Handing over your phone to a friend or acquaintance who "just needs to make a call" can be a little nerve-wracking. Sure, this person probably won't poke around in your email or secretly send your private pictures to their Dropbox account, but you would feel better if you could be certain. Lollipop has just the feature to keep your phone secure in the hands of your friends: Screen Pinning. Now you can lock a single app into the foreground, and nobody will be able to sneak a peek at your web history.
Say it with me now: piracy is bad. There are ways to get free copies of just about everything online, but even setting aside the legal and moral aspects of it, doing so can come with the risk of infecting your computer with something icky or falling victim to a phishing attempt. People who know their way around the woods will continue to be able to take advantage of things, but Google's working on reducing the likelihood that the average user will end up in a place they don't want to be.
At the Google I/O 2014 keynote, Sundar Pichai took to the stage to let us know that the L release of Android is set to make massive improvements in security for the enterprise as well as regular users. The Washington Post has received word from Google that gives us another glimpse of what we should expect in the next version. It seems that devices shipping with Android L will have disk encryption enabled by default.
Update, 9-4-13: a Verizon Wireless spokesman reached out to say that the wireless provider hasn't been fined by the FCC, and that the landline services provider (providers of home Internet and cable services) is the one being fined. Verizon and Verizon Wireless are technically separate companies. The headline and story text have been altered to reflect this.
There are a lot of good reasons not to like Verizon. But the Federal Communications Commission has taken particular exception to at least one of Verizon's practices from way back in 2006.
The problem with sharing files over the internet is that everything is permanent. Digify doesn't fix this issue, but it sure attempts to by taking the Snapchat approach to privacy and applying it to files. Rather than giving someone permanent access to a document, it gets a time limit from the sender and initiates a self-destruct at said time. It even goes so far as to provide information on who has opened the file and how long they've interacted with it.
The latest version of the Play Store hit the scene a little over a week ago and introduced a tweak to the way permissions are displayed at install time, and it left some people feeling a little...uncertain. Gone is the ugly wall of poorly spaced, semi-specific permissions. The replacement is a short set of simplified categories, each with crisp-looking icons and buttons that reveal a brief description when tapped. Google filtered through roughly 145 permissions and narrowed them down to a dozen groups, plus one bucket for anything that remains.
Today at this year's f8, Facebook's global developer conference, the company behind the world's largest social network introduced upcoming changes to its platform for signing users into mobile apps. In the months ahead, people can expect to see a new Anonymous Login option that the company says will allow them to sign in without sharing any of their personal information from Facebook.
This feature is joined by an upcoming version of Facebook Login that should provide users with more control over which information they share with apps.
Mankind loves to obsess over numbers, statistics, and data. Ok, maybe not everybody is stuck on tracking every last thing that happens; but if you're reading this site, there's a good chance you're already checking your monthly activity reports each time Google fires off an email reminder. That addiction to numbers is about to get much more interesting. Google is merging the monthly activity report with Dashboard to produce a super-sized page full of facts and stats about how you're using Google's services.
Last month Facebook bought WhatsApp for way too much money, making the app's developers very wealthy individuals. This deal, theoretically, gives Facebook access to the data provided by the app's nearly half a billion users. The companies behind the social network and the instant messenger have both promised that WhatsApp will continue to operate autonomously, but this hasn't completely alleviated privacy concerns. Thus WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum has shared a blog post aimed at "setting the record straight."
In it he states: