Articles about Android

Google's biggest apps, games, TV shows, books and songs of 2016

best-of-2016

As the year draws to a close, it's traditional to look back and pick out some highlights. This is precisely what Google has done, drawing up a list of the 'Best of 2016' from Google Play.

Covering books, TV shows, movies, streaming songs, apps and games, there are lots of big names listed in the rundown of what has been trending throughout the year around the globe. The likes of Pokémon GO make an unsurprising appearance, as do Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Justin Bieber, Deadpool, and The Girl on the Train -- but did your favorite make the list?

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A Christmas gift from SwiftKey -- free themes for iOS and Android

free-swiftkey-themes

It's December and the season of giving and -- of course -- receiving is just around the corner. You may have written your Christmas wishlist, dropped subtle hints about what you wanted, and you're now just waiting for your desires to be fulfilled. While it's unlikely that keyboard themes and skins featured highly, SwiftKey today announced that all of its themes are now available for free.

If you've harbored a secret desire to sex up your phone's keyboard but simply couldn't justify splashing any cash on something so frivolous and, ultimately, pointless, now's your chance to skin away to your heart's content. Free SwiftKey themes for everyone!

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Google's Santa Tracker counts down to Christmas

google-santa-tracker-2016

As it does every year, Google has just launched its Santa Tracker in the run-up to Christmas. Despite the name, this is about much more than watching Santa make his journey around the globe -- there's a bunch of fun and games to be enjoyed too.

As well as the online version of Santa Tracker, there's also an Android app, and even an app for Android Wear smartwatches. As we make our way through December, the Santa Tracker serves as an advent calendar, with a new treat revealed each day.

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Android 7.0 Nougat Beta (aka OxygenOS Open Beta 8) now available for OnePlus 3

oneplus_3

The OnePlus 3 may have been discontinued in favour of the OnePlus 3T, but it has certainly not been forgotten. Just after confirming that the two devices will enjoy the same update schedule once Android 7.0 is released for them, OnePlus has pushed out a beta version of Nougat for the older handset -- and it's leagues above the unofficial build we saw recently.

As this is a beta, you have to jump through a few hoops to get yourself a copy of OxygenOS Open Beta 8 -- which is based on Nougat. Actually, there's just one hoop: rather than enjoying the ease of an OTA update, you'll have to install the beta manually.

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Netflix now lets you watch your favorite movies and TV shows offline

NetFlix

Many people stream their favorite movies and TV shows today through Netflix. The service, which boasts around 86 million subscribers, is available on all the major platforms, making it easy for users to enjoy it pretty much everywhere and on every PC, smartphone and tablet. That is, as long as there is a working Internet connection.

That changes today, as Netflix announces that it is also making its content available offline. Users are now able to download movies and TV shows and watch them while, for instance, traveling on an airplane or in a remote area. Here is what you need to know.

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New Android malware breaches over a million Google accounts

malware mobile

Researchers at cyber security company Check Point have uncovered a new malware variant that has breached more than a million accounts and is infecting over 13,000 Android devices a day.

Called Gooligan, the malware roots Android devices and steals email addresses and authentication tokens stored on them. With this information, attackers are able to access users' sensitive data from Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs, Google Play, and G Suite.

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OnePlus 3T first-impressions review

OnePlus 3T homescreen front

The OnePlus 3T is shaping up to be one of the best smartphones that you can buy today. Replacing the OnePlus 3, it is a slightly beefier version of the former "flagship killer" that, at first glance, also feels more refined. Visually, it looks nearly the same, but the updated internals and improved software could make a big difference in day to day use.

This is a first look at OnePlus' new flagship, which I feel is well needed as the OnePlus 3T today makes its European debut. Many of you will be considering it as your next smartphone, and for good reasons. Obviously, a full review is coming, but until then here are my first impressions.

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Microsoft Solitaire Collection from Windows 10 now available for Android and iOS

SolitaireLady

Back in the the mid-1990's, everyone thought they needed a computer. After all, Windows 95 made using one particularly easy, and the internet was a very attractive thing. Unfortunately, once some people got their first-ever PC set up in their homes, they didn't really know what to do with it. In the end, it would turn out that some consumers spent thousands of dollars for a machine dedicated to one thing -- playing Solitaire! Yes, this fun Windows game is responsible for much wasted time, but not just at home -- at businesses too. The card game has historically been viewed as a negative for productivity.

Fast forward to 2016 and fewer people are sitting in front of large desktop computers at home -- people are increasingly turning to tablets and smartphones for entertainment. Today, just in time for Thanksgiving, Microsoft Solitaire Collection comes to both Android and iOS.

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Tech Deal: Get a Newton subscription for 50 percent off

Thanksgiving special Newton 50 percent off

You will find plenty of deals on tech products this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As usual, the focus is on hardware, but there are some significant discounts to be had on software as well.

Case in point is Newton, my favorite cross-platform email app. Formerly known as CloudMagic, in September it received a rebranding which also introduced a subscription that unlocks a number of premium features. And, starting today until November 29, you will be able to purchase one for 50 percent off.

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Satechi unveils elegant Smart Charging Stand for smartphones and wearables

Satechi-Charger-03

Wearables are all the rage nowadays, and I expect them to be very popular holiday gifts this year. While Microsoft has killed its Band, there are still many other great options such as Apple Watch, Fitbit, and more.

Unfortunately, a smartwatch or other wearable is yet another thing to charge. As a result, many people have wires all over the place, leading to messy nightstands and kitchen counters. Luckily, a good charging station can make things much more tidy. Today, Satechi unveils its Smart Charging Stand for smartphones and wearables. This elegant product will not only reduce clutter, but offer much convenience too.

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Huawei MediaPad M3 Android tablet comes to the USA -- just in time for the holidays

MediaPad_M3

Holiday shopping is upon us, and some people in my life have started asking me about technology to give as gifts. Tablets are sure to be popular again this year, although probably not as much as years past. Apple's iPad is always a smart choice, but it is becoming harder to recommend an Android tablet.

Unfortunately, quality tablets running Google's mobile operating system are becoming increasingly rare. Many Android variants are simply low-quality. Thankfully, a high-quality tablet from Huawei should excite shoppers. Previously available in Europe only, the Huawei MediaPad M3 is available in the USA starting today. Best of all? It is very affordable too.

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iOS apps three times more likely to crash than Android

Mobile frustration

With iOS and Android waged in a long term battle for smartphone market share every quarter, device performance can often play a role in shaping the final results.

According to a report released today by Blancco Technology Group, Apple is losing the app performance battle to Android with its iPhones and iPads failing at a rate of 62 percent worldwide, compared to the 47 percent failure rate of Android devices.

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Google PhotoScan turns your smartphone into a scanner for your old photos

google-photoscan

Despite the name, smartphones are generally used for anything but traditional phone related activities -- and one of the most popular usages of the devices is snapping photographs. But while an entire generation of photographers has grown up with digital photography, there are plenty of physical photos out there waiting to be digitized.

Google thinks it has the answer in the form of PhotoScan. The app is available for iOS and Android, and it transforms your smartphone into a scanner so you can preserve old photos. Unsurprisingly, it is packed with smarts to simplify the whole process, and it all ties in neatly with Google Photos.

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Bigger battery, better camera, faster processor -- the OnePlus 3T is even more of a flagship killer

oneplus-3t

The OnePlus 3 -- unashamedly billed as the 'flagship killer' -- caused major ripples of excitement when it was released earlier in the year. Now, after rumors and teasers, and mere months after the launch, there is a follow up -- the OnePlus 3T.

One of the key features of the OnePlus 3 was Dash Charge, its fast charging option still offers a full day's usage from 30 minutes of charging -- and the battery has jumped in size. Internally, the processor has been upgraded to a Snapdragon 821 chip clocked at 2.35 GHz, and there's now a 128GB model available.

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Android backdoor found sending personal information from US users to China

gchq_surveillance

Mobile security firm Kryptowire has discovered a backdoor in several Android smartphones sold in the US. The company says that the firmware collected personal data about users without consent, and sent this private information on to Chinese firm Shanghai Adups Technology Company.

Included in the reams of personal data shared to a third party server were the full text of SMS, call histories, and unique device identifiers. In addition to this, an OTA (over the air) update to firmware allowed for the non-consensual installation of apps, user location tracking and keyword monitoring.

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