Articles about Android

What's hot about the Samsung Galaxy Note 5? [Infographic]

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With the launch of the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung is hoping to revitalize the mobile arena and reclaim its place as the handset manufacturer of choice. The latest addition to the Galaxy Note range feature much that's familiar, including Samsung's S Pen, but the overall specs have increased.

As an alternative to leafing through lists of hardware specs in dull lists, Samsung has produced an infographic highlighting everything it believes is great about the Galaxy Note 5. The company appears particularly pleased with the screen and camera, as these are singled out for special attention.

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Android owners now more loyal to their OS than iPhone users

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The loyalty of Android users to their mobile OS has increased slightly in comparison to the steadfastness of iOS devotees, according to a new piece of research.

The report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), which was spotted by CNET, took in the opinions of some 4,000 US consumers.

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Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+

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At its Galaxy Unpacked event in NYC, Samsung today took the wraps off two of its most eagerly awaited handsets -- the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+. Just like Apple with the iPhone, Samsung's phone range is more about evolution than revolution -- but that's not to say there isn't quite a lot to get excited about.

Both devices include 4GB of RAM and as with previous generations, the Galaxy Note 5 features Samsung's S-Pen Stylus. The Galaxy S6 Edge+ boasts a larger screen than its predecessor but the Note 5's is the same size as before. So what else is new, and when can you get your hands on one?

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Twitter drops 140 character limit from Direct Messages

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As promised back in June, the character limit for Direct Messages on Twitter is being increased. The 140 character barrier is being dropped so messages sent between Twitter users can be much, much longer than before.

The character limit for regular tweets remains the same -- and tweets via SMS are still subject to the same restrictions -- but private conversations can now be much more verbose. The increase will affect Twitter.com, iOS and Android mobile apps, TweetDeck, and Twitter for Mac.

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Open your mind and visit Google's Android Experiments website

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Technology can be cold and harsh -- circuit boards, processors, and programming languages. For some, there is beauty in the technology itself. For other people, the beauty is found in what is created using that technology.

Android is the most popular Linux-based operating system of all time -- a great choice for creative developers. It took the scary Linux world of command lines and elitist support communities and delivered something normal human beings could use. Today, Google launches AndroidExperiments.com -- a site dedicated to projects and experiments that utilize the mobile operating system. Consider it a museum of modern art, but for Android apps.

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People love their mobiles but hate crappy battery life, poor customer service, and endless faults

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Stop the presses! People don’t like it when things are rubbish! A new study shows that while we are more attached to our phones than ever, they are an increasing source of frustration and problems. Users have become less tolerant of issues with hardware, bad experiences with customer services, and crashing apps.

The study -- entitled It's Complicated: Mobile Frustrations & Churn -- also found that faulty handsets and poor customer services would be enough to drive nearly a third of people to a new carrier or handset manufacturer. Interestingly, the study also threw up a few surprises, including the revelation that not many mobile users are bothered about photo and video quality.

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Google stops neglecting Hangouts for Android -- releases 4.0 update in Play Store

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When I need to communicate with friends, family or colleagues, I often turn to Hangouts. The reason why is simple -- most of them have Gmail accounts, which in turn, means they can be contacted on Hangouts too. Not to mention, the service is available for all platforms, except the lowly Windows Phone, of course.

Unfortunately, the Android app has been lagging behind for a while now. For whatever reason, the iOS version has been superior, in both usability and appearance. Today, this changes, as Google finally pays attention to Android users and delivers Hangouts 4.0.

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Security is weakened because random numbers are not random enough

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A lot of security systems are based on random numbers, prime numbers, or a combination of the two. But generating random numbers is not as random as you might expect -- or hope -- and it relies on sources of broadly random data that can be used as a starting point. The problem is that these sources of data are not large enough.

The entropy of data generated by Linux servers -- which are the backbone of much of the internet -- is, says security expert Bruce Potter, too low. Speaking at Black Hat USA 2015 -- an event which has already seen the unveiling of the Thunderstrike 2 firmware malware and the Stagefright-beating Certifi-Gate Android vulnerability -- Potter warns that the low entropy problem means that seemingly random numbers could in fact be easier to guess or crack than first thought.

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Improvements coming to Twitter for Android as Falcon Pro developer joins the company

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Joaquim Vergès, the man behind Twitter app Falcon Pro, is joining Twitter. His much loved app will live on, but Vergès will soon be starting work as part of the official Twitter team, helping with the development of the UI.

The announcement came -- of course -- via a tweet. Vergès said that he was going to use Falcon Pro as a testing ground for new features, but explained that he had become frustrated by the limitations of being a third party developer.

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Forget Stagefright, Certifi-Gate vulnerability allows for complete remote control of Android phones

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There have been numerous stories in recent days about the threat posed by Stagefright to Android users. A more serious threat has been revealed at Black Hat USA 2015, however -- one that affects hundreds of millions of Android devices. Known as Certifi-gate, a vulnerability has been found in Remote Support Tools which could allow for hackers to take full control of phones.

The security issue was discovered by Check Point, who has notified handset manufacturers of the vulnerability, and launched an app that you can use to see if your handset is affected. Stagefright led to many handset manufacturers announcing a switch to monthly security updates, and some have already issued a fix for Certifi-gate. However, it seems that HTC is a little slow off the mark this time around, particularly when it comes to patching newer phones.

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Will Stagefright force all mobile makers to release monthly security updates?

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Stagefright took the Android world rather by surprise. As well as catching the industry with its pants down, it highlights a problem of mobile security: it's just not taken seriously enough. In response to the Stagefright vulnerability, both Samsung and Google announced new monthly security update cycles.

Not to be outdone, LG has now followed suit, and it would be surprising if we didn’t see more manufacturers of Android handsets doing exactly the same in the coming weeks. But in announcing its own monthly security update schedule, LG has highlighted another stumbling block for mobile security. Carriers.

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Lookout launches Stagefright detector

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Stagefright detectors seem to be flavor of the month at the moment, not surprising when the vulnerability could affect around 95 percent of Android devices. We reported yesterday on Zimperium's version and now mobile security specialist Lookout has launched its own detector.

The app will tell users whether or not their Android device is vulnerable to Stagefright. If it is affected, it provide a run-down on how to reduce the risk of being attacked. Uses will also be able to check back in after receiving a security patch to confirm it contained the fix for Stagefright.

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Hackers can steal fingerprints from Android phones

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Hackers can steal fingerprint data on a large scale through insecure Android phones, researchers claim, saying that vendors that ship with fingerprint sensors don’t lock them down well enough.

FireEye researchers Tao Wei and Yulong Zhang are singling out Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One Max as the most vulnerable examples, and are set to announce new research during the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

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Zero-day vulnerabilities increase over 2014

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Danish security company Secunia is using the Black Hat conference to reveal an early look at the vulnerability trends to date for 2015.

One of the main findings is that 15 zero-day vulnerabilites have been discovered so far in 2015, making it likely that the total for the year will exceed the 25 discovered in 2014. The 2015 zero-days were all discovered in popular Adobe and Microsoft products widely in use across both personal and professional IT systems.

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Zimperium releases Stagefright detection tool and vulnerability demo video

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We've already looked at the Stagefright vulnerability, discovered by Zimperium, and shown what can be done to deal with it. Affecting up to 95 percent of Android devices, the vulnerability has led to Google and Samsung announcing monthly security updates.

Now the mobile security company has released additional details about how the exploit works. To help explain the vulnerability, a video has been produced which uses a Stagefright demonstration to illustrate it in action. Zimperium has also released an Android app that checks devices for the vulnerability.

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