android apps

Microsoft Office finally comes to Android phones

Microsoft Office finally comes to Android phones

Microsoft Office for Android phones is here. At last, Android users can maximize productivity as well as iOS and Windows Phone users. Until now, if Android users had Office 365 they could use Office Mobile, which was pretty basic. With the new apps, Office 365 users still get an advantage. (Otherwise what would be point of the subscription fee?) While the apps are free to all users, the people without 365 accounts will be limited to opening, editing, and saving files. 365 members will have functionality that almost mirrors the full PC versions. For example, subscribers get a button in the Word for Android app that brings up a pop-up tool tray where you can make changes to layout, format, paragraphs, headers, footers and more without ever having to leave the document.

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Free Android apps found tracking personal data

Free Android apps found tracking personal data

The Google Play store is a veritable frontier for apps of varying degrees of quality, while Apple tends to rule its App Store with an iron fist, only allowing thoroughly vetted apps to make an appearance. Only apps that are visibly malicious are barred entry to the Google Play store, leaving room for apps that aren't completely honest with their intentions. Perhaps it's time that Google follow Apple's lead and tighten up on the reins a bit, especially considering that a security team found thousands of free Android apps that are sharing user data by connecting with advertising and tracking sites--all unbeknownst to users.

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Airbnb gives Android tablet and iPad users a slick, new interface

Airbnb gives Android tablet and iPad users a slick, new interface

Airbnb decided that instead of simply scaling-up its mobile apps, it would completely design a new tablet interface from the ground up. The new apps boast a "cinematic" interface. The entire feel of the app is more like browsing through a thick, glossy travel magazine than searching through wordy hotel reviews. The new Airbnb apps for Android and iOS tablets give users more of what they want, pictures. Any armchair traveller knows the best part about looking at new travel destinations is the photographs. Sure, descriptions can excite the imagination, but a picture is worth a thousand words.

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FREAK security hole: Passwords on Android and iOS apps at risk

FREAK security hole: Passwords on Android and iOS apps at risk

At first, we thought the FREAK security vulnerability was isolated to Internet browsers. Then, it became clear that Windows OS is vulnerable to FREAK attacks. The latest news is that this problem is now able to affect smartphones and mobile devices through apps on Android and iOS. The FREAK vulnerability is a security backdoor created by an old Clinton administration era government policy which required all exported software and hardware to have weak encryption keys. Obviously their policy was passed without much foresight. FREAK attacks cripple HTTPS security, allowing for sensitive data like passwords and credit card information to be snatched by hackers savvy to the susceptibility.

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Google’s new events app is just for Google events

Google’s new events app is just for Google events

Yesterday, Google released an app on the Play Store that seemed to mimic their I/O app in a lot of ways. At the time it was flopped into the Play Store, there wasn’t much to discuss. It was clearly an internal project that was either released early (and lazily) or by accident. Either way, it was limited. At the time, we posited that Google may be using it at I/O, and it turns out we’re right. It also turns out I/O is about all it’s good for.

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Mapillary creates maps with crowdsourced street views

Mapillary creates maps with crowdsourced street views

Mapillary is taking crowdsourcing to the streets, or more precisely, street views. Instead of relying on a single authority (cough, Google Street Views) to relay street level photos, Mapillary lets anyone upload photos of their environment. Mapillary uses the idea that locals can create better images of their surrounding environment than an automated car passing through a city. You can browse through hidden alleyways in Spain, or take a visual drive down the Pacific Coast Highway. You can also upload your own photos using your smartphone camera and their handy app.

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‘Restaurant concierge’ app Reserve comes to Android

‘Restaurant concierge’ app Reserve comes to Android

Have you ever wanted to walk into a restaurant, eat, and not pay? Android users can, now that Reserve has come to the Play Store. The app allows users to simply get up and leave at participating restaurants, as it takes care of your bill for you. It can even make a reservation, and currently has “more than a hundred of the country’s best restaurants” signed up for the service. The app is currently available, and is free to download.

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Google Now gets third-party app support with update

Google Now gets third-party app support with update

After yesterday’s earnings report, which brought news that Google may not be as strong in Search as they once were, the company is announcing changes to Google Now. The mobile-first search skin, which brings in cards packed with information based on your usage, will now allow third-party apps to deliver info to you. Google says over 40 new cards will be available to users, and the info sharing is a one-way street; app Developers won’t be able to cull data from Now.

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WhatsApp gives us another reason not to side-load apps

WhatsApp gives us another reason not to side-load apps

Those reports we see now and again about malware for Android always have a pretty strong narrative thread: don’t download apps outside of the Play Store. When you side-load apps, you open yourself up to all kinds of bad things, which is typically when malware takes hold. WhatsApp Plus, an app created for use as a WhatsApp client, has been an issue for users lately. WhatsApp has begun issuing 24-hour bans for users, but it’s not them — it’s their app.

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Google Translate Word Lens and live translation hands-on

Google Translate Word Lens and live translation hands-on

The team behind the Google Translate app have successfully created a tool that I can take to Spain to figure out where to find pizza without menu photos of said pizza. Thank you, Google Translate team. Today we're seeing an update to the Google Translate app for iOS, and an imminent update to the Android version of the app as well. With this update we'll see more solid live voice translation. We'll also see real-deal live translations of text - that's the magic-maker.

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Aviate Android launcher: the Yahoo experience

Aviate Android launcher: the Yahoo experience

This week we've had a chat with Mark Daiss, Product Manager for Yahoo Aviate & Aviate Co-founder on the successful launch and continued updates to the Aviate Android launcher app. With the addition of Yahoo search to the app this week, the full replacement of your standard smartphone user interface is primed for action. Just in time for Christmas, just in time to change the way your brand new Android smartphone looks from the inside out. Supposing you want the Yahoo experience, that is to say.

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