Feeds

Rogue Android apps rack up hidden charges

Turns on, tunes in, you pay

Security for virtualized datacentres

Applications installed on an Android handset are capable of automatically switching on data connectivity, and roaming, so their owners run up huge data charges.

Several US users have complained of unexpected data charges being run up on their G1 handsets, and Engadget reports that T-Mobile has put out a statement clarifying that applications do have the ability to switch on roaming without informing the user - with the caveat that the user should have been informed of this capability when they downloaded the application.

Of course, not every user reads the small print when downloading applications. They particularly don't read the fine print when those applications come from a marketplace that doesn't have any ability to charge for downloads, as the lack of billing encourages risk-free testing of software. With data-roaming rates still unacceptably high, though, it seems there is a significant risk attached to such applications.

Conversely: many great applications benefit from being able to make their own data connections, and bothering the user each time would ruin their utility. What's needed is something akin to the setting familiar to MMS users - auto-connect when on the home network, otherwise connect on demand.

Given the problem lies in the Android platform it should equally affect UK G1 users traveling abroad, but T-Mobile UK is checking on that for us and we'll update you when we hear from them.

Always-on connectivity is really useful for widgets and other Web 2.0 paraphernalia, but it won't take too many surprise bills for users to switch off the automatic connections - hugely reducing the capabilities of the platform. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.