Tag Archives: apps

Google Play apps with >4.3 million downloads stole pics and pushed porn ads

Enlarge / Screenshots of the pop-up ads displayed by malicious apps that were available in Google's Play Store. (credit: Trend Micro) Google has banned dozens of Android apps downloaded millions of times from the official Play Store after researchers discovered they were being used to display phishing and scam ads or perform other malicious acts. A blog post published by security firm Trend Micro listed 29 camera- or photo-related apps, with the top 11 of them fetching 100,000 to 1 million downloads each. One crop of apps caused browsers to display full-screen ads when users unlocked their devices. Clicking the pop-up ads in some cases caused a paid online pornography player to be downloaded, although it was incapable of playing content. The apps were carefully designed to conceal their malicious capabilities. “None of these apps give any indication that they are the ones behind the ads, thus users might find it difficult to determine where they’re coming from,” Trend Micro Mobile Threats Analyst Lorin Wu wrote. “Some of these apps redirect to phishing websites that ask the user for personal information, such as addresses and phone numbers.” Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More »

Mission Foods Takes a Fresh Approach to Direct Store Delivery…

Mission Foods, one of the largest food manufacturers in the world, has chosen to standardize on the MobileFrame platform to develop the apps used as part of their direct store delivery processes (PRWeb January 23, 2019) Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/mission_foods_takes_a_fresh_approach_to_direct_store_delivery_technology_with_mobileframe/prweb16051762.htm

Read More »

22 apps with 2 million+ Google Play downloads had a malicious backdoor

(credit: Jeremy Brooks / Flickr ) Almost two dozen apps with more than 2 million downloads have been removed from the Google Play market after researchers found they contained a device-draining backdoor that allowed them to surreptitiously download files from an attacker-controlled server. The 22 rogue titles included Sparkle Flashlight, a flashlight app that had been downloaded more than 1 million times since it entered Google Play sometime in 2016 or 2017, antivirus provider Sophos said in a blog post published Thursday . Beginning around March of this year, Sparkle Flashlight and two other apps were updated to add the secret downloader. The remaining 19 apps became available after June and contained the downloader from the start. “Serious harm” By the time Google removed the apps in late November, they were being used to click endlessly on fraudulent ads. "Andr/Clickr-ad," as Sophos has dubbed the family of apps, automatically started and ran even after a user force-closed them, functions that caused the apps to consume huge amounts of bandwidth and drain batteries. In Thursday's post, Sophos researcher Chen Yu wrote: Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read More »

Premiere Rush CC is Adobe’s new all-in-one video editing tool for desktop and mobile

Earlier this year, Adobe previewed Project Rush , a new multi-platform video editing tool. Today, at its Mac conference, the company announced that Project Rush is now Premiere Rush CC and an official part of the Creative Cloud suite. The idea behind Rush is pretty straightforward. It’s meant to provide video creators with a modern all-in-one video editing solution that allows them to quickly edit a video and publish it on platforms like YouTube and other social networks. Indeed, it’s very much meant to be the video editing tool for the YouTube generation. Rush takes the core parts of Adobe’s suite of video and audio editing tools and combines them in a single mobile and desktop experience. That means you get a set of Motion Graphics templates, for example, that were specifically designed to give Rush users easy access to customizable titles. The color correction system is built on top of the same technology that powers the more fully featured and complicated Premiere Pro editing tool. And the audio-editing features, including one-click ducking, are powered by the same code as their counterparts in Audition. All of those edits easily sync between platforms, giving creators the ability to start editing on their phone, for example, and then finish their work on a laptop. The current version of Rush is pretty much what Adobe announced a few months ago, but the company also used today’s announcement to preview what’s next. Soon, you’ll also be able to edit on Android (Adobe promises a release in 2019) and get speed controls so you can speed up and slow down your videos (a feature that YouTube creators are bound to overuse), as well as the ability to more easily create different versions of your videos for multiple platforms.

Read More »

Adobe XD now lets you prototype voice apps 

Adobe XD , the company’s platform for designing and prototyping user interfaces and experiences, is adding support for a different kind of application to its lineup: voice apps. Those could be applications that are purely voice-based — maybe for Alexa or Google Home — or mobile apps that also take voice input. The voice experience is powered by Sayspring, which Adobe acquired earlier this year . As Sayspring’s founder and former CEO Mark Webster told me, the team has been working on integrating these features into XD since he joined the company. To support designers who are building these apps, XD now includes voice triggers and speech playback. That user experience is tightly integrated with the rest of XD and in a demo I saw ahead of today’s reveal, building voice apps didn’t look all that different from prototyping any other kind of app in XD. To make the user experience realistic, XD can now trigger speech playback when it hears a specific word or phrase. This isn’t a fully featured natural language understanding system, of course, since the idea here is only to mock-up what the user experience would look like. “Voice is weird,” Webster told me. “It’s both a platform like Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, but also a form of interaction … Our starting point has been to treat it as a form of interaction — and how do we give designers access to the medium of voice and speech in order to create all kinds of experiences. A huge use case for that would be designing for platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana.” And these days, with the advent of smart displays from Google and its partners, as well as the Amazon Echo Show, these platforms are also becoming increasingly visual. As Webster noted, the combination of screen design and voice is being more and more important now and so adding voice technology into XD seemed like a no-brainer. Adobe’s product management lead for XD Andrew Shorten stressed that before acquiring Sayspring and integrating it into XD, its users had a hard time building voice experiences

Read More »

Saudi ally calls for Uber boycott over response to Khashoggi’s vanishing

Uber is facing calls for a boycott of its app in the Persian Gulf, a region that has poured billions of dollars of investment into the company’s ride-hailing business in recent years:  Directly via Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund  (PIF) and indirectly because the Saudis are major investors in Softbank’s Vision Fund vehicle , which is  another big Uber investor . The regional calls to boycott Uber were stoked yesterday by Saudi ally, Bahrain, whose foreign minister retweeted hashtags calling for a boycott of the company, according to reports by  Bloomberg and Reuters . An Uber spokesperson declined to comment when reached for a response. No place for you in Saudi Arabia #DeletingUber pic.twitter.com/hYLXXEKFQI — عبدالله الشهراني (@abdullh2223) October 14, 2018 A few boycott calls circulating on Twitter urge app users to switch to Uber ride-hailing rival,  Careem , though it’s unclear whether Uber alternatives are seeing any local uplift as yet. Anger at Uber has been sparked by the reaction of CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to the disappearance of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi , a U.S. resident, who has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 for a pre-arranged appointment to obtain documentation for his forthcoming marriage to a Turkish citizen. Newspaper reports have suggested Khashoggi was killed inside the embassy by a Saudi hit squad that traveled to Turkey for the purpose of carrying out the murder. As a Saudi ex-pat the journalist had written critically of the crown prince’s regime. And while independent CCTV footage shows Khashoggi entering the embassy but there is no proof to show he ever left. Although the Saudis have denied any wrongdoing, and claimed their citizens were just visiting Turkey as tourists. Following growing alarm over Khashoggi’s disappearance, Uber’s CEO was among several business leaders to announce they were pulling out of an investment conference due to take place in the Saudi capital later this month. “I’m very troubled by the reports to date about Jamal Khashoggi. We are following the situation closely, and unless a substantially different set of facts emerges, I won’t be attending the FII conference in Riyadh,” said Khosrowshahi in a statement last week. Uber confirmed to TechCrunch today that Khosrowshahi will not be attending the Future Investment Initiative conference — a conference’ s hosted by Saudi’s crown prince,  Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, aka MBS, who is also chairman of the PIF; a key Uber investor, which has a member sitting on Uber’s board .  Those links underline quite how complicated managing this particular piece of legacy baggage is for Khosrowshahi — who, as Uber’s new broom, has made it his stated mission to chart a new course by ‘ doing the right thing. Period ‘.  Yet when Uber accepted $3.5BN from the Saudi PIF two years ago ‘doing the right thing’ meant just one thing: Growing Uber, with few if any other considerations on the table for then CEO and founder Travis Kalanick

Read More »

Zyl is now a nostalgia-powered photo app

AI-powered photo management app Zyl is going back to the drawing board with a streamlined, more efficient redesign. The app is now focused on one thing only — resurfacing your old memories. Taking photos on a smartphone is now a daily habit. But what about looking back at photos you took one year, three years or even eight years ago? It can pile up quite quickly. Zyl thinks there’s emotional value in those long-forgotten photos. Before this update, Zyl helped you delete duplicates, create smart photo albums based on multiple criteria and collaborate on photo albums. In other words, it was a utility app. But when the company started talking with some of their users, they realized that one feature stood out and had more value than the rest. Applying those AI-powered models to your photo library is a great way to find interesting photos. But nobody was really looking at them. When you open the app, you get a view of your camera roll with your last photos at the bottom. There’s also a big green button at the bottom. When you tap on it, Zyl creates a satisfying animation and unveils an important photo.

Read More »

Facebook mistakenly deleted some people’s Live videos

This time instead of exposing users’ data, a Facebook bug erased it. A previously undisclosed Facebook glitch caused it to delete some users’ Live videos if they tried to post them to their Story and the News Feed after finishing their broadcast. Facebook wouldn’t say how many users or livestreams were impacted, but told the bug was intermittent and affected a minority of all Live videos. It’s since patched the bug and restored some of the videos, but is notifying some users with an apology that their Live videos have been deleted permanently. The bug raises the question of whether Facebook is a reliable place to share and store our memories and important moments. In March, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told congress regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal that “We have a responsibility to protect your data – and if we can’t, then we don’t deserve to serve you.” Between that misappropriation of user biographical data, the recent breach that let hackers steal the access tokens that would let them take over 50 million Facebook accounts, wrongful changes to users’ default sharing privacy settings , and now this, some users may conclude Facebook in fact no longer deserves to serve them. Facebook user  Tommy Gabriel Sparandera provided TechCrunch with this screenshot showing the apology note from Facebook on his profile. It reads “Information About Your Live Videos: Due to a technical issue, one or more of your live videos may have been deleted from your timeline and couldn’t be restored. We understand how important your live videos can be and apologize that this happened.” When TechCrunch asked Facebook about the issue, it confirmed the problem and provided this statement: ““We recently discovered a technical issue that removed live videos from some people’s Facebook Timelines. We have resolved this issue and restored many of these videos to people’s Timelines. People whose videos we were unable to restore will get a notification on Facebook.

Read More »

Instagram tests tapping instead of scrolling through posts, first in Explore

The effortless way you fast forward through Stories could be coming to more of Instagram . A screenshot from user Suprateek Bose shows Instagram “Introducing a new way to move through posts — Tap through posts, just like you tap through stories.” Now Instagram confirms to TechCrunch that it’s testing tap to advance within Explore, and a spokesperson provided this statement: “We’re always testing ways to improve the experience on Instagram and bring you closer to the people and things you love.” As for whether this could come to the main feed, an Instagram spokesperson tells me that not something it’s actively thinking about right now. Instagram already uses an auto-advance feature in its Videos You Might Like section of Explore , jumping down to the next video when the last one finishes. It previously offered themed video collections around Halloween and top creators too. But for photos where it’s not clear when you’re done viewing, a quick tap is the closest thing to Instagram propelling you through posts automatically. Next: turn your mind off completely. Succumb to the feed. Open instagram, and it does the browsing of the feed for you. Like by smiling. Comment by grunting one of 5 known emotions at your phone. https://t.co/EzrJWccjbh — PaSKULL D'Silva (@pasql) October 11, 2018 Tap to advance, pioneered by Snapchat, eliminates the need for big thumbstrokes on your touch screen that can get tiring after awhile. It also means users always see media full-screen rather than having to fiddle with scrolling the perfect amount to see an entire post. Together, these create a more relaxing browsing experience that can devour hours of a user’s time.

Read More »