Android

News about Google's Android, Android devices, and Android forks

World’s most secure Android phone finally starts shipping next month

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Android
Linux
Security
  • World’s most secure Android phone finally starts shipping next month

    Secure communications specialist Silent Circle recently set out to build the most secure Android phone in the world, and some have gone as far as to call the company’s Blackphone an “NSA-proof” smartphone. That statement can’t be confirmed, of course, since the NSA surely still has a few tricks up its sleeve that we don’t know about. What we can say, however, is that people concerned with keeping their mobile communications private will soon have a new option that is more secure than any publicly available Android phone currently on the market.

  • Silent Circle's Blackphone will ship out in three weeks

    Silent Circle in partnership with Geeksphone announced the Blackphone in January this year. The makers of the Blackphone claims that the handset is the world's first smartphone that gives its user total control of privacy.

    The upcoming smartphone is powered by a modified version of Android, PrivatOS, which is believed to be more security-oriented. The Blackphone will be carrier and vendor independent, which will ensure that individuals and businesses are able to make and receive secure phone calls, send texts, store files, browse the internet and more without compromising the privacy of the user.

  • Blackphone is about to sidle stealthily into the mainstream
  • NSA-Proof? Super-Secure Blackphone Shipping by July
  • Super-Secure Blackphone Shipping by July
  • Anti-forensic mobile OS gets your phone to lie for you

    In Android Anti-forensics: Modifying CyanogenMod Karl-Johan Karlsson and William Bradley Glisson present a version of the Cyanogenmod alternate operating system for Android devices, modified so that it generates plausible false data to foil forensic analysis by law enforcement. The idea is to create a mobile phone that "lies" for you so that adversaries who coerce you into letting them take a copy of its data can't find out where you've been, who you've been talking to, or what you've been talking about.

Must have apps for rooted Android devices

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Android

Rooting your device and installing custom ROMs unleashes the true open nature of Android. Customising phone or tablet and having tight control over their functions is what hardcore Android users dream of. Once your device is rooted, it paves way for installing apps that can take advantage of the added permission and access to core software. Here are few of the best apps that will give you Super Powers that non-root users cannot wield.

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Google Fit: Google’s new health service to challenge Apple’s HealthKit

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Android
Google
Gadgets

However, there is a need for more clarity on whether Google Fit will be integrated into the next version of Android, or offered as a standalone app that could be downloaded independently.

It added: “One source with knowledge of Google’s plans said Google Fit would allow a wearable device that measures data like steps or heart rate to interface with Google’s cloud-based services, and become part of the Google Fit ecosystem.”

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A warm welcome to CyanogenMod

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Android

In short, CyanogenMod (pronounced sigh-AN-oh-jen-mod) is an open-source operating system for smartphones and tablets. CM is based on the android platform but contains a wealth of add-ons, third party extensions and customisations. Until now CM was pretty much an alternative operating system only used by those who were brave enough to self-install (aka ‘flashing’). However more recently CM is starting to hit the mainstream market in all new ways. At present CM can claim over 12 million installs which when considering was never released (until recently) as a direct-from-launch pre-installed product is quite impressive. In addition alternative phone manufacturers are starting to see the benefits of CM and jumping on board. The first device to officially utilize CM was the OPPO N1 which launched back in December 2013 with the ColorOS operating system. This was the first device ever to offer a pre-loaded CM firmware.

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Leak reveals Galaxy S5 and S4 KitKat update coming this month

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Android

The document leaked to Android Geeks by an anonymous tipster indicates two versions of the S5 are due to receive the 4.4.3 update within the next couple of weeks. The leaked document was an email sent to Android Geeks titled “KTU84 Update Status Report”, containing a visible Samsung header and dated “June 10th”. The document suggests the Galaxy S5 (SM-G900F and SM-G900H) are both due to receive the update in June with both models having ‘completed testing’.

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The history of Android: The endless iterations of Google’s mobile OS

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Android
Linux

Android has been with us in one form or another for more than six years. During that time, we've seen an absolutely breathtaking rate of change unlike any other development cycle that has ever existed. When it came time for Google to dive in to the smartphone wars, the company took its rapid-iteration, Web-style update cycle and applied it to an operating system, and the result has been an onslaught of continual improvement. Lately, Android has even been running on a previously unheard of six-month development cycle, and that's slower than it used to be. For the first year of Android’s commercial existence, Google was putting out a new version every two-and-a-half months.

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Samsung's razor-thin Galaxy Tab S takes another run at the iPad

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Android
Linux
Mac

Now Samsung’s announcing its newest tablet line, the Galaxy Tab S, available in 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch sizes. The Galaxy Tab S models are thinner, lighter, and faster than earlier efforts, and they have new Super AMOLED displays that Samsung says easily outperform their LCD-equipped counterparts. But one major thing remains the same: Samsung is very much still trying to beat the iPad.

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Mozilla begins repackaging Firefox OS apps for Android

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Android
Moz/FF

Mozilla has today extended its Open Web App repackaging to Android.

Users of Firefox for Android are now able to install apps from the Firefox Marketplace, and have them install and behave like a regular Android app.

"As a developer, you can now build your Open Web App for Firefox OS devices and have that app reach millions of existing Firefox for Android users without having to change a single line of code," said the announcement blog post.

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Forked Android build targets dual-boot x86 laptops, tablets

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Android

A “Console OS” Kickstarter project is building an Android 4.4 fork for Intel CPUs on everything from PCs to tablets, complete with a dual-boot option.

Intel is hoping to spur a new wave of dual-boot Android/Windows 2-and-1s and tablets with its Atom Z3000 and upcoming, newly announced Core M processors. So far, however, Android has yet to make much of dent in the PC market, either as a standalone or dual-boot OS.

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Galaxy S5 vs. Nexus 5 vs. iPhone 5s

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Android

When a buyer goes to purchase a new smartphone, he or she is often confronted with a tough choice. With so many flagship smartphones in the market today, which ones to choose from? There's the Galaxy S5, which is a widely popular phone from Samsung and then there's the iPhone 5s, which comes from the world’s most valuable tech company. And, as if that wasn't confusing enough, Google offers its own flagship device known as Nexus 5.

While the three smartphones mentioned above are wildly popular, users have a tough time investing their hard-earned cash into. That's why, we've written this article to help you buy the best phone amongst the big 3. So, without further ado, here's a quick comparison between the Galaxy S5, Nexus 5 and iPhone 5s.

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Turning a smartphone into a PC in a pocket: Q&A with Analogix

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Android
Gadgets

Q: Where and why is SlimPort being implemented?

A: SlimPort was first implemented in the Google Nexus 4 back in 2012 and has continued to be used in a number of high-end tablets and smartphones from Fujitsu, Asustek, LG, and ZTE, as well as finding its way into Chromebooks from brands like Hewlett-Packard (HP), among others. The key is that the technology enables more features and can reduce costs. For example, users want to have the ability to take mobile audio and video and get it up on a big screen. Previously, the ability to get the video off of a tablet/smartphone was typically done by running it through a micro-HDMI port. Using SlimPort allowed the OEMs to drop the micro-HDMI port and simply run everything through the five-pin micro-USB port that is needed for charging. SlimPort simply takes control of the connector when a SlimPort dongle is plugged in, and while the devices are connected, SlimPort enables the display to also charge the mobile device. In 2013, support for Full HD was added but we really expect the technology to take off this year with SlimPort Pro.

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CyanogenMod 11.0 M7 Released

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Android

Release day is here again, with CM 11.0 M7 hitting the download servers. Last week’s post included the highlights from the changelog, but we’ll it again for those of you who prefer tl;dr.

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OnePlus One Review: The CyanogenMod Powered Smartphone That Outclasses The Android Competition

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Android

OnePlus has managed to create a bit of a buzz around their latest smartphone. Called ‘One’ (but I’ll go with the OnePlus One for most of this review to avoid the confusion with HTC) this is a handset that goes out of its way to be attractive. The styling is simple but functional, the specs are close to the top of the range in the world of Android, and the price is stunning. It’s not a typo, it actually starts at £229 in the UK ($299 in the US) for the 16 GB model.

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Samsung and Barnes & Noble are making a Nook together

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Android
Linux

Samsung and Barnes & Noble announced on Thursday a co-branded device called the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, a 7-inch reading-focused tablet designed to compete with the Kindle Fire HDX and the Nexus 7. It's the first sign of life in some time for the Nook brand, the lineup of ebook readers and tablets that have been consistently great but never popular enough to unseat Amazon as king of the reading device. Now, however, with the combined retail and marketing weight of Samsung and Barnes & Noble, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook may have the might to find a place once again. (And there's only the slightest irony in the fact that Microsoft owns part of the Nook brand, meaning it now owns yet another Android device.)

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Android TV Pegged for June Appearance

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Android

Android TV "certainly shows Google's character as an organization," said Brett Sappington, director of research for Parks Associates. "I don't know of any other organization that would take three tries to get it right. Google embraces risk more than other organizations do." The challenge is getting the mix of user interaction and ease of use right, he added.

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Dell launches Android-based Venue tablets at Computex 2014

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Android

Dell has added two new Android-based models to its Venue lineup of tablets. Both the Venue 7 and the Venue 8 tablets now run Android 4.4 KitKat and come with budget specifications.

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Google's Nexus devices get stealth Android update

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Android
Security

Google has quietly begun rolling out a new version of Android to its flagship Nexus devices, but so far it has remained shtum on just what has changed.

Support pages from US wireless player T-Mobile reveal that the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 handsets and the 2013 version of the Nexus 7 tablet all began receiving over-the-air updates to Android 4.4.3 on Monday.

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10 Things We Want From A Perfect Android Smartwatch

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Android
Gadgets

While Samsung is trying to create an early-bird monopoly in the smartwatch market, Apple and Google are busy working on a smartwatch of their own. Though both the smartphone giants haven't announced anything yet, it's only natural to assume that they're not going to overlook such a huge market. Samsung, with their Galaxy Gear smart watches was the first big company to make a foray into wearables. Serving as a mere companion to Samsung's Galaxy smartphones, these smart watches haven't been met with glowing reviews. Many find the Gear smartwatch clunky, lacking features, and overall, an unbaked product. Though Samsung made the first Gear watch based on Android, it has quickly realized its mistake and switched to Tizen instead. Thus, we don't have any major Android-based smartwatch available yet. Given that the smartwatch competition has just commenced, we, as tech fans, have some seriously high expectations from Google. If Android were to make its face shown on a watch, it better be good. That's why we've listed some of the things we want from an ideal Android smartwatch.

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HP to Offer Under-$400 Android-only Laptop

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Android

It looks like major computer makers are finally warming up to operating systems other than Microsoft Windows, and they are also experimenting with open source operating systems. Not onlly is Dell out with new tablet hybrid devices that run Ubuntu, but Hewlett-Packard has announced a new Android-only laptop. The 14-inch, Tegra-driven Android system is called the HP SlateBook 14, and will be available on August 6 for $399.

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Samsung's original Galaxy Gear smartwatch drops Android for Tizen

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Android
Linux

Samsung's first generation of smartwatches is officially ditching Android. SamMobile reports that the original Galaxy Gear is being upgraded to Tizen, the operating system used on the newer Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo (but not the Gear Fit, yet another model released this spring.) Samsung has made a point of differentiating its software from stock Android — its various Android smartphones are loaded with design tweaks — but in this case, the main difference will be in added features; we and other reviewers found that the Tizen interface looked and operated very much like the Android one.

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