Tag Archives: Android app

Beware: Free Apps for Android May Bring Aggressive Adware to Your Mobile Device

halloween aggressive Android adware

As stated in a TrendLabs 3Q 2012 Security Roundup report, the number of malicious and high-risk Android apps has reached a whopping number of 175.000 this year! This is almost 4 times as much as predicted by TrendLabs, and these figures tend to grow really fast!

Popularity comes at a price, and curious Android users who download a lot of apps have to pay for it. For example, the Obama vs Romney Android app, which served many unwanted annoying ads outside the app, was downloaded as many as 1,000 times from Google Play alone.

 

What the Adware Apps May Do On Your Mobile Device:

Access the Internet without your knowledge
If you access the Internet mostly via Wi-Fi – you have less to worry about. If you access the Internet via costly 3G or 4G connection – the adware modules may boost your mobile bills.

Collect user data and send it to the ad network to serve you ads better
The worst thing is that some apps may do this without your explicit knowledge or consent. The data sent from your mobile device may include device’s IP address, device identifier, your location, as determined by GPS, your phone number, etc.

Interfere with your mobile experience
Some ads within the ad-based Android apps are perfectly legitimate since they are contained within the app. However, an increasing number of mobile ad networks place ads outside of the app. For example, they may send ads via PUSH notifications or add unrelated icons to your phone.

Drain the battery of your mobile device
Since all mobile ads download advertisement data from the Internet, they will have to access their network from time to time in the background. As we all know, extensive use of Wi-Fi and 3G decreases your battery charge. If your smartphone goes dead by the end of the day – check out our blog post dedicated to the problem of smartphone battery drain and the ways to solve the issue.

 

Five Tips to Protect Your Mobile Device from Adware and Malware

1. Download Android apps only from Google Play
Getting apps from Google Play is the safest way, as this is the primary marketplace for Android apps. Google Play is thoroughly checked for adware and malware on a regular basis. Once a suspicious app is detected by the Google Play editorial staff or reported by users, it is quickly removed from the Google Play website. However a link to the harmful app may often remain on third-party sites.

2. Read user reviews before installing an Android app
When reading the app description on the Google Play page, take a look at the app rating and the overall tone of reviews. Although some of the reviews may be biased or written by the developer staff, a lot of unbiased reviews and the rating volume may give you a clue as to the quality, performance and credibility of an app.

3. Are you downloading a free app? Make sure it doesn’t include any adware modules
A number of Android developers use an ad-based business model to cover their expenses and support product development, so find out if this is the case with the new app you are going to install. Some ad-based Android apps are not very intrusive and this can be learnt from the user reviews. However some apps may use a very aggressive model of advertizing, for example pushing ads via notifications, so beware. If you need an Android email client, use EmailTray, which is guaranteed not to give you the above problems.

4. Read what permissions the app in question requires
The “PERMISSIONS” tab on the app description page normally provides a list of functions that the app may use on your phone or a tablet. For example, an app may share your location detected by your GPS module, read contact data, modify global system settings, etc. If you see that the app requires too much and feel that you don’t trust the app vendor – reserve yourself from downloading this app.

5. Install mobile security and anti-virus software
If you download all kinds of Android apps on a regular basis, a good preventive step would be to install anti-virus software to ensure that you don’t get trapped by the mobile adware or malware developers.

You can try out any of the following anti-virus apps for Android:
Mobile Security & Antivirus by Trend Micro
Dr.Web Anti-virus by Doctor Web, Ltd
Anti-Virus FREE by AVG Mobile technologies
Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite by Kaspersky Lab
Lookout Security & Antivirus by Lookout Mobile Security

 

Hope this will help you keep your Android smartphone or tablet safe from aggressive adware and malware. Be careful when installing new apps, and have a happy mobile experience! Ooh, did we wish you a Happy Halloween? :)

Top 10 Free Android Productivity Apps for Your Business Tablet

FREE Android Productivity Apps for a Business Tablet

Corporations are going mobile and this seems to be a growing trend. According to a Zenprise report issued in October 2012, 74.7% of organizations will deploy mobile apps in the next 12 months. Moreover, 52.2% of all organizations have or will deploy mobile apps considered to be “mission-critical” to their organization.

We’ve compiled a list of the best Android productivity apps which are definitely a must-have for any business implementing a progressive strategy of mobile integration.

 

Top 10 Android Productivity Apps

 

1. Web Browsing

Chrome for Android (FREE)

This is probably the first app you download after buying your smartphone, and the best choice is Chrome for Android. Chrome is fast, eye-pleasing and easy-to-use, so you won’t regret installing it. On top of this, it will allow you to sign in to your Google account and sync your open tabs, bookmarks, passwords, and omnibox data from your computer to your mobile device. You will also love the incognito mode and auto fill features.

 

2. File Management

ES file explorer logo

ES File Manager (FREE)

Unfortunately the Android platform doesn’t offer a decent built-in mechanism for managing the files on your phone. The good news is that you can always get a good file manager at Google play. ES File Explorer is a veteran Android app with over ten million installations, and it certainly deserves your attention. It generously embraces the functions of a file manager, application manager, task killer, Dropbox client and FTP client. ES File Explorer will allow you to access files as root, so you won’t need a second file manager like Root Explorer on your phone.

 

3. Office Documents Management

Google Drive logo

Google Docs, a part of Google Drive (FREE)

An office suite is generally what you need for word processing, spreadsheet editing and presentation management, and the Google Docs app for Android does this job, absolutely free of charge. While some users complain about an ugly interface and cropped functionality, we must admit that this is currently the best free app for to create, view and edit office documents.

 

4. PDF Documents Viewing

Adobe Reader for Android - logo

Adobe Reader (FREE)

Since most Android tablets do not offer a decent PDF reader, you’ll have to install a standalone app. The good news is that the most famous is free to use, so go and grab your Adobe Reader on Google play. Adobe Reader supports various view modes, adding and editing notes, sharing to a variety of other applications, and searching documents for text.

If you ever need to create PDF files – you can upgrade to the pro version for a reasonable $9.99 fee and then easily convert existing Word, Excel, PowerPoint, RTF and text files (among others) to PDF format.

 

5. Email & Contact Management

EmailTray logo

EmailTray (FREE)

Although the latest generation mobile devices are equipped with high-speed processors, high performance and low battery consumption are still big advantages for any mobile app. EmailTray is a lightweight email client with powerful email prioritizing and contact management features. This Android email app (which can sync its smart algorithm with the EmailTray desktop email client) will help you get focused on the most important emails and boost your email productivity.

 

6. VOIP Calling

Skype for Android

Skype (FREE)

Skype is the most popular Internet telephony service provider in the world and the Skype app for Android enables you to make low-cost calls and SMS messages to mobiles or landlines, plus  free Skype-to-Skype video calls from your smartphone. With the Skype Android app, you will also be able to send pictures, videos and files to any of your Skype contacts. Skype to Skype IMs, video and voice calls are free over 3G or WiFi, however operator data charges may apply if you try this over your carrier network. The Skype staff recommends using an unlimited data plan or WiFi connection if you want to save on calls.

 

7. Notes & Clippings Management

EverNote at Google play
EverNote (FREE)

EverNote is a great Android productivity app for organizing your life and taking notes on the fly. It will also let you take image and audio-based notes, letting you take a snapshot or leave a voice message to yourself. Thanks to EverNote, you’ll be able to manage your notes across all of the devices you use, just like EmailTray does with your email.

 

8. Getting Things Done

Taskos at Google play
Taskos To Do List (FREE)

Taskos is a simple yet powerful to do list manager for Android. It will let you create tasks by typing them in or dictating them using the voice recognition feature on Android phones. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the Taskos’s ability to auto-complete names from your contact list and call these people right from inside the application. Taskos also syncs with Google Tasks, making it easy to add and edit tasks no matter where you are.

 

9. Navigating & Finding Directions

Google Maps at Google play
Google Maps (FREE)

If you travel on business a lot, the Google Maps app for Android is what you really need. The app has lots of options that let you display your selected map in a variety of formats including Google’s Streetview mode that displays images of the street and surroundings. The Google Maps app will also please you with voice guided turn-by-turn GPS navigation; driving, public transit, biking, and walking directions; local search and business reviews. Since Google Maps are a veteran application in the mapping and directions field, it is one of the most accurate and reliable services available.

 

10. Stock Market Price Monitoring

CNBC for Android

CNBC Real-Time (FREE)

CNBC Real-Time is a free Android app which is meant for real-time monitoring of stock market prices. The app delivers quotes before, during, and after-market hours, sourced directly from the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. You’ll be able to create and track your favorite company stocks live, set up a custom CNBC Ticker with a playlist of favorite stocks and receive breaking stock market-related news in order to always be informed on what is moving the markets.