Tag Archives: Google Play Store

Android

‘Songs’ Android app caught mining bitcoins

There was a lot of talk about the vulnerability of bitcoins. Now two Android apps have surfaced that are reportedly involved in mining bitcoins and dogecoins via smartphones.

The news was unearthed by security researchers at Trend Micro who mentioned in their blog post that ‘Songs’ and ‘Prized – Real Rewards & Prizes’ apps were making use of smartphones to mine for virtual currency covertly. Songs was downloaded 10 million times and gave users free access to Bollywood and regional languages songs.

According to a Times of India report, the process of mining virtual currency like bitcoin or dogecoin needs a lot of computing power. And if such an app is running on a smartphone, the processor will practically be running all the time leading to poor battery life and heating up of the device.

The Trend Micro also revealed that the apps were injected with ANDROIDOS_KAGECOIN, which is a malware.

Veo Zhangm, a mobile threat analyst at Trend Micro wrote, “(Some) coin mining apps were found outside of the Google Play Store, but we have found the same behaviour in apps (Songs and Prized) inside the Google Play Store. These apps have been downloaded by millions of users, which means that there may be many Android devices out there being used to mine cryptocurrency for cybercriminals. Analyzing the code of these apps reveal the cryptocurrency mining code inside. Unlike the other malicious apps, in these cases the mining only occurs when the device is charging, as the increased energy usage won’t be noticed as much.”

Soon after the report was published, the two apps were removed from the Google Play Store.

“Reading the app description and terms and conditions on the websites of these apps, users may not know that their devices may potentially be used as mining devices due to the murky language and vague terminology,” Zach further wrote.

Source: Times Of India

Google Wallet app

Gear up for an enhanced Google Wallet app, brings package tracking

There are many who are wary of online shopping, what with the uncertainties that are attached to it. Instead they prefer picking up stuff in person than worrying about where in the world the package has reached. But has it dampened the spirit of search giant Google and its ambitious plan with the Google Wallet? The answer is clearly ‘No’. Google is updating the app with some interesting features.

Making the experience of shopping online a bit less worrisome, Google has added an all new Orders feature to its Google Wallet app. Using the feature, customers can easily track their online orders by making use of the receipts sent via Gmail. The app will send notifications about the status of the package and also enable you to view your past orders. This is expected to bring more users to the Google’s Wallet application.

However, not everyone will get lucky so soon. Those living in the US, using an Android device that runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above, should expect an app update coming to your Google Wallet this week. Others will have to wait for some more time. But isn’t it worth the wait?

Source: Phandroid

Google_play_logo_article

Get fake Netflix, Hulu Plus and AllCast apps from Google Play Store – for free

It doesn’t stop at Flappy Bird, someone is trying really hard to exploit the popularity of ClockWordMod under the very nose of Google. Some app developer with name ‘ClworkMod Inc’ has published three apps on Google Play Store and these are not some unknown apps. These are none other than Hulo Plus, Netflix and AllCast.

fake-netflix

All these apps are available for free of cost and need access to GPS, full network access, phone records as well as write permission on storage.

fake-hulu-plus

The ‘scam’ was probably spotted by Koushik Dutta of CyanogenMod. Google is quite strict about fake apps so it’s interesting how these apps with trademarked names like Hulu Plus and Netflix made into the Play Store. The apps seemed to be made available yesterday (March 8). Google will soon be kicking them out, there is no doubt about it.

Google clipping wings of ‘Flappy Bird’ clones

Google has taken drastic measures in the wake of Flappy Bird’s removal from the Play Store. The huge influx of clone submissions and the likes have been rejected or removed recently. Several developers have taken to twitter and other forms of social media to voice their frustrations; although we doubt that their actions will do little to change the outcome.

We all know about Flappy Bird’s meteoric rise to stardom which was promptly followed by its fall from grace. With reports of earnings in excess of $50,000 per day at its peak, there is no wonder that many were and still are keen to capitalize on the simplistic but addictive nature of the game. Even when the game was still present in the Play Store, clones started popping up, much to the dismay of many including myself.

The list of flappy clones include Flappy Fish, Flappy Fins, Flappy Tappy, Flappy Pig, Flappy Cupid, Flappy Bee, Flappy Troll, Flappy Doge, Flappy Flying, Flappy Crow, Flappy Hipster and a host of others. Some estimate that there might be as many as 250 Flappy Games in the Play Store; a staggering number by any metric.

There’s the feeling that such an influx reduces the quality of the stores and can often lead to confusion among those who seek the original games. This theory made sense when the original game was still in the Play Store, but how do you explain rejecting apps now that it has been removed? Developers are disgruntled because many of them received no warnings before having their games pulled from the store. To quote one developer, “The message they sent me simply referenced the ‘spam’ provision of the Google Play terms and did not specifically call out what my transgression was.” While I agree with the controlling of spam and clone apps, I do think that the communication of the Play Store ‘overlords’ needs to be improved in some areas. Here’s to hoping that the developers return to making original hits — much like Flappy Bird was.

Sources: Tech Crunch

muktware_official_red_nexus

The Red Nexus 5 is here in all its glory (Edited)

We’ve seen the leaked images for quite some time now and the release date was also rumoured. Google has released the “bright red” Nexus 5 in Google Play today. The red version of the Nexus 5 does not deviate from the previous pricing. The 16GB version still costs $349/£299 and the 32GB goes for $399/£339. The phones are all ready to ship within the next couple days.

LG has announced that the phone will be available in the U.S., Germany, UK, Canada, Italy, France, Spain, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Korea from this month. The OEM also states that other EU countries will be privy to the device by the end of the month.

In a released a statement, LG stated; “The Nexus line has always been about doing things differently and consumers who share this philosophy have been among our most loyal fans,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “We’re carrying this thinking over to the red Nexus 5, which we think will catch the eye of consumers who want to make an even bolder statement.

I think LG just admitted that their Nexus devices are their hottest sellers, but you’ll be the judge. If you wish to grab one of these bright dudes, click this link and have your fill.

PS. We have just received word that if you live in the San Francisco area and you purchase this scorcher, Google will fulfill same day delivery via Google Shopping Express. This service has been in testing for some time now, and it seems like they’re ready to go public with it.

Sources: LG Blog, Google Play

Lax Android in-app policies may put Google on FTC’s radar

Google seems to have found itself in the same hot water as Apple was recently in. The Cupertino-based company recently agreed to refund at least $32.5 million to angry parents whose children had made purchases at the iTunes App Store without their consent, as per an FTC order.

The problem lies with in-app purchases at the iTunes App Store where a single in-app purchase allows kids to make unlimited purchases for 15 minutes without seeking further permission from their parents.

The FTC received a complaint against the company reporting that an Apple’s user daughter spent as much as $2,600 in the Tap Pet Hotel game from Pocket Gems.

“Under the terms of the settlement with the FTC, Apple also will be required to change its billing practices to ensure that it has obtained express, informed consent from consumers before charging them for items sold in mobile apps,” read the announcement from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

“This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple’s unfair billing, and a signal to the business community: whether you’re doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply. You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize,” FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement.

And now, the search giant could get FTC attention for its lax Android in-app purchase rules in the Google Play store.

Google Play goes a step ahead of Apple in offering unsupervised kids a bigger window to shop unfettered by parental oversight. Consumer Reports discovered that Google grants a full 30 minutes to make purchases at the App store when no additional authorisation is required (after obviously making one in-app purchase requiring a password).

It is important that Google now re-examines its current policy toward in-app purchases to provide its customers with even more control over their Google Play purchases. Better late than never, right?

Temple Run

Top three Android games that never end

Endless running games are attracting phone gamers in a massive way. These games that are available for free download at the Google Play store, are fun, exciting and come with stunning visual effects. Unlike games with levels such as Candy Crush Saga or Cut The Rope, these never ending games would keep you on your toes (err fingers). You might run out of lives, but these games would never end.

While there are ample never ending games in the Google store, here is our pick of the top 3 that have the users glued to their screens…

Temple Run: Launched in 2011, this endless running game was developed by Imangi Studios. Since then, the game has been downloaded more than 170 million times. The game has the player taking on the role of an explorer who, after having stolen a cursed idol from a temple, is chased by evil monkeys. The popularity of the game has been such that the developer has come out with a second version of the game – Temple Run 2 that has even more challenges, power boosts and thrills.

Despicable Me: Minion Rush: Just like Temple Run, Minion Rush too is a fun-filled game that involves lovely minions running endlessly to impress their boss Gru. Jump, fly, dodge barriers, collect bananas and defeat villains to help your minion win the title of Minion of the Year. Armed with some cool 3D effects, the players of Minion Rush can choose to customise these mini yellow creatures by dressing them and giving them specific goals.

Agent Dash: Agent Dash is an action game developed and published by Full Fat Productions. In this game, as a player, your mission would be to destroy as many enemy bases as possible. The highlight of this game are stunning visuals that rush by at blazing speed. As a player, you would have to evade obstacles placed by the enemies and to do that you can use several spy gadgets such as parachutes, jetpacks, magnets, slow-motion and more. What’s more, you can even call for backup support from a fellow agent in times of need.

Tell us what are your favourite endless games on an Android phone and which games would you like to see in a list of top 5.

Top Android and Linux devices from CES

It’s January 14th, and yet another CES has passed by. The week of excitement, thrills, surprises and grand announcements has left us with quite a mouthful to sift through. It is a daunting task for mere mortals like us, but every once in a while, we here at Muktware like to attempt the unthinkable, just for the benefit of our readers. To simplify this task, I’m going to separate the devices into categories, and then highlight the top devices of each category. The task I am about to embark upon may kill me due to its severe nature, but if I die, at least we’ll all know that I died while doing what I loved. Let’s being; shall we?

A Game of Phones
Android is practically synonymous with phones. Once people hear the 7 letter word, they immediately think of phones, and to a lesser extent, tablets. Some major OEMs released phones at CES and one of them was a giant by the name of Sony. Sony released the Z1 compact, a smaller version of the Z1 as the name suggests, and one that is sure to appeal to those who desire a smaller Android phone. Sony was careful not to call it a ‘mini’ because it is not a watered down version of its flagship; its actually just a smaller one, but with, believe it or not, specs that would make current flagship phones blush. It features a 4.3″ screen, a Snapdragon 800 processor, a 20 megapixel camera and a 720p screen that boasts a pixel density of 340 ppi. We have long clamoured for smaller phones that didn’t compromise performance, and ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to announce that this is such a device. Now, if only Sony would do something about that huge bottom bezel, I might fall head over heels in love with this phone, but it might not be a deal breaker for you. Another announcement from Sony was the Z1S which will be heading to T-mobile. It features the same specs of the  Z1 compact, but with a 5″ 1080p screen instead.

Asus also made waves with their announcement of the ZenFone line which features 4, 5 and 6″ phones. This array of sizes sees it cover just about the full spectrum and secures a wide catchment area of prospective buyers. The phones aren’t high end by any means, but they’re enough to offer functionality and a good looking device to any prospective owner. There are no 1080p screens, and no device has 2GB of memory, but their price points are $99, $149 and $199 respectively. In the age of the Moto G, Asus’ line up has a fight on their hands, and I do hope that they did some extensive training at the gym in preparation for such.

Although just a prototype, ZTE took the time to assemble a modular cellphone of their own. Motorola recently announced their project Ara and many were excited about this, but few expected to see an offering from ZTE. The Eco-Mobius by ZTE allows users to replace the camera, battery, display, and “core” modules. The core comprises of RAM, the processor, storage and the GPU. The Eco-Mobius might never be mass produced, but it sure felt good to see what such a device would look like.

muktware_phones_mobius

Watches Made a Timely Appearance
Two main watches that debuted at CES running full versions of Android were the Omate Truesmart and the Neptune Pine. The Truesmart runs on Android 4.2 and features a 1.54″ screen. The TrueSmart accommodates a micro SD Card slot and has a 5mp camera mounted to its side. Its 600 mAH battery guarantees approximately 100 hours of standby time and it retails for $249 and $299 for the 4GB or 8GB models respectively. The Neptune Pine, on the other hand, features a sim card slot which allows it to essentially be a phone that can be worn on the wrist. It possesses an enormous 2.4″ screen, and two cameras, and as a result, it seems quite awkward on the wrist, but may find its niche crowd. I like big watches, but I’m not sure that I like them that big.

Some popular watches that do not necessarily run on any Linux based OS, but can be connected to Android devices are the Pebble Steel and the Qualcomm Toq. These two devices, along with those previously mentioned, will be the feature watches of 2014, barring some unexpected turn of events by another major player.

CyanogenMod-Logo

CyanogenMod Installer exits beta, now available in Google Play Store

Good news for CyanogenMod users, the CyanogenMod Installer is exiting beta stage and is now available for general purpose from the Google Play Store.

CyanogenMod team says, “The Play store application is now available, and the PC client component will be available shortly.”

Recognizing the value of community, the team thanked those who participated in the beta testing. There are over 7,000 members who helped in testing.

Steve Kondik posted on his Google+ page:

The team is quite excited to see the increasing support and interest for CM, “The reception and demand we’ve received for the installer shows the value in breaking down the barrier to entry that we sought to address. We will continue to work on supporting additional devices beyond the initial set, but we are proud to say that we are supporting the majority of flagship models currently on the market.”

There is a very comprehensive list of supported device which is available here.

With this release the team is also giving the Download Portal some design makeover to make it easier for user to find the builds for their devices.

“With this release we are also refreshing the layout and design of our Download Portal, making it easier to find the builds for your devices. By visiting download.cyanogenmod.org, you will be able to intuitively filter and search for your device, and select whether you would like the latest stable or nightly build. Gone are the days of having to memorize your device’s code-name, writes Ciwrl of CyanogenMod.

Now Read –  First CyanogenMod powered Oppo N1 coming this December

Pandora is now available for Chromecast

Google’s Chromecast is fast gaining support from leaving content providers. Just a few weeks ago Hulu joined the party and now Pandora has also started supporting Chromecast.

Google Chrome shared on their Google+ page:

Pandora comes to Chromecast today, so that you can listen to your favorite stations on the best speakers in your house – the TV.  Download the latest version of the Pandora app ( http://goo.gl/hk0dc ) on your Android smartphone or tablet or iPhone ( http://goo.gl/JhP8Fi ), and look for the same cast button you’re already used to.

When will Google offer support to play videos stored locally via Chromecast? That’s the only missing link as I can’t play the videos of my son from my phone to Chromecast.