Microsoft

Microsoft

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly

Welcome to the 167th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:

  • Google Play is currently trying out individual game ratings. The way it works is you rate titles based on game play, controls, and graphics. The scores for each category lets people know how good those qualities are for a more comprehensive look at the game. It can also warn people if games don’t have good controller support or have great graphics but otherwise suck. We’re not sure if this is going to roll out to everybody, but it seems like a good idea.
  • So Twitter banned its own CEO this week. In an act that essentially summed up how bad it’s been at Twitter lately, Jack Dorsey spent a good portion of the day not being able to view his own Twitter account. He did eventually make it back on and told everyone that it was an internal problem that caused the ban. There’s nothing of real note here, but it was kinda funny.
  • It was announced this week that Google is ending Google Play Services support for Android Gingerbread. The change will happen in early 2017. By removing Gingerbread, Google Play Services will become a little more modern in nature and give developers more options for building apps. The number of devices that even use Gingerbread is only about 1.3%. Also, most apps don’t support Gingerbread anymore anyway.
  • The latest Humble Bundle is live! This bundle features tons of games from HandyGames and includes Clouds & Sheep, Rocket Island, 1942 Pacific Front, and plenty of other games that would cost you $42 to buy individually. You can pay what you want and get five games, pay a $3 minimum and get up to 11 games, or pay $5 or more to get the whole bundle. It’s a good way to get some games on the cheap and give to charity.
  • Google Play is tossing a huge games, apps, books, movies, and more sale in honor of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can get stuff for up to 80% off and some of the titles are rather expensive without deals. It’s a good time to stock up on some stuff. We don’t know how long these deals will last, though, so be sure to get them while you can. Click the previous links to see the deals!

For even more Android apps and games news, updates, releases, and more, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! There you’ll find a bunch of stuff that we didn’t have the space for here. You can sign up for the newsletter using the form below if you’d like and we’ll send it to your inbox every Sunday! Also, don’t forget to check out the Android Authority app!

Subscribe to Android Apps Weekly!
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter


Eisenhorn: Xenox

[Price: $5.99]
Eisenhorn: Xenos is an adventure game that takes place in the Warharmmer 40,000 universe. It’s an adaptation from a book of the same name. You’ll be able to explore the world, take part in various quests, and the game comes with full voice acting. The graphics are also pretty decent. Unlike most Warhammer games these days, this one is a pay-once title with no in-app purchases. It also has full game controller support if that matters to you.

Download now on Google Play!


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyChase Pay

[Price: Free]
Chase Bank has released its own NFC payment app called Chase Pay. It’s about what you’d expect from an NFC payment app. You’ll be able to log into an existing Chase account and use the cards on file to make purchases. It’s brand new which means there are plenty of bugs that need to be worked out. Also, the app only works at Best Buy and a few other places right now but we expect that to increase over time. It’s not very good right now, but members of Chase Bank should keep an eye on it.

Download now on Google Play!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyGear.Club

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Gear.Club is a racing game that boasts a realistic experience. Underneath its bravado, it’s a fairly standard freemium racing game. You’ll race various tracks at various locations to win various championships. Above that, there is a large selection of cars to collect, optimize, and upgrade. The graphics are simply astounding although other parts of the game could use a little bit of work. It’s not quite prime time yet but we’re sure it’ll get there eventually.

Download now on Google Play!


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyPulse SMS

[Price: Free / $0.99 per month / $1.99 per 3 months / $5.99 per year / $10.99]
Pulse SMS is a hybrid of a texting app and a Pushbullet competitor. On its own, the Android app functions as a good, if slightly basic SMS app. However, you can download the app on various platforms and share the SMS messages between them. That means you can text on your tablet or your computer if you want to. Like Pushbullet, there is a subscription service although you can get a lifetime license and not have to worry about it if you want to. It’s a little buggy as new apps are, but it’s definitely going to get better over time.

Download now on Google Play!


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyMicrosoft Solitaire Collection

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Microsoft Solitaire Collection is an Android port of the popular Solitaire games available on most Microsoft Windows machines. The game includes five total variants of Solitaire, including Klondike (classic), Spider, Freecell, Tripeaks, and Pyramid. This adaptation also includes daily challenges as well as Xbox Live login support where you can earn actual achievements. It’s a time waster through and through. You can also get a premium membership for a recurring charge that removes advertising and gives you in-game boosts.

Download now on Google Play!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly


Related best app lists:

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

Google, Microsoft and others create guidelines for improving IoT security

The Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group – an alliance formed by Google, Microsoft, Intel, Verizon and others in the tech industry – has laid out guidelines for improving security on Internet of Things devices.

The group, also known as BITAG, was formed in 2010 to produce best practices for broadband security and published its recommendations for IoT manufacturers yesterday.

In the document, BITAG warned that “the nature of consumer IoT is unique because it can involve non-technical or uninterested consumers; challenging device discovery and inventory on consumer home networks,” adding that IoT devices can be hijacked to create “Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, perform surveillance and monitoring, gain unauthorized access or control, induce device or system failures, and disturb or harass authorized users or device owners.”

See also:

What is the problem with IoT security? – Gary explains

3 days ago

To avoid such exploits, BITAG makes a number of recommendations for manufacturers, including:

  • Shipping products with up-to-date software
  • Including a mechanism for automated and secure software updates
  • Providing “Strong authentication”, such as password protection, by default
  • Conducting security tests on a number of configurations
  • Following security and cryptography best practices
  • Ensuring devices remain functional even if the cloud back-end fails

BITAG also suggested that, when possible, IoT devices should not be reachable via inbound connections by default. As an advisory group, however, BITAG can’t legally enforce any of its recommendations on IoT device manufacturers.

In October, an IoT exploit was a major contributor in an internet blackout in the US, which affected huge parts of the country. You can watch our own Gary Sims detail some of the concerns surrounding IoT security in this video.

Google, Microsoft and others create guidelines for improving IoT security

The Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group – an alliance formed by Google, Microsoft, Intel, Verizon and others in the tech industry – has laid out guidelines for improving security on Internet of Things devices.

The group, also known as BITAG, was formed in 2010 to produce best practices for broadband security and published its recommendations for IoT manufacturers yesterday.

In the document, BITAG warned that “the nature of consumer IoT is unique because it can involve non-technical or uninterested consumers; challenging device discovery and inventory on consumer home networks,” adding that IoT devices can be hijacked to create “Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, perform surveillance and monitoring, gain unauthorized access or control, induce device or system failures, and disturb or harass authorized users or device owners.”

See also:

What is the problem with IoT security? – Gary explains

3 days ago

To avoid such exploits, BITAG makes a number of recommendations for manufacturers, including:

  • Shipping products with up-to-date software
  • Including a mechanism for automated and secure software updates
  • Providing “Strong authentication”, such as password protection, by default
  • Conducting security tests on a number of configurations
  • Following security and cryptography best practices
  • Ensuring devices remain functional even if the cloud back-end fails

BITAG also suggested that, when possible, IoT devices should not be reachable via inbound connections by default. As an advisory group, however, BITAG can’t legally enforce any of its recommendations on IoT device manufacturers.

In October, an IoT exploit was a major contributor in an internet blackout in the US, which affected huge parts of the country. You can watch our own Gary Sims detail some of the concerns surrounding IoT security in this video.

Samsung and Microsoft partner up to expand Tizen

0

The South Korean electronics giant announced its partnership with Microsoft to bring more developers to its open source operating system, Tizen.

See also:

Samsung offering $10,000 reward to Tizen app developers

6 days ago

Samsung is slowly expanding its Tizen portfolio – mainly in the form of smartwatches and smart TVs – but while the open source OS gives the company more freedom and autonomy compared to, say, Android, the major drawback here is that Tizen just doesn’t have enough apps. Look at the recently launched Gear S3, for instance: its specs are undoubtedly one of the best out there, if not the best. The design is flawless (at least in my opinion), but there is a huge problem aside from its price tag: apps are lacking and the quality of those that are available isn’t all too great.

Well, it seems like Samsung is really convinced that Tizen has the potential to grow. The company has announced today that it would be collaborating with Microsoft on “open source projects, such as .NET Core and Xamarin.Forms” in order to facilitate .NET support for Tizen. .NET is a Microsoft-developed framework that helps developers create apps more easily.

In fact, Samsung will be releasing the first preview of Visual Studio Tools for Tizen today for .NET developers:

The first preview supports mobile application development with device emulators and an extension to Visual Studio with full IntelliSense and debugging capabilities. Support for Smart TVs, wearables, and other IoT devices will be added in future releases.

On top of that, Samsung released open source codes for Tizen RT, which is currently used in its smart fridges and AC units. According to the company, there are over 50 million devices powered by Tizen right now, and it’s only set to grow further. The success of Tizen will largely depend on its app support, so I’m curious to see how this collaboration will contribute to the growth of what Samsung seems to think is the next OS.

The success of Tizen will largely depend on its app support, so I’m curious to see how this collaboration will contribute to the growth of what Samsung seems to think is the next OS.

Would you switch to Tizen if its app support were significantly better? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!