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04 Jun 12 Exclusive: Instapaper for Android launches (hands-on)


“Android is not in my world. It’s not in my attention span most days. Thinking about the iOS app is a full-time job, and staying competitive on iOS is a full-time job.” This quote comes from Instapaper creator Marco Arment not even three weeks ago in an interview with Joshua Topolsky on On The Verge.

Evidently, Arment was keeping a pretty big secret. Instapaper for Android launches today for $2.99 on smartphones and tablets, and you can find it in the Google Play Store and soon in the Amazon App Store and Nook Store. What makes the app launch so significant is that aside from Instagram and Flipboard, Instapaper might just be the next-most-desired (and elusive) Android app ever. The excitement surrounding a possible Instapaper Android app has not been just because people wanted the app itself, but also because creator Arment often publicly expressed distaste for building on Android — almost out of principle. “I think it was the success of the Kindle Fire and the Nook that tipped my hand,” Arment told us.

So, he entrusted the Instapaper name to developer Mobelux, which has previously built Tumblr for iPhone and Android, as well as Carousel, a handsome Instagram viewer for Mac. Mobelux wasn’t the winner of the app-building challenge Arment started in jest, but was instead a great fit with a compatible heritage. Arment met Mobelux co-founder and Creative Director Jeff Rock all the way back in 2008 when Tumblr was in talks to buy Rock’s Tumblrette Tumblr client for iPhone. Arment (still full-time at Tumblr) got to know Rock and his team, who quickly became the backbone of Tumblr’s mobile app strategy.

After Arment’s scuffle online over the fiscal viability of building an Android app (and several years of hanging out with Mobelux at WWDC), he approached Rock and asked if he was interested in building an app for him. “[It] seemed like a perfect project to collaborate on,” Rock told me, so Instapaper for Android was born, a bit longer ago than you might think. But is the app any good? Read on to find out.

Article source: http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/4/3061693/instapaper-for-android

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19 Apr 12 Malicious software infecting more Androids, and even Apple finds it’s not immune


And yes, that’s when the real fun begins.

As of last week, a reported 600,000 computers were infected with the malware (which is only about 1 percent of the total user base), though security software companies and Apple itself have moved quickly to plug the hole as well as get the offending software eradicated from your system. In fact, recent numbers show that the amount of infected machines is dropping dramatically thanks to a speedy address of the problem.

But it shows one thing — even Apple isn’t immune from attacks, and the more popular the brand becomes, the more we’ll have to worry about infected Macs.

Elsewhere in the world, Android is dealing with its own security issues. This week, security software kingpin Symantec identified and aided Google in removing 29 pieces of software from the Google Play app store that were found to be malicious in some way. And those are just the ones they found this week. Earlier reports have made clear that Android phones are particularly open to malware, spoofed apps or otherwise untoward software thanks to Google’s “open” policy about what makes it into its marketplace.

In short, Google doesn’t have the gatekeepers that Apple has, and that can be a plus as well as a minus.

There are some scary numbers out there that suggest this is a rising trend. According to one report, sightings of malware on Android rose 472 percent in the past year, making users 3 percent more likely to see problems on their device. That doesn’t sound like a big jump, but the numbers matter when you’re dealing with an ever-growing user base. A report from the firm Lookout says that during 2011, more than $1 million was stolen from Android users thanks to malicious software on their devices.

Still, it might not be as life-threatening as it all sounds. Some software makers who have a hand in crafting security applications have a vested interest in sparking fear (and then purchases), so some of their numbers may veer to the extreme when the actual threat is somewhat smaller. For instance, Symantec identified one piece of nasty software for Android and said it had been installed on about 70,000 phones but said it could be on as many as 300,000 devices. That’s a pretty big disparity that’s based mostly on speculation.

When it comes to security, however, one thing is clear: This isn’t just a PC problem anymore. In fact, Microsoft has been at it so long and so hard that Windows machines that are regularly updated are actually faring better these days in the face of malware attacks.

And that gets to the crux of the issue — if you want to keep this stuff off of your PC, or Mac (or phone, or tablet) — you need to stay smart. You can’t always ward off an attack, but getting educated about what’s out there can go a long way to keeping your system clean and your data safe.

If you’re really worried about this, you can start by using common sense. Seriously, it works, even on the Internet.

For starters, if a site starts throwing up tons of pop-ups and requests for software downloads or personal information, back away slowly. Your gut can tell you when something is wrong, and any site that feels intrusive probably isn’t a place you should be hanging.

Secondly, don’t ever give out user names or passwords — not in e-mail and not on any site that you don’t completely trust and know. Don’t install software without reading reviews and knowing the source it comes from, and if you see some weird alert to install something on your system and you don’t know where it came from, please, please don’t just hit “OK.”

In the long run, we’re never going to stamp out viruses or malware, but we can make some big inroads on eliminating dumb things that humans do. So keep your eyes and ears open, don’t share information, and for heaven’s sake don’t open the e-mail with the subject line “ILOVEYOU.” Well, not unless you’re really a glutton for punishment.

Joshua Topolsky is the founding editor in chief of the Verge (theverge.com), a technology news Web site. For previous columns, go to postbusiness.com.

Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/malicious-software-infecting-more-androids-and-even-apple-finds-its-not-immune/2012/04/18/gIQAdDH3RT_story.html

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