Articles about Android

No more waiting for carriers -- Microsoft will push out Windows 10 Mobile updates

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One of the frustrations facing Windows Phone users -- much like Android fans -- is that when an OS update is announced it can be difficult to find out when, or indeed if, a particular handset will receive it. Carriers can take an age to release update to their customers.

With Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft is making things much simpler by taking over the task of pushing out updates. This means users will no longer have to wait for their mobile carrier to get around to it. It's something that will help not only to ensure that as many people as possible are using the very latest version of the operating system, but will also help to stamp out a serious problem: fragmentation.

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It's far too easy to steal an Apple Watch

It's far too easy to steal an Apple Watch

The problem with a lot of technology is that it acts as a beacon to thieves. Use a phone or tablet in public and you run the risk of having it swiped from under your nose. To overcome this, Apple and Google have built in security features that make it possible to render useless iPhones, iPads and Android devices. The same, however, cannot be said of the Apple Watch.

While the Apple Watch does feature a passcode system that is used as a locking mechanism when the wearable is removed from the wrist, it is incredibly easy to bypass. A thief can grab a Watch, factory reset it and pair it with their own iPhone. The risk of arrest aside -- and, you know, morals -- there is no deterrent to helping oneself to a Watch and claiming it as your own.

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Sorry, Americans, there are no 'YouTube My Break' Kit Kats for you

YouTube My Break

YouTube and Kit Kat lovers across the pond have reason to gloat. Unless imported—and there is a legal settlement prohibiting such practice—"YouTube My Break" campaign chocolate bars will not be coming to these shores. Yesterday, Google and Nestlé announced the branding collaboration, which replaces the Kit Kat logo with "YouTube break" on 600,000 wrappers.

"Hershey does license the rights to Kit Kat in the U.S.," a company spokesperson tells BetaNews. "At this point in time Kit Kat U.S. is not participating". That's okay, because I look at the UK campaign and wonder: "Why now?" In 2013, Hershey joined the Nestlé-Google collaboration that put the green Android robot on Kit Kat bar wrappers when the mobile operating system of the same name shipped. That tie-in I understand.

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At $145, Cube i6 Air sports Retina display and dual boots Android and Windows

Cube_i6_Air

Every once in a while we come across a few exciting gadgets that stand out from the crowd. We’ve seen a dirt-cheap phone, a dirt-cheap TV, a dual-OS capable smartphone, and today we’re learning of another similar gadget. Called the Cube i6 Air, the $145 tablet runs both Android and Windows while sporting an impressive set of hardware.

This is a modified version of the Cube i6 Air 3G which was launched earlier this year in China. As the name gives away, the tablet supports 3G connectivity, but only supports Chinese bands. The Cube i6 Air fixes that problem introducing universal supported Wi-Fi. It’s also cheaper.

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Terminator Genisys: Revolution is the first Android app you can pre-register for

Terminator Genisys: Revolution is the first Android app you can pre-register for

To be first in line to download a new app, you need to be quick off the mark. You might hear about a game or app weeks ahead of launch, and it's all too easy to miss the launch date. You might be wondering why it has taken Google so long to do something about it.

For Android users this is now a thing of the past thanks to the introduction of pre-registration. The first title in Google Play to offer this is Terminator Genisys: Revolution. You can now register your interest in the game and you'll be notified when it is released and is ready for download.

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Google set to revamp Android app permission controls

Permissions

When you install an app on iOS it will ask for permissions as and when required. In Android things are done differently, and you’re informed about what permissions are required from the off. This can be rather disconcerting, as some of the permissions requested can seem both scary, and unnecessary.

Usually, there’s a good reason why an app needs the permissions it does, although it may not always be obvious, and it’s all or nothing. If you don’t agree with the list of permissions the only option is not to install the app. You can’t simply block or revoke individual permissions, at least not without rooting your device first. However, that may be about to change soon.

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Flickr 4.0 update brings new upload tool and image recognition magic

flickr

It has been a while since Flickr (remember that site?) received an update, but today this changes. Flickr 4.0 is rolling out, and it's a massive update. Headlined by Flickr Camera Roll and Uploadr, the update can be enjoyed not only by Android and iOS users, but also those who stick to the website.

There's a tool that makes it easier to get photos up online but, more importantly, tools that make it easier to browse and edit them. Flickr Camera Roll is mouse and touch-friendly browser, there's a greater focus on sharing, and there's a dusting of magic. Magic View is Flickr's new killer feature that can automatically organize your photo collection for you.

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Just one percent of retail payments is made with a smartphone, and iPhone users buy more and spend more

Smartphone fashion shopping

Do you pay for goods in stores with your smartphone? If so, you’re in the minority. According to Javelin Strategy & Research’s new Mobile Proximity Payments Forecast 2015 report, while 9 percent of online transactions are currently made on a smartphone, mobile proximity payments -- that is using your smartphone to buy something in a brick and mortar store -- account for just 1 percent of all retail transactions.

Apple users lead the way when it comes to mobile proximity payments, with almost 16 percent having made at least one purchase in a month. That’s nearly double the rate of Android smartphone owners.

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Android M to be revealed May 28 at Google I/O?

Android M to be revealed May 28 at Google I/O?

Countless Android users are still waiting for Lollipop to roll out to their handsets, but already there is talk of the successor -- Android M. Coming up at the end of this month, Google I/O is a developer conference hosted by the search giant in San Francisco and today the full schedule for the event appeared online.

An event on May 28 with the title Android for Work update is of particular interest as there is a strong hint that details of Android M will be revealed. Although it seems that Google may have let something slip a little early -- the session that refers to the next version of Android has since vanished from the schedule, but the description is interesting nonetheless.

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U.S. smartphone market is phabulous

OnePlus One vs LG G3 vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Alongside Euro-zone cell phone data, U.S. first-quarter 2015 phablet shipments are out from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Depending on how the numbers are cut, fanboys can rally for their platform.

Spurred by iPhone 6 Plus, iOS showed strong performance, representing 44 percent of phablet sales. However, the number of iOS smartphone switchers from Android fell -- to 11.4 percent from 14.6 percent year over year -- supporting early anecdotal evidence that existing Apple customers are the most-likely 6 Plus buyers. Also confirming: Android smartphone conversions from iOS fell from 9.8 percent to 5.9 percent.

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Europeans leaving Android smartphones for iPhones

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Apple's latest iPhones continue to be in high-demand in Europe half a year after their launch, leading up to a market share boost on the old continent according to a new report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. And it is happening at the expense of Android, which, while still the most-popular smartphone operating system in Europe, is seeing part of its local users fleeing to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In Q1 2015, iPhones claimed 20.3 percent of the European smartphone market, a 1.8 percentage points increase over Q1 2014. During the first quarter of the year, 32.4 percent of new customers were Android defectors.

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Android Lollipop close to 10 percent market share, KitKat still reigns supreme

Sony will only update Xperia Z series Android phones to Lollipop

It has been a while since I last talked about Android distribution numbers. At the time, the first Jelly Bean iteration claimed the top spot, while Gingerbread was still on the podium. Lots of things have since changed, so it is now time to take another look at the state of Android releases.

As always, we start with the latest Android distribution and work our way back to the oldest. As you know, Android 5.1 Lollipop is the newest release available, officially announced two months ago, in early-March. However, it was made available starting a month earlier, since reaching 0.7 percent usage share, based on data collected by Google during a week-long period that ended on May 4. No popular handsets ship with it, and few software upgrades to the second Lollipop incarnation are available today.

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Microsoft slams Android's update policy, announces 24x7 update plans for Windows 10 devices

windows update

Microsoft values its customers’ security, and it wants them to know that. The company announces its plans to frequently update Windows 10-powered desktops, laptops, phones, and tablets. At Ignite 2015 event, the company says that it will be pushing security updates every day instead of delivering them once a month.

Home users will be getting updates more often than ever, Windows chief Terry Myerson notes. Businesses, however, will remain sited on their monthly cycle -- popularly known as Patch Tuesday -- as the company plans to first test the update with home users and ensure that those codes aren’t breaking anything. Sounds reasonable.

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Thousands of top Android apps found engaging in suspicious activities

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Google's Android operating system has matured over the past couple of years. Lollipop -- the latest update -- added fresh paint to give the mobile OS more elegance and provided sophisticated encryption options to make things more secure. But in all these years, Google Play Store -- the marquee Android app store -- has largely remained free from any substantial improvement. In the past, we’ve witnessed plenty of cases where prominently showcased apps in Play Store have been found malicious, riddled with adult content, and spying elements. So it didn't come as a big surprise when this past week a new study uncovered many more of such dubious activities. This time, however, we're looking at apps that many of you are likely using on your devices.

Security researchers from Eurecom tested the top apps from all 25 categories -- summing up to about 2,000 apps -- and found that many of these were connecting to tracking and advertisement websites. Furthermore, many of these apps were pinging even more dubious portals. What’s even more striking is that the owners of these devices have no idea about the activities happening behind the curtain.

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Microsoft releases Band SDK to developers

Microsoft Band SDK released to developers

In the world of wearables, Microsoft Band may not hold the same gravitas as Apple Watch or the various Android Wear devices, but the company is still trying to get more developers on board -- today launching the Microsoft Band SDK, following on from February's preview release.

With support for Windows Phone, Android, iOS, and full-blown Windows, Microsoft is clearly keen to appeal to as many developers as possible. This full SDK release offers access to all of Band's sensors -- as part of a push to get more third-party apps on the device.

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