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When Android Apps Go Bad
E.T.
Queensland
3189 posts
http://img502.imageshack.us/img502/1012/androidfinals.jpg

An interesting article over at Cybershack which his fundamentally about dangers involved with open source development Vs the strict control regime of Apple.

Ie, Apples point of view:
“By its very design, an app downloaded from the App Store cannot corrupt or damage an iOS device,” says Apple internal PR spokesperson Fiona Martin. “The approval process for apps on the iTunes App Store was created to ensure avoiding apps that degrade the core experience of the iOS device


Vs the Android experience:
In the case of Nokia, it is plainly laid out in its warranty Terms and Conditions: “This Limited Warranty does not cover user manuals or any third party software, settings, content, data or links, whether included/downloaded in the Product, whether included during instalment, assembly, shipping or at any other time in the delivery chain or otherwise and in any way acquired by you.”


In other words, if you install an ap from the marketplace and it stuffs your phone, your on your own.

From Google:
A spokesperson from Google, who did not want to be named, said in an email that if an application fails “Please contact the developer of the application or game for more information and support. We don't provide support for any of the apps, as they are built by third-party developers. You can find the developer contact information on the application screen in Market. However, in the Android Market Help Center, we offer help content about adding or removing applications, and some general information about apps in Market.”

The company says it does not review applications for the Android operating system, but if an application does violate Google’s terms and conditions, it will be deleted. A bit late for that if it crashes the operating system, no?


Sounds like running Android really is just like living with a Jail broken iphone.
02:44pm 29/10/10 Permalink
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02:44pm 29/10/10 Permalink
teq
Brisbane, Queensland
8999 posts
Android really is just like living with a Jail broken iphone.


QFT
02:49pm 29/10/10 Permalink
HerbalLizard
Brisbane, Queensland
4582 posts
Like everything backup, backup, backup
02:57pm 29/10/10 Permalink
DK
Brisbane, Queensland
71 posts
Considering every app has a star rating, you'd be a fool to install something with 1 star and 100 comments saying "virus don't install"
03:05pm 29/10/10 Permalink
eski
Perth, Western Australia
166 posts
Sounds like running Android really is just like living with a Jail broken iphone.



or a pc....
03:06pm 29/10/10 Permalink
TicMan
Melbourne, Victoria
6396 posts
Sounds like running Android really is just like living with a Jail broken iphone.


Not really. Android Apps are only limited to certain functions and it even tells you in a lot of detail what the app does with your phone (accesses contacts, network communications, location services, syncronisation, etc).
03:06pm 29/10/10 Permalink
E.T.
Queensland
3190 posts
Not really. Android Apps are only limited to certain functions and it even tells you in a lot of detail what the app does with your phone (accesses contacts, network communications, location services, syncronisation, etc).



Where as Jailbroken iphones are not limited by anything. Was that your point Tic ? Otherwise, I'm not seeing the difference still which may just have a lot to do with my lack of Android experience.
03:11pm 29/10/10 Permalink
DK
Brisbane, Queensland
72 posts
No root access.
03:23pm 29/10/10 Permalink
E.T.
Queensland
3191 posts
No root access.


For which system?

Iphone has it via SSH if its Jailbroken doesnt it?
03:28pm 29/10/10 Permalink
Morgan
Brisbane, Queensland
3678 posts
He is trying to say that security wise running an application on a jailbroken iphone (no limitations) is not as secure as Android because the apps ARE limited and will warn you before certain events occur (like the app trying to access your contact list).

...AFAIK know anyway. I have an iPhone- does the job. Never owned an android or jailbroken me iPhone.
03:31pm 29/10/10 Permalink
E.T.
Queensland
3192 posts
He is trying to say that security wise running an application on a jailbroken iphone (no limitations) is not as secure as Android because the apps ARE limited and will warn you before certain events occur (like the app trying to access your contact list).

...AFAIK know anyway. I have an iPhone- does the job. Never owned an android or jailbroken me iPhone.



Ahh, you could be right there. Maybe Tickles can confirm.
03:42pm 29/10/10 Permalink
BillyHardball
Brisbane, Queensland
11312 posts
Judging from the Android threads, rooting your Android is more of a hassle than Jailbreaking an iPhone...
03:47pm 29/10/10 Permalink
Scooter
Brisbane, Queensland
3569 posts
I thought you missed out on updates and stuff if you had a Jail Broken ohone?
03:59pm 29/10/10 Permalink
TicMan
Melbourne, Victoria
6397 posts
He is trying to say that security wise running an application on a jailbroken iphone (no limitations) is not as secure as Android because the apps ARE limited and will warn you before certain events occur (like the app trying to access your contact list).


Yeah that's what I was saying.. having a mass busy day so sentences are hard to form.
04:02pm 29/10/10 Permalink
Midda
Brisbane, Queensland
5754 posts
Judging from the Android threads, rooting your Android is more of a hassle than Jailbreaking an iPhone...

Not really. Most phones you either copy an update file onto the phone, download an app from the market, or download an app onto your PC. It's really easy.
04:03pm 29/10/10 Permalink
E.T.
Queensland
3193 posts
But anyway, back to the OP. This thread is not really about Jailbreak V Android, its about how Android apps don't appear to have the checks and balances in place to protect you as the consumer. Its sounds like you are more open to some idiot abusing this window of opportunity to grief your life compared to someone with a none jail broken iphone. I remember my son getting Rickrolled on his jail broken 2g iphone. That was funny as. I didnt get it, as I gave up on Jail breaking ages ago.
04:27pm 29/10/10 Permalink
DK
Brisbane, Queensland
73 posts
Yer you are more open to getting rick rolled. But if you're getting rick rolled you're probably an idiot. An example I can think of is before angry birds was released on android, some dude put an app on the market called angry birds (which was in fact a wallpaper or something similar) for $1. It had something like 50k downloads.

Now if the users would read the comments saying "THIS IS A F***N RIP OFF AND A CON!!!!111" or even quickly glance to the top of the screen to see it had 1/5 stars, they wouldn't download it. (good thing android has a 24 hour money back policy for those idiots who did download it.)

Also as others have stated, when you install an app it will say this application will access the following: root access, calls, home screen, contacts etc. But again, most people don't read that and just click install.

It’s not the end of the world and android. You just have to have a clue. At the moment the android market is pretty clean from malicious apps IMO. Sure it could be a problem in the future.
You would think people are use to this kind of s*** from windows anyway. Ie you don’t go clicking any old exe file you find on the net...
04:49pm 29/10/10 Permalink
thermite
Brisbane, Queensland
6736 posts
Good thing I don't have either of these, just a standard nokia phone that cost $80. It makes phone calls.

Mo money mo problems
04:58pm 29/10/10 Permalink
mongie
Brisbane, Queensland
7395 posts
Jailbreaking is pretty basic on iPhones...

Plus, if you want to un-jailbreak, all you do is "restore" and its back to the way it was...
05:49pm 29/10/10 Permalink
Spook
Brisbane, Queensland
30536 posts
lols, apple products
07:13pm 29/10/10 Permalink
groganus
Brisbane, Queensland
1822 posts
People assume that android users use the market place like the app store, the trick to the android marketplace is to go there knowing what you want.
The only people who get caught by virus's and s*** apps are the mum and dads who should of bought an iphone.
07:50pm 29/10/10 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
17304 posts
Android = PC
iPhone = Mac
News at 11
08:50pm 29/10/10 Permalink
Spook
Brisbane, Queensland
30539 posts
that is why i laugh so hard at iphone/mac users
08:58pm 29/10/10 Permalink
Midda
Brisbane, Queensland
5756 posts
iPhone = Mac

Even Macs aren't locked down like the iPhone.
09:00pm 29/10/10 Permalink
E.T.
Queensland
3194 posts
that is why i laugh so hard at iphone/mac users


I'm not getting the joke. Explain !?
09:28pm 29/10/10 Permalink
Nathan
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
3662 posts
its about how Android apps don't appear to have the checks and balances in place to protect you as the consumer


Actually, its quite the opposite.

iPhone applications can do almost anything to your phone (like accessing "hidden" APIs) without your knowledge, and rely on a manual human process at Apple to determine if an app is "safe" or not. As a human process, it is not 100% accurate and bad apps do occasionally get through.

Android on the other hand, relies on automated, static validation to advise consumers on what each app will do. As it does not involve human intervention, it is essentially foolproof - there is no known way to "trick" the automated validation.

Of course for dumbarses who cant read, Android is not a good choice.

Having said all that, I think the initial premise is flawed:

In other words, if you install an ap from the marketplace and it stuffs your phone, your on your own.


I have never heard of an app that actually renders the phone unusable, whether it be on Android or iPhone. The security model discussions around the two operating systems are usually made in terms of potentially stealing personal info, not phone stability.
08:07am 31/10/10 Permalink
Jim
Brisbane, Queensland
12009 posts
I'll take the one that gives me more freedom and doesn't have a stupid biased app approval process thanks
08:58am 31/10/10 Permalink
do0b
Brisbane, Queensland
4031 posts
i wouldnt wish a mac on my worst enemy
09:28am 31/10/10 Permalink
Nathan
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
3663 posts
http://nathanosullivan.com/~nats/handcent.png http://nathanosullivan.com/~nats/game.png

I realised my above description can be pretty abstract if you haven't used Android; so here's two screenshots. The first is a replacement for the default SMS application, which as you can see requires access to various personal details, ability to send SMS, etc.

The second is for a game, which you would not expect to access your personal information (and as you can see, does not). There's no analogue to this on iPhone, where all apps can do anything limited only by a human reviewer's ability to figure out if an app is "bad".

(The "Show All" section hides things most people wont care about, in an attempt to avoid information overload. In this case, it says the app has control over the force-feedback vibration function)
10:07am 31/10/10 Permalink
exo
Melbourne, Victoria
8817 posts
iPhone applications can do almost anything to your phone (like accessing "hidden" APIs) without your knowledge, and rely on a manual human process at Apple to determine if an app is "safe" or not. As a human process, it is not 100% accurate and bad apps do occasionally get through.

Actually all apps pass through a validator to see whether or not it utilises a private API before it's passed onto a human for verification.
12:47pm 31/10/10 Permalink
reload!
Brisbane, Queensland
5848 posts
So basically the moral of the story is you can only get stung if you're retarded and have never used a computer or the internet before.

Good to know.
01:03pm 31/10/10 Permalink
deadlyf
Queensland
1318 posts
I realised my above description can be pretty abstract if you haven't used Android; so here's two screenshots. The first is a replacement for the default SMS application, which as you can see requires access to various personal details, ability to send SMS, etc.
See I find that pretty misleading. Sure the app will interact with all those things but I would think the only reason to tell me it is accessing my personal information is if that information is being stored and accessed by the creators of the apps, otherwise why care? Personal information is only an issue if it's being accessed by someone other than you. Unless of course the app actually is sending your personal information to a 3rd party in which case, f*** that s***.
01:11pm 31/10/10 Permalink
BillyHardball
Brisbane, Queensland
11317 posts
I recently purchased the Nike Plus app for iPhone ($2.50, and pretty darn good), and when I was setting it up it said something like "Do you give Nike permission to save your de-identified data", which I didn't care about, until I read the next line which was something like "and have access to your personal information even when you're not logged in"... haha I'm paraphrasing but it was about that dodgy.
02:55pm 31/10/10 Permalink
Farseeker
Brisbane, Queensland
1662 posts
http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/android-im-app-brought-t-mobiles-network-its-knees/2010-10-14#ixzz12kpcIhOS

According to the carrier's filings with the FCC, close to a year ago an Android-based instant messaging application "caused an overload of T-Mobile's facilities for an entire city." Grant Castle, director of T-Mobile's national planning and performance engineering, described the event in detail in statement filed with the FCC in January.

"T-Mobile network service was temporarily degraded recently when an independent application developer released an Android-based instant messaging application that was designed to refresh its network connection with substantial frequency," Castle wrote in the filing. "The frequent refresh feature did not create problems during the testing the developer did via the WiFi to wireline broadband environment, ...
04:08pm 31/10/10 Permalink
Farseeker
Brisbane, Queensland
1663 posts
http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2010/09/some-android-apps-found-to-covertly-send-gps-data-to-advertisers.ars

... They used TaintDroid to test 30 popular free Android applications selected at random from the Android market and found that half were sending private information to advertising servers, including the user's location and phone number. In some cases, they found that applications were relaying GPS coordinates to remote advertising network servers as frequently as every 30 seconds, even when not displaying advertisements. These findings raise concern about the extent to which mobile platforms can insulate users from unwanted invasions of privacy.
04:39pm 31/10/10 Permalink
Twisted
Brisbane, Queensland
11215 posts

its about how Android apps don't appear to have the checks and balances in place to protect you as the consumer
Yeah, apples checks and balances are awesome. The app which immediately springs to mind is "I am rich". Which apple checked and balanced on to the market place @ $1k per purchase/download. 10 people were stupid enough to buy it before apple realised their checks and balances only go as far as making sure people aren't trying to circumvent their platform and pulled the scam app down. There's been hundreds of apps like that since. So yeah...apple, their checks and balances are TIGHT :)

Buyer beware is your only protection regardless of the platform.

Though one scum company which put an app onto the apple market which mum and dad buyers would trust was bloody foxtel, with the remote control software thing. According to reviews and what not the thing went through everything. Your mail, the apps you had, what websites you went to, etc.

last edited by Twisted at 17:03:18 31/Oct/10
05:01pm 31/10/10 Permalink
kos
UK
1595 posts
http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2010/09/some-android-apps-found-to-covertly-send-gps-data-to-advertisers.ars

How dare they send personal information to advertising companies! Get an iPhone and Apple will take care of sending your personal information to advertising companies for you, take a cut, and then charge you for the privilege! (probably)
09:02pm 31/10/10 Permalink
BillyHardball
Brisbane, Queensland
11322 posts
Yeah, apples checks and balances are awesome. The app which immediately springs to mind is "I am rich". Which apple checked and balanced on to the market place @ $1k per purchase/download. 10 people were stupid enough to buy it before apple realised their checks and balances only go as far as making sure people aren't trying to circumvent their platform and pulled the scam app down. There's been hundreds of apps like that since. So yeah...apple, their checks and balances are TIGHT :)

The only thing Apple did wrong there was remove the app - if people were that stupid to pay $1000 then good on the developer.
06:21pm 01/11/10 Permalink
myWhiteWolf
Brisbane, Queensland
2974 posts
The only thing Apple did wrong there was remove the app - if people were that stupid to pay $1000 then good on the developer.
i'll count that as a vote for android.
06:44pm 01/11/10 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
17322 posts
I'm getting more & more tempted to root my phone, does it open up the phone to dirty 'sploits that otherwise wouldn't affect the phone (I mean hacker f**gets, not my ability to rm -rf /* and cry).
07:47pm 01/11/10 Permalink
Midda
Brisbane, Queensland
5767 posts
Any app that wants root access has to be specifically granted it, so it's pretty safe.
07:59pm 01/11/10 Permalink
trog
AGN Admin
Brisbane, Queensland
32262 posts
10 people were stupid enough to buy it before apple realised their checks and balances only go as far as making sure people aren't trying to circumvent their platform and pulled the scam app down
That wasn't a scam app though IIRC - it quite explicitly said what it did. Apple just removed it because idiots bought it and whined; I think they should have left it up.

On android's permission list - I find it confusing sometimes. Like "read phone state and identity" - what does that mean? Lots of things need it, apparently - I've not installed stacks of apps because of permissions like that that come up and don't include all the info necessary for me to make a decision, and I'm always too lazy to Google exactly what it means. Even "Network communication - full Internet access" - does that mean it might access the Internet even when its not sposed to be running? How much data will it use??!?! isn't it just a game?!?!?!?!?!?

The android permission stuff makes me install far less apps than I ever did on my iPod Touch
08:48pm 01/11/10 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
17325 posts
Any app that wants root access has to be specifically granted it, so it's pretty safe.
I'm talking more about virusses propagated through bluetooth/wifi exploits & sms messages or whatever rather than some random app I decide to install.
09:36pm 01/11/10 Permalink
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