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Google Mobile News Roundup: Android Security, Avoid Traffic, Emergency Numbers & More

Danny Goodwin
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android_logo.pngFollowing the DroidDream Android malware scare, Google announced that they had removed the malicious applications from the Android Market, suspended the developer accounts, and contacted law enforcement, in addition to using its remote application removal feature (Android's so-called "kill switch") on affected phones.

The Android Market security update they pushed out, however, has shown up with suspicious code in a repackaged version on an unregulated third-party Chinese marketplace, CNET reported. Google automatically pushed out "Android Market Security Tool March 2011," and notified users via e-mail about the installation and removal of apps, whereas this "trojanized" version asks users to install it.

Google Mobile News Roundup: Android Security, Avoid Traffic, Emergency Numbers & More

In total, 58 malicious apps were found in the Android Market and downloaded 260,000 times. Google also said they have added "a number of measures to help prevent additional malicious applications using similar exploits from being distributed through Android Market and are working with our partners to provide the fix for the underlying security issues."

The attacks affected phones running on versions before 2.2.2. Google believes attackers only gathered device specific codes, but as we noted last week, the apps may have gathered personal information or even downloaded more code without the user's knowledge.

In other Android news, paidContent has a good summary of why some big companies (e.g., LinkedIn, Nintendo, Motorola, Starbucks) are trying to get certain apps kicked out of the Android Market.

Meanwhile, ClickZ has the latest on Android being crowned the leading U.S. smartphone platform, increasing its share to 31.2 percent -- up 7.7 percentage points, according to comScore data.

Avoid Traffic Jams With Google Maps Navigation

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Google Maps Navigation has a new algorithm that routes you around heavy traffic by trying to find the fastest alternatives. The Navigation app for Android uses real-time traffic conditions to determine your driving route (North America and Europe only).

Google Adds Click-to-Call for Emergencies

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Mobile users who search for [poison control], [suicide], and common emergency numbers already receive a result showing the relevant emergency phone number. Now that phone number is clickable link that lets you dial the number (Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the U.S. only).

Find Electric Car Charging Stations

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On the road with your electric car and need to find a charging station? Now you can find one by searching Google Maps -- e.g., [ev charging station near mountain view ca]. Google is working to add more stations with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.


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