This morning we were alerted to a possible Blackberry Messenger sighting in the Play Store, but upon closer inspection, it was immediately obvious that this app is beyond fake. The problem is it already has 100,000+ installs, it's been sitting in the Play Store since Friday, and Google hasn't done anything to remove the listing yet.
Update 6/23/13 4:25pm PT: The fake app has been taken down.
I can see three big problems that are currently distracting unsuspecting users and making them ignore any other possible warning signs:
- The developer's name is RIM, which looks pretty damn official.
Listen up, Android users. If you're using Google Now, don't go to its Settings -> My Stuff and try to modify sports teams or stocks right now, as doing so completely borks the whole app. As soon as you go back to the main screen or click into Search, you will experience a force close. Repeated attempts to restart it will result in a crash as well:
The only thing that works is clearing out Google Search's data in Settings -> Applications, after which you need to re-enroll into Google Now. Read More
Do not freak out. Yes, a big green icon has magically popped up in your app drawer; no, it isn't bad; and yes, it is pretty much useless.
If you caught the announcement of Google Play Services 3.0, aka "Google+ Sign-In," you're already halfway up to speed on this. Google Play Services is an APK that many of Google's apps rely on to hook into Google+ and, just like the Play Store, Google has the ability to silently update it. Read More
When the Nexus 4 was announced yesterday, there was a bit of confusion regarding its HSPA+ support for faster HSPA+42 speeds offered by companies like T-Mobile. The Device Play Store pages showed HSPA+21, but T-Mobile's press release claimed the faster HSPA+42, also known as DC-HSPA+ (dual-cell). Did that mean that T-Mobile customers needed to get a special variant of the Nexus? The answer is no, but the inaccuracy surely puzzled some. Read More
Today, I uninstalled the Amazon Appstore and bought all the FAOTD (free app of the day) apps I've been really using. Why did I do it? Because, mildly put, the Amazon Appstore app, which is required for all Amazon-installed apps to run and perform their license checks, has affected my battery life in very negative ways. Even if you never open it, it will keep running in the background, using up valuable CPU cycles, keeping the device awake when it should be sleeping. Read More
Privacy is a good thing in the digital world - you'll get no argument from me. I don't like my data floating around in cyberspace without my consent, but I also realize that much of what makes the internet (and computing generally) so great is that I can use my own judgment to decide who I will and will not trust with my information.
Things like app permissions, which have been a part of the Android package installation process for quite some time, are nice, but let's face it: 95% of us don't read them. Read More
I have always been a techie. As a child of the 80s I had an IBM PC with a 10 megabyte hard disk that had to remain completely immobile and level or risk scratching, I had a 300/1200 baud internal modem and I stayed up all night downloading a 64 kilobyte game that, at the time, was the coolest thing I had ever seen. My wife, on the other hand, thought anything with a screen needed rabbit ears to get good reception and that PC stood for popcorn. Read More