Tag Archive: Screen Repair Abbotsford


Hands On With Clueful, the iOS App That Rats Out Privacy Risks

When you install a new mobile app, you expect it to use your data according to the permissions you’ve allowed. So, when an app suddenly uses your information in an unexpected way — who can forget Path’s address-book-sharing saga? — it can feel like a betrayal.

Clueful, which made its debut at TechCrunch Disrupt today, is an app designed to prevent surprises. Clueful helps you identify “misdemeanant” apps on your iPhone — software that’s transmitting your data in ways you weren’t aware of.

Created by antivirus software developer Bitdefender, the app is simple enough. It gathers information on what apps are running in your iPhone’s memory and submits it anonymously to the “Clueful Cloud” for analysis. Using its own database of app behaviors, it then tells you what your software could be up to: whether an app uses GPS, whether an app is a battery-draining risk, or if an app can use address book information, among other things. The results are neatly listed, albeit in what appears to be random order, and you can tap an app listing to get more details on the possible risk areas of that app.

It’s not all fire and brimstone, though. The app also reveals “Things you might appreciate” for each app, such as information on whether it uses an anonymous identifier or encrypts stored data. (Foodspotting, for instance, does both of these things.)

It can be surprising to learn which apps do and don’t have solid security practices, and which apps are quietly tracking usage information for advertising purposes — something most apps do not openly reveal when you download them.

The app has several major pitfalls, though. For one, it can only provide information on free apps, so that sketchy $1 Angry Birds ripoff you got last week could be having a field day with your personal info, and you’d still never know it. And although it launches with a database of thousands of apps, there are more than 600,000 apps in the App Store, according to Apple’s Q2 earnings report. Clueful lets you search to see which apps are in its database, and we found some relatively big names were left out: Clear, Mint and Evi to name just three.

Also, Clueful doesn’t drill down into exactly what data is being transmitted from an app. Instead, it just generally reports what an app can and could be sending. (“Can” and “could” are differentiated.) Strangely, Clueful also “found” apps on my phone that I’ve never used or downloaded, like FlickFishing HD in the image above, and apps called Scoops and Quizarium. I’m sure they’re fine apps, but I’ve never downloaded them.

At $4 in the App Store, I can’t rightly recommend this app as a must-download. But if you’re completely anal about how your data is being used, or just curious, the download could be justified.

Source: Wired

New iPhone app enables self-destructing sext messages

Sexting, or the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photographs between mobile phones, continues to grow increasingly popular. Mobile users often have private photos posted to the Internet without their permission, and politicians and celebrities alike have taken explicit photos that using mobile devices that were eventually leaked. Unfortunately for Anthony Weiner, the congressman wasn’t aware of an iPhone app by the name of Snapchat. The program is available for free in Apple’s App Store and allows users to send photos that self-destruct within 1-10 seconds. Images cannot be saved in the app, and Snapchat will even notify users if the recipient takes a screenshot — though there is no way to prevent screenshots from being taken, of course. It should also be noted that images are stored on the developer’s servers, and while the company “attempt(s) to delete image data as soon as possible after the message is transmitted,” it cannot guarantee messages will always be deleted. “Messages, therefore, are sent at the risk of the user,” the company’s privacy policy warns.

Source: Forbes / BGR

Samsung, You’re Doing It Wrong With Android 4.0

The No. 2 bestselling Samsung smartphone in history won’t officially see an upgrade to Android 4.0, leaving owners to decide among buying a newer phone, sticking with Android 2.3, or hacking on a custom build of Google’s latest mobile operating system. The reason Samsung won’t be offering such an upgrade? According to Samsung Tomorrow by way of the Verge, Samsung’s own customized TouchWiz user interface is the answer, which sounds more like a lame excuse than a valid explanation.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab—a 7-in. slate I’ve been using daily for more than a year now—is also on the “won’t see Android 4.0″ list, says the Samsung Tomorrow blog. I can understand we’re looking at a smartphone and a tablet that made their debut in 2010, and there’s a limited shelf life for future updates on mobile devices. What I don’t understand, nor accept, is that the issue is Samsung’s user interface software. Even worse, I think Samsung is shooting itself in the foot. Here’s why.

You have to treat current customers well. On the one hand, I can see Samsung’s stance if it chooses not to bring Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) to these older devices. From a financial standpoint, those handsets and tablets are already sold, and Samsung has earned all the income it’s going to from the sale of such devices. To bring Android 4.0 to the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab, the company would have to invest time, effort, and money to deliver the software. It has no financial incentive to do so. But customers don’t care about that and could decide to buy a competing product if they feel slighted.

Software add-ons should never stop product advances. Some people like TouchWiz, and some don’t. The same could be said for HTC’s Sense. Both are user interface add-ons atop Google Android, and neither should be the primary cause of stopping an Android update. HTC once fell into this same trap with Gingerbread on its Desire handset and eventually compromised by removing some custom apps to make room for the update.

This isn’t a technical issue, it’s a bad decision. My first thought about this situation was that perhaps the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab didn’t have the horsepower to run Android 4.0. Yet the Nexus S, made by Samsung, will get the ICS software, and it has very similar specifications to the Galaxy S in terms of memory, storage capacity, and processor. And I’m willing to bet the Android enthusiast community will have a custom build of Android 4.0 for both devices, if it doesn’t already. How sad is it that external developers can make this happen, when Samsung can’t?

Will most people who own a Samsung Galaxy S or Galaxy Tab be in an uproar over this? Probably not, as they’ll likely never know about Samsung’s decision, nor will they be thinking about Android 4.0 for devices that are 18 months old. But the decision sets a bad precedent and suggests that Samsung is more concerned with selling newer hardware than supporting existing customers and their current devices.

My suggestion would be a compromise of sorts: Offer a stock version of Android 4.0 for these devices with the customer understanding and accepting the fact that the TouchWiz interface will no longer be available after the upgrade. Unless there’s a real technical reason for the lack of an Android 4.0 upgrade—something Samsung should make clear—this might be the best answer. It wouldn’t cost nearly as much for Samsung to develop and test, while consumers thinking Samsung has let them down might be more accepting of the situation.

Ryan:  Samsung needs to seriously get their &%#* together.  I would like to update my Samsung Galaxy Tab, I find it buggy and it force closes way too much, too bad I will be forced to workaround this to put 4.0 on myself manually.

 

Source: BusinessWeek