Apps

Beware: Lots of fake Pokémon Go and Minecraft apps are still on the loose

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Despite constant warnings not to download apps outside of Google Play and Apple’s App Store, people are doing it anyway, and it’s getting increasingly worse. Security experts at Trend Micro noticed a rise in the number of adware installed on smartphones, and repackaged Pokémon Go and Minecraft software are at the heart of the problem.

While adware-infected apps have been around for ages, dubious third-party sources have been getting better at tricking people into downloading them. According to Trend Micro, a Vietnamese group named HiStore has already achieved over 10 million downloads for its counterfeit Pokémon Go app on iOS alone. That’s a crazy number when you think about it, considering how tight Apple’s ecosystem is. They also have fake versions of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

China-based Haima adds to the staggering amount by achieving over 68 million downloads for its fake Minecraft mobile app. How do they manage to trick so many people? You’d be surprised; social media is their main front, and clickbait titles distract users from downloading from the official App Store instead.

Luckily for those who got scammed, the damage shouldn’t be too critical. Trend Micro explains that the adware’s primary purpose is to dig into your smartphone and push targeted ads onto it. The scammers get paid by the advertisers for each appearance, and you have to suffer with pop-ups while playing what you thought was a legitimate copy of the game. Pokémon Go became a major success for Haima and HiStore, since lots of people wanted to get a head start over the competition during the slow global rollout.

What’s the lesson here? Don’t get too excited about downloading the newest game until it hits the official servers. As long as you download from Apple or Google’s certified stores, you’re in the clear. Trend Micro is also advising developers to fortify their software in order to prevent more fraudulent apps from being distributed.

[irp posts=”4643" name=”Pokémon Go Plus wearable is out, doesn’t really do much”]

Source: Trend Micro, via Wired

Apps

Google is under investigation for abusing Android

Dominating the market comes with a price

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Google has often been accused of monopolizing the smartphone market with the use of Android. While Android as an operating system is open source and anyone is free to make or use the system however they wish, Google’s push of its apps is a bigger problem.

Android is maintained by the search engine giant and the code is available for everyone’s use. But, Google pushes its range of apps in stock Android like Gmail, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and more. Many accuse the company of forcing itself upon users and blocking the competition from a fair chance.

India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been reviewing Google’s case for the last six months. The enforcement agency is currently at a preliminary stage and no official release has been made. Google, as well as CCI, have declined to comment.

The European Commission found Google guilty of dominating the market since 2011 and it’s abusing its standard practice of installing Google apps. The investigation led to a US$ 5 billion fine from the antitrust agency.

Google and CCI have met in recent months and the complaint was filled by a “group of individuals.” The agency has a track record of taking years to finish or conclude a case and we never know when a verdict might actually come.

Although, the CCI did impose a US$ 19 million fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.

Android has a massive 85 percent market share and almost every Android phone ships with Google’s suite of apps. These apps, in return, help the search engine push ads to the user and generate revenue for the company.

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Apps

EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends

To battle with Fortnite

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Image credit: EA

EA‘s battle royale game is a certified hit. Apex Legends, which was developed by Titanfall makers Respawn, has no fewer than 25 million registered players in just one week. The game is playable for free on multiple platforms (PC, PS4, and Xbox One), but why not make it available on mobile as well?

Early reports don’t indicate mobile plans for the game, although during the Electronic Arts Q3 2019 earnings call, EA Games CEO said that they are looking into bringing Apex Legends to mobile devices.

Fortnite‘s userbase ballooned when it became available on Android and iOS, so it’s a no brainer than EA also wants mobile gamers to join the fun.

“We are looking at how to take the game to mobile and cross-play over time, and I also expect that this game will have tremendous value in Asia, and we’re in conversations about that,” EA Games CEO Andrew Wilson said during the conference call.

There’s no definite timeline for the release of Apex Legends on mobile, but it’s certainly on the drawing board. For now, EA plans to introduce direct purchase options for players to buy items and new legends or heroes. They will also offer the so-called Apex Packs or simply loot boxes for more random items.

Apex Legends is not a pay-to-win game, so these items are purely cosmetic and can be used to customize your hero’s looks in the game.

SEE ALSO: Apex Legends hits 25 million players after one week

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Apps

Introducing Bumble’s Spotlight: Pay to get to the top of the page

For just two Bumble coins!

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You can’t buy your way to true love but you can now buy a top spot on Bumble’s swipe page.

You heard that right. Bumble just announced their new feature and they’re calling it Spotlight. For two Bumble coins, which is around US$ 2, you can get your own profile to the top of the swipe page — the most conducive spot for swiping. Your profile stays there for 30 minutes and people won’t even know you paid for the extra airtime.

Similar to Tinder Boost, this new feature allows for a bigger shot at better swiping results. It basically bumps you up in the queue. Remember, though, that you can only pay for being more visible on the app, but the swiping is still left to the other party.

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