Articles about Android

Microsoft releases Launcher Preview for Android

Microsoft Launcher, formerly known as Arrow Launcher, is a popular Android application by Microsoft that Android users may install on their devices to replace the default system launcher. It is quite popular with Android users and updated regularly.

To test upcoming features, Microsoft has just released Microsoft Launcher Preview in early access. It is a development version that users may install to try out new functionality. Microsoft gets feedback and some data in return which helps development.

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US government-funded phones come with pre-installed malware

Mobile app threats

Researchers at Malwarebytes have uncovered malware pre-installed on phones offered under the US government-funded Lifeline Assistance program.

Assurance Wireless by Virgin Mobile offers the UMX U686CL phone as their most budget-friendly option at only $35 under the scheme. However, users are getting more than they bargained for. An app called Wireless Update is designed to update the phone's OS but can also install other apps without consent.

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Samsung to reveal new devices on February 11 -- Galaxy Fold 2 and Galaxy S11?

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked

Having just announced the Galaxy S10 Lite and Note10 Lite, Samsung is gearing up for another couple of announcements -- possibly the Galaxy S11 and Galaxy Fold 2. There have also been suggestions that one of the announcements could relate to the Galaxy S20.

The company has officially announced that its Galaxy Unpacked event will take place in San Francisco on February 11. Promised are "new, innovative devices that will shape the next decade of mobile experiences".

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Samsung announces Galaxy S10 Lite and Note10 Lite

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite and Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite

Ahead of CES, Samsung has revealed two new additions to its range of Android smartphones. The Galaxy S10 Lite and Note10 Lite are cutdown, cheaper versions of their expensive flagship stablemates.

But while these are not as feature-packed or powerful as the fully fledged Galaxy S10 and Note10, they are pitched as upper mid-range devices. Samsung is making much of the phones' cameras and display -- hardly surprising when the 6.7-inch handsets both feature 32MP units on the front and a trio of cameras on the rear.

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Microsoft now lets you make calls from your PC

YourPhone

Microsoft has added a much called-for feature to its Your Phone app -- the ability to make phone calls from Windows.

Working with a phone and PC at the same time can be a pain, and this was part of the reason Microsoft developed the Your Phone app. The feature had been available to insiders testing preview version of the software, and now the company is making the feature available to everyone.

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Leaked renders show off the OnePlus 8 Lite

OnePlus 8 Lite leaked renders

OnePlus is a company that generates a lot of interest because of its low-cost-yet-powerful Android phones. It's also a company that's no stranger to leaks, and now we may have been given our first glimpse at the upcoming OnePlus 8 Lite.

OnePlus is usually a name associated with high-end "flagship killers", and it's not long since we saw the OnePlus 8 Pro leak. But with the latest leak, it seems that the company is re-entering the midrange -- something that will be welcomed by those who fear prices have been creeping too high of late.

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You can now purchase movie tickets with Google Assistant on Chrome

While I am a big fan of watching films, I absolutely detest doing so at the cinema these days. Look, if I decide to dedicate my valuable time to watching a movie, I demand absolute silence and no distractions so I can experience proper immersion. Nowadays, people don't respect the movie-going experience -- they are on their smartphones, talking, and eating smelly food. Humans are disgusting and it can be an absolute nightmare. Worst of all, it is a very expensive affair -- I feel like a sucker spending a fortune only to be miserable in the theater.

But OK, some folks still love going to the the movie theater. If that's you, I have some pretty cool news. Starting today, you can now purchase movie tickets with Google Assistant on Chrome. That is an undeniably cool thing, but sadly, it is Android-only for now. Apple iPhone users cannot join this party.

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Millions of smartphones could be vulnerable to Android camera hack

Phone lock

The camera applications within Google, Samsung and other Android smartphones could be vulnerable to attack, according to some new research.

Researchers at security platform Checkmarx found that in certain circumstances adversaries can take over smartphone camera apps to record videos, take photos, eavesdrop on conversations, and identify GPS coordinates, all without the user knowing.

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Microsoft is killing off Cortana for some users

Cortana

Microsoft has quietly confirmed the rumors that it is planning to discontinue its Cortana digital assistant for some users. Starting next year, the company will no longer support Cortana on either iOS or Android in certain markets.

While Microsoft is yet to confirm which countries will be affected, the UK, Canada and Australia are known to be on the list. The change means that there will be no Cortana mobile app, and integration will be removed from the Microsoft Launcher.

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Google is rolling out RCS messaging to Android users in the US

Google RCS messaging

The rollout of the successor to SMS is now underway in the US. Having brought RCS (Rich Communication Service) to the UK, Mexico and France, Google has started to deploy it in America.

The move comes as Google's frustration at carriers' apparent unwillingness to commit to RCS boiled over, leading the company to take the bull by the horns and start to push its own implementation of the standard.

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Google Play Points comes to the US, bringing discounts, exclusive content and more

Google Play Points

After launching in Japan a little over a year ago, Google Play Points expanded to Korea earlier this year -- and now Google is bring it to the US. But just what is Google Play Points?

In short, it's a loyalty reward program that lets Android users earn points pretty much for simply using Google Play. Buy an app, and you'll earn points. Buy a book or movie, and you'll earn points. Take out a subscription, and you'll earn points. You get the idea. These points can then be used to pay for other things in part or in full, or they can be donated to charity. Here's the lowdown.

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Urban Armor Gear (UAG) launches rugged Monarch and Plasma cases for Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL

Google's latest smartphone, the Pixel 4, is an excellent device. As per my review (found here), I absolutely recommend it to Android users.

While the $799 starting price for the Pixel 4 series of smartphones isn’t as high as some other flagships, let’s be honest -- it is still a lot of money. It is for this reason that you should definitely put it in a protective case. Urban Armor Gear has two such rugged options for you -- the Monarch and Plasma. Not only will they keep your Pixel 4 or 4XL safe, but they look very attractive too.

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Mozilla's new Lockwise app will free your passwords from your web browser

Like many users, we prefer to use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox over either Edge or Safari. Problem is, if you use a third-party browser to store your logins and passwords, move to your iOS device and they aren’t stored in your keychain.

Recent iOS changes have enabled third-party password managers to be granted access to any login on your device, so for this reason Mozilla has launched Lockwise which will separate your stored Firefox passwords from your browser.

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Google Pixel 4 is oh so awesome [Review]

I'm an Apple iPhone user -- a rather satisfied one at that. More specifically, my regular day-to-day smartphone is the iPhone 8 Plus. Why haven't I upgraded to a newer model? Well, I didn't want to give up the Touch ID fingerprint reader, and I am not a fan of the notch. Not to mention, the iPhone 8 Plus is a great device that is still receiving updates. And so, I have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for Apple to convince me to upgrade -- the company has yet to do so.

When I got the opportunity to test Google's Pixel 4 smartphone, I was excited, but also, rather concerned. While I was glad the Pixel 4 didn't have a notch, I was worried about it not having a fingerprint reader. The more glaring issue, however, was the operating system -- moving from the iPhone 8 Plus to the Pixel 4 would be quite the culture shock.

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Samsung is killing off Linux on DeX with Android 10 update

Two Samsung building logos

Less than a year after it launched, Samsung has decided to close down Linux on DeX.

DeX is Samsung's feature that transforms a phone into a (nearly) fully fledged computer when connected to a monitor, and Linux on DeX made it possible to run a Linux distro in this environment. Now the company has decided to knock the project on the head and is killing it off in Android 10.

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