Gizmodo: New Google Play Store Rules Aim to Weed Out Spammy Apps

Gizmodo: New Google Play Store Rules Aim to Weed Out Spammy Apps. “In an attempt to boost confidence in its Play Store offerings, Google has announced new rules that will look to weed out misleading, low-quality apps from its marketplace. In an update published Thursday, the company announced new metadata policies designed to moderate how developers present their apps. The rules, meant to drive more ‘meaningful downloads’ for consumers, will take effect later this year.”

Idaho Press: Connecting manufacturers: U of I student helps build app for Idaho companies statewide

Idaho Press: Connecting manufacturers: U of I student helps build app for Idaho companies statewide. “Idaho has more than 3,000 manufacturers. What it doesn’t have is a way for them to find and connect with one another. Nicole Handlen, an economics and international studies student at the University of Idaho, is changing that with an app. The foundation of any app is data. Handlen’s research started by identifying as many ways to collect data on manufacturers in Idaho as possible. The senior’s research — and resulting database — created the most extensive picture of the Gem State’s manufacturing sector.”

BBC: Apple charged over ‘anti-competitive’ app policies

BBC: Apple charged over ‘anti-competitive’ app policies. “Apple has been charged with breaking EU competition rules over the way it runs its App Store. European Commission anti-trust regulator Margrethe Vestager tweeted that ‘consumers are losing out’. It relates to charges brought two years ago by music streaming app Spotify which claimed that Apple was stifling innovation in that industry.”

National Park Service: Find your next adventure with the new National Park Service app

National Park Service: Find your next adventure with the new National Park Service app. “Created by park rangers with visitors in mind, the NPS App gives the public up-to-date information about all 423 national parks in one easy-to-use app. Visitors can download the NPS App in the iOS App Store and Google Play Store to plan a trip, find interactive maps, download maps and tours ahead of time and find things to do and places to visit during National Park Week and beyond.”

CNN: App makers blast Apple and Google in Senate hearing on app store policies

CNN: App makers blast Apple and Google in Senate hearing on app store policies. “Apple and Google faced a battery of accusations on Wednesday from prominent app developers, including Spotify and Tile, who alleged that the large tech platforms have abused their dominance and harmed competition. In a lengthy Senate hearing, the app makers said Apple and Google’s rules surrounding in-app payments and app updates allow the tech giants to choke off rival services, and that they engage in retaliation when app developers refuse to comply.”

KOMO News: Mental health apps may expose more than you want them to

KOMO News: Mental health apps may expose more than you want them to. “The apps are becoming more popular and offer a range of options, from guided meditations to appointments with a licensed therapist. But the mental health apps aren’t always covered by the same medical privacy laws that shield information shared with medical care providers in person. When federal HIPPA rules do apply, they may not cover all the data collected by digital apps.”

BBC: Parler set to return to Apple’s App Store

BBC: Parler set to return to Apple’s App Store. “Apple is to allow the controversial social media app Parler, a popular platform with far-right supporters, back onto its App Store. The app was pulled following the deadly US Capitol riots on 6 January. In a letter to two Republican lawmakers on Monday, Apple said Parler had made updates to its app and content moderation policy that would lead to it being reinstated.”

EurekAlert: Paranoia therapy app SlowMo helps people ‘slow down’ and manage their fears

EurekAlert: Paranoia therapy app SlowMo helps people ‘slow down’ and manage their fears. “A new clinical trial from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, & Neuroscience, in collaboration with Oxford University, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Sussex University, and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has established an innovative therapy as an effective means of treating paranoid thoughts in people experiencing psychosis.”

Gizmodo: Google Is Cracking Down on Apps That Can See Every Other App You Have Installed

Gizmodo: Google Is Cracking Down on Apps That Can See Every Other App You Have Installed. “In a recent announcement for developers, Google outlined an update to its policies that will restrict ‘broad app visibility’ in Android 11 or later. Broad app visibility is a function that allows apps to query your device and potentially see what other apps you have installed. Google says it considers data regarding other apps installed on a device to be sensitive information and is making this change to help increase user privacy.”

The Verge: Google’s Area 120 incubator releases a powerful AI document scanner for Android

The Verge: Google’s Area 120 incubator releases a powerful AI document scanner for Android. “Google’s Area 120, an internal incubator program for experimental projects, is releasing a new app today called Stack that borrows the technology underlying the search giant’s powerful DocAI enterprise tool for document analysis. The end result is a consumer document scanner app for Android that Google says vastly improves over your average mobile scanner by auto-categorizing documents into the titular stacks and enabling full text search through the contents of the documents and not just the title.”

IEEE Spectrum: New Tool Strips Manipulative “Dark Patterns” From Mobile Apps

IEEE Spectrum: New Tool Strips Manipulative “Dark Patterns” From Mobile Apps. “The mobile apps we use every day are surprisingly manipulative. Subtle design tricks known as ‘dark patterns’ nudge us into doing what the app maker wants—be that buying products or continuing to scroll. But now, researchers are fighting back with a new tool that strips these unwanted features out of Android apps.”

Washington Post: He believed Apple’s App Store was safe. Then a fake app stole his life savings in bitcoin.

Washington Post: He believed Apple’s App Store was safe. Then a fake app stole his life savings in bitcoin.. “Phillipe Christodoulou wanted to check his bitcoin balance last month, so he searched the App Store on his iPhone for ‘Trezor,’ the maker of a small hardware device he uses to store his cryptocurrency. Up popped the company’s padlock logo set against a bright green background. The app was rated close to five stars. He downloaded it and typed in his credentials. In less than a second, nearly all of his life savings — 17.1 bitcoin worth $600,000 at the time — was gone. The app was a fake, designed to trick people into thinking it was a legitimate app.”