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Microsoft kills Cortana on Android, iOS devices

Microsoft has ended support for Cortana on both Android and iOS devices and removed the app from App Store and Google’s Play Store. “As we announced in July, we will soon be ending support for the Cortana app on Android and iOS, as Cortana continues its evolution as a productivity assistant,” Microsoft said. Cortana was launched on iOS and Android in Dec 2015 with the aim to connect Windows 10 PCs and smartphones but lost to Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.

Lethal malware hiding as System Update is attacking Android smartphones

A new lethal Android malware that hides by masquerading as a system update has been discovered by researchers at Zimperium. Once installed, the malware takes control of Android phones and not only steals data but can record audio, phone calls, take photos, access WhatsApp, steal instant messenger messages and database files, inspect bookmarks and searches etc. Zimperium CEO Shridhar Mittal said that the malware is most likely a part of a targeted attack.

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Google Play drops commissions to 15% from 30%

Google said that from July 1, it is bringing down the service fee for Google Play to 15% from 30% for the first $1mn of revenue developers earn. The android maker, however, will continue to levy a 30% cut on revenue generated by developers beyond the first $1 mn in a year. Google’s 99% of developers are likely to see a 50% reduction in fees. Further, 97% of the apps published on the platform do not charge for the content or service they provide.

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Google paid Rs 49 cr to security researchers for spotting bugs in 2020

Google paid nearly Rs 49 cr ( $6.7 mn) to 662 security researchers across 62 countries for identifying vulnerabilities in Google products in 2020. In 2019 google paid 6.5 mn in bug bounty rewards. “The incredibly hard work, dedication, and expertise of our researchers in 2020 resulted in a record-breaking payout of over $6.7 mn in rewards, with an additional $280,000 given to charity,” Google said. In the Android Vulnerability Reward Programme, it paid out $1.74 mn in rewards.

Ford partners with Google for software, data-enabled services

Ford Motor has joined hands with Google to develop new consumer services and modernise internal operations. The automaker will use Google’s Android OS into its Ford and Lincoln care starting in 2023. The auto-maker will deploy Google AI- tech to improve vehicle development, supply chain and manufacturing operations. Together they will explore uses of data to develop new retail, create new offers and other services for Ford customers.

Google, Apple warn app developers to remove location tracking tech or face ban 

Apple and Google have warned app developers to remove location tracing software from X-Mode Social from their apps or else face a ban on their respective app stores. X-Mode, whose tech is used in over 400 apps, has been barred from collecting any location data from smartphones running on iOS or Android, as well. X-Mode gives developers SDK codes to put into apps to track location and share the data to sells it. In return, X-Mode pays the developer.

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IBM, Emerald Jewellery launches AI-powered mobile app for B2B Business

IBM and Emerald Jewellery have launched Tej — an AI-enabled mobile app to power the B2B business of later in India. The app lets the 200 dealers of Emerald search through a catalogue of over 500,000 designs quickly and navigates the complex ordering process easier. Tej, which runs on iOS and Android operating systems, has not only enabled Emerald Jewellery to redesign the entire buying process of their dealers but also started a zero-touch engagement model.  

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Backend code of Aarogya Setu is now available on Open Forge platform

The backend code of the Aarogya Setu app is now available at the Open Forge platform set up by the govt to promote sharing and reuse of e-gov app source code. The aim is to encourage collaboration between govt agencies, private firms, and developers to promote innovation in e-gov apps and services. The source code of the Android and iOS versions is already available. Aarogya Setu, launched in April, is downloaded by more than 16.43 cr people.

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Kaspersky discovers new banking malware, Indians also on target

Kaspersky has discovered new banking malware called Ghimob, which can spy and steal data from 153 Android apps including banking. The malware, using names like Google Docs, WhatsApp Updater, Google Defender, can be hidden inside malicious apps available on third-party app downloads or shared via email. Users in Brazil are the most targeted followed by India, China, US. It blocks the user from uninstalling it, restarting or shutting down the device.

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