Articles about Android

Data-saving Facebook Lite is now available in the US

Facebook Lite

Originally designed for countries with slower mobile internet connections, Facebook's cut-down and data-light Facebook Lite app is making its way to the US.

The app has been around since 2015, but it was only available in a limited number of countries, with the focus being primarily on developing nations where connectivity was an issue. But now Facebook is spreading the love to the United States, the United Kingdom and other parts of the world.

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Google Images gains captions to make search results much more useful

Google Images search captions

By its very nature, searches on Google Images are very visual things -- but that's not to say they couldn't be enhanced with some non-pictorial content. And that's exactly what Google has done, adding captions to image search results to make them more useful.

The aim is to provide greater context about results, giving users the chance to judge the quality of the image, and to perhaps determine whether the host site will have other useful images.

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Mobile ad Trojan numbers fall but monetization techniques improve

Dollars and smartphone

Advertising Trojans were the top mobile malware threat in 2016, however, new figures from Kaspersky Lab show their numbers declined last year but their creators turned to improved monetization methods.

Taking advantage of super-user rights to secretly install various applications or bombard an infected device with ads to make use of the smartphone impossible, ad trojans have become a major threat and are also extremely difficult to detect and remove.

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Here's what's new in Android P

What's new in Android P

Google has released the first developer preview of Android P, giving us a glimpse into the future of its mobile OS. There's a lot to explore in this latest version of Android, but just what can you expect -- apart from notch support, of course?

As this is just the first preview version, there's not -- currently -- a huge number of new features. The focus at the moment is on under-the-hood changes, but there's still plenty to explore, and more than enough to pique interest for future builds. So… let's take a look.

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Download Android P developer preview as Google reveals release schedule

Android P logo

It's mere days since we were talking about the impending release of Android P for developers. Now, slightly earlier than expected, a preview of the latest version of Google's mobile operating system is here.

As this is a preview build, it is not only not aimed at the masses, but is also only compatible with a handful of Android phones -- specifically the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. If you have one of these devices, you can try out Android P for yourself, but Google has revealed that we’ll have to wait until Q3 for the final release.

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If you want to stream HD Netflix on your OnePlus 5/5T, you'll need to mail it off for an update

Mobile phone taking photo of mailbox

Software updates offer a quick and easy way to bolt new features and options onto apps and operating systems -- or at least in theory. If you like the idea of streaming HD Netflix content on your OnePlus 5 or 5T, you'll probably be pleased to hear that there's an update available that brings this very feature to your phone.

This is clearly great news. What's not so great, however, is the extraordinary fact that in order to get this feature you will need to physically send off your phone so OnePlus can perform the update for you.

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Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ launch video appears online

Samsung Galaxy S9

Ahead of Galaxy Unpacked 2018 we already know everything we could possibly want -- or need -- to know about the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+. A few details and specs have trickled out in recent weeks, but now the company has accidentally (maybe) published the launch video online.

The new Galaxy handsets have the tagline "The Phone. Reimagined", and the video shows off the waterproof capabilities of the phone as well as the new DeX Pad. There's also an automatic translation feature, a repositioned fingerprint sensor and AR features. And thanks to an article that was published a little early by the HuffPo, we know even more about the phones.

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Google Assistant will (probably) speak your language this year

It's easy to get excited about new technologies when you're privileged to live in one of the handful of markets and speak one of the few languages that tech companies support. Case in point: voice assistants. You can read about Cortana, Alexa or Google Assistant, but, chances are, for many people that's where the fun ends.

The problems are dead obvious, but, at least when it comes to Google Assistant, things will drastically improve this year, as Google today announces that it's expanding the availability of the service to include over 30 languages -- a huge increase over the eight it supports now.

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Samsung launches data-saving and privacy-protecting Samsung Max app for Android

Samsung has revealed a new, free Android app -- Samsung Max, which it says is "designed to promote mobile data savings and application privacy management". The app replaces Opera Max and anyone with this app currently installed should find that it automatically updates to Samsung Max.

While Opera Max included a fully-fledged VPN tool, Samsung Max downgrades this to a DNS-masking service. There are, however, other security and privacy options, as well as tools for reducing data usage.

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BLU VIVO X Android smartphone costs $299, so why does iPhone X cost $999?

The best smartphone experience that one can have is the iPhone. Not only are Apple's devices well made, but iOS is a spectacular operating system that gets consistent updates. The top model is the iPhone X, and its starting price is a sky-high $999. If you can afford spending that much, more power to you. Let's be honest though -- despite being a great product, a thousand dollars for a phone is just insane.

How crazy is the iPhone X price? Well, for comparison, today, BLU announces a flagship Android flagship called "VIVO X" that costs just $299.99 (currently $249 at Amazon). Yes, you can pretty much buy four of these devices for the same price as the base model iPhone X. Blu's phone is no slouch either -- it has a 6-inch display, an Octa-Core processor, and 4GB of RAM. Unlike the iPhone X, it has a fingerprint reader. Photographers will appreciate that it has a total of four cameras -- two on the rear, and two in the front for selfies. Even the battery is impressive -- a monstrous 4,010mAh with fast-charging technology!

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Say goodbye to Swype


Android and iOS users who are not happy with the stock keyboard on their device have lots of third-party options to choose from. Among the established alternatives is Swype, which has been available for nearly five years on Android and over three on iOS. It's actually one of the first third-party keyboards I tried on both platforms.

Swype, however, hasn't really caught on in quite the same way that, say, SwiftKey has, which is likely the reason why the company behind the app, Nuance, has announced that it's reached "end of development." In other words, Swype users, your favorite keyboard is now discontinued.

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Growth in Android ransomware slows, but it's getting sneakier

Mobile ransomware

While Android ransomware is still growing, it's doing so at a slower rate than at its peak in 2016. However, it is using sneaky new techniques to trick users.

New findings from researchers at ESET reveal techniques like the misuse of Android's Accessibility services being used to infect devices. The most popular attack technique though remains screen-locking followed by a ransom demand. The most frequently detected variant being the Android/Locker family.

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Samsung pauses Oreo update for Galaxy S8 and S8+ due to restart issues

Samsung Galaxy S8

It's only a week since Samsung started to roll out Android 8.0 Oreo to the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and now the company has paused the update.

A "limited number" of handsets receiving the update have been experiencing reboot problems after installing Oreo. While Samsung investigates the matter, the rollout has been paused and a new version of the update is being worked on.

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Google Pixel sales still no match for iPhone, Galaxy S series

Google Pixel 2 XL

Google has high hopes for the Pixel line. Its smartphones compete against the best the market has to offer, featuring cutting-edge hardware, vanilla Android and, unlike many of its droid-toting siblings, three years of support. But consumers aren't (yet) enamored with them.

According to IDC, Google shipped 3.9 million Pixel smartphones last year, which is not a whole lot when you consider just how many tens of million of units the big players ship in a single quarter.

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Android P will support iPhone X-style notches and feature a dramatic redesign

Android P

The number of people running Oreo may well be very small, but there's already talk about the next version of Android -- Android P. Reports about what has been named internally as Pistachio Ice Cream promise not only a design overhaul, but also iPhone X-style notch support.

The Oreo successor is due for release later this year, and a Bloomberg report shed some light on what we can expect, including tighter Google Assistant integration, support for different phone formats, and improved battery life.

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