Apps

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Do you remember what you were doing on Twitter in 2010? Twitter accounts have been compromised by a range of security issues lately — and in at least one case the vulnerability is tied to a decision users made years ago. It might be time to double check how secure your account really is.

Early Thursday morning, the official Twitter account for McDonald’s pinned a tweet directed at President Trump.

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Facebook on Monday moved to prevent spy applications from accessing its users’ data.

The company has updated its Facebook and Instagram policies to prohibit developers from using data obtained from those platforms in surveillance tools, according to Rob Sherman, deputy chief privacy officer at Facebook.

Facebook already has taken enforcement actions against devs who created and marketed surveillance tools in violation of the company’s previous policy, he noted, adding that “we want to be sure everyone understands the underlying policy and how to comply.”

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Android Wear 2.0 is finally here, and that means apps can now be directly installed on your watch and run without your phone.

You will longer need your phone nearby to use apps on your Android Wear device, because instead of requiring a tethered connection to your phone, it will communicate through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or cellular network. In the older version of Android Wear, you could still use apps when out of range of your phone, as long as that phone was connected to a network — now your phone doesn’t need to be turned on at all.

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On the heels of recent rumors that the upcoming iPhone will have a means of biometric authentication (other than fingerprint scanning) comes the news that Apple has acquired RealFace, an Israeli tech firm specializing in facial recognition.

The report comes from Israeli site Calcalist (via MacRumors) which claims Apple bought the Tel Aviv-based company for “several million dollars.”

Some users may know RealFace from its app Pickeez, which automated the process of choosing the best photos from a bunch. At the time of writing, however, the app appears to be defunct, and RealFace’s own website is offline as well.

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Dozens of iOS Apps Vulnerable to WiFi Snooping

Dozens of applications for Apple’s mobile devices are vulnerable to WiFi snoopers, a security researcher reported this week.

Will Strafach, CEO of the Sudo Security Group, identified 76 popular iOS apps available at Apple’s App Store that were vulnerable to wireless eavesdroppers, even though the connections were supposed to be protected by encryption.

There have been 18 million downloads of the vulnerable apps, he said.

Strafach categorized 33 of the vulnerable apps as “low risk.” Potentially intercepted information included partially sensitive analytics data about a device and partially sensitive personal data, such as an email address or login credentials.

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Evernote is getting faster thanks to Google's Cloud Platform (1)

You might see Evernote’s pages load faster than usual going forward, now that the service is almost fully done moving 3 petabytes of data to Google Cloud Platform. The team only has to transfer some user attachments before the migration is complete. Once that’s done, then the service will have a new layer of protection called “encryption at rest,” which protects your data even if it’s not being accessed or moved. Further, GCP provides better disaster recovery planning that will make it easier for Evernote to recover data in case of a major mishap.

Ben McCormack, Evernote’ VP of operations told PC World:

“We have seen page loading times reducing quite significantly across some parts of our application. I wouldn’t say it’s everywhere yet, but we are starting to see that benefit of the Google power and the Google reach in terms of bridging traffic over their global fiber network.”

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Google Play listing shows how you'll pay on Android Wear

Google is hoping the release of Android Wear 2.0 will push more people toward smartwatches, and one of the key pillars of that strategy is Android Pay. Ahead of the launch, it has (perhaps accidentally) released some screenshots on the Play Store that show how it’ll work and look. At supported retailers with an Android Pay or contactless logo, you simply hold your NFC-equipped Android Wear watch next to the terminal until it’s approved. It’ll then detail the latest transaction in a list, and you can scroll to see your recent history.

In other words, you’ll get the ability to pay like a boss from your wrist instead of digging around for your phone, a feature Apple Watch and Samsung Gear S3 Watch users have had for a while now.

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Google blurs the line between websites and Android apps (1)

With its latest Chrome Beta release, Google has given app-like websites called “Progressive Web Apps” a higher status on Android. If you launch a site like Flipkart Lite in the latest Android Chrome beta, you’ll now get the option “add to home screen,” where it’ll appear like any other app on your home screen and app drawer. You’ll then be able to control notifications in the Android notification management controls, rather than in the Chrome settings like regular web sites.

Progressive Web Apps use the latest HTML and web features to make sites “reliable, fast and engaging,” as Google describes them.

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Airbnb is eyeing an international payment app

Airbnb is taking its all-inclusive aspirations one step further. Now, the short-term rental service is close to buying mobile payment app Tilt for $10 to $20 million, according to The Information.

For the uninitiated, Tilt’s wrinkle is that it can process cross-currency payments — which should help with Airbnb’s international expansion plans. And as far as what users will notice, it sounds like people will be able to split the bill on a room rental in the future.

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Google is putting legacy Drive apps out to pasture

Google will completely shut down the older versions of Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides for both Android and iOS on April 3rd. People don’t even have that long until they can no longer use them, though: starting on March 1st, users will get prompts forcing them to upgrade if they want to continue using the applications.

Since the big G is phasing out really old iterations of the apps, those who’ve updated recently don’t have anything to worry about.

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