Google Play Store

LightsOut adware infects utility apps, bypasses Google Play Store checks

LightsOut adware infects utility apps, bypasses Google Play Store checks

Utility apps are a dime a dozen in Google Play Store, but if you’re not careful, you might install one that has some unwanted payload inside. That is the unfortunate situation that a few million Android users may have found themselves in after downloading and installing some random flashlight or utility app, which left them exposed to ads in inappropriate places. And their only fault is to have presumed that since the apps are from Google Play Store, they must be safe to install and use.

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Google 12 Days of Play sale: 99c movies, app deals, Pokemon GO holiday packs

Google 12 Days of Play sale: 99c movies, app deals, Pokemon GO holiday packs

Google has launched its 12 Days of Play sale on the Google Play Store, giving Android users nearly two weeks to get some app goods at a discount. The deal also slashes prices on other digital items, including subscriptions for other services like TuneIn's premium plan and HBO NOW. As the sale's name suggests, it'll be live for 12 days, ending on January 2, 2018. Here are some of the best deals you can get.

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Google’s Black Friday deals include some must-see price cuts

Google’s Black Friday deals include some must-see price cuts

While many companies announced their Black Friday deals last week, Google made us wait a little while longer. With the clock winding down, Google revealed the offers it will have on Black Friday today, and it might surprise you to learn that many of them revolve around Google Play. Sorry to say it, but if you were hoping to see discounts on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, there won't be much for you this year.

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These Chromebooks now fully support Google Play Store

These Chromebooks now fully support Google Play Store

The speculation around Google’s unified operating system for Android and Chrome OS have mostly died down again, just as the fervor around Android apps on Chrome has similarly lost steam. That doesn’t mean, however, that Google has forgotten about its promise, though. With the launch of its new Pixelbook Chromebook, questions about the versatility of these devices come up again. And by happenstance, Google seems to have gotten the ball rolling again, enabling full and stable Android app support for 17 more Chromebooks.

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Android Wear can get new features faster via Play Store

Android Wear can get new features faster via Play Store

Android Wear is not yet dead, even if you no longer see them on the Google Store. But, let's face it, it's not exactly the hottest thing in mobile right now, though neither are smartwatches in general. And while development of the platform continues, as seen by the latest Oreo-based beta, the rollout of features hasn't exactly been fast and frequent. That, however, might be changing soon, as Google will start to course new features to smartwatches via the Android Wear app on the Google Play Store.

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ExpensiveWall Android malware sneaks into Google Play Store

ExpensiveWall Android malware sneaks into Google Play Store

It seems almost too ironic that the Google Play Store has been secretly invaded by even more malware after it has promoted its Google Play Protect security platform for Android. Boasting of technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence, Play Protect promises to protect Android users more thoroughly without having to increase manpower. Alas, it seems that another malware, named ExpensiveWall, has gotten past the Play Store’s security and this lapse is costing users a lot more than just peace of mind but actual money as well.

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SonicSpy malware sneaks into Google Play Store

SonicSpy malware sneaks into Google Play Store

There are pros and cons to the way Apple screens apps that go into its App Store and the way Google prefers to rely on automation to preserve the quality and security of Android apps. The latter methods is more efficient and more open to the hundreds of apps submitted to the Google Play Store. Unfortunately, that does mean that some less than innocent apps do slip in through the cracks. Case in point is a family of spyware collectively named “SonicSpy”, which was able to bypass Google’s automated bouncer, allowing infected apps to join the Google Play Store list, potentially infecting unsuspected Android users.

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Unstable Android apps punished with poor Google Play placement

Unstable Android apps punished with poor Google Play placement

Google plans to punish crash-prone Android apps with worse rankings in the Google Play Store, in an attempt to force developers to write more stable code. The move will see Google wield some machine intelligence along with human assessors onto the vast quantity of titles available in the Google Play download store, following persistent complaints by Android device users that much of what's in there can be flaky and dissatisfying. Just as in search, Google plans to hit the developers responsible where it hurts the most: visibility.

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Google Play is handing out store credit to some users

Google Play is handing out store credit to some users

If you go check out the Google Play Store right now, you might find that you have a special offer waiting for you. Google Play is handing out a credit to some of its users, which is certainly a pleasant surprise. Pleasant as it may be, only some users seem to be getting it, and even then, the credit isn't very much to begin with.

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Google Play updates will finally show changes inline

Google Play updates will finally show changes inline

The Google Play Store is a rather ironic part of Google's ecosystem. For a company that puts information at your fingertips in Search, it seems to make it so difficult to extract information in its Play Store app and website. For example, it was only recently that Google even added the option to sort your installed apps. Soon, it will finally have the ability to show you exactly what you're getting when you update an app, without having to go through different screens to do so.

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Google Play Protect has been protecting Android devices for years

Google Play Protect has been protecting Android devices for years

Machine learning was the pervading theme of Google's keynote at I/O 2017, and it has found ways to inject it into almost every nook and cranny possible. Case in point is the "all new" Google Play Protect, which uses machine learning to weed out malicious Android apps and keep them from harming your device. As impressive as that might sound, this something Google has actually been doing on Android for years now. At least those Android devices with Google Play Services.

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Google Play Store My Apps section is now a bit more usable

Google Play Store My Apps section is now a bit more usable

Give how easy it is to install apps, especially free ones, on Android, it’s only a matter of time before your list of apps becomes out of control. For all its experience in sorting and grouping search results, Google has done a rather dismal job at making it easier to sort through your apps in Google Play Store. That now changes with its addition of a sorting option to the My Apps section in the Google Play Store app.

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