Google's July Android Security Update Is Largest Ever

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2016-07-08 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: Google issues its largest Android security update; Avast acquires antivirus rival AVG for $1.3 billion; Skype for Business on Mac nears completion; and there's more.

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Today's topics include Google's biggest Android security update ever, Avast's acquisition of AVG for $1.3 billion, the finishing touches to Skype for Business on Macs, and the availability of Walmart Pay in more than 4,600 of the retail chain's stores.

The July security update for Android is the biggest Google has ever released. While the June update for 2016 only patched 40 issues to Google's mobile operating system, the new update addresses 108 different vulnerabilities. That makes a total of 271 patches in 2016.

The July update also introduces a new method of patching, using dual patches to help accelerate the process and more quickly fix vulnerabilities.

Avast, the IT security company, announced July 6 that it's acquiring rival antivirus company AVG Technologies. The $1.3 billion deal joins two of the biggest vendors in the consumer antivirus industry.

Once the deal closes, the combined company will reach more than 400 million users across the world. Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close in September or October, Avast will pay $25 for each share of AVG.

Besides sharing corporate origins in the Czech Republic, both companies are known for offering free consumer antivirus products with paid upgrades. Together, the joint company is expected to continue a new focus on protection for mobile devices.

While Microsoft continues to prioritize Skype for its own Windows operating systems, Skype for Business on the Mac is finally catching up. This past April, the company began demonstrating the new software for Mac PCs running OS X El Capitan and later versions.

Now, while it isn't due to debut until later in 2016, Microsoft is previewing the features that close the gap with the Windows-based counterpart.

Key tools like contact lists and chat presence are now fully functional in the demonstration. Group calling with up to four participants is also available, as is peer-to-peer calling with other Skype for Business contacts. Conversation histories are now stored and viewable at any time.

The third and final phase of the preview is due sometime this summer and will further flesh out the software's features.

Walmart Pay, originally launched in select stores during winter 2015, now allows users to pay with their electronic wallet in any of the company's more than 4,600 U.S. stores.

The feature is available for any Android or Apple iOS smartphone and can be linked to credit, debit, prepaid or Walmart gift cards. According to the company, the app is already being used by about 22 million customers each month.

The app uses the camera on the smartphone to scan a code at the register during checkout. The transaction is then processed automatically and receipts are emailed to customers through the app.


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