Useless Android security app fakes out Google Play users

In today's open source roundup: A fake Android app temporarily rockets up the Google Play rankings. Plus: elementary OS "Isis" preview, and a review of Slacko Puppy 5.7

Fake apps seem to abound on Android at times. Google Play users were recently taken in by an app that promised to increase Android security but actually did nothing. Android Police reports that the app called "Virus Shield" cost users $3.99, and in return all it did was change the main graphic to make them think it was protecting their Android device.

There's just one problem: it's a complete and total scam. We don't mean in the slightly skeevy way that some anti-virus and general security software overstates dangers and its own necessity. We mean it's literally a fake security app: the only thing that it does is change from an "X" image to a "check" image after a single tap. That's it. That's all there is, there isn't any more.

Don't believe us? Then check out the code for yourself - we've decompiled the app and mirrored the java code on GitHub, minus a few art assets. We've confirmed that this app is totally and completely devoid of any security benefit, but you don't have to take our word for it - several Google+ users have helped us to confirm its bogus nature.

More at Android Police
Fake Android Apps
Image credit: Android Police

I'm not sure what the solution is to this problem, but it's clear that Google needs to do something about it. I can't imagine the frustration and anger users feel after spending their hard earned money on an app only to find out that it doesn't actually do anything.

elementary OS "Isis" preview

Softpedia has a preview of the "Isis" release of elementary OS, and was very impressed with it.

The overall look of the main desktop doesn't seem to have changed significantly, but looks can be deceiving. The top bar is now completely transparent, but with the help of some powerful heuristics, the bar adjusts itself to match the color of the background.

Also, the Switchboard (the settings menu) has been improved a great deal with new icons and the performance is spot on. There is no stuttering and everything seems to be very smooth. The toggle switches have also been updated to better integrate with the overall theme.

More at Softpedia

Isis looks pretty darn good, elementary OS users will probably be quite pleased with it. It's a very slick Linux desktop with lots of polish. I look forward to the final release when it's available.

Slacko Puppy 5.7 review

DistroWatch has a review of Slacko Puppy 5.7, a distribution that uses the packages from Slackware.

A few other thoughts stood out in my mind during my time with Slacko Puppy. One is that the organization of the application menu takes some adjustment if we are coming from another Linux distribution. The menu is organized differently and uses different names for categories of software. It is not hard to find most items, but there is a period of adjustment. Everything runs quickly on Puppy, the distribution runs surprisingly fast and most programs open almost instantly. I like Puppy's small memory footprint and I am regularly impressed by the amount of functionality Puppy can squeeze into such a small download image. Many of the default programs which come with Puppy seem to be selected for their small size rather than their popularity or functionality. Luckily, for us, if we need additional software it can usually be found in Puppy's package manager, which pulls from the full range of Slackware packages.

Puppy is an interesting distribution. It contains perhaps the best balance between functionality, friendliness and small size I have seen to date. The distribution appears to be more of a secondary operating system, something I would travel with on a thumb drive in my pocket, rather than a primary operating system that I would install on my desktop. Still, the distribution's small size and friendly nature are impressive and, had I older hardware I wanted to resurrect, Puppy would be on a short list of possible operating systems I would want to use.

More at DistroWatch
Slacko Puppy 5.7 Review
Image credit: DistroWatch

Slacko Puppy looks like it could be a useful tool for those wanting a Slackware based distro to carry around with them.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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