenger. Two weeks later, Facebook cut off Voxer’s Find Friends access. Voxer CEO Tom Katis told me at the time that Facebook stated his app with tens of millions of users was a “competitive social network” and wasn’t sharing content back to Facebook. Katis told us he thought that was hypocritical. By June, Voxer had pivoted toward business communications, tumbling down the app charts and leaving Facebook Messenger to thrive. MessageMe had a well-built chat app that was growing quickly after launching in 2013, posing a threat to Facebook Messenger. Shortly before reaching 1 million users, Facebook cut off MessageMe‘s Find Friends access. The app ended up selling for a paltry double-digit millions price tag to Yahoo before disintegrating. Phhhoto and its fate show how Facebook’s data protectionism encompasses Instagram. Phhhoto’s app that let you shoot animated GIFs was growing popular. But soon after it hit 1 million users, it got cut off from Instagram’s social graph in April 2015. Six months later, Instagram launched Boomerang, a blatant clone of Phhhoto. Within two years, Phhhoto shut down its app, blaming Facebook and Instagram. “We watched [Instagram CEO Kevin] Systrom and his product team quietly using PHHHOTO almost a year before Boomerang was released. So it wasn’t a surprise at all . . . I’m not sure Instagram has a creative bone in their entire body.” Vine had a real shot at being the future of short-form video. The day the Twitter-owned app launched, though, Facebook shut off Vine’s Find Friends access. Vine let you share back to Facebook, and its six-second loops you shot in the app were a far cry from Facebook’s heavyweight video file uploader. Still, Facebook cut it off, and by late 2016, Twitter announced it was shutting down Vine. Source
  2. The Chinese market is very important to Apple. Apple continues to remove third-party applications from the Chinese version of the App Store for violating its terms of service. It reportedly removed 718 apps this week. This isn’t the first time there’s been a purge from this software store. But this time none of the applications were breaking Chinese law, just Apple’s own rules. Apple insists that all iOS software updates come through its App Store. The software just purged had all found ways around this rule, according to The Telegraph. These weren’t offerings from no-name developers. Some well-known chinese’s businesses saw their apps pulled, including the Sogou search engine and the Pinduoduo social commerce company. When something is removed from the App Store, the change just prevents new downloads. It doesn’t affect copies already installed on iPhones and iPads. Far from the largest such App Store purge A mere 700+ applications doesn’t hold a candle to the 25,000 apps kicked out of the Chinese App Store this summer. Many of these were gambling related, which is illegal in that country outside of state-sanctioned lotteries. China has been urging Apple to take greater control over what’s in its online software store. Clearly, it’s trying. And with good reason: CEO Tim Cook has often said his company considers China its biggest potential market. Source
  3. We’ve all heard stories of daring robberies like that of D.B. Cooper, and in a way are almost swept away by the romantic anarchy of them. But there’s another end to that spectrum as well: the capers that, despite their size, are so mundane that getting a job at a cracker factory would be wild in comparison. Case in point is the arrest of 29-year-old Daigo Sugano for attempting to cheat one of Japan’s largest shopping center chains, Aeon, out of roughly 5,380,000 yen (US$47,000) in loyalty points. Using the Aeon app, people can receive two yen ($0.02) worth of points simply by setting foot in one of the company’s many malls and department stores. Under this program, Sugano stands accused of pretending to have entered an Aeon establishment nearly 2.7 million times. Time constraints aside, the likelihood of Sugano actually accomplishing this is next to zero as all of the stores he “went to” were on the southern island of Kyushu, clear across the country from his home in the northernmost island of Hokkaido. He reportedly did this by faking the GPS data on his computers to appear as if he entered an Aeon when he really didn’t. The large numbers were achieved with the help of 45 laptops and about 1,000 accounts. After allegedly having successfully stolen points amounting to 140 yen ($1.23) he appeared to have gone for one big score. And despite his efforts to spread the wealth among fake accounts, the rapidly increasing number of visits was still enough to raise a flag at Aeon who reported the anomaly to the police. At this point you might suspect Sugano had some ultimate goal with his significant sum of cash – perhaps funneling it to an offshore account and then moving to the freedom of a tropical island. Or could there have been an urgent need like a sick relative with expensive medical bills? “I was going to use the points for shopping,” Sugano reportedly told police while admitting to the charges of fraud and attempted fraud filed against him. Readers of the news online were less than sympathetic for the accused, especially as he was reported to be “unemployed” at the time of the arrest. The investigation is still ongoing, but it at least seems as if the police have found their man. And with a conviction, another criminal’s dream of hitting the big-time will have gone up in smoke. There are those who use point programs like Aeon’s to their fullest and earn a nice, legally-acquired chunk of change because of it. However, let this case be a reminder to those who are handed a stamp card at a sandwich shop and think that’s their ticket to ill-gotten riches. It just isn’t worth it. Source: Sora News 24
  4. (Reuters Health) - Those cute little apps your child plays with are most likely flooded with ads - some of which are totally age-inappropriate, researchers have found. A stunning 95 percent of commonly downloaded apps that are marketed to or played by children age five and under contain at least one type of advertising, according to a new report in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. And that goes for the apps labeled as educational, too, researchers say. Often the ads are intrusive, spread across in a banner or even interrupting play, said study coauthor Dr. Jenny Radesky, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Perhaps the most insidious ads are the ones you need to click a little “x” to get rid of, Radesky said. “The little ‘x’ doesn’t show up for about 20 seconds,” she explained. “If you’re a 2- or 3-year-old you might think the ad is a part of the game. And you don’t know what to do. You might click on the ad and that could take you to the app store. Many of these ads require you to do things before the ‘x’ will appear.” Some ads are for products that aren’t appropriate for kids, Radesky said. “I’ve seen banner ads for bipolar treatment in some of these apps,” she added. One app geared to young children had a popup that linked to a political game showing “a cartoon version of Trump trying not to push the red button that will send nukes,” Radesky said. “My son asked, ‘what is he talking about, is he going to blow up the world?’” One big problem with ads in apps aimed at very young children is the kids often can’t tell where the game leaves off and the ad begins. “There’s science to show that children aged 8 and younger can’t distinguish between media content and advertising,” Radesky said. Radesky originally was working on a study to explore how parents use their mobile devices. After noticing the kid-oriented apps on the parents’ phones, she and her colleagues decided this was a topic that should be looked at. The researchers scrutinized 135 of the most downloaded free and paid apps in the “age five and under” category in the Google Play app store. Among them were free apps with 5 to 10 million downloads and paid apps with 50,000 to 100,000 downloads. Of the 135 apps, 129, or 95 percent, contained at least one type of advertising, which included use of popular cartoon characters to sell products, teasers suggesting the purchase of the “full” version of the app, and advertising videos that interrupted play to promote in-app purchases or purchases of other products. “What we found,” Radesky said, “was lots and lots of advertising.” The new findings “are frightening,” said Dr. Albert Wu, an internist and professor of health policy & management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “This strikes me as a Trojan horse for tots. Even being charitable to all these companies, I think these apps are deceptive at best and unethical at worst.” Wu was especially disappointed to find “this even applies to apps labeled as educational. It’s giving ‘educational’ a bad name. And it really does beg for a bigger role for the government in regulation even if there are some voices out there calling for less government. I think it would be important for the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to step in.” The idea that there is so much advertising in the apps, “is giving me even more reason to want to restrict screen use in my own children,” Wu said. The new findings have prompted advocates to file a complaint with the FTC. The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, along with other child advocacy groups, plans to file the complaint in conjunction with the release of the study results. Source
  5. Mobile app developers are going through the same growing pains that the webdev scene has gone through in the 90s and 2000s when improper input validation led to many security incidents. But while mobile devs have learned to filter user input for dangerous strings, some of these devs have not learned their lesson very well. Business logic on the client-side... like it's 1999 In a research paper published earlier this year, Abner Mendoza and Guofei Gu, two academics from Texas A&M University, have highlighted the problem of current-day mobile apps that still include business logic (such as user input validation, user authentication, and authorization) inside the client-side component of their code, instead of its server-side section. This regretable situation leaves the users of these mobile applications vulnerable to simple HTTP request parameter injection attacks that could have been easily mitigated if an application's business logic would have been embedded inside its server-side component, where most of these operations belong. But while leaving business logic on the client-side might sound more of an app design mistake, it is actually a big security issue. For example, an attacker can analyze a mobile app (that he installed on his device) and determine the format of the web requests sent to the mobile app's servers after the user's input is validated. The attacker can then modify a few parameters of these requests in order to poison the desired action Millions of apps potentially affected In a research paper titled "Mobile Application Web API Reconnaissance: Web-to-Mobile Inconsistencies & Vulnerabilities," Mendoza and Gu have recently taken a look at this ancient, yet still valid, attack vector. The two researchers created a system named WARDroid that mass-analyzes mobile apps, determines the format of their web requests, and tries to determine if these are vulnerable to these types of attacks. Researchers said they tested WARDroid on a set of 10,000 random popular apps from the Google Play Store. "We detected problematic logic in APIs used in over 4,000 apps, including 1,743 apps that use unencrypted HTTP communication," researchers said. Bt since WARDroid was not a secure indicator that the app's communications template was vulnerable, the two researchers also manually analyzed 1,000 random apps from the ones flagged by their system, confirming that 962 used APIs with validation logic problems. Extrapolating this numbers to the whole Google Play Store, the two academics believe millions of apps might be vulnerable. Issues found in banking and e-commerce apps For example, some of the apps where they found problematic API logic include a banking app, where they said they were able to modify transaction details. Similarly, they also found validation logic flaws in gift card apps that allowed them to load a test account with money to spend at various stores, and similar validation logic flaws in the communications model of apps build using the Shopify SDK. This latter flaw allowed the research team to buy products for negative prices, creating discounts inside Shopify-based mobile stores. "You never wanna trust the client input. This is a harsh lesson that should have already been learned from the lessons on the web platform and web applications," Mendoza said on stage while presenting his research at the 39th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, held in San Francisco two weeks ago. "This work highlights that this continues to be the problem —input validation and just being very cognisant of validating or sanitizing input," said Mendoza, also highlighting that server-side business logic should be as strict as the client-side validation logic, if not stricter. Source
  6. Dropbox has announced in a blog post today that it's making significant improvements to its mobile apps to improve the collaboration experience on the platform. The new improvements to Dropbox come just one day after Microsoft announced its own set of improvements to OneDrive. For starters, the company is introducing a new File Activity feature. This will allow users to see all the actions taken by other teammates on each file. This includes the history of edits and shares for all users, but users in the Dropbox Professional and Business Advanced tiers will even be able to see the viewer history from the file preview without having to leave the app. This feature is rolling out to the iOS version of the app, but it will be coming to Android soon. The file preview page will also let users add comments and feedback to a file for other teammates to see, and the sharing experience has been made easier across the app, with more visible share buttons. The apps are also getting a redesigned home screen, which gathers the user's starred items and recent files in a centralized place. This should make it easier to find the most relevant files whenever the user opens the app. Lastly, the company says it recently added drag and drop support in iOS 11, which works inside the app and - on the iPad - across apps in split-screen mode. Source < Here >
  7. THE 25 BEST NEW APPS OF 2017 From all-new upstarts to dramatically improved old favorites, these apps for phones, tablets, PCs, and the web offer something for everyone. For all the talk of peak app, 2017 was a surprisingly inventive year for makers of apps and software, from the industry’s giants to intrepid startups. Many of this year’s best apps reflect broader trends in technology, including machine learning, augmented reality, cord cutting, and the rise of virtual assistants. Meanwhile, we’ve seen plenty of meaty improvements from apps that have been around for years. Here are the year’s best new apps, new software, and substantial updates. Productivity Boosters Talk to Google. Voice search on Android phones got a major overhaul this year with Google Assistant, but iPhone users needn’t feel left out. The standalone Google Assistant app for iOS has the same conversational skills, smart home controls, and ability to bring up personal info such as flight details and package arrivals. It also integrates with other Google apps such as YouTube and Google Maps, so while it’ll never have the same deep hardware integration as Apple’s Siri assistant, it might still be faster than tapping around on a touch screen. [iOS, Android] Clipboard on steroids. In one of the most clever applications of iOS 11’s new drag-and-drop feature, Yoink provides a central location for links, text snippets, images, and anything else you might want to drag between apps. You can load the app in Split View, as a Slide Over window, or as a “keyboard” along the bottom of the screen, and you can even look up stored items with iOS 11’s Spotlight Search. It’s an invaluable tool for folks who’ve gone all-in on iPad multitasking. [iOS] Firefox reborn. Although Firefox is more than 13 years old, Mozilla says version 57 is the most substantial upgrade to date, and it shows. The new Quantum browsing engine eliminates the slowdowns that were once a Firefox staple, and interface overhaul trades Firefox’s previously bubbly aesthetic for sharp edges and solid colors. The result is a more viable alternative to Google’s dominant Chrome browser, and a breath of fresh air in the desktop browser wars. [Windows, Mac, Linux] Google-ize your keyboard. Google’s Gboard software keyboard expanded far beyond the realm of typing with a slew of updates this year. Android users can now send stickers and Bitmoji into any app that supports image pasting, and can get suggested GIFs and emoji to share while typing. (It even recognizes hand-drawn emoji, in case that’s easier than searching.) On the iOS side, users can share YouTube and Google Maps links directly from the keyboard, and can also send hand-drawn images. If your phone doesn’t ship with Gboard built in, now’s the time to give it a try. [iOS, Android] Cintiq without the Cintiq. Astro HQ’s most brilliant new idea for Astropad, which lets you use an iPad as a graphics tablet for a Mac, was to repurpose the iPad’s front-facing camera as a button that provided access to settings without cluttering the screen. Sadly, Apple nixed the concept. Even so, Astropad does something really useful for artists who might otherwise drop a tidy sum for one of Wacom’s Cintiq tablets. And its makers dramatically improved its performance this year. It’s particularly at home on a 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a Pencil. [Astropad] News without the noise. The news app Nuzzel has been a useful aggregator of links from Facebook and Twitter since 2014, but those networks don’t always provide the most high-quality reads. That’s why Nuzzel added support for LinkedIn this year. The volume of content coming from LinkedIn tends to be lower, but the network’s professional vibe usually sets a higher bar for quality. Nuzzel added a dedicated section for videos to its apps this year as well. [iOS, Android] A Microsoft makeover for Android. Microsoft has experimented with alternative Android home screens, or “launchers,” a couple of times in recent years, but Microsoft Launcher is its best and most polished effort. Swipe right from the main screen, and you’ll get quick access to favorite apps, contacts, recent text messages, third-party widgets, and other important info. You can also pin those informational cards anywhere else on the home screen, and get a steady stream of gorgeous wallpapers from the web. Just be sure to dive into Launcher’s settings if you’d rather use another search engine besides Bing. [Android] Creative tools Add pizzazz to iPhone video. Apple’s own video editing app for iOS, Clips, turns out to be one of the best, allowing you to pan, zoom, add stickers, and translate speech to on-screen text. iPhone X users can also create “Selfie Scenes” that swap the background with a canned image in front-facing camera videos. Clips first launched in April, and received a major update in October, adding iCloud sync for edits, new stickers and soundtracks, and “artistic” filters that can make videos look like oil paintings or charcoal sketches. [iOS] Change your face. Using neural networks, FaceApp can analyze portrait images and change faces from frowning to smiling, young to old, or even man to woman. The fact that it actually works has helped propel FaceApp to more than 45 million downloads since its launch in January, but not without a couple of embarrassing missteps. The makers of Faceapp apologized in April for a “beautifying” filter that made black people’s faces look whiter, and again in August for a short-lived set of “ethnicity filters.” FaceApp encapsulates both the power of AI and the fallibility of the humans programming it. [iOS, Android] Industrial-strength phone photography. For a long time, VSCO’s image filters have been a favorite tool among serious smartphone photographers, but this year they became available for video as well. The video editor lets you make fine-grained adjustments to color and lighting, and of course it offers a slew of preset filters. The only catch? Video editing is behind a $20 per year VSCO X paywall. [iOS, Android] Every tool a cartoonist needs. Creating comics has always been an obvious application for the iPad Pro and Pencil. Weirdly, though, there hasn’t been a powerful app for that purpose until now. Clip Studio Paint EX is the first iPad version of the dominant comics-creation app, and although its creators have done little to rethink it for Apple’s tablet—its menus make it look like PC software—they’ve stuffed it with features, from sketching tools to word-balloon options to animation capabilities. After a free trial, Clip Studio is $9 a month, but it delivers a lot of bang for those nine bucks. [iOS] Shopping Assistants Assembly still required. As one of many apps that uses Apple’s ARKit framework, Ikea Place solves the age-old problem of figuring out what a piece of furniture would look like in your abode. Just pick an item from Ikea’s catalog, and the app will map it onto 3D space as you point your iPhone or iPad camera around. Although several other furniture apps also do this, Ikea gets credit for being among the first—and for willingly sparing customers from wandering the endless maze of its stores. [iOS] Travel agent in your pocket. Most flight search apps follow the same, stale formula: Enter the destination, enter the date, then sift through the results to find the most tolerable option. Hitlist takes a different approach, asking you to pick a destination, and then telling you the best time to travel there. The app also brings weekend getaways and other deals to the surface in case the urge to get out of town strikes. Although Hitlist first launched in 2014, it finally launched on Android this year. [iOS, Android] Great Entertainers A fresh take on TV. It isn’t the first streaming channel bundle to take on cable, but YouTube TV is the most polished of the bunch. The app for iOS and Android is a master class in balancing simplicity and complexity. Recordings, live channels, and suggestions appear up front, while sports teams, genres, channels, and other browsable menus hide behind the search button. Meanwhile, each individual content page provides a wellspring of supplemental details and related content. The $35 per month price tag—lower than other streaming bundles with a similar mix of channels—doesn’t hurt, either. [iOS, Android] TV Guide for the net. One of several apps that helps you navigate across streaming video services, Reelgood, is the most comprehensive with support for more than 250 video sources. You can create watch lists, get notified when new episodes arrive, filter out services you don’t care about, and browse through a long list of suggestions on what to watch. Once you’ve found something, Reelgood will take you directly to the appropriate streaming app. [iOS] Not so trivial. On some level, HQ Trivia is an ordinary multiple-choice trivia game, but it has a few standout features that have turned it into a phenomenon. There’s the lure of real money, shared between everyone who answers every question correctly, and the dad-like banter of host Scott Rogowsky, with whom people have become weirdly obsessed. Add in live chat among players and the game’s scheduled nature (3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern weekdays, 9 p.m. weekends), and you have a recipe for over 100,000 players per session. Now all HQ has to do is figure out how to make money—and rein in any future CEO freakouts. [iOS] Highlights for children. Once exclusive to Amazon’s Fire tablets, Amazon Freetime arrived on Android this year to spare your kids from inappropriate content. The app acts as a portal to age-appropriate videos and websites, largely from established brands like Disney and Nickelodeon. A Freetime Unlimited subscription ($3 per month for Amazon Prime members, $5 per month for non-Prime members) adds even more content, including apps, games, and books. As an electronic babysitter, it beats sending your kids into the wilds of YouTube. [Android] Storytelling 3.0. Director Steven Soderbergh indulges his experimental side with Mosaic, a murder mystery in which you choose how the narrative plays out. It’s not exactly a Choose Your Own Adventure—the outcomes stay the same no matter which branch you follow—but it does allow you to decide which plotlines to focus on. Alternatively, you can go the completionist route and watch every video, or wait for Mosaic to appear in miniseries form on HBO next year. [iOS] Prime for your ears. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, Amazon Music could be the best app you’re not using. It includes 2 million on-demand streaming tracks with no ads, plus the option to add millions more with a $10 per month Music Unlimited subscription. This year, Amazon added a built-in version of its Alexa assistant, letting you queue up music and control playback by voice. The Android version also gained support for Google Chromecast—a surprising addition given the two companies’ ongoing animus. [iOS, Android] Social Standouts Know your neighborhood. Whether it’s a genuine threat to Yelp or not, Facebook Local is a fine alternative for finding out what’s happening nearby. Beyond just restaurants and other local businesses, the app lets you browse through nearby events and of course invite your Facebook friends. Keep it in mind next time you’re figuring out what to do on the weekend. [iOS, Android] Networking without negativity. Unlike other social media apps, TBH set out with the explicit goal of making you feel better. The teen-centric app asks users to poll themselves about one another, but only provides positive questions, such as who’s the most well-rounded, or who is “wild like Tarzan.” Social media could use more good vibes like this, but whether TBH has staying power is another matter: Its App Store rankings have tanked since Facebook acquired the app in October. [iOS] The Kitchen Sink Blackmail yourself. Perhaps the most devious use of Fitbit to date, Lazy Jar asks you to put a “security deposit” on the line as you track weekly fitness goals over six months. Each time you fail, Lazy Jar takes some money out of the deposit, with 80% going to charity and 20% going to the developers. So whether you exercise or not, at least you can feel good about it. [iOS, Android] Outsmart your insurer. If you’ve ever had to jump through hoops just to have health insurance pay what it’s supposed to, Better might sound too good to be true. Just take a photo of your bill, and Better will go to work on getting you paid back. The company says it’s ideal for out-of-network services including therapy, optometry, and dental care, and while we haven’t tried it ourselves, TechCrunch’s Sarah Buhr reported getting a $1,000 out-of-network bill slashed to a couple hundred dollars through the app. Better takes a 10% cut, which seems like a fair deal, considering how much time health care bureaucracy can chew up. [iOS] Citizenship in your pocket. One of many apps to help channel outrage in the Trump era, 5 Calls presents a list of pressing political issues on which to call your representatives in Congress, along with direct contact numbers and a suggested script. (The app’s name comes from the idea that if you have five minutes to spare, you can make five phone calls.) So far, 5 Calls has logged nearly 2 million calls to Washington, and while it’s clearly a left-leaning app, TechCrunch notes that the open source code could be adapted by anyone along the political spectrum. [iOS] SOURCE About the author : Jared Newman covers apps and technology for Fast Company from his remote outpost in Cincinnati. He also writes for PCWorld and TechHive, and previously wrote for Time.com.
  8. How to remove built-in apps on Windows 10 This is a simple way to remove the apps without using tool and twerks Before starting these steps, make sure you close any running apps on your PC. Failing to do so can cause problems when you're uninstalling built-in apps. Right-click the Start button. Click Search. Right-click Windows PowerShell. Click Run as administrator. Type a command into PowerShell. For example Movies & TV by typing Get-AppxPackage *zunevideo* | Remove-AppxPackage Hit Enter on your keyboard. A notification will pop up below your command letting you know that the program is being uninstalled. That's all there is to it. You can search for the app, but it should no longer appear. The above command removes the Movies & TV app, and there are plenty more apps you can uninstall, as well. List of commands to remove Windows 10 apps: Here is a full list of built-in apps you can remove and the corresponding commands to type or copy and paste into PowerShell. To prevent Apps from Reinstalling when restart: To get the built in apps back working on windows Run powershell as admin typ th following command Source
  9. The “Unknown Sources” security option in Android is known by many. This is what needs to be ticked in order to install apps downloaded from outside of the Google Play Store, whether it’s an app that hasn’t officially rolled out yet, an app not available in your region, APKs from one of the Humble Mobile Bundles, or something else. In Android Oreo, Google has changed the way in which this works in order to make Android safer. Rather than being a single switch for all unknown sources, this option now comes in the form of an individual Install Unknown Apps permission that needs to be approved each time you install an app downloaded from outside of Google Play. “When used on a device running Android O and higher, hostile downloaders cannot trick the user into installing an app without having first been given the go-ahead,” states Android Security Product Manager Edward Cunningham on the Android Developers blog. This should mean that Oreo users won’t fall foul to installing a malicious app masquerading as something innocuous, just because they ticked a box for a completely different app sometime earlier. Like other permissions, a user can also revoke the Install Unknown Apps permission at any time. This change follows a number of recent Google efforts aimed at tightening up Android security, such as its Play Protect suite, which began rolling out a few weeks ago. As the owner of software that’s in operation on more than 2 billion devices, security is obviously an important issue for Google. In the post on the changes to unknown apps, Cunningham took the opportunity to reaffirm that the Play Store continues to be “one of the safest places” for Android users to install apps. Still, try to be mindful when installing anything on your phone. View: Original Article
  10. Caffeine is a free Android app that can prevent phone from going into sleep mode for specific apps. That means you can select individual apps and choose to keep the screen of your device on until you exit from those apps. It can also prevent the screen brightness level from going down after system display times out. This app can be very useful in scenarios when you want your phone to stay awake while using certain apps, but the phone keeps on going into the sleep mode due to default screen timeout settings. In that case, you have to manually change the screen timeout settings to use those apps uninterruptedly and revert back the settings after you have used those apps. This is where Caffeine fills in the gap as it simply gives you the option to select specific apps and then prevent phone from going into the sleep mode while you are using them. The best part is that you don’t have to play with your phone screen timeout settings as it will override screen timeout settings when you are on those apps and as soon as you exit from them the system screen timeout settings will come into play. This app reminds me of an Android app called Brightness Control which I reviewed earlier. This app allowed to set different brightness level for different Android apps. In this app, you can choose to select whether the device should be prevented from going into sleep mode or not while using specific apps. I will also recommend you to check out this tutorial which explains how to restrict background data usage by specific Android apps. How to use this app to prevent phone from going into sleep mode for specific apps: Getting started with Caffeine is really easy, just install it from the link at the end of this review and open it. Do note that users with Android 5.0 and above will first need to enable its Accessibility options from the settings. After that, you just need to toggle its “On” option on top of its main screen, as shown in the main screenshot above. This will activate Caffeine and now your phone will not sleep or even dim brightness. Do note that in this mode your phone will not go into the sleep mode as you haven’t selected any app. In order to choose apps, open its preferences screen and select “Activate caffeine for applications” option, as shown below. This will open another screen from which you can select apps. After selecting apps, simply press the back button of your phone and your preferences will be saved automatically. From now on, as long as Caffeine is activated in the background, your phone will not go into sleep mode as long as you are using the selected apps. Additional features of Caffeine: Can automatically start at boot. Can automatically activate and prevent your device from going into the sleep mode when connected to a power source. Choose to keep the device brightness unchanged or dim after the system display timeout. Widget in the Android Notification area which lets you quickly enable or disable Caffeine. A widget can also be added to your home screen which also lets you quickly toggle Caffeine. Verdict: In this article, I introduced you to a fantastic Android app which can prevent phone from going into sleep mode for specific apps. This app is really handy as you won’t have to change the default screen time out of your phone before using certain apps which require no interaction and your phone stubbornly falls into sleep mode due to screen timeout settings. With this app, you can simply select specific apps and it will then prevent your phone to automatically lock and even dim the screen brightness irrespective of your phone display settings. I will definitely recommend you to check out this app as I have already decided to keep it for a long time. Get Caffeine. Article source
  11. MITM, remote code execution If you use an app called eVestigator, billed as checking Android phones for compromise, delete it. That's the word from someone signing their name as MaXe from InterN0T, who looked at what the Android app does. The app claimed to test Android phones to see if they've been compromised, but MaXe found it ran a connect() scan across every available TCP port – all 65,535 of them – and tell the user there are “87,375 threats” on their phone. The “report” button didn't do anything much apart from sending the user's external IP address back to the developer, “along with other details about the Android environment + user-entered details”, the advisory says. The app is vulnerable to remote code execution via a man-in-the-middle attack, the note says: “If an attacker performs a MITM attack against "api.ipify.org" by e.g. hijacking the domain name, DNS, IP prefix, or by serving a malicious wireless access point (or hijacking a legitimate one), or by hacking the server at "api.ipify.org", then the attacker can instruct the Android application to execute attacker controlled Java code that the phone will execute in the context of the application. “The root cause of this vulnerability is caused by addJavascriptInterface() within the WebViewer, which in older API versions can be used to execute arbitrary Java code by using reflection to access public methods with attacker provided JavaScript.” MaXe says the vendor was notified on June 25, responded with a legal threat, the vendor pulled the app from Google Play, and tried to get YouTube to pull the video below, before MaXe went ahead with publication. Youtube Video: eVestigator Forensic PenTester v1 - Remote Code Execution via MITM Article source
  12. Both paid and unpaid apps can track your data. The apps pictured may not - but it’s hard to know which do and which don’t. Anyone who spends much time online knows the saying: “If you’re not paying, you’re the product”. That’s not exactly correct. On the internet, you’re nearly always the product. And while most internet users know that some of their personal data is being collected and monetised, few are aware of the sheer scale of the issue, particularly when it comes to apps. In fact, our research suggests a majority of the top 100 paid and free Google Play apps in Australia, Brazil, Germany and the US contain at least one tracker. This means data could be collected for advertising networks as well as for payment providers. This is just the beginning. As voice-activated intelligent assistants like Siri or Google Now evolve and replace the need for apps on our smartphones, the question of what is being done with our data will only grow more complicated. Nothing is free The difference between what apps actually do with user data and what users expect them to do was apparent in the recent Unroll.Me scandal. Unroll.me is a free online service that cleans email inboxes by unsubscribing the user from unnecessary emails. But many were dismayed when the company was recently discovered to be monetising their mail content. For example, UnRoll.me was reportedly looking for receipts of the ridesharing company Lyft in user emails and selling that information to Uber. Unroll.me’s CEO apologised, saying the company needed to do a better job of disclosing its use of data. But who is in the wrong? Consumers for thinking they were getting a service for free? Or the service provider, who should inform customers of what they’re collecting? The question is even more intriguing when it comes to mobile apps. In fact, compared to online services that usually access a few facets of a user’s personal profile, mobile apps can conveniently tap into a range of personal data such as location, message content, browser history and app installation logs. They do this using third-party libraries embedded in their code, and these libraries can be very intrusive. How libraries work Libraries are third-party trackers used by app developers so they can integrate their products with external services. These may include advertising networks, social media platforms and payment gateways such as Paypal, as well as tools for tracking bugs and crashes. In our study, carried out in 2015, we analysed tracking libraries in the top-100 free and top-100 paid apps in in Australia, Brazil, Germany and the US, revealing some concerning results. Approximately 90% of the top free apps and 60% of the top paid apps in Google Play Store had at least one embedded tracker. For both free and paid apps in the study, Google Ads and Flurry were the two most popular trackers and were integrated with more than 25% of the apps. Other frequently observed libraries include Chartboost, Millennial Media, Google Analytics and Tapjoy. The top trackers were also likely to be present in more than one app, meaning these libraries receive a rich dataset about the user. A summary of the study of top-100 free and paid apps in Google Play Store. NICTA, Author provided Of course, these numbers could have changed in the two years since our research was published, although recent studies suggest the trend has largely continued. It’s also possible these libraries are present without collecting data, but it’s nonetheless disturbing to see the presence of so many trackers in paid apps that have an alternative business model. What lies ahead? So what can you do if you don’t want to be tracked? Use your judgement when giving apps permission to access your data by first asking questions such as, “does this game really need to know my phone number?” Consider using mobile anti-virus and privacy advisory apps such as Lookout Security & Antivirus, Mobile Security and Antivirus, and PrivMetrics (this app is a beta release by Data61). Ultimately, however, these solutions barely touch the surface of a much larger issue. In the near future, apps may be replaced by built-in services that come with a smartphone’s operating system. The intelligent personal assistant by Google, Google Now, for example, could eliminate the need for individual transport, messenger, news and weather apps, as well as some financial apps. These services, otherwise known as aggregator platform services, could build extensive profiles that cover several aspects of our online and offline behaviour. When used, they have access to an incredibly broad range of our activities, not to mention our location. Still, app users have so far been willing to exchange their data for convenience. There’s little reason to believe that trend will not continue. Article source
  13. See details this investigation: Ztorg: money for infecting your smartphone An eight-month-long investigation by Roman Unuchek, a security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, has uncovered one of the most complex malware distribution schemes seen to date on the Android malware scene. According to Unuchek, for the last year, the criminal group behind the Ztorg Android trojan has been using so-called "rewards apps," to deliver malware on the devices of unsuspecting users. These "rewards apps" are Android apps that provide money to users who install apps from their collection. A user using a rewards app usually earns a commission of a few US cents if he installs an app on his device. The more apps they install, the more money they earn, which they can then use to buy game coins or access to commercial apps. These apps are usually managed by advertising companies who get paid by app developers who want to make sure their app reaches as many devices as possible. Rewards apps are some of the few app types that allow everyone to get what they want. The user gets money, the app maker gets installs, and the advertiser gets his pay-per-install fee. Rewards apps delivered applications infected with Ztorg According to Unuchek, some of the rewards apps available through the Play Store have delivered apps installed with the Ztorg malware. The researcher says that not all apps delivered through rewards apps are infected with malware, but once in a while, these services push trojanized apps. Unuchek discovered this distribution method by accident, as he was initially looking at how the Ztorg malware was evolving, after he was the first one to spot the malware in September 2016, disguised as a Pokemon Go guide app. As he found new Android apps infected with Ztorg on the official Play Store, the researcher noticed that these apps were growing in popularity in huge increments, sometime doubling the number of installs overnight. One rewards app deletes malware offer and denies everything By some clever sleuthing, Unuchek tracked down the source of these installs to rewards apps such as Appcoins, SuperPocket, or Make money-Earn gift cards. The researcher says that when he contacted developers behind the Appcoins rewards app to inquire from where the advertising offer for the Ztorg-infected app came from, Appcoins devs "deleted the [app install] offer and answered [Unuchek] by saying there was no malware and that they had done nothing wrong." Certainly not the response the researcher was expecting, which raises plenty of questions about the intentions and professionalism of the people running these services. Three apps infected with Ztorg spotted each month Furthermore, the researcher found other interesting things. For example, Unuchek discovered some shared infrastructure between the Ztorg gang and the Gooligan Android malware, first spotted in November 2016. Furthermore, almost all Ztorg-infected Android apps spread through these rewards apps were registered by developers that used emails with Vietnamese names. "Every month after I started tracking this Trojan in September 2016 I was able to find and report at least three new infected apps on Google Play," Unuchek writes in the conclusion of his investigation. "The most recent apps that I found were uploaded in April 2017, but I’m sure there will be more soon." Apps infected with Ztorg are incredibly dangerous, because once the user launches this app into execution, the trojan uses rooting exploits to get admin privileges on the user's device. Until now, researchers spotted Ztorg using these admin privileges to show ads, but the malware could do much more harm if its authors ever desired. Article source
  14. Since Google had acquired Android in 2005, things have surely changed, from phone looks to the nature of the applications. Perhaps only a few can remember the first generation of Android games. Over the time, the obsession of Android based games may come and go, but as far as the antiviruses are concerned, they still remain most popular types of apps in android. It has long been argued that who exactly needs an antivirus? Well, you don’t need one if you are already playing it safe. Downloading apps only from the Play Store, and keeping your security settings on. However, it is essential for those who wants to explore unknown things or likes to do it rough. Anyway, here are the 20 best free antivirus and anti-malware Android apps to keep your phones healthy. 20. Max Clean Security Antivirus Max Antivirus is a multi feature anti virus app that keeps your phone protected from viruses, adware and malware. It also cares about your privacy, and provides a boost whenever your phone needs it. It comes with some secondary functions like app lock and junk cleaner which can come handy anytime. The app gives you advance warning about any suspicious activity. Overall, Max Clean Security Antivirus is light, free and reliable app. 19. Green Booster Antivirus Green Booster Antivirus is new in the market, but has some promising features which is good enough for a reason to test it out. It comes with one click scan and a nice real time protection feature. This app is for those who likes small and light apps, but without compromising its ability. 18. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Malwarebytes provides you a lite weight, no nonsense and above all, absolutely free anti-malware protection for your android devices. With nearly 10 million downloads and higher user ratings, is app is starting to get the respect it deserves. The app rigorously scans for various malware, including spyware and trojans and notifies you when someone is spying on you or when you are about to open a malicious website. 17. Hi Security Virus Cleaner With over 20 million+ installs, the Hi Security Virus Cleaner is gaining popularity among the android users quite rapidly. To ensure the customers with world class antivirus and malware protection, Hi Security has an official tie up with McAfee, a part of Intel Security. It also comes with an intelligent app lock system with dashing lock themes. With Hi Virus Cleaner you can periodically scan your device at ease. 16. Hi Security AntiVirus Lite Hi Security AntiVirus Lite is an another alternative for those who seek something new. As we mentioned, the app is relatively new and provide its users with a powerful antivirus engine with cloud based database, which ensure your device’s security. It also comes with an app lock for better privacy options and wifi security to give you an edge against ARP spoofing and DNS hijackings. 15. Lookout For many android users (T-Mobile) especially in the United States, Lookout Security and Antivirus have become a natural option. Unlike many other pre-installed third party apps, Lookout is a decent option when it comes to basic antivirus protection. For free users, it provides almost every basic feature including a robust anti malware and spyware and a backup facility for your important contacts. 14. TrustGo Antivirus and Mobile Security TrustGo is a free and powerful virus scan engine, which allows you to quickly find suspicious apps carrying viruses or stealing private data on your devices. The app comes with a clean and easy interface. Overall, it has every important feature of an able antivirus, from real-time protection, and a privacy guard to a system manager, find-my-phone functionality, and data backup just in case you need it. 13. Avira Antivirus Security Avira Antivirus Security is relatively new, but it’s making quite a lot of buzz already. Now you can secure your photos, contacts, emails and credit card numbers without any hassle and for free. Avira gives you full power over our phone’s security with tons of features. It’s free and promising and definitely worth a shot. What do you think? 12. AndroHelm Mobile Security AndroHelm Mobile Security provides a complex security for your smartphone from nearly all possible threats. With more than 1 million installs, is surely building its trust among the customers. Among its popular features, the app provides its customers with real-time protection from malware and spyware. It also scans new apps upon installation, frequent updates of the antivirus database, quarantine mode, app backups, virus protection, and a lot more. You can also remotely block and delete your phone data. 11. Eset Mobile Security and Antivirus Eset Mobile Security and Antivirus is another popular application for android devices. Since it comes in a paid version, paid subscribers always gets a bit more, but its free version is perfect for basic protection. The free version comes with on-demand scan, strong anti-theft feature, and a rare USSD vulnerability protection. And speaking of a rare feature it also comes with a tablet-specific interface. 10. Dr. Wed Security Space Even though, Dr. Wed Security app is paid, everyone can enjoy it for free up-to 14 days, after that a commercial license must be purchased to continue. Anyway, with this app you will get a strong anti-spam features, and a ton of anti-theft quality, including remote lock, remote wiping and custom remote messages, plus a cloud checker to block potentially harmful websites. 9. Bitdefefender Antivirus Free Bitdefender is most likely the lightest and modest of all apps in this list. To be exact, it has two main features, first an incomparable app scan to keep your device clean and second, a real-time antivirus protection. The real-time keeps a watch full eye on other apps to monitor anything suspicious. In terms of the interface, the app is simple and neat, and so is the scanning, it takes only a few moments to get everything done. 8. Quick Heal Antivirus & Mobile Security Quick Heal Mobile Security does not only provides protection to your Android smartphone from malware, but it also secures it against possible theft or loss. Among many features, it has Call filter that allows you to block unknown and unwanted numbers. It also notifies you about malicious apps and how they can affect your privacy and protection. Quick heal also have a capable audit function that guides you about highest settings that can enhance your device’s security. 7. McAfee Security and Power Booster McAfee is without a doubt one of the most popular anti virus software brand out there. And now their android based app is also achieving the same fame or maybe even higher. Even though paid subscription gets you a slightly better experience, but for free, you can get some pretty decent features as well. Free features include a top notch anti theft feature with remote access and a CaptureCam. With McAfee you can also save yourself against malicious web sites and ARP spoofing attacks with its streamline web protection. 6. Kaspersky Internet Security Kaspersky is perhaps one of the most recognizable names among the top dogs in this industry. And like the majority, it also has a free version and a paid version with slightly more features. The app provides its users a strong anti-phishing and anti-theft function for better security. The app also features a highly capable web filter to stop dangerous sites from attacking your device and a ever useful call blocker for privacy. 5. Avast Mobile Security Antivirus Engine! Check. Call Blocker. Check, Anti-Theft! Check. App locker! Check. Junk Cleaner! Check. It is nearly all that we need in an anti-virus. Avast is a well respected and trusted antivirus product over PC and android. The features include the usual device scanning and real-time protection, but it also includes regular antivirus database updates, anti-theft features, and the ability to remote lock your device in case you lose it. 4. AVG AntiVirus Security You can join the 100 million+ users to take advantage of AVG AntiVirus to secure your device from any future threat. Compared to other similar apps, AVG is a bit lighter and provide similar options like real-time protection, device scanning, and steady database updates. Plus, there is a task killer. It also protects your wireless network with regular scans for network encryption and password strength. 3. CM Security Since the first launch of CM Security it had some major success, when there was less competition. Time has changed, but CM Security still remains among the top freeware antivirus app till date. CM Security includes one of the most advanced app locks feature available in the app market. It now comes with fingerprint mechanism and modern anti-theft feature that takes selfies of people trying to sneak it in their pocket. Overall, the app is lightweight and won’t take much of your phone’s space and it’s completely free. 2. Norton Security and Antivirus Norton is reliable, effective and will not disappoint when you need it the most. That is why nearly 20 million android costumers trust Norton with their mobile security. On a downside, the app is heavy and can cause executive power draining on several occasions, but quick and successful virus detection will make up for that. With a free Norton anti virus app, you get possibly the best in class privacy and device finder features with a fortified virus protection. 1. 360 Security – Antivirus Boost 360 Security is perhaps the most popular free antivirus app available on the Play Store with more than 200 million downloads. Apart from malware and virus safety, 360 Security also comes with a load of awesome features like speed booster, and power saver, which intelligently saves power by automatically triggering apps’s Clean feature. In a case when you lost your phone, its anti-theft solution can Erase, Locate, Alarm and Lock, to assist you with retrieving the lost device and protecting personal data. Article source
  15. Following the widespread phishing scam that affected Google Docs and Gmail users this week, Google says it’s now rolling out a new security feature in its Gmail application on Android that will help warn users about suspicious links. This feature may not have prevented this week’s attack, however, as that attack involved a malicious and fake “Google Docs” app that was hosted on Google’s own domain. However, the additional security protection is a step in the right direction, given how many users access Gmail on mobile, and the increasing sophistication of these phishing attacks that can even fool fairly tech-savvy individuals. In this week’s attack, for example, you would have received an email from a known contact who said they were sharing a document with you. When you clicked to open the document, you’d be taken to an innocent-looking web page hosted by Google. The page wouldn’t even prompt you for your password, but instead listed all your Google accounts ready to be clicked. You would be asked to give an app named “Google Docs” account permissions – but it wasn’t the real Google Docs. And once it had access, the worm began spreading to everyone in your contacts list. The new phishing protection in the Gmail app for Android relies on Google’s Safe Browsing technology, which can warn web users if they’re about to visit a page that’s impersonating a legitimate website, like a bank, online store, or any other site trying to trick you into sharing your username and password information. In Gmail, if you click on a suspicious link in your email message, the app will display a warning messaging that reads: It then informs you that if you choose to proceed to the site, you do so at your own risk. It doesn’t seem likely that the recent phishing attack would have been flagged by this system at the time of its occurrence, as it was a hosted app on Google’s own domain. Google said on Wednesday it had taken action against the phishing attack that had affected Gmail and Google Docs users. It disabled the offending accounts. removed the fake pages, and pushed updates through Safe Browsing and its abuse team. The company also requested users to report any suspect phishing emails in Gmail. The new mobile feature is rolling out this week to Gmail users on Android. Source
  16. Karlston

    Top 30 free apps for Windows 10

    Poster's note... this article is a 32 page slideshow. To prevent me wearing out my copy/paste keys and fingers, only the front page text is shown below. The source links to the first page, use its Prev and Next buttons to navigate the article. Top 30 free apps for Windows 10 With Windows 10 adoption ramping up, many folks are looking for ways to further improve the Win10 experience. So why not make the most of your transition by reconsidering your old app habits and getting Win10 tools that will help you work smarter, faster, and more productively? We’ve seen a lot of changes in the past year, with both Win10 and the apps that go along with it. Some old faces have faded due to neglect and lethargy, but several new top-notch apps have appeared in their places. Old friends like Ninite have picked up new tricks. There’s even a Universal Windows Program app—a Notepad replacement—that hit the top 30 list. Works like a-ringin’ a bell. This list of top 30 apps covers Windows 10 programs that everybody needs. Whether you’re a grizzled Windows victim or a faltering Windows ingénue, these programs should be at the top of your list. Source: Top 30 free apps for Windows 10 (InfoWorld - Woody Leonhard)
  17. Used An iPhone And Social Media Pre-2013? You May Be Due A Tiny Payout Twitter, Instagram, and others are stumping up $5.3m to settle a privacy suit with implications for those who used social-media apps on an iPhone in 2012 or earlier. Given the millions who downloaded the social-media apps in question, it's likely the settlement will result in a very small payment for each individual. Eight social-media firms, including Twitter and Instagram, have agreed to pay $5.3m to settle a lawsuit over their use of Apple's Find Friends feature in iOS. The main problem that complainants had with the accused firms was that their apps, which used Apple's Find Friends, didn't tell users that their contact lists would be uploaded to company servers. The lawsuit alleged the privacy incursions occurred between 2009 and 2012, the year the class action suit began. Instagram, Foursquare, Kik, Gowalla, Foodspotting, Yelp, Twitter, and Path have agreed to pay in to the settlement fund, which will be distributed to affected users via Amazon.com, according to Venture Beat. Yelp had previously argued it was necessary to store user contact lists to enable the Find Friends feature, which consumers understood would occur in the context of using a mobile app. However, US District Judge Jon Tigar countered that the key question was whether Apple and app developers "violated community norms of privacy" by exceeding what people reasonably believe they consented to. "A 'reasonable' expectation of privacy is an objective entitlement founded on broadly based and widely accepted community norms," said Tigar. If the judge approves the settlement, Apple and LinkedIn would be the only remaining defendants among 18 firms originally accused of the privacy violation. Given the millions of people who downloaded these apps, it's likely the settlement will result in a very small payment for each individual. However, people who took part in the class action suit could receive up to $15,000 each. Source
  18. Google had recently announced that it will allow the app developers who have placed their paid apps for sale on the Google Play store to host a free sale on their app as a part of a promotional activity for a limited period of time. This means that you could actually get the app you have got your eyes on for some time for free, no strings attached. As awesome as this offer sounds, unfortunately, an app could go on a free sale only for a limited period of time, and it is next to impossible to exactly find and download such apps among the myriad of apps available in the Google Play store. To make things easier and to quickly download the free apps within the limited time, a developer has come forward and put together a nifty app which lets you know through notifications instantly whenever a paid app goes on a sale on the play store. This means that you will never miss a chance to grab your download of that app which you thought was awesome but didn't have the money to purchase it. This app notifies you about all kinds of apps in the play store whether they are from a large developer of from a newbie and it also includes games. All you have to do to get your hands on is to follow the below steps. Step 1: Download the Free App Notify app from the Google Play store. Step 2: Open the app, and that's it you can now find the list of all apps in the play store that went on a free sale recently. You can also search to see whether your favorite paid app is on sale yet. Step 3: You just have to wait now till the app notifies you about the next app or game that goes on a free sale. Article source
  19. Google Play Store Starts Offering a Free Android App Every Week The first free app is Car Wars-Adventure Time Sadly, it’s only available in the US for now, but we expect Google to offer the new section globally soon enough. The first free app is Card Wars – Adventure Time, a game based on Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time show. The app normally costs $2.99, but Google is offering it for free for a limited time. The game is also available on iOS for the price of $3.99. This isn’t the first time that Google offered such a deal. Back in 2015, the tech giant ran a similar weekly promotion, but later decided against it. Google Play Store runs a similar promotion like App Store Google isn’t the only app store to offer free applications each week. Apple has been running a similar promotion in its App Store, providing iOS users with access to a “Free iOS app of the week” without requiring them to pay. This week’s free iOS app is a video camera and editing app called Musemage, which normally costs $3.99, but users don’t have to pay for it if they download the app this week. Apple offers both productivity and game apps for free each week, and we expect Google to adopt a similar move. Truth be told, the Play Store has lots of free applications and alternatives to paid apps that users can check out, but this is mostly applicable for productivity offerings. When it comes to paid games, there weren't any alternatives to those who don’t wish to use their credit cards when downloading apps. Google recently introduced a new feature that allows developers to run sales on their paid apps or make them available for free for a limited time. Moreover, the tech giant introduced playable ads for Android games and Play Store updates. Source
  20. In this article, I have compiled a list of 5 free Sound meter Android apps to measure environmental noise. These Android apps will measure the noise around you and display a real-time graph of the noise level readings. These apps will tell you the current noise level and other stats like peak noise, minimum, and average noise levels. Some of the apps can even show the current noise levels in the Android notification area. This allows you to quickly check noise levels any time you want. However, these noise meter apps can’t measure higher noise levels due to the limitations of devices. Some of the noise meter apps also let you measure the light intensity. Sound Meter by Smart Tools: Sound Meter is a free Android app to measure noise from your surrounding environment. It uses the microphone in your device to measure noise around you in decibels. A real-time graph of the noise level is also plotted by the app and you can also get to know the smallest, average, and the highest noise level value. The best part is that you can pause the noise recordings and even reset it. It also keeps the phone screen on while monitoring noise around you. Do note that it can’t measure the high noise levels due to the limitations of devices. However, it can be used perfectly to monitor noise levels in homes, traffic, or in a library, etc. In addition to this, it also gives you the option to capture the screenshot of the app with just a tap on the Camera button. The pro version of the app also allows you to log the recorded noise levels to a CSV file. Read Sound Meter detailed review. Noise Meter: Noise Meter is another free Android sound meter app to log environmental noise. It updates the noise levels in the real-time and shows you the peak, mean, and minimum noise levels in decibels. This app gives you the option to choose whether you want to keep the screen on while measuring noise level readings, hide the status bar, and see the peak, max, and min noise levels. Another good aspect of this app is that it supports multiple languages like Arabic, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, etc. In addition to noise, you can also measure light intensity in lux. In order to measure light intensity, open the app preferences and then Input>>Input type>>Light. After that, you can see the real-time measure of light intensity on its main interface. Another exciting feature of this sound meter app is that you can run the measurement process in the background and change its update frequency from 0.5 sec to 10 minutes. Sound Meter by Abc Apps: Sound Meter by Abc Apps is a free Android app to measure sound pressure levels of your surroundings. Just like other noise meter apps on my list, it shows a real-time gauge of the noise levels. It also calculates the minimum, maximum, and average noise level while measuring noise from the environment. It also plots a real-time graph of the noise level readings. In addition to this, you can also pause and reset noise measuring process. You can also choose to keep the screen on while recording noise levels. Check it out from the link above. Sound Analyzer App: Sound Analyzer App is another Android app to test noise levels. It is quite an advanced Android noise meter app as it shows various other sound parameters as well which I am not quite aware of. So, any person with expertise in sound analyzing can take the best out of this app. As per our intentions. we just need to measure the noise level from our surroundinds which this app can do effortlessly in the real-time. Just like most of the other apps, it shows a real-time graph of the noise levels and also the peak and minimum sound level. In addition to this, you can also pause, resume, and reset the noise measurement process with this app. Deciber: Deciber is the last Android app on my list to measure environmental noise levels. An Interesting feature of Deciber is that it uses the camera of your phone to display the photo of your surroundings in the app interface. You can then take a screenshot which will capture the noisy thing or any noisy environment with the sound pressure level. After that, you can share the captured screenshot to anyone to prove that you were in a noisy environment or so. It measures the noise in decibels and frequency in hertz and also it updates the noise readings in real-time. Read the detailed review of Deciber. Verdict: In this article, I introduced you to 5 free Android apps to measure noise levels. So, if you want to check out the current noise level in your surroundings, then these apps will show you a real-time update of it. All the apps are quite similar as they show a real-time noise level and update it every few seconds but some apps provide some additional features like measuring light intensity, change the update frequency, measure noise levels in the background, and many others. Article source
  21. Microsoft is testing a new feature that offers the option of preventing non-Windows 10 Store apps being installed. Microsoft's soon-to-be-released Windows 10 Creators Update will include a new option to only permit apps to install if they're from the Windows Store. The latest preview of Windows 10 gives users the option to prevent classic Win32 apps, which aren't available in the Windows 10 Store, from installing on a device. This measure could provide a significant defense against bloatware and malware both for consumers and the enterprise. The new restriction was first spotted by programmer Viktor Mikaelson, and reported by MSPoweruser. It will arrive in the Creators Update, expected in April. The feature offers Windows 10 users something similar to Apple's macOS Gatekeeper, which warns users when they attempt to install an app from outside the Mac App Store. It's also similar to Google's Android setting to only allow apps to install from Google Play. In Apps & features settings, users will be able to control where apps can be installed from by choosing between 'Allow apps from anywhere', 'Prefer apps from the Store, but allow from anywhere', or a strict 'Allow apps from the Store only'. If installs are limited to the store, a dialog box will state: 'You can only install apps from the Windows Store. Limiting installations to apps from the Store helps to keep your PC safe and reliable'. The more relaxed 'Prefer apps for the Store' option will also display a dialog box warning users if they install an app from outside the Store but will allow them to proceed anyway. This feature could be a helpful way for enterprise admins to protect users from installing malware on corporate devices. As Bleeping Computer notes, since the strict setting only prevents installation of Win32 apps, sysadmins could still install approved Win32 apps and then apply the filter. It could also offer developers of Win32 apps a greater incentive to update their apps to the Universal Windows Platform, or UWP, Microsoft's framework for apps to run on all Windows 10 devices, including PCs, Xbox One, HoloLens, and phones. While Windows 10 still does support Win32 apps, Microsoft only allows UWP apps to be distributed through the Microsoft Store. Microsoft last year released its Desktop Converter tool to help convert some of the 16 million Win32 and .NET apps to UWP, so that they can join the Windows Store. In its latest appeal for developers to use UWP, Microsoft execs said it was the best way to reach its 400 million Windows 10 users. By Liam Tung @ ZDNet http://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-10-to-permit-block-on-apps-installing-if-theyre-not-from-microsoft-store/
  22. Why it matters to you The Google Play Store will soon be much easier to search through -- and potentially much safer to use. The Google Play Store could shortly be a whole lot smaller. Google has been sending notices out to developers around the world saying that it will soon “limit visibility” or even totally remove apps from the Play Store that violate Google’s User Data Policy. So why are so many developers getting the notice? Well, most of them seem to have one issue in common: the lack of a privacy policy. According to Google’s User Data Policy, developers have to submit a valid privacy policy, especially when that app handles sensitive information. Those developers will now have to submit a valid privacy policy both on the Google Play Store listing and within the app. “Google Play requires developers to provide a valid privacy policy when the app requests or handles sensitive user or device information,” says the notice, according to a report from VentureBeat. “Your app requests sensitive permissions (e.g. camera, microphone, accounts, contacts, or phone) or user data, but does not include a valid privacy policy.” Even though the move may get rid of a ton of apps, it could wind up making the Play Store more useful. There are thousands upon thousands of so-called “zombie apps” that have been around for years without being updated, and many of those have been rendered useless by newer versions of Android. Not only that, but an overly crowded Play Store often makes it hard to find what you’re looking for. It won’t just be zombie apps that get removed — some developers might not be motivated to include a privacy policy for badly performing apps, so many of those apps will likely disappear as well. Still, it’ll be a while before anything changes on the Play Store — Google has given developers until March 15 to add the privacy policy, so it will be at least a month before we see a cleaner store. Article source
  23. You Can Now Package Your Apps as Snaps without Bundling Their Dependencies Resulting Snaps should be significantly smaller This is possible now because the latest ubuntu-app-platform snap build incorporates the standard Qt 5 libraries, the QML (Qt Meta Language) runtime, the Ubuntu UI (User Interface) toolkit, and their dependencies. The Oxide web engine library based on Chromium and related QML bindings is also bundled in the ubuntu-app-platform snap, so the new Snaps should now be significantly smaller. "This allows app developers to declare a dependency on this snap through the content sharing mechanism, thus reducing dramatically the size of the resulting app snaps," explains the developer. "I went through the exercise with the webbrowser-app snap. This proved surprisingly easy and the size of the snap (amd64 architecture) went down from 136MB to 22MB, a sizeable saving!" Snapcraft will soon be updated to support the new changes At the moment of writing this article, the Snapcraft Snap creator utility does not support the changes made to the ubuntu-app-platform snap, so it will still crawl for dependencies when attempting to package your apps as Snaps. An updated Snapcraft version will soon be made available for supported Ubuntu platforms. Also, if your app depends on a specific Qt module, you'll need to add it to the build. For those interested in more details, we recommend to check out actual changes made to the snapcraft.yaml file, as well as the temporary workaround that lets you use Snapcraft with the latest ubuntu-app-platform snap. All these changes lay the groundwork for next step in the massive adoption of Snaps as the universal package format for Linux-based operating systems. Source
  24. More than half of the top 60 Android shopping apps collect users’ personal information through trackers, a new study finds. The result is from a privacy risk assessment on Opera Max, a leading data management and data savings app for Android. The 60 most popular shopping apps were reviewed using privacy mode on this app. Another research shows that personal information such as user’s name, email address, locations, search terms and phone number are shared with third parties through trackers. The study also shows that as many as 96% of the shopping apps did not use full encryption to connect the apps to their servers. This poses privacy risks to mobile shoppers when they are using these apps. Personal data can be shared with third parties through trackers on shopping apps or unencrypted http connections over mobile carrier connections. Sensitive data such as bank account numbers and other financial information, which are stored in online retailer accounts or shopping apps, can be intercepted and read by identity thieves via public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. “Most people would not reveal their credit card details or full name to employees of a physical store where they live when shopping and browsing for products. But, on mobile apps people are not aware that this kind of information can be shared,” says Sergey Lossev, Head of Product, Opera Max. “That is why we have implemented privacy mode in Opera Max. We want to educate our users by revealing which apps are sharing your data through trackers without your permission.” New Opera Max enhances Android users’ privacy Today, Opera Max brings its new privacy mode feature to all users. It offers real-time alerts on the privacy mode timeline so that users can easily see which apps are sending high-risk requests, thus putting their privacy at risk. Once Opera Max’s privacy mode is activated, it also encrypts virtually all app data traffic and blocks almost all types of data trackers to ensure users can shop with peace of mind. “Once you know how many trackers and unsecured connection requests your apps have sent out, you may want to ensure all your app traffic is protected and encrypted by Opera Max. You can then protect your privacy when shopping. Just take a look at what your apps are doing and decide for yourself,” adds Lossev. Learn more about Opera Max’s privacy mode by visiting our developer blog post. About the shopping privacy assessment These results are from a test we have done on the 60 most popular shopping apps in ten countries, including Brazil, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, United States, United Kingdom and Vietnam. We tested them on Wi-Fi networks and made at least 100 requests within each app by browsing random products. Then we recorded the result based on what was shown on the timeline of Opera Max’s privacy mode. *This article was first released on our press site on www.operasoftware.com. **Update on Nov 3 2016: We took out the names of top 60 shopping apps we tested to avoid confusion or misunderstanding. Article source
  25. The company starts the app cleaning process in the Store This is the new Windows 10 Store Microsoft announced earlier this year that it would be removing apps that do not comply with age rating policies from the Windows Store, and according to a new report, the company has already started the cleaning process by pulling no less than 100,000 apps. Specifically, Microsoft warned developers that they needed to submit age ratings for their apps in order to “improve the Store experience for customers,” setting a deadline of September 30 in order to comply with this requirement. But as it turns out, the majority of developers who were targeted by this policy update actually failed to submit age ratings for their apps, which led to an en-mass removal from the Windows Store. 100,000 apps already removed WBI writes that no less than 100,000 apps were pulled from the Store as part of this cleaning process, but what’s important to note is that Microsoft is yet to confirm this figure. But if it’s true, it could signal another issue that the software giant might be having, as in addition to the actual lack of apps, developers who invested in the platform show only small interest in their apps. “As part of our continuing efforts to improve the Store experience for customers, we’re bringing enforcement of the Windows Store age rating policy to published apps that are not yet rated by using the new Dev Center age rating questionnaire. We’ve identified one of more of your apps as not having a rating based on the questionnaire,” Microsoft told developers in emails sent this summer. At this point, the number of apps available in the Store is said to be somewhere around 239,000, down from more than 329,000 in September, according to the same source. We’ve contacted Microsoft to find out if these figures are accurate or not and will update the article should we receive a statement. However, there’s a good chance this is true given the fact that the company already announced this app cleaning process. Article source
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