Articles about Android

Yet another Android vulnerability discovered -- bad guys can turn your device into a brick


Say what you want about the restricted nature of Apple's iOS, but I appreciate its security -- it makes me feels safe. Comparatively, Android can feel much less secure. Not only is it fragmented due to carrier and manufacturer reluctance to support long term updates, but we are constantly hearing about vulnerabilities such as the one with Stagefright.

Sadly, we see yet another vulnerability today, and it is quite the bombshell. Respected security company Trend Micro explains that bad guys can turn your device into a brick -- a totally non-functioning state. Not only is this inconvenient, but potentially dangerous (and deadly) too.

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OnePlus 2, the '2016 flagship killer' launches


One of the year's most anticipated smartphones, the One Plus 2, is finally here. Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus announces today that it is releasing its new flagship. Successor to the "2014 flagship killer", the new phone has fans perking up their ears.

Much like its predecessor, the OnePlus 2 isn't a slouch when it comes to specifications. It sports a 5.5-inch display of FHD (1,920 x 1,080) screen resolution. The company says that anything beyond FHD display on a phone "adds nothing to the user experience". The device is powered by a second generation Snapdragon 810 processor, coupled with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB internal storage.

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Google's new Android One handset -- Lava Pixel V1 -- disappoints with its absurd pricing

Lava Pixel v1

If you thought Google has been slacking lately with its Android One initiative, the company has a new smartphone that it hopes will have its fans perking up their ears. The company today launches Lava Pixel V1, a new Android One smartphone it made in collaboration with the Indian smartphone manufacturer. The pricing of the phone; however, disappoints.

Make no mistake, the Lava Pixel V1 is the most powerful Android One handset to-date. It sports a 5.5-inch HD (1,280x720 pixels) IPS display (up from FWVGA display in the first generation of Android One handsets). Underneath the handset sits a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek (MT6582) chipset coupled with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and 32GB internal storage which can be expanded by another 32GB using a microSD card.

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Vulnerability in Stagefright could expose 95 percent of Android devices to risk

Stagefright switch

Although you may not have heard of it, Stagefright is at the heart of the Android operating system. It's a media library that processes several popular media formats. Since media processing is often time-sensitive, the library is implemented using native code (C++) that is more prone to memory corruption than memory-safe languages like Java.

Researchers at mobile security company Zimperium have uncovered an issue in the Stagefright code that they believe to be one of the worst Android vulnerabilities to date.

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Apple Watch and Android compatibility: Should it happen?


The Apple Watch has only been available a few months, but it has already captured a sizable portion of the wearable market. Selling 4.2 million units throughout the second quarter of 2015, it has stolen an early march on its rivals, particularly the many wearables that use Android Wear as their primary operating system.

The question remains, however: how much longer can Apple continue to dominate the market with its self-imposed restrictions? The Apple Watch is only compatible with the iPhone 5 and later models running at least iOS 8.2, cutting off a huge proportion of consumers who use Android handsets. If Apple wants its new smartwatch to have genuine mass appeal, it will struggle under these terms.

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Google+ Photos dies August 1, replaced by Google Photos


Wielding its axe above its head, Google today prepares to sever another limb from Google+. It's only a couple of months since Google Photos launched, and we knew back then that the writing was on the wall for the Photos component of Google+. Now we know that the axe drops on August 1.

From this date Google+ Photos will be no more. The service will shut down first for Android users, followed quickly by the web and iOS versions. If you want to continue to take advantage of cloud photo storage, editing, and sharing, you'll need to make the switch to Google Photos.

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Samsung announces Galaxy Tab S2 Android tablet with 8 and 9.7 inch screen options


The tablet market has felt a bit stale lately. Apple's iPads are in need of a refresh, while the Android options have been yawn-worthy too. Other than the Nexus 9, there really hasn't been anything to fire up the Android community.

Today, Samsung hopes to change this with the all new Galaxy Tab S2 tablets. Consumers can choose between a 9.7 inch screen or an 8 inch variant. In other words, Samsung is offering options with its tablets -- much like Apple with the Air and mini -- which is rather smart. After all, one size does not fit all when it comes to tablets.

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Hacking Team leak shows how to sneak malicious apps into Google Play


Italian security and surveillance company Hacking Team was most famed for supplying monitoring tools to governments around the world, but a recent security breach revealed the inner workings of the outfit. Sifting through the leaked data revealed not only spying tools and Flash vulnerabilities, but also Android apps with backdoors.

Security experts from Trend Micro found that spyware from Hacking Team was released to Google Play, bypassing checks that are usually performed. BeNews was a fake news apps -- now removed from the store -- that could be used to download remote access software to Android devices running anything from Froyo to KitKat.

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Cortana for Android gets leaked, you can try it on your phone now!

Cortana for Android II

Microsoft announced earlier this year that it will be bringing Windows Phone's digital voice assistant, Cortana to the desktop as well as rival mobile platforms. We've already seen Cortana -- the rival of Apple's Siri, and Google's Google Now -- on Windows 10 technical preview, and now we're getting our first look at Cortana on Android.

While the company is yet to officially release Cortana on Android, the APK file of the digital voice assistant got leaked a few minutes ago. We tested the APK and did the signature verification, and can report and confirm that it is all legit. You can download it from here (though; it is advised you always snag things from official channels).

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HTC One M9+ flagship coming to Europe


Originally announced in April, One M9+ is HTC's most-impressive Android smartphone of the year so far, besting the One M9 global flagship. However, for some reason, HTC decided that it would only sell the device in a couple of Asian markets, forcing interested buyers in other parts of the globe to, basically, import the device.

Fortunately for those looking to get One M9+, HTC just announced that it is also making the Android device available in European markets. It looks like those in US will have to wait a bit longer for its official debut -- if it ever happens.

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Xiaomi's Mi TV 2S is a crazy-thin Android Lollipop-powered 48-inch 4K TV

Mi TV 2s

Chinese technology conglomerate Xiaomi, best known for its low-priced and durable smartphones, has been aggressively working lately to increase its other product portfolios. The company today announces that it is refreshing its TV lineup by launching the Mi TV 2S.

As for the specifications, the Mi TV 2S sports a 48-inch display with 4K capability. With a waistline of 9.9mm and aluminum body, the television set is impressively thin too. But the company is not making any compromises on the internal components.

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Samsung announces Galaxy A8 Android smartphone

Samsung Galaxy A8

Samsung has announced the Galaxy A8, a continuation on the A series of smartphones, in China.

The Galaxy A8 features a super-thin design, measuring at 5.9mm, alongside a 5.7-inch 1920 x 1080 display. Like other devices in the A series, Samsung has added a metallic frame to the device.

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HTC brings new affordable Desire Android smartphones to US

HTC Desire 626

To get more consumer attention, a smartphone vendor has to cover all major segments well. It has to have solid low-end handsets, balanced mid-rangers, and, of course, cutting-edge flagships in its lineup. HTC does the last part well in US, with One M9, but, outside of this segment, its presence is not as strong.

HTC wants to change this, announcing four new Desire Android smartphones for the US market, which it hopes will get the attention of consumers on increasingly popular prepaid plans. Desire 520, Desire 526, Desire 626s and Desire 626 borrow design elements from the One M9 flagship, but at much lower price levels.

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Indian smartphone vendor Lava Mobiles confirms it will be launching an Android One smartphone

Lava Android One India

Google has partnered with Indian smartphone vendor Lava Mobiles to work on a new Android One handset. The companies will be launching the phone in a few days, a spokesperson for Lava Mobiles confirms to BetaNews. The mobile maker hasn’t finalized the launch date yet, but notes that it will be sending out the press invites in a couple of days.

The companies have been working on version 2.0 of the Android One program, as per an earlier report on The Economic Times. The report noted that the two companies will be launching the phone at a media invite on July 14. A spokesperson of Lava Mobiles tells us that they had to postpone the event.

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It's your fault Google Photos continues to upload pictures after you uninstall it


Google's decision to break up Google+ into a number of separate apps and services led to the launch of Google Photos. Just like with Apple's iCloud, the app can automatically upload your images to the cloud ready for sharing, viewing, or just as a backup. You might decide that this automatic uploading isn't for you and opt to uninstall the Google Photos app... but your photos will probably continue to upload in the background.

This is the discovery that many Android users have made; what gives? Is Google being sneaky? The answer's not quite that simple. Before you start freaking out, proclaiming that Google is indeed evil, and wondering how on earth the company thinks it can get away with it, consider this: it's actually your fault.

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