So you thought that only computers could be infected by Malware? You thought wrong. According to the http://www.pcworld.com/article/248880/massive_android_malware_op_may_have_infected_5_million_users.html website, 13 apps that are available on the Android Market have been shown to be infected with Malware. The article indicates that as many as 5 million users have downloaded at least one of the apps that contain the software that attempts to retrieve user information. Symantec has titled the Malware “Android.Counterclank” and as of 3 PM ET Friday, January 27, many were still available.
Previously, those that tried to spread Malware on the Market would take a valid app, add in their own hidden code to gather information from the user, and the repost on the Market – referred to as “rebundled apps”. Symantec security experts indicate that the Malware apps available do not appear to be from real publishers, either. If you would like to see those infected apps on the Market, you can check out this website - http://www.symantec.com/connect/fr/blogs/androidcounterclank-found-official-android-market.
So how do you protect yourself? First off, it is best to wait until an app has been out for a while, as most apps that are infected or cause red flags to be raised happen soon after they are released. This doesn’t always mean that you will be safe, as the Malware reported in the above article have been on the Market for about a month and just recently were discovered as having the Malware. Another way you can stay protected is only download apps that you know are safe, such as those from reputable publishers.
Other users are also a good bet – read the reviews, as those with low reviews can sometimes indicate something that just isn’t right. You can also do some investigation before downloading an app and go with your gut instinct – if something doesn’t feel right about something you are downloading or going to install, it may be best to search for something else. There are plenty of apps out there that are similar to others, so you might be better off finding something that does what you want but doesn’t throw up those red flags.
Do you want to know more ways to protect yourself and your Smartphone? Contact us about our Philadelphia Area Mobility Solutions. You can also find out how to protect your computer network by having Trigon complete an IT Health Check to be sure your systems are clean and protected.
So now that I have an Android and the software applications are easier to get than my previous Windows Mobile 6.2 device, I am pleased to find out that the Android Market now has over 400,000 apps available for download. According to the http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/android-market-achieves-new-milestone-with-400000-active-apps/ website, there are now over 400,000 of the apps that I can download. Not that I would be able to load up my device with all of these, but I certainly have made use of a few apps already.
The website also talks about the number of apps available for the iPhone, indicating that it has taken the Android longer to reach this milestone (22 months for the iPhone and 31 months for the Android), but by contrast it has taken less time to make the jump from 200,000 to 300,000 and from 300,000 to 400,000 for the Android. This means that in the over-all scheme, the ramp-up to the 400,000 level grew faster in the second half of release than it took the iPhone App Store to get to the same amount.
One other item the website reviews is the revenue brought in by the apps in the respective sites. More than half of the apps on the Android Market are free (68% according to the article), most of which are part of the so-called “freemium” model. This is the idea that the basic app is provided free (most with advertisements) and an upgrade to an advertisement-free and/or advanced feature app can be purchased. Alternatively on the Apple App Store, more apps need to be purchased in order to download.
As I am a big proponent of the “freemium” model, I am really glad I did go with the Android versus the iPhone when making my SmartPhone purchase. What about you – what device do you have? Do you like it or are you in the “market” for a new one? Contact us about our Trigon Mobility Solutions to see how we can help your business grow with such a device.
The last few blogs that I have written, as well as a few in the past, have been about the Apple iPhone. I had been using a Windows Mobile 6.2 device myself for the last few years and only had the pleasure of using friends’ and family’s iPhones. My phone was dying and I was going to see about upgrading to an iPhone (the only reason I hadn’t got one before was Verizon didn’t offer them until this year). After talking with a friend, he suggested I go with an Android.
I was thinking about getting an Android, but because of all the friends and family that have the iPhone, I was going to get an iPhone myself. I liked a lot of the apps that they have and wanted to be able to “play” with some of the features and things I have been writing about for the past few months. So, after seeing the Android first-hand, I knew it was going to be for me. For starters, it had the ability to have Adobe Flash Player installed on it, which the iPhone does not (why can’t Apple and Adobe come to some agreement?????). Next, it had an appealing interface to it. While I was used to going to the “Apple Store” for apps on friends’ iPhones, I was new to the Android “Market”. It was very easy to search and find exactly what I was looking for.
The only down-side to the Android that I have found so far is that my favorite app, Magic Piano, on the iPhone has not been written for the Android. Most of the other apps and other things that I had on my previous Windows Mobile 6.2 device, as well as a few additions I wanted, I was easily able to get for free on the new Android. For the first time, I am able to check my auto insurance coverage anywhere I want, see where I am by using Maps (including directions that rival the TomTom and Garmin) with appropriate GPS, and be able to listen to music using the Pandora app. As these are all free, it is like an early Christmas present.
So, what mobile device do you have? An iPhone, Android, Windows-based, Blackberry (perish the thought!!)? Or do you still have a device that is not a SmartPhone that can do all these fun things? What are your likes and dislikes about your device? Is it easy to use and have all the things on it you wanted? Are you able to do what you thought you could or are you disappointed that you got it and think you would have been happier with another device?
Are you in need of some assistance with the purchase of a new device that could help your business grow by increasing your productivity? Please contact us to discuss our Philadelphia IT Mobility Solutions. Or let us know how we can help you with our many Philadelphia IT Strategy Solutions. We would be happy to help you do what you do best – make your life easier while at the same time advancing your business however you think best.
The screenshots show Microsoft’s new application store for Windows. The store appears to be running in Windows 7, hinting that the software giant may also be planning to offer its app store for legacy versions of Windows. Cnbeta posted the screenshots on Monday, however WinRumors is unable to confirm their authenticity at this time. The screenshots appear to show a number of Microsoft’s own software, including third party software from Opera and Mozilla.
Microsoft is known to be working on an App Store for Windows 8 and the naming in the leaked screenshots is of interest. The company recently filed an objection to Apple’s use of the term “App Store”, claiming the phrase is generic. If today’s screenshots are genuine then this explains why Microsoft is fighting hard to use the “App Store” branding.
First, I should warn you that the ads on that site are incredibly intrusive. It took me about 20 minutes to paste that text onto our blog. The future, indeed, WinRumors.
So, Windows is taking a page from Apple's book with an attempt at simplifying the app process on their operation system. Is it odd that they waited for Apple to try something revolutionary before they even bothered? Yes. Is it a great idea? Yes.
Apple created their Mac App Store because they thought that new/novice user wouldn't search out apps because it was too daunting. They were worried about downloading apps that couldn't be trusted and perhaps contained viruses.
Windows looks to be attempting the same thing even though their userbase is rocksolid and has been for years. If their App Store runs much like the Mac version, it would be nice to keep all of your apps contained through the same update process. Nobody wants to get updates from Flash every three seconds about an update that will most likely crash the app more often than not. Well, maybe you do. But I don't.
Intesting in the screenshot is a link to download Windows 7 Ultimate. Hmmm.
Another interesting aspect of these Windows 8 leaks are the shots of a tiled interface that would work on tablets. But that may be a blog for another day. The bottom line is that if Microsoft approves these apps themselves, it could mean a more secure computer for your friends, family, and coworkers.
All Things D:
Apple’s made no change to its App Store Guidlines, it’s simply enforcing a rule that’s been in them all along: apps that offer purchases elsewhere must support in-app purchases as well. “We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,” company spokesperson Trudy Miller told me. “We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.”
Let me set the stage for you, friend. Sony had just submitted their Reader app to the App Store. It's just like the Kindle app from Amazon, in that there is no in-app purchasing. You get moved to Mobile Safari to buy the book on Amazon.com, and then you head right back into the app to download the book. Barnes & Noble's app works similarly. The problem is Sony's Reader app was rejected. Apple has had enough of this workaround and will no longer let these freeloaders make sales in their apps without a cut of the monies.
Apple is now requiring apps to provide an in-app purchase for every item that is sold out of the app. If I were Amazon, I'd be sweating it big time. If rumors of a March 31st deadline are true, that means Amazon has until then to create an in-app purchasing system for every book they plan to offer online for their Kindle system. Ouch!
Not only that, but this would also mean that every book sold inside of their apps would give a 30% cut to Apple for your troubles. Every in-app purchase follows the 70/30 ruling for sales, just like apps themselves. Oof!
What happens if Amazon balks at the mere idea of such a loss in revenue, would they just leave the App Store altogether? That would be a huge hit on revenue. There are 15 million iPads in circulation, you know, and countless iPhones and iPod touches. We at Trigon would never think of tricking our valuable customers like that. I mean, we give out high 5's like they're going out of style.
I think we all learned a valuable lesson here. It's Apple's world, Levin. We're all just living in it.
Windows IT Pro:
Like the rest of the world, I was perplexed at Steve Ballmer's response in a recent interview at the Gartner Symposium where he cited the "next version of Windows" as the riskiest product coming up. While talking about a product that's still 2 years away can feel a bit out of place (like seeing Christmas decorations on sale in October), I'd like to take a look at a few of the more supported rumors about Windows 8 and which, if any, of them could add up to the riskiest product in Microsoft's portfolio.
What does it all mean, Basil? Yes, I just fit an Austin Powers quote in this post. Beat that!
So what DOES it all mean? What could be so risky with Windows 8 that even Steve Ballmer has to point that out? I mean, he put out the Kin and didn't think to mention that was risky. Let's be honest, here. Let's go through some of the finer points of the IT Pro article and see what we can come up with.
A purely hosted OS. With Google planning the Chrome OS release by the end of this year, some Internet commentators have suggested that Microsoft could release Windows 8 as a purely cloud-based where everything would be accessed through the Internet.
Yowza! I'm on record, somewhere, saying that Chrome OS will be a dud. Sure, Grandma would love to check their Facebook and that's about it, but regular folk like you and me need Apps. Sweet, glorious Apps! None of this HTML5 stuff. At least not for the next 5 or so years.
New App Store model. In the past few months, Microsoft has leaked that Windows 8 will have an App Store model similar to iTunes. The idea here is that you will be able to go to a dedicated place to search for applications for Windows, and you'll have the confidence that those solutions are vetted and compatible with your Windows system.
Apple just recently announced they are going this exact route with the Mac App Store. It will be similar to the iOS App Stores with the exception being that you can still download apps from the developers website if you wish. But to the new Mac owner, this is a huge boon. To the non-techie, non-developer people that just want to go to one place to update all their ups with no fuss, no muss, why not let Microsoft take care of the update process for all of your apps? Does anyone not realize how simple it is to update apps on an iPhone or iPad? Silly simple.
Electronic distribution only. This one is kind of interesting—what if Microsoft released Windows 8 only as an electronic version? This would save them a bit on distribution costs, but overall shouldn't affect the system too much.
I'm all for this one. Microsoft should lead the way in terms of digital distribution. "Hey honey, what are you doing over there?" "Oh, nothing. Just clicked to update to Windows 8, fool!" Boom! That's what I'm talking about. I've wished that MS would have taken a more digital route with their 360 games instead of catering to GameStop and the like. When a new game drops I should be able to hop onto the XBOX Marketplace and download it to my system. Why can I not do this?
Those are just a few of the reasons why Windows 8 could be "risky". Rest assured, we'll be ready to pwn all risk associated with the new OS, so be sure to give us a buzz.
Previously, I had wondered how an iOS i/AppleTV would be controlled. Perhaps via the new Magic Trackpad? Maybe your iPhone or iPad would control things. But, how would that work and would it do?
Our favorite curly haired Apple writer, John Gruber, spoke about the AppleTV on his podcast, The Talk Show. He surmised that the new iOS powered device would have its own store, and not run iPhone or iPad apps. Very astute. If it ran those apps, how would you control them out of the box, would you be required to buy a Magic Trackpad? Silliness.
The current AppleTV model comes with a small remote capable of 4 directions and a home or “menu” button. MacBooks used to come with a similar remote, I have no idea if they still do. It’s my best guess that the new AppleTV will be controlled by that same remote.
Let’s think about it - let’s assume Gruber is right and that the new model will have its own App Store. Presumably, it would need its own store because the input methods would he drastically different, at least at its base. How would you even begin to navigate around a home screen without being able to touch it? You’d need apps that would not need scrolling or swiping. Perhaps just one touch?
An Apple remote would be capable. In terms of viewing video, you’d be more than able to go right or left to select a film, fast forward, etc. You could double-tap right to switch screens. But would there be games?
I say yes, and these games would be controlled by an iOS device. Why not have a game that syncs with your iPhone and turns the screen into a controller, and reacts to the motions of it? The app could be universal and upon launching, would become aware of its AppleTV brother and switch to a different mode. Essentially, it would be a buttonless Wii-mote. I know, that would make people freak out and say, “I’m not paying $199+ for a controller!”
Do you realize how many people have an iOS device these days? I can totally envision reading in an AppleTV store, “this app requires an iPhone, iPod touch or an iPad.
It’s not that crazy.
The rumored hold-up is that studios don’t want to be forced into a 99c price point in the store. The Talk Show also mentioned this possibility: why wouldn’t NBC just release their own app and charge a monthly fee to stream? An AppleTV and its own store has the chance to fully realize the potential Hulu hasn’t.
A world where you could literally release yourself from your cable bill, and pay the stations outright for their services. An ESPN app? Hold me - an NHL app for streaming games?
Out of the box, the best chance to ditch cable. If you have an iPhone, something much more. At $99 a pop, this would be pretty stunning.
(Note: this was written entirely on my iPhone using the app, “Elements”. Grab it.)