Have you ever refused to install an app because it wants too many permissions? Yeah, a lot of people have, and we don't blame them. A little too much trust can lead to stolen information, mysterious charges on your cellular bill, or worse. Thanks to developer M66B, we've got a simple way to lock down potentially misbehaving software. His new mod, XPrivacy, can block several types of activities and queries, despite the permissions granted at installation.
Most people make do with a PIN or pattern lock to secure their Android devices. If you need something a little stronger (or just want to feel like Ethan Hunt) EyeVerify has just released the beta version of an app that uses honest-to-goodness eye scans. Eyeprint takes a photo of your face, then matches the pattern of blood vessels on your eyeballs to a previous photo to access locked apps. The beta is extremely limited - none of my devices are showing compatible on the Play Store.
Google has quietly rolled out two new features in account settings that give you a quick overview of everything going on with your account security. The security dashboard shows all your important security settings, and the recent activity page tracks account sign-in history. These features could potentially help users track down suspicious behavior in a snap.
The security dashboard tells you how long ago you changed your password, what your account recovery options are, how you receive notifications, 2-step verification status, and lists your connected apps.
If you're paranoid about losing both your smartphone and your tablet... well, you probably shouldn't be carrying both in an area where either is likely to get stolen. But if you do, and feel like you need an extra layer of protection, McAfee is here to indulge your fear. Smart Perimeter Plus (in the Security Innovations app) links your Android phone and tablet, then sets off an alarm if either are separated from the same WiFi network.
There may be many ways to root an Android phone, but there's allegedly one root to rule them all. At this year's Black Hat USA 2013 conference, security researcher Jeff Forristal will detail how to gain system access and control on nearly any Android device. The bug was disclosed back in February, and Google presumably has worked to patch the vulnerability in the months since, so don't get too excited.
Over the weekend, Android Police received a tip about a serious privacy hole in Facebook Pages Manager for Android that made some privately uploaded photos public. Shortly after I made the details of the issue public, Facebook Security got in touch and let us know that its engineers were looking into the report and trying to get a fix up soon.
At 4:19pm PT today, I received a follow-up email from Facebook Security that confirmed a fix had been rolled out server-side, and no app update was necessary.
Note from Artem: The post's author, Justin Case, also known as jcase in the Android community, is an xda Elite Recognized Developer, AP team member, and an all-around knowledgeable guy when it comes to Android's internals. When he speaks, I tend to listen.
The Android world was slapped in the face when well-known developer AndreiLux made a post in the XDA Galaxy S4 forum titled [Info] Rooting will be impossible on newer stock kernels.
After a brief delay, it looks like AT&T's Digital Life service is finally ready for prime time. The service, which promises extensive home automation from temperature control to security monitoring to door lock control, will launch first in fifteen markets including Atlanta GA, Austin, Houston, and Dallas TX, Boulder and Denver CO, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Riverside CA, Miami FL, Philadelphia PA, Seattle WA, St Louis MI, and "select areas of the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area." By the end of the year, AT&T says it plans to expand the service to fifty markets.
Sprint Galaxy SIII owners fire up your "check now" fingers – you'll be getting a software update to version L710VPBMD4 soon, bringing a home screen security fix and a few other changes.
Specifically, the update – slated to start rolling out April 24 – brings Multi-View functionality (by which you can split the screen for multi-tasking purposes), enhancements to the camera and gallery apps, the addition of Samsung's Paper Artist photo editing app, and unspecified bulk SMS enhancements.