The Google Play Store is getting a fresh coat of paint beginning today with the release of the official 4.0 update. What's so great about Google Play 4.0? Well, for starters, the images are larger, making it easier to see what exactly your about to download. Content grouping has also been improved, providing better recommendations of other items you might be interested in, and the checkout process also sees a slight overhaul as well. Google Play 4.0 starts worldwide rollout today, and may take a couple of weeks before hitting your particular device. It'll run on any smartphone or tablet running Android 2.2 or later.
Read More | Android Blog
The new version of Google Play Books for Android has a new feature that reads books to users on its own. The feature is titled, obviously, "read aloud," and works with most books without the need for the book to come with a "read aloud" enabled feature.
You'll also find a new pinch-to-zoom feature, as well as double-tap-to-zoom. Further, the app now makes recommendations on other books you might find enjoyable after you finish reading one book. Though, if you're like me, you prefer to soak in the totality of a one book world before even thinking about diving into another.
Read More | Google Play
The vulnerability leaves these devices open to malware downloaded in remote apps, which can then read user data and even brick your phone completely. "The good news is we can easily obtain root on these devices and the bad is there is no control over it," said xda-developers user Alephzain. Usually, vulnerabilities like this require physical access to the phone, while this vulnerability allows it to be attacked from apps downloaded from the Google Play Store.
Samsung is apparently aware of the problem, but has not publicly acknowledged the problem. Millions of devices are reportedly at risk right now as public knowledge of the issue spreads.
Read More | The Verge
For techies, the Black Friday deals are just beginning. Google and other app creators are looking to extend the Black Friday madness into the Thanksgiving weekend, with deals on a wide range of apps and media.
Android apps are especially discounted, with apps like SwiftKey 3, Shadowgun, and Documents To Go among the cheapest, but there's no shortage of deals in categories across the board. You'll also find some nice deals on books, movies and music, from Diana Krall to Kendrick Lamar. Head on over to Google Play to check out all the deals on the apps you wish you had.
Read More | Google Play
Rumors have been circulating that a 32GB Nexus 7 tablet is imminent, and now those rumors have materialized to be factual. First, what you see above is an image of the sticker from a Nexus 7 32GB box. Need more proof? The Verge has received proof of purchase from a tipster and posted the receipt. Google has yet to announce any official news of the bump in storage capacity for the Nexus 7, and our hearts go out to early adopters of the tablet as, based on the receipt, it sells for the same price that the 16GB version currently sells for. Also, it appears that it doesn't come with the $25 Google Play gift card as was offered when the product first debuted.
If you're itching to get a tablet and enjoy (pure) Android, this Jelly Bean tablet isn't a bad deal. Try your luck and call your local Staples to see if they have 'em in stock. Make sure to holla back at Gear Live and tell us about it if you find one! We expect Google to officially unveil this one at its October 29 Android event.
Read More | The Verge
Yet another case of malware found on Google Play. A 20-year-old man suspected of an elaborate Android Trojan SMS scheme was arrested in France. The alleged hacker tallied over 17,000 Android users that installed malicious software posed as copy cat apps. The scheme works by sending SMS messages at a premium cost. The hacker then earns a micro-transaction fee, leaving the unsuspecting user with an unexpected hefty monthly bill.
The hacker informed French authorities that he was more motivated by the technical aspect than monetary gain and had goals of becoming a software engineer. Cyber criminals have made inroads into making malware in the Android platform partly because the Google Play Store is open and is not curated and vetted for security like Apple's App Store. Hackers have created clone malware of popular apps like Skype, Instagram, and Angry birds. Some of these apps steal personal information and passwords and can capture pretty much anything you type.
Computer venders Security, like Sophos, strongly advise Android users to be vigilant and also install their free anti-virus security suite.
Read More | The Register
Instagram 3.0 was released today, and with it comes a host of new features and bug fixes. One of the major additions is the Photo Map, which makes it easy to find images that have been geo-tagged to specific locations. Users will find a new Photo Map section in their profiles that will allow them to see their own images overlayed on a map as well. Other features include infinite scrolling on photo feeds, redesigned profile and upload screens, and other performance improvements. Grab Instagram 3.0 now from the App Store or Google Play for free. Check out a video explaining it all after the break.
In our opinion, the one big factor that limited the appeal of Google Wallet was the fact that it has only been compatible with CitiBank MasterCard. Not exactly something that the masses have in their wallets. Today, that changes, as Google has announced that Wallet is now compatible with all Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover debit and credit cards. That's progress!
Also added is a remote wipe feature that allows users to disable Google Wallet remotely, blocking usage of the app with that device and clearing off card and transaction data as well.
You can now use Google Wallet to pay at over 200,000 locations across the US. You can download the new update today from Google Play.
Read More | Google Play
Remember that super-affordable Archos 97 Carbon that we talked about a couple of weeks ago? Well, the $249 Ice Cream Sandwich-powered tablet is now on sale. As a refresher, the 97 Carbon sports a 9.7-inch IPS display with 1024 x 768 resolution. It ships with 16GB of storage, upgradeable to 48GB with a 32GB microSD card. You'll find a 1 GHz processor and 1 GB RAM powering this slate, which is good enough to decode full 1080p video and output it to an HDTV with the built-in HDMI port. Shipping is free from Archos.
Read More | Archos 97 Carbon
A few days ago we reported that the 16GB Nexus 7 tablet was sold out in the Google Play store. The product was an unexpected runaway hit, as Google incorrectly assumed that it would sell more of the 8GB unit than the more expensive 16GB model. It looks like the inventory issues have been sorted out, as the 16GB Nexus 7 is back on sale on Google Play. If you've been jonesing for one, we recommend you snap one up quick before another potential sell-out.
Read More | 16GB Nexus 7