Items tagged with Android

Last month, OnePlus launched its OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro flagships, which we recently reviewed. At the same time, it also announced the OnePlus 9R (a reworked Snapdragon 870-equipped OnePlus 8T for India and China) and the $159 OnePlus Watch. This didn’t come as much of a surprise considering rumors of a OnePlus smartwatch have been swirling for years. It even looks similar to the Watch RX that its partner company Oppo teased last year. Before we dive into reviewing the OnePlus Watch, we have to set clear expectations. This device doesn’t compete directly with the Apple Watch, Galaxy Watch, Fitbit, and Wear OS smartwatches. It’s in a category of wearables that look like watches... Read more...
It seems as though smartphone pricing is getting out of hand these days, with flagships easily cresting the $1,000 mark before discounts. Decent mid-range smartphones with 5G will run you around $500. But what about folks that want to spend less than $200 and still get a device that then can daily drive? Well, Woot is currently offering a flagship phone from a few years back at a crazy-low price. The Pixel 3 was Google's flagship phone first launched back in October 2018, and it is still a competent performer. The smartphone initially launched at $799, but Woot is currently selling the smartphone for a low $169.99 with free shipping. Unlike some of Woot's other discounted products, the Pixel... Read more...
How do you get an iPhone user to switch over to Android? Well if you are Samsung, you could try sending them a free Galaxy handset. Of course, that would get expensive in a hurry, and quite frankly, is not going to happen. So, Samsung has come up with a different, more economical stunt—it's offering up a free web-based demonstration that turns iPhone handsets into a simulated Galaxy device. I gave it a test run myself, as you can see in the photo above. At first glance, it appears to be a Galaxy phone, but look closer and you will see an it is an iPhone XS Max. How did Samsung pull it off? The company's team in New Zealand concocted the demonstration, which you can try out yourself by directing... Read more...
LG announced earlier this week that it would be fully leaving the smartphone market by the end of July 2021. At the time of this announcement, it committed to provide current LG smartphone owners with a few OS updates. LG today announced that all of its premium devices will receive up to three OS updates from the year of purchase. All premium LG devices released in 2019 or later will receive three more OS updates. This includes smartphones like the G series, V series, Velvet, and recently released Wing. Certain devices released in 2020 like the LG Stylo and K series will only get two OS updates. LG noted that these “future updates will depend on Google’s distribution schedule as well... Read more...
Contrary to some beliefs, mobile devices are vulnerable to malware, such as recent spyware that was posing as an Android system update. Today, researchers have disclosed a new piece of mobile malware that hides in a fake application and is spreading itself through WhatsApp. This is just the latest reminder that people need to be more careful about the links they click and the apps they download on any device. The fake application, called “FlixOnline,” was discovered in the Google Play store by researchers at Check Point Research. It was found that if any user downloaded the app and granted the requested permissions, the malware then automatically replies to a victim’s WhatsApp... Read more...
It seems that the fight between Oracle and Google is coming to a close, or at least has hit a major stumbling block for the former. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Google over a copyright dispute involving code used in Android, the popular mobile operating system. It seems Oracle's only recourse now would be to request a rehearing in the next 25 days, and it likely will not go down without a fight. Nearly 11 years ago, in August 2010, Oracle accused Google of infringing on its copyright by utilizing roughly 12,000 lines of code to build Android. As Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc. Filing 36 explains, "the infringed elements of Oracle America's copyrighted work include Java method and class... Read more...
From the beginning of the Pixel program, Google's phones have always run on Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform silicon. In fact, you'd have to go all the way back to 2011's Galaxy Nexus, which ran on a Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 to find a Google phone that didn't have some form of Snapdragon inside. While most Pixel phones used Qualcomm's powerful top-end chips over the years, the Pixel 5 (our full review) dropped down to the Snapdragon 735G for 5G connectivity and midrange performance. If rumors are true, however, this fall could mark the start of something entirely new for the company: custom Arm-based systems on a chip (SoC) powerful Google's next Pixel flagship.  A year ago, rumors... Read more...
Did you realize, or ever put much thought into the fact, that mobile applications can sneak a peek at what other programs you have installed on your smartphone or tablet? They can, leading to some privacy implications. To avoid those privacy implications, Google is implementing a new policy that will make it tougher for developers to bake that functionality into their apps. It may seem like no big deal on the surface, but there are reasons why you might not want a mobile app being able to see what other apps you have installed. Simple privacy is one. Beyond that, this sort of behavior can be extracted and sold for targeted advertising purposes. That kind of information could, in theory, also... Read more...
We know both Android and iOS collect certain user data and beam it back to each one's respective mothe ship, some of which is necessary for the continued operation of a smartphone, and other a result of privacy opt-ins. But does one or the other go overboard? A new study would have you believe "Google collects around 20 times more handset data than Apple." Google's reply? Get out of here with that nonsense (we're paraphrasing—more on that in a moment). Like it or not, some level of data collection is simply required for today's high tech handsets, in order for features like GPS, receiving calls and text messages, and other core functionality to work. The question, however, is how much data... Read more...
Don't blindly click that link or assume the notification about a system update that you received is real. Zero-day exploits in popular server applications like Solarwinds and Exchange may grab headlines, but the biggest problems most users face with tech security are of the socially-engineered variety. That's the case once again this week, as new malware for Android poses as a security update, but the payload is much darker. According to security firm Zimperium, that supposed critical patch could really be malware that steals messages and personal data, or even takes over the phone entirely.  Zimperium first detected a new System Update malware because the application's behaviors triggered... Read more...
If you're using Google's official phone calling app -- and that probably means most of you Android users out there -- there's a rather alarming and potentially dangerous bug that users are reporting. The Phone app is an essential piece of software on your Android smartphone, as it handles incoming/outgoing calls, gives you access to visual voicemail, and handles spam filtering (among other things). But happens when the Phone app can't even handle one of its most basic functions like answering calls? That's what is happening to several Android users that raced to the app's Google Play page to raise their concerns. The main problem seems to be that users can't answer any call no matter... Read more...
By now, you’ve read the leaks, rumors, buzz and hype. The OnePlus 9 series is finally here, and as always, there’s a lot to talk about. 2020 saw OnePlus launch three flagships, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro in the spring, and the 8T (basically an updated OnePlus 8) in the fall. But OnePlus also went down-market with three more handsets last year -- the mid-range Nord and the affordable Nord N10 5G and N100. If that seems like a lot of devices, it is -- not to mention the TVs, earbuds, and watch. OnePlus is basically following Oppo’s playbook. And after years of obviously sharing tech, the two companies recently consolidated their hardware research teams under one name: OPlus. Yes,... Read more...
Were you having issues accessing apps like your Gmail on your Android device yesterday? If so, you were not alone. An issue with Android System WebView was recently causing various apps to crash. Fortunately, the problem has since been formally resolved by Google and updates are available. Android System WebView comes preinstalled on Android devices and permits apps to show webpages. It is updated fairly regularly and does not typically cause a lot of problems. Most users probably do not give it too much thought.  Many users reported yesterday that several apps, including Gmail, Outlook, and Amazon Shopping, were crashing on their various Android devices. Users were at first puzzled by why... Read more...
There is a new app in Google Play that is a potential boon for Android handset owners, and it comes directly from Google. You might not recognize its potential by its name alone, however—it is called WifiNanScan, and what it does is measure the distance between two smartphones using the Wi-Fi Aware protocol. So what's the big deal? "With this app it is possible to obtain a distance measurement with a precision of about 1 meter with phones up to 15 meters apart. Developers, OEMs and researchers can use this tool to validate distance/range measurements enabling the development of peer-to-peer ranging and data transfer, find my phone and context-aware applications based on the WiFi Aware/NAN... Read more...
If you’re a regular HotHardware reader, or live outside the US, you’re probably somewhat familiar with Chinese giant Xiaomi. The company makes and sells a wide variety of consumer electronics from smartphones (branded Mi, RedMi, Poco, and CC), to electric scooters. It keeps prices low by subsidizing its products in several markets (like China and India) via online services -- much like Amazon does here in the US. Today, Xiaomi ranks number three in global smartphone market share. Its latest flagship, the $750 / €750 Mi 11, was the first handset to feature Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 888 when it shipped January 1st, beating Samsung’s $800 Galaxy S21 to the punch. With... Read more...
The ASUS ROG Phone family has always been synonymous with squeezing the most performance out the Android smartphone platform and more specifically Qualcomm's Snapdragon mobile processing platforms. If you've been keeping tabs on the ROG phone line-up, you're probably aware that ASUS recently unveiled its 5th gen ROG Phone 5, and it's based on Qualcomm's powerful new Snapdragon 888 mobile SoC. With big gains claimed in both standard compute and graphics workloads, versus Qualcomm's previous gen Snapdragon 865, the ASUS ROG Phone 5 provides for an interesting vehicle to look at what should prove to be absolute top-end performance for flagship Android phones in the weeks and months ahead. We've... Read more...
Recently, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been on the hook for privacy and data tracking concerns. While the company is not backing down on the new policy, it is implementing new features which help with other concerns, such as cloud backups. At present, users can backup their conversations to the cloud, but they are not encrypted. This may be changing soon. Though we do not yet have an official announcement from WhatsApp, app beta-tester @WABetaInfo on Twitter has posted screenshots of the possible new feature for both Android and iOS. In both mobile OSs, a phone number and password are required to encrypt the data sent to the cloud. Moreover, the password will not be sent to WhatsApp and will remain... Read more...
Billions of people worldwide use Android daily to learn, work, and play. As such, people have come to expect upgrades and improvements to the operating system over time. To make this happen, Google has started work on Android 12 and released a developer preview of the OS to get it polished before launch. With the developer preview launch, privacy and security are taking center stage alongside improved user experiences and compatibility features. Privacy And Security Privacy and security have become incredibly important to end-users in recent years, and Google seems to be listening. First in the list of new features is something called “Modern SameSite cookie behaviors in WebView,”... Read more...
Security researchers at Trend Micro say they have uncovered "several vulnerabilities" within an Android application that has been downloaded more than 1 billion times from Google Play. The app is called SHAREit by Smart Media 4U, and it is designed to make transferring photos, videos, music, and other things a snap through peer-to-peer file sharing. Interestingly, it was Lenovo that first developed the SHAREit app and launched it in 2012, but it was later spun off as a separate company. Beyond that fun fact, Lenovo has no development ties to the current iteration by Smart Media4U and the security flaws that Trend Micro's researchers say they discovered, which they say could allow an attacker... Read more...
A barcode scanning app for Android with more than 10 million downloads under its belt has been found to be the culprit of unwanted ads and pop-ups when using the default browser. This was not the case prior to the developer dishing out an update in early December. But for some stupid reason, years of goodwill went right down the toilet when the app went from "an innocent scanner to full on malware." The app is called Barcode Scanner, developed by Lavabird LTD. It has been available in the Google Play store for several years, where it amassed millions of downloads and a slightly better than 4-star rating out of nearly 80,000 votes. It was described as a "powerful QR code reader and barcode generator... Read more...
The browser wars will not be won by being complacent or resting on one's laurels, and that includes within the mobile space. Google appears to recognize this, with timely improvements to Chrome. As it pertains to Chrome on Android, Google has apparently begun porting over a nifty feature it introduced on the desktop—tab groupings with a grid view. Tab grouping is a handy feature, and if you use the Chrome browser on a desktop PC, you might already be familiar with it. On the desktop, all you have to do is right-click on a tab and select Add tab to group, then either selecting an existing grouping or create a new one. If you find yourself routinely juggling a bunch of tabs, this is great... Read more...
When watching movies and television shows, bad audio can take viewers out of the moment in an epic battle scene or the final romantic moment between Romeo and Juliet. When it comes to TVs and sound systems, there is a certain level of hardware quality to be expected. However, when it comes to Android devices, your listening environment can change, or your listening hardware could change from high fidelity headphones to $5 earbuds from Five Below. To level out the listening experience on Android for all environments and hardware, Netflix is introducing Extended HE-AAC with MPEG-D dynamic range control (DRC) on Android devices. Generally, dialogue is prevalent throughout media no matter the content... Read more...
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