The past week was again not rich in high-profile events, but during these seven days there was something that everyone should know. For example, how fake applications for receiving social payments appeared on Google Play . They should not only be feared, but avoided “a kilometer”. Users of smartphones with MediaTek processors may also have security problems. The identified vulnerability allows access to the microphone and eavesdropping on the owners of such devices. And this week we found out that Xiaomi users will be able to repair their phones themselves, and Google is already preparing a cool Google Pixel 6a. These and other news in our traditional weekly collection.
Fake social payment apps
Probably, there are no longer those who have never been assigned any social benefits. In this sense, the pandemic – pardon the unnecessary pathos – acted as a great equalizer who left almost no one behind. Another question is how to get them. Some have formalized payments through State Services , others through the MFC or territorial offices of social support services. But those who decided that neither one nor the other nor the third was suitable for them. It was they who became victims of fake applications from Google Play , posing as payment processing services.
Several fake apps have infiltrated Google Play , offering users government-assigned social benefits . In fact, this is nothing more than malware such as adware – applications with embedded ads that spin continuously, including in the background, imitating clicks on ads, due to which their creators make money.
The applications in question are easily found in the catalog for the request “payouts”, which means that Google is either not aware of their existence, or has not yet made a decision to remove them. In any case, at the time of publication of the publication on Google Play, at least four programs of a similar kind are available: Payments to the population of the Russian Federation, Receive benefits and payments in 2021, FRPS Payments 2021 and Payments to citizens of the Russian Federation.
Judging by the page of each of the apps that have been spotted on Google Play that promise a convenient design for social payments , they are released by different developers. However, if you download them, it becomes clear that they have a fairly similar interface to each other. This leads to the idea that in reality they may have the same creator, or at least a common publisher.
Since these are advertising applications, of course, they do not offer any options for processing payments. Despite the presence of the corresponding keys in the interface, none of this works. The main purpose of these applications is to get from the user all the system permissions they need to run in the background and display ads, and to ensure that the user does not remove them from the device.
It is quite easy to understand that this is a fraudulent software based on reviews. The average score for these applications is around 1.2-1.5 points. Users who downloaded them write that the applications do not work, show ads, freeze, drain the battery, and even steal money from someone. Most likely, this is, of course, not so, but it should be borne in mind that even this is possible.
I managed to find one positive rating for each application, which most likely were posted by users by accident. In any case, it says nothing about cheating. Otherwise, there would be much more positive ratings and reviews. But it is good that the developers either did not think of this before, or they simply did not have enough funding.
Needless to say, such applications will not help you in any way to get social benefits assigned by the state. The only way to do this online is to apply through Government Services. This service has an official website and an Android application that duplicate each other’s functionality. Therefore, if you want to apply for social support, do so through them.
DIY Xiaomi repair
Have you ever repaired your smartphone ? Most likely no. Even if he needed a simple battery replacement , most likely you applied for this service to a service center. This is logical and correct, because a smartphone is a technically complex device that is very easy to damage, even with detailed disassembly instructions. But, apparently, do-it-yourself repairs will soon become the norm. Anyway, for smartphone owners of brands such as Xiaomi, Redmi, Black Shark, and Poco.
Xiaomi has announced the launch of a self-repair program for branded smartphones. In fact, this is a complete tracing of a new Apple initiative, which invited owners of branded devices to purchase parts from it directly and use them to replace failed components at home.
Obviously, the main goal that Xiaomi pursues is only to do everything exactly like Apple’s. Therefore, the Chinese did not even have time to think over anything, but simply announced a program for self-repairing smartphones just a couple of days after the main – as they think – a competitor, without naming the conditions for participation or explaining the reasons for launching it.
If Apple did it forcibly, because both the authorities and the users themselves, who were outraged by the fact that Cupertino demanded that branded devices be repaired only in authorized service centers, pressed on it, Xiaomi had no reason to do the same.
Firstly, because Xiaomi freely sells components for the repair of its smartphones , allowing them to be purchased by any workshop without going through a preliminary stage of verification and authorization. And, secondly, none of the users demanded more freedom for themselves and did not accuse Xiaomi of artificial restrictions.
That is, the desire to copy everything cleanly, without understanding the ins and outs of the issue, is obvious. But since stupid people would never have built a company like Xiaomi, it is obvious that some kind of calculation did take place after all. I’m not sure if this was the case, but knowing how the Chinese feel about after-sales service, I would assume that there was another, and perhaps not even one, goal behind the self-repair.
One of the goals may be to, if not completely, then at least partially remove the responsibility from themselves and their service centers for the repair of branded equipment, shifting it to the users themselves. Well, remember how many times Xiaomi has been accused of refusing to repair or replace devices on far-fetched grounds.
Most often, this is faced by the owners of ripped devices that have been unsuccessfully updated, and as a result, they are left with the device, either unable to exit the reboot cycle, or refusing to turn on in principle. Perhaps now Xiaomi will have a more objective reason to deny them free repairs, citing the need for self-repair.
The program initially starts in India. So for now, we have nothing to worry about. Moreover, even Xiaomi itself does not really know how everything will be arranged. It is assumed that the company will simply open sales of components for its devices and provide instructions on how to replace them. It’s another matter how many problems this will entail.
There is practically no doubt that there are many who want to repair their smartphones on their own. But how competently they will replace damaged components is a big question. Here the second version of the goals that Xiaomi pursues comes into play, and it consists in the fact that the company just wants to earn more money for those who incorrectly repair their devices at home .
In theory, this should be very easy money. Well, see for yourself: let’s say a person needs to replace the battery. He bought spare parts and tools, opened the smartphone and somehow incorrectly disconnected the internal components from each other, managing to damage them. Naturally, the device will not work, and in order to bring it back to life, you will need to contact a service center.
In part, of course, Xiaomi can also lose on the reduction in the volume of repair services provided. But since there are no real Kulibins among the users of the brand’s smartphones, as a rule, there is no easy way to make money by correcting mistakes made by laymen, the company can make good money.
What is known about the Google Pixel 6a
Most recently, Google revealed its brand new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Both smartphones come with their own Google Tensor chip, cool designs, great cameras, and Android 12 right out of the box. I think the Google Pixel 6 is the best Android smartphone right now . However, not every user can afford such a flagship, because it costs a lot of money. That is why three years ago Google decided to launch the sale of cut-down versions of flagships with weaker hardware, but similar software capabilities. In theory, the Google Pixel 6a was supposed to be just that, but apparently something went wrong in the company.