Category Archives: Android Blog

News and notes from the Android team

What’s next for Google payment and loyalty experiences

Thousands of apps and millions of stores accept Android Pay, a simpler and more secure mobile payment experience. Android Pay is now available in 10 markets, with more coming soon, including Brazil, Canada, Russia, Spain and Taiwan. And in addition to our already announced Visa and Mastercard partnerships, we’ll soon enable a streamlined mobile checkout experience for PayPal users.

The newest ways to pay with Google

Yesterday, we announced the Google Payment API, which lets people pay in app or online with any verified credit or debit card saved to their Google Account, via products like Google Play, Chrome and YouTube.

Wish Pay with Google

For users, the option to pay with Google means breezing through checkout without needing to remember and type multiple lines of payment details. You simply choose your preferred card, enter a security code or authenticate with your Android device, and check out.

Developers who adopt this API can enable an easy-to-use checkout experience for their customers. Sign up for early access to the new Google Payment API.

In the upcoming months, we’ll also enable people in the U.S. to send or receive payments via the Google Assistant. On your Google Home or Android device, it’s as simple as saying “Ok Google, send $10 to Jane for pizza.” All you need is a debit card linked to your Google account.

P2P Assistant

Connect with customers before, during and after purchase

We’re also announcing new ways for merchants to engage and reward customers before they walk into the store and after they’ve left.

The Card Linked Offers API drives customer loyalty by providing a new channel to deliver targeted offers, and Panera Bread is one of the first merchants who will roll out this new capability nationally. MyPanera members who save their loyalty card to Android Pay can discover offers and learn about new menu items, surfaced by Android Pay when they are at the store. The offer is redeemed when you use your MyPanera account at checkout.

Card Linked Offers with Panera

We’re also making it easier for Android Pay users to add loyalty programs. For example, Walgreens Balance Rewards® members who manually apply their loyalty account with a phone number and use Android Pay will receive a notification on their phone that easily enables them to link that loyalty card to Android Pay for future visits. This experience is powered by our smart tap technology, which Walgreens has fully deployed across their 8,000+ U.S. stores.

There’s more—we’re collaborating with Clover, a First Data company, to expand our smart tap technology beyond national retailers to businesses of all sizes. With the upcoming integration of smart tap in Clover’s developer APIs, you’ll be able to build Android apps for loyalty, coupon and gift card redemption and new features, such as order ahead and tap for pick up. 

Visit developers.google.com/payments for the latest on all of our Google Payment, Loyalty and Offers APIs.

Source: Android


Keeping you safe with Google Play Protect

Whether you’re checking email for work, playing Pokémon Go with your kids or watching your favorite movie, confidence in the security of your device and data is important. And since day one, Android has been built with security in mind. As we’ve grown, so have our security services, which constantly protect the 2 billion active Android devices globally.

We know you want to be confident that your Android devices are safe and secure, which is why we are doubling down on our commitment to security. Today we introduced Google Play Protect—Google’s comprehensive security services for Android, providing powerful new protections and greater visibility into your device security. Play Protect is built into every device with Google Play, is always updating, and automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe, so you don’t have to lift a finger.

Google Play Protect

Peace of mind in the palm of your hand

With more than 50 billion apps scanned every day, our machine learning systems are always on the lookout for new risks, identifying potentially harmful apps and keeping them off your device or removing them. All Google Play apps go through a rigorous security analysis even before they’re published on the Play Store—and Play Protect warns you about bad apps that are downloaded from other sources too. Play Protect watches out for any app that might step out of line on your device, keeping you and every other Android user safe.

1

Control within reach, even when your device isn’t

One of the biggest security risks you’re likely to face is simply losing your phone. To help in these times of need, we’re launching Find My Device as part of Google Play Protect. With Find My Device you can locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches. This feature is built in and enabled on all devices; visit android.com/find or check out the app.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out these new features to your device. To learn more about Google Play Protect, check out our website or give Find My Device a spin.

Source: Android


Android: celebrating a big milestone together with you

When I started working at Google in early 2007, it was before Android, before iOS. Mobile was still niche. And while many of us had a sense that mobile was going to be big, I’m not sure we really realized just how big it was going to get. Fast forward to today, and there are now 2 billion monthly active Android devices globally. This is an extraordinarily humbling milestone—and it’s the largest reach of any computing platform of its kind. Today at Google I/O, we celebrated that milestone and showcased a number of ways we’re working to make Android even more useful, including a beta release of Android O and a new initiative to help bring Android to the next billion users.

Android across all your screens

Android brings the power of computing to the many screens in your life—from watches to TVs and beyond. We’re excited about the momentum we’re seeing in these new Android platforms too:

  • Watches: With new partners such as Emporio Armani, Movado and New Balance, Android Wear now enables 24 of the world’s top watch brands.

  • Cars: Android Auto has seen 10x user growth since last year, supported by more than 300 car models. And just this week, Audi and Volvo announced next generation infotainment systems will be powered by Android.

  • TVs: With 1 million new device activations every two months, Android TV has doubled its number of users since last year. And today we announced Android TV is revamping its home screen with a new channel-based, content-first experience so you can discover new shows and watch your favorites even faster.

  • Internet of Things: Android Things, which will fully launch later this year, already has thousands of developers in more than 60 countries using it to build connected devices with easy access to services such as the Google Assistant.

  • Chromebooks: Chromebooks, which can now run Android apps, comprise nearly 60 percent of K-12 laptops sold in U.S. schools and momentum is spreading. Adoption of Chromebooks in schools has doubled internationally, and we saw 75 percent growth in enterprise as well.

  • Play: Android users installed a staggering 82 billion apps and games in the past year from Google Play.

1

Android O: fluid experiences to help you do more

Android O, coming later this year, will bring more fluid experiences to your smaller screen, as well as improvements to what we call “vitals” like battery life and security. With picture-in-picture, you can seamlessly do two tasks simultaneously, like checking your calendar while planning a party on a Duo video call. And Smart Text Selection improves copy and paste—because who enjoys fumbling with text selection handles? By using machine learning to recognize entities on the screen—like a complete address—you can easily select text you want with a double tap, and even bring up an app like Maps to help navigate you there.

Under the hood, we’re making your phone startup quicker and your apps faster, and are adding optimizations for developers to help prevent your battery from draining. Because with all of Android O’s new features, you’re going to want a device that can last all day.

O will begin rolling out later this year, but developers can try the preview at android.com/beta now. Read more on the Android Developer Blog

Keeping you safe with Google Play Protect

We know you want to be confident that your Android devices are safe and secure, which is why we’re doubling down on our commitment to security. Today we introduced Google Play Protect—Google’s comprehensive security services for Android, providing powerful new protections and greater visibility into your device security. Play Protect is built into every device with Google Play, is always updating, and automatically takes action to keep your data and device safe, so you don’t have to lift a finger. Play Protect detects and removes apps that might be harmful. And with more than 50 billion apps scanned every day, our machine learning systems are always on the lookout for new risks. We’re also launching Find My Device as part of Google Play Protect, allowing you to locate, ring, lock and erase your Android devices—phones, tablets, and even watches. Google Play Protect is available out-of-the-box on every Android device with Google Play.

Reaching the next billions of users with a new initiative: Android Go

We also gave an early preview of a new initiative for entry-level Android devices—internally we call it “Android Go.” The goal is to get computing into the hands of more people by creating a great smartphone experience on all Android devices with 1GB or less of memory. Android Go is designed with features relevant for people who have limited data connectivity and speak multiple languages, and comes to life through three key areas: the Android OS, Google apps, and the Google Play Store. We’re optimizing the latest release of Android, starting with Android O, to run smoothly on entry-level devices. We’re also designing Google apps—like YouTube Go, Chrome and Gboard—to use less memory, storage space and mobile data. And there will be a version of the Play Store that highlights apps specifically designed for the next billion users coming online, while still offering the entire app catalog. All three of these things will ship together, as a single experience, starting in 2018.

 If you’re a developer, we’ll be diving into these topics and more over the next three days at Google I/O—you can catch the live stream of 150+ sessions at events.google.com/io/. We’re excited to share more updates with you on all of these Android projects over the next few months.

Source: Android


New ways to pay with Android Pay and PayPal

Android Pay | PayPal

We're thrilled to bring you even more options at checkout, thanks to a new strategic collaboration between Android Pay and PayPal, one of the world's leading online payment platforms.

Android Pay & PayPal

Millions of people already use their PayPal account to make online purchases, receive payments and send money to friends and family. Soon they can start using the same PayPal account to tap and pay with their phones in stores and speed through checkout in Android apps.

People in the U.S. can simply link their PayPal account to use with Android Pay. You can expect to see this new feature in the Android Pay and PayPal apps within the next few weeks.

Source: Android


New ways to pay with Android Pay and PayPal

Android Pay | PayPal

We're thrilled to bring you even more options at checkout, thanks to a new strategic collaboration between Android Pay and PayPal, one of the world's leading online payment platforms.

Android Pay & PayPal

Millions of people already use their PayPal account to make online purchases, receive payments and send money to friends and family. Soon they can start using the same PayPal account to tap and pay with their phones in stores and speed through checkout in Android apps.

People in the U.S. can simply link their PayPal account to use with Android Pay. You can expect to see this new feature in the Android Pay and PayPal apps within the next few weeks.

Source: Android


Android Pay Integrates with Mobile Banking Apps

Android Pay is joining with several banks around the world—including Bank of America, Bank of New Zealand, Discover, mBank and USAA—to make it even easier to use your cards with Android Pay.

Push Provisioning Bank Partners

If you’re a customer of one of these banks, you can easily add cards to Android Pay from your mobile banking app with just the click of a button.

Discover Push Provisioning

After completing setup, you can use your phone to tap and pay at millions of stores and wherever you see the Android Pay button in your favorite apps and on the mobile web. Android Pay will also send you a notification after each successful transaction.

mBank Full Width

Don’t have the Android Pay app downloaded? No problem. Through select mobile banking apps, you can access and enjoy the capabilities of Android Pay. You can manage bank card choices, like selecting your default payment card or deactivating a card on your phone.

This latest collaboration with banks expands Android Pay’s capabilities as an open platform, and moves us closer toward our goal of empowering mobile payments everywhere. We’re continuing to integrate with additional mobile banking apps, so look for updates from your bank about this new feature.

Source: Android


How we stop fraudulent apps from holding you ransom

Recently we shared our 2016 Android Security Year in Review, which looks at how we protect Android users and their data. Today, we're taking a closer look at how we shield people from a rare—but particularly disruptive—potentially harmful app (PHA) known as ransomware. We’ve long had protections from ransomware in Android, and we added new ones in Nougat as well.

Ransomware is a type of app that restricts access to your device until a sum of money is paid. Ransomware usually presents itself in one of two forms: apps that restrict access to your device and then demand payment to regain access to the device, or apps that encrypt data on the device’s external storage (such as an SD card) and then demand payment to decrypt your data. To make the scam more convincing, fraudsters sometimes pretend to be from a credible law enforcement agency and accuse you of doing something illegal so you’re more likely to pay.

Although ransomware has begun to target mobile devices, it’s still rare: Since 2015, less than 0.00001 percent of installations from Google Play, and less than .01 percent of installations from sources other  than Google Play, were categorized as ransomware.  (That's less than the odds of getting struck by lightning twice in your lifetime!).

Ransomware_screen.png
Some examples of popular ransomware

And Android users have long been protected from ransomware. Our Google Play policies strictly prohibit apps that contain it, and if we ever detect these scams, we rapidly take action. Verify Apps, our security system that analyzes apps before they are installed and then regularly checks more than 400 million devices and 6 billion apps everyday for PHAs, is another safeguard. And Application Sandboxing, a technology that forces each app to operate independently of others, provides another layer of defense. Sandboxes require apps to mutually consent to sharing data, a protection which limits ransomware’s ability to access sensitive information like a contact list from another app.

Ransomware_sandbox.jpg

Ransomware protections in Android Nougat

With the release of Android 7.0 Nougat, we added to existing defenses against ransomware, and also made some changes to address some of the newer tactics of ransomware scams. Here are a few examples:

  • Safety blinders: Apps can no longer see which other apps are active. That means scammy ones can’t see what other apps are doing—and can’t inform their attacks based on activity.
  • Even stronger locks: If you set a lockscreen PIN prior to installing ransomware, ransomware can’t misuse your device’s permissions to change your PIN and lock you out.
  • Whacking clickjacking: “Clickjacking” tricks people into clicking something, often by obscuring permission dialogs behind other windows. You’re now protected from ransomware attacks that use this tactic to sneakily gain control of a device.

Protecting your data and device from ransomware

Even with all the safeguards we’ve built into Android and Google Play to protect you from ransomware, there are still a few things that you can do to keep your device safe.

  1. Only download apps from a trustworthy source, such as Google Play.
  2. Ensure Verify Apps is enabled.
  3. Install security updates and always ensure your device is updated to the latest version to get the best security protection.
  4. Back up your device.
  5. Be cautious. Take a moment to read reviews and other information about apps before installing, to make sure you download the app you’re looking for.

If you accidentally install ransomware on your phone, you have a few options. First, you can try to boot into safe mode. Starting your device in safe mode means your device only has the original software and apps that came with it. If an app is misbehaving but the issues go away in safe mode, the problem is probably caused by a third-party app downloaded on your device. If you can boot into safe mode, try to uninstall the app and then reboot the device. On a Pixel, you can get into safe mode with a keyboard combination that PHAs can't touch.

If safe mode doesn’t work, then you might have to reset your phone to factory settings. Many devices running Android allow you to remove dangerous apps by resetting it to factory settings (also referred to as formatting the device, or doing a "hard reset"). This should be your last resort, but if you’ve backed up your files, resetting your device should be easy. Check with your carrier or device manufacturer for instructions on how to reset your phone.

Ransomware on Android is exceedingly rare. Still, we’ve implemented lots of new protections in Nougat, and we continue to improve on the defenses that have long been in place. Those protections, along with extra vigilance about how you download your apps, will help keep you and your device secure.

Source: Android


How we stop fraudulent apps from holding you ransom

Recently we shared our 2016 Android Security Year in Review, which looks at how we protect Android users and their data. Today, we're taking a closer look at how we shield people from a rare—but particularly disruptive—potentially harmful app (PHA) known as ransomware. We’ve long had protections from ransomware in Android, and we added new ones in Nougat as well.

Ransomware is a type of app that restricts access to your device until a sum of money is paid. Ransomware usually presents itself in one of two forms: apps that restrict access to your device and then demand payment to regain access to the device, or apps that encrypt data on the device’s external storage (such as an SD card) and then demand payment to decrypt your data. To make the scam more convincing, fraudsters sometimes pretend to be from a credible law enforcement agency and accuse you of doing something illegal so you’re more likely to pay.

Although ransomware has begun to target mobile devices, it’s still rare: Since 2015, less than 0.00001 percent of installations from Google Play, and less than .01 percent of installations from sources other  than Google Play, were categorized as ransomware.  (That's less than the odds of getting struck by lightning twice in your lifetime!).

Ransomware_screen.png
Some examples of popular ransomware

And Android users have long been protected from ransomware. Our Google Play policies strictly prohibit apps that contain it, and if we ever detect these scams, we rapidly take action. Verify Apps, our security system that analyzes apps before they are installed and then regularly checks more than 400 million devices and 6 billion apps everyday for PHAs, is another safeguard. And Application Sandboxing, a technology that forces each app to operate independently of others, provides another layer of defense. Sandboxes require apps to mutually consent to sharing data, a protection which limits ransomware’s ability to access sensitive information like a contact list from another app.

Ransomware_sandbox.jpg

Ransomware protections in Android Nougat

With the release of Android 7.0 Nougat, we added to existing defenses against ransomware, and also made some changes to address some of the newer tactics of ransomware scams. Here are a few examples:

  • Safety blinders: Apps can no longer see which other apps are active. That means scammy ones can’t see what other apps are doing—and can’t inform their attacks based on activity.
  • Even stronger locks: If you set a lockscreen PIN prior to installing ransomware, ransomware can’t misuse your device’s permissions to change your PIN and lock you out.
  • Whacking clickjacking: “Clickjacking” tricks people into clicking something, often by obscuring permission dialogs behind other windows. You’re now protected from ransomware attacks that use this tactic to sneakily gain control of a device.

Protecting your data and device from ransomware

Even with all the safeguards we’ve built into Android and Google Play to protect you from ransomware, there are still a few things that you can do to keep your device safe.

  1. Only download apps from a trustworthy source, such as Google Play.
  2. Ensure Verify Apps is enabled.
  3. Install security updates and always ensure your device is updated to the latest version to get the best security protection.
  4. Back up your device.
  5. Be cautious. Take a moment to read reviews and other information about apps before installing, to make sure you download the app you’re looking for.

If you accidentally install ransomware on your phone, you have a few options. First, you can try to boot into safe mode. Starting your device in safe mode means your device only has the original software and apps that came with it. If an app is misbehaving but the issues go away in safe mode, the problem is probably caused by a third-party app downloaded on your device. If you can boot into safe mode, try to uninstall the app and then reboot the device. On a Pixel, you can get into safe mode with a keyboard combination that PHAs can't touch.

If safe mode doesn’t work, then you might have to reset your phone to factory settings. Many devices running Android allow you to remove dangerous apps by resetting it to factory settings (also referred to as formatting the device, or doing a "hard reset"). This should be your last resort, but if you’ve backed up your files, resetting your device should be easy. Check with your carrier or device manufacturer for instructions on how to reset your phone.

Ransomware on Android is exceedingly rare. Still, we’ve implemented lots of new protections in Nougat, and we continue to improve on the defenses that have long been in place. Those protections, along with extra vigilance about how you download your apps, will help keep you and your device secure.

Source: Android


Belgium, Meet Android Pay

Whether you’re doing your daily shopping or heading for a night out, your Android phone is all you need as you walk out the door – thanks to Android Pay. Starting today, Android Pay is available in Belgium, helping you pay simply and securely with your Android phone. It’s the 10th country in the world to benefit from Android Pay.

You will be able to use Android Pay at more than 85.000 retail locations throughout Belgium that accept contactless payments. This includes your favourite shops like Carrefour, McDonald’s, Media Markt, H&M, and much more – take a look here for more places where you can use Android Pay.
AP_BE stores

How does Android Pay work?

Using Android Pay is simple. Just wake up your phone (you don’t even have to open an app or unlock it), hold it to the payment terminal, and voilà — your payment is done. After you check out, you’ll get helpful information on your phone about your recent transactions.
AP_BE hero 3

Android Pay will also let you breeze through checkout when you shop in your favorite mobile apps. There’s no need to enter your payment or address details every time. Look for the Android Pay purchase button in apps like Deliveroo, TransferWise and Vueling, with many more to come.

AP_BE apps

To get started, download Android Pay from the Play Store and add an eligible MasterCard and/or Visa credit card from BNP Paribas Fortis, Fintro and Hello bank!. Debit cards from those banks and CBC/KBC will be coming soon. Android Pay is available on all Android phones on KitKat 4.4 or higher for online purchases and requires NFC for in-store purchases.

AP_BE banks 3

We've teamed up with many leading payment platforms, processors, and technology providers such as Braintree and Stripe to make it even easier to accept Android Pay. Visit the Android Pay API developer site to learn more.

AP_BE processors

Get started with Android Pay in Belgium today: download the app on Google Play, add your card and start shopping. It’s as easy as Tap. Pay. Done.

Source: Android


Belgium, Meet Android Pay

Whether you’re doing your daily shopping or heading for a night out, your Android phone is all you need as you walk out the door – thanks to Android Pay. Starting today, Android Pay is available in Belgium, helping you pay simply and securely with your Android phone. It’s the 10th country in the world to benefit from Android Pay.

You will be able to use Android Pay at more than 85,000 retail locations throughout Belgium that accept contactless payments. This includes your favourite shops like Carrefour, McDonald’s, Media Markt, H&M, and much more – take a look here for more places where you can use Android Pay.
AP_BE stores

How does Android Pay work?

Using Android Pay is simple. Just wake up your phone (you don’t even have to open an app or unlock it), hold it to the payment terminal, and voilà — your payment is done. After you check out, you’ll get helpful information on your phone about your recent transactions.
AP_BE hero 3

Android Pay will also let you breeze through checkout when you shop in your favorite mobile apps. There’s no need to enter your payment or address details every time. Look for the Android Pay purchase button in apps like Deliveroo, TransferWise and Vueling, with many more to come.

AP_BE apps

To get started, download Android Pay from the Play Store and add an eligible MasterCard and/or Visa credit card from BNP Paribas Fortis, Fintro and Hello bank!. Debit cards from those banks and CBC/KBC will be coming soon. Android Pay is available on all Android phones on KitKat 4.4 or higher for online purchases and requires NFC for in-store purchases.

AP_BE banks 3

We've teamed up with many leading payment platforms, processors, and technology providers such as Braintree and Stripe to make it even easier to accept Android Pay. Visit the Android Pay API developer site to learn more.

AP_BE processors

Get started with Android Pay in Belgium today: download the app on Google Play, add your card and start shopping. It’s as easy as Tap. Pay. Done.

Source: Android