The anime-styling selfie app Meitu has exploded in popularity recently, then someone got to wondering why it was asking for so many permissions. It turns out the app is grabbing your IMEI and MAC address and sending them to a server in China. People were understandably concerned, and now Meitu has issued a statement meant to assuage our fears. It kind of doesn't, though. Read More
Just over two weeks into 2017 and there's already a second beta update to the Google app rolling out to users. The previous version didn't present with any notable new features, but it did leave some clues about future updates. The latest update is also packed with nuggets of future improvements, but it also adds at least one feature for people that have to search internationally from time to time. This update is currently rolling out to users signed up to the beta program, but if you want to pick it up separately, there is a download link at the bottom. Read More
Opera Max started out as a VPN capable of reducing data usage, as well as blocking apps from accessing the internet. Now Opera is rolling out a new feature to Max, called 'privacy mode,' that aims to make your device even more secure online.
Privacy mode is based on the S Secure feature Opera created for Samsung for the Galaxy J5 Prime and J7 Prime, which filtered ad trackers and other privacy risks. Opera Max takes it a step further by showing information per app, so you can see what applications on your device are potentially dangerous. Opera uses the EasyPrivacy filter list, a massive database of tracking services, to make this possible. Read More
The updates are flowing steadily today and Google+ is playing along with its own set of tweaks and enhancements. This version looks like it's mostly centered around subtle refinements and closing some old to-do items. The biggest visible change seems to be profile pictures that appear in the comment previews below posts. That doesn't mean there aren't a few other things to check out. A teardown adds to the fun the promise of configurable "flair" on your own profile, tap-to-reveal covers for potentially inappropriate images, and the setup for privacy settings. Read More
As we reported yesterday, SwiftKey's synchronization service has been down for several days. At the time, there was speculation that the outage was related to reports from users that they were getting predictions from other accounts. That's not speculation anymore—in a brief post on the SwiftKey blog, the company confirms that it disabled sync because of the prediction bug. Read More
Titanium Backup still looks like it was stuffed in a time capsule in 2011 and never gotten out of it, but who cares. The app provides backup and restore features that make the lives of every root and custom ROM user several folds easier, and that's just the tip of the iceberg of its capabilities. And it's not like it's been abandoned: the developers keep updating it and today it's reached version 7.5.
With this release, Titanium Backup is adding Android N support so you can finally use the app if you're running the latest dev preview. But it's also introducing a new feature: MyTi.cloud backups. Read More
Wire is one in a growing number of messaging services that promise to keep their users' correspondence private. In this case, the service offers encrypted text, voice, and video calls. And now it's open source. Read More
Facebook isn't the first company you think of when privacy comes to mind. Nor is it second, third, or anywhere near the top dozen. It's lucky if it's anywhere on the list at all. But the company does own WhatsApp, the widely used instant messenger that started encrypting all messages earlier this year. Now Facebook is testing out that same encryption in Messenger. Read More
Google makes most of its money from showing ads, both on its own services and on third-party sites running Google's ad network. When you use Google products, you have to be okay with some of the things you do being used to inform the ads you see. Today, Google is making a new tool available to users that lets you see and control the information Google uses to show you ads, but it comes with an (optional) expansion of Google's advertising personalization. Read More
Google Street View is awesome. With just a few taps of a button, you can get transported to new countries to explore their streets, landscapes, museums, and more. I remember using it two years ago to get a feel for my hotel's location in London and check the distance between the metro station exit and the hotel. I didn't want to look like a complete tourist upon my arrival for my first vacation in the city.
But Street View has caused lots of security and privacy concerns. Some countries have outright banned Google from driving their streets, others have spent years arguing with Google until they let it start collecting information (like Greece), and others have citizens who asked Google to blur their houses, and so on. Read More