Items tagged with Android

Yesterday, we brought you news that the TikTok app has been doing some shady things behind the scenes with devices running iOS. Following the release of the first iOS 14 beta, it was discovered that TikTok was pinging the system clipboard constantly and pasting that data for its own use. Without the steady stream of pop-up notifications about clipboard access being presented to endusers -- which is a new feature in iOS 14 to help spot any potential privacy violations -- most people wouldn't have even known about TikTok's nefarious behavior, which developer ByteDance said was in place to "identify repetitive, spammy behavior." However, this isn't the first time that the TikTok app has... Read more...
Personal electronics take quite a beating. Think for a moment about all the places your smartphone can end up: on top of the car, buried in a bag, shoved into a pocket along with keys, tossed on a seat where it may bounce off and hit the floor, and so many other situations. Just like a phone, a tablet can end up in a lot of those same places, too. Environmental factors come in to play for users who are active as well, be it in a delivery vehicle, on a factory floor, or as a first responder in a vehicle. In those situations, the peace of mind brought by paying for extra-durable devices can be totally worth it.  For smartphones, Samsung's Galaxy Active family has served as the rugged device... Read more...
A new ransomware attack is underway in Canada that targets people concerned about COVID-19 by posing as an official tracing app provided by Health Canada. ESET researchers have identified and analyzed the ransomware, known as CryCryptor, and created a decryption tool for victims. CryCryptor surfaced only a few days after the Canadian government announced that it intended to back the development of a nation-wide, voluntary tracing app called COVID Alert. The actual tracing app from Health Canada is due to start rolling out in Ontario as soon as next month. ESET says that it informed the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security about the new threat as soon as it was identified. The below above shows... Read more...
An interesting new feature is currently rolling out to Chrome users on Android devices that can show the definition of any word in a text passage. When users are reading a text page on the Chrome browser with their Android device, they're able to tap a word to see a definition or knowledge graph information on the bottom of the screen. As of this writing, the feature hasn't widely rolled out. Depending on the word that users tap, the definition could include a small image. Users typically see a picture of the book if they are receiving a word definition. When the word touched is an object or element, small images are offered. When given a dictionary result, users are also presented with a pronunciation... Read more...
For better or for worse, gaming phones are a thing. What started out as a trickle of pricey, specialized handsets from established gaming brands like Razer and Asus ROG has turned into a steady stream of affordable, tricked out smartphones from Chinese sub-brands like Xiaomi’s Black Shark and Nubia’s RedMagic. Which brings us to today’s review of the Snapdragon 865-equipped RedMagic 5G ($579) -- a 5G handset that undercuts the OnePlus 8 ($699) yet offers similar features and a blazing fast 144Hz AMOLED display. If you’re not familiar with Nubia, it started out as a sub-brand of Chinese giant ZTE, but became an independent business in 2015. Since then, it’s been... Read more...
Apple yesterday announced iOS 14, which is now available to download for developers that want to get their apps ready for the operating system's fall launch. One of the new features that's getting a bit of attention today is what Apple calls Back Tap. The feature can be enabled on newer iPhones, and can be accessed by navigating to Settings --> Accessibility --> Touch --> Back Tap. One enabled, you can tap the back of your phone to perform a variety of actions. You will be presented with options to set an action that is performed when you double tap or triple tap. These actions include opening a specific app, muting your device, going back to the Home screen, opening Control Center and... Read more...
Android fans who want to try the next big release for the operating system can currently enroll in the Android 11 Beta program if you're using a Pixel smartphone. Google says the Android Beta for Pixel program offers a simple way to try pre-release versions of Android to check out new features. The program also allows users to provide feedback to Google about the operating system before its launch. Once users register their device, they will automatically receive updates from the latest beta version of the OS. Supported devices for the Android Beta for Pixel program include: Pixel 2 Pixel 2 XL Pixel 3 Pixel 3 XL Pixel 3a Pixel 3a XL Pixel 4 Pixel 4 XL Google points out that users on eligible... Read more...
Android users need to be wary of a new issue that could soft brick their smartphone by merely setting an image as the default wallpaper. A soft brick is when the smartphone is prevented from being able to be used in a certain way but is repairable by deleting the offending file or resetting the device. The image that is causing the soft brick issue on Android devices, particularly Samsung models, is seen at the top of the story. Ice Universe is typically leaking details on unrelated Android smartphones via Twitter, but recently tweeted the image along with the warning that if anyone sends the image to an Android user, don't set it as your wallpaper. In a later Tweet, Ice Universe noted that when... Read more...
Social distancing is the norm around the United States and the world right now. People have been told to maintain a 6-foot perimeter around themselves and anyone else to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. While many locations use signs or tape on the ground to show people how close they should get in checkout lines, sometimes people are left hoping they're far enough apart. Experiments with Google has a new service called Sodar designed specifically to help people maintain that 6-foot perimeter. Sodar uses WebXR to allow people to visualize social distancing guidelines in their environment. The augmented reality app displays a two-meter radius ring around the user. Anything inside that... Read more...
Security researchers have found a new vulnerability that impacts almost every version of the Android operating system. The vulnerability is called Strandhogg 2.0, and it could allow malware to impersonate legitimate apps to steal passwords and other sensitive data from user devices. Strandhogg 2.0 impacts every device running Android 9.0 or earlier. Security researchers have dubbed the vulnerability the "evil twin" to the earlier vulnerability of the same name. Both bugs were discovered by a security firm called Promon. Strandhogg 2.0 tricks victims into thinking they are entering their passwords on a legitimate app while they are instead interacting with a malicious overlay. The bug is also... Read more...
What do the Alcatel, BlackBerry, and Palm smartphone brands all have in common? They’re all owned by Chinese electronics giant TCL -- which also manufactures products under the RCA brand in the US. TCL is best known for its stratospheric rise in the TV business, where it regularly battles with LG for second place in terms of number of TVs shipped globally (Samsung being number one). It also designs and manufactures its own display panels, unlike many other TV brands, which is no small feat. Anyway, back to smartphones... Alcatel makes budget phones sold by various carriers and MVNOs -- mostly for the prepaid market. BlackBerry experienced a bit of a comeback under TCL back in 2017/18 with... Read more...
True wireless earbuds are all the rage these days, and with many phones lacking a headphone jack, it’s really no surprise. You can mostly blame Apple for the missing port, but you can also thank them for giving the entire industry a reason to copy the AirPods. And Google is finally in the game. See, the first Pixel Buds, which were neckbuds, were a bust back in 2017. So, we were pretty excited when Google announced these new, true wireless earbuds last October. And in terms of first impressions, the $180 Pixel Buds 2 deliver. Google Pixel Buds 2 Design Picture an egg. Now imagine you can somehow flatten this egg a little without cracking it. That’s what the charging case for... Read more...
As a HotHardware reader, we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of Oppo before. But if you live in the US and don't follow the latest developments in mobile technology, it’s possible you’re not (yet) familiar with the brand -- unless you’re a hard-core A/V geek and remember the company’s critically acclaimed range of upscaling DVD and Blu-Ray players from the mid-2000s. What you also may not know is that in 2019, Oppo was the top smartphone brand in China and was number 5 worldwide. And if that doesn’t get your attention, Oppo is a subsidiary of BBK Electronics, just like OnePlus, Vivo, and Realme. Is that legit enough for you? Readers abroad know that Oppo makes... Read more...
Given that Qualcomm is the dominant force in the Android realm when it comes to mobile SoCs, it’s easy to forget that there are other competitors out there like Samsung’s Exynos family and offerings from MediaTek. MediaTek raised eyebrows last year with its flagship Dimensity 1000 flagship SoC that offered an integrated 5G modem, and today, the company is announcing an update to that chip called the Dimensity 1000+. While this is not a complete architectural overhaul, its “+” suffix does bring with it some welcome enhancements over the standard Dimensity 1000. For starters, there is now support for 144Hz displays, which should make the SoC more appealing to smartphone... Read more...
Ransomware is a global problem that can strike individual, organizations, and even health institutions to disastrous results. It demands that the user send money, typically in the form of cryptocurrency to the attackers to have their devices and files unlocked. An old ransomware threat called Black Rose Lucy that was initially discovered in September 2018 is now making a resurgence. Black Rose Lucy is a malware-as-a-service botnet for Android devices where it can take control of the victim's devices to make changes and install new malicious applications. When the Lucy malware is downloaded, it encrypts files on the infected device and displays a ransom note in the browser window claiming to be... Read more...
The highly anticipated OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro are on sale starting today, and lucky for prospective Android flagship shoppers, we have our full deep dive review on the pages ahead. OnePlus has made a name for itself over the years, especially with Android enthusiasts, for building high quality devices with thoughtful feature inclusions, while limiting costly unnecessary features and delivering exceptional value at almost unheard-of price points. Top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered devices with more RAM, more storage, and OnePlus' lean, mean Android-based Oxygen OS -- at price points hundreds less than competitive devices -- has been the hallmark of the brand. However, this new OnePlus 8... Read more...
Google's Android operating system is the most populous in the world, and is used by hundreds of different smartphone OEMs. That large ecosystem along with OEMs that have varying timetables, resources, and "desire" to keep smartphones updates has led to fragmentation. It's why we see new devices still be announced in 2020 running Android 9, and devices that lose access to new Android builds after being on the market for only a year in some instances. OEMs, with the help of Google, are thankfully accelerating the pace at which they release updates, especially when it comes to security updates. A new report from Security Research Labs (SRLabs) indicates that there has been a decrease in the... Read more...
OnePlus burst onto the Android smartphone scene by offering a lot of features and performance for not a lot of money. However, in recent years, we've seen the prices of its devices creep upwards, making them closer in parity to some of the big names in the Android world. This year's OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro start at $699 and $899 respectively, but it looks as though there will be a cheaper offering coming later this year. The device is reportedly called the OnePlus Z, which would be the first new mid-range offering from the company since the OnePlus X debuted nearly 5 years ago. pic.twitter.com/wcD3wH4bVb — Max J. (@MaxJmb) April 28, 2020 According to leaker Max J, the... Read more...
The LG G8X ThinQ was announced a few months back and right from the get-go it was apparent that LG was heading in a somewhat different direction than many of its competitors – at least for the time being. Whereas large format, foldable devices are all the rage as of late, LG took a different approach with the G8X (and it's bigger-brother, the V60 ThinQ) by focusing on optional, dual-screen functionality. Rather than using a single, large folding screen like the Samsung Galaxy Fold, LG took a more practical approach with the LG G8X ThinQ by pairing it with what the company calls a Dual Screen accessory. The Dual Screen essentially functions like a folio-type case, but instead of merely providing... Read more...
We've discussed the rather nasty xHelper malware on a number of occasions here at HotHardware, and it's a rather insidious trojan. XHelper first started making the rounds via the Google Play Store roughly a year ago, and by October 2019, over 45,000 Android devices had fallen victim to its tainted tentacles. As of now, that number has surpassed 50,000. The folks over at Kaspersky have performed a rather thorough analysis of xHelper, which manifests itself in Trojan-Dropper.AndroidOS.Helper.h and is typically distributed via apps that claim to clean your smartphone or boost its performance. However, once the payload is downloaded, decrypted, installed, and then launched on a device, it then... Read more...
It’s fair to say that when you think of flagship phones, LG may not be the first brand that comes to mind. Although the company's made some strong devices over the years, including some of Google's Nexus and Pixel-branded phones, the South Korean giant hasn't had the same kind of success in the mobile space as some of its larger competitors. The company's introduced some competent handsets over the years, but often seems to rely on the strength of its carrier relationships -- at least here in the US. As a result, LG’s phones often feel designed to please the operators more so than end users, and to meet a particular -- typically aggressive -- price point. Last year’s G8 and... Read more...
There aren't many things that Apple can do that really get the Android community fired up and angry. Sure, Android fans might get annoyed when Apple tries to act as if it is the first to "perfect" hardware or software features that appeared on Android devices years before, but nothing has struck a chord quite like the announcement yesterday that it would purchase popular app Dark Sky. What is Dark Sky? Dark Sky is a weather app that can be installed on both iOS and Android devices, and has gained quite a following since its initial Kickstarter campaign launched back in 2012. Since then, it has grown into a software giant that provides API access to other weather apps and websites.... Read more...
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