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Google Play music or YouTube Music

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YouTube has 2 billion+ monthly active users, many of whom use it to listen to music, but the company’s dedicated music streaming service only had 15 million subscribers less than 0.8% of YouTube’s user base.

YouTube Music has under-performed compared with rival services in terms of monthly active users, including Spotify with 223 million and Apple Music with 60 million subscribers.

The service which has struggled to get a significant portion of the music streaming market will replace the relatively unsuccessful Google Play Music app.

The move is more a matter of Google consolidating its estate of products rather than attempting to meet the standards of competitors.

Google has announced that YouTube Music will come pre-installed on new Android smartphones and will be included in the next version of its operating system Android 10 (Android Q) which will include various new features such as dark mode, smart reply, new gesture controls, incognito mode for the Google Maps app, dozens of privacy and security enhancements have been added amidst other new features.

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Mobile Apps

Hideous Malware detected on ‘SnapTube’ app.

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Another popular Android app ‘SnapTube’ has been detected to be defrauding users on a huge scale. This is familiar territory now, although the numbers get bigger and more onerous. Its a video downloader that lets users select YouTube and Facebook videos to play offline. The app’s developers claim more than 40 million users, and it has been installed many more times than that. The problem is that while users are enjoying those videos, the app’s software is busy doing other things in the background essentially defrauding both users and advertisers to generate material financial returns.

The disclosure against SnapTube has been made by researchers at Upstream, who say that their Secure-D platform detected and blocked “more than 70 million suspicious mobile transaction requests” from SnapTube installs on 4.4 million devices. And this was all inside a six-month period. Such fraud tends to run in bursts, and the team seems to have been monitoring the app at the right time.

According to information from Upstream, “SnapTube has been delivering invisible ads, generating non-human clicks and purchases. The ads are hidden from users as they do not appear on-screen.” Generating returns from adware or click fraud is one thing, but the report claims that SnapTube has gone further, to the triggering of premium calls and texts, and subscribing users to paid services. Upstream has calculated that this fraudulent purchase of “premium digital services” would have cost users up to $91 million.

The app was developed by China-based Mobiuspace, which has pushed various apps onto Google’s Play Store. Although SnapTube hasn’t made the Play Store grades, but Mobiuspace still claims 40 million active users have installed the app from third-party stores.

Upstream says it discovered SnapTube’s activities when the team observed ‘extremely huge volumes of suspicious transactions’ originating in multiple countries coming from the same Android application. The team intercepted ‘subscription verification SMS messages’ being sent to the devices infected with the SnapTube malware part of the process to fraudulently purchase new subscriptions without any user knowledge.

The advice from Upstream’s Krief is for users “to carefully watch phone bills and report to their operator any subscriptions or charges they did not authorize. Upstream advises users to delete an app from their phones if they see signs of irregular activity pointing to a suspicious application consuming data in the background.”

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WhatsApp Status on Facebook

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Its no surprise to most of us that Facebook and WhatsApp do have lots in common, but recently WhatsApp stats can now be shared on Facebook.

The new feature, which is gradually making itself know on both Android and iOS platforms in some region and some recent app update has not been officially announced. WhatsApp has actually set up a FAQ page on its website with detailed steps on how to share a WhatsApp Status to Facebook Story or other apps.

So for Android users who have received this feature, you will see a “Share to Facebook Story” option under “My status” in the Status tab, with a share button right next to it.

Also, if you have made multiple status updates, then all of them will be shared with Facebook Story. So if you want to share only a few of them, you will have to go to the “My status” section, choose the ones you want to share, tap on the three-dot button in the top-right corner and then on the “Share to Facebook” option.

Do note that the WhatsApp Status you share with Facebook or other apps will not be protected with end-to-end encryption. And, this feature to share WhatsApp Status will be only available if you have  Facebook for iOS, Android or Facebook Lite installed on your device.

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