Articles about Android

Microsoft launches LinkedIn Lite in India ahead of a wider rollout

linkedin-lite

Just like Facebook did with Facebook Lite and Facebook Messenger Lite, Microsoft is launching a cut-down, data-sipping version of LinkedIn for mobile users. LinkedIn Lite launches in India initially, and is designed for countries with limited mobile internet access.

This is an app designed for emerging markets, and as such it is Android-only; there are no plans for an iOS version. While LinkedIn Lite is starting out its life in India, it will eventually spread to a further 60+ countries.

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Samsung Galaxy Note8 Android smartphone will make its triumphant debut next month

Galaxy_Note_8

Samsung's Galaxy Note line of devices totally changed the smartphone landscape forever. Not only did the company revolutionize the "phablet" screen size, but with the addition of the wonderful S-Pen, it made handwriting entry relevant again. Even Apple faced the pressure of big-screen Android devices, finally altering its own iPhone with bigger displays.

Life was good for Samsung's Note smartphones, until it wasn't. In a sad turn of events, the most recent variant, the Note7, was recalled due to exploding batteries. While many companies would be unable to survive such a calamity, Samsung has. In fact, its brand is still incredibly strong and many consumers are clamoring for the next such smartphone. I am happy too say that, as rumored, the much-anticipated Galaxy Note8 will make its triumphant debut next month. It will be revealed in New York City at Samsung's annual "Unpacked" press event.

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TfL's new app lets you top up your Oyster card with your mobile

oyster-card-underground

Dragging itself kicking and screaming into 2017, Transport for London's (TfL) Oyster card is finally set to benefit from a mobile app that allows for top-ups from a smartphone.

A new Oyster app is scheduled for release for iOS and Android in August. It will supplement changes to the Oyster system that mean online credit purchases can be collected from any station rather than a nominated one, and will be available in 30 minutes rather than 24 hours. The sped-up processing will be welcomed, but the Oyster card app is likely to generate more interest.

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Google brings algorithm-powered feed to its iOS and Android apps

google-feed-algorithm

Google has announced a significant update to its iOS and Android apps, introducing a new algorithm-driven feed that pushes personalized content at users. The company says that the update makes "it easier than ever to discover, explore and stay connected to what matters to you -- even when you don't have a query in mind."

The feature, known simply as "the feed", has been around since December, but this is an important update that sees Google further leaning on the algorithms it has come to love. The feed draws on machine learning to create a personalized stream of content made up not only of news, but also videos, music and other content Google thinks may be of interest.

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Chill your boots! Ads in the HTC TouchPal keyboard was just a little weekend SNAFU

htc-logo

Over the weekend, distress rippled around the HTC community as advertisements suddenly appeared in the TouchPal keyboard. The keyboard is installed as the default on many of HTC's Android phones, including the HTC 10, and users took to social media to voice their unhappiness and concerns about privacy.

Despite the ire directed at the Taiwanese company, HTC is not directly responsible for the keyboard, or the update that pushed ads onto people. Rather, the developer issued an update resulting in the SNAFU that upset so many people.

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WikiLeaks reveals CIA tool for SMS spying

sim-slot

The latest addition to WikiLeaks' Vault 7 cache of leaked CIA documents details an app that can be used to intercept SMS messages on Android devices. The HighRise tool can grab messages before sending them on to a CIA-controlled server.

The app itself goes by the name of TideCheck and it serves as an SMS proxy to allow for the interception of messages on a target's phone. The app itself is password protected (with the word "inshallah") to prevent unwanted tinkering. It also seems to serve a dual purpose, acting as a secure communication channel for CIA operatives.

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Facebook rolls out Explore Feed, a new way to discover posts and content

facebook-explore-feed

Over the years Facebook has done plenty of tinkering with the News Feed -- and not always for the better. Like Google, the social network frequently experiments with new ideas, and groups of users are often used to beta test features. One such recent experiment saw the arrival of a new version of the timeline for some users via a rocket icon in the Facebook app.

Now this new option is rolling out on a wider scale. Known as Explore Feed -- and retaining the rocket icon from beta testing -- the idea is to encourage Facebook users to look at more content on the network rather than just the post of their friends and pages they follow. You'd be forgiven for missing the option as it's not entirely obvious.

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WhatsApp finally lets you send any type of file

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is now rolling out a new update for its messaging app that finally gives users the ability to send any type of file that they want. This feature was first seen in the beta channel last month.

That means that, among other types of files, users can now share items with extensions like APK (Android apps), DOC (Word files), XLS (Excel files), and so on. It is not the only change in the latest version of WhatsApp though.

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ZTE Blade Spark is a really sweet Android smartphone for under $100

ZTE_Blade_Spark

While Apple iPhone smartphones are rather expensive, I am willing to pay a premium for one. After all, I like the build quality, and more importantly, I love the iOS operating system. With all of that said, it is getting harder and harder to justify that premium. You see, there are some very impressive Android phones for super-low prices that could make you think twice. Even if you aren't a fan of Google's operating system, it is hard not to be tempted.

Case in point, today ZTE announces a beautiful smartphone running the latest Android 7.1.1 for $99. No, that is not a typo. For under $100 you can score a truly sweet device for AT&T prepaid service. Called "Blade Spark," it has a 5.5-inch display, 3140 mAh battery, a fingerprint reader, and expandable storage via micro SD. OK, sure, the 1.4GHz QualComm Snapdragon 425 processor isn't top of the line, and the 720p screen is a tad disappointing, but it should be good enough for many consumers -- especially at this price.

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ASUS Chromebook Flip C213 is a convertible for education with Android app support

Chromebook-C213

Chromebooks are great for many scenarios, but they really shine for education. Why? Well, they are often inexpensive, and best of all, they are very secure thanks to the Linux base and restrictive software design. ASUS has a new such laptop called "Chromebook Flip C213." The 11.6-inch notebook is designed to be very rugged so that if a student abuses it, it should hopefully survive. ASUS even promises an impressive 12+ hours of battery life.

This convertible laptop is powered by a 2.4GHz Intel processor and features 4GB of RAM. This should run Chrome OS very well. Besides the traditional camera at the top of the screen, there is an additional camera above the keyboard. When the laptop is folded to a tablet, that second camera becomes a "rear" camera. Cool, right?

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Microsoft sexes up Outlook conversations, search, and navigation on iOS and Android

outlook-mobile-redesign

Microsoft is rolling out redesigned versions of the Outlook app for iOS and Android, bringing the cleaner, Windows 10-inspired look, and an improved workflow to mobile users.

The redesign brings changes to navigation, conversations, and search, with the primary focus being on making it faster to achieve things. Account switching is easier, replying to conversations is streamlined, and the revamped interface is clearer and more spacious.

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Citi Pay joins the mobile/online fray

citibank

If you thought there weren't enough digital "Pay" platforms in the United States... you would be in a class by yourself. Nevertheless, there is a new option in the ever-expanding "digital wallet" marketplace.

The latest entrant is Citibank, the US's fourth-largest banking institution. Its unique take in this crowded space is its integration with Masterpass -- Citi customers can check out online and in-app anywhere Masterpass is accepted by using their existing online banking credentials.

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Twitter's new muting controls make it easier to avoid trolls

holding-twitter-logo

Abuse, harassment and trolling on Twitter is a serious problem, and something that sees many users -- celebrities in particular -- forced off the site. Having already introduced a quality filter to help reduce unwanted content, Twitter is now making it possible to block notifications from various types of account, such as those that don’t follow you.

As an extra safeguard, you can opt to block notifications from new accounts, thereby helping to avoid the problem of trolls who bypass blocks by signing up under a new username. The "advanced filter settings" are available online as well as in the iOS and Android apps.

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RED Hydrogen One is a super expensive holographic smartphone

RED Hydrogen One

It is tough to get excited about a new smartphone these days, but RED's new Hydrogen One might just pique your interest. What makes it so special? It features a novel display that uses nanotechnology to deliver a holographic experience.

In RED's own words, the Hydrogen One's "retina-riveting display features nanotechnology that seamlessly switches between traditional 2D content, holographic multi-view content, 3D content, and interactive games." That headline feature is so important that RED hasn't actually bothered to say much about what other specs the Hydrogen One has. Oh, and, no glasses are needed.

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ASUS ZenFone 4 Max features dual cameras and a huge battery

ASUS ZenFone 4 Max black

If there is one thing that you can expect from a smartphone in the ZenFone Max series it is a seriously large battery. The latest model, the ZenFone 4 Max, is no different, packing a 5,000mAh battery. But it does also have a feature that you might not expect: a dual camera setup.

The ZenFone 4 Max is a pretty interesting proposition in its segment, thanks to its up-to-date internals and massive battery, but the dual camera setup makes it stand out from the crowd. After all, only a handful of devices have one, and they're typically flagships.

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