Google

Google Tracker: Making Allies And Enemies

ExpensiveWall

A massive malware campaign infiltrated Google Play last week, sending fraudulent text messages and charging up to 21 million people for fake services.

The malware, dubbed “ExpensiveWall” after the fraudulent app “Lovely Wallpaper,” was loaded into 50 different mobile apps and downloaded as many as 4 million times. It used a “packing” technique to compress code with encryption to evade Google’s security filters.

The Israeli cybersecurity company Check Point Software Technologies alerted Google to the cyberattack on Aug. 7, and the apps were removed from the store. A mutation of the malware resurfaced to infect another 5,000 devices before once again being deleted.

Yelp Raises Alarm

Online reviews company Yelp is saying Google broke its promise to stop using content from third-party websites without their permission. Google agreed in Dec. 2012 not to use third-party content such as images and reviews from parties that opted out, a practice known as “scraping.” Yelp has previously requested that Google stop scraping from its site. The company is now demanding the Federal Trade Commission reopen that 2012 Google case “immediately.”

Can I Get A Lyft?

Google, previously an Uber investor, is now reportedly mulling an investment in its ridesharing competitor Lyft. Few details are available so far, with one reporter tweeting that conversations began about a month ago and show no clear signs of how close the deal may be to completion. Lyft has raised more than $2.5 billion to date, including $600 million in its most recent funding round.

It’s A Deal, Mate

Google and Intuit have teamed up to boost Australian small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with cash management. SMBs can now use Gmail to leverage integrated eInvoicing via Intuit tools.

Plus, the Google Calendar App now integrates with QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Online Accountant, Intuit tools which help SMBs manage their banking, invoicing, taxes, accounting and employees. The integration means billable appointments scheduled in the calendar will automatically appear in QuickBooks for invoicing customers and managing finances.

Because SMBs struggle with poor record keeping and mixing personal expenses with business ones, accountants can spend up to 50 percent more time managing the books, which costs the SMBs a lot of money. Google and Intuit believe their partnership can help allay this pain point.

X Versus Pixel 2

Google’s Pixel 2 may actual beat Apple’s iPhone X to the shelves, due to iPhone manufacturing delays. At any rate, both will be out in time for a rousing race through the holiday season. The newest iteration of the Pixel is slated to appear in the next few weeks, with a rumored reveal date of Oct. 4 and sales likely to start soon after that — probably by mid-October.

Rumor has it the Pixel 2 will feature a dual-lens camera, wireless charging and waterproofing, none of which were featured on the original Pixel. It is unclear whether the iPhone X’s $999 price tag will drive Google to raise its prices as well.

Take My Money

Google Chrome — along with Microsoft’s Edge, Apple’s Webkit, Mozilla Firefox, Samsung’s Internet Browser and Facebook’s in-app browser — has implemented a new browser API by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which will allow users to send Payment Requests in Bitcoin and Ether. The idea is to offer more payment options to consumers while creating a more secure online checkout for merchants.

To pay with cryptocurrency, however, users will have to download the browser extension and also have wallets that speak the protocol in which the W3C is writing. And merchants will have to build websites that acknowledge the new payment methods, because consumers can’t just virtually walk up, virtually waving their virtual money and expect just anyone to take it.

Still, it says a lot about the growing acceptance of cryptocurrency that the option is even available at all.

Where Is Your Wallet?

Google has launched a mobile wallet to compete with WhatsApp, Uber and Truecaller in India, a nation on the brink of going cashless. The eWallet, “Tez,” will let users pay local businesses as well as friends or family using the government-backed Unified Payments Interface (UPI) introduced last year.

Unlike Android Pay, which never made it to India, Tez works on iPhones, too, unlocking a huge slice of India’s 300 million smartphone users who would have been left out by Android Pay.

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Latest Insights: 

The Which Apps Do They Want Study analyzes survey data collected from 1,045 American consumers to learn how they use merchant apps to enhance in-store shopping experiences, and their interest in downloading more in the future. Our research covered consumers’ usage of in-app features like loyalty and rewards offerings and in-store navigation, helping to assess how merchants can design apps to distinguish themselves from competitors.

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