The BBM app might have made a real impact if it had arrived a few years ago, but it's not very impressive in today's Android ecosystem. However, the app is currently sitting at a very respectable 4.2 stars in Google Play. Good for BlackBerry, right? Well, maybe not. Starting on the first page there is a strange pattern of mostly 5-star reviews with identical or very similar wording. Something is fishy.
It was just five days ago that Hazard Rush was released to the Play Store. The developer took to Reddit to make the announcement and offer some freebies. Well, the community was into Hazard Rush, which (according to the app description) is a little like Snake and Geometry Wars. It's the next part of the description that got Hazard Rush banned from Google Play. The developer made a cheeky SEO joke, and that was enough for it to get swept up in Google's Play Store purge.
In Jelly Bean, you can not only figure out exactly which app caused a notification by long-pressing it and selecting App Info - you can actually disable notifications on a per-app basis altogether. That, my friends, is not just a slap in Airpush's face - it's a swift kick in its private parts.
Last week, a "report" by InFlexWeTrust showed a screencap of a popup that invited users to download a "featured" app - Instagram for Android.
With all the crapware pushing AirPush ads to your notification bar that we've seen last week (including the fake Pinterest, Temple Run, and - drumroll - Instagram) and all the clues regarding this so obviously fake Instagram app, one would have thought a bit of caution by the blogosphere would have been a good idea.
In my continuous hunt for new apps, I sometimes run into such obvious malware/crapware that it causes an immediate virtual gag reflex. Sometimes, however, this malware is cleverly disguised and to an unsuspecting user it may seem legitimate.
Here, have a look at what I found today:
If you briefly scanned this page, you may have missed the fact that the publisher's name is MicrosDft Corporation (in all caps), or that it's requesting a permission to directly dial phone numbers without your intervention, or that the website in the listing is msM.com.
This Just In
If you've received the new version of the Android Market on your phone, you might have noticed among the legion of additions to the app a very noticeable subtraction: the "Just In" section. Some people don't like this.
In fact, there is a growing thread over at Google Support with a number of complaints about this change. Of course, the complaints are pretty exclusively from developers. Now, some of these complaints are made from a legitimate perspective - new developers who want exposure.
Have you ever been annoyed by SMS spam that attempts to convince you to pay for new Paris Hilton ringtones or something else you probably don't want? It appears that Verizon Wireless has too, as they have filed a federal lawsuit outlining a fraudulent SMS scheme that targeted its customers.
Among the violations that the scammers allegedly performed on Verizon customers:
- misappropriating approved short codes for unapproved “shadow” campaigns that did not comply with Verizon Wireless’ consumer protection and disclosure policies
- blocking certain IP addresses from accessing the websites associated with these shadow campaigns
- re-directing visitors to shell websites, preventing Verizon Wireless and its auditors from finding the shadow campaign websites in the normal course of monitoring Premium SMS campaigns for compliance
Customers who think they might have been on the receiving end of this scheme and think they might be entitled to a refund can visit www.premiumsmsrefunds.com to get the full scoop.
Uhoh, he's at it again. No, I'm not going to make this a rant that is hugely controversial or upsetting. Seemingly contrary to what I write sometimes, I love Android. And anyone who loves Android can agree: the Android Market kinda-sorta sucks sometimes.
Whoa there, let me qualify that - some aspects of the Market are less than fantastic, and I think every Android user has come to realize this.
This has been brewing for a while, but I've had enough. As you may know, throughout the week, I keep an eye out for any new worthy Android apps to be rounded up and published for everyone to enjoy. An important part of this search is looking through the new apps list, for which I had chosen AppBrain - specifically, this RSS feed, which lists every app entering the Android Market.
Google's recent updates to the Android Market have further refined the process of installing and purchasing apps, but they still haven't developed a suitable desktop alternative to browsing the thousands of Android apps available. AppBrain is a third-party website that fills this gap by allowing users to browse apps on their computers and then choose which ones to install on their phones.
AppBrain is a great tool, but it is limited by the policies of the Android Market, which allow almost any app to be installed.