1 min ago

'Fake ID' and Android security [Updated]

Android security

What's going on with the latest Android security scare?

Today security research firm BlueBox — the same company that uncovered the so-called Android "Master Key" vulnerability — has announced the discovery of a bug in the way Android handles the identity certificates used to sign applications. The vulnerability, which BlueBox has dubbed "Fake ID," allows malicious apps to associate themselves with certificates from legitimate apps, thus gaining access to stuff they shouldn't have access to.

Security vulnerabilities like this sound scary, and we've already seen one or two hyperbolic headlines today as this story has broken. Nevertheless, any bug that lets apps do things they're not supposed to is a serious problem. So let's sum up what's going on in a nutshell, what it means for Android security, and whether it's worth worrying about ...

Update: This article has been updated to reflect confirmation from Google that the Google Play Store and Play Services' "verify apps" feature have both been updated to address the Fake ID bug. Google's statement in full can be found at the end of this post.

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21 min ago

The best Android apps for Chromecast


The Chromecast is a fantastic little device that has quickly made our TVs leagues smarter than they were before. Every day new Chromecast-friendly Android apps are beaming all sorts of new content to the big screen, and it's getting to the point where finding the really great ones can be a challenge. Luckily, we're here to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Obviously all of the major subscription music and video services have some amount of Chromecast support, but between the requirement for monthly fees and regular geographical limitations, we're skipping the vast majority of these in favor of more broadly available apps. Dive in and take a look at our top five favorite Chromecast apps for Android.

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Sponsored Post

Daily Deals: MYBAT Hard Shell for HTC One M8 and SURFACE Case for Nexus 5

Daily Deal July 29

You wanted more deals, and you got'em! Today we're slashing prices on popular cases for the HTC One M8 and LG Nexus 5.

Both covers have plenty of colors to choose from and do a great job at shielding your Android device from those unforeseen drops. And, now you can grab either one (or both) at an awesome discounted price!

These savings are only valid for today so grab them up while the gettin's good. Oh, and don't forget about our convenient 60-day return policy and fast shipping!


55 min ago

Google Now helps out with search results relevant to your hotel stay

Google Now travel results

Google Now is constantly picking up new features that don't even require an app update, and the latest is localized results based on your upcoming hotel reservations. If you've booked a hotel and have a confirmation email sent to your Gmail account, you can now ask Google Now to show you relevant information based on the location of the hotel.

You can ask make requests like "Show me restaurants near my hotel" and "Give me directions to my hotel" and Google Now will simply find out where your hotel is and give you information based on that, accompanied by a card with the hotel name, location and dates of your stay.

This new feature will be helpful both before and during your trips, surely, though it looks like the number of phrases that are applicable to a hotel search are limited. But it sure beats having to remember the address of a hotel you're only staying at temporarily, or feeding in an oddly-named place and hoping Google Now figures it out.

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1 hour ago

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides pick up new home pages with Material Design look

Google Sheets home page

Google Docs and several other Google Android apps are receiving hints of Material Design in their latest updates, and now the web components of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are coming along for the ride. Google is promoting its simple shortcut URLs to go straight into your Google Docs, Sheets and Slides now that they have a fresh look, which keeps with the idea of bold colors, drop shadows and clean lines.

To access the new pages you'll simply go to google.com/docs, google.com/sheets or google.com/slides, and you'll be greeted with a fresh new page to get at all of your content.

Of course if you want to see it all together you'll have to go to the Google Drive website, which has recently received an update as well but doesn't have the exact same design elements as shown off here. The above URLs will be great for folks who don't live in Drive all the time, and instead focus on creating and working with just one document type.

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1 hour ago

LG G Vista looks set to arrive on Verizon on July 31st


The LG G Vista has been making its rounds for a while now through several leaks but the device more commonly likened to the 'G3 lite' looks as though it might finally be released. As expected from the previous leaks, it's headed to Verizon with a reported street date of July 31st. As far as specs go, the leaks weren't too far off the mark really.

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1 hour ago

Instagram launches Bolt picture messaging service, but only in select countries


Following up less than a week after it prematurely let the cat out of the bag, Instagram's new messaging service, named Bolt, is now available for users in some countries. It's what can basically be described as a Snapchat clone, where you sign in and quickly send pictures back and forth between friends. You use your phone number to sign in rather than an email or Facebook account, and sending pictures to friends is just one tap away — there's no actual shutter button to press and review the image before it's sent.

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2 hours ago

Stephen Colbert reviews the Kim Kardashian app so we don't have to


Thank God. Because I did the last one four years ago and am still trying to wash that stench off.

If this somehow is your thing, you can download it here.

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2 hours ago

Link Bubble updated with several improvements, bug fixes and Android Wear support


Link Bubble is an awesome app that helps you surf the web better and now, the latest version has arrived on the Google Play Store. Released as v1.3, this update is pretty hefty on improvements, bug fixes and changes.

We've got the full change log for you to look through but before we get into that, it has to be noted that v1.3 also brings support for Android Wear. You might be asking yourself, why does an app that preloads links from other applications need Android Wear support? Well, luckily, Link Bubble developer Chris Lacy has noted why it's included for us.

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2 hours ago

Samsung's Kids Store on Galaxy S5 and Tab S now has 900 apps


Samsung has announced a major expansion of its Kid Store, included as part of the Kids Mode feature found on its Galaxy S5 smartphone and Tab S tablets.

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