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Old 11-02-2011, 07:07 PM   #1
Captain_Obvious
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Thoughts on a new Kobo plus some advice from the more experienced Android users

So, I just got my shiny new Kobo yesterday. Overall I like it. It does everything well. The browser was a bit of a sore point but downloading Opera resolved that.

My one issue is the processor. While using the ereader normally to do things like read or browse the net was fine, I noticed some hiccups while trying to play angry birds. Nothing major, just a little stuttering every now and then. Definitely not a game breaker or anything.

I did have one extremely weird glitch. All day yesterday I kept trying to download the user manual. Apparently I only had the free preview. Thing is, every time I tried to download the whole book, I'd still only get the free preview. Every other device with Kobo on it that I own got the manual except the Vox. Today, however, when I got back from work, I tried to download it again and it worked. Like I said, weird glitch.

My question to Android users is simply, how to tell if a program is malware in disguise. I've been reading a lot of scare stories recently about Android being plagued with malware and have been a bit more paranoid about it. Apparently, unless an app is in the Android market, you really can't trust it seems to be the recurring suggestion. Unfortunately, that's not an option at the moment with the Vox. The apps I have downloaded were from the websites that I trusted, like opera and overdrive. However, almost everything else uses the market. My worry with the Kobo getjar app is that it doesn't provide the publisher information before downloading the app. So I have no way of knowing where the app came from or if it's malware disguised as the app I want. Of course, It's entirely possible that those articles have just made me excessively paranoid. If that's the case let me know :-P
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Obvious View Post
I did have one extremely weird glitch. All day yesterday I kept trying to download the user manual. Apparently I only had the free preview. Thing is, every time I tried to download the whole book, I'd still only get the free preview. Every other device with Kobo on it that I own got the manual except the Vox. Today, however, when I got back from work, I tried to download it again and it worked. Like I said, weird glitch.
Did they finally fix that problem today? To my knowledge everyone was complaining about that. Yup, they finally did.

So it wasn't just you!
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Obvious View Post
I did have one extremely weird glitch. All day yesterday I kept trying to download the user manual. Apparently I only had the free preview. Thing is, every time I tried to download the whole book, I'd still only get the free preview. Every other device with Kobo on it that I own got the manual except the Vox. Today, however, when I got back from work, I tried to download it again and it worked. Like I said, weird glitch.
I think this is an issue that everyone had. If you check out the Pulse on the Kobo Vox manual, you'll see that everyone was complaining that it wouldn't download fully. Kobo must have fixed this sometime recently so that you are able to download it now. You weren't alone with this glitch.

Sorry I can't help with the Android question.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Captain_Obvious View Post
My question to Android users is simply, how to tell if a program is malware in disguise. I've been reading a lot of scare stories recently about Android being plagued with malware and have been a bit more paranoid about it. Apparently, unless an app is in the Android market, you really can't trust it seems to be the recurring suggestion. Unfortunately, that's not an option at the moment with the Vox. The apps I have downloaded were from the websites that I trusted, like opera and overdrive. However, almost everything else uses the market. My worry with the Kobo getjar app is that it doesn't provide the publisher information before downloading the app. So I have no way of knowing where the app came from or if it's malware disguised as the app I want. Of course, It's entirely possible that those articles have just made me excessively paranoid. If that's the case let me know :-P
You can get a software security suite like McAfee's or AVG's.... or you could keep an eye on permissions either during installation, or after you've installed an app (by going into Settings -> Applications -> clicking on the App and then looking at the permissions it needs).

Android tells you what an app needs access to do before you install it; that's good, as that means that you have an idea whether it might be malware or not. Apps that are malicious in Android, just like in Windows, don't go out to tell you that they're sending 60000 text messages or sending all your contact to spammers. What they WILL tell you on install is what access to what hardware or software is required for it to install, so you have an idea of whether it might be 'bad'.

Let me put it this way: an application that's designed to replace the Home screen and standard Launcher will need access to do everything on the phone, especially if it's meant to start up the Phone program or the Contacts list. A Live Wallpaper (animated wallpaper) does NOT need all these permissions; unless it's pulling ads off the Internet to display somewhere it doesn't need to go online, nor does it need to be able to make outgoing calls, send text messages, or read and copy your Contacts list.

GetJar's pretty safe, since they contact developers, IIRC, to get them to put apps up on their site. APKTop and others are where you need to watch yourself.

In the end, you may want to look at what the app does, then what it asks to do - if it's asking for more Permissions to do things that don't seem reasonable for its function (Kobo would need Internet permission to download new books and Modify Storage permissions to copy or delete them from the SD card, but wouldn't need access to the Phone software or to send text messages), then don't install it.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:57 PM   #5
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I downloaded it using Adobe (its DRM free) and on the Kobo desktop app from the kobo site. See: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Kobo-...1pw/page1.html

I find it easier to use if i can read it on the computer while I have my Vox open to the section I am reading about. You can take the DRM free ePUB and sideload it to the Vox, if you wish.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Obvious View Post
Apparently, unless an app is in the Android market, you really can't trust it seems to be the recurring suggestion.
That's absolutely untrue. Just about all the Android malware to date was distributed from the Android Market. Android is really no different than your PC. Common sense prevails - don't install software from unknown sources, avoid "free" porn, music, and screen saver apps, etc.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:26 PM   #7
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That's absolutely untrue. Just about all the Android malware to date was distributed from the Android Market. Android is really no different than your PC. Common sense prevails - don't install software from unknown sources, avoid "free" porn, music, and screen saver apps, etc.
Or to sum it up, "if it looks suspicious... don't."
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 3d0g View Post
That's absolutely untrue. Just about all the Android malware to date was distributed from the Android Market. Android is really no different than your PC. Common sense prevails - don't install software from unknown sources, avoid "free" porn, music, and screen saver apps, etc.
Fair enough. I guess I may have been misled. The sites usually imply that if there is a problem, Google is quick to zap it in the bud. Thanks for the tip though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haesslich
In the end, you may want to look at what the app does, then what it asks to do - if it's asking for more Permissions to do things that don't seem reasonable for its function (Kobo would need Internet permission to download new books and Modify Storage permissions to copy or delete them from the SD card, but wouldn't need access to the Phone software or to send text messages), then don't install it.
Perhaps you can help me figure something else out then. I tried installing Fruit Ninja from the getjar app. When I try to install it, it says it requires access to system tools to "retrieve running applications". Is that normal for a game? I actually have no idea what it's saying.

Thanks for the help though guys!
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:39 PM   #9
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Maybe - it'd want to know what's running so it might ask you to shut down a few things due to memory issues. That's a fairly low-risk activity in any case - a game knowing if the web browser's running is less of a threat than a game asking to read the contents of your Address Book and wanting the ability to connect to servers out on the Internet.

If you've any concerns about what a program's permissions are from GetJar versus what they should be, you may want to try going to the Android Market and seeing if the permissions shown there are identical to the ones showing in the game. I'm more inclined to trust GetJar than APKTop, as noted before.
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