Silent Ads Are Slowing Your Smartphone and Stealing Data Allowance

Ever wondered why your battery is going down faster or your data allowance is just evaporating, though you’re not really using your smartphone that much? The answer is ads… and a lot of them. You may not see them on-screen, but research company Forensiq has said that they are there and found over 5,000 such apps available on iOS and Android.

Forensiq tells that an estimated 20 ads per minute are delivered, summing up to 700 ads per hour. That’s quite a lot, even though they are not displayed on your screen. This may not seem that bad, but take note that the ads need internet connection to work. So when you are not home and have no Wi-Fi available, your data plan is just wasted on ads you don’t want and can’t stop.

The research company notes that a single app may be able to download 2GB of data per day. In addition to data allowance loss, poor battery life will be a side effect of the apps that keep downloading and shuffling these ads. So you not only lose a lot of your monthly data allowance, but you can also find yourself with a dead phone when you need it.

A full report has been made on this issue, but it does not mention any specific apps in question. However, Google Play recently suspended three apps that had the above mentioned behaviour, namely Waxing Eyebrows, Celebrity Baby and Vampire Doctor. The latter are not available on iOS, though other similar apps are present on Apple’s store too. You may think that Apple is more strict when it comes to their store, but truth be told, silent ad-serving is not on the company’s priority list when it comes to choosing what goes on the AppStore and what doesn’t.

While you don’t really have a way of detecting these apps, you can start to take notice of how much data your phone uses daily and how much battery individual apps use. I know the Google Store has some pretty neat apps for that, but even so, the native built-in features in the latest iOS and Android operating systems should be enough to give you an idea if you have silent ad-serving apps installed.

Thank you MacNN for providing us with this information

The Nexus 6 Gets a Huge Price Cut in the UK

Want to upgrade your smartphone and missed the recent price cuts? Well, it may be for the best. Motorola did slash its prices a while ago, making its Moto X up for grabs at £229 for the 16GB version and £269 for the 32GB version. Nexus 6 also saw a slight £80 cut, bringing it down to £399 for the 32GB version and £469 for the 64GB version. But I know it was still too steep, so I don’t think it drew a lot of attention.

The recent price cuts comes from the Google Store, where the Nexus 6 has now hit an all-time low price. You can grab it for £304 for the 32GB model and £379 for the 64 GB model. Now that’s a huge price drop from the previous £479 and £549 price tags it previously had.

The only problem here is that we don’t know if the price cut is temporary or permanent. The safe bet is that if you have the money now, it’s time to clear out your account and buy it before it jumps back to its original price. In my opinion, the flashgrip is really worth it for what it has to offer and with a price tag such as the one above, you will definitely be making a smart investment.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

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

Google Lets You Manage Its Cloud Platform from Your Smartphone

Google appears to be testing a beta console version for Android smartphones and tablets that helps its customers monitor services in the cloud while commuting between places. The company states that a Cloud Console for Apple’s iOS will be expected to be released later this year as well.

The app is said to let users set up alerts, manage Google cloud platform resources and access health graphs to gain insights into the performance and availability of their cloud-powered applications on Google’s Cloud Monitoring feature. The console is also said to integrate with Cloud Monitoring to enable automated incident tracking when system metrics deviate.

One example of how the app works is generating alerts about Google Compute Engine instances when the expected load exceeds 50% CPU for one hour, should the users set an alert with the latter condition.

“When investigating an issue, you often need to check the health and properties of your resources, such as running state, zone or IP,” Michael Thomsen, product manager at Google, stated.

Users are said to be able to also do a number of core operations such as changing the App Engine version or starting or stopping a Compute Engine instance, having the App Engine be Google’s platform-as-a-service for running applications. For those interested in the application, it is currently available on the Google Store and accessible from here.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Nexus 4 No Longer Available On Google Play

With the arrival of the Google Nexus 5 yesterday, it appears that the Nexus 4 handset has disappeared from the Google Play store. Having cut the price down to $199 for the basic model with the arrival date getting closer for the Google Nexus 5, the time has come and the Nexus 4 has been discontinued. Phone Arena has checked the U.S., U.K., German and French Play stores to confirm and all of them list the devices as ‘no longer available for sale.’

This does not come as a surprise given the fact that this has also happened with the Nexus 7 – 2013 Edition at launch, as the tablet replaced the 2012 edition. You can still find Google’s last year’s 7-incher at third-party retailers that still have stock, but the official Google Play store is not selling the device. The same story repeats itself with the Nexus 5 and 4. You’d probably still be able to find the Nexus 4 at third-party retailers, but not on Google Play and that means you probably won’t be able to capitalize on that alluring $199 sale offer.

What we can see here is a continuous pattern and we would expect the same thing to happen for future Google devices sold on the Play store. As soon as the new one appears, expect the old one to be discontinued.

Thank you Phone Arena for providing us with this information.