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  1. 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
  2. Google has yanked several apps from its Play Store after cybersecurity firm Avast identified them as “all likely designed by a Russian developer to allow people to stalk employees, romantic partners, or kids,” CNET reported on Wednesday. The seven apps—listed as Track Employees Check Work Phone Online Spy Free, Spy Kids Tracker, Phone Cell Tracker, Mobile Tracking, Spy Tracker, SMS Tracker, and Employee Work Spy—identified by Avast were all able to collect information including location, contacts, call logs, and the content of text messages. According to BleepingComputer, they were also capable of intercepting messages sent on encrypted chat services WhatsApp and Viber if the targeted device was rooted. Avast wrote that the seven apps were collectively installed over 130,000 times and included instructions on how to “uninstall anything noticeable to the phone’s owner,” making them ideal for stalking. All that would be required would be access to the device in question. One of the apps, Employee Work Spy, touted itself as allowing employers to monitor the movements and activities of their staff during work hours, according to Avast: Finding a skilled employee is only half a task. The biggest challenge is to keep him faithful to the company and its mission. A lot of employees may be just skipping work during work hours. People usually spy on kids, but employees need a strict control too. The Spy Tracker app advertised itself as allowing parents to keep total tabs on a child’s activities, noting “It is better to talk to children, but if you are not a good listener…” According to CNET, Google removed four of the apps on Tuesday and the remaining three on Wednesday after being alerted by Avast and determining they violated its policy on commercial spyware. Cached versions of the Play Store page for Spy Tracker, for example, had several reviews purporting to be from people who had installed it on their spouses’ phones without their consent. Another cached page for SMS Tracker contains a review in which a user claims that the developer is a “pro ethical hacker” before mentioning the app helped him “track my spouse’s sms remotely”. A screenshot of an interface for tracking a targeted device remotely. “These apps are highly unethical and problematic for people’s privacy and shouldn’t be on the Google Play Store, as they promote criminal behavior, and can be abused by employers, stalkers or abusive partners to spy on their victims,” Avast head of mobile threat intelligence and security Nikolaos Chrysaidos told CNET in a statement. “Some of these apps are offered as parental control apps, but their descriptions draw a different picture, telling users the app allows them to ‘keep an eye on cheaters.’” As Engadget noted, the apps were only “mildly popular” and are part of a fairly obvious plug for Avast’s security tools, but a recent article in the MIT Technology Review highlighted the pervasiveness of stalkerware. Kapersky principal security researcher David Emm told the magazine his company had identified and removed 58,000 instances of stalkerware in 2018, while experts on partner abuse say that stalking and domestic abuse cases often involve tech-enabled tracking: The growing role of technology in partner abuse isn’t just confined to stalkerware. The domestic-violence charity Refuge estimates that around 95% of its cases involve some form of technology-based abuse, whether by means of parental control apps, employee tracking, or even just obsessive tracking of a partner’s location using Google Maps or Find My Friends. As the world changes, so do abusers’ methods. In 2017, Motherboard reported that SecureDrop leaks provided to them by two hackers showed two spyware companies, Retina-X and FlexiSpy, had approximately 130,000 users. “People think this problem is niche, but that’s not true,” Cornell computer science researcher Rahul Chatterjee, co-author of a recent study that identified hundreds of apps that could be used for surveillance of an intimate partner, told MIT Technology Review. “It’s one in three women and one in six men [who have experienced an abusive relationship]. That’s millions and millions of people in the US alone. We can’t ignore this any longer.” That study found that Apple has restrictions in iOS (both on what functionality it allows App Store apps to use and how easy it is for users to sideload apps from outside official channels) making remote surveillance more difficult than on devices using Google’s Android mobile OS. Functionality varied from “basic location tracking to harvesting texts and even secretly recording video,” according to the New York Times, though on iOS accessing data other than location required knowing a target’s username and password. A Google spokesperson told the paper the company would “further restrict the promotion and distribution” of apps that could be used in stalking in response. While digital surveillance of a person without their consent can violate laws against stalking, wiretapping, or hacking, the Times wrote, there have been few cases in which developers were found liable. The paper flagged one case in 2014 in which the Justice Department charged the company behind an app called StealthGenie under laws prohibiting advertising or selling “surreptitious interception” devices—after which some developers moved their servers overseas or removed marketing language explicitly stating the app could be used for spying. In addition to Avast and Kapersky, security firms Symantec, Malwarebytes, and Lookout have all said they would step up efforts to identify stalkerware, according to CNET. More At: [Avast via CNET] Source
  3. Google just announced that, even in places where weed has been legalized, it won’t allow any apps to arrange the delivery of marijuana, marijuana products, or products with THC. Part of a rollout of new Google Play policies, the company will no longer allow apps that provide users with the ability to order cannabis products through a shopping cart feature within the app or arrange the delivery or pick up of them. The specific language states that those types of activity are “some examples of common violations,” so it’s unclear exactly how hard Google will police apps that are weed-adjacent, even if they are technically not selling weed directly within the app or schedule delivery times. A Google spokesperson told Gizmodo in an email that apps will have 30 days after launching to comply with the new policy, and it will only require the removal of the in-app shopping cart feature. The motivation behind the policy change remains unclear, but Google has been explicit about trying to make the Google Play store more suitable for children, likely inspired by an FTC complaint filed in December urging an investigation into apps for kids in the Play Store. The company rolled out a number of policy changes today that would aim “to provide additional protections for children and families,” according to Android developers blog post published on Wednesday, at the same time that it updated its policy around how weed is facilitated through its app store. “These apps simply need to move the shopping cart flow outside of the app itself to be compliant with this new policy,” a Google spokesperson said. “We’ve been in contact with many of the developers and are working with them to answer any technical questions and help them implement the changes without customer disruption.” The marijuana policy change might be overcompensation for this stated intention. While banning weed delivery apps (of which there are plenty) in regions where the substance is not yet legalized makes legal sense for the company, this policy also applies to places where it has been legalized. Of course, Android users aren’t limited to using apps that have been deemed appropriate by Google, people can sideload any app they like. But for developers, placement in the company’s official store is still considered crucial. Source
  4. Trump's Huawei ban means no early access to Android Q, no Google app ecosystem. Enlarge / Huawei's latest flagship, the P30 Pro. Huawei President Trump issued an executive order last week banning "foreign adversaries" from doing telecommunication business in the US. The move was widely understood as a ban on Huawei products, and now we're starting to see the fallout. According to a report from Reuters, Google has "suspended" business with Huawei, and the company will be locked out of Google's Android ecosystem. It's the ZTE ban all over again. Reuters details the fallout from Trump's order, saying "Huawei Technologies Co Ltd will immediately lose access to updates to the Android operating system, and the next version of its smartphones outside of China will also lose access to popular applications and services including the Google Play Store and Gmail app." Huawei's loss of access "to updates" is most likely a reference to Android Q, which hardware manufacturers get early access to. Since Android is open source, Huawei could resume development once the source code comes out. The real killer is the loss of the Google Play Store and Google Play Services, which unlocks access to the billions of Android apps and popular Google apps like Gmail and Maps. Reuters claims this will only happen to "the next version" of Huawei's smartphones, presumably meaning existing devices with the Play Store will continue to work. Huawei doesn't do much smartphone business in the US, so banning Huawei from selling phones to US consumers won't change much. Huawei has made a few attempts to break into the US market, but pressure from Congress on Huawei's individual business partners, like AT&T and Verizon, have caused them to walk away from deals with the company. Besides smartphones, Huawei is also one of the biggest suppliers of network and telecom equipment in the world, and this ban will keep the company's routers, towers, and other equipment out of US networks. An earlier Reuters report detailed the problem the ban would cause in rural states like Wyoming and Oregon, which have adopted Huawei equipment. The real change here is the banning of US companies from supplying Huawei with software and hardware. Outside of China, this move is a death sentence for Huawei smartphones in places like Europe and India. There isn't a single viable alternative to Google's Android ecosystem, so Google-less Huawei smartphones would have a tough time in the market. The only company that has sort of made Google-less Android work is Amazon, which sells forked Android tablets that are so cheap and disposable they come in a six-pack. Amazon is also a US company, though, so the Amazon App Store presumably wouldn't be available to Huawei, either. Huawei's explosive growth will probably be coming to an end, if the ban sticks. Counterpoint In Huawei's home nation of China, not much will change. Google doesn't do much business in China, so the Play Store and Google Play Services do not exist there. The app store landscape is pretty fragmented as a result, with most OEMs running their own app store or licensing a third-party app store from other Chinese companies like Tencent or 360 Mobile. When ZTE faced a similar ban from doing business in the US last year, the company was forced to shut down worldwide operations. According to Reuters, 25 percent of ZTE's smartphone components come from the US, and the one-two punch of being banned from Google's Android app ecosystem and from buying Qualcomm's smartphone chips were too much for the company. Huawei is a lot bigger than ZTE, though, and more independent. Qualcomm has a near-monopoly on high-end Android SoCs and cellular connectivity technology, but Huawei is one of two Android manufacturers (the other is Samsung) with its own chip design division. Huawei flagships all have SoCs from Huawei's "HiSilicon" chip division, and the company even makes its own 5G modems. If the ban really does stick, a possible future path for Huawei is to ship forked, Google-less versions of Android with the Huawei App Store, extending its Chinese app ecosystem to the rest of the world. Huawei has also done some development work on an in-house operating system, but it's unclear if this would be a better option than forking Android. Huawei is the number two smartphone vendor in the world, behind Samsung and ahead of Apple, and saw its device shipments grow by an explosive 50% year over year. Whatever decision it makes is a big deal for Google and the rest of the Android ecosystem. Source: Google reportedly ends business with Huawei, will cut it off from Play Store (Ars Technica)
  5. When Fortnite Battle Royale launched on Android, it made an unusual choice: it bypassed Google Play in favor of offering the game directly from Epic Games’ own website. Most apps and games don’t have the luxury of making this choice – the built-in distribution Google Play offers is critical to their business. But Epic Games believes its game is popular enough and has a strong enough draw to bring players to its website for the Android download instead. In the process, it’s costing Google around $50 million this year in platform fees, according to a new report. As of its Android launch date, Fortnite had grossed over $180 million on iOS devices, where it had been exclusively available since launching as an invite-only beta on March 15th, before later expanding to all App Store customers. According to data from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the game has earned Apple more than $54 million thanks to its 30 percent cut of all the in-app spending that takes place on apps distributed in its store. That’s money Epic Games isn’t apparently willing to give up to Google, when there’s another way. Unlike Apple, which only allows apps to be downloaded from its own storefront, Google’s platform is more open. There’s a way to adjust an Android device’s settings to download apps and games from anywhere on the web. Of course, by doing so, users are exposed to more security risks, malware infections, and other malicious attacks. For those reasons, security researchers are saying that Epic Games’ decision sets a dangerous precedent by encouraging people to remove the default security protections from their devices. They’re also concerned that users who look for the game on Google Play could be fooled into downloading suspicious copycat apps that may be trying to take advantage of Fortnite’s absence to scam mobile users. Google seems to be worried about that, too. For the first time ever, the company is informing Google Play users that a game is not available for download. Now, when users search for things like “Fortnite” or “Fortnite Battle Royale,” Google Play will respond that the app is “not available on Google Play.” (One has to wonder if Google’s misspelling of “Royale” as “Royal” in its message was a little eff u to the gamemakers, or just a bit of incompetence.) In any event, it’s an unusual response on Google’s part – and one it can believably claim was done to serve users as well as protect them from any potential scam apps. However, the message could lead to some pressure on Epic Games, too. It could encourage consumer complaints from those who want to more easily (or more safely) download the game, as well as from those who don’t understand there’s an alternative method or are confused about how that method works. In addition, Google is serving up the also hugely popular PUBG Mobile at the top of Fortnite search results followed by other games. In doing so, it’s sending users to another game that can easily eat up users’ time and attention. For Google, the move by Epic Games is likely troubling, as it could prompt other large games to do the same. While one odd move by Epic Games won’t be a make or break situation for Google Play revenue (which always lags iOS), if it became the norm, Google’s losses could climb. At present, Google is missing out on millions that will now go directly to the game publisher itself. Over the rest of 2018, Sensor Tower believes Fortnite will have gained at least $50 million in revenues that would otherwise have been paid out to Google. The firm expects that when Fortnite rolls out to all supported Android devices, its launch revenue on the platform will closely resemble the first several months of Apple App Store player spending. It may even surpass it, given the game’s popularity continues growing and the standalone download allows it to reach players in countries where Google Play isn’t available. Meanwhile, there have been concerns that the download makes it more difficult on users with older Android devices to access the game, because the process for sideloading apps isn’t as straightforward. But Sensor Tower says this will not have a large enough impact to affect Fortnite’s revenue potential in the long run. Source
  6. For the past year, Android malware authors have been increasingly relying on a solid trick for bypassing Google's security scans and sneaking malicious apps into the official Play Store. The trick relies on the use of a technique that's quite common in desktop-based malware, but which in the last year is also becoming popular on the Android market. The technique involves the usage of "droppers," a term denoting a dual or multiple-stage infection process in which the first stage malware is often a simplistic threat with limited capabilities, and its main role is to gain a foothold on a device in order to download more potent threats. Droppers are very effective on the mobile scene But while on desktop environments droppers aren't particularly efficient, as the widespread use of antivirus software detects them and their second-stage payloads, the technique is quite effective on the mobile scene. This is because most mobile phones don't use an antivirus, and there's no on-device threat scanner to catch the second-stage payloads. This means that the only security measures that are in place are the security scans that Google runs before approving an app to be listed on the Play Store. Malware authors have realized in the past years that Google has a very hard time picking up "droppers" hidden in legitimate apps. For the past years, more and more malware operations have adopted this trick of splitting their code in two —a dropper and the actual malware. The reason is that droppers require a smaller number of permissions and exhibit limited behavior that could be classified as malicious. Furthermore, adding timers that delay the execution of any malicious code with a few hours also helps the malware remain undetected during Google's scans. These simple tricks allow tiny pieces of malicious code to slip inside the Play Store hidden in all sorts of apps, of many categories. Once users run the apps, which in most cases do what they advertise, the malicious code executes, the droppers asks for various permissions, and if it gets them, then it downloads a far more potent malware. Dropper use aided mobile banking trojans the most The trick has been used predominantly by malware authors spreading versions of the Exobot, LokiBot, and BankBot mobile banking trojan but has also been adopted in the meantime by many others. Security researchers from ThreatFabric have blogged about the increased usage, popularity, and efficiency of dropper apps on the Play Store in May 2017, August 2017, September 2017, November 2017, and January 2018, describing attacks with Android banking malware strains such as BankBot (Anubis I), BankBot (Anubis II), Red Alert 2.0/2.1, LokiBot, and Exobot. This month, the technique was once more highlighted in an IBM X-Force report describing a recent distribution campaign for the Anubis II malware, one of the most recent BankBot variants. "The campaign features at least 10 malicious downloaders disguised as various applications, all of which fetch mobile banking Trojans that run on Android-based devices," the IBM team said. "While the number of downloaders may seem modest, each of those apps can fetch more than 1,000 samples from the criminal’s command-and-control (C&C) servers." DaaS — Downloader-as-a-Service This recent trend of using similar-looking malware dropper apps (also referred to as malware downloaders) has led IBM experts to believe that some cybercrime gangs are now running a "downloader-as-a-service" (DaaS) operation, in which they are renting "install space" on their dropper apps to other multiple groups at the same time. This explains why most droppers look the same and sometimes distribute a wide variety of payloads, and not just one malware alone. In fact, this is exactly what appears to be happening, according to Gaetan van Diemen, a security researcher with ThreatFabric, who shared his knowledge with Bleeping Computer earlier today and confirmed IBM's theory of DaaS services being available for Android malware operators. "In the Android banking malware ecosystem, it is quite common for threat actors to buy so called 'loader' (dropper) services from other actors," van Diemen says. "The reason for this MO to become more popular is because it allows a wider distribution of the malware from a 'trusted' source (the Google Play Store) and therefore attains a larger number of victims. This resulted in a new business model where installations in google play are sold to malware actors." Mobile malware devs just mimicking the desktop market In hindsight, this isn't that surprising because this is exactly what's happening on the desktop market where running a dropper operation for other criminal groups is a much more financially viable business than running an actual banking trojan. For example, this week Symantec released a report highlighting how the infamous and very dangerous Emotet banking trojan has slowly turned into a dropper and is now renting space and distributing other banking trojans with which it once used to compete. Google's uphill battle The growing popularity of malicious Android dropper apps is also one of the reasons Google has launched the Play Protect service, a security feature built into the official Play Store app that continuously scans locally installed apps for malicious behavior in the hopes of finding malicious modifications in local apps it did not pick up during the Play Store approval process. But van Diemen believes Google is at a disadvantage, at least, for now. "It is quite difficult to detect dropper apps," the expert told us. "As you can imagine threat actors will put a lot of energy in keeping those apps undetected." "For example, some dropper apps' malicious code only becomes active when it receives a command from the C&C server (meaning that without a certain delay or certain actions, the behavior of the app will seem benign). In some cases, the malicious banking malware is only dropped based on a certain delay or when the dropper app (for example a game) is intensively used on the device." Such techniques seem simple enough but are somewhat hard to replicate and detect inside automated testing environments. It is hard to simulate an app's intensive use at the large scale Google needs to check and re-check the millions of apps uploaded on the Play Store. But van Diemen points out that Google could look and factor in additional indicators of malicious activity when performing its scans. "What is surprising is that there is quite some intelligence and technical information about those droppers (publicly) available that could allow Google to detect these apps with ease," van Diemen told Bleeping Computer. "The Exobot campaign for example still uses a similar dropper app code than the first time it was found, in this case, we can even confirm that it is the same dropper panel still being used. Such information should have been used by Google’s internal malware scanner (Bouncer) or Google Play Protect." "Interestingly enough, we have also observed that most AV's also failed in detecting the dropper campaigns (sometimes for years), meaning that some awareness needs to be raised on the topic," the expert added. Source
  7. Google rolls out a host of features to boost the appeal of Play Store app subscriptions. Google is now doing more to promote Android Instant apps, which allow users to use the key features of an app without actually installing it. Instant Apps allow developers to distribute their Android apps from a link shared via a message, search or social media, offering a halfway point between native apps and the mobile web. The New York Times Crossword puzzle Instant App, for example, lets users play a part of the app called the daily mini crossword puzzle. This serves as an onramp to gaining new subscribers. It claims to have more than doubled the number of sessions since supporting Instant Apps, boosting its chances of converting users into subscribers. Google lists a handful of apps that support Instant Apps, including Skyscanner, NYTimes crossword puzzle, Buzfeed, Onefootball, Red Bull TV, and the UN's ShareTheMeal app. These apps now also have a "Try it Now" button on their store listings to let Android users know the feature is available. It's still early days for Instant Apps, which Google unveiled at last year's I/O and set live in a pilot this January. Google has also announced a big change to the cut it takes from app subscriptions through the Play Store, halving the fee from 30 percent to 15 percent once a developer has retained the subscriber for longer than 12 months. The new fee structure will commence on January 1, 2018, and matches the offer Apple revealed last year in an interview with The Verge. The change offered an incentive for developers to move from one-off purchases to a subscription model, as well as lessening the motivation for existing subscription-based apps, such as Spotify, to sign up users outside of the app store. Google is also enabling a few more subscription focused features for developers, including shorter free trials of at least three days that Google ensures are limited to one trial per user. It's also offering to notify developers when a user cancels a subscription, and the ability to block access to a service until a payment renewal issue is resolved. The company may also do more to clean up poorly performing apps in the Play Store with a new "minimum functionality" policy that bans apps that "crash, force close, freeze, or otherwise function abnormally" on the majority of Android devices. Source: http://www.zdnet.com/article/android-apps-now-google-will-let-you-try-before-you-install/
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. rudrax

    [Android] Google play store

    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?
  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
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