Items tagged with Android

Everyone who uses an Android phone has probably had some security-conscious acquaintance ask, "don't you know how much data your phone is harvesting?" Most of us shrug it off as one of the unavoidable circumstances of modern life: you want a smartphone, you deal with data harvesting. Still, some folks aren't so willing to make that sacrifice. A new collaborative study from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Trinity College Dublin in Ireland tested Android-based phones from Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, and Realme as well as handsets running LineageOS and the open-source, privacy-focused /e/OS. The study found that "even when minimally configured and the handset is idle, the vendor-customized... Read more...
The Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are scheduled to launch on October 19 and more leaks are emerging on its flagship Tensor chip performance. For now, it seems Tensor trails its rivals (Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Samsung’s Exynos) by a good bit in multi-threaded performance, while being a bit more competitive in single-threaded performance, according to a fresh set of leaked benchmarks. A recent Geekbench 5 run for the Google Pixel 6 with a Tensor chip has emerged. The version of the phone that was listed on Geekbench had 8GB of RAM and included a Mali G78 GPU. Benchmark scores shared showed a single-core score of 1,037 and a multi-core score of 2,862. Have a look... Click to Enlarge (Source:... Read more...
Hey, guess what? Apple has finally decided to allow sideloading on iOS devices! Just kidding—anyone fooled has not been paying attention to the almighty institution that is Apple, the guardian of consumers and overseer of mobile security. Or something like that. It is, however, being pressured to follow in Google's footsteps and allow sideloading, which prompted the company to issue a report on the many reasons why it feels that is a recipe for disaster. The biggest one? Citing a pair of Nokia threat intelligence reports from 2020 and 2019, Apple says Android devices over the past four years fell prey to 15-47 times more malware than iPhone handsets. The insinuation is that following in... Read more...
Tile announced today that they are introducing a new lineup of Bluetooth trackers that boost finding capabilities, and will have a new ultra-wideband tracker and safety features to prevent unwanted tracking coming soon. These new trackers should give buyers a nice alternative to AirTags with full Android and iOS support. Tile has pioneered finding technology by building trackers that are for everyone and everything, with multiple form factors that can attach to almost anything right out of the box. The new lineup is no different and brings new features along with it. These features include their most powerful tracker to date, a lost and found feature that adds more finders, a new safety feature... Read more...
Passwords have become part of our everyday life. It seems everything requires one and we are often left scratching our head trying to remember if it was “password123” or “123password”. Having a strong password, however, is the first line of defense for our digital lives. Google is sharing how it is making your sign-ins safer during Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Google checks 1 billion passwords daily to protect accounts from being hacked. Chrome, Android and the Google App have Google’s Password Manager built directly into them with the latest technology to keep your passwords safe. Password Manager also helps to keep us from having to scratch our heads as it makes... Read more...
Practically everyone owns a mobile device these days, and the majority of them run on Android, the most popular smartphone OS in the world. Don't think that malicious hackers aren't paying attention. Just the opposite, a security firm says it recently discovered an "aggressive mobile premium services campaign" that has infected upwards of 10 million Android devices around the world. This is an active Trojan attack that has been dubbed GriftHorse, and the campaign is believed to have been running since November 2020. The culprit(s) infected over 200 Android apps with the malicious code, which sprawls over 70 countries. And they weren't just distributed through third-party app stores, they also... Read more...
It seems Microsoft has been hard at work on not only Windows 11, but also revamping and opening up the Microsoft Store to be able to include even more functionality for its customers. This will no doubt be advantageous to Windows users as the new Microsoft Store is set to launch alongside Windows 11 on October 5th. Perhaps the biggest news is that Microsoft is opening its doors to other storefronts making them discoverable within the Microsoft Store itself. This falls in line with Microsoft’s commitment to being an "open Store for an open platform." Epic and Amazon have already announced that they will be making their storefronts accessible as part of Microsoft's newfound generosity.... Read more...
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...
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