15 recommended Android apps for downloading

Digital disruption is defined as the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services.

A clear sign of how these digital technologies have become omnipresent in our lives is our sheer dependency on smartphones and mobile apps.

Almost every task nowadays can be done via our smartphones. There is an app for almost everything and a majority of them are available for free too.

According to GlobalStats, Google’s mobile operating system, Android currently holds a 76.77% market share in Malaysia. This makes it the undisputed preferred mobile platform in the country.

So, if you happen to be an Android user, here’s a list of 15 recommended apps you should consider having on your mobile device.

Excluded from this list is prominent apps that usually come bundled in your phone like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.

1. Spotify

Let’s face it, nobody buys physical music albums anymore. With Spotify, you have access not only to a world of music but also podcasts.

There are also ready-made playlists and personalised recommendations to suit your mood and taste.

2. Shazam

We’ve been there before. A song plays on the radio and we find it real catchy. But we have no idea what the title of the song is or who the singer is. With Shazam, you can get the answer almost immediately.

3. Netflix

The average monthly bill for a cable TV in Malaysia can range between RM40 to RM200.

If you rarely watch TV but still want to enjoy brilliant movies, series or documentaries at home or on the go, consider switching to streaming services such as Netflix.

That being said, Netflix can be accessed for free for the first month but comes with a paid subscription starting at RM33 per month for subsequent months.

4. GSC/TGV/MBO Cinemas

By purchasing your movie tickets online, you not only get to save time but also ensure you don’t miss out on preferred seats.

Of course, online purchases usually require you to become a member of a specific cinema chain.

They do, however, come with plenty of additional privileges. So, whether GSC, TGV, or MBO, make sure you download the mobile app.

5. ShopBack

For many of us these days, shopping simply means buying our favourite things through clicks and swift payments from the comfort of our homes.

ShopBack takes online shopping to a whole new level by offering us cashback on all your purchases. With over 500 stores to choose from, you’ll definitely save more money.

6. Grab

Let’s face it, everyone knows Grab by now. They started out as a ride-hailing app but have now evolved to include food delivery services besides offering a cashless payment solution.

7. VSCO

The popularity of social media apps such as Instagram has made it no longer acceptable to have “average” looking photos. Well, at least if you want to stand out, that is.

VSCO enables you to edit and filter your photos with superior but easy-to-use presets.

8. Mobile banking apps

This is one of the easiest ways to check your account balance, transfer money instantly, pay bills, and a lot more.

Plus, with Malaysia heading towards a cashless society, why would you want to queue up at banks anyway?

9. RAR

With more and more tasks being done on your mobile phone compared to a laptop or desktop, it is logical to have this compression and extractor app installed.

10. LastPass

LastPass is a password manager and password generator that locks your passwords and personal information in a secure vault.

From your LastPass vault, you can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in notes, and much more.

11. 1.1.1.1

Yes, we purposely put this app as the 11th item on the list. This app allows you to automatically encrypt your DNS queries.

In non-technical terms, it means you have more privacy and security when you are online. Plus, it might even make your internet connection faster.

12. Habit Tracker

One of the most effective ways to cut bad habits from your life is to track how often you do them. Once you see the patterns, it’s easier to break them.

The same goes when you want to add some positive habits. Keeping track of your day with Habit Tracker will keep you accountable and responsible.

13. Heimdall Parental Control

Exposing your children to the internet is inevitable. However, it is your responsibility as a parent to take control of what they access.

This app helps you protect your children by securing their phone or tablet and adding restrictions.

14. Goodbudget

Based on a novel and time-tested budgeting system called envelope budgeting, the Goodbudget app helps you keep track of your income and expenses by putting each amount into a specific envelope. You only get to spend what’s in the envelope and save what’s left of it.

15. Freeletics

Using the Freeletics app is like having a personal trainer right inside your mobile phone.

The artificial intelligence coach learns from your feedback and performance and then designs complete training plans customised for you.

The app has over 140 types of exercises and more than 900 workout variations. This way you’ll never get bored and will be better equipped to avoid a plateau.

[“source=freemalaysiatoday”]

Apple busts Google, Facebook enterprise apps for flouting privacy rules

Apple blocked Facebook and Google from running their internal iOS applications after the two technology giants were found to be flouting privacy norms. Facebook was reportedly tracking iPhone usage data of teenagers through its Facebook Research app, while Google was misusing iOS certificates and inviting its users to download an app called Screenwise Meter, which is not on the Apple store.

The companies have taken advantage of Apple’s Developer Enterprise Program, which helps certain partners of the company to test and distribute apps – but only to test new features before releasing the final version to the public. Apple had revoked the certificates given to Facebook when it was revealed that Mark Zuckerberg-owned Facebook allegedly paid people, who were not its employees, to test out its research app.

Enterprise certificates were restored for both tech firms later, but Apple has sent a strong message to them about respecting user privacy.

In a statement, Facebook said: “People participating in the Research app were asked for their permission, less than 5 percent of whom were teens  – in which cases, they were allowed to participate with parental consent forms.”

Reportedly, Facebook paid people about $20 a month to install and use the research app. While Facebook says this was done with permission, the company has a history of defining ‘permission’ loosely and obscuring what data it collects.

“I don’t think they make it very clear to users precisely what level of access they were granting when they gave permission,” mobile app security researcher Will Strafach said. “There is simply no way the users understood this.”

He said Facebook’s claim that users understood the scope of data collection was ‘muddying the waters’. This revelation is yet another blemish on Facebook’s track record on privacy and could invite further regulatory scrutiny.

For now, the app appears to be available for Android phones, though not through Google’s main app store.

When asked about its issues with Apple, Google said it had disabled the app on Apple devices and apologised for its ‘mistake’.

The company said Google had always been ‘upfront with users’ about how it used data collected by the app, which offered users points that could be accrued for gift cards. In contrast to the Facebook Research app, Google said its Screenwise Meter app never asked users to let the company circumvent network encryption, meaning it is far less intrusive.

[“source=moneycontrol”]

New app allows two-factor authentication for all apps

Rivetz Authenticator protects your identity using the secure hardware

The traditional method of using a username and password is no longer sufficient to protect your banking, social media, emails and other digital accounts. Passwords can easily be forgotten or even stolen, making two-factor authentication are integral in protecting your identity and online account access.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) does an excellent job securing your digital accounts, but what happens when your phone is stolen or gets misplaced? Or what if you’re updating to a new device and have to re-authenticate everything? And, even if you have the keys saved, manually resetting two-factor authentication for every account is going to take its fair share of time.

Rivetz is a mobile cybersecurity specialist that is ending all your 2FA woes with the launch of a new Authenticator app. Rivetz’s Authenticator app is the first two-factor authentication solution with backup and recovery. The app recovers 2FA keys using a mobile’s existing hardware security capabilities, while also giving you complete control over encrypted backup files. The app was created to eliminate frustrations users face with their 2FA accounts when migrating to new devices.

While 2FA apps generate their code in software, Rivetz Authenticator generates codes in a phone’s hardware chipset, protecting them from phishing attacks, malware and the other threats. This secure hardware chipset is called Trusted Execution Environment, which is already embedded in millions of Android devices. The app also features a Trusted User Interface (TUI) for supported devices that ensures malware doesn’t infect a transaction.

Rivetz Authenticators is engineered from scratch, using hardware-based trusted processing. It is compatible with all your favourite online services like Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Coinbase, Binance, work accounts and more. The Authenticators also monitors the state of your device for changes caused by spyware or malicious malware software, and will instantly notify you if any such change is detected. You can save all your services as encrypted backups and easily recover then if your phone is lost or stolen. Rivetz strongly believes in prioritising privacy, which is the primary reason why the app functions offline within your device.

[“source=moneycontrol”]

Your apps are spying on you

Awareness around data integrity is improving every day, but are your efforts to shore up your sensitive personal information in vain?

Unfortunately, the answer appears to be yes.

Have you ever had a phone conversation about a brand or product, only to hop onto your browser later that day and be inundated with ads for the same product?

It’s enough to make anyone do a double take, and it’s been the source of an old legend: our phones record our conversations.

In their 2018 study, undergraduate Elleen Pan and doctoral candidate Jingjing Ren set out to test this very theory, analysing over 17,000 of the most popular Android apps.

The result?

9,000 of those apps had the potential to be unfaithful to the user.

While no evidence was found of recorded conversations, the apps in question took screenshots of activity before forwarding them onto third parties.

Oh dear.Oh dear.

That’s just a tad horrifying.

David Choffnes, who was one of two computer science professors who oversaw the study, commented on the findings: “We found that thousands of popular apps have the ability to record your screen and anything you type.

“That does include your username and password, because it can record the characters you type before they turn into those little black dots.”

“We knew we were looking for a needle in a haystack,” Choffnes said, “and we were surprised to find several needles.”

Although the privacy breaches over the course of the study were largely benign, it drives home just how easy it could be for your phone to be exploited for cash.

“This opening will almost certainly be used for malicious purposes, it’s simple to install and collect this information,” said Christo Wilson, the other computer science professor on the research team.

“And what’s most disturbing is that this occurs with no notifications to or permission by users.

“In the case we caught, the information sent to a third party was zip codes, but it could just as easily have been credit card numbers.”

It should be noted that while the study was only conducted on Android apps, the study concluded that iOS apps were likely guilty of similar breaches.

So, how do we combat this betrayal?

Android Q teases new and improved privacy controls

While there’s no quick fix for this loophole, greater app security is a major point of emphasis in the upcoming Android Q release.

In the new edition of the popular OS, a status bar feature displays when sensitive phone permissions are in use and which apps are responsible.

Source: arstechnica Source: arstechnica

Among these fresh features will be a list that displays:

  • Apps by most frequently accessed permission
  • Apps by most permission use
  • Apps that gained recent permission access

This will be a significant upgrade over Android’s current permission screen, which is a simple series of on/off switches.

Other improvements include greater visibility on why apps need certain permissions and GPS services being actively turned off when an app is running in the background.

In theory, these updates should help users make informed decisions around which apps could be up to no good.

[“source=finfeed”]