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18 Dec 12 Android Is Bigger, But Here’s Why Apple Is Still the Undisputed App Cash King


Photo: Cristiano Betta/Flickr

Comparing the cash pouring into Apple’s App Store versus its app marketplace competitor Google Play isn’t much of a contest. A November study from app analytics company App Annie shows that the App Store’s monthly revenues are 300 percent greater than Google Play’s. But why does the huge disparity persist? Especially since the number of Android users out there in the mobile world long ago surpassed those using iOS. The short answer, developers say, is Apple’s maniacal quality control. But they also stress that the very same control-freak approach often means Android is a better choice to launch and grow some kinds of app businesses.

There are a number of factors that contribute to Apple’s App store revenue dominance. The App Store was the first, it is the largest, and you probably already have a credit card on file with Apple. But the most important reason for its financial success, developers say, is Apple’s tortuous approval process.

Consumers are more willing to fork over their money for an iOS app, because they know they’ll probably get their money’s worth, says app developer Zak Tanjeloff with DLP Mobile. “The App Store has a higher proportion of quality apps, thanks to the approval process,” he says. “That means developers can, and have, charged more for their apps.”

Tanjeloff, who develops various apps – from language translation to public transit maps – for both platforms, says looking at his sales of the same app side by side in the App Store and Google Play, his iOS apps typically sell far more. “I believe I sell more on iOS simply because there is a safe community that people trust, and people are more accustomed to the App Store’s payment process from years of iTunes downloads.”

Apple’s higher quality standards also mean that people are more trusting of the App Store apps to be free of snooping or malicious code, says Tanjeloff. You don’t have those assurances in Google’s app world, he says. “There’s no guarantee of quality or safety on the Android market,” he says. “Plus, there’s a lot of counterfeiting and a lot of apps that simply aren’t any good.”

While the App Store’s rigorous acceptance process has done a good job of keeping harmful and low-quality apps out, it’s also kept out some developers intent on making free apps with in-app purchases. Joe Burger learned that after he tried to launch his freemium employee-tracking app in Google Play and the App Store.

His app, Labor Sync, offers a free trial before customers have to pay up for the service. For Android, that wasn’t a problem, but Apple wasn’t having it, Burger says. “Apple rejected us for listing our website in the app, where we set up the free trial,” says Burger. “We also wanted to create our own billing method with dynamic pricing, which Apple refused.”

In order to win Apple’s approval Burger had to cut out any references to his website in the app, and deploy Apple’s in-app purchases system, which required extra programming. And he’s not sure it’s all been worth it. “With Android, we see more complete sales, where people download the app, use the trial and then sign up for a paid subscription,” Burger says. “With the App Store, we don’t get that.”

Monica Martino and Greg Smith of Privus Mobile, a caller ID app maker, also struggled with meeting the App Store’s standards. As a result, they’ve poured more effort into their Android apps because, they say, it’s much easier to push out updates. “On iOS, it takes three months to develop an update, then one month for Apple to get around to look at it, and then they can deny it,” says Martino. “By the time you’re putting the update on the App Store, you could have published the third version of the Android app.”

Apple’s quality controls may be pushing more developers like Martino and Smith towards Google Play. The same App Annie study shows that Google Play’s overall October revenues were 17.9% greater than those of September, while iOS revenues fell 0.7% during the same period.

Sure, for Google Play there is still a huge revenue gap to close, but it is gradually closing, and either Apple changes its approval process or Google Play won’t be in second place for long.

Article source: http://www.wired.com/business/2012/12/ios-vs-android/

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15 Dec 12 iPhone or Android? The Case for Each – Digits – WSJ




Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Among the smartphones available today, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the iPhone 5 sit at the top of many wish lists.

Both of them are the best-available iPhone and Android phone, respectively. But how do you choose whether to buy an Android smartphone or an iPhone?

The truth is, the differences aren’t all that significant, short of access to a few applications per device. You’ll find the mission-critical apps like Facebook and Google Maps on both. Case-in-point: Google held a major advantage on Android with a superior Maps application, but that was released for the iPhone just yesterday. When it comes to major apps, the line between Android and iPhone is starting to blur rapidly.

When deciding on which smartphone to buy, be sure to check out the Digits guide to picking a smartphone. As earlier indicated, the most important choice initially is your carrier, which will determine the availability of certain smartphones. That being said, there’s a healthy availability of Android smartphones and iPhones on most major carriers.

While the operating systems are similar, there are some differences, and it’s important to know the most significant ones when picking an ecosystem. Once you select a platform and start buying apps, you are more or less locked in — meaning switching from iPhone to Android will require you to purchase apps again in the Google Play store, and vise versa for the Apple App store.

Here are some of the biggest differences between the two. Choose wisely:

iPhone

The biggest advantage the iPhone has over Android phones is its massive app ecosystem. It was the first major App Store, and as a result most developers will opt to build their applications for the iPhone before any device. For example, Instagram was available only on the iPhone for a very long time, and Facebook redesigned its app for the iPhone before finally upgrading the Android application. Apple said during its last earnings presentation that it had more than 700,000 apps on the App Store.

The iPhone has very deep integration with Twitter and Facebook, making it easy to post status updates to either from directly within the operating system without having to dig too deep into the customization of the app.

Apple also has some iPhone-specific apps, like Passbook — which a lot of major app developers, like mobile payments company Square, have chosen to support — that removes day-to-day annoyances like carrying around gift certificates and boarding passes. It takes some time to set up and is still limited for now, but the upside is huge.

Most importantly, the user experience is locked down. That means there isn’t a lot of significant modification you can make to the experience, such as changing the keyboard. But for the non-tech savvy crowd or those not looking for a lot of customization, this can be a plus, because Apple does know what it’s doing when it comes to user experience. You will know exactly what you are getting.

Android

The first thing you will notice when shopping for an Android smartphone is the massive hardware selection. It can be daunting, given that there are many major smartphone manufacturers, and all of them have an exceptionally good Android smartphone. The go-to options will be the Samsung Galaxy S III or the Nexus 4, depending on your situation, but there is a wide array of cheaper Android phones (check out our guide to picking a smartphone for the best option).

In addition, Android phones are highly customizable. For example, one of the top apps on the Google Play app store is an app called SwiftKey, which modifies your Android smartphone’s keyboard, making it easier to type by predicting your next word after synchronizing with your Google and Facebook accounts among others. The possibilities of tweaking the Android ecosystem are nearly endless.

You’ll also find unique apps you won’t find on the Apple App Store. While the converse is true for the Apple App Store because many developers consider it a first option, but realistically Apple will likely not approve a lot of the more fringe-level apps on the Google Play store: For example, SwiftKey, or apps that emulate older gaming consoles. It gives your Android smartphone a little more functionality at the cost of being more complicated.

Google’s app store has also caught up to Apple’s in size. In October, Google Play said it also had more than 700,000 apps.

The user experience will be more varied depending on the smartphone you pick, as most major manufacturers have their own custom skin on the device. For example, the Nexus 4 is a stripped-down pure Android experience managed by Google, while the Samsung Galaxy S III has some Samsung flair to it.

That being said, because of the massive number of phones and proliferation of technology, apps likely won’t come to Android devices first if they aren’t launching at the same time on the Apple App Store. It will also take some time to learn your way around an Android smartphone, because of how deep the customization options are.

Everything Else

The two other major smartphone platforms — Windows Phone and BlackBerry — also have individual perks, but realistically it is too early to call whether they will be successful because they haven’t reached the level of app proliferation of Android smartphones and the iPhone. You can check out the Digits guide to smartphones for the individual advantages of those two platforms, but in short, the best option might be to hold off on buying these phones.

Article source: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/12/14/iphone-or-android-the-case-for-each/

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14 Dec 12 Google Chrome For iOS Can Now Play Audio In The Background After It’s Been …


Google Chrome For iOS Can Now Play Audio In The Background After It’s Been Closed

(5:37 am PDT, Dec 14th)

Google Chrome For iOS Can Now Play Audio In The Background After It’s Been Closed

Have you ever used Google Chrome on your iOS devices to listen to music on YouTube, only to find it stops playing when you close the app? Sometimes that’s a good thing — you don’t always need videos to continue to playing in the background when they’ve been closed. But sometimes it’s annoying, like when you’re listening to music.

Thanks to the app’s latest update, you can prevent that from happening.

The latest version of Google Chrome, which hit the App Store this morning, allows you to continue playing audio in the background even after the app’s been closed. It won’t happen automatically, so you won’t have things playing in the background and eating away at your battery inadvertently; here’s how it works.

When you’re watching a video or a song on YouTube — or anywhere else for that matter — and you close Google Chrome, it’ll cut out. At this point, you can double-tap the home button on your iOS device, then swipe to the right on the multitasking tray to access the media controls, where you should see the Google Chrome icon.

Simply hit play and your video or song will continue playing where it left off — allowing you to enjoy it while you use other apps.

Isn’t that neat?

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Article source: http://www.cultofmac.com/206072/google-chrome-for-ios-can-now-play-audio-in-the-background-after-its-been-closed/

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14 Dec 12 Google Chrome App is Updated to Let Sound Play When Backgrounded


Google’s Chrome browser for iOS has been updated to allow sound to play when the app is backgrounded.

Browse fast with Chrome, now available on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Sign in to sync your personalized Chrome experience from your computer, and bring it with you anywhere you go.

Search fast
• Search and navigate fast, directly from the same box. Choose from results that appear as you type.

Simple, intuitive experience
• Open and quickly switch between an unlimited number of tabs. On your iPhone and iPod touch, flip through tabs the way you would fan a deck of cards. On iPad, swipe from edge to edge to switch tabs.

Sign in
• Sign in to Chrome to sync your open tabs, bookmarks, passwords, and omnibox data from your computer to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. Pick up right where you left off.
• Send pages from Chrome on your computer to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad with one click and read them on the go, even if you’re offline.

Privacy
• Open a tab in Incognito* to browse without saving your history. To learn more, please visit: http://goo.gl/WUx02

What’s New In This Version:
● Allow sound to play when app is backgrounded
● Fix character encoding bug

You can download Chrome from the App Store for free.

Read More

Article source: http://www.iclarified.com/26198/google-chrome-app-is-updated-to-let-sound-play-when-backgrounded

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14 Dec 12 Google Nexus 10 Reviews From Critics And Users: Great Tablet, Just Needs …


(Photo : Google) The new Google Nexus 10 tablet.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a 10-inch tablet, two contenders should be at the top of your list: the Apple iPad and the Google-Samsung Nexus 10. While Apple’s iPad is a given smart choice, it would be wise to see what the Nexus 10 has to offer. Here’s what reviewers and users are saying about the Nexus 10. 

Reviewers

For the most part, reviewers gave the Nexus 10 solid praise, with few complaints. 

“The Google Nexus 10 is a tablet that’s near impossible not to like. It has the best screen on the market and is first to bring the new generation chipsets,” said GSMArena in its review. “If you are looking for an Android tablet and you don’t have a special use of a stylus-enabled Galaxy Note 10.1, the Nexus 10 would be the straightforward recommendation. It’s easily among the best and most complete tablets on the market at a price point that’s just hard to beat.”

“Working this time with Samsung, the Nexus 10 is a good alternative to the iPad. I’ve been using it for the past week, and I love the gorgeous display and design. The latest Android software also brings some nice extras, such as enhanced voice search and support for multiple users. Plus, it’s $100 less than the latest iPad, at $399 for the 16 gigabyte Wi-Fi model and $499 for the 32GB Wi-Fi version,” says Bonnie Cha from AllThingsD

The only real complaint reviewers generally had was about the lack of tablet-tailored Android apps. It seems that there simply isn’t enough apps out there taking advantage of the Nexus 10.

Website TheVerge gave the Nexus 10 a score of 8.3 out of 10 and stated that, “Yes, the Nexus 10 wins on price – $399 for this incredible display is a nice deal. But consider the extra $100 you’ll spend to get the iPad an entry fee to the App Store, and its many apps and accessories that just aren’t available to the Nexus 10. Google’s now proven conclusively that it can design great Android hardware, but until developers prove they can design great Android software it’s still hard to recommend the Nexus 10 over an iPad.”

Users

Nexus 10 owners seem to be ecstatic about their device, and are content with having the 10-inch Android tablet over the much more popular iPad. 

“What can I say? This is my 4th tablet I have owned since the craze began. Without a doubt this Nexus 10 is the best, even better than my iPad 3. Just everything about this tablet is superb! The build quality is simply fantastic and feel sooo good to hold (something my iPad completely fails in),” writes Inquisitor78 on CNET.

Econ_Andy shares a similar opinion of the Nexus 10. 

“‘I’ve been very happy with my purchase. It’s great value for me reading, browsing, using netflix and facebook etc., basic text editing and spreadsheets. This tablet is such an improvement to any other 10″ Android tablet I’ve seen. I tried my friends iPad 3 and I’d say it definitely raises on that one.

The only real complaint on the user side seems to be the slow battery and lack of expandable storage. While Google does offer cloud-based storage services, most users would prefer to upgrade their storage capacities past 32GB.

Let us know which one you prefer – the Apple iPad or the Google Nexus 10.  

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Article source: http://www.latinospost.com/articles/8178/20121213/google-nexus-10-reviews-critics-users-great.htm

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09 Jun 12 Developers Still Favor Apple’s iOS Over Android


Application developers still favor Apple, with 69 percent of all new app development projects started during the first quarter of 2012 intended for Cupertino’s iOS mobile operating system, according to new data from mobile analytics company Flurry.

In comparison, just 31 percent of apps project starts during the same period were targeted at Google’s Android platform. While Apple has the majority of developer support, interest in Android is growing. Back in the third quarter of 2011, just 25 percent of app development projects were intended for Android, while 75 percent were built for iOS.

Apple currently has around 615,000 apps in its App Store, while Google has just over 450,000 in Google Play.

Apple’s iOS is likely more attractive to the developer community due to Apple’s dominance in the tablet market, Flurry said. With iOS, developers have to build an application just once and it can run on the iPhone and iPad, giving developers the most consumer reach for their effort.

“Not only does Apple offer a large, homogenous smartphone base for which to build software, but also when developers build for smartphones, their apps run on Apple’s iPad tablets as well,” Flurry wrote in a blog post. “That’s like getting two platforms for the price of one.”

In comparison, the Android platform poses significant development challenges.

“Android fragmentation appears to be increasing, driving up complexity and cost for developers,” Flurry said. “Further, this fragmentation is concentrated primarily in just smartphones, as there is no serious Android tablet contender to the iPad.”

In terms of consumer tablet usage, the iPad drove 88 percent of total worldwide user sessions during the first five months of the year, according to Flurry. The Galaxy Tab and Amazon Kindle Fire hold “very distant” second and third places, driving 9 and 3 percent of user sessions, respectively.

Overall, Android also drives less revenue for developers, according to Flurry. After comparing the revenue generated by top apps on iOS and Android, Flurry found that iOS generates four times more revenue per active user than Android. This means that for every $1 a developer earns on iOS, they make about $0.24 on Android.

“In short, Android delivers less gain and more pain than iOS,” Flurry said.

Earlier this year, game developer Mika Mobile made headlines after announcing it is no longer supporting Android over fragmentation challenges.

For more from Angela, follow her on Twitter @amoscaritolo.

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405533,00.asp

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26 May 12 Top Free Android Apps


If you own an Android smartphone, you will no doubt want to download plenty of great apps. While you may wonder about the best deals you can get from Google Play, formerly known as the Android Market, but there are plenty of quality apps you can get for free. These are all well worth exploring and downloading to your phone so that you can have the best experience in many areas, including entertainment, personal finance, navigation and more.

Google Wallet is one of the best free apps that is available for download on many Android smartphones. Created by a top developer, you will no longer have to worry about the best credit cards to have on hand when you are on the go as you can simply enter your information into this app and use it to make purchases at a variety of different vendors. This is a great app to have right at your fingertips on your phone, especially if you are a bit of a scatterbrain who occasionally forgets your wallet! It works with MasterCard credit card information.

Pandora Internet Radio is a fantastic app for Android smartphone owners who enjoy listening to music while on the go. Essentially, you can create your very own personalized radio station that you can listen to directly on your device. It runs on ads, but this is not an issue as the majority of what you will get is music. Simply select an artist or a band and the app will play them and artists and bands that are similar, which is a great way to be introduced to great music you have never heard before.

Facebook for Android is an essential free app that you can enjoy on your smartphone. It keeps you in the loop with the social networking website and all of your friends who use it. You receive many of the same features that you would have on your computer and can easily and quickly post status updates, reply to friends’ statuses and post photos and videos right from your Android phone.

Skype is a great free app that allows you to engage in video chats and IM sessions with others. You can use it to chat with anyone who has Skype, whether they have it on their own smartphone or on their computer. It is fun, easy and convenient to use.

Angry Birds is the most widely popular and successful game for mobile devices, including Android smartphones. It has recently reached one billion downloads with good reason as it is a great way to pass time. You may find yourself having loads of funs for hours on end while flinging the charismatic, colorful birds at the silly green pigs that have stolen their eggs. Even if you play for minutes at a time, you will find yourself coming back for more.

While many Android nay-sayers claim that Android has nothing over Apple when it comes to the number of apps, there is no doubt that Android does have a large number of high quality apps.  So if you have an Android phone, make sure to have the aformentioned apps on your phone to have the best Android experience possible.

Posts Related to Top Free Android Apps

Article source: http://thedroidguy.com/2012/05/top-free-android-apps/

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16 May 12 Google Chrome heading to iPhone, analysts predict


Google Chrome is coming to the iPhone, or at least that’s what one group of analysts say.

Macquarie Equities Research on Tuesday sent out an email titled “The Browser Wars Part Deux; Google Chrome Browser for iOS is Coming,” saying Google’s browser, known for its simplicity and quickness, is coming to Apple’s iOS for the iPhone. 

Chrome could arrive on the iPhone as early as this quarter or “very likely” this year, the group said. Tom White, one of the analysts, said there’s reason to believe Google is developing the app and may have already even submitted it to Apple for approval for its App Store.

Macquarie said Chrome’s move to the iPhone would launch the latest chapter of the so-called browser wars, this time shifting the battlefield to mobile — which people are using more often to access the Web.

Customers don’t pay to use browsers, but companies do make money from them. Google and other search engines pay browser companies a percentage of revenue gained from search queries made through browser search bars, which you typically find on the top right corner of browsers.

So for example, if someone searches for “golf clubs,” using the Safari browser’s search bar and then clicks on an advertised link for “golf clubs,” Google has to pay Apple part of the revenue made in that instance.

The same is true of mobile devices, and White said Macquarie believes Google currently pays 50% to 60% of revenue made from searches on the mobile version of Safari.

That could be a lot of money Google has to share with its rival, and if Apple were to ever dump Google for Bing, that would be a lot of lost money.

Therefore, White said Google will make the preemptive step to move users from Safari to Chrome and keep more of that search revenue.

The search giant applied the same kind of strategy four years ago when it launched Chrome for the Web.

Back then, Google would pay Microsoft and Mozilla a cut of search revenue for placement on their browsers. Four years later, Chrome is the most used browser on desktops, according to w3schools.com, meaning Google gets to keep all the search revenue from the most popular browser. 

Now, Google would like to replicate that success on the mobile platform.

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Article source: http://chicagotribune.feedsportal.com/c/34253/f/622842/s/1f63992a/l/0L0Schicagotribune0N0Cbusiness0Cbreaking0Cla0Efi0Etn0Egoogle0Echrome0Eiphone0E20A120A5150H0A0H52520A790Bstory0Dtrack0Frss/story01.htm

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10 May 12 Is Facebook’s App Center a Win-Win for iPhone, Android Users and Developers?


Facebook

After years of leaving users to fend for themselves when scrounging for apps and games like Socialcam, CityVille or Draw Something, Facebook says it will finally launch an application hub to corral social apps in one place. It’s called App Center, and Facebook says developers can (and should) start prepping their apps for inclusion immediately.

Facebook notes that, among other things, developers will be able to charge flat fees for apps up front (like Apple via the App Store, Facebook currently takes a 30% cut). Some developers already charge users for in-app purchases, but allowing them to charge for apps outright is new. And the apps will be accessible through web browsers (on computers) as well as native Facebook apps for Android and iOS devices.

(PHOTOS: Life Inside Facebook Headquarters)

But apps that don’t meet certain quality standards won’t be visible, says Facebook, outlining an intriguing feedback-based rating system that aggregates indices like “user ratings” and “engagement” to score apps in Facebook’s performance metric tool, Insights. “Well-designed apps that people enjoy will be prominently displayed,” explains Facebook, while “[apps] that receive poor user ratings or don’t meet the quality guidelines won’t be listed.” That makes Facebook’s App Center markedly different from Apple’s or Google’s, which drill only on an app’s performance, e.g. “top paid,” “top free,” “top grossing,” etc.

The introduction of a centralized app store comes at a critical moment: Facebook just admitted in an amendment to its IPO filing that its user base’s shift from web to mobile means they’re showing fewer ads per user, threatening their long-term revenues. According to the company:

We do not currently directly generate any meaningful revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and our ability to do so successfully is unproven. We believe this increased usage of Facebook on mobile devices has contributed to the recent trend of our daily active users (DAUs) increasing more rapidly than the increase in the number of ads delivered. If users increasingly access Facebook mobile products as a substitute for access through personal computers, and if we are unable to successfully implement monetization strategies for our mobile users, or if we incur excessive expenses in this effort, our financial performance and ability to grow revenue would be negatively affected.

So what does the App Center mean for us as end users (all 900 million, that is)? For starters, it gives us one place to browse for stuff, making app discovery more proactive. Instead of depending on word of mouth, media “best of” stories, third-party ranking sites, or for the right app ads to capture our eye, we’ll be able to rifle through a hub that’s aggregating and ranking stuff based in part on total community feedback.

It also means we’ll be able to learn more about apps before we install them. Facebook says every app must have an “app detail page,” designed to let us “see what makes an app unique” before installing and accessing it. That alone should be cause for celebration, in my view, after years of installing Facebook apps and giving them access to various aspects of our personal dossiers just to learn what they are and do. Facebook notes that even for non-Facebook users, an app’s detail page will become their first-stop when a Facebook app link comes up within Facebook itself (as well as, presumably, independent search engines).

Furthermore, Facebook isn’t pitching the App Center as an Apple/Google competitor. Rather, says Facebook, it’s “designed to grow mobile apps that use Facebook – whether they’re on iOS, Android or the mobile web.” The App Center will let you browse apps compatible with your device, and if one requires installation, Facebook says you’ll be redirected away from Facebook to either Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

So far, I see nothing not to thumbs-up here. A user-related ranking and inclusion system? A chance to investigate an app before installing it? A way for developers to compete on more level terms with Apple and Google with regard to app pricing? Everything in one central location? App agnosticism when it comes to platform and installation? Sure, it means a little extra work for developers and new challenge metrics for getting an app included as well as made visible, but the end benefits for users, at least on e-paper, seem broadly win-win at this point.

No, the App Center isn’t live yet, but when it launches “[in] the coming weeks,” you’ll be able to access it via www.facebook.com/appcenter.

(MORE: 50 Best iPhone Apps 2012)

Article source: http://techland.time.com/2012/05/10/is-facebooks-app-center-a-win-win-for-iphone-android-users-and-developers/

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07 May 12 Android Malware Could Infiltrate Corporate Networks


[Clint Boulton]

For the first time, malware is exploiting hacked Web sites as part of a scheme to target mobile devices, researchers say. The new piece of malware—called a Trojan, because it is disguised as piece of safe software—is known as NotCompatible and is directed at Android smartphones and tablets. There is a risk that corporate networks will be compromised, but it appears for now to be low, said the security researcher who revealed the bug.

The attacker has placed the malware on dozens of low-traffic websites as a proxy pretending to be the device’s owner, and attempts to use the device to make unauthorized transactions, such as ordering tickets from Ticketmaster or downloading applications from Apple’s App Store, said Lookout Mobile Security CTO Kevin Mahaffey.

Mahaffey, who studied Internet browsing data from Android gadgets to draw his conclusions, also said an attacker could latch on to a business or government network if an employee whose Android device has been infected with NotCompatible accessed their corporate information via Wi-Fi. Mahaffey said he has found no evidence yet that corporate networks have been compromised. But CIOs need to be aware of NotCompatible because many of them allow Android devices in the workplace.

Mahaffey, who studied Internet browsing data from Android gadgets to draw his conclusions, said an attacker could latch on to a business or government network if an employee whose Android device has been infected with NotCompatible accessed their corporate information via Wi-Fi. Mahaffey said he has found no evidence that corporate networks have been compromised. But CIOs need to be aware of NotCompatible because many of them allow Android devices in the workplace. Good Technology, a corporate email platform, said Android accounted for nearly 30% of devices activated on its network in the first quarter this year.

Some IT leaders, such as Terex CIO Greg Fell, don’t allow Android devices at work because they mistrust the open source software that enables employees to download Android software from several application stores. He supports iPhones and iPads because employees can only download software from Apple. “The fact that [Android] is an open system as opposed to a closed system like the Apple Store means there are no controls on what gets installed, and this increases the risk of picking up some malware that could compromise the device,” Fell said.

Android users and their network managers have little to fear at this stage, said Mahaffey. NotCompatible is an automated script, which suggests the attacker is just trolling to find vulnerabilities rather than targeting specific Android device users. “So far we have not seen any clear pattern as to what constitutes a site that was compromised … It seems to be scattershot,” Mahaffey said.

Also, NotCompatible can only harm people who have enabled their devices to download software from unofficial sources. The mechanics of the infection are simple. When users of Android devices navigate to an infected website with their device’s browser, the “Update.apk” malware package automatically downloads to the device. The Android software alerts the user to the download, and the malware can begin its mischief once a user clicks the install prompt for the application.

This approach to malware is a common threat to personal computers, said Eric Maiwald, a mobile security analyst with Gartner. However, Maiwald and Mahaffey both said this appears to be the first time hacked websites are being used to target mobile devices. That in itself if noteworthy, Mahaffey said.

Article source: http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2012/05/06/android-malware-could-infiltrate-corporate-networks/?mod=google_news_blog

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