Google bans Android apps that quietly kill your phone’s battery life, McAfee reveals

A cautionary alert has been issued to Android users, advising them to review their devices and remove a set of questionable applications. These apps have the potential to drain battery life and consume mobile data even when the screen is off. The discovery was brought to light by McAfee’s security team, who identified 43 apps capable of displaying advertisements while the device is idle.

This behavior is in direct violation of Google’s regulations and contradicts the company’s Google Play Developer policy. Despite these restrictions, some developers attempted to exploit this practice to generate ad clicks without user consent.

Although many of these apps have been removed from the Play Store by Google, around 2.5 million users had already installed them before their removal, as per the cited source. Some of the apps identified by McAfee are TV/DMB Player, Music Downloader, News, and Calendar applications. To avoid easy detection, these ads remain dormant for a few weeks after the initial app installation, making it more challenging to recognize the scam.

McAfee is urging users to exercise caution while downloading new apps onto their phones. They emphasize the importance of reviewing the permissions requested by the software before proceeding with the installation. Additionally, users are advised to monitor their device’s performance after installing new software; a sudden drop in battery life might indicate malicious activity.

How to stay safe?

If you have been witnessing any battery drain issues, then there are chances that you might be affected by this. But, do keep in mind that the reason for your phone’s bad battery life could also be because your device might be old or the battery unit is damaged for some reason. Either ways, users are advised to be mindful of the permissions that they give to the unknown apps that they install

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The original Chromecast has reached its end of life

Almost 10 years later, the iconic dongle is done getting updates

The first-gen Chromecast launched back in July 2013 and was a game changer. It allowed you to stream content wirelessly from your phone or tablet to your TV and was a no-brainer for its price of $35. Even more impressive is that Google has regularly updated the dongle, with the last firmware arriving in November 2022. Ahead of the first-gen Chromecast’s 10th anniversary, Google has silently pulled the plug on its software support.


Spotted by 9to5Google, Google silently updated its Chromecast firmware support page to reflect that support for the 1st gen Chromecast ended in April 2023. Going forward, the dongle will no longer receive security patches or bug fixes. The company even warns that users “may notice a degradation in performance.” Google last updated the original Chromecast in November 2022 with some bug fixes and performance improvements. And even that firmware arrived after a gap of three years.

Considering the dongle has a paltry 512MB RAM and 2GB storage, users must already be running into performance issues. Nonetheless, the original Chromecast had a very good run for a device that was available for only $35. If you still use the original Chromecast, this change won’t affect you immediately. However, expect things to break or slow down further in the coming weeks and months.

If you were still using the original Chromecast and are now looking for an upgrade, the market is flooded with streaming devices that pack plenty of features while still being affordable.

On the other hand, if you own the latest Chromecast with Google TV (4K), you have a new software update waiting for you. The 140MB STTE.230319.008.R1 firmware bumps the security patch to

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These 3 new Firefox Android extensions will help simplify your life

We’ve come to rely on our mobile devices for everything, from managing our online calendars to sharing an article we just read with our friends. So, how can we make it easier when we use our mobile devices? Today, we’re adding new extensions to Firefox Android to help. Whether it’s giving an email address to sign up for an account, sharing a URL with a friend, or listening to an article, here are the latest extensions for a better online experience. 

Protect your email address with Firefox Relay

Giving your email address in exchange for discounts may seem like a small price to pay. But chances are that third-party companies will soon start to bombard your inbox with unwanted marketing emails? Enter Firefox Relay. Now, available as an extension on Firefox Android, Firefox Relay hides your real email address to help protect your identity. Learn more about Firefox Relay here.

Firefox Relay hides your real email address

Get simple and clean URLs to share with ClearURL

Do you ever come across a newsletter or a product online and want to share it with a friend? Then, when you go and copy the URL, you notice it’s embarrassingly too long to send and has all these random letters and symbols. What’s up with that? Sites include tracking elements in the URLs for a number of reasons, but the bottom line is that it’s used to track you. ClearURLs simply removes the tracking elements from the links, so you have a simple and clean URL. Download the extension and share away!

ClearURLs removes tracking elements from links

Give your eyes a rest with ReadAloud

It’s the end of a long day and the last thing you want to do is to look at another screen. Yet, you still want to

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