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23 Dec 12 Google Play now allows Developers to Localize their Promotional Graphics

Google Play, the world’s largest app-store, offers developers the gateway to reach millions of Android users around the world. When Google’s revolutionary mobile OS debuted in market, the Google Play was supported only across a number of countries. In fact, until the start of 2011, it didn’t cover more than 30 countries.

However, in the last year-or-two, the scenario has changed pleasantly for Android. It now encircles over 130 countries across the world, and supports 49 international languages. Shockingly enough, more than 2/3rd of the total app revenue comes from countries other than U.S. The statistics can be accredited to Google’s increased support for paid-apps in various countries, with the recent additions being- Israel, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Poland, Brazil and Russia.

Google realizes how important it is for developers to reach their target audience. There are more than 700,000 apps on Play Store, and there are more than a billion people using the Android platform. Though it’s important to get apps into spotlight, it’s also important that app is understandable and interpretable the multi-lingual audience.

For instance, a developer might rely on the translated text description for his app into numerous languages supported by Google Play, but that alone is not enough to grab more users as people are still not able to understand the working of the app in the video. Until now, there was no way he could customize the videos and images for a particular set of people. If the promotional video is in English, a French guy, who does not understand English, would have no way of interpreting the essence of the video. While he can still see the working of the app, he cannot fully understand what it does.local_graphics

Keeping this in mind, Google now allows developers to add localized images and video links, just like they added localized text descriptions. Besides showing translated text, a localized graphic feature would also allow you to add local flavor to your app — for instance, changing its theme to reflect local holidays.

… “If a picture says a thousand words, how many words can a motion picture say?”

Localized images, and video links make it easy for user to interpret the purpose of the app. While a user could always read the description, the first thing that attracts you about the app is the look-and-the-feel. If the user is easily familiarized with the app through the localized interpretation, the likeliness of his/her buying the app increases greatly.

Hence, localized images and videos would help the developers fetch even more downloads. With localized videos, you can now add appropriate voiceover and text and also show app running in the background.

Before, upload the localized video, do make sure you upload the video in various different sizes. Also, as many people would be buying new tablets for their holidays, and loading them with lots of apps, make sure you include localized tablet screenshots to show off your various tablet layouts.

To add the localized graphics and videos to your app, you would need to use the Google Play Developer Console Preview. Please note that once you publish you app using the newer console, you won’t be able to publish the app using the older version. Hence, developers who are using the APK Expansion Files would now be compelled to use this feature. Once you’ve saved and published your application using the new console, automated translations would become available to all Android users.

We think this is an amazing move from Google. Perhaps, this move could bring Google a little closer to the humungous amount of revenue Apple earns from its App Store. Just a little bit closer, though.

Source: Android Developers

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19 Dec 12 Rocket Internet’s Mobile Payments Startup Payleven Expands Android Support …

More news in the European mobile payment dongle space this morning: Rocket Internet’s Payleven is expanding the availability of its Android app — previously only offered in Germany — to three more markets: the U.K., Italy and Poland, where the app can now be downloaded from Google’s Play Store.

Payleven’s iOS app is available in all markets it operates in — namely: the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy and Brazil — but Payleven said the Android ecosystem is a harder nut to crack, thanks to its diversity of hardware. A spokeswoman for Payleven said: “As Android decives have different hardware components, it needs refinement to ensure app liablity. So to actually launch Android perfectly in many countries is a long [process].”

Despite being more complex, having Android support is essential to growing user-base since Android is such a dominant smartphone platform — accounting for some 70 percent of all smartphone shipments globally. It’s also particularly popular in Europe — accounting for more than 70 percent of sales in Germany for instance (Kantar‘s figure).

Payleven’s Android app supports a range of Android devices — focusing on “popular” handsets including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy SII and Galaxy SIII, and the HTC One Series line: the One X, S and V.  The app allows merchants to accept card payments by using the dongle plugged into a compatible smartphone (or tablet). Payleven then takes a per transaction fee of 2.75%.

Payleven said all its apps support its current Swipe and Sign dongle — but will also support card payment processing via an upcoming Chip PIN dongle, due to launch in all Payleven’s European markets in early 2013.

It says it’s adding a Chip PIN product as the technology is more secure and is required to enter certain markets (such as France). ”Payleven is aiming to redefine the highest standard for mobile payment applications by offering a mobile ChipPIN solution with the only fully compliant card reader to accept all major debit and credit cards and provide users with full fraud protection,” said Ian Marsh, Payleven UK CEO co-founder, in a statement.


Payleven is a device that attaches to your smartphone or tablet with iOS or Android which allows credit card processing.

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13 Dec 12 Cheaper Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with latest Jelly Bean Update to Appear in …


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The original Samsung Galaxy Note 2 also sported a 1.6GHz quad-core CPU accompanied by 2GB of RAM, which we may not see or will be replaced if these rumors of a cheaper variant proved to be accurate.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2′s 8-megapixel rear camera has been around for some time now. There is a chance it could remain intact for any new budget device. A 5-megapixel replacement is another possibility.

This is not the first time that Samsung will make a cheaper version of its popular device. The tech giant released the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, which is the downgraded version of the best-selling Samsung Galaxy S3. The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini also comes with the latest Jelly Bean.

Samsung’s phablet made quite a buzz as it boasts some amazing features such as incredibly fast processor, massive screen display, S-Pen and 4G/LTE connectivity. Below are the comparison of the specs and features of the two devices.

The unlocked version of the Galaxy Note 2 costs $899. However, Australian carriers offer affordable plans for the device. At the launch event, Samsung demonstrated some special perks of the device for Aussies. The smartphone will offer a split-screen mode on the smartphone-tablet hybrid, which allows users to open two apps at a time.

Early this week, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 received the official OTA update of the 4.1.2 version of the Jelly Bean OS has started to roll out for the international or unlocked version of the device.

According to SamMobile, the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy Note 2 is now rolling out in Poland and the Galaxy Note 2 LTE Android 4.1.2 update is rolling out in Sweden. The international Galaxy Note 2 possesses a model number of GT-N7100 while the Galaxy Note 2 LTE features GT-N7105. Both updates are currently limited to these areas though we suspect that more regions will see the update in the near future.

The update brings slight changes and additions to the device as the Notifications in that the panel is now customizable allowing owners to tailor it to their liking.

It also now offers a way to toggle some features on and off through the menu including the device’s powerful Multi Window View feature. Users can also disable the brightness slider from within the Notification Menu as well.

The status bar is now black as opposed to gray, the browser is now improved over the last version of the app and Samsung has added Swype-like functionality to the keyboard on the Galaxy Note 2. There also is a new ink effect that is on the lock screen.

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25 May 12 Android Malware Surges, Botnet Business Booms

The volume of malware surged in the first three months of 2012. In particular, there’s been a flood of new types of rootkits, password-stealing Trojan applications, malware targeting Android users, and botnet infections.

This finding comes by way of a new report from security vendor McAfee.

“Malicious code is on the rise again, plain and simple,” said David Marcus, director of security research for McAfee Labs, in a related blog post. “We are seeing more malware than in the recent past, and you can count on that figure to rise in the coming year. In particular, mobile platforms present today’s cybercriminal with an almost irresistible target, specifically Android-based for now, but that can certainly evolve.”

[ Cyber-scams and malware are expected to escalate as we approach the 2012 Olympics. Read more at London 2012 Olympics Scammers Seek Malicious Gold . ]

The number of new malicious applications targeting mobile devices leapt from about 500 in the fourth quarter of 2011 to over 6,000 in the first quarter of 2012. The jump was targeted almost solely at the Android platform, according to the McAfee report. It also noted that the vast majority of Android malware targets mobile users based in Russia and China, and comes not via the official Google Play application store but via third-party sources.

From a corporate information security standpoint, the most prevalent types of network-based attacks seen between January and the end of March 2012 were remote procedure calls, SQL injection attacks, and browser cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

Geographically, the United States took top marks when it came to SQL injection attacks, both as the region from which most of these attacks were launched and as the biggest target. The United States also saw the largest number of machines compromised by botnets, which, as McAfee reported, are “often used as a proxy for spam, botnets, denial of service, or other types of malicious activities.”

On the good news front, spam volumes have recently been decreasing, with McAfee recording about 1 trillion spam messages circulating worldwide per month. Decreases were most significant in Brazil, Indonesia, and Russia, while increases in spam were found in China, Germany, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom, according to the report. The United Kingdom in particular is no surprise, given the increase in spam, phishing, and malware attacks that are related to the July 2012 Summer Olympics that will be happening in London.

If spam volumes are down, however, botnet activity is up. All told, McAfee saw about 5 million new botnet infections–2 million alone due to the Cutwail (a.k.a. Pushdo) botnet–during the first three months of 2012. The biggest increase in the overall number of botnet infections, meanwhile, was in Columbia, Japan, Poland, Spain, and the United States.

Without a doubt, the botnet business is booming–and for a price, anyone can buy in. For example, McAfee researchers found that a botnet known as Citadel, available via a malware-as-a-service model, costs $2,400, plus $125 for renting the required “bot builder and admin panel.” Meanwhile, for an additional $395, users can add an upgrade that brings “automatic updates for antivirus evasion,” according to the McAfee report, although each update then costs $15.

First detected in December 2011 and based on the published Zeus financial malware source code, Citadel has quickly become one of the most rapidly adopted profit-driven attack toolkits, meaning it’s designed to separate consumers from their bank account and credit card details.

Meanwhile, the price of the Darkness botnet marketed by “SVAS/Noncenz,” which is designed for launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against websites, starts at $450–with no free updates or add-on modules–but can rise to $1,000 for lifetime free upgrades and an attack module that will grab passwords from infected PCs.

Finally, the latest version of the Carberp financial botnet, which is designed to steal bank account data or even Facebook e-cash vouchers, costs $2,500. While Russian authorities announced on March 20, 2012, that they’d arrested the gang behind Carberp, the new version debuted the next day.

Think your corporate website isn’t vulnerable to a SQL injection attack? Start rethinking. SQL injection is among the most prevalent–and most dangerous–techniques for exploiting Web applications and attacking back-end databases that house critical business information at companies of every size. In our Stop SQL Injection report, we explain how SQL injection works and how to secure your Web apps and databases against it. (Free registration required.)

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24 May 12 Google Android, Windows Malware Skyrockets in Q1: McAfee Report

Mobile malware targeting Google Android devices exploded in the first few months of 2012, according to a new report from McAfee.

Nearly 7,000 Android threats were identified and collected through the end of the 2012 first quarter, according to McAfee’s threat report.

This represents a more than 1,200 percent increase when compared with the 600 Android samples identified by the company by the end of 2011. The majority of these threats originate from third-party app stores as opposed to Google Play, the security firm said.

“I’d definitely steer clear of any third-party sites providing Android apps,” said Adam Wosotowsky, messaging data architect at McAfee Labs.

“The Android marketplace is open to anyone who wants to put their app on it unless that app doesn’t pass Google’s multi-layered quality checks. So you obviously wouldn’t want an app that couldn’t be put onto Android’s marketplace and I can’t think of any good reasons why a developer would say that they don’t want their app on the android marketplace but want it on third-party sites,” Wosotowsky said.

Malware targeting Windows PCs jumped as well, reaching the highest level detected in a single quarter in four years, according to the firm. In the fourth quarter of 2011, McAfee Labs had collected more than 75 million malware samples.

In the first quarter of 2012, the company detected 83 million pieces. Driving that increase was a bump in the number of rootkits and password stealers, with the latter reaching approximately 1 million samples. The main medium for propagating highly targeted attacks is email, with nearly all targeted attacks beginning with a spear phishing message.

Earlier this year, Google announced it was improving security for Android’s app marketplace with a malware detection system nicknamed “Bouncer,” which analyzes new applications before they are sold in the market to see if they contain known malware.

Financial profit is the main motivator for mobile malware, according to McAfee. Overall, 8,000 total mobile malware samples were collected during the quarter.

Though Mac malware was in the news during the past two months due to growth of the Flashback Trojan, the amount of Mac malware is still relatively tiny. According to McAfee, roughly 250 new Mac malware samples were detected in the quarter.

The botnet business continues to thrive, though global spam levels dropped to approximately 1 trillion monthly spam messages by the end of March. Decreases were the most significant in Brazil, Indonesia, Brazil and Russia, while China, Germany, Spain, Poland and the U.K. saw increases.

Botnet growth increased in the first quarter, reaching nearly five million infections at its highest point. Columbia, Japan, Poland, Spain, and the United States were the areas with the largest increase in botnet activity, while Indonesia, Portugal and South Korea were regions that continued to decline. The most prevalent botnet during the quarter was Cutwail, with more than two million new infections.

The United States was found to host most botnet control servers and is the location point for the vast majority of new malicious Websites, with an average of 9,300 new bad sites recorded each day. The United States was also the primary source of SQL injection and cross-site scripting attacks during the quarter, and had the highest number of victims of both kinds of attacks, the report stated.

“In the first quarter of 2012, we have already detected eight million new malware samples, showing that malware authors are continuing their unrelenting development of new malware,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, in a statement.

“The same skills and techniques that were sharpened on the PC platform are increasingly being extended to other platforms, such as mobile and Mac; and as more homes and businesses use these platforms the attacks will spread, which is why all users, no matter their platforms, should take security and online safety precautions,” Weafer’s statement said.

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