A potential successor to SMS has received strong backing from Google as it partners with Telenor to launch RCS messaging in Europe and Asia. Rich Communications Services is more feature-rich than traditional SMS and Google's latest partnership sees the technology spreading outside of the US and Canada.
With support for features such as group chat, read receipts and high resolution image sharing, RCS has a lot going for it. There's just one catch. In integrating RCS support into Android, Google is providing the "upgraded SMS experience" through its own Messenger app.
It's something that should delight Donald Trump -- Google is helping to fight fake news. Whether the company's move to help keep web users better informed is in keeping with the US president's penchant for "alternative facts" remains to be seen, but for everyone else it is great news.
Google is far from being the first technology company to lend its support to the fake news fighting army -- Facebook and the BBC are already doing their bit too. The expansion of Google News fact checking means that the Fact Check label is spreading further around the globe, giving people in more parts of the world the assurance that what they're reading has been verified.
IT security has never been more prominent at the forefront of people's minds than it is currently. With a sadly regular supply of hacking horror tales, Internet users are now exercising a great deal of care with the information they share through their networks. Stronger passwords and a reluctance to add personal details are among the more common measures to have become widely implemented.
Another option which people are leaning towards is that of secure messaging apps, a selection of which are profiled in the infographic below by ERS IT Solutions. There doesn’t yet exist a messaging app that is completely impenetrable to hackers, but there are those which distinguish themselves for their encryption of messages so that even if they are intercepted, the messages can’t be deciphered by unsolicited parties.
It's only a matter of weeks since we were talking about the impending arrival of Instant Tethering. This delight of technology makes it possible to quickly and painlessly share a data connection between devices, and now it's officially available to Pixel and Nexus devices.
To use Google's explanation, Instant Tethering means "you can automatically share a cellular data connection between certain Pixel and Nexus devices via Wi-Fi when they're signed in to the same Google Account." Now the rollout is official, and many people are able to make use of this very handy feature.
The days of dedicated satnavs are surely numbered, with the likes of Waze and Google Maps bringing turn-by-turn directions to smartphone owners for free. The feature set for these apps just keeps on growing, and Google Maps now includes a new Lists feature which lets you use the app to create and share lists of places.
There are lots of possible uses for Lists -- Google suggests using it to create your bucket list of places to visit, but it's better used to draw up a list of places to visit on vacation, say, and then share it with friends who are planning a similar trip. While lists can only be created in the iOS and Android app, they can also be viewed on the desktop.
It has been a little while coming, but WhatsApp is finally rolling out support for two-step verification to its messaging app.
The extra layer of security means that it is now more difficult to gain unauthorized access to an account, and it is a feature that is being made available to iOS, Android and Windows users. With the feature enabled, if you -- or anyone else, for that matter -- tries to verify your phone number on WhatsApp, you -- or they -- will have to provide the 6-digit passcode you create.
Using a smartphone while operating a car can be a dangerous affair. You obviously shouldn't text while driving, but sometimes using the device while moving is necessary, such as when using a maps app. Logitech ZeroTouch is an interesting Android-only solution that puts your phone into a special hands-free driving mode when mounted in a dock. It can be quite the elegant solution.
Today, Logitech announces that ZeroTouch is getting even better. The company is adding Amazon Alexa support, meaning you can call upon the voice assistant while in the car. Quite frankly, as great as Alexa is in the home, the assistant should prove equally as valuable in an automobile too.
A huge proportion of web traffic comes from mobile devices these days, and this means people are often trying to access online articles when they have a slow data connection. For this reason, Facebook introduced Instant Articles, and Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages.
Both of these technologies allow for near-instantaneous loading of pre-cached, optimized articles on mobile devices, but they have a problem. Both mask the original URL which can make it difficult to share interesting articles with others. Google has seen the problem and made an important change to the way AMP works, helping to increase trust.
Facebook rolls out creepy Discover People feature on mobile, suggesting you make friends with strangers
If you're using the Facebook app on your phone, you might notice the appearance of a new Discover People section. As you would probably guess this is a feature designed to connect you with people on the social network, but there's something of a creepy twist.
Unlike the current "People you may know" section which suggests that you might like to become friends with people because you have a common acquaintance, the experimental Discover People adopts a different approach. It suggests that you become friends with complete strangers.
Even after new mobile threats have been identified the number of devices in use means it can take time for patches to be rolled out to all users.
Mobile threat defense company Zimperium is hoping to tackle this problem with the launch of a $1.5 million bounty program to purchase N-day exploits which have been identified but are still usable on unpatched devices.
Benchmarks are an important metric by which the performance of a given device can be measured. They provide a reliable means of determining whether one laptop, computer, phone or other device is faster than another -- at least that's the idea.
Tests performed by XDA Developers strongly suggest that OnePlus is using underhanded techniques to make the OnePlus 3T's Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 perform better in Qualcomm Trepn and Snapdragon Performance Visualizer tests. Analysis of results points to the fact that OnePlus is targeting benchmark apps by name, such as GeekBench, and is artificially boosting device performance when they are found to be running.
The methodology of malware and cyber attacks has shown a significant shift in 2016, according to the State of Malware report from Malwarebytes.
Although ransomware is the favorite attack method used against business, ad fraud malware is growing fast and poses a substantial threat to both consumers and businesses.
The Nextbit Robin is a pretty cool Android smartphone. It is a good choice for those that want an unlocked device at an affordable price. Not to mention, it has a very cute and fun design.
Today, startup Nextbit announces that it has been acquired by PC accessory maker Razer. True, it seems like an odd acquisition, but not any stranger than Razer buying THX. With that said, getting into the smartphone game seems like a very risky business, as more established companies -- such as HTC -- are struggling lately. Has Razer made a mistake?
Security researchers from Context IS have uncovered serious vulnerabilities in a number of premium Samsung Galaxy phones which allow attackers to crash devices using a single SMS message and initiate ransomware attacks.
The report is part of a series which aims to show "how, even in 2017, SMS-based attacks on Android phones are still viable". As longtime readers might recall, iOS too was vulnerable to such attacks -- but that was nearly two years ago. While the report focuses on Samsung's Android handsets, the researchers suggest that the vulnerabilities could be found in other vendors' smartphones as well.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp was in the headlines recently because of concerns over the way it implemented end-to-end-encryption. Analysis of a beta version of the chat app showed that there seem to be plans to introduce message editing and deletion options, and new reports suggest that real-time location tracking could also be on the cards.
As reported by the Independent, version 2.16.399 of WhatsApp for Android and version 220.127.116.11 for iOS include a feature called Live Location Tracking. It's an option designed to make it easier to meet up in the flesh, but it's also something that will be of concern for privacy advocates.