Articles about Android

Court rules that Samsung doesn't need to update older phones

Samsung phone closeup

One of the problems with choosing an Android phone is that it is difficult to know quite how long it will be supported. While Apple tends to offer updates for quite a number of years, it's a very different story for Android users.

Now -- in something of a blow for consumers -- a court in the Netherlands has ruled that Samsung does not need to offer updates for its older handsets. A consumer association filed a lawsuit against the company, arguing that it should be forced to keep phones updated for at least four years; the court disagreed.

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Microsoft updates parental controls and allows for location tracking through Android Launcher

Parent and children at computer

Ever keen to bolster its family-friendly image, Microsoft has revealed a number of updates to parental control options across a range of apps, services and devices. The company says it wants to "make it easier and safer for families to interact with technology and, each other, across devices and platforms".

The changes include updates to Edge and Microsoft Launcher for Android, which allows parents to not only limit what children can see, but also track their whereabouts. Microsoft is also introducing a specially-curated MSN Kids.

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New Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition may be the coolest flagship smartphone right now

Xiaomi follows a pretty basic recipe when designing a new high-end smartphone: it has to give consumers lots more bang for the buck than the competition. So, its flagships tend to offer very similar specs to their main rivals and cost hundreds of dollars less. They do, however, lack the edge that many buyers in this segment look for: a compelling feature or benefit to make them stand out from the crowd.

The new line of flagships introduced today is different. The Mi 8 Explorer Edition, which sits above the Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE in the company's lineup, is an impressive bit of kit, packing 3D face unlock, like the iPhone X, an in-screen fingerprint sensor, which you can't get on a major rival right now, and a transparent back, which gives you a nice look at what's inside the device.

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Motorola Moto G6 is the newest Amazon Prime Exclusive Phone

The Amazon Prime Exclusive Phone program is something I recommend highly to anyone looking for an affordable smartphone. If you have Amazon Prime (and who doesn't, nowadays?) you can score quality Android devices at rock-bottom prices. In a world where companies like Apple charge $1,000 and more for some smartphones, it is nice to know you can get a wonderful device for a fraction of that price. 

Today, Amazon unveils the newest Amazon Prime Exclusive Phone and I think it is my favorite one yet. The Motorola Moto G6 looks beautiful and has excellent specifications. It is a well-rounded smartphone at a very competitive price. It even has unique Alexa support built into the power button. Best of all, it is unlocked and compatible with all four major USA cellular carriers -- T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.

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Plex gains podcast support and gets redesigned, personalized app for iOS and Android

Plex podcasts

Plex has come a very long way over the years, but it has lacked support -- for some inexplicable reason -- for podcasts. Today this changes with the arrival of not just a podcast feature, but also a new look, highly customizable mobile app for iOS and Android users.

For the time being, podcast support is in beta, but it is a feature that is available to all users -- there's no need to be a paid-up Plex Pass subscriber. Things are a little basic for now, but they're going to improve. Let's take a look and see what this latest update has to offer.

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Arxan launches new protection solution for Android apps

Android umbrella

Application protection specialist Arxan Technologies is launching its latest Arxan for Android product.

It offers the industry's first protection technology for apps developed using Kotlin, the rapidly growing development language supported by Google for Android app development.

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Peculiar Google bug shows your text messages in search results

Bugs found in software are often a little quirky, but the latest discovery of a bug in the Google Android app is very peculiar indeed. Use the app to perform certain searches, or make a typo when entering a URL, and you may well find that you see a list of your text messages rather than the page you were expecting.

At the moment it seems that the bug only affects Android users, with the iOS version of the Google app appearing to be functioning normally. If you get strange results if you try to visit the1975..com or search for "zela viagens", you might want to change your app permissions as a precaution.

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Andy Rubin’s Essential is the failure we all knew it would be

The Android market is incredibly crowded, making it very hard to turn a profit. Unless your name is Samsung, you are going to have a tough time at it. Well-known companies like LG and HTC are struggling as no-name Chinese manufacturers flood the market with low-cost devices that surprisingly don't suck. Quite frankly, you'd have to be insane to even attempt to enter the Android market. And yet, Andy Rubin did.

If you aren't familiar, Rubin was a co-founder of Android, so when he announced he was entering the smartphone market with a company called "Essential Products Inc," it made news. His backstory aside, there was absolutely no reason for a new Android manufacturer to come along. With that said, he actually did get a device produced. Called "Essential Phone," everyone knew it would fail. And now it has -- just as it was supposed to. According to a report from Bloomberg, the company is no longer developing a successor to the Essential Phone.

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WhatsApp bug means you could still receive messages from people you block

WhatsApp on smartphone

A bug has been discovered in popular chat tool WhatsApp that completely undermines the blocking feature.

The idea behind blocking people on WhatsApp -- just like any other app or service -- is to prevent them from contacting you, and to stop them from viewing your activity. But the bug means that blocked users are still able to send messages to people who have blocked them, as well as viewing statuses and profile details.

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HTC U12+ is a bland-tastic Android flagship smartphone

The smartphone market is very mature these days, making it damn near impossible for a device to stand out. Even Apple’s polarizing notch is being adopted by countless Android smartphone manufacturers, making that unique thing very common. Hell, we are approaching the point where not having a notch will be odd!

Today, HTC announces its newest smartphone, and believe it or not, it doesn’t have a notch. Called the "U12+," it has all the fantastic specs you'd expect from a flagship, but unfortunately, its overall design is a little bland. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't look bad, but it is just very uninspired. It does have the second generation of HTC's cool "touch sense" technology, however, which lets you squeeze the phone's edges to interact with the OS.

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LG K30 is the latest Amazon Prime Exclusive Phone

Amazon's Prime Exclusive Phone program is one of the best deals going. If you aren't familiar, this is where quality Android devices are sold at discounted prices to Amazon Prime members. The company used to subsidize the price by showing advertisements on the phone's lock screen, but it has since abandoned that. Instead, the phone is ad-free, but does come with some Amazon apps preinstalled.

Today, Amazon launches the latest Prime Exclusive Phone. The LG K30, as it is called, is your run-of-the-mill Android device, with ho-hum specifications and a generic design. What makes it truly enticing, however, is the price -- a mere $139.99. This is a massive $40 discount off the normal price of $179.99. Wow!

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Fortnite for Android is coming very soon

Fortnite

The phenomenon that is Fortnite will be making its way to Android, Epic Games has revealed.

An Android version of the game is something that mobile gamers have been begging for for some time now, and it seems it will not be long until these pleas are answered. While an exact release date has not been revealed, Fortnite for Android will be happening in the next few months.

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Major leak reveals OnePlus 6 pricing, pictures and release date

OnePlus 6 render

Details of just about every OnePlus handset have leaked ahead of their launches, and the OnePlus 6 is no different. There are only a couple of days until the phone is revealed by the Chinese smartphone manufacturer, and we've already had numerous leaks relating to the upcoming handset.

Amazon Germany has accidentally given away more than OnePlus may have liked, revealing high resolution renders of the glass-bodied phone, as well as the pricing and release date.

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Google will require OEMs to provide regular Android security updates

Android phone installing updates

The fragmentation problem that affects Android not only means that there are a tiny number of users running the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, but also that many handsets are not patched with the latest security update. This could be about to change.

At its I/O developer conference this week, Google announced that its security policies will be changing. While its not clear when this could happen, the company will require some smartphone manufacturers to roll out regular security updates to users.

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 benchmarks and leaked image appear online

Samsung Galaxy Note9

There are few handsets released these days that do not fall victim to leaks. Phones from Samsung are no different, and the same thing has happened with the upcoming Galaxy Note9.

In addition to a leaked image -- which shows that Samsung has done little to change the design of the phone since the Note 8 -- benchmark results for the handset have also appeared online. The image may not offer too much to get excited about, but the benchmarks give away more information.

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