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Google Play Books Still Has An Alarming Number Of Scammy Book Listings

A couple of months ago, we published a story about the scam problem in Google Play Books, and we haven't been alone in criticism of the store's issues.

The gist is this: Google's Play Books store was plagued by scammy "guide" books that, for a few dollars, promised access to cracked APKs, but in reality provided nothing but scams and malware.

Two of the publishers we mentioned in the post - Monster Guides Editor Pro and leon Master - were removed from the Play Store, but plenty remain, still distributing links to pirated apps and malicious sites, or outright selling the work of legitimate authors.

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Avast GrimeFighter Will Clean Out Your Smartphone's Dirty Nooks And Crannies [Sponsored Post]

Sometimes, we all just need a little space. On our phones, specifically. And by space, I mean gigabytes - more of them, ideally. So, that's why Avast came out with an app called GrimeFighter: a precision tool to fend off byte-encroachment caused by apps with out of control caching.

Have your mood-matching Spotify playlists eaten a 400MB hole in your pocket? Wipe 'em out. Don't need those cached maps of Thailand for that trip you took last summer anymore? Gone. Vignetted photo upon vignetted photo in Snapseed starting to pile up? Declare war on the selfie folder.

But any old cache cleaner app can do this stuff.

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[Deal Alert] $110 Worth Of Games And Apps Are Free Today On The Amazon Appstore, Including Game Of Thrones, Sorcery! 3, And Bike Race Pro

Amazon likes to offer freebies every now and then on its Appstore. Aside from the daily gratis app or game, it runs regular huge promotions where it usually discounts over $100 worth of software to the awesome price of nada. Nil. Zilch. That's the case today with a mega deal lasting until May 16th 11:59PM PST.

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The offer includes more than thirty apps and games, which total over $110 in their regular listing price. Most notable among the games are Game Of Thrones, Sorcery! 3, Bike Race Pro, Five Nights At Freddy's 3, Angry Birds Seasons, and Bloons TD 5. There are also kids games, office utilities, and various applications for photo editing, finance management, language learning, and more.

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Amazon Is Back With Another Bunch Of Appstore Freebies For New Year's Eve: 33 Apps And Games, $110 Value

It seems like every holiday Amazon comes back with another handful of paid apps to give away for free. It's New Year's Eve in most of the world, so here's the latest batch: a series of 33 games and apps that you can get for free, gratis, and nothing. None of these are exactly a must-have, but hey, why not add them to your Amazon account - you can use them on just about any Android device with the external Appstore package. If you bought all of the apps and games on offer today, they'd add up to over $100 USD.

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Coolpad's Android Devices Have Factory-Installed Backdoor That Impersonates Google Play Services Framework, Says Security Firm

In a report released today, security researchers claim to have identified a vulnerability in as many as 24 Coolpad devices. The backdoor, which the researchers at Palo Alto Networks call "CoolReaper," reportedly installs adware without user consent or notification. More problematic is the fact that Coolpad built the backdoor into the operating systems themselves. The cherry on top is that Coolpad even had the nefarious app impersonate the Google Play Services framework file to avoid alerting users.

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[Update: Winners] Win One Of Five Nexus 5s From Avast And Android Police

We've often talked about the benefits of having Avast Mobile Security installed, which includes its top-notch anti-theft solution. It looks like a lot of folks listened, because the app just hit 100 million downloads. As a celebration of this milestone, we've teamed up with Avast to give away not one, not two, but five Nexus 5s to five lucky winners. A premium Avast license will also be included with each device, so you can keep your new gadget safe.

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This contest is now over.

The final results are listed below. If you've won, you will be contacted in the near future.

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Trend Micro Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot After Falsely Claiming That The Play Store Is Full Of Malware

Just like any open marketplace, there's a lot of crap in the Play Store. In a strange and roundabout way, I'm actually OK with that - separating the silver from the dross of Android apps is one of our core functions at Android Police. But a recent promotion from antivirus vendor Trend Micro painted an extremely dim picture of the Play Store. The company claimed, among other things, that the Play Store was full of "potentially evil doppelgangers... with many carrying malware."

Trend's report of the situation (PDF link) was chilling, reporting that 100% of the Top 10 apps in the Finance, Media & Video, and Widgets categories had fake apps associated with them, along with 90% in the Business, Music, and Weather categories.

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Lookout Introduces Theft Alerts, A Feature Set Similar To What Other Security Apps Have Had For Years

An update is rolling out to the Lookout security app with a new feature tucked away exclusively for premium account holders. This feature is theft alerts. After the alerts have been enabled, Lookout will send phone owners an email automatically when the phone starts engaging in behavior that indicates it could have been stolen. This way you get notified as soon as shenanigans begin, rather than having to manually check for the device's location yourself. Lookout defines said shenanigans as follows.

Lookout will now send out Theft Alerts when:

  • Your passcode is entered incorrectly
  • Your SIM card is removed
  • Airplane Mode has been enabled
  • Your device has been turned off
  • Someone removed Lookout as the device administrator

Some of these actions aren't really all that suspicious, especially for travelers who may regularly power down their phones entirely rather than switch to airplane mode.

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[Update: Winner!] Win A 16GB Galaxy S5 And Gear Fit From Bitdefender And Android Police

Smartphones are probably some of the most personal devices on the planet. They hold our contacts. Our family photos. Our, um, personal photos. Text messages. Private conversations. Many of a person's secrets could probably be uncovered with a little exploration of their smartphone. So, what's the best way to keep things safe on your smartphone? With a little security, of course.

Android offers a few of its own solutions to keeping your private data private, like a customizable unlock pattern, password, or PIN code on the lockscreen. If someone were to get past that, however, it's open season – all your data is just there for the taking.

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LG G3 Gets Official: 5.5" 2560x1440 Screen, Snapdragon 801, 2-3GB Of RAM, MicroSD And Removable Battery, And A 13MP Camera With Laser Auto-Focus

LG didn't do much of a job keeping the flagship G3 under wraps - pretty much every detail has been leaked in some capacity before today. But the press event in London made it official and laid the phone bare for all to see. LG's headliner for 2014 bests headliners from both Samsung and HTC with a 5.5", 2560x1440 screen boasting a DPI of 538. Unfortunately the oh-so-shiny case is only "metallic" (read: plastic), and not true metal like the HTC One family.

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The phone's camera is also given a boost, not in megapixels, but in focusing power. The G3's camera has the same 13 megapixel resolution and optical image stabilization as previous models, but a tiny infrared laser module next to the rear camera will allow for more accurate autofocus in "a fraction of the time" required by conventional smartphone lenses.

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