Articles about Android

What do you want in a mobile operating system?

What do you want in a mobile operating system?

I'm not going to open the 'which mobile operating system is best' can of worms -- let's get that clear from the offset. This is not me trying to push my preferred operating system on you, or trying to convince you that you're wrong about the OS you've opted for. This time it's over to you. What you do want?

Do you want things handed to you on a plate, or would you prefer to be granted more control over the operating system on your phone and tablet? Is there mobile platform that meets your needs at the moment, or would you like to combine elements from Android, iOS, Windows Phone and even BlackBerry OS? Just what is it that makes the perfect operating system for your phone or tablet?

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Root already available for Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge unboxing and hands-on videos

Rooting is still a controversial topic among Android enthusiasts. Bring it up and be prepared to hear countless arguments for and against it. I don't fully support either side; I admit to having conflicting thoughts about it. On one hand, root opens up a world of possibilities, but, on the other hand, it's not often that one needs to take advantage of the cool things it enables.

However, we can all agree that what's most important is having the option to choose. And if you plan on getting a Samsung Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge on launch day, then you should know that rooting its Android distribution will be possible right from the start.

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Apple bribes Android and Windows Phone users to switch to iPhone

Apple bribes Android and Windows Phone users to switch to iPhone

Apple may be about to launch a new phone trade-in program in a bid to encourage more people to invest in iPhones. Hand over your old Windows Phone, Android handset -- or even a BlackBerry or aged iPhone -- and you could receive a gift card that can be used as part payment for an iPhone. The news comes from the usually-reliable 9to5Mac where it is suggested that Apple Store employees will place a value on handsets before handing over a gift card in exchange for it.

It's not a completely new venture for Apple; the company has previously run programs to encourage iPhone users to upgrade to the latest version of the handset, but this will be the first time the scheme has been opened up to rival smartphones. While previously this was an incentive to upgrade, this time around it's little more than a bribe.

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Sony rolls out Android 5.0 Lollipop, Xperia Z3 family getting it first

Sony Lollipop Xperia Z

While other Android makers have long begun to roll out Android 5.0 software updates, Sony is only now starting to make the first Lollipop incarnation available to its customers. The priority is the Xperia Z3 family, which includes Sony's current flagship smartphone.

Sony has decided that Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact should be its first smartphones to get Android 5.0 Lollipop. The roll-out starts today, in Baltic and Nordic Europe. Here's what's new.

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Nope, Microsoft isn't getting into Android with a Cyanogen investment

Nope, Microsoft isn't getting into Android with a Cyanogen investment

A little while back rumors surfaced suggesting that Microsoft was on the verge of investing in Android. Not directly, you understand, but via Cyanogen Inc. In August, Cyanogen Inc met with Satya Nadella but it seems that the talks amounted to nothing.

The company is on the verge of raising $110 million of financing, but Microsoft will not be involved. According to a report by Bloomberg, Microsoft will not be contributing to the funding, but could still be interested in perusing commercial ventures with Cyanogen Inc to help push Microsoft apps onto more Android devices.

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Microsoft's personal assistant Cortana headed to iOS and Android

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Microsoft regularly pits its personal assistant Cortana against Apple’s Siri in a series of adverts, with predictable results. Cortana is always much smarter, funnier and more helpful. She’s certainly one of the high points of Windows Phone, and is set to make her debut on the desktop when she arrives as part of Windows 10 later this year.

However, it seems Cortana isn’t just going to be confined to working on Windows devices. According to Reuters, Microsoft is also working on bringing the personal assistant to iOS and Android in the form of a standalone app.

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WhatsApp Call rolling out to all Android users -- here's how you can get it

WhatsApp Internet Voice Call

A year after announcing its plan to add a voice calling feature to its instant messaging client, WhatsApp began to test the feature in late January. The feature -- as we noted last week -- was rolling out to users on an invite basis. But the company is finally easing up on that as now it is allowing anyone to get the call feature provided they have an Android phone with the v2.11.561 installed on it, and a friend with the feature willing for you to call them. BetaNews is able to report and confirm that the aforementioned trick is working worldwide.

WhatsApp isn’t the first messaging client to get the internet voice calling feature. Rival apps such as Viber, Hangouts (it charges for international calls), Skype, and even Facebook’s Messenger offer a similar feature. But what makes WhatsApp triumph over competing apps is the voluminous amount of users it has attracted since its launch in 2009. WhatsApp -- which Facebook acquired last year for a whopping sum of $19 billion -- has more than 700 million users as of earlier this year, and just this week, the messaging app become the second non-Google app (after Facebook) to be downloaded 1 billion times on the Google Play Store.

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Bidding farewell to Google's Nexus 5

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When looking for an affordable high-end smartphone the other day Google's Nexus 5 was an obvious option. Even one and a half years after its launch, its hardware is still more than capable of running all the latest apps and games, while the camera can still be considered a decent shooter. The downside of going with Nexus 5 -- as with previous Nexus smartphones -- is battery life, which falls short of the competition. So I ended up getting something else.

It turned out to be a smart move, as Google just pulled Nexus 5 from its online store, after five months of coexisting with its latest flagship smartphone, Nexus 6. If you still want to get one then you will have to look at retailers and some carriers, which are likely to carry Nexus 5 for at least a few more months (until LG stops production and/or existing stock is depleted.)

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Google opens its first store

Google opens its first store

Not to be outdone by Microsoft and Apple, Google has opened its first ever store. Located within Currys PC World on Tottenham Court Road in London, this is not a standalone store but a "shop in shop". Going under the predictable moniker of the Google shop, shoppers can expect to find a range of hardware from the search giant.

The stores will give people the opportunity to browse and try out numerous Android smartphones and tablets. Other hardware such as Chromecasts and Chromebooks will also be available. But the Google shop is about more than just hardware, it also gives people the chance to get hands-on with Google software, and attend events and classes -- forget Google Glass, this is Google Class.

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Dropbox SDK vulnerability puts billions of Office files at risk

Cloud box

A flaw in the Dropbox SDK for Android could potentially put large numbers of MS Office files stored in the cloud at risk.

IBM's X-Force Application Security Research team has discovered a severe vulnerability in Dropbox's software development kit (SDK) used by Android app developers to connect to Dropbox so users can tap into their files via an app.

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Google releases Android 5.1 Lollipop factory images -- here's how you can install it

fearlolli

The latest Lollipop incarnation may been have around for more than a month now, first arriving on Android One smartphones slated for Indonesia, but Google only yesterday made the official announcement, and revealed the much-awaited changelog. The good news doesn't end there, as the search giant also released a number of Android 5.1 factory images.

Android 5.1 Lollipop packs some pretty major changes. Among them are support for multiple SIMs, a feature that lots of Android vendors have offered for years now, and Device Protection, a feature designed to deter smartphone theft.

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Google unwraps a new Lollipop -- Android 5.1

Google unwraps a new Lollipop -- Android 5.1

Many people may still be waiting for Android 5.0 Lollipop to make its way to their smartphone, but today Google released Android 5.1. This may have been a day dominated by the Apple Watch and new MacBook, but by launching an updated version of Lollipop on the same day, Google managed to avoid too much attention.

Was this done on purpose because of the small number of handsets that will be in line to receive Android 5.1? Or could it be because there are few stand out features to get excited about? There may be little new, but the performance and stability improvements will be welcomed by those eligible for the upgrade.

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Samsung shows off the cameras in the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge with new video

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge unboxing and hands-on videos

Just recently Samsung held a big event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. A whole lot of hoopla surrounded the launch of the two new Galaxy S6 phones, with plenty of news coverage both online and on TV.

Now Samsung is getting into the details about what you'll get with its latest handsets. The company has released a video meant to showcase the cameras built into these devices. There are a number of interesting features in this department.

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Xiaomi Mi 4 flagship riddled with malware and uncertified Android version, or is it? [Update]

Xiaomi-Mi4

Updated at 18:00 IST: Bluebox and Xiaomi are now confirming that the handset the security firm tested was a counterfeit product purchased through an unofficial channel. You can read Xiaomi's full statements below.

Xiaomi’s Mi 4 is one of the best smartphones you cannot purchase so easily -- but it might be for the best, it seems. Don’t get me wrong: The Mi 4 packs in top-of-the-line specifications, the latest Android-based operating system, and is incredibly cheap, but if data security firm Bluebox's latest report is to be believed, it also comes with malware and a host of other issues. The handset seems to have been tampered with by an unidentified third party, however. We’ll have more details on this later today.

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Sony will only update Xperia Z series Android phones to Lollipop

Sony will only update Xperia Z series Android phones to Lollipop

There is one complaint that is constantly levelled at the Android ecosystem, and that’s the notion that it's a platform that has become very fragmented. For all of Google's bluster about Lollipop, only a tiny proportion of handsets are actually running the latest version of the operating system. This is something that doesn't show signs of changing soon.

Sony has revealed news that will undoubtedly upset many smartphone owners -- only the Xperia Z series is in line for an Android 5.0 upgrade. No Lollipop for the Xperia T2 Ultra, the Xperia M2 Aqua or anything from the E series. A perfect demonstration of why fragmentation is so prevalent. Anyone with a non-Z series Xperia is stuck with KitKat, Jelly Bean or whatever version of Android they may have.

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