Xiaomi is working on a new MIUI feature that aims to reduce the installation of malicious apps on its phones. Dubbed MIUI Pure Mode, the feature blocks installation of unknown apps to enhance user security.
MIUI Pure Mode on Xiaomi Phones
According to Xiaomi, almost 40 percent of apps installed on phones running MIUI have never passed the company’s security audits. Moreover, almost 10 percent of these apps are considered malicious. To prevent unsuspecting users from installing apps that might compromise privacy and security, Xiaomi is now testing Pure Mode in MIUI 12.5.
Pure Mode is an upcoming installation mode where users won’t have the option to sideload apps. This should help prevent malicious app installations from sketchy third-party sources. However, the company clarifies that it won’t force everyone to use Pure Mode. Hence, you can choose to turn off Pure Mode if you consider yourself a power user who often sideloads apps.
As of this writing, Xiaomi is accepting testers for MIUI Pure Mode in China. The slots will open from September 6 to 10. If the feature proves to be an instant hit among early adopters, we could expect future updates in the stable version to ship with Pure mode. While there’s no word on the availability of the feature outside China, it doesn’t seem like the company would restrict a safety feature to its home country.
MIUI’s Pure Mode seems like a promising feature to help users that are not tech-savvy, especially elderly people.
WhatsApp has imposed bans on over 3 million Indian accounts during June and July this year. The messaging giant banned the accounts based on user reports on its platform, its Indian Grievance Officer, and reports of its automated tools. The company states that it took the steps to ban the accounts to keep its platform safe and spam-free.
The Facebook-owned company recently published its User Safety Monthly Report under the New IT Rules, 2021 of India. As per the report, WhatsAppbanned 3.027 million accounts in India from June 16 to July 31. Although only 73 accounts were banned based on user reports, the rest were detected by WhatsApp’s automated abuse detection system on the platform.
The report states that out of the 3 million bans, WhatsApp received only 316 users appeals for bans through its appointed India Grievance Officer. Out of these, only 73 accounts were actually banned by the company for harmful behavior on the platform. Furthermore, amongst the total 594 grievances received from Indian users, 137 were related to account support. The rest were related to safety and product-related issues.
So, the majority of the bans were detected by the platform’s automated tools. As per WhatsApp, its automated system for abuse detection works at three stages of the life cycle of an account – at registration, during a chat session, and when the system receives any negative feedback from other users. The system is operated by a team of analysts to evaluate complex cases and further improve the system.
Plus, WhatsApp is also working on other features like calling to verify the legitimacy of user accounts. However, the company might also soon ease the ban review process for banned accounts on the platform.
So, if you have a grievance regarding the services and features of WhatsApp, you can send an email to [email protected] And if you are being harassed or spammed by accounts on the instant messaging platform, you can block those accounts on the app. WhatsApp will take it as negative feedback for the said accounts and will take necessary actions.
Device carriers and manufacturers have never quite understood users – we don’t like or need bloatware. Yet, Verizon decided all Android users needed AppFlash on their devices. It quietly appeared on existing devices in 2017 and later became preinstalled. All users want to know one thing: what is AppFlash, and is it really useful?
What Is AppFlash?
According to Verizon, AppFlash is a content discovery service. It’s designed to be an all-in-one app for finding everything you need to make life easier. From recommending apps and restaurants to movies and getting rides, all you have to do is ask. On the surface, it doesn’t really sound that bad. After all, Google works similarly when you’re signed in, and sometimes, even when you’re not signed in.
One good feature is that the app is designed to automatically stream any content you need without having to download another app to do so if you need a specific app to view or stream content on AppFlash.
It comes preinstalled on Verizon’s Android devices. However, it won’t look like a traditional app. Instead, it works as a type of left homescreen. If it’s enabled, all you have to do is swipe left from your homescreen to view it. And yes, it takes the entire screen.
While the feature was first introduced in 2017, it wasn’t well received. Since so many users started looking for “what is appflash” along with how to remove it, Verizon stopped installing it on most devices. Verizon lists which devices are still supported, which helps you to know if you’re affected by this app or not. These only include certain Moto, ASUS, and LG devices.
Is It Safe?
The answer is yes and no. Much like any app that provides personalized recommendations on your phone, AppFlash collects user data as you use your device. This includes your location data, even when you’re not using the app. It’s not really any better or worse than other popular apps that track your app usage, location, and preferences.
According to Verizon, “In newer versions of the app, when you choose to enable location, it will be collected even when the app is not in use.” If this leaves you feeling less than safe, you’re not alone. However, many apps that ask for location permission do the same thing, especially search engine and social media apps.
The app is actually available to download from the Google Play Store, if your device is compatible. Most Android 10 and later devices aren’t compatible. As you can see, users aren’t exactly thrilled with it, giving it just 3.6 stars.
How to Enable and Disable AppFlash
You can enable or disable it yourself at any time via your device’s settings. The exact steps may vary slightly based on your Android device and system.
Go to “Settings -> Display.”
Tap “Home screen.”
Choose “Left Home screen.”
Tap AppFlash to enable it. If you want to disable it, select another left home screen option or select None. Tap OK to save your changes.
If you installed AppFlash yourself, you’ll have the option to uninstall it like any other Android app. If it’s preinstalled, it may not even be listed in your available apps. If it is, the only option is to disable it.
Alternatively, you might see an AppFlash slider instead of a Left Home Screen option. If so, turn the AppFlash slider to Off.
Dealing with AppFlash Crashes
Whether you like AppFlash or not, a common issue is crashing. Since the app pulls data from many other apps on your device to customize your experience, you might see an error message saying “AppFlash has crashed” on any number of installed apps. You don’t have to just put up with it though.
If AppFlash was installed without your permission, you can’t uninstall it without rooting your device. If you did install it, uninstalling it will prevent the crashing issue.
Most often, though, the issue is tied to Google Chrome and Android System WebView. Updating both of these apps fixes the crashing problem for most users. You can also try updating the app that’s giving you the error message.
Most apps like AppFlash give you a search box and allow you to follow topics you’re interested in. Based on how you use your device, results are more personalized. Simply signing in to your favorite search engine or browser gives you similar results. Any news, RSS feed reader, or content aggregation app brings you stories on the topics you love.
The more an app personalizes your experience based on use (especially when it sees what you do in other apps), the less private it is. The key is to mix convenience and privacy to get the experience you’re most comfortable with.
After releasing Battlegrounds Mobile India for Android earlier this month, Krafton rolled out the first major update to the game recently. Although the July Update added a bunch of new changes, including new guns and a new Mission Ignition mode, players faced some serious in-game issues while playing BGMI. These include issues while purchasing the in-game currency, issues with cosmetic items, and more.
BGMI Issues After July Update
So, after BGMI players updated their game to the latest version (v1.5.0), they started facing in-game issues. Not long after, Krafton acknowledged the issues and said that it is working to fix them as soon as possible.
Amongst others, one of the issues resulted in players being stuck on the loading screen when they equipped the Unicorn set outfit in the game. Krafton has already addressed the issue but has not been able to fix it yet. So, the company recommends players to not use the Unicorn set outfit until the issue is fixed.
Another major issue faced by players includes a problem with UC redemption after purchasing the in-game currency in BGMI. This is a significant issue that is preventing players to redeem their purchased UC by giving an unusual “UC not being claimed intermittently after purchase” error message. So, Krafton says that if players face the said issue during their purchase, they should immediately reach out to the in-game customer care service from Settings -> Basic -> Customer Service, and raise an appropriate ticket.
Other than these, some players faced issues relating to Login Day 2’s reward for the “Bring on the Heat” event, which showed Mission Card (S19), whereas Season 19 had already ended in the game. Krafton has already fixed the issue and has compensated affected players with a Mission Card (M1).
Krafton has also listed some other issues on its tracking page that include “not able to claim intermittently rewards from Daily Special Bundle” and “moving to a wrong page when using Supply Medal claimed from Advanced Supplies Crate.”
So, if you are facing issues in Battlegrounds Mobile India after the recent update, know that you are not the only one. So, until Krafton fixes the known issues, try to avoid the functions or items that could trigger them in-game.
Android 12 brought several revamped features to the table, both in design and functionality. Now Google has announced a new option on Android 12, during the Google for Games Developers Summit 2021, that will allow you to play your favourite games while they download in the background.
Google calls the innovation “play as you download” which makes it possible to start a game while the download is still in progress. This new function promises to be especially useful in games whose installation requires the download of very large files.
All you have to do is download the game engine, the user interface, the first level and, if necessary, the start sequence. Most of the time, the largest amounts of data relate to other areas of a game such as other levels, graphics, sound, music and finished video clips. With this new functionality, 400 MB game can be playable half the time of what it used to be.
The feature will be available in games that use the Play Asset Delivery system on Android 12. The reason is that with Android 12, Google is introducing a new app bundle format as well as a new file system called Incremental FS, which is required for this.
Through this distribution method, Legacy Expansion Files (OBB) are replaced in games that weigh more than 150MB. According to Google, developers who already use this technology in their games will not have to perform any additional steps to activate the option. However, the company will also be able to make available a new Android game development kit with the necessary tools for implementation.
It is already Google’s third attempt to speed up the installation of Android games in particular. First came the streaming apps function in 2015, followed by instant apps in 2018. So far none of the mentioned attempts by Google has really caught on.
Without a doubt, we all can agree that Google keyboard or Gboard is the most powerful and best keyboard app available today for Android. In this article, we gonna list some of the best lesser-known Gboard hidden features and tricks for Android you should start to use right now to master on this awesome keyboard.
Nevertheless, which keyboard we are using we can’t deny Gboard for Android is one of its kind – with its glide typing and integrated Google search, Gboard rules over other so-called modern keyboards.
If you are still not a Gboard user, head on to Google Play and install the app. Although Gboard for iOS is still lacking behind many features compared to its Android version, so most of these listed Gboard hidden features are only available for Android users.
Gboard Hidden Features:
1. Built-In Google Search
Let’s start with the integration of Google Search itself with the Gboard keyboard, one of the unique feature none other keyboard apps had. Just tap on the “ G ” button on the top right corner and type in your search keyword. And with just tapping the result, you could share it with others easily. So now onwards use this Gboard Google Search feature to look up things quickly without leaving your chat window.
2. Integrated With Google Translate
How about sending a message to your Chinese friend without knowing a single letter in Chinese. With integrated Google Translator on Gboard now it’s possible to send somebody a message in their native language. You just have to tap the “G” button and choose the Google Translate tool. From there, choose the input and output languages, then whatever you type will automatically be interpreted.
3. Say It – Gboard Types It
Integrated with Google’s smart voice recognition technology in Gboard, now it’s easy to type long messages without using a keyboard. Just tap the microphone icon in the top-right corner to activate the mic and then dictate what you want to type.
4. Add More Languages
Now you need no new keyboard app to type messages in your native language. Gboard offers almost all popular regional languages and national languages. You simply have to go to Gboard Settings > Languages > Add Keyboard to include your favorite language to the list. After adding, next time when you open Gboard, simply hold on the spacebar button to choose between the language you need to type.
5. Hidden Punctuation Quick Access
We normally tap on ”?123” to access punctuations and special characters in the keyboard, but what if I say you can access major punctuations a little bit faster. Just long-press the period button to pop up the hidden punctuation quick access menu, where you just slide your finger to choose the one you needed.
6. Hidden Fractions
Most of the keyboard out there doesn’t have some important character set, one such example – fractions – even though if they provided it there is no easy way for a general Android user to find it or know how to use. But with Google Gboard, users only have to long press any number in the keyboard to get the list of common fractions that use the long-pressed number as a numerator.
7. Now Selecting Text Is Handier
Sometimes it makes us mad to select a particular sentence or word from the middle of a long message. Gboard has an inbuilt tool for you to make your text selecting and copy process easier. Tap on “G” icon and choose additional options to get “Text Editing”. With this option, you easily maneuver cursor around a long written article just with the directional keys and copy/paste words in it.
8. Use Spacebar As A Trackpad
Sometimes it really difficult to pinpoint typing cursor exactly on the place where we forgot a letter or misspelled a word — some people even clear the whole words after the error just to correct the misspelled. But with Gboard it’s easy to move your cursor around the words. Just swipe your finger across the spacebar to move the cursor, just like a laptop mouse — swipe left or right to move cursor location to that respective direction.
9. One Hand Mode Makes Typing Easy
If you using a 5.5 inch+ phone, then it is a really clumsy process or maybe almost difficult to type in with just one hand. But this Gboard hidden feature has provided a solution for this, go to additional options and choose “One-handed” to activate the one-hand mode. In one-hand mode, you can readjust the position of the keyboard according to your comfort. So next time, typing with one hand on a big screened phone is a piece of cake.
10. Tweak The Gboard Appearance
Unlike other keyboards, Gboard offers pretty good and simple themes for users. Also, it offers a custom theme option where users can use their images from the gallery as a keyboard background.
All these features are there on Gboard but somehow people fail to utilize the full potential of this keyboard app, thus makes them Gboard hidden features. Next time use them and experience the real power on Gboard.
The Israeli security firm Check Point Research has discovered a vulnerability in Qualcomm’s MSM (Mobile Station Modem) that affects millions of Android phones around the world.
The firm claims that MSM is an integral part of Qualcomm chips dating back to the early 1990s. It is even part of the company’s latest 5G chips and can be found in the latest models from Samsung, Xiaomi, Google, LG, OnePlus, and more.
Check Point’s report reveals that up to 30 percent of all Android phones have this modem software from Qualcomm that includes this vulnerability. Hackers can use the vulnerability to inject malicious code into the modem from Android, which gives the attacker the possibility to access the call and SMS history, as well as listen to the user’s conversations.
In some cases, hackers can use this vulnerability to even unlock your SIM card and would allow you to pass the limitations imposed by the operators.
The number of mobiles that may be affected is not yet clear, but as the Check Point spokesperson mentions, anyone who has a mobile with a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip without having updated it since November could be at risk.
Qualcomm is aware of the vulnerability and already issued a fix. Precisely in the month of December of last year, Qualcomm sent the patches to the manufacturers and recommends that users update their devices to the latest version available.
Sideloading apps on an Android device is often used as a way to bypass restrictions (such as when an app is not available in your region) or to get updates faster. Sometimes it can be the only option when a desired app is not available via the Play Store for one reason or another.
In order to make sure the APKs you are about to install are safe, it would be wise to scan them first to make sure they don’t contain anything harmful. Fortunately, there are tools that let you do that, and we’ve gathered some of them for you here.
Why It’s Recommended to Scan APK Files
Sideloading apps works well, but there are some disadvantages. For one, sideloading is not allowed on Android devices by default. You will have to allow installation from unknown sources in Settings to be able to do it. Moreover, you won’t be getting updates for these apps automatically. You have to remember to update the app manually once an update becomes available in your area.
A more serious disadvantage is the inherent security risk that it represents. Because APK files don’t come from the Play Store, you can’t be sure that the app is as its developer intended it to be. In some cases, APK files are pirated to bypass some restrictions (such as in-app purchases) or, worse yet, injected with malware that will compromise your phone’s security.
One way to prevent these nasty viruses from infecting your phone is to download APKs from trusted sources only. APK Mirror, for example, is generally accepted by the Android community as being a safe place to get APK files.
Another way you can prevent malware from being loaded onto your phone is by scanning your APK files for viruses before installing. There are a few services that can help you scan an APK. What follows are the best ones you can use.
Metadefender allows you to upload an APK file to be scanned by multiple antivirus engines. Files are treated as archives, meaning they will be extracted so that each individual file is scanned, but a scan of the whole unextracted APK file will be performed as well. Users can simply drag and drop their files, and a report will be compiled in a few seconds.
You can access the Metadefender service on your PC, but it’s also possible to scan files directly from your Android phone. While there’s no dedicated mobile app, you can still use it via your handset’s browser.
Metadefender can be used to scan almost anything – including IP addresses, URLs, files and more – not just APKs. So if you ever feel suspicious about something online, this is a great tool to have at your disposal.
VirusTotal is another alternative that works similarly to the previous one. It analyzes your APK files and helps to detect all kinds of viruses and malware that may be present. The service is easy to use: just upload your files to make sure they are bug-free. Additionally, you can copy-paste URLs in VirusTotal or use the search function to check IP addresses, domains or file hash.
VirusTotal is also available as a mobile app, although its use is limited to scanning the apps you’ve already installed on your device. It can be downloaded from the Play Store for free.
Autocorrect is a constant in most modern Android phones, but sometimes it can do more harm than good. While it is supposed to help users avoid misspellings, autocorrect can easily misjudge what you’re trying to type and turn your intended words into something else entirely. As it happens, most of us have experience with autocorrect fails and are aware of how they can easily hijack the entire conversation and cause confusion.
If you’ve noticed these autocorrect mistakes happen more often than not, it may be a good idea to turn off autocorrect on your Android device.
Turn Off Autocorrect for Gboard
Most Android devices these days come with the Gboard keyboard installed by default. If you rely on Gboard for your typing activities, this is how you can get rid of autocorrect.
1. Open the Settings app on your phone.
2. Scroll down until you find System and tap on it.
3. Select “Language & input.”
4. Next, click on “Virtual keyboard.”
5. You should see a list of all the keyboards installed on your device. Select the one you’re currently using, in this case Gboard.
6. Once you’ve accessed Gboard’s Settings, look for “Text Correction” and tap on it.
7. Scroll down until you reach the Correction section and toggle off the Auto-correction option. Alternatively, you can leave auto-correction on and also enable the option below, which will allow you to “Undo auto-correct on backspace.”
8. That’s it. Now you can go back to your messaging app without having to worry that you’ll end up typing something silly.
If your autocorrect is currently off, and you want to turn it back on, simply follow the steps above to toggle the “Auto-correction” option back on.
Considering there are many other options when it comes to keyboards, you should probably know that most of them give you the option to turn off autocorrect in their respective Settings panels.
Disable Autocorrect If You’re Using a Different Virtual Keyboard
1. Once again, open the Settings app on your phone.
2. Go to “Settings -> Languages & input -> Virtual keyboard.”
3. Select the keyboard you are using. In this case, we are using Chrooma.
4. You’ll be taken directly to the app.
5. Tap on Language at the bottom of the display.
6. Select “Text correction.”
7. From the pop-up menu that appears, tap on “Auto-correct” to view options. There are a few more options in Chrooma than in Gboard.
8. You can opt to turn off the feature entirely or select how aggressive you want your auto-corrector to be. Choose between Modest, Aggressive or Very Aggressive.
These steps vary depending on the keyboard you’re using, but you should find the relevant options if you take the time to fiddle through the apps’ menus.
How to Disable Autocorrect on Samsung
If you’re on a Samsung phone, then you’re most likely using the Samsung keyboard to type. To turn off autocorrect on your device, find an option called “Auto replace” in your phone’s Settings.
1. Open Settings on your device.
2. Navigate to “General management” and select “Language and input.”
3. Select “Samsung keyboard settings.”
4. From there you should turn off “Predictive Text,” which also disables the “Auto replace” feature so that you can type in peace.
Autocorrect can often save us from making silly mistakes when typing messages, especially if we are in a hurry, but it can also make us look bad by selecting words we don’t want. If you feel confident enough that you won’t make any (or as many) mistakes without autocorrect, then you can turn this feature off.
The new Android 12 Developer Preview 3 gives a look at numerous new features and fixes bugs. Again, in addition to the obligatory bug fixes and optimizations, Google also provides smaller new features and adjustments that should be tried out with regard to Android 12.
Faster machine learning
Standardizing GPU compute
Video encoding improvements
Improved app launch experience
Quad bayer camera sensor support
More-flexible backup configurations
Better debugging for native crashes
New permission for exact alarms
New call notification template
Camera2 vendor extensions
Rich haptic experiences
Improved web linking
This time, Google would like to have put its main focus on a better “user experience” and increased stability of the apps. Compatibility tests for the different APIs, libraries, and toolkits should make it easier for developers to adapt their apps for Android 12.
The third developer preview of Android 12, with its manual installation routine, is also clearly aimed at developers and experienced users. But if you already have an earlier Android 12 preview running, you can perform an OTA update.
Developers can install the Android 12 Developer Preview 3 on the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5 and see the changes to the operating system and their effects in test combination with your apps.
According to the new developer preview, the first public beta version of Android 12 will follow in May 2021. It is likely that Google will present them at the virtual Google I/O, which will take place from May 18-20, 2021. Platform stability is to be achieved in August 2021.