Mobile-gaming titans keep ripping off indies

The word “casual” has long been flung out as an insult on video-game forums and social media. It’s deployed to belittle the interests of people who enjoy more relaxing experiences than gritty shooters, strategy-rich online games or time-sucking RPGs. Unsurprisingly, it’s most often hurled at anyone who says they like mobile games.

For Voodoo, “casual” isn’t an insult. It’s a cash cow.

Now The Church of England takes Apple Pay and Google Pay

What can a church do when its younger parishioners stop carrying coins they can toss into the donation box? In the Church of England’s case, it’s to offer high-tech collection plates that accept Apple Pay, Google Pay and SMS mobile payments. According to the BBC, the Church conducted a trial run of its modern collection method in 40 churches over the summer. Now, it’s planning to launch the option in all 16,000 churches throughout England before the year ends, not just for donation collection, but also for collecting fees for weddings, christenings, concerts and funerals.

Via: Apple Insider

Source: BBC

Facebook’s controversial Messenger Kids app arrives on Android

Facebook’s Messenger app for kids launched in December, though only for iOS, and last month, Facebook made it available for Amazon Fire tablets. Now, TechCrunch reports, and Facebook confirmed to us, that Messenger Kids will be available for Android devices starting today. The app gives parents the control over who their kids talk to, allowing them to add or delete contacts, and sends them notifications if their children report or block anyone they’ve been chatting with. For kids, the app provides them with a way to text or video chat with their friends and family while offering all of the visual fun of GIFs, frames, emojis and masks. And maybe the best part, kids don’t need a Facebook account to use it, only their parents do. However, the app has drawn skepticism from those concerned about exposing kids to social media and overuse of digital technology.

Via: TechCrunch

Attackers used Telegram to deliver cryptocurrency-mining malware

Kaspersky Lab says it spotted evidence of a vulnerability in the desktop version of Telegram that allowed attackers to install cryptocurrency mining malware on users’ computers. The zero-day exploit was used to trick Telegram users into downloading malicious files, which could then be used to deliver cryptocurrency mining software and spyware. According to Kaspersky, those behind the exploit used the computers their malware had been installed on to mine digital currencies like Monero, Zcash, Fantomcoin and others. Kaspersky also says it found a stolen cache of Telegram data on one of the attackers’ servers.

Via: Bloomberg

Source: Kaspersky

Google Play wants to help users find apps with curated lists

With so many new apps constantly hitting the market, it can be really difficult for users to find what they want and for developers to get their product noticed. To help solve that problem, Google Play has added a new feature to its Editors’ Choice section — editorial pages that compile selections of apps, hand-picked by Google Play editors. These pages will highlight apps that offer the best experiences on Android, which will be grouped by themes like fitness, video calling and puzzle games. And the selections will come with descriptions as to why the editors liked them.

Russia demands LinkedIn’s removal from iTunes and Google Play

                    <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/GLOB/crop/2278x1495+0+153/resize/1600x1050!/format/jpg/quality/85/http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/adam/a3069e0a5bf1bf7790722cc6fdbb213d/4129261.jpeg" />Russia wants to scrub LinkedIn's presence from the country completely. According to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/technology/linkedin-blocked-in-russia.html"><em>The New York Times</em></a>, people in the country can no longer download the social network's mobile application from the App Store or Google Play. Russian authorities required Apple and Google to kill the app from the local version of their software markets, a couple of months after a local court <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2016/11/17/russian-court-confirms-linkedin-block/">ruled</a> that the service violated its data protection rules.
                                                <strong>Source: </strong><a  href="http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/technology/linkedin-blocked-in-russia.html">The New York Times</a><!--//-->

‘Secure’ apps in Google’s Play Store are a crapshoot

                    <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/d124edb8cd49307ca78415abdfd31a75/204459591/badpass101416.jpg" />Infosec Apple fanboys are not known for their empathy -- either for those who can't afford their holy high fetish of phone security (iPhone) or for those who simply can't stomach the ecosystem's mounting hypocrisies.

But there’s one thing on their side. Apple’s App Store at least tries to curate product security, while Google’s Play Store is like playing appsec Russian roulette.

Google backs away from banning dedicated Android ad blockers

                    <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/9d4162ff79cb8c951ace4eaae6bddd9c/203380348/adblock-fast-1400.jpg" />Google&#039;s tough stance on dedicated Android ad blockers might be softening a bit. The company has reversed its decision to yank Adblock Fast from the Play Store following an appeal from the app&#039;s developer, Rocketship. Google hasn&#039;t officially said wh...

Google pulls Samsung-backed ad blocker from the Play Store

                    <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/GLOB/crop/4000x2667+0+0/resize/1400x933!/format/jpg/quality/85/http://hss-prod.hss.aol.com/hss/storage/midas/bac93230030ceeacd1c45803ba3ddef3/203354850/473948684.jpg" />Samsung may have stirred up more trouble than it was expecting when it started blocking ads in its Android web browser. Google has pulled Adblock Fast, the app partner for Samsung&#039;s feature, from the Play Store. Allegedly, the title (made by Rocketsh...

Podcasts are showing up in Google Play Music for some users

                    <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/e906358a0e959298c8f8bc34702cf0c4/203353786/googleplaypodcasts.jpg" />Yesterday, HBO&#039;s Bill Simmons tipped the arrival of podcasts in Google Play Music this month, and the launch appears to be close at hand. In fact, Android Police reports that podcasts are showing up inside the app for a few users. Google revealed its...

Facebook backup plan would keep it running on Android

                    <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/GLOB/crop/5184x3308+0+0/resize/1400x893!/format/jpg/quality/85/http://hss-prod.hss.aol.com/hss/storage/midas/b7468e0121b7e20bbf878370200c425a/203209908/ab87e0e247d843c7bf5f53b7bbf54f2b.jpeg" />It won&#039;t shock you to hear that Facebook and Google are at odds with each other given their competing ad and search interests, but it now sounds like Facebook is ready if things ever really go down the tubes.  The Information&#039;s sources hear that the...

Google Play holiday deals include three months of music for $1

        <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/7ea1d2f347390439db927e7e9ff35d36/203166409/DSCF2635.jpg" />Most big digital retailers do holiday deals, and Google Play is no exception. Google surely wants the recipients of new Android phones and tablets to get used to buying things through its storefront as quickly as possible. While that obviously benefi...

Word-puzzler ‘Scribblenauts Unlimited’ returns to mobile

        <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/2bee4e68c526bf3058f9bfaa35bd3cf1/203146296/IMG_1656.PNG" />Scribblenauts started as a handheld game, and now the adorable interactive dictionary puzzler is making its way to Android and iOS after an extended break from mobile. 2012&#039;s Scribblenauts Unlimited (which appeared on 3DS, PC and Wii U) is available...

Google Play Movies finally adds AirPlay support

        <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/GLOB/crop/1200x841+0+0/resize/1400x981!/format/jpg/quality/85/http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/7cb2fb5f8f8e5ee30338e8033ab20531/202608723/apple-tv.jpg" />Cupertino recently announced that the Apple TV has some 2,600 applications in its ecosystem and one of them just got a pretty major update. The app in question is none other than Google Play Movies and TV. The update? AirPlay support. No, you aren&#039;t...

Google Play Music’s family plan goes live this week

        <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/927a13394db062292149a60f77a85a1b/203106857/DSCF2630.jpg" />Back in September, Google announced that it would offer a family plan for its Play Music subscription service, and today it&#039;s finally launching. Just like Apple Music, $14.99 every month will get you and up to five additional family members access to...

Google lowers minimum app prices in 17 countries

        <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/GLOB/crop/2560x1511+0+0/resize/1200x708!/format/jpg/quality/85/http://hss-prod.hss.aol.com/hss/storage/midas/1bc1f0264fd9d901ddb12453547428ab/202998518/6180104944_73e0a291aa.jpg" />

To many people around the globe, 99-cent apps might still be too expensive. In an effort to reach more people worldwide, Google has lowered the minimum app price in the Play Store for 17 countries, after a successful pilot in India earlier this yea…

LG’s smart TVs will stream Google Play movies this month

        <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/89f50591869e2e3ac7120305a567261b/202995161/lg-smart-tv-google-play-movies.jpg" />

Who said that TVs with Google Play Movies &amp; TV had to be running Android? Certainly not LG. It just announced that many of its recent smart TVs (including both webOS- and NetCast-based models) will offer Google Play streaming this month. Whi…

Google Play Books is more comic friendly thanks to vertical scrolling

        <img src="http://o.aolcdn.com/hss/storage/midas/897afca3cfcc4562e0770538bfc64e81/202970426/comics.jpg" />

Is Google Play Books your go-to app for reading comic books? If so, your digital page turning is about to get a whole lot better. While the app is getting a number of updates, the most notable is the introduction of vertical scrolling. Rather than…