Articles about Android

Android 8.0 Oreo is here, and as usual, your device will probably never get it -- hooray!


Look, we all knew Android 8.0 would probably be called "Oreo," and we now have confirmation. Today, Google releases 8.0 of its Android operating system and officially names it "Oreo" after the sandwich cookie. This is the search-giant's second time partnering with a brand for a dessert name, with the other time being "Kit Kat". Strangely, Google even used the solar eclipse to promote the Oreo name.

Truth be told, it does feel kind of cheap and commercialized to have a corporate product tie-in. After all, if Windows 10 was named "Slim Jim," for example, and Microsoft urged you to snap into its operating system, consumers would be up in arms. When Google does, it, however, people celebrate.

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Google brings video previews to search results on Android


Google is undeniably the best search engine for results -- concerns about privacy be damned. Alternatives such as Bing and DuckDuckGo aren't terrible, but the optimal experience still comes from Google -- for now.

Today, Google announces a cool new search feature for its Android operating system. When using either the Chrome web browser or the official Google app, you will now sometimes see video previews in results. In other words, rather than needing to click a video to load it entirely, you can instead see a brief snippet, allowing you to see if the video should meet your needs.

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Kaspersky Secure Connection VPN service is free, but Android users aren't happy with the permissions it requires


In a time when people are more concerned about privacy than ever, security tools such as VPNs are proving increasingly popular. Kaspersky Lab recently released a VPN tool for Android, and reviewers are voicing concerns about the permissions required by the app.

Kaspersky Secure Connection: VPN service has a reasonable overall review score at time of writing, but the lower scores are highly critical of what are seen as privacy-invading permission requirements.

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Google adds Q&A to search and Google Maps on Android

Too Many Questions. Pile of colorful paper notes with question marks. Closeup.

Android users now have a new "Question & answers" option in both Google Maps and search. This is not a general Q&A feature along the lines of Yahoo Answers, but a way to ask questions about businesses.

This appears to be Google's attempt to draw people away from the likes of Facebook when they want to ask questions about hotels, restaurants and other places they may visit. Business owners are able to respond to questions -- as are users -- and they are encouraged to create FAQs to prevent the same queries being posted time and time again.

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Download Google's experimental data-sipping Search Lite app


Technology companies are increasingly realizing that if they are to break into emerging markets, they're going to have to reduce the amount of data their apps use. Facebook Lite, Twitter Lite and LinkedIn Lite are just some of the less demanding apps to have been launched recently.

Google doesn’t want to miss out on the action. It is currently testing a data-light version of its search app for use in countries with slow connections. Search Lite (or Search (Test App)) is currently available to download from Google Play in Indonesia -- or from other sources if you're elsewhere in the world.

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Nokia 8 is a premium Android flagship smartphone you might actually want


Nokia doesn't make smartphones anymore, but the company will sell its name to the highest bidder. Case in point, the current Android devices carrying the "Nokia" branding are actually made by a company called HMD Global. In other words, you are buying an HMD smartphone with the Nokia name slapped on it. This keeps the Nokia brand in consumers' minds, while HMD gets to sell its phones under a name people actually recognize. It's win-win for the two companies.

Today, HMD unveils its newest such device -- the Nokia 8. What does the "8" signify? seemingly nothing. It is not an 8th generation device, nor does it have an 8-inch screen. It is just sort of random -- much like Microsoft and "Windows 10" (whatever happened to Windows 9?). The Nokia 8 looks rather impressive, however, with excellent specs and a gorgeous design. Branding aside, this could be an intriguing smartphone for fans of Google's mobile operating system.

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Samsung browser will be available to most Android users soon


Samsung has announced that more Android users will soon be able to download and install its mobile browser on their smartphones.

The news was announced in a blog post by a developer advocate for Samsung Internet named Peter O'Shaughnessy, who revealed that users running Android 5.0 Lollipop or later will be able to sign up to test out the Samsung Internet V6 app, saying:

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Facebook rolls out Trending News to its mobile apps


We'll forgive you if you've lost track of all of the changes Facebook has introduced to the News Feed over the years -- it's often something of an experimental playground. The social network's latest idea is a dedicated "Trending News."

The section is currently rolling out to mobile users, and is something of an extension of Facebook's Trending Topics. It is making its way out to Android and iOS users in the US.

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Privacy warning: Android apps infected with SonicSpy spyware can record audio

Woman holding digital device network graphic overlay

Security researchers from Lookout are warning about raft of spyware-infected apps that have been found in Google Play. Seemingly connected to Iraq, more than a thousand apps hve been found to include SonicSpy spyware.

The spyware is embedded in a variety of legitimate-looking apps, such as messaging tools based on Telegram. One such example is an app called Soniac which was found to be capable of not only recording audio and retrieving contacts, but also taking photos and gathering phone logs. Lookout warns that SonicSpy is sneaky, and tries to hide from users to avoid detection.

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No more major updates to OnePlus 3 and 3T after Android O


Following on from the launch of the OnePlus 5, owners of previous generation handsets from the Chinese company may well have been wondering how much more support they can expect. In an interview published on the OnePlus forums, the company's head of product has revealed all.

Oliver Z says that OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T owners will not see any more major updates after Android O is released. If you were hoping to see Android P, you're out of luck. This is going to be hard for some OnePlus fans to take; while it means the handsets will have been treated to two major OS updates, in terms of the length of time for which major upgrades are being provided, there is certainly room for disappointment.

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TripIt Pro is the ideal app to relieve you of your airport stress


Navigating through any airport is stressful. Once you’ve queued for check-in, passed through security and trawled duty free, most people would locate the lounge for a couple of drinks. Problem is, it’s very easy to get lost in the moment and realize you’ve got to find your gate. That gate could be far further than you imagined and may even require a shuttle train to get you there in time. And that’s if you can find it at all!

The answer to this conundrum and much more is in the latest update of the TripIt app, released today. The paid-for premium TripIt Pro, now lets travelers see how far they have to walk between two specific points in an airport and also gives step-by-step walking directions for the shortest route between the two points in the airport you’ve specified.

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Google Pixel and Pixel XL get big discounts


The Pixel and Pixel XL are among the best flagship smartphones that you can buy today. And, since they're rapidly approaching their one-year anniversary, they are now offered with some serious discounts direct from Google, making them an even more attractive proposition in the high-end market.

Google is offering the Pixel and Pixel XL with discounts of up to $200 on its online store, and, to sweeten the deal even further, you can also grab a VR headset for free.

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New OnePlus 3/3T beta rolls out, while OnePlus 5 update is recalled


There's good news and bad news for OnePlus handset owners -- whether it's good or bad depends on whether you have a OnePlus 3/3T or a OnePlus 5. For users of the older handset, there's a new OxygenOS Open Beta which adds a decent selection of new features.

For OnePlus 5 users, however, the OxygenOS 4.5.7 update that was released earlier in the week is being recalled. OnePlus is responding reports of terrible gaming performance in withdrawing the update.

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Lenovo smartphones will all feature stock Android from now on


Starting with the K8 Note, all of Lenovo's smartphones will come with stock Android installed. The company is dropping its customized Vibe Pure UI in favour of an (almost) untouched version of Android.

The Lenovo K8 Note will come with Android 7.1.1 Nougat installed, and the company is making only minor additions in the form of Dolby Atmos and TheaterMax -- gone is the bloatware that irks users so much.

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Google Play now promotes apps that crash less and offer better battery life


There are many metrics by which to measure how good an app is, and Google is starting to use a few more when it ranks Android apps and games in the Play Store. The latest app-ranking algorithm now takes into account app stability, performance and battery usage.

As well as improving the relevance of listings for people downloading apps, Google is also using this change to push developers to improve their apps.

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