Chic Sketch

We’re always looking for fashion apps that solve problems, like organizing a closet or making online shopping easier but it’s also nice to find an app that focuses on something creative and fun.

With Chic Sketch, created by Appetizer Mobile, your best outfits can be turned into beautiful works of art. Personally, I’m always jealous of people who can create precise sketches, and this app does the work for you.

The app is free and only requires that you snap a head-to-toe picture of your outfit, or upload one you’ve already taken. To receive your sketch, a user pays $9.99 and can also get their completed sketch sooner for an additional $4.99.

Although users have to pay for their sketches, if you’re a fashion blogger or social media addict that wants a stylish sketch to post, Chic Sketch’s services are worth the money.

In addition to getting your own sketch, use the app to peruse other users’ sketches, gaining outfit inspiration and seeing other works of art. Trust me, it’s addicting.

Chic Sketch offers an exciting concept that is all their own. There is definitely a market for their services- fashionistas everywhere will love seeing their favorite ensembles made into a sketch, and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t love to Instagram that.

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Appetizer Mobile CEO and Founder Jordan Edelson discusses app development for Apple Watch and mobile devices on Bloomberg Business.

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While Google’s notorious terms of service are primarily poured over by SEOs and others who rely on Google’s suite of products, perhaps no one knows the tenacity with which Google fights spam and malware better than Android developers. Apps made available on Google Play tend to have to adhere a stringent quality guidelines, yet a recent batch of apps to hit the Play store seems to have slipped under the radar and are loaded with malware, according to a recent finding by antivirus company Avast. With this recent Adware outbreak coming on faster than flu season, we wanted to take a look at the symptoms of this particular malware issue, the steps Google usually uses to prevent this from happening, and other security considerations for mobile applications.

 What Are the Symptoms? 

According to Engadget and Tech Crunch, the Android AdWare app attack seems to be something that is incredibly difficult to detect, namely because symptoms of malware aren’t visible for days to weeks after the new app is downloaded and used. Since apps will work normally for up to a few days without any incident, it seems as if the Adware slipped through the antivirus scans for Google Play. The software is pretty clever in its implementation; after a few days, the software will trigger ads to the user indicating that they need to pay for premium content, that their phone is infected and needs to be cleaned up, or compromise privacy details by prompting the user for sensitive information.

After this starts, it just gets worse. The ads arise any time a user unlocks their phone, and the ads and spam can be pretty damning: In some instances, ads tell users that their device is out of date, obsolete, broken, or full of pornography. Mistakenly clicking on one of these ads and mistaking it for a true prompt can lead to even further comprises in sensitive data, or send premium texts from the phone without knowledge. This seems to be a pretty severe attack; while normally incidents such as these are isolated and quarantined quickly, some of the infected apps had over 5 to 10 million downloads at the time of writing.

What Does Google to Protect Google Play?

The Mountain View company’s primary response to malware is met by “Bouncer,” a piece of software that offers Google the chance to keep unsavory patrons out of the Google Play store, and keep it safer for users. Bouncer is a pretty undisruptive piece of software, that, up until now, proved to be pretty sufficient for keeping malware off of Play. The software just ran in the background of the store, with no disruptions to the user experience, and just scanned the entire store for any instances of malware. It’s unclear how that will change as they continue to adapt to the changing threats of viruses and security breaches.

Google indicates: “Once an application is uploaded, the service immediately starts analyzing it for known malware, spyware and trojans. It also looks for behaviors that indicate an application might be misbehaving, and compares it against previously analyzed apps to detect possible red flags. We actually run every application on Google’s cloud infrastructure and simulate how it will run on an Android device to look for hidden, malicious behavior. We also analyze new developer accounts to help prevent malicious and repeat-offending developers from coming back.

Security Considerations for Apps

We have covered security at length in the past, and one thing still remains true: Malware and viruses are adaptive and ever-evolving threat. All apps should be tested and re-tested to avoid the risk of spreading malware or other infectious and unwelcome Adware out of mobile applications. To avoid malware, ensure that your app encrypts data and is stripped of extra features and portals for attackers to compromise the app’s integrity. To read more about mobile security, visit our blog and read about Jordan’s conversation with on the topic by clicking here.

chic-sketchThere are plenty of artsy apps that do digital on-the-fly photo manipulation, whether it’s turning something into a watercolor painting or line drawing, but how about an app that actually employs real humans on the other end? Mobile app developer Appetizer Mobile recently announced Chic Sketch, an iOS and Android app designed to connect you with real-life fashion designers to get a custom fashion sketch of yourself.

Chic Sketch is an app for turning a picture of yourself into a fashion illustration that looks those designers’ sketches. It doesn’t manage this by using clever filters and photo-manipulation algorithms, however: there’s actually fashion illustrators waiting in an office, ready to look at your picture and draw a sketch of you on the spot. First, you download the free app. After that, you either take a picture of yourself in-app or choose a picture from your photo library (it has to be a full head-to-toe shot), and upload it to a fashion illustrator. It won’t be instant, of course, since a real person is doing the sketch, but you can check out the quality of the sketches on Chic Sketch’s website.

The catch? It costs $10 per sketch – so choose your photos wisely. There’s also a social element to it with a live gallery feed, allowing you to see other people’s before-and-after sketches. You can also easily share to social media from the app. There are a limited number of fashion illustrators, so in anticipation of users becoming impatient with the process you have the option to upgrade to priority status by paying $5.

You can see examples of the before-and-after sketches on Chic Sketch’s website, and you can also take a look at the work of Chic Sketch’s co-founder and illustrator, Emily Brickel, on her site. Although there are plenty of fashionistas out there, we can’t see everyone flocking to this niche service. However, you can claim to have a very original, trendy selfie, which makes this app unique.

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