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Old March 26th, 2011, 04:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile protect your privacy and save your battery with the best android news, sports, stocks, weather apps.

hi everyone!

hopefully my many, many hours of research and experimenting will save you time and help you. hopefully it belongs in tips and tricks. being new to this forum, i just spent an hour writing a new thread, and it was lost.

however, it is long, so be warned. if you do not use news apps, business news apps or sports apps, and/or do not care about privacy or security, your battery life, caches, apps that run 24/7, etc., this intense post will not be of interest. ok? fine.


some background first:
i am non-rooted. i have a samsung captivate with the long delayed froyo 2.2 update.

here is my methodology:

apps generally have unneeded, invasive permissions and can be used to data mine, track your location using your gps - fine location, or coarse - via network cell towers, spy on your phone web surfing, your other phone internet bookmarks, your other loaded apps for market research, read your contacts, etc., etc., etc. the extra permissions are used for data mining, period. they will slow your phone, give out private, unnneeded information and build up a cache as well, etc., and run 24/7.

a pro or benefit of android news apps:
apps DO remember your page loading preferences (say the sports section or business section, international news section, a specific stock you like to track, etc.), but they use a cache in the app to do so, and i do NOT like caches, period. i have also noticed they never shut off, even when exiting to spy and data mine.

i do not like allowing permissions unless needed. period. if i had specific stock(s) i like to track, then i would use a business app, no problem. but i do not, and i do not want an app to do so. news apps usually need refreshing manually anyway. my view is why refresh? just use a bookmark, which does not need refreshing!

i only use gps for navigation to save my captivate's battery. otherwise, i do not allow apps to know my location. it's none of their business.

my samsung captivate 2.2 android phone settings and web browser settings:
my settings for speed and security and to reduce my cache, help improve my privacy, ram and battery life are below.

web browser settings:
block pop up windows,
do NOT accept cookies,
do NOT remember form data,
do NOT enable location,
do NOT remember passwords (all unchecked),
show security warnings turned ON.

phone settings:
my phone's location and security settings
do NOT allow wireless network locations (coarse via cell tower trianglualtion),
do NOT allow gps satellites, fine location (both unchecked).

i do not use latitude or any other app a lot of kids use to share their location. if you do, fine. if i use navigation, i then manually allow gps. i want to preserve my crappy battery life.

my sources and experiences:
my sources for my post is carefully reading all about in news articles and using lookout's free trial, which has a security panel, and shows what apps can locate you, and have access to your sim number, imei number and/or phone number.

imei, sim number, imsi, and phone number information is very confidential, and can be sold to other people and/or used for cloning. i said could be, not will be. also, apps data mine your location for marketing purposes. if not expressly for navigation, this is NOT needed!!!

unfortunately, lookout CURRENTLY does NOT tell you SPECIFICALLY OR EXACTLY which item an app can see. it groups them together in one blob. for example, if an app can see your imei, phone number or sim chip serial number, it does not tell you which item an app is spying on. lookout does have a section telling which apps have access to your location. lookout is 100% free for malware, but their security panel is free only for the first 30 days. no app NEEDS/REQUIRES access to your sim, phone number, imei or imsi numbers.

lookout also has a very easy to read security panel format. after 30 days you will need to pay $3.00 monthly/$36 per year, or pay up front for a year, a little cheaper, i think about $32; not a big discount, and not cheap, either.

did you know norton has 2 different apps? a beta for malware and another new beta for utilities?

norton's "mobile security app" is a 90 day beta trial. i have not seen if they have begun charging, and they don't list the price. it does not show you who can see your private information, but norton has a new beta app, the free norton "mobile utilities app", and it shows what your apps can access, such as your contacts and location, but it will not SPECIFICALLY tell you if an app can see your SIM NUMBER OR IMEI NUMBER OR PHONE NUMBER sadly. maybe it does but i missed it.

norton's new beta "mobile utilities app" is in a very complex, but super informative format. it is a free beta, and is offers MORE information than lookout or the new stock 2.2 froyo task manager. if you don't like it, then delete it. problem solved.

i myself use a "need to know rule". if an app has invasive permissions which i do not think are relevant, in MY eyes, then i do not use it. game apps do not need to know your location, full internet access, read phone state, read your contact data, take pictures, bla, bla, bla, bla. if you want the game, fine, then allow it. just do it wisely. i am not saying to be paranoid. for example, angry birds has too many permissions, but i don't care because i like the game, so i use it.

i have nothing to hide - i just don't like giving out private information needlessly, building a cache or using up my battery. period. i do not like adding apps from strange people (they only have one or two apps). their permissions tell you if it is invasive. if you want it, get it. but at least know what you are allowing....

my favorite, (and it happens to be free), android game app, trap! has zero, no permissions. even for national ranking, permissions are NOT needed. permissions are sometimes required and relevant. i know your location is needed for navigation, but not read your contacts or full internet access, or read your phone state! if you do not care, then fine. your decision. yes, i realize you have no choice on allowing permissions with certain apps, but at least do so with eyes wide open!!

lookout and norton eat your battery and slow your phone, in my personal experience. since lookout charges for their security panel after 30 days, and i do not need to know a lot of the intense info the new norton utilities app provides, i myself just load one of them once in a while, then delete. lookout charges as much for my phone as norton does for my HOME PC!

i myself do not add many apps, and do not use many games. norton is currently blocked from marketplace updates by google in response to the recent malware in the news since they come from outside marketplace. since i am non-rooted, i don't want the hassle i am sure they may fix it. if you load a lot of games and apps, i would use norton or lookout.

or use someone else. i honestly do not care, and i am posting this only to share what i have learned on my own.

since i do not keep any private banking information, even if someone gives me malware or spyware, they will find nothing.

google, due to bad press the articles below discuss, it seems to be more proactive now.

i have read many, many articles from pc magazine on android spying and from MANY other respected news sources. here are a few links, and although from 2010, they are still relevant:


http://www.pcworld.com/article/206660/android_app_spygate_tips_to_put_an_end_to_spying_a pps.html

and an article which really started the knowledge of the weaknesses of android security. yes, i get the benefits of an open source platform. i get that apple is much more restrictive, i get it. that does not mean people should not know the pros and cons. and if you go crazy on downloading a lot of apps, i would recommend an anti-virus of your choice.


and two from the wall street journal:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704694004576020083703574602.html?m od=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

Google Takes Heat Over App Security - WSJ.com


if you like drudge, on the conservative side, go to, bookmark the link below, and add a bookmark to your phone screen in a news page like i have. their site knows you are using a mobile phone, and automatically formats in a friendly, mobile format! some mobile sites have mobile or m in their web address. everyone does it differently.

if the bookmark name is too long and you wish your bookmarks to be formatted via an icon prettier, just abbreviate the name you want to name it. i named the wall street journal bookmark WSJ, i call the new york times (they charge for internet news access now; i do not know if they will do so for mobile phones), i labeled it NYT, or, label it nyt.

you can always go into your saved bookmarks and edit the name to a shorted name. some mobile news sites give you a cute icon as well, some don't.


if you hate drudge, fine.

but do go to their list of 50+++ mobile friendly news sites from all over the world, liberal and conservative slants, i have provided below! pick your favorite news aggregator (google, aol), or a specific news site, or a wire service. again, the drudge bookmark below only lists mobile friendly formatted sites, and does not have any news. then, go to the individual mobile news sites and bookmark a specific site you like. you may wish to bookmark the link below on your phone for future reference in case you wish to access a different news web site in the future.


below is who i have bookmarks for on my news screen, in alphabetical order. sadly, most newspapers have cut the number of reporters by 50% both domestically, and closed foreign offices. the best news i find comes from outside the u.s. mainstream media or major tv networks, in my opinion.

my business bookmarks:
bloomberg, great news and excellent business news
wall street journal, the largest circulation newspaper in the world. wsj has good news articles, not just business news. not as dry as it used to be.

my news bookmarks, liberal and conservative:
afp (french news service)
aol (news aggregator, a lot of different sources which is a GOOD thing for diverse sources)
ap (the biggest wire service which most newspapers use, but sadly, most of our newspapers rely on ap as their single wire service instead of their own reporters)
bbc (i bookmarked the u.s and canadian section)
der spiegel (german, but in the english language)
fox news (and they have a business section you can separately bookmark, but to save screen icon space, i just have one fox bookmark. good news site, without all the pundits yelling)
google news (new aggregator like aol news which is a good thing for diverse sources)
mcclatchy d.c. (one of the few independent papers left)
nyt (new york times charges for internet viewing, i do not know if they will for mobile phones)
reuters (a huge news wire service from sweeden or norway - i forget, in english)

my weather app:
i just use the stock samsung accuweather app. it does all i need. or, go their website and save the bookmark on your city, and your bookmark should take you right back to your city because a bookmark has your city in the bookmark information, just like bookmarking a web site location.

sports app recommendations:
i would go to your favorite site, and look on their site for a mobile edition, usually shown on the bottom of their page. also, they may even know you are accessing from a phone, and may automatically format it in a web friendly version.


so, use a cache cleaner/task killer like i do, or go into your web browser settings and clear cache and clear history manually once in a while. this takes too much time for me. don't forget to not allow (block) cookies. if you are an idiot, and like cookies, fine, but they are not needed.

i have also moved all possible my 3rd party apps to my sd card. you could do so with 2.1, but the 2.2 is easier now. sadly, when you shut the phone off, the sd apps need their widgets reloaded as they disappear. i also love the new 2.2 froyo, and use the new samsung active applications widget and the new samsung task manager application.

i myself use "quick app manager". i have tried a lot of cache cleaners and task killer apps, and this is my absolute favorite. it is a one time charge, currently, of only $1.05 and i think a $0.05 cent international fee from google since he lives in france, and it is converted to euros.

yes, it needs a lot of permissions, but it needs them to do it's job. it can be moved to sd also! yes, allowing permissions will always be a risk, but i have choosen to do so, eyes wide open. as i said above, i do not, nor will i ever, store pin codes, atm pin codes, or secret credit card information in my phone.

below is a link to his combo task killer and cache cleaner:

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.cerisierbleu.qac&feature=search_res ult

anyway, i have written to the developer of the quick app manager many times over the past year with questions, not because there have been problems, but because i am curious, and he always replies quickly to my questions. he will very seriously consider changes or recommendations. he is always updating, improving, expanding its capabilities, making it more and more user friendly and robust. what more is there to like: a cool, inexpensive app, with many features, and a french delevloper who always improves it?????

i keep telling him he should charge more, but it is a hobby for him, and he has no plans now to charge more. he really should.

he recently added, as of 4/8/2011, some new, very nice upgrades, including a security feature which tells you what your apps can access. i personally have never seen any other cache cleaner or task killer offer more, even when they are stand alone apps. and the best part is his is a single app.

i use the quick app manager to close apps the samsung task manager misses, or is deliberately programmed to ignore, like the google maps, which will always restart and spy on you no matter what. i just keep closing it and delete the cache for fun. kinda like the whack-a-mole game.

check out quick app manager, or find another cache cleaner and/or task killer which is one of your liking. if you do not like task killers, fine. you still need to clean your cache!

that's it. everyone is different. i just wanted to share what i myself like and do, and why. if you see it otherwise, great. it is a free country!! other's comments and advice are welcome.

thanks and i hope this may help new and experienced android owners as well.

people are welcome to share comments.

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Last edited by SGS2; May 11th, 2011 at 08:16 AM. Reason: formatting errors, spelling corrections, content corrections
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Old May 4th, 2011, 11:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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if you want the exact phone friendly web addresses from above, please leave a message posted here and i will post them as i feel my post is already too long.....
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Old May 9th, 2011, 08:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your Drudge mobile friendly URL has a typo: it should be idrudgereport.com, not idredgereport.com:


Also, this list from Drudge does not include the mobile version of a few notable news sources: CNN (m.cnn.com), or NPR (m.npr.org). These aren't exactly new sites. I wonder why Drudge doesn't link to them?

Here's another list of mobile news sites, claiming to have 75 sources:


Neither Drudge nor about.com includes some major sources:

CBS: http://m.cbsnews.com
NBC/MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com (which automatically displays correctly on small screens without the need for a different host name)
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Old May 11th, 2011, 08:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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thanks chocophile.

i made the correction, and i only listed my favorites above, and i am glad you listed others as well. i personally find most of our mainstream media is not always the best source, so i listed a lot of news wire services and foreign sources.

i did break down, and did add an app, a new, free cnn app. before, the cnn app was from an unknown developer, but now, it is officially from cnn, and includes sms text alerts for breaking news.

this brings up an important point: i would never recommend adding a news app from an unknown developer; only go with an "official" news app.

i despise all the invasive, needless, datamining permissions, so i just added just one official news app, CNN. yes, cnn has way too many permissions, but it is a necessary evil if i want breaking sms news text alerts.

thanks again for all of your sources!!!!! i really appreciate the time you took.
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