Articles about Android

Ransomware becomes biggest security threat on Android

smartphone lock

Android users, beware. Ransomware for your favorite mobile operating system is picking up -- it's now the main threat in the US, UK, Germany, Denmark and Australia, in the first half of 2016.

These are the figures from security organization Bitdefender. Its report claims the Android SLocker ransomware family accounts for almost half of all mobile malware reported by infected devices in the first half of 2016 in Denmark.

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Runtastic users can now listen to curated Google Play Music playlists during workouts


Any sort of exercise is made a little easier if you're listening to music. With this in mind, Google has teamed up with Runtastic to provide access to curated playlists in Google Play Music for keen runners.

It's a feature that is -- at the moment, at least -- exclusive to Android users, and it makes it easy to choose music that will suit your mood, or the speed at which you're motoring along.

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Surprise! Here's Android 7.0 Nougat for OnePlus 3


It's no secret that there's an Android 7.0 Nougat update on the way to the OnePlus 3, but the question is: when?

Of course it is already possible to get Nougat running on your OnePlus 3 if you're willing to install a custom Cyanogenmod 14 build. But what most people are interested in is the official release direct from OnePlus. Well, it's not only in the works, we have a video of it in action.

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Buy a Google Pixel from Verizon and Verizon will be responsible for updates, not Google


The newly announced Pixel and Pixel XL caused great interest at the beginning of the week. Described by the company as being "the first phone made by Google inside and out" (even though we know that HTC is involved) you would expect that Android updates would be coming courtesy of Google itself.

If you thought that, you'd be wrong. Possibly. It depends where you buy your Pixel from. Buy it from Google, and Google will indeed be responsible for the update process. Buy it from Verizon -- Google's exclusive US partner -- and Verizon will be the one handling system updates, creating something of a two-tier system.

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Here's when you can buy the LG V20 Android 7.0 Nougat smartphone on T-Mobile


The LG V10 was one of the biggest surprises of 2015. While it wasn't marketed as a flagship, many folks -- including yours truly -- preferred it to the LG G4. The V10 was special, as it featured an exclusive extra screen at the top of the device. While the secondary display looked like a gimmick, it actually worked well -- it proved useful. The LG V10 was built like a tank too, making it one of the best Android phones ever.

Earlier this year, LG released its G5 flagship, and sadly, it was a dud. It had build-quality issues, and was overall a boring product. The interchangeable modules were poorly executed, making it a bad choice. Luckily, the successor to the V10 is on the way to wash the bad taste of the G5 out of consumers' mouths. Don't worry -- the LG V20 has the extra screen like its predecessor. If you want to buy it on T-Mobile, I have good news -- today, the company reveals the release date. As icing on the cake, the cellular carrier is giving away high-end headphones when you buy the LG device.

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Shazam launches stripped-down music recognition app

Shazam Lite

Shazam is a fantastic app for identifying music but, judging by the launch of a new version, it is not for everyone. Its maker believes that potential new users in emerging markets might be better served by a smaller and lighter version of the app, so today it introduces Shazam Lite.

Unlike Shazam, which takes just under 60MB of storage on a OnePlus 3, Shazam Lite has "a highly optimized size of less than 1MB" to suit the entry-level Android smartphones that are taking over emerging markets. It is not uncommon for such a device to have 8GB or 16GB of storage.

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Pixel and Pixel XL are Google's iPhone killers


It may have been one of the worst kept secrets in tech launches, but today Google officially took the wraps off its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. In terms of hardware it could be argued that there is nothing too spectacular here, but even if you ignore the (still very impressive) hardware side of things there are two features that directly take on Apple: Google Assistant to compete with Siri, and unlimited full-resolution photo backup.

Unlike Google's previous Nexus range, the Pixel handsets carry no other branding -- these are the first phones designed and built inside and out by Google and Google alone. We already knew just about everything about the two handsets -- which neatly compete with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but now everything, and more, has been confirmed.

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WhatsApp copies SnapChat and allows you to add emoji to photos... and more


Until concerns were raised about data sharing with Facebook to help deliver targeted ads, WhatsApp was seen as the messaging tool of choice for those concerned about privacy. As well as offering encrypted messaging, WhatsApp has always been one of the more stripped back messaging apps out there -- but no more.

Bowing to pressure to fit in with the crowd and offer the same features as the likes of SnapChat, WhatsApp is adding photo and video editing and enhancement tools. The ability to add emoji to photos, or draw and write on images are just two new options that are rolling out now.

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Xiaomi finally launches its long-awaited Mi Box


As Google TV struggled, Roku and Amazon Fire TV were seemingly taking over the market. Google finally let its TV platform go, but announced it would be replaced with Android TV. The company also promised a third-party set-top player known as the Mi Box.

It has taken since June, but the much-anticipated Mi Box, announced at Google I/O, is finally hitting the market.

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Oracle loses appeal against Google in Java API case


Oracle has once again been unsuccessful in its latest effort to obtain a new trial in its Java API copyright claim against Google. Judge William Alsup of the San Francisco District Court has denied Oracle's latest motion to have its case reheard on the grounds of misconduct on the part of Google's lawyers.

Since 2010, the two companies have been in an ongoing legal war that was ruled in Google's favor. However, in the six years that have passed Oracle has repeatedly appealed the ruling multiple times.

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Facebook Marketplace takes on eBay and Craigslist


Today, Facebook launches a new way to buy and sell goods online -- Facebook Marketplace. While the service may not win any prizes for the originality of its name, it provides a more efficient and effective way to find things that are for sale near you than currently exists on the social network.

To start with, Facebook Marketplace will be available to mobile app users on iOS and Android, but it will also come to Facebook on the desktop eventually. Facebook is taking a very hands-off approach to buying and selling, and is not getting involved in the murkier aspects of transactions such as payments or handling feedback.

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Carphone Warehouse leaks full Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL specs


Google is on the verge of launching the Pixel and Pixel XL, but no launch would be complete without its share of leaks. This time around the slipup comes courtesy of UK retailer Carphone Warehouse which posted details of Google's upcoming phones, complete with photos and full specs.

The same mistake was made by Canada's Bell, effectively confirming the specifications which thus far have only been rumors. The listings not only reveal what we can expect in terms of hardware, but also show that Google is going to offer free, unlimited photo backups at full resolution for Pixel owners.

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Google faces fines for anticompetitive Android practices in Europe


European regulators could hit Google with large fines if the company does not stop offering financial incentives to smartphone manufacturers to pre-install its own apps on handsets. Documents obtained by Reuters show that a potential fine could be linked to the revenue Google makes from AdWords.

With advertising being Google's primary source of income, this has the potential to be a fine of unparalleled magnitude. The European Commission knows that it needs to hit Google where it hurts if anticompetitive practices are to be effectively discouraged. The Commission says it "intends to set the fine at a level which will be sufficient to ensure deterrence".

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Facebook launches Messenger Lite to reduce data usage


Facebook may have the rather lofty goal of wanting to "empower people all over the world to stay connected", but for most people the social network is just about chatting. Facebook Messenger has proved massively popular, and to cater for people with slower internet connection, the company now has Facebook Lite.

As you would probably guess from the Lite tag, this is a slightly cut-down version of the messaging tool but it still offers all of the core features. As well as helping out those with slow internet connections, it's an app that will appeal to people with more basic Android smartphones.

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Lenovo ZUK Z2: Promising smartphone, with a few caveats [Review]

Lenovo ZUK Z2

Lenovo is already a well-established brand in Western Europe thanks to its personal computer brand which counts the legendary ThinkPad range and German manufacturer, Medion, amongst its ranks. It also absorbed storage vendor Iomega, IBM’s Intel-based server business and NEC personal computer range.

The company has acquired phone manufacturer Motorola, inheriting yet another iconic brand whose name still carries a lot of value for a mainstream audience. But the latest move of the Chinese company, which is also the biggest PC vendor in the world, has been surprising.

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