Articles about Android

LG X venture is an affordable and rugged Android smartphone that is exclusive to AT&T

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LG makes absolutely wonderful Android smartphones, with the G6 and V20 being two of my recent favorites. Both of the those flagships offer quality experiences, although they can be a bit pricey.

Today, LG announces a new phone called the "X venture." It borrows aspects from both of the aforementioned smartphones, but at an insanely low price. Exclusive to AT&T in the USA, the Android 7.0 Nougat phone has a massive 4,100mAh battery and features upgradeable storage via micro SD. Best of all, it is extremely rugged.

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Google lets developers exclude app support for rooted Android devices

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Netflix is the first big name on Google Play to block Android devices that are rooted or have an unlocked bootloader from downloading its app. And it looks like it may not be the last, as now Google is officially giving all developers the option to do the same.

Developers on Google Play can enforce support exclusions based on a device's SafetyNet status, which is also what Netflix has used to restrict access. Out of the box, rooted devices or devices with an unlocked bootloader are supported, but developers have two options that they can choose to change that.

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Facebook is finally doing something to make Messenger less of an unusable mess

Messenger

The Facebook Messenger app for iOS and Android is an utter mess of ideas at the moment. The confused interface is all over the place and decidedly user unfriendly. All that is set to change, though, thanks to an update that rolls out this week.

The update brings a slightly updated look which makes navigation a little easier. Tabs help to keep things better organized so you can jump to where you want to be more easily. The changes do not go as far as letting you kill the endlessly irritating Messenger Day/Stories feature, but it does go some way to improving things.

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ASUS ZenFone AR Android smartphone with Tango and Daydream is a Verizon exclusive

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Both augmented and virtual reality show no sign of slowing down -- these are certainly technologies to keep an eye on over the next several years. Microsoft and Google have been very public with their projects, while there are rumors that Apple is secretly working on both AR and VR too.

Google's Tango is one of the most ambitious such projects, bringing augmented reality capabilities to Android devices. Earlier today at Google I/O, ASUS announced that the upcoming ZenFone AR smartphone -- compatible with both Tango and Daydream -- will be a Verizon exclusive.

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Google renames Android Device Manager to Find My Device

Google Find My Device

Google has showcased a number of major changes coming to Android at its I/O event yesterday, like Google Play Protect. It is designed to keep your smartphone safe using app usage analysis and machine learning, and includes a feature that many Android users are already familiar with.

Part of Google Play Protect is Find My Device, which has been previously known as Android Device Manager. Google decided to change the name, and add new functionality in the process, likely because it is more appropriate, considering what it is mainly used for -- which is to locate Android devices and remotely wipe or ring them.

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Google Play Protect is the latest line of defense against dangerous Android apps

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There's no getting away from the fact that Android has something of an issue with dangerous and malicious apps. Google's latest weapon in the fight against such apps is Google Play Protect which uses machine learning and app usage analysis to weed out the bad guys.

The new system sees Google not only checking apps as they are submitted to the Play Store, but monitoring the apps you already have installed. By analyzing app behavior, Google is able to identify suspicious software that may have slipped through the net or has been installed from outside of the Pay Store.

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Android Go is Google's stripped-down OS for cheap phones

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With Android phones, just as with the iPhone, the focus has long been on the latest and greatest hardware. But this ignores the fact that not everyone in the world has an ultra-powerful handset. This is something that Google recognizes, and its solution is Android Go.

Android Go is an optimized version of Android that’s designed to be used on less-powerful, cheap phones. By this, Google means phones that could have under 1GB of RAM, and the operating system -- which is essentially an offshoot of Android O -- is due to make an appearance in 2018.

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Google bringing Gmail 'Smart Reply' to iPhone and Android -- company will read your emails

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Today is the start of Google I/O 2017 -- be sure to watch the keynote here. There will be plenty of interesting announcements from the company. While much of it will be developer focused, there is sure to be news that will tickle the fancy of consumers too.

Gmail is one of Google's most popular services, and today, the company announces that it is bringing a cool feature to it -- Smart Reply. What is it? Well, the search giant's computers will read your emails, and then offer suggested replies. The service will even use machine learning to improve by reading your replies too. Understandably, some people will have privacy concerns.

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HTC U11 is a new flagship smartphone that doesn't suck

HTC U11

HTC today finally unveils a high-end Android smartphone that you might actually want to buy. It's called the U11 and it comes with pretty much everything you can expect in a flagship in 2017, save for that awkward, tall display that you see on rivals like the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8.

HTC has had quite a few uninspiring devices in recent years, but the U11 represents a departure from that trend. It has the latest and greatest internals, the best camera around, an attractive design, and the latest version of Android. It's like HTC listened to all the complaints and decided to, you know, not screw things up this time around.

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This is the ultra-affordable Moto C Android smartphone

Moto C Plus_Starry Black_Back Detail

There is a common misconception that iPhone is for wealthy people, while Android is for folks with smaller budgets. While this isn't necessarily true, it is fair to say that Apple does not cater to the super low-end market. For those that don't have a lot of money to spend on a smartphone, Android is absolutely where it's at.

While there are many affordable Android devices, not all of them are of acceptable quality -- some can be horrible. If you want a good balance of power, features, and cost, Lenovo's Moto devices have historically been a smart bet. Today, the company announces two new such phones -- the Moto C and Moto C Plus. Each of them runs Android Nougat.

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Netflix drops support for rooted and unlocked Android devices

Hand stop

While rooting Android does not make it necessarily less secure, some software makers would rather you keep your device stock. Why? Well, because when you gain elevated privileges, which is what rooting enables, you might cause some issues or do some things that run afoul of their rules.

Netflix now seems to have a problem with Android devices that have been rooted and/or have an unlocked bootloader, as it just dropped support for those devices on Google Play.

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Leaks suggest OnePlus 5 will be incredible -- and still really cheap!

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OnePlus has enjoyed great success with the OnePlus 3 and 3T -- the flagship killers that pack a real punch for a bargain price -- and this looks set to continue with the follow-up. We already know that the OnePlus 5 is due for release soon (yep, there's no OnePlus 4), and this week more leaks have told us just about everything we could want to know about the specs and price.

Continuing the theme we have become used to with the company, the leaks show that OnePlus is planning to deliver a powerful handset at a knock-down price. An image posted to Slashleaks is very much in line with the specs listed by Geekbuying, where the price is listed as a very tempting $449.99.

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Making Android modular with Project Treble is Google's solution to its fragmentation and update problem

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One of the problems with buying an Android smartphone is that there is usually no way to tell just how long it will be supported and how long you'll get Android updates. Unless you have a Google-branded device, it's hit-and-miss when, or indeed if, you'll receive an upgrade to the latest and greatest version of the mobile OS.

With the impending release of Android O, however, Google is trying out a solution to the problem which has led to endless fragmentation of the Android market. Going by the name of Project Treble, the solution sees Google introducing a modular base to Android. It's described as "the biggest change to the low-level system architecture of Android to date" and it should make it quicker, easier and cheaper for device-makers to roll out updates to handsets in future.

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Serious app permissions flaw will not be fixed until Android O, leaving users at risk

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The security of Android has been questioned many times, but the general thinking is that installing apps from Google Play offers a decent level of protection. But research by Check Point shows that this is not the case due to a flaw in permissions.

The permission model used by Google grants apps installed from the Play Store extensive access, and opens up the risk of malware, ransomware and other threats. Google is aware of the problem, but does not plan to address it until the release of Android O, meaning that an unknown number of apps pose a risk to millions of users.

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Google just made offline browsing a whole lot easier in Chrome for Android

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Offline web browsing is a useful feature, particularly on a smartphone, so it was little surprise when Google added website downloading to the Android version of Chrome. Today the company launches a number of improvements to make the whole process even easier.

The latest update to the app introduces a couple of new ways to download pages for offline viewing. It also provides easier access to the content you have earmarked for offline reading, encouraging more people to make use of the feature.

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