2017 was a big year for security research in technology, just as it is every year. With the much publicised 'Meltdown' and 'Spectre' CPU vulnerabilities and countless other lesser-known security bugs, researchers had their work cut out uncovering these flaws before anyone with more nefarious intentions could.
Google does its bit to compensate the research community for their hard work in keeping its users protected. In a recent blog post, the company released some numbers for the 2017 Vulnerability Rewards Program while also paying tribute to the dedicated researchers. Google paid out a total of $2.9 million as part of the program, to individuals and teams in 60 different countries. Read More
The Play Store has just been updated to version 7.8 as of this morning, at least for some people. This release brings a couple of small changes to the interface and a few bigger changes in preparation for the future. Google has added a little reminder note to get people back on track with automatic updates, meanwhile it has also removed a toggle on some devices that gave users a choice about whether icons should be added to the home screen for newly installed apps. (But don't worry, that's conditional.) On the teardown front, we can see big signs of progress for Instant Apps, a move toward branding the malware scanner, and a clue that pre-registering for apps may finally be worth something besides a reminder notification. Read More
Android Pay is finally here and it's pretty much everything we expected it to be. While there are plenty of questions about where we can use it, which credit cards can be set up, and why it's so aggressive with brightness even when barcodes aren't on screen, the actual act of spending money is about as straight-forward as it could be. As it turns out, there's one feature Google hasn't really discussed yet, but it could become the best thing about using a phone to buy things. Android Pay can automatically redeem special offers, submit account details for loyalty programs, and make a payment in just one tap to a payment terminal. Read More
It's starting to look like Google is getting back into the rhythm of regular releases after the holidays. It feels like forever since the last Play Store update began its rollout. We've got a new version for you, but this one doesn't seem to be sporting any user-facing changes, just a lot of bug fixes. However, a deep look inside reveals a lot to get excited about. Of course, if you stumble onto anything we've missed, let us know in the comments.
For anybody eager to get straight to the download, a link is at the bottom. For everybody else, it's time for a teardown. Read More
It appears Google really doesn't want to leave any stone unturned when it comes to easing its own apps into material design (no matter how long it may take). The latest to get an incremental refresh is Google Opinion Rewards - the app has been updated with a revised launcher icon (seen in the thumbnail for this post), and a new toolbar inside the app. The icon is a bit closer to material, but doesn't carry the exact same use of shadows as Google's other recent updates.
The card structure and every other component of the interface appears to be the same, but the new toolbar/status bar theming is nice to see. Read More
Wallaby has come to Google Glass, and while it won't save wearers any money in the short-term, it wants to help them rack up those rewards. What kind of rewards? Credit card rewards. Wallaby tells you what credit card will earn you back the most miles, points, or shopping discounts whenever you spend money. It's been available for Android for quite a while, but now the service has made its way over to Glass, where, since it's practically glued to your face, you're less likely to forget about it.
After installing the Glass app, you just have to say "OK Glass, pay with Wallaby" to have the app show you which card to use at which merchants. Read More
Back in October, Google announced a rewards program that would give financial incentives for "down-to-earth, proactive improvements" to security across third-party open-source projects that Google deems "vital to the health of the entire Internet."
Starting with core infrastructure services, Chrome foundations and other "high impact libraries," Google vowed to expand the program soon. Today, in an entry to the official security blog, Google announced that the program has been expanded in scope to include open-source bits of Android, found in AOSP, and several other projects.
We started with a fairly conservative scope, but said we would expand the program soon. Today, we are adding the following to the list of projects that are eligible for rewards:
- All the open-source components of Android: Android Open Source Project
- Widely used web servers: Apache httpd, lighttpd, nginx
- Popular mail delivery services: Sendmail, Postfix, Exim, Dovecot
- Virtual private networking: OpenVPN
- Network time: University of Delaware NTPD
- Additional core libraries: Mozilla NSS, libxml2
- Toolchain security improvements for GCC, binutils, and llvm
According to the patch rewards guidelines, rewards can range from $500 to $3,133.70, with higher rewards going to solutions with unusually high impact or solutions to exceedingly complex issues. Read More
Samsung is already running circles around all of the other manufacturers shipping Android devices, and while we can come up with many reasons to pick up one the company's products, Sammy's steadily dishing out more. If you register your brand new Galaxy Tab or Galaxy Note tablet, Samsung will give you over $400 in perks. This is a $200 increase over their previous offer, and they've added additional products including Audible, SiriusXM, and Zinio. The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 launched with most of these perks, but now they've been distributed across Samsung's broader range of tablets.
We've covered most of Samsung's perks before, including $25 of Google Play credit, three months of Hulu Plus for new subscribers, twelve months of Boingo Wi-Fi access for new users, and 50GB of Dropbox storage. Read More
Love it or loathe it, GameStop is a mainstay of the modern gaming retail experience. If you're a frequent customer of the retailer, the company's new mobile app should be part of your arsenal. GameStop Mobile allows customers to track their PowerUp Rewards points and earn more points by checking in when they're at a store. For frequent customers, that alone should be worth a download.
The app can also be used to locate stores, buy items, and get information on games. So, if you really wanted to, you could use this app to find a GameStop location, drive there, sit in the parking lot, check in, then order items with your rewards points, all without ever entering the store. Read More