More Android apps from dangerous Ztorg family sneak into Google Play

 

For the second time this month, Google has removed Android apps from its Google Play marketplace. Google did so after a security researcher found the apps contained code that laid the groundwork for attackers to take administrative “root” control of infected devices.

“Magic Browser,” as one app was called, was uploaded to Google’s official Android App bazaar on May 15 and gained more than 50,000 downloads by the time it was removed, Kaspersky Lab Senior Research Analyst Roman Unuchek said in a blog post published Tuesday. Magic Browser was disguised as a knock-off to the Chrome browser. The other app, “Noise Detector,” purported to measure the decibel level of sounds, and it had been downloaded more than 10,000 times. Both apps belong to a family of Android malware known as Ztorg, which has managed to sneak past Google’s automated malware checks almost 100 times since last September.

Most Ztorg apps are notable for their ability to use well-known exploits to root infected phones. This status allows the apps to have finer-grain control and makes them harder to be removed. Ztorg apps are also concerning for their large number of downloads. A Ztorg app known as Privacy Lock, for instance, received one million installations before Google removed it last month, while an infected Pokémon Go guide racked up 500,000 downloads before its removal in September.

Earlier this month, Google removed a game called colourblock after Kaspersky Lab’s Unuchek found it contained code dubbed DVmap that attempted to gain root. To evade detection by Google, DVmap developers initially uploaded a clean version of the game to Play and later updated it to add malicious functions. Unuchek has warned that the rooting processes used by malicious rooting apps can often harm the phones because the apps can overwrite crucial files and folders.

Magic Browser and Noise Detector didn’t actually root the phones, but the Ztorg digital fingerprints in both apps led Unuchek to theorize that the app developers were in the process of adding the capability to one or both of the apps gradually in an attempt to evade detection. In the meantime, the researcher said, the developers were using Magic Browser to either test or actively use malicious text-messaging functions. The app had the ability to send premium text messages to attacker-controlled numbers. To keep users in the dark, the app could also delete incoming texts and turn off the device sound.

“So I think that the authors are still testing this malware, because they use some techniques which can break the infected devices,” Unuchek wrote. “But they already have a lot of infected users on whom to test their methods. I hope that by uncovering this malware at such an early stage, we will be able to prevent a massive and dangerous attack when the attackers are ready to actively use their methods.”

6 great Android features missing from iOS 11

 

Call me a flip-flopper, but the new features in iOS 11 have me thinking of jumping back to iOS after switching to Android barely a year ago.

Indeed, the new version of iOS brings such enticing features as a revamped App Store, a customizable Control Center, and drag-and-drop for iPad users, plus such catch-up features as one-handed typing and easy person-to-person payments.

But returning to iOS would mean leaving behind many Android features I’ve grown to love, from the ability to set up multiple user profiles to one-touch Google searches on whatever’s onscreen at a given moment.

Read on for six awesome Android features that iOS 11 has yet to match, starting with..

Multiple user profiles

Given all the innovations coming to the iPad courtesy of iOS 11, from the ability to drag-and-drop elements from one side of the split screen to the other and the new, persistent app dock, you’d think Apple would toss in a feature that’s been standard on Android for years: user profiles, perfect for letting family members in a one-iPad household create their own personal iPad spaces.

Multiple user profiles

Ben Patterson

If you’ve been waiting for Android-like user profiles to arrive on iOS, bad news: they’re still missing in iOS 11.

For whatever reason, though (privacy concerns, perhaps?), Apple has yet again passed on adding user profiles to the iPhone or iPad. That means if you share your iPad with your toddler or teenager, you’re sharing all your iPad data, too, including your e-mail, your open browser tabs, your Facebook app, everything.

Multiple Do Not Disturb schedules

Android has really spoiled me with its “automatic rules” for Do Not Disturb mode. With automatic rules, you can set up multiple Do Not Disturb schedules for weeknights, weekends, meetings, and any other scenarios you dream up. For example, I have Do Not Disturb set to turn itself off early (as in 6 a.m.) on weekday mornings, while on weekends, Do Not Disturb keeps things quiet until about 8.

Multiple Do Not Disturb schedules

 

Sony Launches 2017 Lineup of Its 4K HDR TVs in India

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The range starts at Rs. 72,900 for 43-inch X70E
  • Goes up to Rs. 6,04,900 for 75-inch X94E
  • Most are already available via Sony stores

Sony has launched the 2017 models of its 4K HDR TV line-up in India, starting at Rs. 72,900 for the 43-inch model. A total of 17 models are being launched across six different series: X95E, X94E/ X93E, X90E, X82E, X75E, and X70E. While most of them go on sale this week in Sony stores across India, some will be releasing in the near future. There’s no mention of Sony’s OLED 4K TV, which stole the show at CES 2017.

The biggest and most expensive of the lot is the 75-inch X94E, which costs a whopping Rs. 6,04,900. The X95E is Sony’s new top of the line 4K HDR TV, priced at Rs. 3,04,900 for the 55-inch model, and Rs. 4,04,900 for the 65-inch one. The X93E comes after that, coming in at Rs. 2,64,900 for 55-inch, and Rs. 3,64,900 for the 65-inch.

Stepping down further, you get the X90E series, which starts at a slightly more reasonable Rs. 1,54,900 for the 49-inch model. The 55-inch and 65-inch X90E models cost Rs. 2,04,900 and Rs. 2,84,900 respectively. Further down the line you’ve the X82E, costing Rs. 87,900 for 43-inch, Rs. 1,24,900 for the 49-inch, and Rs. 1,54,900 for the 55-inch.

In the X70E line-up, you can choose from the aforementioned 43-inch model, at Rs. 72,900. If you need something bigger, the 49-inch X70E costs Rs. 94,900. That leaves the X75E – in 43-, 49-, 55- and 65-inch variants – which don’t have prices or a release date yet.

The reason the X94E is so expensive isn’t just for its size (75-inch), but also because it has direct LED technology in its panel, as opposed to edge LED on the rest of the 2017 Sony line-up. That means the LEDs are behind the panel, which provides better contrast and brightness, at the expense of thickness and a premium. The X90E models also have direct LED.Sony Launches 2017 Lineup of Its 4K HDR TVs in India

To compensate on the X95E and X93E (which have edge LED), Sony is touting “Slim Backlight Drive+” for more brightness, which it says brings more accurate local dimming control. From X90E upwards, the Sony 4K HDR TVs also have better systems for picture processing, and clarity, and contrast enhancement.

In terms of connectivity, you get four HDMI inputs on X82E onwards. While the X82E has two on the side and the back, X90E has three on the side and one on the back. There is one on the side and three at the bottom in the X93E, X94E, and X95E. The X70E has three in total, two on the side and one in the back.

The entire Sony X-series runs Android TV 7.0 Nougat by default, with Sony’s own interface running on top of it. The Android aspect is stressed on the remote as well, with dedicated buttons for Netflix, Google Play Store, and YouTube. All of Sony’s 2017 Android TVs are part of Netflix’s recommended programme, if that’s a checkbox for you.

 

Sony Xperia X, Xperia X Compact gets Android 7.1.1 Nougat and June security patch update

 

Sony starts rolling out the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat for Xperia X and Xperia X Compact. Both the smartphones were originally announced with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, however, in November last year, Sony started pushing out Android 7.0 Nougat update for the handsets. And now with Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS onboard, both Xperia X and Xperia X Compact users will get a range of new features and updates.

Well, along with the Android 7.1.1 Nougat update, the Xperia X and Xperia X Compact  devices will also receive June Android security patch update. This is confirmed by Xperia blog. The blog post mentions, “Sony Mobile is rolling a new Nougat update for Xperia X and Xperia X Compact owners that moves them from Android 7.0 to 7.1.1.”Sony Xperia X

Also Read: Sony to focus on flagship Xperia phones, Xperia X and X Compact to be axed

Furthermore, according to Xperia Blog, the new Android Nougat update for Sony Xperia X and Xperia X Compact will come via a new build number 34.3.A.0.194. However, there is no mention if the software update will be rolled out globally, or only to select markets. With the new Android Nougat OS update, Sony will bring a number of features to both Sony Xperia X and Xperia X Compact device.

Picture Courtesy: Xperia Blog

App shortcut, support for circular app icons, fingerprint swipe down gesture, keyboard image insertion, night light, new emojis, split screen mode, quick notification, doze mode and a lot more feature will come to the Xperia devices with Android 7.1.1 Nougat update. Sony is probably rolling out the Nougat update eventually. While some users who have already received the software upgrade have complained about a few features being missing. One user said, “7.1.1’s best feature is app shortcuts and Xperia home doesn’t even support it”, while the another one said, “The Cons: After updating it, I found out that Sony doesn’t even provide the new clock widget for the lock screen! This is so called ‘their pathetic marketing”.

Also Read: Sony Xperia XZ Premium 4K HDR phone with Motion Eye camera launched at Rs 59,990

Some users also said that with the new update, Sony brings New Smart Stamina Mode and Xperia Actions features on the Xperia devices.

Sony recently launched the Xperia XZ Premium with 4K HDR phone with Motion Eye camera. This premium smartphone is launched at Rs 59,990. Xperia XZ Premium is the follow-up to last year’s Xperia X Performance, and succeeds 2015’s Xperia Z5 Premium. The smartphone comes with 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera system on the rear which is further coupled with phase detection and laser autofocus features. The Xperia device sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display and runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat-based Xperia UI. The device is further powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which is further expandable by up to 256GB via a microSD card and is backed by a 3,230mAh battery and supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0.

 

The 10 best Android apps for Chromebooks

 

Running Android apps on Chromebooks is still a dream—a dream in extended beta, that is. After promising the feature earlier this year, Google has pushed out the release date.

While a select number of Chromebooks can access Google Play right out of the box, more adventurous Chromebook users will need to run the developer beta of Chrome OS to experience Android apps. After spending time with a number of Android apps that have become Chrome-friendly, I actually prefer some Android versions on Chrome over the web-based versions, as mobile apps can be refreshingly simple and uncluttered.chromebook chrome os

To get into the beta channel, go to your Chromebook’s Settings page and click About Chrome OS. Next, click Detailed build information, then click Change Channel. There, you can switch from the stable channel to the beta channel. You should steer clear of the developer channel, however, as that will definitely be unstable.

The 10 Android apps below represent how good it could be on Chrome once everything becomes official. Just remember, this is beta software, so tread carefully. If things go awry, you can always go back to stable channel or Powerwash your Chromebook and start over.

Microsoft Outlook

android apps chromebook outlook

Derek Walter/IDG

Sure, Gmail is great and all, but like many you might have an Office 365 email address assigned by your company. If that’s the case, you’ll want to grab the Microsoft Outlook Android application for your Chromebook. Unlike the web app, you can use Outlook to manage multiple accounts and access your messages offline. It even handles Gmail accounts if you want to use Outlook as your all-in-one email application.

Newton Mail

android apps chromebook newton mail

Derek Walter/IDG

Perhaps you want to extend the capabilities of your email app by connecting it to your favorite services. Newton Mail (formerly CloudMagic) has several built-in plugins for common services like Trello, Todoist, OneNote, and Salesforce. You can quickly zap emails over to those apps with just a couple of taps.

Newton Mail is clean and works well, but don’t get too attached unless you want to pay the $50-per-year fee for full access.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Reportedly Receiving Firmware Update, Includes June Security Patch

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New firmware update for Galaxy S8+ said to be rolling out now
  • Brings minor changes to the UI
  • The update includes June security update

Samsung has started rolling out a firmware update to its Galaxy S8+ smartphone in select markets. The new firmware update also brings June Android security patch that was recently released by Google.

Sammobile reports that the new update is now available in India apart from the European market. Samsung Galaxy S8+ users should start receiving the over-the-air notification for the update. As usual, users can also manually check for the update via Settings > About Phone > System Update. The update reportedly comes with software build G955FXXU1AQF7/ G955FOXM1AQF7/ G955FXXU1AQF7 which will differ depending on the region, and is about 450MB in size.

The firmware update for the Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Review) brings minor changes to navigation bar where icons will be added to the left-hand side of the navigation bar, which will now offer more room to users without the bar blocking it. The number of available background colours in navigation bar has been changed as well, and after the update, the background colour will be set to the default colour. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ update changeling also confirms that the update will improve quality of panorama images from Camera. As announced by Google, earlier this month, the June Android security update, which is included in the new firmware update, resolves around 100 issues.Samsung Galaxy S8+ Reportedly Receiving Firmware Update, Includes June Security Patch

Samsung Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy S8 had earlier received a firmware upgrade that included a fix for the red tint display issue that many users had reported.

Last week, Samsung made the Galaxy S8+ variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage available to buy in India. Priced at Rs. 74,900, the variant went on sale via Flipkart.

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Rs. 64,900
Buy
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  • Battery life
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  • Good
  • Gorgeous looks and excellent construction quality
  • Brilliant displays
  • Phenomenal camera quality
  • Class-leading performance
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  • No flat screen option
  • Nearly unusable fingerprint reader
  • Software stuffed with unnecessary features
BUY AT
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Maple Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs. 64,900

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 render hits the web, price is also out

 

From the image below, you can see that the screen-to-body ratio of the Galaxy Note 8 is better than that of the flagship smartphones – Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. We have already come across this information, thanks to a previous leak. Also, the latest leaked render suggests that the Galaxy Note 8 will have a 6.3-inch display that goes in line with the previous rumors. This screen is believed to have a QHD 1440p resolution. But the chances to expect a 4K display are high if Samsung wants to focus on VR. The latest leak suggests that the Galaxy Note 8 might be priced around €999 (approx. Rs. 72,000). At such a premium price point, it is possible for the device to arrive with a 4K display. Another noticeable feature is the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, which wasn’t seen on the previous leaks. It seems to be positioned under the dual-lens rear camera setup. Samsung is believed to make use of two 12MP camera sensors at the back with OIS. Talking about the other details as tipped by the previous speculations, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 slated to be unveiled in late August ahead of IFA 2017 is likely to feature Snapdragon 836 SoC. The upcoming chipset is claimed to be paired with either 6GB or 8GB RAM and up to 256GB of default memory capacity. The other aspects include a 3300mAh battery and DeX support as well.

 

Xiaomi sold 1 million Redmi 4 phones in India in just 30 days

The Xiaomi Redmi 4-8608.php#redmi-4) has sold over 1 million units in India, the company just announced. It took 30 days, two weeks less than the Redmi Note 4 needed to reach the same milestone.

So, India now has a new record for fastest phone to reach a million sales. The Redmi 4 got to a solid start, selling a quarter of a million in the first 8 minutes of sale alone. It had to take a break after as Mi.com ran out of units, but availability issues have been cleared up now.

Congrats to the Xiaomi team! If you feel like joining the million Redmi fans, head to Mi.com and grab one – the Redmi 4 starts at CNY 7,000 (2GB+16GB) and goes up to the recently released CNY 11,000 (4GB+64GB).

 

Deal: LG G6 is $150 off in the US

If you are in the US and planning to purchase the LG G6, you might want to check out the deal Amazon is offering: unlocked variant (black and platinum color options) for $549.99.

That is down $150 from the $699.99 price tag the device usually carries there. Officially also, LG has the unlocked variant listed for $700.

The model on offer is compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks, meaning you can use it on all major US carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. No information on when the deal ends. For more details, head to the Source link below.

 

Apple Seeks ‘Siri Event Maven’ to Keep the Assistant Up-to-Date on Culture

 

HIGHLIGHTS
Apple is looking to hire human assistant, to be named as Siri Event Maven
It will help Siri assistant stay updated on the non-traditional holidays
It will also scan social media to inform Siri about them
Apple is looking to hire a person to help its Siri assistant stay updated on all the non-traditional holidays, trending cultural happenings, and events that people might ask about.

The human assistant, to be named as the “Siri Event Maven,” will work with the engineers and designers working on Siri “to provide strategic awareness of cultural happenings in the collective zeitgeist,” Apple was quoted as saying to 9to5mac.com, on Tuesday.

“We’re looking for someone to help us keep Siri up to date on all the various events happening around the world,” according to the job description posted by Apple.Apple Seeks 'Siri Event Maven' to Keep the Assistant Up-to-Date on Culture

The human assistant would join the Siri team to “scour” social media for trends and happenings that Apple’s voice assistant doesn’t know about.
The role will also work with its analytics team to “understand current behaviour” and “identify events we may have missed,” Apple noted.

Although Apple’s Siri popularised voice assistants when it was first released on the iPhone in 2011, it has since lagged behind competitors like Google Assitant, and continues to face competition from new rivals like Amazon’s Alexa and Samsung’s Bixby Voice software.

But, with Apple looking to launch its new HomePod speaker – its first standalone Siri device – the iPhone maker wants Siri to be more up to date on pop culture and events, as it will bring the personal assistant into the living room.