Articles about Android

This is Moto X4

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The smartphone market has been a bit boring lately, but things are starting to heat up. Manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of design, as we see with the beautiful Essential Phone, Samsung Galaxy Note8, and leaks of the upcoming iPhone 8. Now is an exciting time to be buying a new smartphone.

The Moto Android smartphones have long been forward-thinking in design, and today, Lenovo unveils its latest such device, which runs version 7.1 of the operating system -- not Oreo. The "Moto X4," as it is called, features a 2.2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 3,000mAh battery, 32GB of on-board storage (expandable with microSD), and a 5.2-inch 1080p display. It has a fingerprint reader for security and IP68-rated waterproofing too. It even features Amazon Alexa integration! Photographers will be excited for the upgraded cameras, including a new dual-lens rear shooter.

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Sony's new Xperia XZ1 flagship ships with Android 8.0 Oreo

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It's been a while since Sony came up with a flagship smartphone I wanted to talk about. The new Xperia XZ1 is an interesting proposition in the high-end segment, mainly because it comes with the latest and greatest version of Android out of the box, less than two weeks after Google announced Oreo.

I expected Sony to be late to the party, but this time around it managed to get ahead of the likes of LG and Samsung, which is impressive. What is not is the fact that the Xperia XZ1, just like its smaller Xperia XZ1 Compact brother, looks very similar to the Xperia Z1 from four years ago.

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LG takes the wraps off V30 flagship

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The G6 is a nice high-end smartphone, but it cannot hold its own against Apple's next iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S8. LG's new V30, however, might just have what it takes to level the playing field.

LG is well aware that it cannot win a battle against the heavyweights in this market if it does not bring its A game, which is why the V30 comes with everything that you expect a flagship to have in this part of 2017 -- and more. It's actually the first LG-made flagship in years that I would want to buy.

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Alexa and Cortana will be able to talk to each other

Alexa Cortana

Digital assistants can do many things well, but no single one can do everything that we need. That's why we use different ones, depending on what we want to do and what device we are using. But what if they could talk to each other, so we wouldn't have to switch between them anymore?

Amazon and Microsoft have decided to do just that, announcing that Alexa and Cortana will soon be able to work together to help users do what they want much more quickly and easily. Here's what that means for the two tech giants' customers.

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Google Play Protect branding to be added to certified Android devices

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Google Play Protect is the company's latest attempt to prevent Android users from being tricked into installing malware or insecure apps. As an extension of this, Google is introducing a branding program that will see the Google Play Protect logo added to certified Android devices.

The certification of Android phones and tablets is not a new concept -- it's something that Google has been doing for a while. But the new branding on packaging will help buyers identify devices that Google has approved, and it should also encourage more manufacturers to submit their hardware for certification.

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Verified accounts are coming to WhatsApp

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On various social media platforms, attaining a verified account is a major goal for users. It's something that's been available on Facebook for a while, and Twitter users from all walks of life are able to apply for verification. Soon to be added to this list is WhatsApp.

The messaging app -- owned by Facebook -- has not only started to verify certain business accounts, but is also planning to release a standalone app that will allow companies to chat with customers.

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Non-Windows platforms increasingly at risk from malware

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Where it was once the case that damaging malware attacks were aimed solely at Windows devices, a new study shows that strategic attacks on both Mac and Android devices are rapidly rising.

The report by Malwarebytes reveals that Android ransomware was up by more than 100 percent in the second quarter of 2017. In addition, Mac malware
this year is already at the highest it has ever been.

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Samsung announces Galaxy Note8 -- here's what you need to know

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

The Galaxy Note8 is the most important smartphone that Samsung launches this year. Its predecessor nearly killed the high-end series, which is why Samsung cannot afford to make any mistakes with its latest flagship: the Galaxy Note8 has to be great. No pressure there, right?

The good news is that the Galaxy Note8 does not disappoint: it has all the right features that you expect from a high-end smartphone and a clear edge over the Galaxy S8, which is unquestionably the best smartphone Samsung sells today.

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Watch the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launch event here -- live!

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After the disastrous launch of the Galaxy Note7, Samsung is surely hoping that the Galaxy Note 8 will be rather more successful and rather less fire-prone. The handset is due to be revealed later on today, and you can watch the event live so you get the news as soon as it breaks.

As is usual for any major phone launch, there have been the normal round of leaks and rumors surrounding the Galaxy Note 8 (or Galaxy Note8, if Samsung retains the previous naming scheme), and we're expecting to see a Bixby-loving 6.3-inch phone with dual camera and optical zoom.

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Android 8.0 Oreo is here, and as usual, your device will probably never get it -- hooray!

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Look, we all knew Android 8.0 would probably be called "Oreo," and we now have confirmation. Today, Google releases 8.0 of its Android operating system and officially names it "Oreo" after the sandwich cookie. This is the search-giant's second time partnering with a brand for a dessert name, with the other time being "Kit Kat". Strangely, Google even used the solar eclipse to promote the Oreo name.

Truth be told, it does feel kind of cheap and commercialized to have a corporate product tie-in. After all, if Windows 10 was named "Slim Jim," for example, and Microsoft urged you to snap into its operating system, consumers would be up in arms. When Google does, it, however, people celebrate.

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Google brings video previews to search results on Android

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Google is undeniably the best search engine for results -- concerns about privacy be damned. Alternatives such as Bing and DuckDuckGo aren't terrible, but the optimal experience still comes from Google -- for now.

Today, Google announces a cool new search feature for its Android operating system. When using either the Chrome web browser or the official Google app, you will now sometimes see video previews in results. In other words, rather than needing to click a video to load it entirely, you can instead see a brief snippet, allowing you to see if the video should meet your needs.

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Kaspersky Secure Connection VPN service is free, but Android users aren't happy with the permissions it requires

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In a time when people are more concerned about privacy than ever, security tools such as VPNs are proving increasingly popular. Kaspersky Lab recently released a VPN tool for Android, and reviewers are voicing concerns about the permissions required by the app.

Kaspersky Secure Connection: VPN service has a reasonable overall review score at time of writing, but the lower scores are highly critical of what are seen as privacy-invading permission requirements.

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Google adds Q&A to search and Google Maps on Android

Too Many Questions. Pile of colorful paper notes with question marks. Closeup.

Android users now have a new "Question & answers" option in both Google Maps and search. This is not a general Q&A feature along the lines of Yahoo Answers, but a way to ask questions about businesses.

This appears to be Google's attempt to draw people away from the likes of Facebook when they want to ask questions about hotels, restaurants and other places they may visit. Business owners are able to respond to questions -- as are users -- and they are encouraged to create FAQs to prevent the same queries being posted time and time again.

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Download Google's experimental data-sipping Search Lite app

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Technology companies are increasingly realizing that if they are to break into emerging markets, they're going to have to reduce the amount of data their apps use. Facebook Lite, Twitter Lite and LinkedIn Lite are just some of the less demanding apps to have been launched recently.

Google doesn’t want to miss out on the action. It is currently testing a data-light version of its search app for use in countries with slow connections. Search Lite (or Search (Test App)) is currently available to download from Google Play in Indonesia -- or from other sources if you're elsewhere in the world.

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Nokia 8 is a premium Android flagship smartphone you might actually want

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Nokia doesn't make smartphones anymore, but the company will sell its name to the highest bidder. Case in point, the current Android devices carrying the "Nokia" branding are actually made by a company called HMD Global. In other words, you are buying an HMD smartphone with the Nokia name slapped on it. This keeps the Nokia brand in consumers' minds, while HMD gets to sell its phones under a name people actually recognize. It's win-win for the two companies.

Today, HMD unveils its newest such device -- the Nokia 8. What does the "8" signify? seemingly nothing. It is not an 8th generation device, nor does it have an 8-inch screen. It is just sort of random -- much like Microsoft and "Windows 10" (whatever happened to Windows 9?). The Nokia 8 looks rather impressive, however, with excellent specs and a gorgeous design. Branding aside, this could be an intriguing smartphone for fans of Google's mobile operating system.

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