Summer is here, but sadly, so too is COVID-19. True, much of the country is starting to "open up," but still, it is probably a good idea to limit your exposure to the public. Don't let that get you down, however, as there is plenty of summer fun to be had at home. If you have a yard, for instance, you can sunbathe and read books while laying on the grass. If you are lucky enough to own a pool, you can swim from the safety of your own property. Apartment dwellers can get in on the action too -- if you have a bathtub, you can sit in it and use your imagination to be transported to a tropical island (in your mind, at least).
Of course, just because it is the summer season, you don't have to do summery things. In fact, if you just want to sit on the couch with your smartphone and play games, watch movies, or listen to music, that is cool too. But what if your current smartphone stinks? Maybe it is slow, has bad battery life, or a cracked screen. If that is you, but you can't afford a new phone, don't worry -- we at BetaNews have five smartphones to give away! Best of all, it is a great smartphone -- the TCL 10 Pro. It has a beautiful screen with HDR support that is just perfect for watching Netflix!
With absolutely zero fanfare, Google has rolled out a system that lets you turn off RCS chat features to help avoid problems such as missing messages.
The simple form that has appeared online is very similar to the one used by Apple. The online system can be used even if you do not have your previous phone with you, so you can deregister your phone number from your computer.
When a book goes out of print the publishers don't pop round and remove old copies from your shelves. Similarly, when an app is discontinued it can be taken off the app stores but continues to linger on users' devices.
Mobile security company Wandera has been taking a look at what happens to these with an analysis of six-months' worth of apps that were removed from the app stores, along with apps that were installed on customer devices prior to the six-month period and, subsequently, removed.
Android is the most popular smartphone OS, but new research suggests that its security landscape is fragmented due to region-specific issues that affect users in some countries but not others.
Researchers at F-Secure examined devices including the Huawei Mate 9 Pro, the Samsung Galaxy S9, and the Xiaomi Mi 9 to understand the exploitation process for vulnerabilities and configuration issues, as well as the impact, and found it varies from device to device.
Android smartphones are more affordable than Apple's iPhone, right? Not always. In fact, in 2020, there has been a bit of a shift. There are Android flagships that are well over $1,000, while the very capable iPhone SE can be had for a mere $399. Of course, the top iPhone models are expensive too, but still, it isn't black and white anymore. Those looking for an affordable smartphone can now go with iOS or Android.
The problem, of course, is that affordable Android phones are often of dubious quality from no-name makers. Sure, some big-name makers, such as Samsung, also make lower-cost models, but they are usually quite neutered and lame. For whatever reason, it can be hard to find an Android phone that properly balances quality and affordability.
Google has released a new preview version of Android 11 for developers to play with, and also revealed details of a revised release schedule for the operating system.
Android 11 Developer Preview 4 has been released ahead of the first beta version, and it should come as no surprise to anyone that, given what's been going on in the world recently, this launch has been pushed back a bit. The good news is that everyone will be able to attend the launch event.
While video games on PCs and consoles can be great, the titles released for smartphones are often quite bad. On-screen controls can be inaccurate and hard to use, leading to a very frustrating experience. Alternatively, developers can "dumb down" their games for mobile with simpler controls, but this often makes them nothing more than time-wasters -- something to do while sitting on the toilet, for instance.
Today, Turn 10 Studios (a Microsoft-owned game studio) releases Forza Street for iOS and Android. The racing game is "free" to play, which is cool, but sadly, it does offer in-game purchases to try and suck some money from your wallet. I installed it on my iPhone, and from what I can tell, the game kind of stinks. In my time "racing" I didn't even get to steer the car! Seriously. Instead, you just hold down a virtual gas pedal. Around turns, you let go of the pedal when the road turns yellow and then hold it down when it turns yellow again. That's pretty much it -- that seems to be the game. Maybe it gets better later, but I won't be finding out. Does the game look good? Absolutely. Is it fun? Heavens, no!
Microsoft has added a number of new features to the app over time, making it ever more useful, and today it announces it's adding the ability to control your Android music and audio apps using it. In other words, you can access and control the audio apps playing from your phone directly in Windows. Your songs will remain in sync between your phone and PC, and you can switch between multiple sources in the player too.
Researchers at Check Point have discovered a new variant of Android malware called Black Rose Lucy that, when downloaded, encrypts files on the infected device and displays a ransom note in the browser claiming to be an official message from the FBI.
First discovered by Check Point in September 2018, Lucy is a Malware-as-a-Service dropper that originated in Russia and downloads and installs new threats with ransomware capabilities.
Vivaldi 3.0 for desktop unveils new tracker and ad protections, Vivaldi for Android officially launches
It’s a day of double celebration for fans of the Vivaldi web browser. Not only does Vivaldi 3.0 get released for Windows, Mac and Linux, but the company -- led by Opera co-founder Jon S von Tetzchner -- unveils the first stable release of Vivaldi for Android.
Both releases come with a brand new feature in the guise of built-in ad and tracker blockers. The desktop release also unveils a new clock for its status bar, plus improvements to its pop-out video feature.
Samsung launches rugged and affordable Galaxy XCover Pro Android 10 smartphone for frontline workers
Nowadays, smartphones are getting ridiculously expensive, with some flagships far exceeding $1,000. Worst of all, these pricey phones are still quite delicate -- if you drop it, there is a good chance the screen will shatter or it will become damaged in a different way.
Today, Samsung launches a new Android 10 smartphone that isn't just rugged, but affordable too. You see, the "Galaxy XCover Pro," as it is called, is priced at less than $500. It is IP68 rated and MIL-STD 810G certified, making it ideal for frontline workers that do physical jobs. These are people like construction workers or even medical professionals helping to fight COVID-19. It even has Microsoft Teams integration, including a dedicated button for the Walkie Talkie feature. Plus, Samsung promises three years of security updates too, providing peace of mind.
If you've been looking for one more reason to cough up for a Spotify Premium subscription, the ability to hide songs in playlists could be it.
You may well have found a number of near-perfect playlists that other people have created, but there's a reasonable chance that there's at least one song you can't stand. Now, rather than having to skip the track -- or manually recreate the playlist yourself with the offending song removed -- you can simply tell Spotify to hide it.
Facebook is now a multi-faceted beast, and the latest weapon in the social network's growing arsenal is a dedicated gaming app.
The company is launching Facebook Gaming today, providing users with an app to livestream game content. Reports says that the app will also include "casual games and access to gaming communities". Competing with Amazon's Twitch, Google's YouTube and Microsoft's Mixer, the app lands on Android today, and is also due on iOS pending approval from Apple.
LG smartphones are often great -- not always, but usually. The company's Android devices are typically chock-full of cool features and respectable specifications. LG's V series of smartphones, in particular, have been very revolutionary. The V60 ThinQ 5G, which we reviewed recently, is one of the best Android phones in years -- as long as you also buy the useful second screen. Despite all the notable specs and features, there is a small problem with LG phones in recent years -- they look a bit dated. And yes, the design of a smartphone does matter. Look, phones aren't just handheld computers nowadays, but in addition, they are a fashion accessory and status symbol.
For LG's success in the Android market to continue, a rethink of design style was necessary. Well, the company has done just that, as it now looks to wow the world with the all-new LG Velvet Android smartphone which uses a new branding scheme. Rather than use letters and numbers to name their devices, it will use words instead -- "Velvet" instead of "V60," for instance. This is reminiscent of the automobile industry, where Ford and Chevy use bold names like "Mustang" and "Blazer" while Infinity and Volvo use cold names such as "Q50" and "XC40." The company first spoke of the upcoming device earlier this month, but now, it has released an official YouTube video as well.
If you are an iPhone user, and you want a tablet, you should absolutely get an iPad. Why? Because not only do they share the same App Store (meaning you can often buy an app once and have it on both devices), but also, they can be linked so you get text messages and phone calls on the iPad. The problem? Most of the world uses Android smartphones -- not iPhone. Unfortunately, quality Android tablets are becoming increasingly more rare.
Thankfully, some companies are still making Android tablets consumers will actually want, and today, a new one is announced by Samsung. Called "Galaxy Tab S6 Lite," the tablet runs Android 10 and comes with an S Pen included. This device is designed with a focus on media consumption, so it has a big beautiful display and dual AKG-tuned speakers with Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound. It even comes with complimentary access to YouTube Premium for four months.