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  1. Consumers now average 4.2 hours per day in apps, up 30% from 2019 Image Credits: TechCrunch The coronavirus pandemic has increased our collective screen time, and that’s particularly true on mobile devices. According to a new report from mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, global consumers are now spending an average of 4.2 hours per day using apps on our smartphones, an increase of 30% from just two years prior. In some markets, the average is even higher — more than five hours. In the first quarter of 2021, the daily time spent in apps surpassed four hours in the U.S., Turkey, Mexico and India for the first time, the report notes. Of those, India saw the biggest jump as consumers there spent 80% more time in smartphone apps in the Q1 2021 versus the first quarter of 2019. To put this in perspective in the American market, Nielsen had last year reported consumers were spending around 4 and half hours watching live or time-shifted TV, but only 3 hours, 46 minutes using smartphone apps. Image Credits: App Annie However, we should point out that Nielsen and App Annie’s analysis can’t necessarily be compared directly, because App Annie only measured time spent on Android devices — and many Americans use iPhones. Nielsen, meanwhile, relies on panels to achieve a representative sampling. Nevertheless, the broad strokes here are that mobile apps seem to be a more popular means of entertainment than the good ol’ American pastime of watching TV. The new report also notes that three markets — Brazil, South Korea, and Indonesia — saw the average daily time spent in apps jump to over five hours this past quarter. It can be difficult to determine which apps are driving these changes as the most downloaded apps tend to remain the same quarter after quarter. The top charts are dominated by the usual names like TikTok, YouTube and Facebook, for example. That’s why App Annie now tracks what it calls “breakout apps,” which are those that saw spikes in quarter-over-quarter downloads across both iOS and Android. Image Credits: App Annie In Q1 2021, Western markets saw a sharp rise in secure messaging apps, Signal and Telegram. Signal, for instance, placed first in the U.K., Germany, and France, and fourth in the U.S. as a “breakout app” for the quarter. Telegram was No. 9 in the U.K. No. 5 in France, and No. 7 in the U.S. Investment and trading apps were also popular in the quarter, with Coinbase’s crypto app at No. 6 in the U.S. and U.K. on this list, while Binance was No. 7 in France. Crypto trading app Upbit, meanwhile, was No. 1 in South Korea. The payment app, PayPay was the No. 1 breakout app in Japan. And Robinhood was No. 2 in the U.S. Clubhouse also made a showing on the “breakout” charts, as it gained ground in non-U.S. markets like Germany and Japan, where it ranked No. 4 and No. 3, respectively. China’s breakout chart was different, with a focus on video apps like TikTok, Kwai, CapCut and iQIYI. Image Credits: App Annie TikTok’s influence on games was also apparent in the quarter. The game High Heels from Istanbul-based Rollic (now owned by Zynga), was heavily advertised on TikTok, sending the title to No. 1 in the U.S. and U.K.’s “breakout” games charts, as well as No. 3 in China, No. 7 in Germany, and No. 6 in Russia. Other hyper-casual games did well, too, including Project Makeover, DOP 2: Delete One Part, and Phone Case DIY. Crash Bandicoot: On the Run also broke out in the quarter. Despite launching on March 25, the game saw 21 million downloads in four days, becoming the top breakout app in Germany, No. 2 in the U.S., No. 3 in the U.K, and No. 9 in France. Source: Consumers now average 4.2 hours per day in apps, up 30% from 2019
  2. Millions of People Can Lose Sensitive Data through Travel Apps, Privacysavvy reports According to a report published by researchers at PrivacySavvy, many travel companies expose users’ data through their booking apps. In a report published on the 16th of March by PrivacySavvy, many travel companies expose users’ data through their booking apps. PrivacySavvy is a digital security company on a mission to educate internet users on issues concerning their digital lives’ privacy. During a 2021 “apps mapping project,” they discovered that travel apps are not as secured as they should for the millions of people who use them. According to the team, the apps mapping project aims to facilitate the safety of web applications that people use every day. Popular Travel Apps Expose Users In the research led by two PrivacySavvy researchers, Huynh Chen and Sarmad Khan, the team tested 20 popular travel apps. During the test, the researchers aimed at understanding how these companies manage user’s security and privacy risks. Unfortunately, they discovered that these leading apps lacked the basic security measures to protect their users’ data. Most of the popular travel apps are exposing their users by enabling third-party access to their servers. Since they leave these servers open, users’ data is exposed to anyone interested in gathering such data. PrivacySavvy fears that nefarious third-parties could hack users’ accounts and do away with sensitive information if these companies fail or ignore what the team called “server-side security vulnerabilities.” The Huynh and Sarmad led research team discovered that these travel apps are not upholding their operations’ security standards based on their evaluation. More importantly, PrivacySavvy found that these vulnerabilities were more prominent in the apps’ subdomains. More Than 100 Million Users Could be Compromised Based on the PrivacySavvy report, up to 105 million travel app users are susceptible to losing sensitive information if hackers target the apps. The researchers withheld the names of the specific travel apps they tested due to legal issues and possible compromise if hackers accost such information. However, the team revealed that they picked the apps based on the number of downloads and positive reviews. Also, they disclosed that they concentrated their investigations on mainly booking and ride-sharing apps. But they didn’t evaluate apps belonging to car rentals, individual hotels, and airlines. Fortunately, they confirmed that not all the apps evaluated had “server-side security vulnerabilities.” And while some of the affected companies have rectified the issues, many are yet to do so. Consequences of Server-side Security Vulnerabilities One of the main reasons behind the investigation is to prevent sensitive data exposure. According to PrivacySavvy, acute data exposure is when a company, an entity, or an app exposes users’ data carelessly. Many people are more familiar with the data breach, but it is different from data exposure. A data breach occurs due to a hacker’s attack aimed at stealing users’ data from a company, app, or entity. But sensitive data exposure is when users’ data becomes publicly accessible because the owner failed to put safety measures in place to protect the database. Many factors may contribute to private data exposure, such as software flaws, zero encryption, or weak encryption. In such cases, some of the data that could be exposed includes: Bank account numbers Phone numbers Home addresses Credit card details Healthcare data Dates of birth Session tokens Usernames & Passwords, etc. The server-side vulnerability in these evaluated travel apps can expose the above-listed information to anyone who exploits it. Since the vulnerabilities are in their subdomains, a wrongdoer can pass through them to pull the .git directory, collect sensitive information, and carry out a sophisticated attack on the database. How to Avoid Data Exposure According to the PrivacySavvy researchers, both the companies and the users have some roles in preventing data exposure. First of all, companies should: Secure both their main and subdomains Protecting files with sensitive information Never storing files on its production servers Using the suitable access rules Shutting down systems without authentication requirements after use For the users, the research team recommends that they should contact the travel companies they’ve used recently to know if they’re in any way exposing their sensitive information. With that, they can galvanize them into actions to fix any such vulnerabilities. Source: Millions of People Can Lose Sensitive Data through Travel Apps, Privacysavvy reports
  3. Mobile Health Apps Found to Expose Records of Millions of Users An analysis of 30 popular mobile health (mHealth) applications has revealed that all of them expose the full patient records of millions of people . Research conducted by Alissa Knight, partner at marketing agency Knight Ink, on behalf of mobile API threat protection firm Approov showed that the applications are vulnerable to API attacks that unauthorized parties could leverage to access protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII). With people increasingly relying on mHealth apps during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers observed that such apps are now generating more user activities compared to other mobile apps. The research study, All That We Let In - Hacking 30 Mobile Health Apps and APIs, is based on the analysis of 30 popular mHealth apps, with an average number of downloads of approximately 772,000. Thus, these apps had an estimated user base of roughly 23 million. The number of affected users, however, is likely much higher, considering that there are over 300,000 mHealth apps available at the moment on major app stores, the researcher says. None of the analyzed applications had certificate pinning implemented, thus allowing for man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks, while 77% of them contained hardcoded API keys, tokens, and credentials. Half of the APIs did not authenticate requests with tokens and one quarter of the apps (27%) were not secured against reverse engineering. During analysis, Knight discovered 114 hardcoded API keys and tokens that allowed for authenticating with the mHealth company and third-party APIs. Exposed secrets were identified for Branch.io, Cisco Umbrella, Google, Microsoft App Center, Stripe, AWS, AppsFlyer, Facebook, Sales Force, and more. Half of the records that these applications exposed contained names, addresses, birthdates, social security numbers, allergies, medication data, and other sensitive information. All of the tested API endpoints, the researcher says, were vulnerable to broken object level authorization (BOLA) attacks, thus providing access to PII and PHI even for patients not assigned to the clinician account. Half of the tested APIs provided access to pathology, X-rays, and clinical results of other patients. The report also provides recommendations for mobile app developers to adopt a series of steps to ensure the protection of customer data and sensitive resources, such as ensuring the security of both the app and APIs, secure the development process and harden apps, implement certificate pinning to protect against MitM attacks, monitor implemented controls, and perform penetration testing. Source: Mobile Health Apps Found to Expose Records of Millions of Users
  4. Gambling apps are coming to the Google Play Store in the US And 14 other countries What just happened? Android users will soon be able to access real-money gambling and betting apps on the Google Play Store, rather than having to sideload them, following a change in policy. Currently, such applications are only available in four countries worldwide, but they will be expanding to 15 more locations, including America. Right now, only Android users in the UK, Brazil, Ireland, and France can access real-money gambling apps on the Play Store. According to 9to5Google, this will change on March 1 when they’ll be permitted in 15 new locations: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. UK Play Store gambling apps The types of apps allowed on the store vary from country to country. They cover casino games, lotteries, sports betting, and daily fantasy sports. When they come to the US, what is and isn’t allowed will be decided on a per-state basis. 9To5Google published the list of state-by-state limitations: Online casino games (permitted in Delaware, Nevada (poker only), New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) Sports betting (permitted in Colorado, District of Columbia (governmental operators only), Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana (governmental operators only), Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon (governmental operators only), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia) Lotteries (state-run operators or affiliated contracted operators only in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia) Depending on the state, daily fantasy sports may be regulated as gambling in the US, and all daily fantasy sports apps published in the United States are subject to the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Apps requirements below. Developers wishing to release a gambling app on the store will have to go through a stringent application process ensuring they comply with each countries’ laws. They must be “an approved governmental operator” and hold a valid gambling license for each country or state/territory in which the app is distributed. Additionally, apps must be rated “Adult Only,” be free to download, and not use the Google In-app Billing system. Source: Gambling apps are coming to the Google Play Store in the US
  5. Weeks later, Google still hasn’t added privacy labels to its most popular iPhone apps Some of the apps that have the disclosures are unexpected Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Three weeks after Google promised it would add Apple’s mandatory app privacy labels “as soon as this week,” none of the company’s main apps have the labels, including Gmail, search, Photos, Docs, and YouTube. There have been some questions about whether Google is purposefully not updating its apps to avoid the labels, so I looked through every Google app in the iOS App Store to find out whether the updates have been coming. Some have: 12 apps now have the iOS privacy labels, though they may not be as recognizable as YouTube or Gmail: Stadia Google Translate Google Authenticator Google Play Movies and TV Google Classroom Google Fiber Google Fiber TV Wear OS Onduo for Diabetes Project Baseline Google Smart Lock Motion Stills - GIF, Collage Clicking through to the privacy labels, they seem to make sense. Some of the apps, like Google Authenticator, don’t capture much information, while Google Translate and Classroom have a pretty hefty list of privacy notices. Again, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Google is capturing all of that information just from you opening the app. The privacy label just shows all of the things the app may capture depending on which features you use. And while you may have to scroll a bit through the list, it’s nothing like Facebook’s seemingly endless list. The privacy info for Authenticator fits on one screen. There are some oddities, though. “Motion Stills - GIF, Collage” is an app that hasn’t been updated for three years, yet it has the privacy labels. It’s probably fair to say that this wasn't the app we had in mind when Google promised it would start rolling them out. The privacy label for an app that hasn’t been updated in three years. Apple launched these privacy labels on December 14th, and companies like Google can no longer update their apps unless they add these privacy labels first. So when some people noticed that Google had stopped updating its apps, they speculated that it may be to avoid having to admit how much data it was collecting. Google has denied that, though, explicitly telling TechCrunch that it wasn’t holding back updates and that it was committed to adding the labels when those updates were ready. The company reiterated that promise in a privacy-focused blog post on January 12th: As Google’s iOS apps are updated with new features or to fix bugs, you’ll see updates to our app page listings that include the new App Privacy Details. These labels represent the maximum categories of data that could be collected—meaning if you use every available feature and service in the app. They are rolling out. It’s just not clear when Google will update its most popular apps — the ones that likely suck up the most user data, anyhow. Weeks later, Google still hasn’t added privacy labels to its most popular iPhone apps
  6. What Apps Do You Wish Linux Had, Or Can’t Find a Replacement For? If you could magically, instantly, create any sort of app for the Linux desktop right now, what would it be? This question has been tumbling around my brain all weekend thanks to some new (totally spammy) comments being left on an article of mine from 2013 — an article in which I decried the lack of “simple, purposeful” Linux desktop apps. Now, don’t misunderstand my intention in asking you what you’d create if you could. I am not saying Linux has an app gap. I am not implying that open-source suffers from any sort of major software malaise. Those of us who use Linux full time know that we’re not short of drop-in replacements for a broad range of well-known software types. GIMP is, for most of us, every bit as capable as Adobe Photoshop; Kdenlive, Blender and Lightworks all cater to different types of Linux-based video editors; and between Geary, Nylas N1, Evolution, Thunderbird, Sylpheed, K9, there’s barely any e-mail need left uncatered for. No, I’m asking more about tools that fill a specific need in a specific way. “App” apps if you will. What sort of app do you find yourself searching for only to come up empty? LINUX Y U NO MEME APP? There are apps on my phone I can’t wait to use on the desktop I used to really, really long for a desktop meme-maker. Why? App envy. I subscribe to many awesome sites, like Lifehacker, that spotlight awesome apps. I used to see really nifty meme generators that were Windows and Mac OS X only. I really wanted someone to create a simple GTK+ app that could let me hammer out impact bold witticisms over a well established meme template, and let me quickly upload my creations to sites like imgur, in-app. I’ve since outgrown that desire. A desktop meme maker would be overkill now that many competent online tools exist for the job. But I feel the point I was making still (somewhat) stands: there are apps that I love using on mobile platforms for which a decent, comparable alternative on the Linux desktop is (currently) missing. Hope for the future There’s reason to be hopeful. Though I’d wager that native app development for Ubuntu on Phones and Tablets is far scarcer than it should be, the lure of Convergence is poised to bring apps like Dekko, Music and Calendar to the Ubuntu desktop. One of my favorite Ubuntu Touch apps is Pockit, an offline-equipped Pocket reader, one I’d dearly love to see make the transition (Pocket offer a native desktop app for OS X). Snaps will also offer app makers a really clean, sane way to distribute software free of the usual packaging hurdles and distribution headaches. Back to the question, and over to you But back to the question: If you could make any sort of native app for your Linux desktop what would it be? Share your app ideas, inspirations, rants, wants, mockups, etc. in the comments section of source article and please do mention in the comments section below. To keep this a realistic discussion — app developers be lurking — let’s avoid the usual clamour for Adobe products and focus on more general themes, such as “a photo manager comparable to iPhoto”, “a native GTK+ Pocket app” , “an e-mail client that handles Exchange”, etc. Source
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. With a wealth of new photo and video-related apps, and a number of new live-streaming entrants onto the market, March was a busy month in the the App Store. Here, we’ve got the best new and updated apps from last month in one place for your easy perusal. We’ve split this story over several pages to make it easier, but if you’d rather read it all as one, Here it is.. OneShotOneShot is an app that lets you post ‘screenshorts’ – a screengrab of an article designed to get around Twitter’s 140-character limit – directly to the social network with the utmost ease. It’s not perfect, and does have trouble identifying the correct source of a screenshort (it auto-detects the post you’ve taken the words from sometimes), but if you’re looking for an easy way to share a cropped screengrab along with some text, then OneShot is worth checking out. ➤ OneShot ImgurImgur, one of the Web’s favorite places to find gifs and memes, needs little introduction. And now, there’s a (nearly) fully-functional iOS app. Keen Imgur users will point out that there was already one for iPhones, but the new version launched this month is a ground-up rebuild designed to give you a better way to explore visual stories. As well as browsing around, you can vote on images and take part in discussions. Images are also sortable by popularity and time. The one huge omission for launch was the ability to upload photos to Imgur directly from your phone via the app, but that is coming soon. ➤ Imgur GmailIn March, Gmail for iOS got an overhaul designed to make it easier to use. As a result, it now supports notification replies and archiving of messages directly from the lock screen, made by possible by Apple’s changes in iOS 8. There’s also a new ‘open in’ extension and attachment view. ➤ Gmail TrioTrio is a new app for iPhone that lets you create mashup messages from sources like Instagram, Giphy, Vine, iTunes and more. Naturally, if you’ve got your own material, you can create mashups from your Camera Roll or images too. As well as pictures and videos, the app also lets you place text (and choose the font) to help you get your message across. And as with many similar services, there’s a social aspect here too – so you can browse and vote on other people’s shared mashups. ➤ Trio TempoTempo’s iOS update in March ushered in a cleaner, altogether more refined look for the calendar app. Among the changes were new fonts and a simpler color scheme to cut down on the clutter. There’s also now a new notifications widget and support for portrait or landscape orientation of the week view, plus an attendee auto complete feature that populates an event with the details of the person/people you’re meeting in just a few taps. ➤ Tempo TetherTether is a super-simple app that automatically unlocks your Mac when it detects your iPhone in range. In fact, it’s so simple that once it’s installed on your phone and computer, you don’t even need to open it again. It really is that simple. Each time you walk away from your Mac, it’ll lock, and when you return, it’ll be unlocked by the time you’re ready to start working. Better than all of that, it’s free. ➤ Tether Nokia HEREWith Nokia Here’s on-again, off-again relationship with iOS in the past, we weren’t sure we’d ever see a full return to the App Store. In March, however, HERE came back. With turn-by-turn directions and other core mapping features, it’s now ready to try and make inroads into Apple and Google’s territory on iOS devices. However, a 15-month hiatus is a long-time so it’ll have a challenge on its hands. Probably one of its strongest features is offline navigation and mapping for more than 100 countries, thereby saving your data connection. ➤ HERE Stre.amIf the start of 2015 is remembered for anything in the tech world, it’ll be the influx of live-streaming apps, following the launch of Meerkat at the end of February. Another company to throw its hat into this particular ring is Stre.am, which launched its live video streaming app just in time for SXSW this year. And unlike some of the other new entrants, Stre.am allows you to livestream from an Android or iOS device. ➤ Stre.am WunderlistWunderlist, while obviously not a new app, got a make-over on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Android this month. Along with more colorful accents to help you see the difference between folders, lists, smart lists and other items, the iOS version also got a new Quick Add button, to allow you to add new tasks more quickly. Both iOS and Android builds also got a new feature that lets you group lists by category. ➤ Wunderlist [iPhone | iPad] FlashgapPartially inspired by the movie The Hangover, Flashgap lets you take photos on your night out (or at any other time) but won’t let you see them until at least midday the following day. You can think of it a bit like a combination of White Album and Eversnap. While it soft-launched back in December, March was its official unveiling – and marked the introduction of the first Android build too. ➤ Flashgap InfinitWant to share large video files directly from your iPhone – or an entire album of photos? Then Infinit’s new iOS app can help. The key appeal of Infinit is that it allows you to share the original copies of files, without needing to trim for size limits – particularly useful if your phone shoots 4K video. Extra handily, the app also lets you receive files of any size sent from Infinit’s desktop clients. ➤ Infinit PeriscopePossibly the highest-profile launch on iPhone this month was Twitter’s answer to Meerkat: Periscope. Just like Meerkat, it allows users to livestream whatever they’re doing – but unlike Meerkat, it has Twitter’s extensive resources and user base behind it. You can also save videos for viewing later, if you want. Ultimately, we first described it as “what Meerkat would look like with a little more thought put into it.” ➤ Periscope White LabelIf you’re a hip-hop fan with an iPhone, then you’ll probably want to check out White Label’s freshly launched mobile app. In essence, it’s another music discovery app – except that it only focuses on hip-hop. It works by monitoring services like SoundCloud and Twitter to track which tracks are the most listened and most discussed. Although it soft-launched at the start of 2015, the team rolled out updates last month in time for its official unveiling. ➤ White Label LayoutInstagram’s new app Layout is designed to let you easily and quickly create collages with your photos using drag-and-drop. By combining up to nine individual shots, you can create a single image from one of nine different layouts. Each image that makes up part of the collage is editable in its own right, too – so if you want to flip just one of your mini images, then you can. There are no editing or filter options though, so you’ll need to be using images you’re happy with from the start. ➤ Layout MediumMedium got a much needed iOS update this month that allows users to write and publish a full post directly from your smartphone – and even added in voice dictation support, if you’d rather not type at all. It allows you to do most of the major things you’d want, like set a title, include quote formatting and add images, but you can only work on one draft at a time. Once you’ve published your post, you can then start a new draft. ➤ Medium SpylightSpylight, launched this month, allows you to literally buy whatever you see on TV. All you need to do is hold your phone towards the screen while a particular show or movie is playing and it will identify it by matching the audio. You should then get is a list of clothes available from that show. Alternatively, you can just browse the database of TV shows to peruse the items featured in each. ➤ Spylight Memoji KeyboardThis one is dead simple. Want to send custom emojis of your own face in messages? Then Memoji is probably worth considering. One the downside, you can only create and store five custom emojis at any one time on the free plan – €1.99 unlocks the ability to have more – but there’s nothing stopping you from deleting ones you don’t want any more and replacing them with new ones. It’s not perfect – there are still bug fixes required and the emojis show up as slightly grainy in some instances – but if you’ve always wanted to create your own custom emojis using your own images, then the Memoji Keyboard is here for you. ➤ Memoji Keyboard Adobe Comp CCIf you’re a designer, there’s a good chance you probably use Adobe’s tools already, and now, there’s a new iPad app designed to let you execute a complete layout while out-and-about. Comp CC is ultimately aimed at bridging the mobile-desktop gap for creating different types of project layouts. And because it’s compatible with desktop counterparts (InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, etc.), you can just upload your partially completed project to your computer and finish it off there on a larger screen, should you wish. ➤ Comp CC TempoIf you really like timelapse videos and slow-motion effects, then look no further as Tempo for iPhone brings the two together to help you create simple, but impressive, videos. By giving you granular control over where the effects start and stop – and speed controls of 8x, 4x, 1/4x and 1/8x – you can create dramatic sequences by speeding up some sections, but applying slo-mo to the rest. It’s available for free if you can live with the watermarking, or for $4.99 per month if you’d rather remove it. http://thenextweb.com/apps/2015/04/02/19-of-the-best-iphone-and-ipad-apps-from-march/5/
  12. On stage at Facebook's F8 developer conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg just announced that Facebook's users will soon be able to sign into third-party apps anonymously without revealing their personal details. "Some people are scared of pressing this blue button," Zuckerberg said of the "login with Facebook" icon. "If you're using an app that you don't completely trust or you're worried might spam your friends, you're not going to give it a lot of permissions." Anonymous login solves all of this by hiding your personal information from developers until you've used it and are comfortable handing those details over. "Even if you don't want an app to know who you are yet, you still want a streamlined process for signing in," Zuckerberg said. Anonymous login serves as a hassle-free and risk-free way to login and try apps, and that same anonymous login data can be synced across devices so you won't need to repeat the process over and over again. Essentially, it's a way for Facebook's billion users to "try apps without fear" said Zuckerberg. Anonymous login is currently in testing with "a few" developers and will be opened to more app makers in the coming months. "You can always sign in with your own identity once you're more comfortable with the app," said Zuckerberg. And when that happens, you'll see new, easy-to-understand permissions that will help you immediately decide what information each app can access. "For example, if someone wants to share their email address with an app, but not their birthday, they can make that choice with a couple taps," Facebook says. The company will also start reviewing new apps that allow Facebook logins to make sure developers aren't posting to your wall or secretly pulling other tricks without your go-ahead. Like anonymous login, the new permissions screen will be rolling out over the next few months. Source
  13. Features of Opera Max 0.9.124 Android App Get more out of your data plan with data compression technology of Opera max, which compress video, images, and websites which can be squeezed. You can easily block any app as you wish from using mobile data and restrict it to using Wi-Fi only. Unlike other VPN Opera max once turned on it automatically starts to save data when the mobile data is turned on and instead of turning the VPN off when the mobile data is turned off Opera Max just pause its service. Opera Max summarizes each app data usage on daily basis, so that we can find which apps are burning the data in the background. Privacy protection as Opera Max doesn’t touch any data that goes through secure connections. App uses less resource like 15 – 25 MB of RAM when it runs in the background. Writing taken from : Source Download Opera Max Test App
  14. Dingaling a new free voice calling app for Android and iPhone gives us some relief as the app provides free calling to India,US,Canada,China. To read the more features of Android app go here : source Download Dingaling Free Voice Calling App For Android (21 MB ) Download Dingaling Free Voice Calling App For iPhone or iPad (25 MB )
  15. crawlerguys

    New UC Browser 9.8 For Android

    New Features in this browser Smoother Browsing – The browsing experience is much more smoother than previous. Less Memory Usage – By keeping the memory usage low the stability is improved. Storage Space Reminder – This feature will display your phone available memory so you can keep an eye on the size of the file whether it will exceed your available space or not. Optimized Menu – Menus are now simplified which helps you to get the desired function quickly. Smart Website Search – As soon as you type the keyword in the search bar it automatically predict the website url. Source here
  16. Step 1 : Open up myappsharer app. Step 2 : Just tap on the app that you want to share with your friends, myappsharer also has the capability to select the multiple apps as you wish. Step 3 : Now select the mode of transfer from popup just above the app that you have just tapped to share with your friends. ( We have selected locomapia app – A simple app which helps us to share our location with friends we choose that’s even without GPS ) Step 4 : Done. Source : crawlerguys.com
  17. My phone has limited internal storage space. I have found info to re-partition it and that helped a little. There's loads of space on the SD card. I've tried a bunch of ways to make apps use that and it mostly does not work. Link2SD is one example - a real PITA that is too quirky to be useful - at least for me. There's an assortment of apps called Apps2SD and most are either riddled with ads and do very little if they do work at all. App Manager and Force 2 SD are more examples of these kinds of apps. The latest one I found is 'move app to sdcard pro' by ljmobile, from February 23, 2014. ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ljmobile.move.app.pro ) This one seems well rated (4.2) by it's few users (190 total). Specs: Size 643k Installs1,000 - 5,000 Current Version 1.9.178 Requires Android 2.1 and up I cannot find a free download of it's pro version and will not put any $ through G just to see if it works. Please tell me - what of the many apps like this really DO work, and any pointers or shares of a really good one will be hugely appreciated. Thanks.
  18. A recent study by Japanese security software company Trend Micro has uncovered nearly 900,000 fake Android apps floating around in the wild, designed to fool users into downloading them before stealing user data and aggressively serving ads. The company cataloged the top 50 free Android apps in the Google Play Store, and then searched the same store to see if fake versions of the same apps were present. For 77% of the apps in the top 50, at least one fake version existed on the store, cleverly disguised to look and act like the real apps but loaded with malicious code. Even more concerning for Android users is the sheer volume of fake apps Trend Micro uncovered in a survey conducted in April. The company found 890,482 different fake apps spread throughout many app stores and online forums; more than half of the apps were malicious, 394,263 were malware, and 59,185 contained aggressive adware. While the Google Play Store only contained a selection of these fake applications, it was still possible for people with malicious intent to infiltrate the most popular Android app store. The most common type of fake app disguised itself as antivirus software, often asking users to approve a wide set of privileges beyond what would be necessary for actual antivirus software. Trend Micro highlighted in particular an app called 'Virus Shield', which was found on the Google Play Store with a 4.7-star rating, 10,000+ downloads and a price of $3.99. The app did absolutely nothing and was a complete scam, but it still managed to reach the top new paid apps section of the Store before Google removed it. The report from Trend Micro comes just as Google announced Project Zero, designed to find vulnerabilities in third-party software. JD Sherry, VP of technology and solutions at Trend Micro, thought this was particularly ironic considering the prevalence of fake apps in the Play Store. She strongly suggested Google "take aim" at their own stores as part of the project. Source
  19. Microsoft has recently added a new automated alert in the latest Windows 10 builds to let users know when an app registers itself to automatically launch after system startup. This new Windows 10 feature is especially useful for apps that will run minimized without any user interface showing up on the screen or for those that only start a background task. At the moment, the notification only warns of apps configured to run on startup and listed in the Settings > Apps > Startup apps page as Jen Gentleman, a Senior Community Manager at Microsoft, explained. Available for Windows Insiders When clicking the notification, the user will be taken to the Startup Apps page in the Windows 10 Settings to change the startup settings using the toggles next to the app's name. Windows 10 apps configured to autostart on login via RunOnce, Service, or ScheduledTask will still avoid being called out via the new startup app notifications. The new app autostart warning system is already live in Windows 10 Build 20231 available in the Dev Channel that can be installed by joining the Windows 10 Insider Program. Builds upon the PUP blocking feature By adding this new feature to Windows 10, Microsoft makes it easier to spot potentially malicious apps (PUAs) — also known as potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) — that want may want to start unobserved for a variety of purposes, impacting system performance unbeknownst to the user. Microsoft improved potentially unwanted app protection in Windows 10, version 2004 by adding a Potentially unwanted app blocking Windows Security setting that enables you to enable protection against PUAs and PUPs. The Block apps setting enables the Microsoft Defender 'PUAProtection' that automatically detects PUAs/PUPs after they've been downloaded, while the Block downloads setting will control if the Block potentially unwanted apps setting is enabled in the Microsoft Edge browser. Settings for blocking potentially unwanted apps Source
  20. Apple just unveiled its picks of the best iPad and iPhone apps of the year - here they are Apple hosted its Design Awards and these are the winners iPhone 11 Pro Max (Image credit: Future) If you're looking for advice on the best apps for your iPhone or iPad, then there's nowhere better to turn to on the matter (apart from TechRadar) than Apple itself, and the company has just announced its picks of the eight best designed apps of the year. That's thanks to the Apple Design Awards 2020, part of the company's annual developer conference WWDC 2020 which also brought us the unveiling of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7 and more. Now, we know which apps Apple thinks were the best designed of the year. There are four productivity or creative apps, and four games included as part of the list. It's worth pointing out that not all of the apps are new, so presumably the design awards can be given to recognize new updates which improve an app, but the games were all released less than a year ago, with two of them being part of Apple Arcade. We'll list the apps that won the Apple Design Awards below, so you can see if any are ones you might benefit from. Apple Design Awards: best apps Looom (Image credit: Eran Hilleli) The first app mentioned, Shapr 3D, is a computer-assisted drawing app for iPads, which lets you create 3D drawings for designers and artists without needing an actual computer to do so. You can check out Shapr 3D on the App Store here. Another iPad-only app, Looom, is for creating hand-drawn animation and, in particular, looping animations. You can use an Apple Pencil or just your finger to easily sketch and animate. Looom is on the App Store here. While Sibelius is the go-to computer program for writing music, it seems StaffPad could be that for tablets - it lets you hand-write notation, and it then adds that into the stave so you can edit it further. Like the two apps mentioned before, it's only available on iPad, but it seems great for people looking to write their own compositions. Check out StaffPad on the App Store here. The final creativity app to be awarded actually is available on iPhones as well as iPads - Darkroom is a photo editing app which has been popular for a while. It's not as complicated as Photoshop but that's its charm, as anyone can easily turn their phone camera snaps into great-looking works of art by quickly tweaking some of the details. See if Darkroom could help you on the App Store by clicking here. Apple Design Awards: best games Sayonara Wild Hearts (Image credit: Simogo) Sayonara Wild Hearts was one of the flagship Apple Arcade games, featuring prominently in the games service's marketing and promotion, and it's the first game winner of the Apple Design Awards 2020. The game is an arcade action game with a very distinct aesthetic style, and a strong musical element too. You can see it on the App Store here. One non-Apple Arcade game to win was Song of Bloom, and it's harder to explain than the others on this list. It's a puzzle game which requires you to think outside the box to complete its wildly varying puzzles - maybe we'd best let its App Store page do the explaining. Where Cards Fall is quite your typical Apple Arcade game, combining a cartoonish art style, oblique narrative focus, and relatively little gameplay, and clearly it has captured some hearts because of this. It's about reliving memories of the American high school experience, so it may not resonate with everyone, but if you think it's for you, you can check out its App Store entry here. If you liked the game Journey on the PS3 then you'll like the final award-winner Sky: Children of the Light, because it's by the same developer and has a lot in common with its predecessor. In it you can explore a big cartoon world, and there's a strong multiplayer focus so you can bump into, and join in with, other people exploring the same places as you. Click here to go to its App Store page. Apple just unveiled its picks of the best iPad and iPhone apps of the year - here they are
  21. Apple will require apps to add privacy ‘nutrition labels’ starting December 8th The labels explain what data is collected at a glance Image: Apple Apple debuted a collection of privacy features when it announced iOS 14, but the company’s privacy “nutrition label” concept did not arrive with the launch of the new operating system in September. Today, Apple announced that developers will be required to provide the information for those “labels” starting December 8th. Like a normal nutrition label that lists ingredients and caloric content, these privacy “labels” should give you a better idea of what’s going on inside an app before you download it from the iOS App Store or Mac App Store. The labels will list what information an app collects, and present that visually on the app page, much like looking at the backs of labels in a grocery store. A mockup of an iPhone displaying the App Store labels Image: Apple The catch, of course, is that while developers are required to disclose this information to continue releasing and updating apps, all of the information developers provide will be self-reported, which could still leave some possibility for foul play. Apple’s Developer site cautions that developers will be required to disclose all the information they and their third-party partners collect and keep their “labels” up to date. For example, if an app needs to know your precise location to work, you’ll know that before you even download it. If GPS functionality is ever removed from the app, a new label will have to reflect that. Apple does offer some exceptions when these label disclosures are optional, but the important thing to know that if an app intends to track you consistently, you’ll know about it before it’s on your phone. Providing this information is an easier-to-digest way to keep users informed on how exactly their phone is being used to track them. Apple already aggressively manages permissions inside apps, but these labels could be an even earlier line of defense. Developers can start submitting their apps’ information now ahead of the December 8th deadline. Apple will require apps to add privacy ‘nutrition labels’ starting December 8th
  22. Criminals are using popular money transfer apps, including Cash App, Venmo, Zelle and PayPal, to launder illegally obtained funds from Covid-19 relief programs. Local law enforcement officials say criminals also target users of the apps desperate for cash due to the pandemic. The Secret Service has 700 pending investigations related to the Paycheck Protection Program and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Criminals are laundering illegally obtained funds meant for Covid-19 relief through the most popular apps for legally sending and receiving money, law enforcement officials say. Cash App, Venmo, Zelle and PayPal have become portals to easily move money, making transactions more difficult to trace. "I've never seen, in my 28 years' experience, the amount of fraud that I've seen currently," Roy Dotson, an assistant to the special agent in charge of the Secret Service, told CNBC. "And I think that's just based sheerly on the amount of money the CARES Act allocated into Covid-related fraud and stimulus." Dotson said fraudsters find so-called "money mules" to deposit funds into the apps, then move them from one account to the other in an effort to hide the source of the funds. He described the volume of fraud as "inevitable" based on the size of the program. "Just the amount of money, you're going to have different criminal organizations and individuals, basic scam artists, that are going to try to take advantage of that money," he said. The Secret Service has 700 pending investigations related to the Paycheck Protection Program and the Unemployment Insurance Relief program. Dotson said in an increasing number of those cases, the suspects used one of the apps to move the stolen money. So far, 80 defendants have been charged with attempting to steal more than $240 million from the PPP program, a Justice Department spokesman said. Law enforcement officials say some of the fraud is essentially hiding in plain sight. Take the case of Fontrell Antonio Baines, known as "Nuke Bizzle." In a music video posted online, he brags about getting rich by stealing Covid-19 unemployment benefits. The video has a disclaimer that says it was produced solely for entertainment purposes. But a federal criminal complaint filed in October claims otherwise. The rapper is facing charges of fraud, aggravated identity theft and interstate transportation of stolen property in connection with obtaining more than $1.2 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits. The complaint spells out how authorities say the funds were allegedly stolen: Baines and his co-schemers submitted applications for unemployment benefits that contained false information. They then obtained debit cards loaded with the fraudulently obtained benefits and had them mailed to various addresses and then made cash withdrawals at ATMs or when making purchases in stores. Some of the funds were accessed via money transfers on Cash App, according to the complaint. Baines has pleaded not guilty. He declined to comment through his attorney. Local law enforcement officials say the explosion of the fraud is also directly related to criminals who target users of the apps desperate for quick cash due to the pandemic. In these cases, fraudsters often entice users on social media to send them money either for products that don't exist or as part of a larger scheme to steal their money. "It's almost a degree of hiding in plain sight, because they will say, 'Hey, listen, this is a perfectly legitimate business opportunity,'" said Detective Jason DeLuca of the Coral Springs Police Department in Florida. "And I think that they almost use that blatant conspicuous advertisement to say, 'Obviously if this was fraudulent, we wouldn't be advertising on social media like this.'" DeLuca and his partner, Detective Ricardo Pena, also have seen an increase in criminal activity during the pandemic. "It's so easy for a fraudster, because there are so many people that legitimately need this money," Pena said. "So the federal government decided that, 'Let's make it as easy as possible to get and as quickly as possible to get the money to the people that need it.'" Pena said the technique used by criminals laundering CARES Act funds is the same as other schemes that exploit the ease and anonymity of moving money through one of the apps. "If you're a bad guy, you find a way to get money illicitly. Now the money is in your account and they're able to get it transferred in this peer-to-peer platform," Pena said. "Once in that peer-to-peer platform, they'll go ahead and send it out to different accounts. It could be their own account or there could be other associates that they're sending money to." The transfers are done very quickly so the cash can be taken out as soon as possible, leaving a difficult money trail to trace, he said. Schemes targeting app users who are desperate for quick cash are posted on social media. Numerous posts on Instagram and Facebook, for example, offer various ways to make money by sending and receiving funds through one of the apps. "They'll be like, 'Hey, listen, that $1 you send me, I could make it $10.' And they'll be like, 'OK, so what is there to lose? One dollar is not a big deal,'" Pena said. "Then what we will see is that develops the trust. They're like, 'All right, it worked with the dollar. Let me do $10.' So $10 will maybe turn into $20, maybe $50. So that way they continue developing the trust." Statistics compiled by Apptopia, which analyzes mobile app data, show online complaints on Google Play and the App Store about fraud and scams have been on the increase this year, with the most related to Cash App. The Better Business Bureau also confirmed it received an increase in complaints this year mentioning frauds and scams, with the majority targeting PayPal. Officials from all four apps told CNBC they have aggressive anti-fraud measures in place and actively monitor unusual activity. A Cash App spokesperson said, "Preventing fraud is critically important to Cash App. We continue to invest in and bolster fraud-fighting resources by both increasing staffing and adopting new technology. We are constantly improving systems and controls to help prevent, detect, and report bad activity on the platform." The company recently released an AI-driven feature that flags potential spam or scams for payments in the app and sends text messages to users when it detects suspected fraud. A spokesman for Venmo and PayPal said the company takes "every instance of potential fraud very seriously and we proactively work with law enforcement agencies and industry partners to quickly mitigate potential issues. PayPal and Venmo deploy a range of measures to stay ahead of the anticipated increases in online criminal activity, including enhanced transaction monitoring to detect unusual patterns in payments moving through our platforms. We also harness key word tracking, suspicious matter reporting, sanctions and watch list enforcement, and other sophisticated fraud detection models to protect our customers." Zelle does not disclose fraud detection practices, a spokesperson said, but has a strong consumer education program. "Since Zelle is offered primarily through the mobile banking apps of hundreds of financial institutions, we encourage consumers to contact their bank or credit union immediately if they believe they have been a victim of a fraudster or scammer. After the consumer reports the incident, their bank or credit union will partner with Zelle to put protocols in place to stop and shut down any future activity," a statement from Early Warning Services, the network operator of Zelle, said. Source
  23. Microsoft starts rolling out Polls in Teams meetings along with other new apps Microsoft announced today that it has begun incorporating Forms' polling capability into Teams meetings. The integration was first introduced at Ignite conference in September when the software giant unveiled new features for Forms and made it available in the Office mobile app. The new feature allows you to create polls before, during, and after meetings in Teams. To create a poll prior to a meeting, you can head over to your meeting chat or details view and add the Forms app as a tab by clicking on the plus button. As the presenter, you can click the Forms icon in order to launch a poll without leaving the meeting window. You can also decide which poll to launch by choosing from all your prepared polls in the right pane. That said, only the meeting presenter or organizer can add Forms as a tab and create polls. Meeting participants, on the other hand, can only respond to polls. Of course, you can always go back to the Polls tab and create new questions during a meeting. Once that's done, participants will see the poll question in the form of a pop-up bubble, where they can choose to make their response. Otherwise, attendees can send their reply via the chat pane. Polls can also be closed if you wish to stop accepting responses from participants. Poll results can be viewed and analyzed directly in the Polls tab, plus you have an option to export them into Excel. Polls in Teams meetings are available to organizations with a Microsoft 365 Enterprise, Business, Education, or Firstline Workers F3 plan as well as an Office 365 Enterprise plan. The feature is live on Teams on desktop or the web. Forms will also suggest answers based on the text used in the poll question. Microsoft vows to bring the same capability within Forms' surveys to polls in Teams meetings in the future. In addition to Forms, Microsoft also added today a slew of new apps to Teams such as Asana, HireVue, Monday.com, Slido, Bigtincan, and Teamflect. You can find more new apps integrated into Teams by clicking this link. Microsoft starts rolling out Polls in Teams meetings along with other new apps
  24. Launch 2020 brings a few new Windows 10 apps to the Microsoft Store About a year ago, a group of developers focused on Microsoft's UWP platform organized Launch, an event that served as a platform for the release of new apps on the Microsoft Store. The 2019 edition included apps such as the myTube 4.0 beta - a YouTube client - and Spotimo - a Spotify client. This year, the community is back with a few more apps, and this time the list of new apps is significantly longer. Here are all the projects that came out of the event. Files UWP One of the new apps is Files UWP, which we've already talked about on Neowin. It's a modern take on the File Explorer for Windows 10. It features a design in line with Microsoft's Fluent UI, a tabbed interface, and "unrivalled file access performance". Indeed, the app is fairly fast and it feels surprisingly close to what you would get with the built-in File Explorer. It supports drag-and-drop, keyboard shortcuts, sorting, renaming, and more, though there are still some limitations in this preview version, and of course it is not a replacement for Windows Explorer. You can download Files UWP from the Microsoft Store here. Chaptifier Then there's Chaptifier, which is a metadata editor for podcast audio files. It lets podcasters easily add chapters, images, titles, and comments to podcast files, and it adheres to ID3 MP3 standards for metadata, so they should be recognized on any platform you use to distribute the podcasts. The app is paid, costing $14.99, but there's a free trial on the Microsoft Store if you want to see what it's all about before spending money. Indirect Next up is Indirect, which is a client for Instagram's Direct messaging platform. Sure, Instagram recently added Direct messaging to its desktop website, but if you want a fully native experience, or if you'd rather just focus on messaging, Indirect is a pretty solid offering. The UI adheres to Microsoft's Fluent guidelines, complete with Acrylic transparency on the chat list. It's possible to send both text and images, and the app also lets you view your contacts' stories and respond to them with a message. Online indicators also work as you'd expect. There are some limitations, at least for now. It can display Instagram posts shared via Direct Messages, but only those that contain a single image, and those images can't be expanded into a larger view. If a post is a gallery, it will only show the text description and hashtags, but you can always click the post to view it on the Instagram website. If you find it interesting, you can download Indirect for free, and you can also help develop the app by contributing to its GitHub project. Aurora for GitHub Aurora is an app dedicated to managing GitHub tasks that don't require coding. It lets users view issues, labels, repositories, and more. It's also possible to access multiple repositories in different tabs to have them all accessible quickly. It also features a dark mode, so it can save your eyes some strain. The app is from the same developer of Kanban Ink, which debuted at last year's Launch event, and the developer promises to bring a Kanban feature to the app at some point in the future. It's currently only available as a free version, but the developer is working on paid subscriptions that enable additional features, such as managing pull requests, assigning tasks to other users, and more. If you're interested, you can download the app here. Quarrel For Discord users, Quarrel is an unofficial client that does pretty much what you'd expect it to do, but with a Fluent Design twist. Every aspect of the UI is using Microsoft's design language, but all the basic features are still there, with all servers and channels accessible, including voice channels. Private messaging and group chats also work, along with audio calls. The app also supports Xbox, so you should be able to talk while playing. Quarrel isn't a completely new app, and it was announced at last year's Launch that it would be open-sourced. This year, that's exactly what's happened, and the app has also been written from the ground up with a focus on stability. According to the developer, Quarrel already has 1.3 million users, so it seems to be fairly popular. If you're interested, you can download Quarrel from the Microsoft Store, and it's completely free. Since it's now open-source, you can also contribute to it on GitHub. Brainf*ck# Brainf*ck# is a console and IDE for the Brainf*ck programming language, and it promises to be the "most advanced" of its kind. In addition to being a full-featured IDE, it has features such as an interactive console, a debugger with breakpoints, and personal code libraries. It also has a customizable UI, with custom themes, fonts, and more. It's been available for a while, but it's been rewritten from scratch using WinUI 2.4, and it also has a new interpreter that's 30 times faster and 30,000 times more memory efficient than the original, according to the developer. It's a free download on the Microsoft Store, so if you're interested, there shouldn't be much risk in trying it out. Yugen Mosaic Mosaic images are a fairly common sight - when a series of small images is laid out in a mosaic pattern that turns out to create a larger, completely different image. If you've ever wanted to create an image like this, Yugen Mosaic should be a pretty solid option. The concept is very simple: choose a master image to be generated, and then choose a number of other images to form each of the tiles of the mosaic. The images will be repeated as many times as necessary to fill the entire mosaic, and you can change settings such as the size of each tile, the resolution of the final image, and more. Yugen Mosaic is a free app, and while it seems to do exactly what you'd expect it to, the developer says there are new features on the way at some point in the future. XSpot Windows Spotlight is a Windows 10 feature that shows users a random image on a daily basis on the Windows 10 lock screen. However, there's no easy way for those images to be recovered if you want to save them permanently or share them. XSpot is a relatively simple app that solves this issue, letting you view, save, and share images from your local Windows Spotlight library, or grab some from the Spotlight service directly. It's possible to set an image as your desktop wallpaper from within the app, and you can also do a Bing search for that image to learn more about it. XSpot is a free app, and you can download it from the Microsoft Store. A premium version lets you export images in more formats or grab more images at once from the Spotlight service, among other benefits. Visual Assets Generator Visual Assets Generator is a fairly self-explanatory app name. The app lets developers take a single image and create all the visual assets needed for a UWP manifest file, with options such as padding, background color, transparency, and a few resizing options. Developers can create the assets for small, medium, wide, and large tiles, the app icon itself, the splash screen, and more, all within the app. The app is completely free on the Microsoft Store. 8Byte Earlier this year, the creators of the short-form video platform Vine released a spiritual successor in the form of Byte, for Android and iOS. If you want to be able to access the videos on your Windows machine, though, 8Byte is a new unofficial app that lets you do just that. It lets you watch videos, see your daily byte mix, leave comments and likes, and more. This app is also completely free on the Microsoft Store. Swift Browser Microsoft's Edge browser recently moved to the Chromium project and is no longer designed around UWP. If you'd like to keep using a UWP browser with a major focus on touch input, Swift Browser is just that. It's still using Microsoft's EdgeHTML rendering engine, but it supports most of the basic features you'd expect from a browser, including tabs, an incognito mode, favorites, and so on. It doesn't currently support extensions in the traditional sense , but there's built-in ad blocker and dark mode. The browser can also sync your data between Windows 10 devices, and the developer is working on an Android version of the app so it can sync with that, too. Additionally, there's a Chromium version of the browser on the way, which might offer better compability with most websites. For now, though, you can try out the current beta version of Swift Browser on the Microsoft Store. UWP Community Finally, if you'd like to be more involved with the community behind the Launch event, there's a new UWP Community client. It's essentially a native gateway for the UWP Community website that launched shortly after the Launch 2019 event, and it lets you see projects from the community, and read about events such as Launch. For those interested in the work by these developers, you can download the app here. Aside from these highlights, the Launch 2020 event also includes some honorable mentions. Spotimo, the Spotify client released last year, has recently been rebranded to Strix Music and is now available outside the Microsoft Store here. A number of developers are also working on upcoming apps, including Dynamic Shell, a Windows 10 shell replacement with features such as a detachable taskbar; Project.Input, which lets different devices send and receive keyboard or controller inputs from each other; and DirectX Studio, an IDE for .NET apps and games with a "rich code editor" and a 3D scene view. These projects are aiming for a release over the next few months. For next year, the team behind the event is taking a slightly different approach, with each new app from the community being featured at some point throughout the year. The annual event will serve as a "best of", highlighting the best projects from that year. Launch 2020 brings a few new Windows 10 apps to the Microsoft Store
  25. Facebook is temporarily disabling some Messenger and Instagram features in Europe Features like stickers in Instagram and polls in Messenger won’t work right now Some Messenger and Instagram features aren’t available in Europe. Facebook is notifying Messenger and Instagram users in Europe that some features are temporarily unavailable. A small message has appeared in both the Facebook Messenger and Instagram apps for European users this week, noting that some features aren’t available to “respect new rules for messaging services in Europe.” Facebook doesn’t outline exactly what features will be missing, but the company does reveal on its support pages that polls on both Messenger and Instagram are currently unavailable in Europe, alongside a lack of stickers in Instagram and no personalized replies on Messenger. Other missing features may include a lack of certain file sends on Messenger, missing nicknames, or the ability to share AR effects in DMs on Instagram. Facebook’s warning in Instagram DMs. Facebook has temporarily disabled some of these features to comply with new rules on data usage in EU countries. It’s part of the national implementations that are taking place of the 2002 Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive (ePrivacy Directive). This directive imposes stricter rules on data use across communications services that operate in countries that are part of the European Union. It’s not clear when Facebook will reinstate these features for European users, but a spokesperson tells The Verge that most will return “very soon.” Facebook is temporarily disabling some Messenger and Instagram features in Europe
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