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Google further updates Android Market security, and more

by Kristen Nicole

Google updates security, navigation

The web version of the Android Market has made it easier to manage apps for Android devices, but it’s also increased security risks for remotely controlling your app experience. Google (GOOG) is addressing some of these security concerns, closing a cross-site scripting (XSS hole) in the Android Market, which allowed attackers to install apps on Android devices without the user’s consent. The update, discovered by security specialist Jon Oberheide, comes shortly after dozens of infected apps were deployed in the Android Market, heightening malware distress for users.

Google has updated one of its own Android apps as well, helping you to navigate through traffic. Google Maps, one of the most frequently updated apps in Google’s line up, will now automatically reroute you away from upcoming traffic jams. The free navigation service uses real-time traffic conditions and analysis to steer you away from road blocks, saving you time and effort as you drive. The update is live in North America and Europe.

App (and non-app) updates

Bizzy has updated its Android app as well, putting a spin on the popular “check-in” feature.  When you’ve finished eating at a restaurant, the Bizzy app lets you “check-out” as a way to share your experience while it’s still fresh. The feature is specific for restaurants, as Bizzy builds its recommendation service, getting to know your preferences. Check-outs can be shared with friends, along with contact details for the restaurant.

Of course, not every company needs an app to make its services available on Android devices.  Music streamer Kazaa has updated its service to allow subscribers to stream from their Android phones, skipping the app all together. It’s making good use of the mobile web, while broadening access for end users. As the mobile web continues to expand the juncture between the PC and mobile app worlds, we’ll see more companies optimize their products to meet consumer demands.