Items tagged with Android

The thought of a stranger hijacking your camera and being able to see what you are doing without your knowledge is the stuff of nightmares for most people. Our phones tend to follow us into every area of our lives. Checkmarx decided to see if the cameras that are built into Android phones might be vulnerable to hacking. For their testing, the team took a Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 3 smartphone and began to probe the Google Camera app. The team found that there were a number of "concerning vulnerabilities" in the Google Camera app. They also found that the same vulnerabilities impact the camera apps of other smartphone vendors in the Android ecosystem. They specifically cited Samsung's camera app as... Read more...
Google has announced that it has begun the rollout of its new SMS text messaging app with features powered by RCS (Rich Communication Services). Google says that some people had the chat features in their Android Messaging already, but the rollout is now going to everyone in the States. The traditional SMS text messaging features that Google has offered to Android users are getting new chat features, including the ability to chat over WiFi or using mobile data. Users will be able to send and receive high-resolution photos and videos, and see if people have received your latest messages. Google says that the update brings better group chats with the ability to name groups and add or remove people... Read more...
The concept of a purpose-built gaming phone is still somewhat in its infancy, though we are starting to see generational upgrades, such as the ASUS ROG Phone II. As the name implies, this is the second generation of ASUS' gaming handset. Like the original ROG Phone released last year, the ROG Phone II combines bleeding edge hardware with gaming-centric software optimizations. ASUS sprinkles in some nifty features (like Air Triggers) and then surrounds it all with optional accessories to amp up the experience. What ASUS has essentially created is not just a gaming phone, but a smartphone gaming ecosystem. For this second act, ASUS sets the stage with some notable upgrades. One that perhaps stands... Read more...
Without question, Google's Pixel 4 XL has been the most leaked smartphone of 2019 prior to its official launch. Heck, even Google teased the device and a key feature or two along the way, so it goes without saying, the hype was big for this fourth generation Pixel. Google tries to set the bar for Android ecosystem partners with respect to industrial design and new enabling technologies with its Pixel phones. And in fact, the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL bring with them a couple of firsts for made by Google devices, specifically a 90Hz display and wireless charging. The premise is that hopefully these new features are "done right" so to speak, or at least that the technology has matured enough to... Read more...
Mobile users can mitigate the risk of falling prey to malware by only downloading apps from reputable app stores. The Play Store is one of them, and it is the largest around for Android, though the risk is not by any means non-existent. Google realizes this, and has forged an App Defense Appliance with ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium. Part of the ongoing problem with the Play Store is its sheer size makes it an attractive target for miscreants, as well as the number of Android devices in the wild. According to Google, the Android ecosystem consists of more than 2.5 billion devices, most with access to the Play Store. This has led to a proliferation of malware in the Play Store, as we have reported... Read more...
There may exist a parallel universe where Android is second fiddle to Windows Mobile. Or maybe Microsoft's ill-fated (in this universe) mobile operating is so dominant that Android falls by the wayside, relegated to a footnote in the history of tech. Things did not work out that way in the universe we reside, though according to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Windows Mobile could have won the war, had he not been distracted with an antitrust case brought forward by the US Justice Department. It is a relevant topic, particularly in today's political climate where presidential candidates debate on whether big companies like Facebook should be broken up. Microsoft faced a similar scenario back... Read more...
Google's original Pixel smartphone has enjoyed an epic run when it comes to major operating system and security updates, but the end of the road is finally in sight. Starting with November's monthly rollout of Android security updates, the Pixel is being abandoned by Google. The Pixel has been supported for a remarkably long time -- at least for an Android device -- since its original release back in October 2016. That's one of the benefits of going with Google's hardware in the Android ecosystem, and it's rare to find continual support for 3-year-old devices from its OEM partners. In fact, Google even allowed first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones to upgrade to the current... Read more...
Microsoft Office and its various iterations is perhaps the most well-known and widely used office productivity suite on the planet. That popularity extends to smartphone and tablet platforms, as Office apps are available for both Android and iOS. However, in order to use the various apps within the Office family, you previously had to download each separately. Microsoft is currently testing a new version of Office that will combine all of the major software components into a single app. In this case, perennial favorites Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will be combined into a single Office Mobile app Instead of having your documents siloed within their respective apps, all of your Office documents... Read more...
Samsung has announced a new tablet that is aimed directly at the mobile workforce in the United States. The tablet is called the Galaxy Tab Active Pro, and it is a ruggedized tablet for mobile workers that is designed specifically for those who work in harsh environments both indoors and outdoors. Samsung says that the Galaxy Tab Active Pro is purpose-built for workers in manufacturing, transportation, and public safety. Its key feature is the ruggedized design that can withstand excessive pressure, temperature, vibration, and drops by meeting MIL-STD-810G regulations. The tablet is also IP68 certified for dust and water resistance. The tablet also features an IP68-certified water and dust resistant... Read more...
Google is having a significant problem with malware on the Google Play store with apps that continue to infect tens of thousands of users. Another Android malware app called Xhelper has been thriving on Google Play for the last six months and infected 45,000 devices during that time.  Making Xhelper a more significant threat is the fact that the app itself downloads other threats along with displaying ads. Currently, Xhelper is targeting users in India, the United States, and Russia. Symantec says that Xhelper is part of a surge in apps that can hide from users, download additional malicious apps, and display ads. Frustrating users even more is the fact that Xhelper is persistent and... Read more...
Today's a big day in the world of game streaming. While Google and Microsoft are both developing paid services (Stadia and Project xCloud respectively) that will allow you to stream games to just about any device, the former also has a more localized option just for Xbox One owners. The company just announced that Xbox Insiders on the Alpha or Alpha-Skip-Ahead ring can now begin testing Xbox Console Streaming. This feature is currently in the "preview" stage, and is only available to Xbox Insiders residing in the United States and the United Kingdom. With Xbox Console Streaming, you will be able stream/play any Xbox One game that is installed on you console to an Android device (i.e. a smartphone... Read more...
Android smartphone users who want to enjoy RCS text messaging or Rich Communicator Services -- read receipts, high resolution imagery, the ability to see when someone is typing -- on any Android device with any carrier can enable it now. The trick to enable RCS is reliant on Google's implementation. Google had announced in the past that it would handle RCS for carriers, but the feature only officially rolled out to the U.K. and France. Thankfully, there are numerous reports that RCS works on Android devices in the U.S. and that it works on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint devices. Android users in other parts of the world can also use this trick according to a report from 9to5Google.... Read more...
Adware is rampant in app stores. Google, Apple, and others frequently take down malicious apps, but it can be difficult to determine who published these apps in the first place. ESET researchers recently discovered not only a year-long adware campaign, but the developer behind it. ESET researchers found a total of 42 apps with similar adware on Google Play. The campaign had been running since 2018 and the apps were installed over 8 million times. Many of the apps had already been removed and the researchers reported the remaining outliers to Google. These apps have now all been deleted from the Google Play Store, but you may still find them in third-party app stores. You can find a complete list... Read more...
Google recently launched its Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, which are its two newest flagship Android smartphones. The Pixel 4 family brings a number of new features to the table including 90Hz displays, Face Unlock, and radar-driven motion/gesture sensing tech, but one of the most talked about features of any Google Pixel phone to date is its namesake, the camera. Or in the case of the Pixel 4, its cameras, plural. While our full review of the Pixel 4 XL will be forthcoming shortly, we thought that we'd give you a brief preview of what this new high-end smartphone has to offer with its new cameras. For the first time ever, the Pixel is offering two rear cameras: a 12.2MP primary sensor with an f/1.7... Read more...
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