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Android Leftovers

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Android
  • Viking Horde malware attacks Android devices
  • These are the most popular Android apps of all time
  • The most popular Android apps of all time
  • 5 open source drawing applications for Android

    The open source ecosystem grows every day, and with the proliferation of mobile devices around the globe, perhaps never has it been more important than now to make sure that phone and tablet users get access to the same high-quality open source software options that desktop users have long enjoyed.

    I want to take you through some of the many open source options for mobile apps that you have available to you on Android devices, and today, we start with open source apps for drawing. For those of you on an iOS device, you may be able to find an equivalent for your device as well, but the Apple ecosystem does not lend itself to applications outside of its walled garden, so your luck may vary.

    Whether you're a serious artist, a doodler, or simply someone who wants to provide a few apps to entertain your kids, we hope you'll appreciate these entertaining picks. They're not the GIMP or Inkscape (although you can find those packaged for Android as well), but they all make use of touch input in creative ways.

  • Hit the road with Android music players and a travel mix

    Generally my earbuds are plugged into my Android phone, and on that, I have graduated from the non-open-source, pre-installed app to Vanilla Music, which claims to be open source and ad-free. I confess I haven't tried a git pull on it yet, but otherwise, so far I am liking it. The app provides simple tab structure offering artists, albums, songs, playlists, genres, and files. Vanilla Music is simple and responsive and has all the basic features I need for my modest on-phone music collection. But I'm going to try other open source applications, so if you have suggestions, let me know in the comments.

Android Security Update May 2016: What you need to know

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Android
Security

And we're back! Google has released the latest Android security update and, as you might expect, there's plenty to be had. This time around, Google patched 40 vulnerabilities. Twelve of these 40 issues were marked as critical, with two of those identified as remote code execution vulnerabilities (aka, the worst kind). Unfortunately, the two remote code execution (RCE) issues are found in Android's mediaserver. This is the same subsystem that has been plagued with issues in the past few months. Those two RCE issues aren't the only ones to haunt the mediaserver.

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Meet the first all-in-one Windows-style desktop that runs Android

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Android

Hardcore Android fans already know what Jide is. It’s the company behind Remix OS, the Windows-style Android operating system that can be installed on any computer, regardless what OS it runs. In addition to offering its desktop Android reboot free of charge to anyone looking for Android on their computer, the company has introduced Remix OS devices of its own in the past. Now, Jide has partnered with AOC to launch a standalone all-in-one PC that runs Android out of the box.

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Remix OS brings Android to the desktop on its first all-in-one PC

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OS
Android

Jide, the company behind desktop-orientated Android fork Remix OS, has put its software in an all-in-one PC for the first time. The firm partnered with Chinese manufacturer AOC to create a Remix OS-powered desktop device that's aimed at China's enterprise market. This isn't a powerful computer by any stretch of the imagination (nor is it the first all-in-one device to run Android, or a variant thereof), but it's still interesting to see what Jide is doing with its software.

Remix OS is still in beta, but it essentially turns Google's mobile OS into a desktop operating system. The software adds floating windows, keyboard and mouse support, a Start menu lookalike, and file manager. The software is available to download for free, and we were impressed with its capabilities when we tried it out at MWC earlier this year.

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Android Leftovers

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Android

Does A $13 Android Phone Sound Too Good to Be True?

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Android

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the option to purchase a brand new $13 Android smartphone? Sure, but is it realistic — especially if you live by the adage “You get what you pay for,” or “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

An Indian company, Docoss Multimedia Private, is nevertheless promising to introduce an unbelievably cheap 3G Android smartphone — the world’s second cheapest smartphone priced at just 888 Indian rupees (that’s $13.30 in the U.S.).

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Chinese ARM vendor left developer backdoor in kernel for Android, “Pi” devices

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Android

Allwinner, a Chinese system-on-a-chip company that makes the processor used in many low-cost Android tablets, set-top boxes, ARM-based PCs, and other devices, apparently shipped a version of its Linux kernel with a ridiculously easy-to-use backdoor built in. All any code needs to do to gain root access is send the text "rootmydevice" to an undocumented debugging process.

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Android Leftovers

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Android
  • Android is eating Apple’s iOS market share everywhere

    As if Apple wasn’t facing enough headwind this year, now comes word that Android smartphones are making big market share gains around the world.

    According to the latest market share numbers for the first quarter of 2016 from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Android grew significantly in the U.S., Europe, and China, while Apple’s iOS lost ground.

  • Logitech's new car mounts bring smart hands-free to Android

    Logitech has announced a new pair of hands-free car mounts that work in concert with a voice-controlled app to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.

    ZeroTouch is available either as a vent mount ($59.99) or a dash mount ($79.99). The free app then connects with the the mount via a small metal plate or a disk hidden underneath a case, triggering a Bluetooth LE connection. When you remove the phone from the mount, the ZeroTouch app shuts down, so you only have to use the voice commands when you want.

  • "Modular" Smartphones Are Now The Official Gadget Gimmick Of 2016 (And Possibly Beyond)

    When LG announced the modular G5 at MWC in 2016, we were all taken a bit aback. Admittedly, there was plenty of reason to hold judgment - it seemed possible that LG had actually done something interesting and innovative with a smartphone that hadn't quite been tried before, and gadget-lust is an easy feeling to succumb to in the face of something new and weird. It turns out that the G5's "friends" were basically DOA as a concept, though, and there has been little indication that consumer response to the idea is even existent, let alone positive.

  • Android vs. iPhone: Pros and Cons

    The biggest indisputable issue I have with the iPhone is more of a hardware limitation than a software one. That issue is storage.

    Look, with most Android phones, I can buy a smaller capacity phone and then add an SD card later. This does two things: First, I can use the SD card to store a lot of media files. Second, I can even use the SD card to store "some" of my apps. Apple has nothing that will touch this.

    Another area where the iPhone loses me is in the lack of choice it provides. Backing up your device? Hope you like iTunes or iCloud. For someone like myself who uses Linux, this means my ONLY option would be to use iCloud.

    To be ultimately fair, there are additional solutions for your iPhone if you're willing to jailbreak it. But that's not what this article is about. Same goes for rooting Android. This article is addressing a vanilla setup for both platforms.

  • How to get emoji on Android: Use emoji on your Samsung, Nexus, or other Android phone

Android Leftovers

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Android

Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android
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Leftovers: Gaming

Win for APIs and FOSS (Android Case)

  • Google beats Oracle at trial: Jury finds Android is “fair use”
    Following a two-week trial, a federal jury concluded Thursday that Google's Android operating system does not infringe Oracle-owned copyrights because its re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by "fair use." The verdict was reached after three days of deliberations. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, listen to your verdict as it will stand recorded," said the court clerk, before polling each of the ten men and women on the jury. There was only one question on the special verdict form, asking if Google's use of the Java APIs was a "fair use" under copyright law. The jury unanimously answered "yes," in Google's favor. The verdict ends the trial, which began earlier this month. If Oracle had won, the same jury would have gone into a "damages phase" to determine how much Google should pay. Because Google won, the trial is over. "I salute you for your extreme hard work in this case," said US District Judge William Alsup, who has overseen the litigation since 2010. "With the thanks of your United States District Court, you are now discharged. I would like to come in the jury room and shake each of your hands individually." Four of the ten jurors declined to comment to reporters gathered in the hallway. The other six went out through a back exit. "We're grateful for the jury's verdict," said Google lead lawyer Robert Van Nest before getting into the elevator with Google's in-house lawyers. "That's it." Oracle attorneys had no comment.
  • Google wins Oracle copyright fight over Android code
    Today, a jury in California's Northern District federal court declared that Google's use of copyright-protected code in Android was fair use, freeing it of any liability. Oracle, which controls the copyright on the code, had been seeking $9 billion for the use of the code. The case centers around an API developed by Java and owned by Oracle, which allows outside programs to easily interact with Java programs. Android uses the same API, and in 2014 a federal appeals court ruled that Oracle has a valid copyright claim on the API code, potentially putting Google on the hook for billions of dollars in damages. (The Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal.) In the latest round, Google argued that Android's reimplementation of the API constituted fair use, which would allow use of the code without invalidating Oracle's copyright. Ultimately, the jury found that case convincing.