Android Security Flaw Allows Apps To Spy On Users Through Their Camera And Microphones

Android Security Flaw Allows Apps To Spy On Users Through Their Camera And Microphones

Recently, iOS users with Facebook installed had a bit of a privacy and security scare when it was discovered that due to a bug in the app, it would launch the phone’s camera in the background while the app was being used. The issue has since been patched, but now it looks like it’s Android’s turn to suffer from a similar vulnerability.

However, in this instance it has nothing to do with Facebook, but rather it is an issue with Android in which according to security firm Checkmarx, they have discovered a security flaw that allows apps to potentially use the user’s camera and microphone to secretly make recordings without the user’s knowledge.

Your Cheap Android Phone Could Be Filled With Malicious Apps

Your Cheap Android Phone Could Be Filled With Malicious Apps

However, it seems that on the software front, certain compromises could also be made which according to security research firm, Kryptowire, could be a problem as they have discovered that the apps that come preinstalled on cheaper Android phones come with a host of bugs and vulnerabilities that could make them easy to be hacked, and in turn compromise the device in question

While they did not mention the brands involved, they do note that these vulnerabilities were found on the phones shipped by at least 29 manufacturers. Speaking to CNET, Kryptowire CEO Angelos Stavrou suggests that Google should also be held accountable to a certain degree by being more strict and thorough regarding apps that are used on Android.

Google's App Defense Alliance Wants To Stop Bad Android Apps From Reaching Your Phone

Google's App Defense Alliance Wants To Stop Bad Android Apps From Reaching Your Phone

While the Google Play Store has systems in place to try and prevent malware and bad apps from getting listed and downloaded by users, unfortunately, it’s not the perfect system and from time to time, we do come across reports that bad apps find their way into the Play Store where it ends up being downloaded by users.

In a bid to prevent that from happening, or at least reducing the chances of that happening, Google has formed a partnership with various security companies, such as ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium, where they have come together to create the App Defense Alliance. According to Google, this alliance’s goal is to stop bad apps in their tracks before they reach the devices of users.

Google Adds 6 New Digital Wellbeing Apps For Android

Google Adds 6 New Digital Wellbeing Apps for Android

With the recent Android releases, Google has been focusing on the ‘Digital Wellbeing’ feature to help you have a healthy lifestyle (rather than just looking at the smartphone all day).

The features offered currently are quite helpful to reduce or control the screen time. You can put timers on every application and put a limit on its usage.

Sony's 'what's New' And 'audio Recorder' Apps To Close In September 2019

Sony's 'What's New' and 'Audio Recorder' apps to close in September 2019

Sony Mobile is looking to shutter two more apps according to notices that have appeared. Both the ‘What's New' app and the ‘Audio Recorder' apps will be retired on 30 September 2019. The ‘What's New' app was Sony's curated selection of apps that it was looking to promote. Most users always looked for a way to disable the app, so we don't imagine many will miss it.

Microsoft's Dual-screen Surface Device May Support Android Apps

Microsoft's Dual-Screen Surface Device May Support Android Apps


It has been rumored for a while now that Microsoft is working on a dual-display device which will be introduced under the Surface brand. A recent report had even suggested that the company had displayed a prototype of this device to employees. A new report claims that this unnamed device will have two 9 inch displays with 4:3 aspect ratio and that it will be capable of running Android apps.

The report claims that this device, codenamed Centaurus, will be able to run Android apps as that will be supported by Microsoft’s new Windows Core OS (WCOS) operating system. WCOS is essentially the platform for a more lightweight version of Windows OS. It’s this operating system that’s known as Windows Lite internally which will be used for dual-screen devices and competitors for Chromebooks.

Microsoft Office Mobile Apps Won't Work On Older Android Devices

Microsoft Office Mobile Apps Won't Work On Older Android Devices


Microsoft’s Android port of its Office productivity apps is quite solid. You can get some serious work done on Android devices using these apps. However, if you’re using a fairly old device, you may want to take note, as Microsoft is discontinuing support for Office mobile apps on older Android devices.

Microsoft has updated the system requirements for the Office mobile apps without much fanfare. It’s not surprising to see that this has happened as the move is meant to ensure that users get the best possible experience with the apps. That can often no longer be possible on devices that become outdated.

Android Q Will Let Apps Record Audio From Other Apps

Android Q Will Let Apps Record Audio From Other Apps

Mobile gaming is a big thing and as such, it’s not surprising that more content creators could be focused on creating videos dedicated to mobile games. However, there is the question of how does one successfully capture audio from your mobile game? There are screen recording apps out there, but for the most part, they can’t capture audio.

Instead, users will need to use some kind of external recording device which makes the entire process a bit more complicated than it has to. However, the good news is that according to a report from XDA Developers, they have discovered that in Android Q, it will come with APIs that will let third-party apps record audio from other apps.

Google Opens Android Infotainment System To Third-party Media Apps

Google opens Android infotainment system to third-party media apps

Now that Google has a full-fledged car infotainment platform in Android Automotive, it's opening the door to apps built for that platform. As of Google I/O, developers will have the power to create media apps for Android Automotive-equipped cars like the upcoming Polestar 2. It's using the same underlying framework as Android Auto, which should ensure that a favorite music or audiobook app will work properly across different touchscreen sizes and car customizations. You'll have to wait awhile for the first apps since the Polestar 2 doesn't arrive until 2020, and there aren't any publicly announced partners (although a preview graphic does show NPR One). Don't be surprised if the app ecosystem expands over the months ahead, though. And yes, Google intends to open Android Automotive to more than just media apps. The company has "plans" to enable apps for navigation, communication "and beyond," so you might have alternatives if you don't care for Google Maps or need a third-party internet calling service. The aim is ultimately to create an app ecosystem for cars that more closely resembles what you see on phones, rather than another take on the walled-off environments you see today. Android Developers

Reported by Jon Fingas for Engadget

A Worrying Two-thirds Of Android Antivirus Apps Are Apparently Frauds

A Worrying Two-Thirds Of Android Antivirus Apps Are Apparently Frauds

Antivirus apps are meant to give you peace of mind where in the event you accidentally click on that suspicious link or email, you know that your device should be somewhat protected. Unfortunately there are so many antivirus apps out there that it can be a bit difficult to choose which one to go for, and the sad thing is that most of them are apparent frauds.

This is according to testing done by Austrian antivirus testing company AV-Comparatives (via ZDNet) who discovered that out of the 250 Android antivirus apps that they tested, they found that two-thirds of them could be considered frauds. They tested the apps out by feeding malware to the devices to see if the apps could pick up on them, and only 80 of the 250 apps did.

Android Q Could Stop Background Apps From Reading The Clipboard

Android Q Could Stop Background Apps From Reading The Clipboard


It’s possible for Android apps to read the contents of your phone’s clipboard even when they’re running in the background. There are third-party ROMs that block this access but Android in its default state currently does not. However, this could change with Android Q, the next major iteration of Google’s mobile operating system.

The folks at XDA developers have discovered a new permission in a leaked Android Q build titled “android.permission.READ_CLIPBOARD_IN_BACKGROUND.” The suggests that only applications that have been explicitly given this permission will be able to read clipboard data when they’re running in the background, not all apps.

Android Q 'multi-resume' Will Let Apps Run Simultaneously In Split-screen

Android Q ‘Multi-Resume' Will Let Apps Run Simultaneously In Split-Screen


Google officially brought multi-window functionality to Android with Nougat. It was the first uniform implementation of this feature that had existed on Android in different forms and manifestations prior to Nougat. There is one major limitation, though. Apps can be opened in split-screen but Android doesn’t run the two apps simultaneously. This will change with a new feature called “Multi-Resume” which will come with Android Q.

As smartphone displays have become larger, they’re more than capable of allowing users to have two apps open at once. Android lets them do this but even though it allows for two apps to be on the screen at the same time, it actually retains one as active and pauses the other one.

Android Apps Will Update While They're Being Used

Android Apps Will Update While They're Being Used

We’re sure all of us using smartphones have come across an instance where you want to use an app, but it suddenly starts to update or prompts you that it requires an update and you have to wait for the update to complete before you can use it. Sometimes the update process is fast, and sometimes it can be inconvenient especially if you need to use the app now.