Articles about Android

How many apps are smartphone users taking advantage of?

Breakup Smartphones

It's a simple question, with no apparent simple answer. A Nielsen report has shed some light on the matter, revealing that Android smartphone and iPhone users, on average, use 26.8 apps per month. But, without knowing the context, it is impossible to accurately determine what it actually translates into.

If that's 26.8 apps out of 30, the usage rate is close to 100 percent, but if it's 26.8 apps out of 100, the usage rate is close to 30 percent. A new infographic, courtesy of Yahoo Aviate and Yahoo Labs, adds some much-needed context into the picture, but does it offer an accurate answer to that question?

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China takes on Windows, Android with new homegrown operating systems

china keyboard

China really is serious about shrugging off the shackles of Windows and other Western operating systems, as the country is apparently developing its own OS which is free from the security misgivings the government has about foreign software.

According to the Xinhua news agency (via Reuters), the Chinese government is looking to boost its domestic software industry and develop alternatives firstly for desktop operating systems (namely Windows), and then it will follow those footsteps in the mobile world with an Android usurper (or that's the theory). This is according to a certain Ni Guangnan, head of an "official OS development alliance" which was put together back in the spring.

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LG officially announces G3 Stylus

LG G3 Stylus 1

Early this month, LG revealed the existence of a stylus-toting G3 version, called G3 Stylus, in a marketing video for its newly-introduced G3 Beat. Given that Samsung will shortly announce the Galaxy Note 3 successor, it has been expected that LG's new handset will be positioned as a direct rival. As it turns out, that is not the case.

Today, LG officially takes the wraps off G3 Stylus, revealing hardware specifications worthy of a budget-friendly Android smartphone. There is no high-resolution display or high-end processor. Instead, it has a modest 5.5-inch IPS panel with a low resolution of 540 by 960, and a 1.3 GHz quad-core chip. And, because of it, LG says it sits in a class of its own.

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SSL vulnerabilities leave Android apps open to attack

Android danger sign

If you're an Android user you may already have been tempted to don your tin hat and descend to your bunker following today's earlier story about app hacking. Prepare to settle in for a long seige then as new research reveals that many of the most popular Android apps have SSL vulnerabilities that leave them open to man in the middle (MITM) attacks aimed at stealing personal information.

According to threat protection specialist FireEye a significant proportion of apps allow an attacker to intercept data exchanged between the Android device and a remote server.

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Sophos looking for beta testers for new Android security software, prizes offered

photo by Slavoljub Pantelic, Shutterstock

While the claims of Android malware may be a bit overblown, it does exist and has to be a consideration for customers. That fact has brought about an abundance of software designed to combat the perceived problem.

Now Sophos is jumping into the market with an updated version of its offering, but for the moment this latest version is in a testing phase. The company is calling on Android users to begin beta testing the new offering, and the security firm is adding an incentive in the form of prizes for people willing to step up.

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Gmail app hacked with 92 percent success rate

padlock phone

Researchers from the University of California Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering have identified a weakness in Android which allows personal data to be obtained from apps.

Tested against seven popular apps the method was between 82 and 92 percent successful on six of them, only Amazon with a 48 percent success rate proved more difficult to crack. Most vulnerable were Gmail and H&R Block at 92 percent, followed by Newegg (86 percent), WebMD (85 percent), CHASE Bank (83 percent) and Hotels.com (83 percent).

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Opera Mini will see some Microsoft feature phones through their death throes

Opera Mini will see some Windows Phone through their death throes

Asha and Series 40 "feature" phones (read cheap, crappy phones) may be taking their last breath -- Microsoft plans to kill them off by the end of 2015 -- but it's never too late to try spicing things up by changing the default browser, eh? This is precisely what's happening with the ill-fated handsets, along with the Series 30+ range, as Opera Mini replaces the current Xpress Browser. Despite the seemingly short-lived nature of the deal, Opera Software is upbeat about the arrangement as, undoubtedly, will any poor blighter suffering with one of these handsets.

What is there to look forward to in the browser switch? Like other versions of Opera Mini, the version replacing Xpress Browser benefits from built-in compression that reduces data usage and helps to speed up web browsing. The deal will come as something of a surprise to many, and it has come rather out of the blue. Starting in October, Asha, Series 30+ and Series 40 handset owners will start to see notifications inviting them to upgrade, and newly produced handsets will come with the browser pre-installed.

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The Score brings new mobile features in time for football season

thescore

The NFL season is about to get underway, though pre-season games are already in full swing. The Score wants to bring you all of the action with its latest "mobile-first" update, that includes lots of enhancements for fantasy team owners, as well.

The app is multi-sport, so don't worry if you’re a fan of baseball or basketball instead. This update announcement, though, focuses on the season at hand. The new version promises to "provide the most detailed, comprehensive, in-depth football data found on a multi-sport mobile app".

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LG targets 3G markets with two new affordable Android smartphones

LG L Bello Fino

Even though 4G is undoubtedly the better technology for data consumption, in most markets across the globe 3G is still prevalent. The lower cost as well as the broader device selection certainly helps the latter remain attractive to consumers, at least until 4G is as readily available.

South Korean maker LG is keen to supply 3G-toting handsets going forward, as it announces the new Android-based L Bello and L Fino smartphones. The two, which are aimed at price-conscious consumers in "growing 3G markets", are said to pack solid specs, so let us take a look at what they have to offer.

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Samsung partners with Barnes and Noble for Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK -- but why?

feat-Gal-ReadMeetTech_D

Samsung makes great products -- you really can't go wrong with anything it makes; televisions, washing machines, tablets -- all wonderful. Sure, some people don't like the interface that the manufacturer uses for Android, but those people are just being whiny -- TouchWiz is fine. Just install Nova launcher if it bothers you that much.

Today, Barnes and Noble is releasing Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK. While Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets do not have standard Android or access to Google's Play Store, this new tablet does. In fact, it is essentially just the regular 7-inch Galaxy Tab 4 with the NOOK app pre-installed and some perks. So the question is, why does it exist?

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Snap Clap for Android takes better selfies with a clap of your hands

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The average selfie can look a little strange, oddly framed and at a weird angle as you strain to fit everybody in. Usually no-one cares -- it’s supposed to be spontaneous, that’s that point -- but sometimes you just can’t get any kind of picture, no matter what you try.

Snap Clap is a simple Android app which helps out by taking a photo when you clap your hands.

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Finally! Microsoft optimizes OneNote for Android tablets

girlstylustab

Microsoft produces some amazing things; the Surface Pro 3 is revolutionary and Office is a staple in productivity around the world. However, there is one service that the company provides that does not get the attention it deserves -- OneNote. Yes, the software that many have installed, but few use, is actually very good. It is a wonderful way to take notes and organize your thoughts. Best of all, it is cross-platform and has a web-based version, so it can be accessed on Android, iOS, Windows, OS X, Chromebooks and Linux.

Sadly, Microsoft did not make an Android version optimized for tablets. This was tragic, as many people use Google-powered tablets as their daily organizers. Today however, this changes as Microsoft releases a tablet-optimized Android version of OneNote. What took so long?

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Xiaomi's MIUI 6 beta is here and the Android ROM shames Google's stock experience

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As a Linux user and lover, I prefer Android smartphones to iOS. While I love the freedom and functionality of Google's mobile operating system, there is one thing I hate -- the UI. That is a pretty big deal and usually a deal-breaker for a consumer. However, I put up with the dreary UI and clunky app drawer because I can customize it with different launchers, wallpapers and icon packs. While this is passable, I long for a redesign to mimic something similar to iOS 7. I crave beauty and art, but alas, Google seems disinterested in doing anything radical -- Android L "Material Design" seems too safe and boring.

The design savior for many years has been the Chinese-born ROM, MIUI; however, as more and more devices ship with impossibly hard-to-hack locked bootloaders, the gorgeous ROM has not been ported to as many devices; even unofficially. And so, users have been limited to MIUI-styled launchers, but not the full experience. Excitingly, MIUI 6 is now released in beta form, but sadly, most Android users will not be able to flash the beta, or the final version for that matter. This locked bootloader nonsense is a tragedy, as MIUI 6 is sexy as hell and puts Google's vision of Android to shame.

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Patients beware: Surgeon Simulator out now on Android

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Wannabe medical students everywhere, it’s time to rejoice: popular PC game Surgeon Simulator is finally out on Android.

As usual, you get to save the lives of your grateful patients on a daily basis. Or butcher them mercilessly; it’s your call, really.

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LG introduces G Pad 8.0 with built-in 4G LTE

LG G Pad 8.0 2

Even though they are more expensive, tablets with built-in cellular connectivity have one major advantage over their Wi-Fi only counterparts that can make up for the price difference -- there is Internet access outside of the Wi-Fi range, and it is paramount for today's mobile warriors.

LG understands that there are people who require tablets with built-in cellular connectivity, so the South Korean maker has introduced a 4G LTE version of its G Pad 8.0 Android slate, which will go on sale starting this week. Let's take a look at what it offers.

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