Items tagged with Android

Today is a big day for fans of the next-generation Razr. Motorola has just opened up pre-orders for the folding Android smartphone, which has a starting price of $1,499. The device will officially start shipping on February 6th. In the meantime, Motorola has posted a new video on its YouTube channel entitled "Caring for Razr" in which the company talks about how to... well... care for your Razr. In the video that runs for less than a minute, Motorola explains that the Razer is water repellant and can be wiped dry with a cloth. But then, the company goes on to state that the "screen is made to bend; bumps and lumps are normal." The Motorola Razr uses a complex hinge mechanism to... Read more...
Good news for Android device owners who are looking to expand their gaming beyond the titles available in the Play Store—they can now test Microsoft's Xbox Console Streaming service and play Xbox titles on their Android phones and tablets. Some Android owners already could, but Microsoft has expanded the preview program globally. "Xbox Console Streaming is our new system feature that enables you to play your owned and installed Xbox One games, including Xbox Game Pass titles, on your Android phone or tablet, streamed from your home console. We view the public preview as an important step in our journey to deliver game streaming to Xbox players around the world! We are learning from Xbox... Read more...
Security researchers are warning of a rise in "fleeceware" scams, a relatively new term that recently entered into the lexicon of security experts. It is a growing problem in the Play Store, whereby Android users end up being charged "excessive amounts of money for apps" for failing to cancel a subscription before a short trial period expires. On the surface, this sounds like an issue that has more to do with user negligence than anything else, but a closer look reveals that several app publishers are abusing the app subscription business model for financial gain. Part of the problem has to do with what constitutes a cancellation. Simply uninstalling a subscription-based app is not enough in... Read more...
Many smartphone users would agree that bloatware, or pre-installed apps that cannot be deleted, are fairly irritating. However, several organizations are now also arguing that bloatware could potentially violate users’ privacy. An open letter from over fifty groups has requested that Google prevent bloatware from exploiting users’ data. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International, and Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) addressed an open letter to Alphabet Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai regarding pre-installed apps and privacy. This past year, Pichai stated in a New York Times op-ed that “Privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who... Read more...
We have a winner, winner, duck dinner! Google announced the winners of its Android screen auction ballot, which determines the three other default browser choices (in addition to Google's own) users in Europe will see when setting up an Android device. In all applicable territories but one (United Kingdom), DuckDuckGo is the first option, while Bing is the big loser. However, DuckDuckGo is not celebrating the victory, and instead is chastising Google over the situation. Let's back up a moment. Back in 2018, the European Union smacked Google with a $5 billion fine for forcing smartphone makers to preinstall Google Search and Chrome, in order to be granted access to the Play Store. The EU determined... Read more...
A government program designed to help low income individuals own a smartphone might be dealing participants more than they bargained for. Or more specifically, security researchers warn that the government-subsidized smartphone provided by Virgin Mobile's Lifeline Assurance Wireless program contains multiple instances of malware. At the heart of the controversy is the Unimax (UMX) U686CL. It is a low-end Android device that is said to cost just $35 to qualifying participants, though at the time of this writing, I can't find the handset at the Assurance Wireless online store. The next closest model is the Unimax U683CL, listed for $39. Researchers at Malwarebytes say they obtained the U686CL to... Read more...
For Android users that regularly record video -- especially at 4K resolution -- it's quite likely that you have hit up against the 4GB file size limit. Google put the limit in place way back in 2014 within the MediaMuxer and MPEG4Writer classes during a time when not many devices could should 4K video and had limited onboard storage. However, a new commit discovered in the AOSP gerrit indicates that Google is removing the 32-bit file size limitation within Android, and hence the 4GB restriction for videos. This is made possible by a new 64-bit offset in MPEG4Writer, and according to the commit, Google has successfully recorded video files up to 32GB in size with these changes in place. ... Read more...
Apple's iPhone XR is no longer a current-generation, near-flagship level, but it is still a very popular smartphone. Counterpoint Research's Market Pulse took a look at global sales figures for the smartphone industry, and the latest numbers for Q3 2019 are in. According to Market Pulse, the iPhone XR was the top-selling smartphone globally for the quarter. The publication notes that the iPhone XR has been the best-selling smartphone globally since Q4 2018, and over 25% of all Apple smartphone sales for Q3 2019 were the iPhone XR. One decision that helped keep the iPhone XR at the top of the sales charts for the quarter was an adjustment of the price in China and several other markets. Apple's... Read more...
Twitter has warned users of the Android app to immediately update their app to the latest version. The reason Twitter is urging caution is due to a possible vulnerability that was discovered within the Twitter for Android application. The vulnerability could allow a bad actor to see non-public account information or to control the user's account. Control over an account would have allowed the bad actor to send tweets and DMs from the compromised user account. Twitter notes that the method used to exploit the vulnerability was complicated, and involved inserting malicious code into restricted storage areas of the Twitter app. It may have been possible for the bad actor to access information like... Read more...
It appears that Motorola may have a potential hit on its hands with the upcoming Razr smartphone. The new Razr represents a new take on the nascent folding smartphone market with a portrait-style display and a horizontal hinge. Motorola has now announced that it has to delay both the start of pre-orders and when the device will actually launch. The company had previously stated that pre-orders would commence on the day after Christmas (December 26th), with an official launch to occur in January. The company issued the following statement about the status of the smartphone's arrival: Since its announcement in November, the new Motorola razr has received unparalleled excitement and interest... Read more...
In an effort to lessen its dependence on established operating systems, including Android and iOS, Facebook is developing its own from the ground up. One reason why this is important to Facebook is because it is so involved with hardware in the virtual reality space, with its acquisition of Oculus and future plans. The situation sort of reminds me of how Valve viewed Microsoft with the release of Windows 8. There was fear that Microsoft would build a walled garden, and Valve reacted by developing SteamOS based on Linux. It was part of a broader strategy that also included Steam Machines, which never really became the massive success Valve had hoped. Facebook finds itself in a different spot,... Read more...
Google RCS is now available on all Android devices in the United States. Its recent availability has brought up questions about its use and features. Today we will break down what it is, how to use it, and, most importantly, how it compares to regular SMS messaging.  Short Message Services (SMS) are plain and simple text messages. They are often accompanied by Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) which include videos, photos, and GIFs. Both are sent through cellular networks and therefore necessitate a carrier plan. Hi everyone! RCS is now available to all users in US as of Monday. Make sure to update both Messages and Carrier Services. — Sanaz (@sanazahari) December 12, 2019 Rich... Read more...
Google has been on a mission to improve the texting experience on Android. Following up on its Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol, which is supposed to bring functionality akin to what's available on iMessages on iOS devices, Google is rolling out a Verified SMS feature to combat the rising annoyance of text spam. You may have noticed that you receive more unsolicited text messages these days than in years past. It's a tough situation, because not every text message from a non-contact is nefarious, or spam. For example, if you have two-factor authentication enabled for a particular service, such as your bank, you'll receive a text when trying to log into your account to verify your identity.... Read more...
Microsoft launched its Your Phone app a while back and has been expanding availability to more Android devices and adding features in the months since that launch. Your Phone is designed to work with both iOS and Android devices, but Android devices have a lot more functionality. One of the key features for Android devices is the ability to send and receive text messages from your Windows 10 PC. Microsoft has now added a new and very useful feature to Your Phone. After testing with Windows Insiders for the last few months, the ability to make and receive phone calls from your PC has now been added to the Your Phone app for all. The new feature is officially called Calls, and users need to be... Read more...
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