The topic of DRMs can be a bit contentious. This is because while it is understandable that creators want to prevent their creations from being pirated, there are some who feel that they have the right to do what they want with their purchases. For example this wasn't really an issue with physical media formats such as CDs or cassette tapes, where if you buy a physical CD you'll be able to lend it to friends, make copies, and so on.
That being said, for proponents of DRM, you might be interested to learn that Google has updated its Google Play platform where DRMs are now being added to Android apps, or as Google has phrased it, they have added "a small amount of security metadata on top of APKs to verify that the APK was distributed by Google Play," which as Android Central points out, is DRM under a different name.
Twitter has tried to put an app on almost all platforms in recent years but the company has recently been consolidating its official app lineup to support only those platforms where it sees a lot of engagement from these apps. As such, the company has decided to discontinue the official apps for Android TV, Xbox, and Roku.
Twitter released its Android TV app in late 2016. The app enabled users to watch live streams on the microblogging network, something that it has been investing heavily in over the past few years. It made sense to the put the app on Android TV, a platform that powers many smart TVs and streaming devices. The apps for Xbox and Roku offered similar functionality but it seems they didn’t really take off as well as Twitter might have imagined.
It’s not uncommon for malware-ridden apps to make their way to the Play Store. The people behind them either want to scam users or just push less than desirable ads to make a quick buck. Their motives aren’t as sinister as those of a North Korean group of hackers. McAfee researchers found that a North Korean hacking group nicknamed Sun Team recently posted three infected Android apps to the Play Store in a bid to target those who have defected from North Korea.
The infected apps remained on the Play Store for three months and were only removed after Google was notified about them privately. They had about 100 downloads before they were removed.
From time to time due to whatever reason, apps can sometimes hang and become non-responsive. In the case of Android apps, what users can do right now is tap the "wait" button that pops up, but sometimes that doesn't really do anything, which means that users will have to force close the app themselves.
Not a particularly big deal, but for those who aren't too familiar with Android might not know this. However this will change with Android P, according to the folks at XDA who discovered that in the next major update to the Android operating system, Android P will instead force apps to crash when they become non-responsive.
When you install a new app whether it be on iOS or Android, sometimes it asks for permission, such as access to your camera, photos, microphone, notifications, and so on. For the layman, these permissions might seem a bit scary and confusing, and sometimes it can result in them saying "yes" just so they can use the app.
However what happens is that there are some apps that might take advantage of this to access certain features on your phone that it might not necessarily need to. The good news is that in the upcoming Android P update, Google will display notifications on background apps that are having access to the camera or microphone on your phone.
As more of our lives move online, protecting our internet presence has become very important. This is why many companies have started to include more security features in their software and services, and more recently Google has announced that its Safe Browsing feature will now be integrated into Android apps' WebView by default.
This was originally announced by Google back in December 2017, but basically what has changed from then and now is that Safe Browsing has been enabled by default. According to Google, "Developers of Android apps using WebView no longer have to make any changes to benefit from this protection. Safe Browsing in WebView has been available since Android 8.0 (API level 26), using the same underlying technology as Chrome on Android."
Due to the fact that sometimes app permissions can be a bit technical and because for the average user, they don't know how the app was programmed and why it might need permission to access certain features of our phones. However because sometimes permissions are needed for the app to function, we usually grant it.
This has led to problems such as tracking of our data and location sometimes without our knowledge, which is what researchers have recently discovered. According to a study, researchers have found that over 3,300 apps designed for Android have been improperly collecting data on children which could potentially violate US COPPA law which limits data collection for kids under the age of 13.
Google released the first official Android P developer preview earlier this month and since then, developers have dived into the firmware to figure out some of the new features that will be included in the next major Android update. The latest discovery suggests that Android P may have support to launch apps automatically when the phone is connected to select devices or accessories.
Google is expected to release at least four developer preview builds of Android P and since this is only the first one, it goes without saying that upcoming builds will reveal more information about the new features that will be part and parcel of Android P.
There are some apps that we rarely use or only need to use once, so downloading it and installing it and setting it up can be rather inefficient. This is where Google's "Instant Apps" feature comes in handy where through a link via Google Search, users can use certain apps instantly without the need to install it.
The good news is that Google is now extending that functionality to games in the form of Google Play Instant. This is essentially the same thing like Instant Apps, except that it works for games as well. This means that gamers who want to check out the demos of certain games can do so in the same way without needing to download the entire game.
There are probably a ton of apps on the Google Play Store that haven't been updated since their release, and possibly for years. Maybe the developer has forsaken the app, or maybe the app is simple enough where despite the various updates to Android, it still works. However that will change with Android P.
According to a report from Android Police, it seems that with Android P, Google will block apps built for Android 4.1 or lower from running on the phone. This means that users who are still using these very old apps will not be able to use them if they decide to make the upgrade to Android P.
The next major Android platform update is currently referred to as “Android P” since the dessert name hasn’t been revealed as yet, Google hasn’t even detailed Android P officially but that could happen in the not too distant future. However, given the open source nature of Android, some hints about the features this version of Android will offer have surfaced. The latest suggests that Android P will improve security by not allowing idle apps to access your device’s camera.
An Android Open Source Project commit has been spotted with the new rule-sets in Android P preventing apps idling in the background from accessing the camera. This will prevent malicious apps running in the background from making use of the camera to capture victims in a compromising position by accessing the camera without their knowledge.
Google’s Chrome OS is expected to make its way to tablet form factors in the not too distant future which is why it would be wise for Google to offer more features that improve the Android app experience on Chrome OS-powered devices. Split-screen support is one of the features which can contribute to that and it’s now available for Android apps on Chrome OS in the Canary channel.
For those who are unaware, a Canary build is a newly compiled version of the software that hasn’t been properly tested. It’s meant for those who just want to see what’s new as soon as possible and discover the worst bugs. These builds are certainly not meant for public consumption.