Articles about Android

Lenovo unveils Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus mid-range phablets

Lenovo Moto G4

Lenovo has taken the wraps off the new Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus at a media event in New Delhi, India. The pair is meant to appeal to phablet enthusiasts, featuring a large display, big battery and competitive specs at a price tag similar to that of the previous generation.

Moto G4 has grown in size compared to Moto G3. For the latest generation, Lenovo has opted for a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1,080 by 1,920, with power coming from a 1.5 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor and 3,000 mAh battery. The Plus model, despite what its name implies, is no bigger, but adds some nice extras.

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Google launches Spaces for sharing links, YouTube videos, images and more with small groups [UPDATE: It's live!]

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Google is introducing a new way to share content with a group. Spaces is a collaborative tool that Google wants people to use to share everything from articles and images to YouTube videos and messages.

So keen is Google for a huge take up of Spaces, that the service is launching in mobile and desktop web versions, as well as iOS and Android apps. It's billed as an alternative to group conversations, and Google wants to help streamline sharing by eliminating app switching -- this is achieved by integrating Google Search, YouTube, and Chrome into a single tool.

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Barclays will introduce Android mobile payment service

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UK bank Barclays has announced it will soon roll out its own contactless payment service for its Android-using customers in the country. All Barclays customers with an NFC-enabled Android smartphone will be able to pay for things the same way they pay with a contactless card.

For purchases of up to £30, all they need to do is tap their smartphone at the payment terminal, the same way they’d tap a contactless card. For purchases of up to £100, customers would need to tap in their PIN code.

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Logi ZeroTouch from Logitech is a smart car mount for Android smartphones

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People are seemingly addicted to their smartphones nowadays. You know what I am talking about. Everywhere I go, I see people glued to their phones like zombies. You know what? I am guilty of this too. While I am texting and tweeting while walking or eating in a restaurant, I never do so while driving -- that is just plain stupid. Unfortunately, many people are guilty of texting and driving. It became so prevalent here on Long Island, that some rest stops on the expressway were re-purposed as "text stops", so people can pull over to interact with their tech.

If for whatever reason you need to interact with your phone while driving -- texting, making phone calls, playing music, etc. -- Logitech has a new solution so that it can be done more safely. The Logi ZeroTouch is a car mount for your Android phone, but it is more than that. It is "smart", meaning that your phone knows when it is in the mount, enabling a hands-free experience.

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Facebook panders to European privacy concerns by stripping facial recognition from Moments app

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Facebook has rolled out its photo-sharing app Moments around the world, and users in Europe have been treated to a modified version. Specifically, the European version of the app lacks the facial recognition feature that allows for automatic tagging of people.

In many ways, Facebook has been forced to release a degraded version of Moments to its EU audience because of the varying privacy laws that exist in different countries. The hobbled app will not attempt to identify individuals in photos, but will group together images that "appear to include the same face".

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Android devices suffer higher failure rates than iOS

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People have become increasingly reliant on smartphones and as a result they have become less tolerant of poor performance and device problems.

Blancco Technology Group has released a report based on the latest results from its SmartChk diagnostic platform, showing higher failure rates in Android devices than in iOS ones, and revealing some interesting trends.

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Xiaomi unveils 6.44-inch Mi Max smartphone, MIUI 8

Xiaomi Mi Max 3

Chinese maker Xiaomi has announced a new Android phablet, called Mi Max, and officially showcased MIUI 8, the latest version of its Android distribution. The handset is large even for its class, featuring a 6.44-inch display that is more typical of a small tablet than of a phablet.

That is not the only thing that is big about it though, as Xiaomi has also added a 4,850 mAh battery inside Mi Max. This is one of the largest capacities we have seen in a smartphone and, with the help of MIUI 8, it should translate into great battery life -- 76 percent better than iPhone 6s Plus, the company claims.

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Think Android security updates take too long to roll out? So do the FTC and FCC

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Both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are starting to ask the questions that Android users have been asking for years: why do updates and upgrades take so long to roll out?

If you're in possession of a flagship or recent handset, the chances are you're in line to receive timely updates for the foreseeable future. But Android's fragmentation means that older handsets quickly drop off the radar, get forgotten and remain unpatched. The FCC and the FTC both want to know why security patches are slow to hit phones, and the agencies have launched separate, but parallel, investigations.

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New security vulnerability affects one in four Android devices

Smartphone lock unlocked key

A security vulnerability on Google’s Android OS has exposed users’ text messages, call histories and other sensitive data for the past five years.

The security firm FireEye has released a blog post detailing how it affects smartphones running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean as well as earlier versions of the OS. The bug, which has been indexed as CVE-2016-2060, allows apps to access sensitive user data by taking advantage of Android’s permission system.

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US government certifies LG's G5, V10 for enterprise and military use

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LG today announced that the US government has certified its G5 and V10 flagship Android smartphones for enterprise and military use. The testing was conducted by the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP), which verifies the compliance of products with the "Common Criteria" international security standard, which is said to be recognized by 25 countries.

Although LG is only boasting about the two aforementioned handsets, NIAP's test results show that G4, its flagship from last year, is also fit for use in enterprise and military sectors, when running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. NIAP's stamp of approval was received on April 14.

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SCOSCHE unveils MagicMount PowerBank for Android and iPhone

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Removable phone batteries used to be a very important thing to me. It is one of the reasons, at least initially, I shunned the iPhone for Android smartphones. Over time, however, this became less important, thanks to USB battery packs. Ultimately, I bought an iPhone and couldn't be happier.

The problem with these battery packs, however, is that the cable creates a bit of a mess; it looks unsightly to have a wire dangling from your pocket. Meanwhile, battery cases are often bulky, ruining the svelte nature of the phone. Now, SCOSCHE unveils its MagicMount PowerBank for Android and iPhone. By utilizing magnets, it can be easily affixed to the rear of the phone when needed, and removed when not. The super-short cable will prevent tangling too.

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Marshmallow now runs on 7.5 percent of Android devices

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In just two months, Marshmallow has more than doubled its usage share in the Android market, thanks to the introduction of new devices and the availability of more software updates for older but popular handsets.

According to Google's latest figures, which are based on data collected during the seven days ending March 7, 7.5 percent of Android devices now run Marshmallow. When I last covered the distribution numbers in March, its usage share was at just 2.3 percent and it looked like its rise towards the top would be a very slow one.

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Having a 5-incher means you spend more time in apps

Happy mobile user

It seems that size really does matter -- at least when it comes to the size of the screen on your smartphone. New research shows that people spend more time in apps if they have a larger screen.

The study from mobile engagement platform Localytics shows that 5-inch devices show 23 percent more app engagement than smaller screens. They also show 3.53 percent higher average session length than 4-inch screens.

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New platform uses machine learning to streamline mobile development

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Businesses are under increasing pressure to create mobile apps, but often lack the resources to do so effectively. Workplace mobility specialist PowWow Mobile is launching a new platform that lets users build apps faster and with less code.

SmartUX Studio is designed to easily transform functional web-based or Windows business applications into intuitive, modern mobile app experiences.

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After the death of @MagicRecs, Twitter Connect makes it easier to find people to follow

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It was a sad day on Twitter when one of most useful accounts, the @MagicRecs bot, was closed down. The experimental service had been firing account recommendations at users based on who they follow, but the experiment came to an end.

As something of a replacement, Twitter is introducing a Connect tab to its iOS and Android clients. The company says it will make it easier to find people to follow, and will come up with recommendations based on who you already follow, how you use Twitter, and what's proving popular with other people.

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