See that email in the featured image of this post? It's junk. Several developers have received this and rightfully felt very nervous, but it is simply a scheme to get you to turn over your Google credentials to scammers. It isn't the cleverest phishing expedition we've ever seen, but it certainly is better than most. First of all, it is not filled with the kind of typographical and grammatical errors you often see. Also, the biggest giveaway of what is going on is obscured when viewing from Gmail.
For weeks now, the vast majority of recent issues in Google's public Android issue tracker have been spam. This is no sophisticated attack, just a barrage of the most transparently useless bug submissions you can imagine. It is completely crowding out legitimate issues and it appears Google is not too concerned about that fact. We would file a bug report about it, but...
Nearly a hundred more posted just in the time I sifted through grabbing screenshots. I did see the number fluctuate a bit, suggesting that maybe Google has taken some measures to decrease it. If they have, though, they're doing a very poor job.
Update, January 4th: Um, Google? Those mildly creepy spam posts are back, once again making the Android bug tracker nearly unusable with hundreds of flooded messages. Perhaps you'd like to consider putting a permanent block on the single phone number that's appearing on every post... unless you really do need a "Love Marriage Specialist in Jaipur."
Update, December 30th: It looks like Google has cleared all of the spam bug reports from the system. Well, that was fun while it lasted.
The ability to mark unwanted email as spam and check the junk folder for potentially mislabeled messages is a core feature for any email client, but until now, Dropbox's stylish Mailbox app has lacked it. With version 1.1, that changes. The app now places the spam folder inside the sidebar with its other pre-existing categories, and tucked away inside each email's menu we now find the new option to "mark as spam."
This isn't all the developers have been up to. Mailbox now lets users swipe and hold messages to create automatic patterns (i.e., filters) of what to do with future messages sent to or from a particular email address.
When Flappy Bird left the Play Store and Apple's App Store, it left a vacuum. And since it was pulled, that vacuum has been pulling in all kinds of lint, in the form of knockoffs, clones, or games that simply want to use Flappy Bird's success as promotion for their own games.
It would seem, though, that Google (along with Apple) has begun taking steps to prevent the store from becoming overrun with such entries. As Tech Crunch reports, multiple developers have complained that Google Play, the Appstore, or both have rejected their recent Flappy efforts, multiple times in some instances.
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.
The description read:
Sit on the edge of your bus, train, subway, office or toilet seat as you evade enemies, trigger bombs, and collect multipliers in pursuit of your high scores.
Airpush and similar notification spammers, your days are numbered. The people have spoken - everyone universally hates these types of ads, and Google actually listened to our numerous complaints.
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.
This is exactly how it's done, in case you wanted a demonstration:
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.
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.
Thankfully, the amount of 1-star user reviews is now starting to look alarming, but that wouldn't have been the case if you saw it right as it came out.