FTC Warns Apps Could Be Invading Your Privacy

We all love downloading that new app. Be it a game or something more practical for everyday use, we love exploring it and finding out what it does. Seems like some Apps may be returning the favour and not even telling us about it as several apps could be invading your privacy.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have warned several developers for mobile software that their apps may, in fact, be invading their customers privacy without even their notice. The Silverpush framework and several overs don’t request permission to use your microphone but still do. It only gets worse as it appears that the apps are capable of “producing a detailed log of the television content viewed while a user’s mobile device was turned on for the purpose of targeted advertising software and analytics”. So by having your phone near you when you watch TV means you could be advertising your favourite shows to third parties without even knowing it!

Silverpush is already known to listen for ultrasonic sounds to check for multiple devices within the vicinity such as your laptop or tablet. By knowing what devices you have around you the company is able to pick up and generate more detailed advertising profiles, some of which you are never even aware was being generated.

Silverpush, an India-based company, states that the techniques aren’t used domestically but the FTC want apps having to specifically request access to your device’s microphone.

“Mod” Platform Launched by Cyanogen

A new feature has been announced by Cyanogen Inc for incorporation in the Marshmallow version of the commercial Android skin Cyanogen OS. The Mod platform intends to build apps directly into the operating system. Microsoft themselves are a large participant in the development of the platform, having developed Skype, Cortana, OneNote, and Hyperlapse apps for the platform.

The use of a large amount of Microsoft apps in the platform is the result of the previously announced “strategic partnership” between Cyanogen and Microsoft, which promised to cover “Bing services, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, and Microsoft Office.” The majority of those agreements are now represented on the Mod platform, with four out of the six currently announced apps being developed by Microsoft, which to some may seem like Cyanogen with Mod is simply facilitating a Microsoft version of Android.

What the Mod platform intends to bring to the table over normal apps is currently unclear. The majority of the functionality offered by it can easily be covered by existing apps, with even Cortana integration seeming somewhat redundant with the existence of the Assist API in Android 6.0. The main feature offered by Mod that is not easily covered by other apps is its “Social Lock Screen”, which allows social network updates to be visible on the lock screen. Whether this is a result of Cyanogen’s comments that their platform allows developers to “deeply integrate” their app “in a way that only Google could”, but it is unclear as to the meaning and functionality of this, which may be a series of special APIs built into Cyanogen for developers.

Cyanogen’s release of the Mod platform seems to show them going in the complete opposite direction to Google, championing the integration of software into the operating system, instead of the separation of parts of the OS into optional apps made available through the app store. Cyanogen is offering a “Mod ready” program for manufacturers, which intends to allow companies to load their devices with Cyanogen OS in order to access the existing Mods. They even offer a “Mod ready” logo that can be stuck onto devices, however, Cyanogen is yet to publicly announce any partners for the platform. For those interested in the idea, Cyanogen plans to ship the Mod platform next month at the same time as Cyanogen OS 13, the first version of the OS to run on Android Marshmallow.

Garmin Unveils The “Quatix 3” Luxury Watch

The humble watch is seen as somewhat old-fashioned compared to the digital life that nearly all consumers live these days, tech companies on the other hand, have been looking to integrate various digital features within so-called smart watches with the aim of marketing the product for the 21st century. Global GPS brand Garmin who are synonymous with Sat Navs have unveiled a new watch by the name of the Quatix 3.

Below is a quick rundown of the announced specifications.

  • Physical dimensions – 2.0” x 2.0” x 0.6” (51.5 x 51.5 x 16.0 mm)
  • Display Size – 1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter
  • Display resolution – WxH – 218 x 218 pixels; transflective MIP colour; sapphire lens
  • Weight – 3.0 oz (85 g)
  • Battery life – Up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode; up to 20 hours in GPS training mode; up to 6 weeks in watch mode

The watch also comes equipped with a “protective stainless steel EXO bezel and buttons”.

If you happen to be a fisherman or an avid race boat enthusiast, the Quatix 3 has you covered, below is a quick summary of these targeted features.

  • Saltwater fishermen – Will have features available to them that include navigational as well as NMEA 2000 data including depth, speed, water temperature etc.
  • Sailors – Will have the option to receive data that includes a virtual starting line feature that lets you set up a starting line between 2 marked GPS waypoints, e.g., a buoy and the committee boat
  • The watch also contains an Altimeter, Barometer and Compass.

The watch is expected to be released within the first quarter of April 2016, prices are expected to be $599.99 (£420.54).

It will be interesting to see if this watch has a great appeal within the general consumer market when you consider many of the features are targeted at a specific audience. Garmin will hope this watch will be able to hold its own, it makes sense for Garmin to implement its knowledge within a new smartwatch.

Google Play Store Set to Hit China in 2016

It has been reported that Google is working tirelessly to re-establish its products in China, with the Google Play Store set to spearhead the effort by as soon as February 2016.

It has been a number of years since the internet giant has had a presence in China, since issues over censorship caused them to pull out of the nation. This has done little to hinder Androids great popularity in China thanks to companies like Xiaomi and Huawei repeatedly delivering high-quality and affordable devices that have even gained popularity in the West. Despite this, domestic Chinese Android devices continually ship without many of the Google apps that most would consider a staple on modern Android devices such as Gmail, Chrome and Maps. Instead, other companies have picked up the slack left by Google’s departure, with smartphone developers delivering their own custom Android versions built upon the Android Open Source Project and the search and app distribution platforms covered by Chinese startups such as Baidu and Wandoujia.

In order to now comply with the requirements of the Chinese government, the Chinese version of the Google Play Store will be “set up specifically for China, and not connected to overseas versions of Google Play” according to reports. This will allow for the implementation of content filtering and storage rules that are in place. Furthermore, implementation for Chinese payment platforms like Alipay and WeChat Payment will be replacing Google’s own payment systems which currently does not exist in China. All of this is in an effort to reach out to the currently untapped Chinese market, a location at which Apple are currently turning profits of over $58 billion, all the while complying with the relevant regulations, perhaps in part to their lack of opposition.

From here on, it will be a fight for Google to make their decision to reach back into China a worthwhile one, where their presence is nothing compared to their ubiquity in the West. Will we see Google once again pull out of China, or continue to become a greater worldwide presence? Only time will tell.

Windows 10 Fall Update Removes Apps and Drivers At Will!

Updates are supposed to fix issues or add new features, but it looks like Microsoft is going the other way with their big Fall update for Windows 10. Okay, this is probably not intended but it is what’s happening. The thread about it on Reddit is growing steadily with users reporting not only apps disappearing, but also important drivers such as Intel RST that effectively can render your installation useless.

Among the applications being reported automatically uninstalled are popular monitor tools such as CPU-Z and HW-Monitor, but Piriform’s Speccy is also affected and being uninstalled just as Spybot and several VPN-Clients. These tools, except the VPN client, are minor and can quickly be reinstalled, but something as important as RAID drivers should never ever just be uninstalled by an update.

I’m pretty sure that this is a temporary issue, but Microsoft has yet to officially acknowledge the issues with Windows 10 version 1511. This also means that you might want to hold off updating your system with the latest patches if you’re one of the millions that already made the switch to Windows 10.

Have you experienced any trouble yourself with the newest update or are you happy with Microsoft latest operating system. Let us know in the comments.

Apple Lists Top 25 Apps Affected by XcodeGhost Malware

Apple has revised the XcodeGhost FAQ on its Chinese website and listed the top 25 apps compromised by the malware. These include a number of high profile apps for the Chinese market including a localized version of Angry Birds 2 and WeChat. According to Apple, users must update to the latest version as a matter of urgency. The apps without an asterisk have already been fixed and safe to download. However, the asterisk apps have been removed from the App Store but should be amended and ready for download very soon. Here is a complete rundown of the compromised apps:

  • WeChat
  • DiDi Taxi
  • 58 Classified – Job, Used Cars, Rent
  • Gaode Map – Driving and Public Transportation
  • Railroad 12306
  • Flush
  • China Unicom Customer Service (Official Version)*
  • CarrotFantasy 2: Daily Battle*
  • Miraculous Warmth
  • Call Me MT 2 – Multi-server version
  • Angry Birds 2 – Yifeng Li’s Favorite*
  • Baidu Music – Music Player with Downloads, Ringtones, Music Videos, Radio & Karaoke
  • DuoDuo Ringtone
  • NetEase Music – An Essential for Radio and Song Download
  • Foreign Harbor – The Hottest Platform for Oversea Shopping*
  • Battle of Freedom (The MOBA mobile game)
  • One Piece – Embark (Officially Authorized)*
  • Let’s Cook – Receipes
  • Heroes of Order & Chaos – Multiplayer Online Game*
  • Dark Dawn – Under the Icing City (the first mobile game sponsored by Fan BingBing)*
  • I Like Being With You*
  • Himalaya FM (Audio Book Community)
  • CarrotFantasy*
  • Flush HD
  • Encounter – Local Chatting Tool

Security experts have criticized Apple for the malicious Xcode vulnerabilities which could allow access to user information or damage an Apple device beyond repair. Unsurprisingly, Apple is downplaying this situation and said:

“We have no information to suggest that the malware has been used to do anything malicious or that this exploit would have delivered any personally identifiable information had it been used.” 

“We’re not aware of personally identifiable customer data being impacted and the code also did not have the ability to request customer credentials to gain iCloud and other service passwords.”

This latest security flaw doesn’t appear to have impacted on user confidence regarding iOS security. Although, negative press coverage is never a good thing and Apple needs to take any threat seriously.

Thank you MacRumours for providing us with this information.

See How Many Popular Apps Failed to Protect Your Password

When using an app developed by a big company, you might think that it is trustworthy and ensures your security and privacy. Well, a recent test proved how easy and vulnerable a lot of popular iOS and Android apps are to crack and have your passwords nabbed.

According to security firm AppBugs, a huge number of popular apps are allowing users to make a large number of login attempts without any type of restrictions. Why is this so important? Well, hackers may as well try to guess your passwords this way. There are a lot of methods involving apps that can randomly generate and test passwords, and since we are talking about mobile devices, I don’t think people will use something they can barely remember, yet alone type, as their passwords.

AppBugs found that out of 100 apps, 53 were found vulnerable. Apps such as Songza, Pocket, Wunderlist, iHeartRadio, WatchESPN, Expedia, Dictionary, CNN, Domino’s Pizza USA, Zillow, AutoCAD 360, Slack, SoundCloud, Kobo and Walmart are just a few of the one found. The security firm gave the developers 30 days to fix the issues, but only a couple of the latter mentioned apps were actually patched. The full list of vulnerable apps will be revealed on the 30th of July, according to AppBugs.

If you wish to protect your data further, users are encouraged to start considering using apps that manage all your stored passwords if you forget them, or even activate 2-factor authentication in apps, if it’s available.

Thank you 9to5mac for providing us with this information

David Cameron Plans to Ban WhatsApp

Since Edward Snowden spilled the beans on how government agencies spy on us, a lot of companies took precautions in preserving users’ privacy when using their apps. But it seems that will be made illegal and such apps look to be banned in the future, at least in the UK, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.

The PM plans to pass a new legislation by the name of “Snoopers’ Charter”, which will have popular cross-platform messaging and social media apps banned. The first one on the list seems to be WhatsApp, but the legislation looks to prevent people from sending any form of encrypted messages and has iMessage, as well as SnapChat in its sight too.

“In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which we cannot read?” said Prime Minister Cameron .”My answer to that question is: ‘No, we must not’.”

It is said that if the legislation passes, all three aforementioned services will be banned in the UK. Furthermore, all Google searches, Facebook conversations, WhatsApp group messages and even SnapChat videos will be available to the UK police and Government officials when they want to ‘browse’ through them. But is this really for the best? Do we need to compromise our privacy for security? Or are we giving away our security along with our privacy? Let us know what you think.

Thank you Express for providing us with this information

UK Privacy and Apps Under Threat

Let me just jump on my soapbox for a minute with regards to this subject, according to reports, the newly elected Conservative Government wants to again reintroduce the Snoopers Charter, sorry, I mean the new fangled “Investigatory Powers Bill” which if enacted would allow the government and security services for example M15 access to everyone’s communications.

To add insult to injury the plans would also make end to end encrypted apps for example Snapchat and WhatsApp technically illegal, unless a backdoor is installed or communications are handed over. All in the name of terrorism and extremists, now I am not being flippant and I am aware that groups such as IS exist, but I do not believe everyone’s communications should be spied upon.

This bill if passed would also require all ISP (Internet Service Providers) to retain all information on every citizens browsing habits, sites which are looked at and information which is sent, with the aim of making this information available to the security services.

So what do the tech experts believe? They have stated that these laws are draconian, anti free speech and would put the whole Internet at risk from hackers. Who would be able to crack any backdoor laid before them by the powers that be. Opposition includes Tim Cook who is the boss of Apple who said citizens should be entitled to a private life; academics from MIT and the UK have both dismissed these proposals as a disaster.

So what can we do about it? The only thing as citizens we can do, make our voices heard, I believe there should be a limit to what governments can collect, innocent people should not be spied upon in their own homes, I do think we need to track for example suspected terrorists movements, but I think in order to be under surveillance, you need evidence and a court of law to approve this, not simply cart blanch can we have your data and monitor everyone.

The mantra for governments is quite clear, “let us spy on you or you can only use certain communication tools approved by the state”. I think it would be impossible to ravage the internet of encryption, but I do think this bill is designed and will be able to collect more information on everyone.

I have started a petition on this over at change.org if you are interested in checking It out, link is below, will it work?  Hell I will be damned if I am going to lie down quietly and let the state turn into a whole new animal which polices everyone, which notion is brought to you by the good folks in China, North Korea and Russia among many.

Petition at Change.org

Thanks to BBC News, Huffington post  (who plan to encrypt their website further) and Facebook trends

Image Courtesy of automation

 

 

Apple Pulls iOS Apps and Games with US Confederate Flag

Backlash from the Charleston shooting is spilling into the digital realm as more Conferdate flag imagery is removed. This time, Apple is pulling iOS apps the feature the Confederate flag, most notably games that feature the flag. Other retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Sears and eBay have also pulled items containing the Confederate flag, but those actions have been largely restricted to clothing, memorabilia and the flag itself.

Most puzzling is Apple’s haphazard application of their removal. Some apps that feature the Confederate flag like historical apps from the History Channel have been untouched due to their historical context. Games however, that also feature the flag in its historical context, have been mostly removed. Once again it looks as if the standard is being applied differently to games, with a harsher standard being applied to them.

In some ways, it represents how the Swastika is sometimes missing from mainstream games. However, in those cases, the German side can be represented by other German war-time flags. In this case, it might be possible for developers to resubmit their games with the lesser known first Confederate flag and hope that goes through. It’s a shame though that Apple has taken an axe to games in particular without considering the historical context. Hopefully the next time a removal is done, Apple takes the time to properly judge apps to see if the use of the offensive imagery is justified.

Thank you TouchArcade for the information

iOS 9 Upgrade Will Help If You Don’t Have Enough Room For The Update

Smartphones run on a variety of operating systems, with iOS and Android being among the most common. So those of you with iPhones will be happy to hear that the iOS users can now opt to be part of the iOS 9 Beta 2 update.

When they released the iOS 8.0, users were plagued with problems due to the updates size. iOS 8.0 required a 1.6GB download, before taking up 5.8GB of memory. With some iPhones using only 16GB of memory, users were often forced to delete their app’s. photos or music. The alternative would be to plug the devices into your PC/Mac, but this would only save you the 1.6GB download size.

Possibly to help combat this issue, users have found that installing the latest iOs 9 beta will allow users to temporarily delete app’s if their device doesn’t have enough memory for the installation. The overall size of the latest version is 1.3GB for the download and 4.3GB installation space. With a smaller download and installation footprint, combined with the ability to remove apps temporarily to help free up the space needed for the installation, it’s looking like iPhone users will be able to upgrade to the latest version when it’s fully released with very little difficulty (while keeping all their music and photos).

Are you an iPhone User? Did you have trouble with the iOS 8.0 update, and if so, what would these fixes mean for you?

Thank you Engadget for the information and the image.

Apple Announces iOS 9

Apple has just announced their next version of iOS called iOS 9 (what a surprise!). With the latest version of the smartphone OS; Apple are focusing on making it a more clever operating system, starting  off with a major upgrade to Siri. Siri will have a feature called Proactive that can offer awesome new features like application suggestions and even more. Of course, this depends on contexts such as time of day or location. Proactive allows Siri to see what apps you have on your phone and suggest useful ones based on what you’re trying to do. Apple is also saying that Siri can even look into your inbox to ID incoming calls that aren’t in your address book. All of this is wrapped into a new user interface for Spotlight.

iOS 9 also introduces deep linking within these searches, letting you access content inside apps whenever you do a system-wide search, instead of just opening the app’s main page. Spotlight also can do unit conversions without opening a web search, something that Siri has done for a while, but now queries can be typed in addition to spoken. Apple says that all of this new intelligent processing happens on the phone itself, meaning your data isn’t being sent to a server in the cloud. It’s a different stance than Google or Microsoft take, which leverage cloud processing to power their virtual assistants on Android and Windows Phone. Of course, this may mean that you will be able to use some basic features whilst offline.

Apple Pay is also due to launch in the UK and will be compatible with more banks and credit card providers. They’re even going to kill the passbook name and replace it with an application called Wallet which will be able to integrate with credit cards, debit cards and more all in one place.

Apple also plans to update their much-slated Map application including support for trains, buses and subways. It will be launching in more than 20 cities, including London.

Are you Apple fans excited?

Thank you to TheVerge and The TeleGraph for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Apple

Traffic Alerts and Alternate Routes Now Available in Google Maps

If you are planning to take a trip in the near future or are already on the road, you might consider taking a look at what Google Maps has to offer. The search giant has just updated its maps app with a new traffic alert and alternate route feature.

The new features will aid users on the road by providing some more details and alerts for unusual traffic conditions, road congestions, and even suggestions for alternate paths to take. But lets expand a bit more on that. Once you enter a destination, the app can now work solutions around roadblocks and warn you of upcoming congestions.

To make it easier, once the app knows you are heading towards heavy traffic, it automatically offers some alternatives to save you some time. If you still choose to go and stay in line with the others trapped in traffic, the app will also offer you an estimated time you will be stuck there. The latter might be neat, but why get stuck in traffic in the first place?

While the above might seem something that you see in most apps today, there’s still a key feature that makes it stand out. Aside from the alerts and suggestions, the Google Maps app will now tell you a ‘why’. By that I mean that the app will tell you why the road ahead is blocked or why it decided to give you this alternative route and not another one. Pretty neat, huh?

Thank you SlashGear for providing us with this information

Microsoft Wants to Port Everything to Windows

Microsoft has long been suffering from a deficit of Windows Phone applications. In a major move at Build 2015, Redmond announced two separate projects to target Android and iOS applications and allow them to run on or be ported to Windows.

Targetting iOS applications, Project Islandwood is aimed at easier porting and integration of Objective C. Using this middleware, Project Islandwood is able to provide the APIs that the iOS applications expect. This allows apps to be easily ported with minimal work and recompiling. One of the notable examples is King and their popular game Candy Crush Saga which only had be tweaked a bit to run on Windows. Since the app is now compiled for Windows, it can run on anything from Windows Phone/Mobile to full on Windows 10.

On the Android side of things, there is Project Astoria. Astoria exists as a runtime layer between Windows and the application, allowing any old APK to run without modifications or being recompiled. This runtime layer is limited to Windows Mobile/Phone only however so desktop Windows 10 users are out of luck. Applications relying on Google Mobile services which are closed source APIs will are not work without modification.

Microsoft has been taking their app deficiency seriously as both Windows Phone and Windows RT have suffered from low numbers. Whether or not easy porting and a more unified customer base can attract developers remains to be seen.

Google Launches Family Friendly Store

Worried about your child getting a copy of Call Of Duty: Black Ops Zombies for their Android device? Our Advice, don’t be.

The reason we say this is because Google are launching their family friendly version of the Play Store in a few weeks. To fill the freshly available section, Google are inviting current application developers to join the program and create apps to meet Google’s idea of Child safe experiences.

Google have released a list of requirements and advert policies that you need to comply to as a developer before they will allow you to publish the app in the new store.

These rules include:

  • Apps must be rated ESRB for everyone over 10 years of age
  • Apps must comply with laws concerning advertising to children
  • No violent content for children under 13

Sounds like Google are getting pretty serious about making the Play store and phones a safe place for children. You can see all their rules and guidelines here

The launch of the new store will go well with the new user profiles feature in Android Lollipop. You’ll be able to create a profile for your child so you can stop them seeing your information, yet allow them to have a child safe experience with Apps and adverts whilst using the device.

Thanks to Engadget for this information

Images Courtesy of whereverwriter

Turn your ASUSTOR NAS into a PC with new VirtualBox App

ASUSTOR released a new App for their Portal, and you can now turn your NAS into a computer with 24/7 availability and tremendous energy efficiency. The new VirtualBox app allows you to run a long list of virtual machines directly from your NAS. No matter if its sending emails, editing Word, Excel or PowerPoint files, or even Skype, all can be done on one machine, your NAS.

There are a few limitations as to which of the NAS devices support this new feature as it does require some CPU power as well as RAM to run properly. The supported models are the AS50, AS51, and AS57 models and it is recommended to have at least 4GB RAM in the system. The ASUSTOR Portal can also just run one virtual machine at a time, but it’s still really awesome.

Due to license limitations, users will also need to install the VirtualBox extension pack for USB 2.0 devices and Virtual RDP. You can get the pack on VirtualBox’s website as well as see a full list of supported operating systems.

The VirtualBox should satisfy all your virtual machine needs. From the numerous supported operating systems, importing and exporting virtual machines, creating virtual machine snapshots to designating physical NAS network ports for use by specific virtual machines, all can be done with VirtualBox.

Google Admits it is Scanning Android Phones For “The Right Reasons”

You may not be shocked that the search engine giant, Google, is scanning every single app on your phone, even if you downloaded it from third-parties and not from the Google Store. But is it really doing it for ‘the right reason’?

Google has confirmed in a security report that it is tracking applications through their Verify Apps feature. This system is said to ensure that Potentially Harmful Applications don’t find their way into your Android phones.

“Google’s systems use machine learning to see patterns and make connections that humans would not,” Google explained. “Google Play analyzes millions of data points, asset nodes, and relationship graphs to build a high-precision security-detection system.”

While Verify Apps has been active for a few years now, Google added the Safety Net feature in 2014, granting it the ability to scan and collect data from all apps on your phone. Google stated that full device scans run once a week and by the end of 2014, over 200 million devices were being scanned every day.

In terms of what is actually being collected from your phone and apps, Google stated that it “only collects data needed to provide and improve device security”. While the company claims it is not collecting sensitive data, should you feel like you do not want to be tracked, you can turn off the feature by navigating to the Settings->Security section and disabling the “Scan device for security threats” feature.

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information

Here Are the First 24 Apps Available for Apple Watch

With just two  weeks until the Apple Watch is officially released, the excitement is mounting. Feeding that excitement now is the recent appearance of apps for the Watch in the App Store. Here is the list of the 24 apps first available in the App Store courtesy of 9to5Mac, with added descriptions by Fortune.

Now knowing what we get to start out with when the device is available, which app are you looking forward to most?

What Will Facebook Unveil at the F8 Developer Conference?

It’s that time of the year when Facebook will be going through their strategies and upcoming plans and with a lot more in their product portfolio than before, this should be the most interesting F8 conference yet.

We’re predicting some updates to Facebook’s standalone and Messenger apps on mobile as well as some strong pushes with their VR acquired company; Oculus.

For now, this is all speculation and rumour but we’re be bringing you the latest updates as it happens and if you want to check it out yourself, you can tune in for the 2-day event here.

Want to Play with Apple Watch Apps Before April? Now You Can

Everyone is raving over the Apple Watch, with immense anticipation building before its release. However, there are very few people that have even seen one, let alone used one of the elusive devices. So what if you wanted to give it a try before pre-ordering?

A new page on the WatchAware site showcases a selection of apps that are currently being developed for the watch. It allows you to click on their icons and gives you the opportunity to imagine what it would be like to use them. But perhaps more interestingly, it gives us a chance to see how some of the features work. Particularly of interest are ‘Glances’, which give you information quickly, and ‘Actionable Notifications’ which work more like notifications on your phone.

The sheer creativity of Apple Watch developers is already evident, just take a look at the one we’ve included with this article. Soon you’ll be able to discreetly make fart noises with your wrist! How innovative is that!

Source: MacRumors 

Apple Introduces Pay Once & Play to Tackle Freemium Hostility

Apple has introduced a new Pay Once & Play category to the App Store so that customers can find games that don’t feature in-app purchases, à la freemium games. Games in the Pay Once & Play section, as the name suggests, require a one-time fee, with no future payments required to play.

“Enjoy hours of uninterrupted fun with complete experiences spanning the App Store’s most beloved genres,” an apple statement reads. “Packed with thrills and unforgettable moments, these powerhouse games belong in every collection.”

This follows a move by Apple last year to change the installation button for freemium games from “FREE” to “GET”, plus adding a label below reminding customers that the game will include in-app purchases.

Stricter regulation over app promotion and a recent lawsuit against Apple and Google over in-app purchase complaints has forced Apple to make its policy and labelling as transparent as possible.

Source: Polygon

£100 Worth of Andoid Apps Available Free on Amazon

Amazon is having a massive Android app sale, making a bundle of 37 apps worth over £100 available for free. The apps are available in any market that has access to the Amazon Appstore.

The full list of apps is as follows:

  • 80 Days
  • Back to Bed
  • Bag It!
  • Battery HD Pro
  • Buy Me a Pie! Grocery List
  • Caveman Feast Recipes
  • Cut the Rope: Experiments
  • Delicious – Emily’s True Love
  • DoggCatcher Podcast
  • Doodle Jump
  • Food Subsitutes
  • Glow Hockey 2 Pro
  • Guitar Pro
  • Hidden Object
  • Listure
  • Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
  • MeteoEarth
  • Monsters Ate My Condo
  • mSecure
  • OfficeSuite Professional 8
  • Pocket Yoga
  • Relax Melodies Premium Ambiance Meditation
  • Runtastic Pro
  • Scientific Financial Calculator
  • Shazam Encore
  • Simple Camera
  • Ski Safari: Adventure
  • Sleep as Android
  • Smart RAM Booster
  • SmoothSync Cloud Calendar
  • Sorcery! 2
  • Speed Reading
  • Stellarium Mobile Sky
  • Sworkit Pro
  • Travel Interpreter
  • Trivia Crack
  • Tunable

The sale lasts until 14th February. It can be found here for UK users. US users should follow this link.

Source: BGR

First Apple Watch Apps Demoed

With the Apple Watch rapidly approaching, we’re beginning to see a number of Apple Watch apps being demoed by various developers. While many of the major developers are keeping many of their plans under a shroud of secrecy, one developer, Todoist, makers of the popular to-do app of the same name, gave screenshots and video of their under-development app to MacRumors

Their work offers an interesting insight into life with an Apple Watch.

“Once inside the main Todoist app, the user can access their Inbox, Projects (and full task lists within each project), Labels, Filters, and a ‘Today’ view showing all tasks for the day, as well as overdue tasks. When you tap on a task to get the detailed view, you will be able to see the task’s associated labels, its due date, its priority level, and you will be able to either “complete” or “postpone” the task directly from the watch. If you don’t want to complete or postpone the task, you use the watch’s microphone to explicitly assign a time/date to the task (this feature is still in development).”

Apple released the first SDK for the device a few months ago, but was limited in giving us non-developers any idea as to how the device would function. Well now, thanks to this video and the efforts of developers like Todoist, we can start to get a feel for it. There is no doubt however, the real verdict will only be made once we’ve had one on our wrist.

Source: MacRumors

 

Betfair’s Betting Apps

In the UK the betting industry is massive. Back in 2013, The Guardian reported that 4.3 per cent of UK iPhone users had a gambling application. Expect that figure to be even higher now, thanks in no small part to the World Cup that naturally saw app users spike. All in all, the World Cup alone is reported to have seen over £1 billion wagered with British bookies in what was the biggest betting event in UK history.

With participant figures rising so too are the various different bookmakers and abundance of applications. Most of these are pretty poor in the grand scheme of things, but if you were to take one look at the Betfair sports app webpage you will be pleasantly surprised.

The amount of different, innovative sporting applications that Betfair have on offer should satisfy your every gambling need.

You have the hugely popular Bet Angel Pro application. If you download this to your PC you will gain access to a comprehensive user-guide, a whole host of different videos to aid you in your gambling endeavours, in-play tools, different sports modelling and multi-screen trading. For those that fancy more specialised and advanced betting or trading then you really should contemplate Bet Angel Pro.

For those who need their betting experience to be instantaneous then BetTrader is what you want. This cutting-edge Betfair platform updates live Betfair prices and deliver up to 20 refreshes a second. Call it what you want, but we’ll call that pretty damn fast.

Other applications that are proving to be a hit with betting customers include Geek Toys and the new and improved MathsBetting. Meanwhile, Betting Assistant will always be hugely popular with the punters.

The 21st Century is changing a lot of things for a lot of people. With the advances of technology, gambling is no longer confined to high street shops and casinos, it is accessible in the home. And with there no longer being a barrier between betting and yourself there is a chance that you will have a flutter. If you do then get yourself an app to aid you and give you an advantage over the house.

14-Day Return Policy Launches for EU iTunes Customers

In line with new European Union regulation, Apple has launched a 14-day return policy for iTunes digital purchases. The new policy affects all downloads from Apple’s iTunes music and movies stores, the App Store, iBooks Store and for any other download purchase made with Apple.

Right of cancellation: If you choose to cancel your order, you may do so within 14 days from when you received your receipt without giving any reason, except iTunes Gifts which cannot be refunded once you have redeemed the code. 
… 

To meet the cancellation deadline, you must send your communication of cancellation before the 14-day period has expired. 

Effects of cancellation: We will reimburse you no later than 14 days from the day on which we receive your cancellation notice. We will use the same means of payment as you used for the transaction, and you will not incur any fees for such reimbursement. 

Exception to the right of cancellation: You cannot cancel your order for the supply of digital content if the delivery has started upon your request and acknowledgement that you thereby lose your cancellation right. – Excerpt from updated iTunes terms and conditions in the EU.

In the US and elsewhere, the terms still state “All sales Final”, while this has always been offered with a degree of flexibility (something I know from personal experience).

Source: MacRumors 

 

Apple Raised $20 Million For (Product) RED

In an e-mail to employees, (seen by Re/code) Tim Cook said that the company had raised a total of $20 million for AIDS charity (Product) RED.

Apple had a massive campaign for the charity centred around World AIDS Day in November. The App Store was taken over by (RED) (literally) with a countless number of high profile apps donating all or some of their earnings to the effort. For World AIDS Day itself, a percentage of all profits made by Apple on all products sold on its online store was donated to (RED).

“I’m thrilled to announce that our total donation for this quarter will be more than $20 million — our biggest ever — bringing the total amount Apple has raised for (PRODUCT) RED to over $100 million,” Cook wrote. “The money we’ve raised is saving lives and bringing hope to people in need. It’s a cause we can all be proud to support.”

The money raised during this campaign brings a total donation of $95 million over the period that Apple has supported (RED).

Source: Re/code Via: MacRumors 

Microsoft Releases Preview of Office App Sway to the Public

Microsoft’s office presentation app, Sway, has been released to the general public, in preview form. Sway Preview has been available since 1st October as invite-only and, according to Microsoft’s release announcement blog, the app has already had hundreds of thousands of people requesting invites:

It’s been only 10 weeks since we kicked off Sway Preview, and we’ve already had over one million unique visitors to Sway.com and over 175,000 requests to join, and those numbers grow by thousands daily.

Sway is one of many steps that Microsoft is taking to make its office applications cloud-based. The app has no local files, instead presenting text and media as a website, the link for which can be shared with others. Sway can be accessed at sway.com by anyone with a Microsoft account.

Source: TechCrunch