Play Store adds new badge to signal which Android VPN apps pass a security audit

To give users more peace of mind and show that it’s taking concerns about Android cybersecurity seriously, Google’s rolling out an Independent Security Review badge to highlight which Android VPN apps have gone through an independent security audit. 

Last year, the App Defense Alliance, a collaboration between Google, ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium launched in 2019 to solve the Play Store’s persistent malware problem, introduced the Mobile Application Security Assessment (MASA) audit. This process enables software developers to have their apps independently validated against a global security standard as a way to signal to users that what they’re downloading on their phones has been designed to meet industry mobile security and privacy minimum best practices. The logic is that if developers go the extra mile on their end to mitigate security vulnerabilities and users can make more informed decisions prior to downloading new apps, hackers will have a harder time breaking into users’ devices, thus improving the app quality across the ecosystem as a whole if you have one of the best Android phones.

Apps that receive a badge have successfully undergone a MASA audit. To maintain the badge year over year, app developers will need to undergo another independent audit annually. 

“While certification to baseline security standards does not imply that a product is free of vulnerabilities, the badge associated with these validated apps helps users see at-a-glance that a developer has prioritized security and privacy practices and committed to user safety,” Nataliya Stanetsky of the Android Security and Privacy Team said in a Google Security Blog post this week.

Now when you search for the best VPN apps in the Play Store, you should see a banner at the top that points you to the Data Safety Section to better understand what the new badge means. If you click

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Pass sharing is coming to Google Wallet at long last

The service is finally catching up to Apple Wallet

Announced in 2022, Google Wallet is a neat way to organize all your important passes and cards, replacing Google Pay in some regions. One of the upcoming additions to the app would allow customers in Brazil to make payments on Wallet using a QR code, effectively enabling payments on devices without NFC capabilities, similar to how the current Google Pay app functions in India. The app is now on the brink of picking up another handy feature that lets users share passes stored in Wallet with their friends and family.

This appears to be a part of the Google System Updates for July 2023. However, any mention of pass sharing seems to have been removed from the official support documentation detailing the changes. But some digging around by The Verge has uncovered a Google Wallet support page that mentions pass sharing toward the end of the page.

Shareable passes would have the familiar Share icon next to them, Google says. Meanwhile, passes sent in this manner cannot be unsent, and the people you sent it to would be free to forward it to whoever they please. Keeping this in mind, Wallet users are advised to exercise caution when sharing passes on Wallet.

A spokesperson for Google confirmed the development in a statement to The Verge, saying the company is working on letting customers share “select passes.” While this is certainly a welcome inclusion, Apple’s alternative, Apple Wallet, has allowed pass-sharing for quite a while now.

The mention of Device Connectivity support for Wear OS under the July 2023 Google System Updates list is also noteworthy, with 9to5Google suggesting this could be a reference to the long-awaited ability to sync Bedtime mode and Do Not Disturb on a Pixel Watch and

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5 Android applications you should not pass up this week

AAW Uncharted Waters Origin screenshot

Welcome to the 475th edition of Android Apps Weekly. Below are the huge headlines from the very last week:

  • The next Android 14 developer preview dropped this 7 days. It features some improved stability, enhanced performance, Android 14’s picture picker selector, better guidance for third-bash application suppliers, and more. Google is moving correct together with these updates, as we also discovered that Android 15 is likely to be codenamed Vanilla Ice Product.
  • Google I/O 2023 is going on on Could 10th, 2023. This is a enormous occasion each calendar year. Google is likely asserting a bunch of program updates and adjustments. On top of that, we normally see hardware launches as very well. Help you save the date because we certainly did.
  • Google One is building VPN by Google 1 accessible to all subscribers, and not just the ones employing the 2TB or bigger strategy. In addition, Google is introducing darkish world-wide-web monitoring as part of its program, and it’ll notify you if your usernames and passwords are on the dark world-wide-web for sale. The two are fantastic stability options.
  • Facebook is permitting you access Messenger within Fb again. This characteristic has been in beta for months, and a great deal of folks have it previously. However, Facebook formally announced it this week. Facebook claims the transfer is to bolster discovery and sharing characteristics. This reverses the company’s conclusion to make Messenger a separate app nine years back.
  • Scammers are applying AI voices to steal revenue by impersonating beloved ones. Study implies that AI voice-creating software bilked people today out of about $11 million in 2022 on your own, and everybody expects that amount to raise above time. You can study a lot more at the website link, but it is not a good use of AI software program.


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