Articles about Android

Threats to mobile devices triple over the last year

Almost three times as many phishing, malicious, deny-listed, and offensive links have been delivered to mobile devices than a year ago, according to a new report from Lookout.

The Lookout Mobile Threat Landscape Report is based on data derived from the Lookout Security Cloud that analyzes data from more than 220 million devices, 325 million apps and billions of web items.

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Privacy-focused mobile operating system /e/OS rolls out new version

If you have an Android phone you'll no doubt be aware of the risk that unwanted trackers can access your data while you're using third-party apps or browsing the web.

If you're worried about being tracked though there is an alternative in the form of /e/OS which has a focus on privacy and can be can be flashed on numerous Android devices to replace Google's ubiquitous OS. Today sees the release of V2 of /e/OS which offers further privacy controls, tools and improved user interface.

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Google brings its new and improved Find My Device network to the US and Canada

Google Find My Device

As anticipated just last week, Google had started to properly roll out the updated version of Find My Device to Android users in the US and Canada.

Described as a "new, crowdsourced network of over a billion Android devices", Find My Device is comparable to the Find My device-locating system from Apple. Initially, there is support for locating phones and tablets -- including, in some instances, when they have no power or are offline -- but starting next month, third-party Bluetooth tracker tags will be made available as well.

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Winlator 6 lets you play Windows PC games on your Android phone for free -- gains external mouse support and a magnifier

Winlator-gaming

If you want to play Android games on your PC, you can use third-party emulators such as Bluestacks or NoxPlayer.

Winlator, which has just been updated to version 6, lets you do the opposite and play Windows games on your Android phone. The latest release is a major update and introduces a lot of new features, as well as fixing issues and improving performance.

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Google finally brings glanceable directions to Google Maps a year after announcing the feature

Google Maps glanceable directions

This time last year, Google announced a series of new features for Google Maps which it said would be rolling out in the months that followed. While most saw the light of day, others started to feel like vaporware -- notably, the intriguing "glanceable directions".

A full 12 months on, the glanceable directions feature is finally being made available to iOS and Android users. It shows directions on the lock screen of a handset, so there's no need to constantly unlock the device for updates.

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Authy desktop apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux reach end-of-life: Here's what you need to know

There is some shocking and sad news that will impact Authy users globally. You see, Twilio has announced the end-of-life for its desktop applications on Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms, slated for March 19, 2024. This move highlights a change in the company's strategy, emphasizing the transition towards mobile-centric security solutions.

Authy has been a staple for users seeking an extra layer of security beyond traditional passwords. The desktop applications have provided a convenient way for users to manage their authentication tokens directly from their computers. However, with the upcoming discontinuation, Authy is urging its user base to migrate to its mobile applications.

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SwiftKey: After Bing Chat AI comes Copilot

Less than a year after adding Bing Chat AI to SwiftKey, Microsoft is now in the process of replacing the implementation with Copilot. SwiftKey is a popular virtual keyboard solution for Android and iOS.

Microsoft acquired SwiftKey more than eight years ago. The third-party keyboard solution had over 300 million users on Android and iOS at the time.

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Google Bard becomes Gemini and adds a mobile app

Google's chat-based AI tool Bard, launched last year, has been rebranded as Gemini. Google says that this is the most capable of its AI tools to date. So what does the change from poet to star sign deliver?

The Gemini Pro 1.0 model is available in over 40 languages and more than 230 countries and territories. Thee are also two new additions -- Gemini Advanced and a mobile app-- to make it easier to collaborate with Google AI.

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Winlator, the app that lets you play Windows PC games on your Android phone, gets a big update

Playing Android games on your PC is easy enough. You have the option of using third-party emulators such as Bluestacks or NoxPlayer, or you can take advantage of the built-in Windows Subsystem for Android, available on Windows 11.

However, if you wish to flip the script and play Windows games on your Android device, the process is somewhat more complex, but not impossible. To do this, you’ll need Winlator, which has just been updated to version 5, improving compatibility and performance, and resolving various issues.

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Microsoft could soon let you use your Android phone as a webcam in Windows

Samsung phone

An APK teardown of Microsoft's Link to Windows app for Android (also known as Phone Link and Your Phone) shows that the company is working to bring a handy feature to handsets -- webcam functionality.

Code shows that Microsoft appears to be working on a feature to rival Apple's Continuity Camera, the feature that makes it possible to use an iPhone as a webcam in conjunction with a Mac. Now it seems that Android users are going to get a similar option under Windows.

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Google has a quixotic plan to make it easier to choose a safe and reliable VPN

Google VPN audit

If you're in the market for a VPN, you're not short of choice. In fact the sheer number of VPN apps out there can be quite overwhelming, and it's a situation that is hardly improved by the existence of a seemingly endless number of fake tools.

So Google has come up with something of a solution -- albeit one that is only going to be of help to Android users. The company is looking to make Google Play a safer place to inhabit, and as part of this it is going to be highlighting VPN apps that have been independently audited so users know they can be trusted. The likes of NordVPN, Express VPN and Google's own Google One are among the first to get the seal of approval.

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Greedy apps collect more information than they should

Nearly 87 percent of Android and 60 percent of iOS apps request access to device functions unrelated to their performance, according to new research by NordVPN.

Researchers analyzed the most popular mobile apps globally in 18 categories. They found that up to 14 percent of apps collect more unnecessary than necessary data for the apps' performance and only eight percent collect no unnecessary data. On average, every fifth requested permission was not actually needed for the app’s functionality.

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Play PC games on your Android phone for free using Winlator 2.0 [Updated]

Winlator-Xanadu

If you want to play Android games on your PC, there are third-party emulators like Bluestacks available to install, or you can make use of the Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11.

Surprisingly, though, you can do the reverse and play PC games on your Android device. For this you'll need Winlator. We’ve covered this Android app before, but it’s just been updated to improve compatibility and performance, and fix a number of problems.

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Google's new emoji email reactions are really going to irritate non-Gmail users

Emoji in a speech bubble

Google has decided to bring emoji reactions to Gmail, giving users the chance to respond to email with little more than a tap. Can't be bothered to type a proper reply? Just send a smile instead. It's an idea that has worked well on social platforms, so Google appears to believe it's something that will work with email too.

For anyone happy to send a quick and impersonal response in this way, the arrival of emoji reactions is great news. But for anyone who is not a Gmail user it is likely to be a serious source of irritation.

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Microsoft Lists is now available to everyone as it is freed from the shackles of being a businesses-only task manager

Microsoft Lists

Microsoft Lists, the company's task manager app, has been made available to anyone who is looking for a way to manage a range of projects. Now three years old, Lists was originally limited to business and enterprise users, but Microsoft has taken the decision to open it up to everyone.

The move comes after the company conducted a limited test with several thousand consumer-level users. During its time as a business/enterprise-only app, Microsoft Lists gained a reputation for ease of use, an intuitive workflow and an impressive range of templates for managing a variety of tasks on iOS, Android and the web.

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