Apps

Google removes 25 apps for secretly stealing your data

The apps were downloaded more than 2 million times

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Google has removed 25 apps from its Play Store for slyly collecting your data in the background. The apps were collectively downloaded more than 2.3 million times before the company clamped down.

According to French cybersecurity firm Evina, the malicious apps were developed by the same threat group. They seemed to offer different functionalities but were fundamentally designed to phish data.

The apps disguised themselves as step counters, image editors, video editors, wallpaper apps, flashlight applications, file managers, and mobile games. While offering some functionality on the front, the end-goal was always to collect user data.

Basically, what these sinister apps do is steal Facebook user’s credentials if they regularly open the account on their phone. The phishing app would overlay a web browser window on top of the official Facebook app and load a fake Facebook login page. You’d assume you’re logging in to your account, but in reality, you just handed over your username and password.

Image by Evina

Evina discovered the flaw in these apps and contacted Google for further action at the end of May. Once the company’s findings were verified, the apps were kicked from the Play Store. Google not only removed the apps from the Play Store but also disabled them on users’ smartphones and informs them via the Play Protect feature.

In recent times, users are increasingly aware of phishing and data collection since social platforms like TikTok have also been caught red-handed. Apple has emphasized its focus on privacy and announced a host of new features to protect the user via iOS 14. Even Xiaomi has added a range of new methods to protect the user in MIUI 12.

Apps

Pixel 6 will reportedly have a Magic Eraser feature

It can erase strangers from photos

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Taking photos at a crowded location is usually a problem for most tourists. Most of the time, you’ll end up taking photos with unwanted strangers in the background. In worse situations, someone might even bomb your photos on purpose. Luckily, with artificial intelligence now, getting perfect photos is easier. To show its power in AI technology, the upcoming Pixel 6 series will reportedly have a Magic Eraser feature.

Accidentally shared by retailer website Carphone Warehouse (and preserved through Wayback Machine), the upcoming flagship series will sport a flurry of camera features. Though the series will have the standard array of photography improvements, the most notable feature is an upcoming Magic Eraser which will “remove strangers and unwanted objects in Google Photos.”

To anyone familiar with photography software, this is already possible especially through Adobe Photoshop’s healing tool. However, getting the feature natively in a smartphone is a big step especially for tourists who might not have access to Photoshop.

Besides the feature, the accidental webpage reveals a lot of details about the upcoming flagship series. Of course, it’s not a big reveal anymore. Google itself has already shared more about the Pixel 6 series more than the leaks. The series will officially launch on October 19 in a launch event.

SEE ALSO: Pixel Pass bundles a Pixel 6 with a subscription service

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Apple’s iWork suite gets easier for mobile

Perfect for on-the-go work

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Apple continues its work at bringing better productivity to its iWork suite. In a new update, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers are all getting new features and more optimization between desktop and on-the-go use.

Presenting yourself in Keynote

Keynote adds a new layer of interactivity to online presentations. With working from home still a staple today, face-to-face presentations are still difficult. Users can now add their live video (through the front-facing camera) to their presentations. Further, the new feature has support for multiple cameras outside of the main camera.

Users can now also pass control over a presentation to others. It comes especially useful for group presentations online.

Taking Pages on the go

While Keynote adds new features to ease its use for distant working or learning, Pages is getting a convenience feature for on-the-go use. The new Screen View feature makes text and images more readable on your phone. Both are enlarged and optimized for a phone screen. Though the interface is enlarged, users still have access to the standard array of editing tools. And if you’re more used to the original way of doing things, users can toggle the feature off.

Finally, some pivot tables

After all these years, Numbers gets a feature that has set it far behind its competitors, Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. Users can now make pivot tables in Numbers to arrange their tables in more meaningful ways. They can even import and export their data to and from Microsoft Excel. Also, to catch up with lost time, Numbers is the first one among its rivals to get pivot tables for mobile.

All three updated iWork apps are now available for download through the App Store.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone 13 and 13 mini Unboxing and Hands-on

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Shopee kicks-off 10.10 Brand Festival

Kim Chiu takes centerstage

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Are your carts ready? Shopee has just kicked off its 10.10 brand festival!

Until October 10, you can enjoy free shipping with no minimum spend, big brand giveaways, and up to PhP 1,000 off brand vouchers at the upcoming brand fest.

If you’re lucky, you can also win PhP 430,000 worth of prizes: Vouchers, bundles, newly launched items, and even a lifetime supply of various products from over 30 participating brands.

Leading the event are popular brands such as Nestle, Deerma, GoMO!, Lactum, Colgate-Palmolive, Shigetsu, P&G Beauty, Garnier, and Belo — which will host Brand Days on Shopee Mall offering discounts up to 80% off, branded items as low as PhP 179, and a free gift with every purchase.

Moreover, different themed sales await on Shopee starting October 1:

  • Groceries Fair (October 1)
  • Fashion Fair (October 2-3)
  • Mom & Baby Fair (October 4)
  • Work From Home Fair (October 5)
  • Gadgets and Gizmo Fair (October 6-7)
  • Beauty and Wellness Fair (October 8-9)

ShopeePay to the rescue

Of course, you can still use ShopeePay to buy load, pay bills, and scan-to-pay. ShopeePay Wallet can be topped up through online banking, debit card, and over-the-counter partners.

Doing so can get you up the ff:

  • 50 percent discount on load from Globe, Smart, Sun, and TNT
  • 50 [ercent cashback from Maynilad, PLDT, and various partner billers
  • PhP 1 deals from Puregold, Ultramega Supermarket, Potato Corner, and other partner merchants

The Chinita Princess debuts

The biggest brands sale of the year launched and debuted Kim Chiu, Shopee’s newest brand ambassador. The popular actress will be featured in Shopee’s new TV commercial and numerous in-app activities.

“Shopee Philippines is happy to welcome one of the country’s top entertainers into the Shopee family, Kim Chiu. Kim’s bubbly, charming personality and love for online shopping both resonate with millions of Filipinos who find joy and excitement in Shopee. This 10.10 Brands Festival, we hope to bring the best brand deals and so much more with our valued and trusted brand partners,” said Martin Yu, Director at Shopee Philippines.

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