A new malware called Viking Horde has started to infect various devices that run on Google’s Android mobile operating system. According to a research team at Check Point, Viking Horde has already attacked a number of mobile apps at the Google Play store, including Viking Jump, Parrot Copter, Memory Booster, Simple 2048, and WiFi Plus.
Apparently, Google has decided to change its mind regarding ad blocking mobile apps on its Google Play store. Not a week ago, the tech giant had begun taking out ad blockers from Google Play, including titles such as Adblock Fast. For some apps that did not get banned, Google declined their updates, like what happened to Crystal. But after an appeal was made by Rocketship, the creators of the Adblock Fast, Google appears to have lifted the ban.
Several days ago, Samsung had updated its own browser for mobile devices, the Samsung Internet Browser, by starting to roll out support for ad blocking. This quickly created a sort of domino effect in which various third party developers began to launch their own ad blocking mobile apps that also work with Samsung’s mobile browser.
Yup, mobile apps found in both Google Play and Apple’s App Store transmit mobile users’ private data to third parties on a regular basis. What is worse is that they often do it with minimum notice or even none at all. This is what a group of researchers have found when they examined the behavior of more than a hundred mobile apps.
A band of researchers have discovered a new strain of Android malware that is nearly impossible to remove from mobile devices. Furthermore, it has the capability of rendering smartphones vulnerable to harmful root exploits. What is worse is that the Android malware has the ability to mask itself as one of the many mobile apps supplied from Facebook, Twitter, and even Okta, a two factor authentication service.
Android Pay, Google’s second shot at making a mobile payment system, had officially launched a couple of weeks ago. But now, this contactless mode of payment has now been made available in the Google Play Store. This means that users of mobile devices that run on the Android mobile operating system can now easily find Android Pay.
Google is adding a new feature to the Google Play Store which lets users pre-register for soon to be released mobile apps for the Android mobile operating system. In order to pre-register, users need only tap the pre-register icon located on the exact same spot where the install icon usually appears for mobile apps which have already been released.
Google is launching its own online store, particularly one that focuses on selling Google-branded devices such as Nexus smartphones and tablets, Chromebook laptops, and Chromecast streaming devices, just to name a few.
The online store will go by the name of Google Store, and aside from selling its branded devices, it will also offer Nest, a Web-connected thermostat that Google acquired in 2014.
This should be welcome news, especially for those who signed up for Spotify's three month subscription in December last year and whose trial has now ran out. Google is now offering a big discount for anyone who wants to try Google Play Music All Access, the company's subscription music streaming service.
As reported by the blog appFigures, it seems that for the first time, Google Play has beaten Apple in terms of the number of new mobile apps in 2014. Not only that, Google Play's developer community has also surpassed Apple's in terms of growth. Google's community now consists of 388,000 developers releasing and distributing apps through Google Play. Interestingly, much of that growth transpired in the later part of 2014.
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