Items tagged with Android

I am in total agreement that I shouldn't quit my day job and pursue a full-time gig manipulating images in Photoshop, as the above example makes painfully obvious. But let's not get distracted from the intent at hand—to show a folding Pixel phone. Preposterous? Perhaps not—rumor has it Google is working on at least two folding smartphones. Rumors of Google getting into the folding phone game have been around for quite some time, but are now gaining steam with some new information and leaks. And it probably doesn't hurt that Samsung is seeing some success in the area. Enough so that it recently added a couple of new folding phones to the mix (see our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review,... Read more...
Samsung has been refining its innovative foldable phone line-up for a couple of years now. While the first iteration of the company's Galaxy Z Fold may not have been terribly robust out in the wild, last year's follow up was by most accounts a solid device. This year, the newest Galaxy Z Fold3 5G seems to have it all: a malleable 7.6" screen, more durable construction, Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 5G Mobile Platform, and enough memory and storage to keep the Galaxy Z Fold3 viable for a long time to come.  There are many questions we wanted to answer with this device. What's it like to carry around? Does the foldable nature of the main display feel strange under our fingertips? What... Read more...
Two years ago, Samsung ushered the era of folding phones with the daring (but ultimately flawed) Galaxy Fold. In 2020, the company followed suit with three much improved foldables -- the stylish Galaxy Z Flip, Z Flip 5G, and the powerful Galaxy Z Fold2. With most of the kinks worked out (pun intended), these excellent handsets were finally worth recommending, though cost and durability were still obstacles for many. But things are different today. Samsung’s new water-resistant $1800 GalaxyZ Fold3 and $1000 Galaxy Z Flip3 are more affordable and life-proof than ever. While the Fold series transform from a phone into a small tablet, the Flip models are basically standard handsets that... Read more...
A key component for getting Android applications to play nice in Windows 11 has made an appearance in the Microsoft Store. It is called Windows Subsystem for Android, though don't get overly excited about its availability—yes, you can mosey on over to the Microsoft Store and download it, but at present, it does not appear to do anything. We tried it ourselves on a Windows Insider preview build, and all that happens is it loads up a white screen. On the store page, it comes with a description that reads, "Microsoft Confidential - For testing purposes - Please do not take screenshots or communicate about the content." None of which we can do anyway, so no worries Microsoft. Of course, if... Read more...
Windows 11 is coming just about six weeks from now, on October 5th -- at least, on new PCs. One of the biggest pieces of application-related news was the ability to run Android apps directly in Windows. Thanks to Intel, Android apps compiled for Arm64 would still be able to run on x86 PCs directly from Amazon's App Store. And it has already been confirmed that users can side loaded directly from an APK. Unfortunately, this technology isn't going to be ready for launch when the next version of Windows ships.  Presumably due to pressures brought on by both ChromeOS and macOS, Windows 11 will run Android apps natively. Intel's Bridge Technology is a runtime post-compiler that will prepare an... Read more...
It is somewhat common for enterprising developers to add features to popular apps via plug-ins, companion apps, or even by modifying the original when possible. By reverse-engineering apps, like WhatsApp for example, a skilled developer can tweak and modify features or even add their own spin on things. However, this also opens the door to malicious possibilities, as we have now seen with an infected version of FMWhatsApp, which is a popular WhatsApp mod. FMWhatsApp typically adds themes, read receipt controls, more robust file attachment capabilities, and more. While all of that may sound well and good, researchers at Kaspersky recently found that the trojan Triada has also managed... Read more...
After weeks of leaks and rumors, and a mere ten months since the original's launch, Google just revised its mid-range Pixel 4a 5G and lowered the price by $50. Behold the slightly larger and heavier Pixel 5a ($449), which bumps the display size from 6.2 to 6.34 inches, increases the battery capacity from 3,885 to 4680mAh, swaps the plastic body for a metal shell, and adds water resistance. The Pixel 4a 5G was arguably Google's best phone of 2020, striking the perfect balance between cost and specs. We're big fans, so there's nothing wrong with an update and price drop. In all, the Pixel 5a inherits its predecessor's overall design and layout, mid-range Snapdragon 765G SoC, and excellent camera... Read more...
Google is trucking along with the development of its Android 12 operating system, and today it released the Beta 4 update. According to the Android 12 release schedule posted below, this month's release is the first that puts the mobile operating system in the "platform stability" phase. In other words, Google is no longer focused on adding new features to Android 12 and is instead working to make sure that outstanding bugs are squashed as we move on to release candidate/final public builds. However, we should back up the statement slightly by mentioning that Google did one add one minor update to user Ad IDs in Google Play services. "Android 12 includes behavior changes to help improve performance,... Read more...
Late last month, Epic Games submitted an amended complaint against Google, which ended up being heavily redacted. However, it appears that Google has lifted some of the redactions, giving us a better insight into the arguments at hand, though much has still been left out. In the filing, submitted on August 5th, Epic claims that Google felt threatened by any app store other than Google Play. It was written that “Google has deliberately changed its course of conduct, erecting contractual and technological barriers that foreclose competing ways of distributing apps to Android users.” One such example of this is when Epic struck a deal with OEM OnePlus to make its games available through... Read more...
While there have been leaks about Samsung’s new devices like the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3, the company has been cooking up other stuff in the background. Now, the Fan Edition lineup is growing with today’s announcement of the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, a massive 12.4” tablet for both work and play. The Galaxy Tab S7 FE looks to be a rather nice Android 11 device, powered by either a Qualcomm SM7325 (Wi-Fi version) or Snapdragon 750G (5G version). The tablet features 4GB of RAM, up to 64GB internal storage with microSD expansion capability up to 1TB, and a 10,090mAh fast-charging battery for all-day use. Furthermore, that massive display that we mentioned is a 12.4” 2560x1600... Read more...
At some point, legacy Android device owners need to let go of their old devices or eventually cybersecurity issues and data loss will become a problem. It seems Google is trying to give the people still holding out a gentle nudge, as it has been disclosed that the company will be disabling Google account sign-in on devices running Android 2.3.7 (Gingerbread) or lower come September 27th. Meanwhile, Google is working on a new security feature for Google Chrome which offers two-factor authentication within the browser. Discovered over the weekend, that users on the nearly decade-old Android version 2.3.7 and older versions are effectively being kicked out. In an email sent to customers... Read more...
Some vultures prey on dead animals, other Vulturs prey on banking information entered on Android devices. In late March of this year, ThreatFabric detected an Android-based remote access trojan (RAT) malware, dubbed Vultur, collecting login credentials. However, the threat actors took a different approach to the thievery by simply recording what is shown on a screen through VNC. As ThreatFabric describes, a “vulture is a large bird of prey that specializes in attacking and feeding on weak and helpless animals,” and they keep their “eyes on their preys for a long time before making a move, which happens only when they are sure the attack is lethal and successful.” The Vultur... Read more...
Gaming phones have really matured in recent years, with ASUS’ ROG, Lenovo’s Legion, Xiaomi’s Black Shark, and Nubia’s RedMagic all offering compelling performance-packed handsets for gamers. Oppo’s even rumored to be joining the party soon. Here in the US, RedMagic is the gaming phone value champ, and this year’s $599 RedMagic 6 is no exception. It basically updates last year’s $579 RedMagic 5G with a 165Hz display and a Snapdragon 888. That’s all well and good, but what got our attention recently is the $499 RedMagic 6R -- a super-affordable Snapdragon 888 handset with a 144Hz screen and capacitive shoulder buttons that looks and feels more like... Read more...
Over the past few years, smartphone operating systems -- namely, Android and iOS -- have adopted Dark Mode options to reduce eye strain at night and help save battery life on devices with OLED displays. For that latter point, the general idea is that OLED-equipped smartphones don't need to power portions of the display with a black background, leading to power savings. However, researchers at Perdue University decided to question that perception about how much Dark Mode improves efficiency. "When the industry rushed to adopt dark mode, it didn't have the tools yet to accurately measure power draw by the pixels," said Purdue Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Charlie Hu. To test this... Read more...
In an effort to clear up confusion over different builds, Google stopped naming its Android releases after tasty desserts starting with Android 10, which came out almost two years ago. If you were disappointed with that decision (as we were), then we have some possibly (maybe) good news—Google might start serving up delicious build names once again. We doubt it, but never say never, right? Nothing of the sort has been announced, and from what we can tell, any changes that might be coming to how build names are referenced would take effect after Android 12, if at all. Speaking of which, Android 12 is in beta, with a new revision (Android 12 Beta 3.1) having dropped this week, bringing with... Read more...
Whether it’s a typo, a line of code in the wrong place, or a placeholder for testing that never got removed, developers can introduce vulnerabilities into apps that a threat actor could exploit. It seems Android developers seem to have the problem quite a bit, as new research suggested over 60% of Android apps had known security vulnerabilities in Q1 2021. According to data presented by the Atlas VPN team and collected by the Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center, 63% of Android apps had known vulnerabilities, with an average of 39 vulnerabilities per app. The worst offenders of this 63% were gaming and financial apps, with the apps in the “top free games” category taking 96%... Read more...
It is not often a snake-oil product comes up in the realm of technology, but it seems the “Freedom Phone” fits that bill. Featuring no reported specs, construction in China, and a 4x markup from Alibaba, all while touting itself as a “free speech and privacy first focused phone,” the Freedom Phone seems to be more of a scam than a device to save democracy. On July 14th, the “world’s youngest Bitcoin millionaire,” as if that already did not have side effects, Erik Finman, announced the “Freedom Phone.” He claimed that this is “the first major pushback on the Big Tech companies that attacked us - for just thinking different.” Unfortunately,... Read more...
In late June, Google began the phaseout of Android Application Packages (APKs) in favor of Android Application Bundles (AABs). With these changes and improvements for developers, the Mountain View-based company is now introducing the Android Game Development Kit (AGDK), “a full range of tools and libraries to help you develop, optimize, and deliver high quality Android games.” Announced yesterday, the AGDK has three key pillars: it is built for game development around C or C++ APIs with performance in mind, cross-compatible across Android versions, and backward compatible, when possible, with future Android platform updates. Furthermore, the developers behind the ADGK are “focusing... Read more...
By now, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will look like at launch. Several rumors have coalesced around a unique design with a multi-colored back, large camera bump, and premium materials. Now, gadget leaker Jon Prosser alleges to have a bigger scoop on the specifications for the two smartphones. According to the report, the Pixel 6 will feature a 6.4-inch AMOLED display, with an 8MP selfie camera nestled within a hole-punch cutout. Out back, expect to see a 50MP wide-angle primary sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide sensor. In addition, Google is reportedly using its first custom SoC, condemned Whitechapel, for the smartphone paired with 8GB of RAM and... Read more...
In 2020, TCL ventured beyond its successful TV business by launching three TCL-branded phones in the US -- the $450 TCL 10 Pro and $250 10L (which we both reviewed), followed by the $400 TCL 10 5G UW. The company is no stranger to mobile, having previously sold budget handsets under the Alcatel brand. But last year’s TCL 10-series was aimed squarely at Moto’s US mid-range lineup, and was quite competitive. Then, at CES 2021, TCL announced the 20-series, which first landed in other regions, but is now available in the US with three phones -- the $500 TCL 20 Pro 5G, $250 20S, and $190 20SE. A lot has changed this past year. LG’s left the mobile space, and both Samsung and OnePlus... Read more...
At present, OnePlus is a company best known for its smartphones, and to a lesser extent, its wireless earbuds and smart televisions (in certain markets). However, a new trademark filing shows that OnePlus might be looking to expand into a segment that many Android makers have long abandoned: tablets. This information comes to us from a listing with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). Not much can be gleaned from the listing other than the fact that the new device is called the OnePlus Pad. The name would lead us to believe that OnePlus wants to establish itself in the market that the Apple iPad dominates. There are other competitors in this segment, including Amazon with... Read more...
Hopefully you are not one of the millions of people who have installed an app called PIP Photo onto your Android device. Why is that? While it may seem like a harmless and handy image editing app, it contains malware designed to covertly swipe a person's login credential for Facebook. Same goes for a handful of other Android apps. Each of the nine malicious apps discovered by researchers at Doctor Web contain a trojan that gets to work trying to trick users into coughing up their Facebook usernames and passwords. What makes the apps potentially effective is that they otherwise work as intended and expected. "The applications were fully functional, which was supposed to weaken the vigilance of... Read more...
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