Google introduces user reviews for Assistant apps

Google is striving to enrich the Home and Assistant experiences by introducing new actions and integrations with third-party services. But as the library of Google Assistant capabilities keeps growing, it becomes harder for users to sift through the list and find the best, most relevant features for them. That’s why Google has decided to take a page from Amazon’s book with Alexa Skills, and introduce user reviews for Google Assistant apps and integrations.

Right now, you can read and leave reviews using the Android app. Ratings and reviews are not yet visible in the Assistant …


Typical U.S. Apple iPhone user downloaded 45 apps last year, up 10% from 2016

According to the latest data from app researchers Sensor Tower, the average U.S. Apple iPhone user spent an estimated $58 on apps last year, up 23% or $11 from the $47 spent back in 2016. The app category that received the most money from stateside iPhone users was mobile games. These apps accounted for 62% of  2017 app purchases made by those sporting Apple’s iconic smartphone.

The average U.S. iPhone user purchased $36 worth of mobile games from the App Store last year, up from $32 in 2016. Spending on entertainment apps in 2017 surged 57% last year, allowing it to overtook music …

Under Armour MyFitnessPall app hacked, exposing data of 150 million user accounts

Sports apparel company Under Armour has gained quite the popularity in the past few years and you’ve probably noticed that. It now competes with the top dogs of the industry, including Nike, Adidas, and Puma. Under Armour also offers a fitness app and service called MyFitnessPal. It tracks your calorie income, has info about numerous diets and fitness programs, you get the idea. Now, before you call us SportsArena (actually, that sounds somewhat compelling) let’s go straight to the topic – it turns out MyFitnessPal has been hacked, resulting in the breach of 150 million accounts. Yikes. 

The …

Minimalistic or heavy user interface: what do you prefer?

There are a ton of smartphone manufacturers out there. And while many of them take different decisions on how to combine and use hardware, there are two general software philosophies that different phone slingers adhere to.

Some deliver a light user interface, which is stingy on features and customization but offers quick orientation and snappy performance.

Others will throw a bowl of spaghetti into the feature pot, stir it good and then throw all of them at the wall. Whatever sticks makes it to be on the phone’s interface. The result is a highly-customizable and distinctly-looking …

Study finds Android user loyalty is actually higher than iOS

Android users are very loyal to their phones and they are not switching to iPhones as much as you might think. In fact, Android loyalty has remained at a record high 91%, higher than the 86% loyalty rate for iOS users, when measured as percentage of US customers who stayed with their mobile operating system when they upgraded in 2017. The data comes from a new study by analysts from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) and contradicts the usual Apple narrative about unsurpassed brand loyalty.

The graph above shows that Android brand loyalty …

T-Mobile user gets separated from his bitcoins, sues for carrier negligence in a phone number heist

The ongoing identity theft fraud, where scammers get a hold on your personal details, including your phone number, and try to access bank and other payment accounts you might have connected to it, has resulted in at least one lawsuit so far. One Carlos Tapang of Washington state is now blaming T-Mobile that it has “improperly allowed wrongdoers to access” his wireless account, ultimately resulting in a drain of his cryptocurrency stash after initiating a password change request.

The scam has been around for a few months already, and carriers have put warnings in their support …

Apple admits it was questioned by the U.S., says it would never degrade the user experience

Yesterday, we told you that the SEC and DOJ were reportedly investigating Apple’s decision to throttle CPU speed on certain models. These units have weak batteries that might not be up to powering an iPhone through a complex task. And that could lead these handsets to shutdown, requiring the user to reboot the phone. Those with a tendency to reach for a conspiracy theory to explain everything, say that Apple slowed down these older models on purpose in order to generate sales of its newer handsets.

Today, Apple admitted that it has been questioned by the U.S. government in reference to its …

Sonic games on Android platform may have leaked user location data, SEGA investigating

Last week, security company Pradeo issued a statement that claimed many of SEGA’s Sonic games listed on Google Play Store are leaking user location data and device info. Among the mentioned titles – Sonic Dash, Sonic the Hedgehog Classic, and Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom are said to have security issues that could have affected between 120 million and 600 million users.

Those numbers are mostly based on the number of downloads each of these games have accumulated on the Google Play Store, so their accuracy might be a bit off.

According to Pradeo, each of these games have 15 vulnerabilities …

User spots OnePlus 3T sending their clipboard data to servers in China

OnePlus gets in hot water every now and again over privacy concerns, and now, there’s another little controversy brewing. A keen OnePlus 3T user who happened to be monitoring the traffic that goes in and out of their network noticed something weird when they updated to the latest beta build for their device. Apparently, the handset was sending clipboard information directly to AliBaba Group servers.

So, basically, anything you hit “copy” on — web addresses, contacts, photos, etc. — can be sent over to AliBaba, which is one of the biggest e-commerce sites to come out of China.

OnePlus …

Every Apple user needs these three accessories in the new year

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While some of you unicorns out there may have been wishing and praying to find a baby mop or a selfie drone under the tree this year, the vast majority were probably thinking AirPods or bust. And if someone really loves you, you may have even scored a new iPhone X or MacBook Pro — and are preparing to be the envy of the office (naysayers be damned).

But like any new Apple device owner, you’re likely discovering some inconvenient changes those sneaky Apple developers popped into their machinery. No USB-A port on your MacBook? No headphone port on your iPhone X? Yep. No turning back now. Read more…

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