Articles about Android

Time to ditch your phone -- Android Wear now has cellular support


Not long ago LG announced the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition -- the first Android Wear smartwatch that offers LTE/3G connectivity. Now Google has officially announced Android Wear's cellular support.

Breaking down one of the barriers to wearable adoption -- the previous reliance on smartphones for a lot of functionality -- the arrival of cellular support means your smartwatch can be used to make and receive calls even when you don’t have your phone with you.

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Mozilla lets you experience Firefox OS 2.5 Developer Preview as an Android launcher

Firefox OS 2.5 Developer Preview Android Launcher App

Convincing smartphone users to try a different operating system is no easy task as it typically means they have to get a new smartphone that runs it. But Mozilla has gotten around this by making Firefox OS 2.5 Developer Preview available to those rocking an Android device as a launcher.

Android users who want to give the developer preview of Firefox OS 2.5 a go basically have to download the app from Mozilla, install it and then select the appropriate launcher. Unlike a typical Android launcher, Mozilla's offering changes pretty much everything to match the upcoming Firefox OS 2.5, including the settings menu and notifications panel.

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Apple Music arrives on Android as a beta


In a few short months, Apple Music has picked up millions of followers, and it has managed to do this whilst remaining exclusive to iOS. Now that changes. Today Apple's music app makes the jump to Android.

Currently in beta, Apple Music for Android is a free download, and includes a three-month free trial of the service. After this, should you want to continue using it, you'll have to cough up $9.99 per month. For the most part, this is a direct port of the iOS version of the app, but as it is in beta there are some notable differences.

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Offline navigation comes to Google Maps


One of the biggest problems with Google Maps on your smartphone is that you need an internet or data connection. At least that used to be the case. Today Google announces that navigation is now possible in offline mode.

In a move that has the potential to kill off the likes of TomTom and Garmin, Google is making it possible to download maps to your phone so turn-by-turn directions can be initiated even when there is no connection. It's a feature that people have been waiting for for some time, but Google has more to offer.

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Post-Stagefright analysis shows Android users remain indifferent to attacks

Stage spotlight

In the past few months, Android users have seen a series of attacks by hackers exploiting bugs, collectively putting more than a billion devices at risk worldwide.

In late July, Stagefright hit the news as a weakness in the system that was being exploited by hackers. This was followed by Stagefright 2.0 and Kemoge, making for massive malware attacks on Android phones in three out of the last four months.

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Marshmallow running on 0.3 percent of Android devices


Since a new version of Android is initially available only on a handful of devices, most of which feature a Nexus logo on the back, you can expect its market share to be extremely low in the first few months following its release. Lollipop, for instance, needed over two months to break past the 0.1 percent barrier -- and we are only talking about Android land here.

The latest version of Android, however, is already proving to be way more successful. In just a month, Marshmallow has reached 0.3 percent of Android devices. This adoption figure comes from Google's Android distribution share chart, which was just updated with data collected in the seven days ending November 2.

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Is OnePlus 2 the flagship killer you've been waiting for? [Review]

OnePlus 2 Front

Top-end specs, a large screen, near-vanilla Android, and a price tag on the South side of $400 make OnePlus 2 a force to be reckoned in the battle for the "Smartphone of the year" award. It certainly has what it takes to get consumers' attention, as over four million reservations were made in the first couple of weeks after launch. But, hype can only get the "2016 flagship killer" so far. Question is, does it live up to it?

I have used a OnePlus 2, in 64GB trim, as my daily driver for well over a month now to find out whether it is worthy of its self-given title, and how it stacks up against some of the flagships it has in its sights, like Apple's bigger iPhone.

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Shuanet, ShiftyBug and Shedun malware could auto-root your Android


Rooting a phone is something that many people decide to do to allow them to do things and use apps that would not otherwise be possible. If you make the choice, you are in control. But security researchers at Lookout have discovered a new form of malware disguised as apps from the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

While some of the apps are partially functional, the malware has a nasty payload: it could be quietly rooting your phone in the background. Lookout has identified three families of malware -- Shuanet, ShiftyBug, and Shedun -- that can be found in more than 20,000 apps in Google Play. Once installed, the malware is almost impossible to remove.

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Check your Android device for 22 vulnerabilities


Google’s latest Android update has fixed another stack of security vulnerabilities, including yet more Stagefright issues.

This doesn’t mean you’re safe, of course -- OEMs can take a very long time to release their own updates, and older devices may not get them at all.

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Motorola arrives in the Windy City as store opens in Chicago


You can tell the holiday shopping season has started. There's Christmas displays in the stores, Amazon has launched its store and perhaps, just maybe, the children are being better behaved. It's also the time when stores suddenly pop up, many of them are simple kiosks located in malls.

Motorola took that concept one step further as it announces its first full-blown store, located right in downtown Chicago.

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Vulnerability in Baidu's Android SDK exposes 100 million Android devices

High Risk

Security researchers from Trend Micro have discovered that a software development kit used by thousands of applications is leaving Android users at risk.

The Moplus SDK was created by Chinese firm Baidu and is susceptible to backdoor functionalities. It is believed that approximately 100 million Android devices users are affected.

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Google says Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge reduces Android security


Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge is blighted by 11 security problems according to the Project Zero team at Google. The team carried out research to determine how easy it would be for an attacker to exploit an Android phone produced by an OEM.

Over the course of just a week of investigations, Google discovered "a substantial number of high-severity issues". While Samsung has now fixed some of the problems, at least three are still to be addressed.

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Google's Nexus 6P bends too easily, and there's no excuse for that

Failure Fail Grade F

Bend tests have become a talking point after Apple's iPhone 6 Plus was found to have issues in this department. So, whenever a new flagship smartphone comes out, you can expect someone to make a YouTube video showing how easily -- or not -- it can be bent. They have become so popular that reviewers can expect millions of views.

And because such tests are a given, manufacturers are also expected to learn from others' mistakes and come up with smartphone designs that fare well in these kind of conditions. So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw Google's new Nexus 6P bending -- and, as a result, breaking -- with very little effort. Has its manufacturer, Huawei, learnt nothing from Apple's mistake?

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Smart Reply for Google Inbox suggests replies to emails


Gmail might be Google's most well-known email service, but more recently the company has introduced Inbox. Now Inbox gains a new feature -- Smart Reply. The email tool is known for its automation features and Smart Reply aims to cut down the amount of time you have to spend replying to messages in Android and iOS.

Although not entirely automated. Smart Reply analyzes the content of the emails you receive and suggests a number of stock replies that you might like to send. While it is certainly not going to eliminate the need to type out emails entirely, the ability to respond to common types of email with a couple of clicks will prove a real time-saver.

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Revisiting Nexus 9 [review]

Cat and Nexus 9

HTC is just killing me. Last week, I bought a new Nexus 9 tablet from Amazon, thinking: "What a deal!" But every Tuesday, the device manufacturer boasts big 24-hour sale. "What a steal" is my reaction to the weekly price cut, with buyer's remorse. The company sells, today only, the 32GB LTE model for what I paid for the WiFi-only variant: $359. Oh, the pain!

But this story is stranger still. I didn't regard N9 much of a good value when reviewing in May, writing: "I want to love Google-branded, HTC-manufactured Nexus 9. But ours is a contentious relationship". On Oct. 29, 2015, Amazon delivered the new tablet, and the user experience dramatically differs from the previous device—so much I must revise my review. Value is even better, for anyone buying on this November Tuesday and scooping the deep discount.

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