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Google Play Store sort of bans stalkerware Android apps

Google Play Store sort of bans stalkerware Android apps

Given its more open ecosystem, Android has become notorious for the rampant operation of all kinds of malware. Some of those even get past Google's own scrutiny in reviewing apps for the Google Play Store. Those covertly try to hide their less than innocent behavior but it seems that a certain class of software has been operating out in the open under Google's nose. Starting today, however, stalkerware apps are banned from the Google Play Store, except in cases when they're allowed.

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Epic Games sues Google over Fortnite removal over Play Store violations

Epic Games sues Google over Fortnite removal over Play Store violations

In just a few hours, the mobile app and gaming market exploded into a flurry of news, removals, and two lawsuits, all revolving around a single game: Fortnite. Epic Games, who has spoken out and moved against the status quo in the game and app store markets, made a daring move to implement its own direct payment system to bypass Google's and Apple's revenue split system. It isn't surprising that both Apple and Google have quickly removed Fortnite from their respective app stores but it's rather curious that Epic Games quickly sued both afterward.

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Apple App Store, Google Play Store face new rules in Europe

Apple App Store, Google Play Store face new rules in Europe

Apps, be it native or web-based, are the bread and butter of the smartphone experience, making app stores the gatekeepers to that mobile world. These stores have lately come under greater scrutiny, for their alleged anti-competitive practices, unfair revenue splits, or unreasonable decisions. The European Union has just published new rules that will make app stores give developers fairer treatment or at least a fighting chance at appealing their case.

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Microsoft and Google team up to improve web apps on Android

Microsoft and Google team up to improve web apps on Android

There are many operating systems available today, from Windows to macOS to Linux to Android to iOS, a bit far too many for developers, especially lone ones, to support equally. There is also no shortage of frameworks and tools, like Qt or Google's Flutter, designed to make that a little less painful but the one platform for that truly permeates all of these is the Web. That is basically the appeal of the new generation of web apps, called Progressive Web Apps, and two of the world's larger software vendors are working together to make PWAs more like first-class citizens of the Google Play Store.

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Chromebook Google Play Store installing web app versions of Android apps

Chromebook Google Play Store installing web app versions of Android apps

Chromebooks and Chrome OS have always been designed with a "web-first" experience in mind. Back then, however, that experience was less than ideal due to the lack of apps and immaturity of the web app ecosystem. Fast forward to today, Progressive Web Apps or PWAs have made significant headway into creating an experience almost on par with native Android apps. That, in turn, seems to have made Google confident enough to start making PWAs the default when you try to install an Android app from Google Play Store on Chrome OS.

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Android clicker malware infects kids’ games on Google Play Store

Android clicker malware infects kids’ games on Google Play Store

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't just an opportunity for some to finally embrace the work from home life, it is also an opportunity for hackers to exploit people's newfound dependence on the Internet and apps. Of course, it does seem that it's business as usual for Android users as news of yet another malware sneaking into Google Play Store surfaces. Given how it has targeted even children's games, it's a worrying precedent that needs to be nipped at the bud immediately.

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Google kicks out 600 apps from Play Store over bad ads

Google kicks out 600 apps from Play Store over bad ads

Google recently boasted that Google Play Store has netted $80 billion in revenue for developers. Those figures are, of course, only from the legitimate ways app developers earn money, either from outright app purchases, in-app buys, subscriptions, or even ads. The last source of income, however, is rather problematic even for Google who manages the sanctioned apps these apps can use. This is mostly due to less than savory advertising methods which the company has now given the boot from Google Play Store.

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Google Play Store needs more than AI to make app recommendations useful

Google Play Store needs more than AI to make app recommendations useful

Despite trying to paint an image of being a serious, enterprise-friendly corporation, Google is still pretty much the stereotypical geek among the tech giants. It just loves to solve its problems with machine learning and AI, which is understandable given the amount of data it has to wrestle with. But while there are things that can be efficiently solved with advanced machine learning, some things, like recommending apps for users to install and use from Google Play Store, need a bit of human touch.

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Infected Android apps downloaded by thousands: where are the users?

Infected Android apps downloaded by thousands: where are the users?

Another day, another Android malware sighted on Google Play Store. Countless pieces and analyses have been written up regarding Google’s mostly hands-off approach to screening apps and it’s a bitter pill to swallow for Android fans and believers. But while there’s no denying that too many such Potentially Harmful Apps or PHAs have slipped through the cracks, there is also one thing that seems to escape notice: the hundreds of thousands of users that should have all been compromised by these malware-laden Android apps.

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Rootless Pixel Launcher pulled from Play Store for policy violation

Rootless Pixel Launcher pulled from Play Store for policy violation

Well, that was quick. Barely a week after the developer and fans of the Rootless Pixel Launcher celebrated its availability on Google Play Store, Google takes it down. But before you go thinking foul play, developer Amir Zaidi did issue a mea culpa over the incident. It all boils down to a policy on Google Play Store that disallows apps that download other apps that isn't also available on Google Play Store.

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In-App Purchase revenue cut war will hurt consumers the most – Here is why

In-App Purchase revenue cut war will hurt consumers the most – Here is why

In a battle of giants, it’s the little guys that get stomped on. There seems to be a revolution brewing in the mobile market, with key players no longer satisfied with the status quo that once made them rich. They’re seemingly flipping the finger at “The Man” and rallying in support of the common folk.

It isn’t a David vs. Goliath battle, though. More like Goliath 1 vs Goliath 2. And while many might not be so fond of the current in-app purchase trends and exploitation, users are likely to be on the losing end, no matter which side wins.

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Google Play Store now lets users decide how to download apps

Google Play Store now lets users decide how to download apps

Smartphones are built for the Internet. Almost every functionality and every app seem to be designed with the presumption of an Internet connection always available. Naturally, installing and updating apps also require that. Internet access, however, isn’t available everywhere all the time. And in some cases, it can even be expensive. Google Play used to be indiscriminate about Internet connections. Either you had one or you didn’t, end of story. Fortunately, now it will be more forgiving, allowing users to choose not to download or update apps unless they’re on Wi-Fi.

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