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2 months ago

Samsung renews deal to use McAfee security software on Galaxy S8, smart TVs and PCs

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Yes, people do still care about security apps on their phones.

Samsung and McAfee have announced that they have extended their collaboration to put McAfee's security software across a wide range of Samsung's devices, including the new Galaxy S8 and S8+, smart TVs and PCs. The deal brings the McAfee LiveSafe application to Samsung PCs with a 60-day free trial, McAfee Security anti-malware software on Samsung TVs and the McAfee VirusScan app on the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

It's easy to point to these apps and say that you don't really need anti-malware protection on your Galaxy S8 or especially on your smart TV, but for some there's still a deep worry about security on mobile devices and the inclusion of this type of app can be a selling point. At a minimum, many will see the McAfee VirusScan app on their phone as a "belt and suspenders" situation where you might as well have it just in case because they don't trust their ability to keep their phone safe.

Readers of Android Central will know that the best way to keep your phone safe is to only download apps from the Google Play Store, only install apps that you trust and don't download files from websites that you didn't go looking for. Together with Google's built-in malware detection in Android you should be plenty safe if you think about what you do on your phone.

But regardless of whether you feel you're being safe or not, you're going to get McAfee VirusScan on your Galaxy S8.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

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Press release:

McAfee Extends Partnership with Samsung to Safeguard Samsung PCs, Galaxy S8 Smartphones and Smart TVs Worldwide

New Collaborations Allow Consumers to Connect with Confidence using McAfee Protection

Santa Clara, Calif. – May 9, 2017 – McAfee today announced further collaboration with Samsung to provide pre-installed security software protection on Samsung Smart TVs, Samsung PCs, and the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone line worldwide. With this collaboration, McAfee is delivering on its vision to provide protection for connected devices.

"Protecting every connected device in your home is absolutely essential today," said John Giamatteo, executive vice president, consumer business group, McAfee. "That's because if one device is attacked, it puts your entire home network at risk. While that level of protection might sound like a lot of effort, McAfee makes sure that it's easy. We believe there is power in working with partners like Samsung to build world-class security into devices like smart TVs, PCs, and smartphones so that these devices are protected right out of the box."

According to a recent McAfee survey, nearly 44 per cent of consumers are worried about their personal financial information being stolen while 38 per cent are worried about identity theft. These consumer fears underscore the need for robust cross-device security. McAfee protection addresses growing concerns like these across multiple devices.

"As the connected world of devices continues to expand into consumers' homes, Samsung users can feel comfortable knowing that their devices are protected with the latest security solutions," said Henry Lee, VP of Mobile Security Technologies, and the Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. "We understand the importance of building security in devices from the start and are proud to offer solutions that provide convenience while keeping our customers safe."

Availability of McAfee LiveSafe on Samsung PCs

The McAfee LiveSafe cross-device security product is currently shipping worldwide as pre-installed software on all Samsung PCs produced, starting in 2017. It will be available in other countries gradually. Samsung PC users can enjoy a 60-day free trial and after the trial period, will receive a special offer.

Availability of McAfee Security for Samsung TVs

McAfee Security for TV anti-malware technology is currently available in the U.S and Korea for Samsung Smart TV customers and additional countries will be added throughout the first half of 2017. No additional purchase is necessary.

Availability of McAfee VirusScan on Galaxy S8

McAfee VirusScan anti-malware technology will ship as a pre-installed solution for Samsung Galaxy S8 starting in April of 2017, and is available in Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge, S6, S6 edge and Galaxy Note 5**. No additional purchase is necessary.

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2 months ago

How to make a backup of any app installed on your phone

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Finding old versions of apps can be tough, but backing them up yourself isn't!

While most of the time we're all looking for the best ways to back up the data from our apps and games, it can be pretty handy to back up the app itself, too.

Unless an app is pulled for security reasons, when you download an app from Google Play you'll always be able to download the latest version from the store. It doesn't matter if the app is abandoned or even if the developer made it unavailable; you always have access to the newest version if you ever downloaded it. For example, if you installed the original Flappy Bird game from Google play, you'll find it under the library tab in the My Apps section of Google Play, but a search doesn't show it and if an account that never installed it follows the link, they're told it's unavailable.

If an app is always going to be available through Google Play, you might be asking why anyone would bother to back it up. You'll find the answer in just about every Google Play review — because Android runs on so many different devices and has so many versions in use, it's not uncommon to see something about the "latest update not working". It's frustrating to update an app you use all the time and have the update not work as well as the previous version, then not being able to downgrade it because the Play Store only has the latest version. If you have the previous version of the app on your SD card (for example) it's easy to go back. That sure beats not being able to use the app while you wait for another update.

The best part of it all is that this is a lot easier than you think. You don't need any cables or to type anything at all. You just need a file manager app.

Not every file manager app will have the app backup feature, but several very popular ones do. I use the ambiguously named File Manager (it used to be Clean File Manager if you remember trying it) and I know ES File Explorer and Astro File Manager also have the feature, so if your favorite doesn't, you can just pick one of these to check it out.

More: Best file manager app for Android

If you dig into the tools part of the settings, you'll see an entry for backing up apps. Different file managers may use different terminology, but they all work the same way. You tap the listing, then pick an app from the file window that appears, then tell the file manager app where to copy a backup. This works for any app you downloaded and installed yourself, no matter where you downloaded it from.

It might not work for pre-installed apps. The short version is that it depends on which folder the app was installed to and how it was installed. If you see the app in the list the file manager gives you, you can make a copy of it.

Reinstalling an old app

This is super easy, too. Just open the file manager (any file manager works for this part) and tap the icon of the app. The installer window will open and ask you to enable unknown sources if you haven't already so you'll need to do that, then it installs it as normal. Sometimes you'll need to uninstall the existing version first (which will erase your data for the app, so look into backing it up) then install from your SD card or phone storage.

A few things to remember when you do this:

  • Don't expect support from the developers. You need to be using the latest version if you need the devs to help you.
  • Some online features can be broken. An update may have changed the way the app talks to the cloud so things might not work the way they used to.
  • You're not supposed to be sharing it. Even free apps are usually licensed to you in a way that says you're not allowed to share it with anyone else.

Hopefully, you won;t have to do this very often, but when you need to it's great that it's so easy!

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below or ask Jerry in the forums!

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2 months ago

Google Assistant inside Allo can now converse in French and Spanish

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Google Assistant is learning new languages.

Just a week after adding a few new features, Google's smart chat app Allo is also picking up new language skills. You can now talk to Google Assistant inside Allo in French and Spanish, and it will respond in that language along with all of the smarts you expect from the Assistant.

French and Spanish join English, Hindi, Portuguese and Japanese as supported languages in Allo, which is a nice group that continues to grow. While users are surely taking advantage of many of Allo's features in more languages than that, now having the big selling point of the Google Assistant in the chats is a big improvement.

The updated languages are rolling out now, and may take a few days to arrive for everyone in the Allo app.

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2 months ago

Using your phone on the job site: 5 apps for the hard worker

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Work smarter with these five apps designed for the job site.

Android appeals to people from all walks of life. Your butcher, the young person at the register at Taco Bell, and all sorts of people you meet every day have an Android phone. That's because a modern phone is totally a multi-tool and there's an Android phone to fit everyone.

There are apps to fit everyone, too. We're going to have a look at five of them that can make your work day easier!

Safesite

Keeping yourself and the rest of the crew safe is the single most important part of everyone's job no matter where they work, but this rings especially true for work like construction, mining, or in a refinery. We all know that things don't give much of a warning when they go wrong, so catching and fixing safety issues is a must. And Safesite is great for doing it.

It's an app for your Android in the field and a program for the computers back in the office. When you're on-site and see anything that needs attention, you can record all the details, complete with photos and incident reports, and share them instantly with the person who can get them fixed. You can also perform safety audits with the built-in checklist feature (OSHA, ISO, VPP, and SHARP-compliant) and the desktop program can build an overview so keeping track of problem areas is easy. The app is free and so is a demo of the desktop service. More information is available at Safesite

Download: Safesite (free demo)

Construction Master Pro

Without a doubt, Construction Manager Pro is the best $25 you'll ever spend on an app if you need to measure or calculate anything on a regular basis. The app is a feature for feature clone of Calculated Industries' desktop software and includes both the standard calculator and its Trig calculator.

Eyeballing doesn't cut it a lot of the time. When you're doing anything that needs to follow the "measure twice, cut once" rule you'll find everything you need to calculate simple and complex projects so you save money and do a better job. It's 2017 and writing on a napkin isn't the answer. $25 sounds like a lot for an app, but buying material twice because something didn't get measured correctly can be a lot more.

Download: Construction Manager Pro ($25)

Zoho Invoice & Time Tracking

Sometimes the hardest part of the job is writing up the invoice, but it's a necessary evil if you want to get paid. With Zoho's invoice and time tracking app, it not only gets a lot easier to fill out and send an invoice, but they also look professional. And best of all, the invoice and billing service is free for small contractors with 5 employees or less.

Zoho is an online service that can connect to your Google Apps account and provides invoice and billing as well as the ability to get online payments. You fill out the particulars and costs and the app does all the accounting then send the invoice to your customer on the spot. Extras, like the WePay service, add the ability for your customers to pay online and you're notified right away when they do. It's perfect for people who don't want to fool with a card-reader. And no desktop program is required — you can do everything from a phone or tablet.

Download: Zoho Invoice & Time Tracking (free, in-app purchases)

PlanGrid

I know from experience that checking blueprints on some job sites can be a royal you know what. Between the dirt, the dust, and the coffee stain rings, they get ratty and can be tough to read, and it never fails that you'll have to unroll them all to find the one you need.

The PlanGrid service is a cheap and easy way to get those prints sent to the cloud instead of the printer, where they're easy for everyone to view or edit. The mobile app is fully functional and the version control system keeps track of revisions so everyone is seeing the right thing, i.e. the same thing.

Download: PlanGrid (free, requires a PlanGrid subscription)

Fieldwire

There's a little bit of overlap here because Fieldwire has a really nice built-in plan reader, but the reason it's on our list is because it's a great communication platform for the entire team.

The task manager has built-in scheduling and notifications and can track everything you need to fill out an invoice or write a productivity report. You can add photos and annotate them, create and export pdf files for printing or sending by email to someone outside the team, and the built-in inspection tool makes building a punch list simple. And because the app synchronizes through Google Drive or Dropbox, everyone is on the same page.

The service is completely free for small teams and you can request a demo if you need a license for more users.

Download: Fieldwire (free for small teams)

Got a favorite?

Do you have a favorite worksite app? Let us know in the comments below.

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2 months ago

What the world needs now are more progressive web apps

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I'm embarrassed by all the apps I have installed. Do I really need a majority of them if there's a web app for that?

Have you had a second to check out the latest Android Central roundtable? A few of us shared how many apps we each have installed on our daily drivers. Frankly, I was embarrassed by my number. I take such pride in the curation of the apps that I have installed. But there are 127 apps installed on my 32GB Pixel XL, and only about 20 of those are apps that I use regularly.

This entire experience has made me yearn for more progressive web apps — not to mention the full launch of Instant Apps, which could negate the need for installing any app at all. I don't like having an app installed for the different airlines, transit systems, and minor little services that I use from time to time. And how wonderful would it be if I could easily log into the Lyft app with my account credentials through the Chrome browser to hail a car? Or for the VSCO app to offer its hipster photo filters online? Progressive web apps are not only (pardon the cliché) the apps of the future, but they're going to make for an interesting app market, where only the worthy will merit an install.

Progressive apps I use now to get through life

Progressive web apps are, essentially, apps that contain all the functionality you need within their base code on the web so that when you visit the website through a mobile browser, everything is there! Probably one of the most popular progressive web apps is Facebook, which you can access through m.facbook.com to log in. There's even a trick if you need Facebook Messenger: tap on the option while the link is open in Chrome, and then ask the browser to request the desktop mode.

Here's another "hack": If you'd rather not have Twitter installed — a great idea for those of you constantly distracted by its content — you can simply head to mobile.twitter.com and log in through Twitter Lite. You'll have access to all the same abilities as the full-sized mobile application, and you'll save roughly 141 MB on storage space versus the 1MB used to pump the web stuff.

FandangoTwitterDuolingo

A few shining examples of progressive web apps.

I also appreciate the fact that Duolingo works fully through Chrome. I've been freshening up on the Romanian language myself and not only can I quickly access my lesson with just a bookmark, but Duolingo also notifies me through Chrome if I miss a day. It's wild to think that you can now learn an entirely new language with just the browser on your phone — what a boon for those looking to learn another language in countries where low-end, low-capacity phones rule the market.

There are still plenty of outdated web apps out there that aren't actually friendly to use and thus require that you have an app to do a simple little thing. For instance, I don't ride the San Francisco Bay Area's BART transit system as often as I used to, but I'm still required to have the BART Runner app installed for when I'm rushing over to the nearest station. It would also be nice to have some heavy duty photo apps run solely off the web, like Snapseed, since I only ever really use something like that for editing and filtering when I'm on a trip.

Instant Apps are coming, too, and they'll be even better and more functional than progressive web apps.

Instant Apps, which are currently undergoing a limited testing phase, will also play a major role in negating the need for full apps. You'll be able to find them through Google search results. They don't rely on web optimization or HTML5, like web apps do. Instead, instant apps install a tiny bit of data locally, and it's only the most necessary functionality. We're hoping to hear about more compatibility at Google I/O 2017.

Save the best stuff for the install

I simply appreciate PWAs as a way to cut down on all the bloat.

I think I seriously need to take a step back from my phone and reassess what it is that I have installed. I prefer to save what little storage space I have (I'm not the only one who skimps out this way!) for photos, videos, and Allo sticker packs. I need to take some time to look at which apps have similar progressive web app counterparts and whether or not there are any other tricks I can utilize to become less dependent on the full-size version of other apps like Facebook.

One thing's for certain: the world of apps is going to change the more that people catch on to PWAs. The original idea for progressive web apps was for Google to help establish its unified vision for apps and services. But I simply appreciate them as a way to cut down on all the bloat.

Do you use progressive web apps?

Do you save storage space on your phone by using progressive web apps? Which are your favorites? Would you like to see more of them? Let us know in the comments below!

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2 months ago

Instagram introduces ability to upload images through its mobile web app

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It's limited to the mobile browser, but it's been added to help Instagram in its attempt at world social network domination.

In its neverending quest for global takeover, Facebook's other social network, Instagram, has finally enabled the ability to upload images for anyone accessing it through a mobile browser.

Previously, you could only access a few limited functions through the browser page, including the ability to fully peruse your feed. But now, when you navigate to Instagram.com from your mobile browser, it takes you to an app-like layout, complete with the ability to upload a photo or video stored locally on your device. Bear in mind that this is only accessible on mobile browsers at present—those of you clicking through on your desktop browser will not have the upload ability.

TechCrunch asked Instagram about the changes. The company responded that this new web experience is optimized for mobile phones, particularly in an effort to "help people have a fuller experience on Instagram no matter what device or network they are on." TechCrunch adds:

The mobile web launch ties in with Instagram's global growth strategy aimed at the 80% of its users outside the US. Other product updates in this vein include web sign-up, a better on-boarding flow for low-end Android users, and the recent addition of offline functionality. These helped Instagram speed through the 700 million monthly user mark. It added its last 100 million in just 4 months after averaging 9 months per 100 million users for several years.

The Instagram track seems to run directly parallel to Facebook's in the sense that it also appears to be heavily focusing its developing on its mobile web app for emerging markets. Many users in the developing world don't necessarily have a fast enough connection or the ability to download Instagram's full mobile app, and this offering should help bridge that gap.

Perhaps this is also a great method for posting to two Instagram accounts at once —save one account for the app and the other for the mobile browser — especially since the current way of switching between accounts is still sort of agonizing.

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2 months ago

How to disable Samsung Pay

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How do I disable or delete Samsung Pay if I don't want it anymore?

When it comes to paying conveniently, Samsung Pay makes using your phone as a bank card an easy process. There may come a time when you don't want to use the app anymore and need to disable Samsung Pay. Thankfully this is a pretty easy process, and we have the details for you here.

How to disable Samsung Pay

To disable Samsung Pay you have two basic options. You can remove all of your bank cards from the Samsung Pay app, so that it can't pull from your bank account, or you can uninstall the app. Both of these methods are pretty easy to work with, and will ensure that you're not accidentally using Samsung Pay when you don't intend to.

If you just want to make sure a specific card doesn't get used with Samsung Pay, all you need to do is delete that bank card from the app. You just open Samsung Pay and then tap on credit/debit to see your bank cards. From there tap on the card you want to see the details of, then tap the overflow icon in the upper right corner that looks like three vertical dots and tap on delete.

You also have the option of uninstalling the app through your Settings menu.

If you're really done with Samsung Pay though, and don't even want to keep it on your phone you can of course uninstall the app. You can do this quickly by pressing and holding onto the Samsung Pay icon from your home screen, and then selecting delete from the pop-up dialog that appears.

You also have the option of uninstalling the app through your Settings menu. Head to your settings, and scroll down and tap on Apps. From there enter the App manager and scroll down until you see Samsung Pay. Tap on the app and then tap Uninstall. Verify that you want to uninstall this app, and it will be gone in just a few seconds.

Remove a card from Samsung Pay

  1. Open Samsung Pay app.
  2. Tap on Credit/debit to see your virtual bank card.
  3. Tap on your bank card to see details.

  4. Tap the overflow icon that looks like three vertical dots in the upper right corner.
  5. Tap delete card to delete your virtual bank card.
  6. Provide a reason to delete your card, and delete at the bottom of your screen.

Uninstall Samsung Pay

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Tap on Apps to open the Apps settings.
  3. Tap on App manager to open it.

  4. Tap on Samsung Pay
  5. Tap on Uninstall
  6. Tap on OK to confirm you are uninstalling this app.

Did you uninstall Samsung Pay?

Samsung Pay gives you the option of having an easy way to pay for items, but it certainly isn't everyone's cup of tea. Thankfully getting rid of it is just as easy as setting it up, making it a painless process when you do the deed. Have you disabled Samsung Pay from your phone? Let us know about it in the comments below!

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2 months ago

Spotify has a new feature that lets you scan a barcode and play a song and it's pretty f'ing cool!

10

This is how you go viral.

In February, Spotify removed its in-app messaging feature, which instantly made it harder to share a song with a friend. What they have now totally makes up for it.

According to Techcrunch, more details are coming Monday May 8, but a feature that lets you scan a special barcode and instantly play a song is live and it's pretty glorious.

Each song has a unique code attached to its album art (you bring that up the same way you always did) and using Spotify's in-app camera you take a picture and the song plays. The feature works whether you're scanning it from a friend's phone or from a screenshot that you can send through any messaging app. It's a simple feature that works just like it's supposed to work, and we love it when that happens!

There are some great ways this might go viral, too (see Snapchat codes). Being able to post a small image anywhere on the web and it plays a song for you means sharing music becomes a lot easier. This is bound to be great for Spotify as well as everyone who likes listening.

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2 months ago

The apps we use and the apps we love [Roundtable]

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See what apps for work and play are used by people who play with apps at work!

Everyone loves apps! The success of Google Play makes that clear; we love to use smartphones and tablets because of the apps we can install. And there are a lot of apps you can install.

It's easy to go overboard, especially when you first get a new phone and visit Google play with it. All those apps in your list that might want are there wanting a place on your phone. But when all is said and done, how many apps do we really use? That's this week's question for the AC staff. Check out the answers below.

Andrew Martonik

Picking up my Galaxy S8, which I've been using for a couple of weeks now, I have 107 apps installed. My Pixel XL, which has obviously been in use longer, has amassed 120 apps. I'd say that's about normal for me, to land somewhere in the low 100's — if I were to trim back the very rarely used apps, I could probably sneak under 100.

Of the 100 or so installed, I really only use about 25.

How many do I actually use on a weekly basis, though? Shoot, only about 25. On a daily basis, that number probably drops to about a dozen core apps: the ones that populate my home screen. Apps like Pocket Casts, Twitter, Instagram, Maps, Hangouts, Slack, Dropbox, and Chrome are all used daily, plus core services like Gmail, Google Photos, Google Calendar and Google Now are constantly there.

Ara Wagoner

Google Play tells me I have 140 apps installed. On a given day, I use about 40 of them. Yes, 40, including every app that contributes to my home screen theme, from my launcher to my widget apps to my icon pack. With two jobs, I have about eight work apps I switch between on a regular basis (and I rue the day I installed Outlook on this thing for work email). Google Play Music is always used, and I dip into Play Movies and YouTube at least three or four times a day.

I prune my app list each time I switch phones.

A number of the apps I have downloaded are media apps that I only pull out when the stars align and I am both A) free and B) bored. Another 15-20 apps are theming related, like icon packs that aren't being actively used but I keep in case I use them next time and live wallpapers and widget apps. If I need to skinny down, I could maybe get down to 80, but what would be the point? I've got plenty of space on my phone, I'm not seeing much if any lag and most of these apps are something I'll use every now and again. I prune my app list when I switch phones or factory reset, and that's about it.

Marc Lagace

I currently have 95 apps on my Google Pixel, which I've used as my daily driver since it's release. Of those, nearly a third of them are games or gaming related, which are typically rotated in and out as new games have released that catch my interest or when I need to free up more space. Even if I wasn't covering Android games as part of my daily job, my phone would still be brimming with games to play for any occasion because I'm a gaming addict. There, I said it.

A third of my 85 apps are games because I'm a gaming addict!

Of the non-gaming apps on my phone, I probably have about 15 or so apps that I use on a daily basis and fall under three categories: social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter), multimedia apps (Camera, Google Photos, Apple Music, Google Play and Netflix) and the slew of stock apps I rely on (Clock, Calendar, Chrome, Gmail, and Messages).

Harish Jonnalagadda

I have 108 apps installed on my Galaxy S8+, which I've been using for just over a week now. My Pixel XL has 162 apps that have amassed over the course of the last six months. On a daily basis, I probably use around 30 to 35 apps — WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for staying in touch with friends and family, Twitter and Instagram for social media, Slack for work communication, Simplenote to quickly jot down notes, and Pocket Casts for podcasts.

I rely heavily on Google's apps and services, including Photos, Maps, Gmail, Chrome, Duo, Keep, Gboard, Android Messages, and YouTube. Then there's Pushbullet for notification mirroring, Netflix, Hotstar, and Spotify for multimedia needs, and Relay for browsing Reddit.

I've installed 108 apps on my Galaxy S8+ in just a week.

When it comes to India-specific apps, I have BookMyShow installed for movie tickets, iMobile for banking needs, Paytm as a digital wallet service, and Zomato for restaurant recommendations. The rise of a mobile-first economy has led to an increase in hyperlocal services, including Faasos, Swiggy, and Zomato Order for food delivery, and BigBasket and Grofers for delivering groceries to my doorstep.

I have several smart home products by Xiaomi, and the company's Mi Home app is a mainstay on my home screen as it lets me easily manage all the connected devices throughout my house. Starting with the Galaxy S8+, I started using Samsung Pay, and it has been a revelation. The service's convenience combined with ease of use and wide acceptance has led Samsung to dominate the mobile payments segment.

Daniel Bader

When I get a new phone, I tend to use an old phone to populate its apps and settings, and I've reached an equilibrium at 107 apps, give or take seven apps.

But I had a realization a few months ago that instead of stuffing my face home screen full of folders, I should simplify my life and place only the apps I truly need on that all-important screen. Turns out that number is 15:

  • Phone
  • Messages
  • Newton (email)
  • Chrome
  • Camera
  • Maps
  • Hangouts
  • Slack
  • Twitter
  • Play Store
  • Instagram
  • Newsblur (RSS)
  • Trello (project management)
  • Spotify
  • Google Photos

Of course, those aren't the only apps I use, but I find that I generally spend most of my day in one of those apps, the most popular being Slack and Instagram, followed by Twitter and Newton. Shows how much my life revolves around work.

I have 107 apps, but 15 of them get a spot where it counts — my home screen.

I do use others: I spend quite a lot of time in Facebook Messenger with my friends planning outings, or WhatsApp talking to family overseas. And my smart home consists of three regularly-opened programs, including Nest, which oversees my heat and cooling along with my three connected security cameras; Ring, which lets me see who's at my doorbell from anywhere in the world; and Kevo, which lets me open and lock my front door deadbolt.

1Password and Authy are also completely indispensable, especially in the hours after setting up a new phone, which happens quite often. I don't know how I lived without this dynamic duo — well, I do, but I guess I don't know how I wasn't more regularly hacked while using such insecure authentication methods.

For fun — what's that, again? — I relax with music from Spotify and podcasts from Pocket Casts, though lately, I've been spending a lot of time in the excellent NPR One app, which I dismissed offhand upon its launch a few years ago until I actually dug around and learned to love it. And while I don't play many mobile games, some sort of quick-hit title is always nearby. Lately, that has been PinOut, the amazing "endless runner" pinball game from the makers of Smash Hit.

Alex Dobie

After a couple of weeks with the Samsung Galaxy S8+, I've got 72 apps installed. Some context for that number — I've disabled some of the built-in Microsoft apps that I don't use, and I'm using a European unlocked GS8, so there's less preloaded crapware than U.S. carrier models have. Google Play tells me I've used 31 of them in the past day, including staple messaging apps like WhatsApp, Slack and Hangouts, and social apps like Twitter and Instagram.

There's nothing too out of the ordinary in my list of daily apps — the likes of Chrome, Gmail, Trello (for editorial planning), and the Google app, which I'm dipping into more often since Google Assistant took over the long-press home shortcut. I'm using Google Photos as my main photo app, not Samsung's Gallery app, so that's one of my dailies too. Google Fit and Samsung Health for various activity tracking — using a Gear smartwatch pretty much forces me to use Samsung's app as well as Google's. My streaming app of choice is Google Play Music, And then there's YouTube and YouTube Creator Studio for keeping an eye on the video side of AC.

My daily app list is normal, but from time to time I need a little more.

There's not a lot on there I don't frequently use, perhaps because this is a relatively new phone, perhaps because I'm just used to setting up what I need and getting on with it. Travel stuff makes up much of my "occasional" app usage — Trainline for train travel within the UK, Skyscanner and Concur for flights, AirBNB for accommodation, as well as CityMapper and Uber (yeah, I know). Other occasionals include Pocket Casts — I usually only fire this up when I'm traveling — and a revolving selection of games. Right now I'm getting reacquainted with Need for Speed: Most Wanted and the original Sonic the Hedgehog.

Florence Ion

On the phone that I use every day, I have 127 apps installed. That's actually quite a bit, and I thought the number would be lower. But then I realized it's because I recently took a trip, and I still have a host of photography apps installed.

For the most part, each one on my Home screen is carefully curated and placed in a space based on its importance. Any other app lives in the drawer, where it's stowed away until I need it next. There's even a spot on my Home screen specifically devoted to a folder that holds the I use them enough to have them on the Home screen apps. These include apps like my banking app or the app devoted to the nearby transit system that I ride only a few times a month.

A recent trip means I have a slew of photography apps, which bumps me over the 100 mark.

Everything else is placed based on importance; the daily-use ones are on the first page and the sub-tier to the right. Of the apps I use daily, a majority of devoted to messaging and social media. This includes the Android Messages app, Snapchat (Beta!), and my absolute favorite, Allo, which lives in the center on the first Home screen so that it's always the first thing my thumb hovers above.

Jerry Hildenbrand

I do things a bit differently than most people because I am 100% a multiple-device guy. I only have 40-ish apps on my phone in total because I can use a Chromebook for anything that's a better experience in a proper web browser on a bigger screen. If you count the various Chrome and Android apps I have on my Chromebook, then I'm near that 100-app line like everyone else. Those count, right?

I have as many apps (if not more) on my Chromebook as I do on my phone.

Anyhoo, on my phone, I stick to just a handful of apps I use every day. One of those will be my casual game of the moment (right now that's Let's Get High which has nothing to do with whatever you're thinking) but mostly I use apps to communicate. Work stuff includes Slack, Trello and the various apps for all the Mobile Nations sites as well as Google Drive, Docs, and Gmail. I'm a project Fi user so Hangouts is a must on phones that aren't a Pixel to make calls and send messages using one number, and my family and close friends use Allo for instant messaging since they broke down and tried it.

I also have my personal email through the ProtonMail app and use Signal for SMS and to chat with other folks who use it. Toss in apps that are needed so the other gadgets in my house work (Nest, Google Home, etc.) and that's it. All in all, a pretty boring selection. Thank goodness for my Chromebook!

Russell Holly

Doesn't really matter what phone I'm using, I have 46 apps that I use over the course of a given week.

I've got my streaming apps — Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBOGo, Plex, Comedy Central, Google Play, YouTube, TiVO, and The CW

My Google Apps — Gmail (for work), Inbox (for personal), Gboard, Android Wear, Device Manager, Voice, Calendar, Drive, Sheets, Docs, Photos, G+, Hangouts, Chrome, Home, Fit, Wallpapers, and Maps

My Smart Home apps — Nest, Nanoleaf, Hue, IFTTT, Alexa

Google Play Music, Pocket Casts, and 98Rock for music. Authy for 2FA. Daydream or Oculus for VR. Uber for when I'm travelling. Slack and Trello for work management. Eat24 on the rare occasion that I want to order in. Twitter to annoy everyone. Camera and Settings because I can't remove them from my app drawer. Pokémon Go because I have a problem.

Your turn

What are some of your favorite apps and games? Which ones can't you live without? Sound off in the comments!

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2 months ago

The latest version of Opera Max helps you save data while browsing Facebook

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Opera Max gets much better at optimizing data.

Opera has rolled out an update for its data compression utility that should make it easier for you to cut down on data while using Facebook. Opera Max 3.0 offers an all new design along with better data management tools, and the ability to use a mobile web version of Facebook from within the app's interface.

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2 months ago

Gmail for Android now features better phishing protection

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Based on Google's Safe Browsing technology, the new ability will help immediately identify nasty links.

The popular word for the week appears to be phishing; first with the Google Docs snafu, and then with an update to the Gmail app that helps prevent phishing from happening in the first place.

The new phishing protection relies on the same technology that powers Google's Safe Browsing, which is utilized in apps like Google Chrome and the Play Store. Just as the many dialer apps will warn you about spam callers, Gmail will now alert you to suspicious links embedded in the body text of the email. When you open up the message, it will warn you explicitly of dubious links. It's the kind of thing that could really help those who aren't too privy to the connected world's many tricks.

Phishing attacks have become eerily specific and even somewhat passable lately, which is precisely why the Google Docs attack managed to run rampant in the first place. The attachments often arrived from a familiar email address, and offered interface prompts that were similar to the rest of the Android experience. This sort of thing wouldn't have protected it, however, since it doesn't appear to scan for attachments.

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2 months ago

LeEco adds DirecTV Now app to its TVs, throws in 3 month subscription free

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This is the first DirecTV Now app available directly on a smart TV.

LeEco has just started rolling out a software update to its 4K TVs that includes the DirecTV Now app, and it's sweetening the deal by also offering three months of the subscription for free. The new software update brings the streaming service directly to LeEco's range of TVs, including the X43 Pro, X55, X65 and the massive uMax85.

From LeEco:

To initiate the software update, users simply power on their LeEco TV and connect to the internet, and a software update alert will appear with the option to update. The software can also be manually updated from the TV's home screen by navigating to the System Update app.

Once the download is complete, DIRECTV NOW will appear in the Apps section on the TV's home screen. DIRECTV NOW customers simply sign in with their DIRECTV NOW account and enjoy TV programs and more. Customers who have not activated DIRECTV NOW can visit directvnow.com to activate the service.

Now of course the DirecTV Now app is available all sorts of places, but there's a certain synergy about having it installed right on the TV you're already using that can make it more desirable than an app on a box or your phone. After your free months of service end the DirecTV Now service has a few tiers starting at $35 per month — but at least you'll be able to take a while longer to find out of its right for you when you have a LeEco TV.

If you're not interested in DirecTV Now, you'll still want to download the latest software to your LeEco set as it also improves system stability and merges the "Live" and "Le" apps into one place to find content. You'll be prompted for the update shortly so long as your LeEco TV is connected to the internet.

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2 months ago

Everything you need to know about BlackBerry's apps on the KEYone

3

How to make the most out of the BlackBerry apps pre-installed on the KEYone.

The BlackBerry KEYone comes with a full set of productivity apps preinstalled. If you're coming from an Android phone you'll recognize most of them from Google Play, and from an end user perspective, they are identical. If you're coming from a BlackBerry OS phone you might recognize the names but the apps will be a little different. Either way, most anything you need to keep track of the things life throws at you is there waiting. Let's take a look at what's available and what you can do with these apps.

BlackBerry Launcher

Your launcher is where you interact with everything else, and BlackBerry has tightly integrated with its other apps and services. It also offers a lot of customization and has become popular for people using any Android phone, not just one from BlackBerry.

Besides a home screen and app drawer, the launcher also controls your wallpaper and widgets. With the BlackBerry launcher, you can use most any widget you find in Google Play as well as BlackBerry's own, which include Pop-Up Widgets. Pop-Up Widgets let you see an apps widget from the icon by swiping up, down or across it. It's a great way to keep things clean and still have quick access to an app's features.

BlackBerry also adds a lot when it comes to shortcuts. There is a long list of custom shortcuts you can place on your home screen. Here are some highlights:

  • Add a contact
  • Add a task
  • Add a calendar event
  • Take a note
  • Speed dial a contact
  • Get directions using Google Maps

BlackBerry launcher also supports icon packs from Google Play to customize the look and Android for Work to keep your corporate data safe. You'll find all the settings and features by tapping the settings icon while in the app drawer or long pressing on the home screen.

BlackBerry Keyboard

While the KEYone has a physical keyboard, it still depends on software to enhance things. One of the most important of these enhancements is that they physical keys are also touch-sensitive. This provides greater accuracy when typing as well as gestures like the BlackBerry trackpad you might be used to using.

When it comes to keyboards, BlackBerry knows a thing or two.

For faster and easier typing the input engine has its own auto-correct and suggestion feature. These will appear on the screen when you're using the keyboard and can be selected by tapping the word or phrase. In addition to the existing dictionary, you can add your own custom words and create shortcuts for things you'll type frequently like your address. Even with the best keyboard, typing @home to insert your full address is a better experience than spelling it all out!

Other highlights that make BlackBerry's keyboard a standout app are simultaneous input that allows for predictions and corrections in up to three languages at the same time, text selection and cursor control through the touch-sensitive keys, a customizable symbol page and enterprise features that let you secure specific words and phrases.

On top of all this, the BlackBerry Keyboard and BlackBerry Home synergy let you make up to 52 shortcuts to do things like launch an app, make a call or open a web page. You'll find all the features in your KEYone settings under Languages & Input.

BlackBerry Calendar and Contacts

BlackBerry provides its own front-end for your address book and calendar. Whether you use Google or Exchange to manage it all online or just keep everything locally on your phone or SIM card, you'll find both are simple yet packed with features.

Most importantly, no matter what contacts or calendar app you're used to you'll be right at home here. The interface is intuitive and easy to navigate with a central point for all of your settings. And because everything is integrated through BlackBerry's software you can do some pretty awesome stuff using them such as:

  • See adjacent or conflicting appointments and time zone previews
  • Join conference calls directly from event reminders using "Join Now"
  • Get suggestions on who to invite to an event based on your existing events and who you invited last time
  • Directly respond to appointment notifications with quick messages

BlackBerry Tasks and Notes

Fully featured apps for your task list and note taking come installed on your KEYone, and like the calendar and contacts, they are designed to be easy to use while still having a set of features to make them stand out.

Tasks and Notes apps are must-have productivity tools and BlackBerry's included them.

The Notes app adds sync with Microsoft Exchange, automatic setup and connection with Outlook or Exchange and has full support for Android at work accounts. Entering a new note is easy whether you're inside the app or using a keyboard shortcut and the minimal interface lets you focus on the note, not the app. If you want to use a photo or screenshot as a note, the Notable app can grab either and allow for instant editing and sharing.

BlackBerry Tasks syncs with your Exchange notes and entries are fully encrypted during transport. The interface lets you add tags or assign a task to a specific category, then search for tasks using those categories and tags. Best of all, recurring tasks are easy to setup complete with their own reminder system.

Productivity Tab

The Productivity Tab gives you a great agenda view and a quick look at what's happening today, all from your home screen.

Slide the tab out from the edge of the screen — the tab itself is resizable and can be moved to the spot that works best — and you have a mini home page complete with a calendar, contact list, message widget and to-do list. The entries are tied into the rest of BlackBerry's app suite so there is no manual entry or setup and anything you do through the Productivity Tab is synchronized with all the other apps and widgets BlackBerry offers.

Long-time BlackBerry users will especially appreciate this agenda view, and settings to control what you see and how you see it means it's something everyone should have a look at.

The BlackBerry Hub

Like Mr. Lebowski's rug, the BlackBerry Hub ties everything together.

The Hub is a central place where you'll find all your messages in one place. It's super-customizable and works with email. calendar, social apps, and even phone calls giving you a quick preview of each so you can tap to read what's important right away or come back to anything later.

BlackBerry brings all their services and interoperability in the Hub. It's more than a catch-all inbox.

When you open BlackBerry Hub you'll see an ordered list of notifications, with the newest ones at the top. Unread entries are in bold and everything is infinitely scrollable if you're the type who keeps a full inbox. Each is sorted and identified by the application icon and messages from people in your address book have their name in the preview.

The Hub is a great catch-all for anyone who wants all their notifications in one place, but the real power comes with using BlackBerry Hub for email. Not only can you open a message inside the Hub itself (and see any attachments) but you can reply or forward the message as well as compose a new message. All without ever opening your "regular" email app.

BlackBerry Hub is also very configurable, and you'll find visual tweaks and settings galore. BlackBerry has always been keen on a great unified inbox, and they carry on that tradition for Android in the BlackBerry Hub.

DTEK

BlackBerry's DTEK app is a security dashboard for your phone. Besides monitoring the integrity of your software the DTEK app lets you see and change privacy settings for apps that access your camera, microphone, location and personal information like photos and accounts.

Using a meter and universal green/yellow/red safety level colors you'll know at a glance if anything needs your attention.

The DTEK app focuses on four key features to help guard your privacy:

  • Monitor: Know at a glance the overall security rating for your device, as well as for specific security features. You can identify whether you need to take any action to improve the security of your device.
  • Control: Easily change your security settings to improve the security rating for your device and specific security features.
  • Track: Turn on event logging to track what your apps are doing. Advanced tools help you track what info your apps have accessed, how it's being used, and the duration of use. This includes which apps are accessing your camera, microphone, location, and personal information.
  • Alert: Be notified of specific application activities when you set up notifications.

While the DTEK app is no substitute for being diligent when using the internet or installing software, it does give you information about your phone at a glance.

Just the beginning

Along with all these great apps from BlackBerry, you'll find the [Google Play Store]{/google-play) app. It's your gateway to over a million apps that have been monitored and screened to be safe and are ready to install on your KEYone. Once you get the essentials setup, we recommend it be your next stop!

BlackBerry KEYone

Amazon Best Buy BlackBerry Mobile

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2 months ago

How to set up Samsung Pay with your Samsung Galaxy S8

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Setting up Samsung Pay on your Galaxy S8 is far easier than you think.

Paying for purchases while you are out and about has gotten far easier over the years, and tapping your phone to pay with Samsung Pay is one of the most convenient methods. Setting this app up on your Galaxy S8 is pretty easy and shouldn't take more than a few minutes of your time. We've got all the details for you here.

Setting up Samsung Pay on your Galaxy S8

Samsung Pay allows you to pay for purchases by simply tapping your phone against a terminal. This means you don't need to fumble with your wallet or cash, because your phone handles the transaction for you.

To get started with Samsung pay, the first thing that you'll need to do is download the app. When you open it up you'll first need to agree to terms of service, and a privacy notice. Next you need to set up how you want to verify purchases — you can use a pin, iris detection, or the fingerprint scanner. From there, it's all a matter of entering your credit or debit card information.

Depending on your bank, you may need to make a phone call after initially setting up Samsung Pay. This is to verify your bank card information and ensure that there isn't any kind of identity theft going on. You may also be prompted with whether you want Samsung Pay to be your new default tap and pay method.

Step by step instructions

  1. Open Samsung Pay
  2. Agree to Terms and Conditions
  3. Tap Next

  4. Tap to choose a verification method

  5. Tap Next
  6. Tap add and enter your bank card information to add a bank card.

  7. Tap call your bank in order to verify your card.

Will you be using Samsung Pay?

Samsung Pay is an easy way to use your phone to pay for purchases when you are running errands. With an easy set up, and just tapping your phone to a terminal to use, it can certainly be more convenient than fumbling through your wallet. Will you be setting up Samsung Pay on your Galaxy S8? Let us know in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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2 months ago

Google Docs spam is making the rounds, so take heed before you read

18

Even attachments from legitimate sources appear to contain illegitimate vibes.

Update

5:15 ET From Google:

We have taken action to protect users against an email impersonating Google Docs and have disabled offending accounts. We've removed the fake pages, pushed updates through Safe Browsing, and our abuse team is working to prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again. We encourage users to report phishing emails in Gmail.

4:00 ET

After looking at a few of these and seeing investigations from others on Twitter, we have a clearer picture of what's happening.

It appears that a third party developer has created a service that uses your Google login to authenticate. Somehow this service was able to use the name Google Docs. Attachments that need you to authorize this service are being sent using previously phished Google accounts, and upon clicking you'll be asked to give access to things like reading and sending an email (so more phishing emails can be sent) as well as access to your account. While this should be a huge red flag to anyone, it's likely working well for the people doing the account phishing.

Google is aware so we expect this to stop being a thing shortly. For now, don't authorize any service and visit your MyAccount page and disconnect access to anything named Google Docs

The original post is below.

Have you checked social media lately? There's a bit of buzz making the rounds about Google Docs spam popping up in people's inboxes. The spam comes as an email attachment from even the most legitimate Google Docs users, including educational institutions and other professional organizations that rely on the document-storing cloud service.

Here's your official public service announcement to please check the attachments before you open them; Check the address of the person who sent it, and maybe even give the person a call to ask if they sincerely meant to send along a PDF.

There are very few details about what the malware contained actually does and where it originated, but we've reached out to Google for more information.

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