Report shows Machine learning is helping make Google Play a whole lot safer

In an effort to keep customers safer, Google Play is getting smarter. Google has released its Android Security report for 2017, which highlights machine learning as an increasingly better way to keep malicious software off your phone.

According to the report, as many as a whopping 60.3 percent of potentially harmful apps, or PHAs, were detected through machine learning in Google Play Protect, which is a service that’s enabled on any phone running Android 4.3 or later. Not only that, but Google expects the number of PHAs detected with machine learning to go up in the future.

Earlier this year, Google revealed that 700,000 apps had been removed from Google Play in 2017 for violating Google’s policies — but at the time it didn’t reveal too much about how those apps were detected in the first place. Now we know that it was Google’s implementation of machine learning that largely contributed to making Google Play safer. In 2016, 0.77 percent of devices had installed a PHA, compared to 0.56 percent in 2017. We can only assume that figure will be even better in 2018.

Play Protect certainly has its work cut out for it. The service automatically scans as many as 50 billion apps every single day — a practice that Google says led to the removal of a hefty 39 million potential harmful apps last year. While Play Protect scans your phone every day for potentially harmful apps, users can also have Play Protect scan their phones manually if they so choose.

It’s services like Play Protect that make Google Play a far safer app store than any third-party service out there. Unlike iOS, users can download apps from the web on Android, however Google recommends against downloading apps from other sources. In fact, according to Google, users who only download apps from Google Play are nine times less likely to get a PHA than those who get apps from third-party stores.

In general, Google has long fought the idea that Android is more susceptible to hackers than iOS — though it has faced an uphill battle considering the fragmented nature of Android. Still, reports like this show that the operating system is getting safer and safer — and that should only continue into the future.


Google’s radical Gmail redesign is finally rolling out on Android

Google is slowly but surely giving its apps a refresh, modernizing them and ensuring that they're easy to use. The latest app to get a redesign is the Gmail app for Android, which has been redesigned with a few tweaks.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.

Protect and style your Samsung Galaxy S10 with the best cases and covers

If you've splashed the cash for a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S10, then you'll want to take steps to protect your investment. With a metal frame and glass curves, the S10 needs some cover. Check out the best Samsung Galaxy S10 cases.
Health & Fitness

Nike’s Android app is bricking its $350 Adapt BB self-lacing shoes

A firmware update for Nike's new self-lacing Adapt BB shoe appears to be bricking the $350 footwear for some owners. Android users have said the Nike app no longer pairs with the shoe, rendering the tightening mechanism useless.

Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e in the U.K.

The Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e have all been officially announced and can be pre-ordered right now, with deliveries expected on March 8. If you're in the U.K., this is where you need to go to buy one.

You can now pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, or S10e

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is one of the most-anticipated phones of the year, offering a new chipset, beautiful display, and more. Now that the phone has been announced you might be wondering where you can get it for yourself.

Sony partnership with Light aims to take smartphone photography to new heights

Smartphone photography is in its ascendancy, and a new partnership between Light and Sony hopes to lift it to new heights through the development of multi-image sensor solutions for smartphones. We spoke to Light to find out more.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Google Pixel 3: Can Samsung beat the stock Android king?

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is here, offering modern specs, a beautifully high-resolution display, and an edge-to-edge design with a small cutout in the display for the front-facing camera. But can the phone take out the Google Pixel 3?

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.