Articles about Android

Samsung, the Angel of Death: Exploding Note 7 phones will be bricked

Anyone still using a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has ten days to return their device for a refund before Sammy kills the handset for good. The South Korean electronics giant says that an over-the-air update set for release on December 19 will effectively brick the devices for good, shutting off all phone and data connections and …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Dec 2016
Blackberry jam on toast. Photo by shutterstock

The Dread Server BlackBerry Enterprise is no more

BES, the TLA that has struck trepidation into BOFHs for a decade, is no more. The brand name has been discarded in the biggest rationalisation of the company’s product lines in the company’s history. BlackBerry's product reorganisation leaves almost no part of its enterprise portfolio untouched. Practically every product that …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Dec 2016

Has Samsung, er, rounded the corner with Apple court win?

Analysis Some good news has finally fallen the way of Samsung, as the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the South Korean giant in its ongoing patent spat with Apple - scrapping a $399m damages bill in the latest episode of the hottest legal battle in tech, though certainly not the last. At the heart of this is the idea that instead …
Faultline, 09 Dec 2016
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Google found a way to go after 400 MEELLION new users this week

Google this week added Hindi to the languages spoken by its "Allo" digital assistance service, the company's Siri-and-Cortana competitor. The Register fancies this is a pretty significant thing to have done, because the world has about 400 million Hindi speakers in India alone, with plenty concentrated in states like Bihar …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Dec 2016
Robot AI Woman

Revamped Cortana finally lands on UK mobe mass market

Microsoft’s ravenous, data hungry ‘personal assistant’ Cortana has arrived on iOS and Android in the UK, and the app has been revamped. Cortana has been available here since July 2014 on Windows Phones, and last year on Windows 10. But “she” finally arrives on devices people actually use. The UI overhaul is to address the …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Dec 2016
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Who killed Pebble? Easy: The vulture capitalists

Comment We just didn’t know it at the time, but Pebble’s fate was sealed in May 2013 when it surrendered control to outsiders who saddled it with debt. Yesterday Pebble’s new owner Fitbit lost no time in closing down the operation, not merely snuffing out any prospect of new products, but warning Pebble owners that they’re not going …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Dec 2016

Huawei Nova: A pleasant surprise in a 5in phone

Hands-on Last year, Huawei built a phone for Google called the Nexus 6P, and everyone who had one loved it. Huawei's "nova" (officially lowercase) resembles a slimline version of the Nexus 6P. But while it retains the quite beautiful design, the Nova is not a Nexus 6P at all. The five-inch Nova is the latest in a rapidly proliferating …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Dec 2016
My Friend Cayla and i-Que robot

Playtime's over: Internet-connected kids toys 'fail miserably' at privacy

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) are calling for US and EU data protection authorities to take action against insecure networked toys. Declaring that "My Friend Cayla," a Bluetooth-enabled doll released in 2014, and "i-Que," a connected robot released last year, " …
Thomas Claburn, 08 Dec 2016
A brick tunnel

Santa says you've been nice kids: OpenVPN to get security audit

Johns Hopkins University crypto professor Dr Matthew Green is to lead a security audit of OpenVPN 2.4. The open source VPN project, published at GitHub, has been compiled for everything from Solaris to Windows, passing various Linux and BSD distributions along the way (including OSX); Windows and Android (and jailbroken iOSs …

Don't have a Dirty COW, man: Android gets full kernel hijack patch

Google has posted an update for Android that, among other fixes, officially closes the Dirty COW vulnerability. The December 2016 update covers a total of 74 CVE-listed security vulnerabilities in Android devices. These fixes should be landing on Nexus handsets devices very soon, if not already, and installed as soon as …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Dec 2016

Sage evaluates sale of North American payments biz

Accounting and payroll firm Sage may offload part of its North American business. The UK firm is evaluating what it called “potential strategic options for the North American payments business", including sale. “There can be no certainty that this evaluation will lead to any transaction,” the firm said in a statement. The …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Dec 2016
Apple Watch wireless charging

Everything at Apple Watch is awesome, insists Tim Cook

Apple typically leaves the phone ringing when reporters call, so an instant rebuttal from the CEO is almost newsworthy in itself. Yesterday Tim Cook broke his monastic silence to respond to a report that Apple Watch sales were in a funk. Nonsense, said Cook, who emailed the Reuters news agency to tell it that the Apple Watch's …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Dec 2016

Russia's bid for mobile self-sufficiency may be the saviour of Sailfish

Comment The quest for freedom from US technologies and patent fees has been a persistent theme in China and has helped shape the new mobile landscape, in which Baidu and Alibaba, not Google and Amazon, dominate the user experience. Less is heard about another massive market, Russia, but here too, the push for technology self-sufficiency …
Wireless Watch, 07 Dec 2016

Uber is watching your smartphone's battery charge

Browser authors are abandoning the invasive Battery API W3C specification, but not everybody's got the memo: Uber, for example, still watches battery status. The not-an-employer, not-a-taxi-company's app checks battery status and remaining battery, with the explanation that the feature is used for fraud detection. The …

Android, Qualcomm move on insecure GPS almanac downloads

Nearly a decade after it introduced assisted-GPS in its mobile chipsets, Qualcomm has squished a bug that allowed miscreants to mess around with people's location services, or crash their phones. In 2007, Qualcomm made GPS signal acquisition faster by using an almanac of satellites. Instead of having to acquire signals blindly …

US Supreme Court slashes Samsung's patent payout to Apple

Update Samsung has claimed a Supreme Court victory that will see its $400m patent damages bill to Apple significantly reduced. The highest court in America ruled that the damages were incorrectly calculated and ordered a Californian district court to take another look at the case to calculate a smaller bill for the South Korean …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Dec 2016

BlackBerry's final QWERTY floats past the rumour mill

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but what if BlackBerry had produced a smart, secure Android QWERTY in 2011, rather than waiting until 2017? A photo purporting to be BlackBerry’s final phone – which happens to be a smart, secure Android QWERTY expected in Q1 next year, popped up at the weekend, inviting counterfactual histories …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Dec 2016
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Cyanogen parts ways with its founder

Mobile OS outfit Cyanogen has made further sackings and parted ways with founder Steve Kondik. A post by CEO Lior Tal says the company is closing its Seattle office and consolidating a single Palo Alto abode. “The purpose of the change is to improve the communication and performance of the team which will now operate under …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Dec 2016
LeEco Pro3 gold

LeEco Le Pro 3: Low-cost, high-spec Droid takes on the big boys with a big fat batt

Review In October, the Chinese firm LeEco announced bold plans to storm the American market with a range of consumer electronic devices, ranging from smartphones to a futuristic electric car. The firm's CEO Jia Yueting has since said he's scaling back his plans as a little too ambitious, but some LeEco products are available online …
Iain Thomson, 02 Dec 2016

Finally. BlackBerry lobs out new BB10 OS update

BlackBerry finally released an update for its BB10 OS, eight months later than promised. In September 2015, when BlackBerry confirmed the coming of its first Android device, CEO John Chen promised a BB10 update for March this year. The 10.3.3 update was thrown into the US National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Dec 2016

Wearable eats wearable: Fitbit 'to buy Pebble' with a steal of a deal

Crowdfunding hero and smart bling pioneer Pebble is about to be acquired by Fitbit. The Information was first with the story, and subsequent reports suggest the price is modest: around $35 to $40m. The company launched its first smartwatch under the Pebble name on Kickstarter in 2012 after Vancouver engineering student Eric …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Dec 2016
Professional carbon drone with GPS. Pic via Shutterstock

Brit upstart releases free air traffic app for drone operators

British startup Altitude Angel has, in conjunction with air traffic control service NATS, launched an air-traffic-as-a-service app for drone operators. Drone Assist "presents drone pilots with an interactive map of areas of airspace used by commercial air traffic", according to Altitude Angel. The theory is that the large …
Gareth Corfield, 01 Dec 2016

Nokia restores ‘Phones’

They’re back. Sort of. “Phones” have returned to Nokia’s website after a two-year hiatus. Microsoft completed the acquisition of Nokia’s mobile division in April 2014, after many delays. Nokia’s Phone pages continued as a stub, largely redirecting traffic to Microsoft’s site for some time. Microsoft found itself with a …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Dec 2016
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Android-rooting Gooligan malware infects 1 million devices

A new strain of Android malware is infecting an estimated 13,000 devices per day. The Gooligan malware roots Android devices before stealing email addresses and authentication tokens stored on them. The tokens create a means for hackers to access users' sensitive data from Gmail accounts, security researchers at Check Point …
John Leyden, 30 Nov 2016

Speaking in Tech: The limitations of Android's crypto

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week our Podcast Idols Peter Smallbone and Melissa Gurney join Greg and Ed to talk Black Friday, auto shopping, Android encryption and the big AWS show. The details… (0:00) Peter and Melissa assimilate into the podcast (1:35) Raving and Black Friday (8:58) Car …
Team Register, 30 Nov 2016

Banks' bid to board iPhones' NFC chips rebuffed

The four Australian banks attempting to use iPhones' near-field communications chips for their own payment services, and not Apple Pay, have all-but failed. Australia's Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac together control about 70 per cent of the nation's credit card market. Together with minnow The Bendigo …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Nov 2016

Huawei Mate 9: The Note you've been waiting for?

Hands On Can you believe Huawei’s luck? Imagine discovering a new planet, populated entirely by Irish people, which has a dozen orbiting satellite moons all harvesting shamrocks, all the year round. That lucky. Through extraordinary timing, the Chinese giant finds itself with the big screen phone category to itself, thanks to its new …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Nov 2016

Inside Android's source code... // TODO – Finish file encryption later

Looking at the storage encryption Google has implemented in Android Nougat (7.0) through the metaphor of the glass that's either half full or half empty, cryptography expert Matthew Green sees Google's glass as all but drained. In a blog post last week, Green, assistant professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Nov 2016

Blu Vivo 6: Top value trendsetter marred by Chino-English mangle

Review Does anyone buy phones purely on specs? If so, this one might interest you. If software updates, support, and overall fit and finish can be ignored, then perhaps Blu, a Miami-based phone brand might make you pay attention. That’s because Blu enters the UK market with a £229 5.5-inch model, which on the surface looks an …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Nov 2016
Tesla Model X

Grand App Auto: Tesla smartphone hack can track, locate, unlock, and start cars

A smartphone app flaw has left Tesla vehicles vulnerable to being tracked, located, unlocked, and stolen. Security experts at Norwegian app security firm Promon were able to take full control of a Tesla vehicle, including finding where the car is parked, opening the door and enabling its keyless driving functionality. A lack …
John Leyden, 25 Nov 2016
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Dell plotting something touchy-feely on 'Canvas'

Dell's applied for the US trademarks “Canvas” and “Dell Canvas”, both covering “Interactive touch screen computer interfaces”. So what's it up to? The Register reckons the most obvious candidate is something to do with its Surface Hub competitor, the model C7017T 70-inch Interactive Conference Room Monitor, as that's the most …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Nov 2016

Sorry, iPhone fans – only Fandroids get Barclays' tap-to-withdraw

Barclays is trialling smartphone cash withdrawals. The UK's first contactless mobile cash service will allow the bank's customers to withdraw up to £100 in-branch, with just a tap of their Android smartphone or contactless debit card. The technology offers an alternative to traditional cash withdrawals from specially outfitted …
John Leyden, 23 Nov 2016

HTC and OnePlus spruce up flagships for Santa's sack

Phone makers used to "refresh" their annual flagships by flinging out one in a new colour. But in today's hyper-competitive market, where flagships are forgotten almost as soon as they appear, apparently that isn't enough. HTC and OnePlus have each given their ranges mid-year revamps with new specs, cases, and fancy new names. …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Nov 2016
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Not fake news: Facebook reinvents SVG

Thanks to Facebook, you too can festoon your mobile applications with high-quality, low-overhead vector animations. The social media and data-harvesting giant on Tuesday released its Keyframes library for exporting Adobe After Effects animations so they can be rendered in Android and iOS apps. Facebook developed Keyframes for …
Thomas Claburn, 23 Nov 2016

Emulating x86: Microsoft builds granny flat into Windows 10

Microsoft plans to emulate x86 instructions on ARM chips, throwing a compatibility lifeline to future Windows tablets and phones. The Cobalt project should bear fruit within the year, when the "Redstone 3" release of Windows 10 is due to arrive, Mary Jo Foley reports. Ideally, Microsoft wants everyone to convert their old …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Nov 2016
Ice block. Photo by Shutterstock

Glacier melt race increases vastly … for AWS cold storage

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has made a few price cut announcements a few days out from its Re:Invent shindig in Las Vegas. The cloud colossus has cut the price of its S3 storage, which now kicks in at US$0.0230/GB/month. Reductions range from depending on volume of data stored and the region you store it in. The company's cold …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Nov 2016
Android patch

Qualcomm now offering US$15k for security bugs

Qualcomm's been bitten by the bounty bug, signing on with HackerOne to offer up to US$15,000 for vulnerabilities in modems and processors. The bounty covers Snapdragon 400, 615, 801, 805 808, 810, 820 and 821 processors, and its X5, X7, X12 and X16 LTE modems. A vulnerability in any one of these would reach a long way into …
Sad Android

More Androids carry phone-home firmware

Got a cheap-and-cheerful Android phone from BLU, Infinix, Doogee, Leagoo, IKU, Beeline or Xolo? It might be harbouring some badware in the firmware. The issue affects phones that use an over-the-air update mechanism from Chinese company according to BitSight researcher Dan Dahlberg and Anubis Networks' João Gouveia and Tiago …

Disaster-recoverer Zerto wades into Microsoft clouds

Zerto announced its Enterprise Cloud Edition with general availability of Zerto Virtual Replication 5.0 (ZVR), which has Microsoft Azure support. Zerto Enterprise Cloud Edition (ZECE?) can protect and recover any virtual machine (VM) in on-premises data centres and public clouds, each with different SLAs and retention policies …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2016
Image composite: Microsoft and StudioLondon http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-893620p1.html

Microsoft ❤️ Linux? Microsoft ❤️ running its Windows' SQL Server software on Linux

In March, when Microsoft announced plans to release SQL Server for Linux, Scott Guthrie, EVP of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group, said, "This will enable SQL Server to deliver a consistent data platform across Windows Server and Linux, as well as on-premises and cloud." The release of the first public preview of SQL …
Thomas Claburn, 18 Nov 2016
Microsoft's Scott Guthrie addresses Connect: any developer, any app, any platform

Microsoft's development platform today: What you need to know

Connect 2016 At the Connect event under way in New York, Microsoft laid out its plans for developers targeting its platform – though what the "Microsoft platform" means has changed radically from what it used to be. The slogan today is "Any developer, any app, any platform," whereas a couple of years ago the theme was "Windows everywhere …
Tim Anderson, 17 Nov 2016
Woman uses headphones with her iPhone. Photo by Shutterstock

FYI Apple fans – iCloud slurps your call histories

Apple's effort to avoid becoming an on-demand data dispensary for authorities faces unlikely saboteurs: The company's commitment to convenience and its customers' preference for the same. Russian digital forensics company Elcomsoft on Thursday published a blog post claiming that Apple's iCloud Drive service stores phone call …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Nov 2016
Boba Fett

Qualcomm taps Samsung to make next-gen 10nm Snapdragon

The latest and greatest Snapdragon processor, the 835 due out in the first half of next year, will be made by Samsung and be the first to use the chaebol's 10-nanometer FinFET architecture. The announcement was made at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit in New York and extends the partnership the two firms have had for …
Iain Thomson, 17 Nov 2016
Man heaves giant rock above his head in the middle of the woods. Photo by Shutterstock

Facebook Telecom Infrastructure Project starts chucking rocks at mobile model

Analysis Nine months after announcing its Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP), Facebook has held its first summit and unveiled new partners and a first concrete project, a white box transponder/router for fibre backhaul, called Voyager. This is an indication, if any were needed, that the social media giant was not just tub-thumping …
Wireless Watch, 17 Nov 2016
Kamkar's RPi Zero-based attack

PoisonTap fools your PC into thinking the whole internet lives in an rPi

How do you get a sniff of a locked computer? Tell it you're its gateway to the entire Internet IPv4 routing space. That's the basic principle behind a demo from brainiac cracker Samy Kamkar. Plugged into a victim, his Raspberry Pi Zero-based "PoisonTap" isn't just a network sniffer, it's a backdoor-digger. MacOS users can …

Nokia's great lost smartwatch? #SavedYouALandfill

Footage has emerged of Nokia's never-released smartwatch – suggesting Microsoft was wise to kill the project when it acquired the Finns' mobile division. The Nokia watch prototype in the video dates to the zenith of the smartwatch hype in 2014. Nokia showed the device in private at that year's Mobile World Congress, and it was …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Nov 2016

Firefox hits version 50

The Mozilla Foundation's Firefox web browser has hit version 50.0 on Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android. Firefox debuted in November 2004 and has sometimes pushed its market share above 30 per cent. These days it's the world's second-most popular browser, with its 13.29 per cent market share according to StatCounter. Version …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2016
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Nostradamus, what do you see in 2017?

Facebook and Apple will start buying sports and movie rights. The internet startup bubble will burst. And lots of people will buy a Nokia phone. What do you reckon? Yes, it’s that time of the year when CCS Insight goes all Nostradamus on us, picking key technology and telecomms trends for the year (and years) ahead. As ever, …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Nov 2016
Sad Android

Security bods find Android phoning home. Home being China

Security researchers have uncovered a secret backdoor in Android phones that sends almost all personally identifiable information to servers based in China. The firmware is managed by Shanghai Adups Technology, and according to the company, is contained on over 700 million phones worldwide, including phones available in the …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Nov 2016
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Microsoft, Slack et al will 'laugh their asses off' at IBM's biz messaging tool

IBM is testing out a group chat collaboration tool branded Project Toscana, but judging by the reaction from channel partners involved in the beta, it’s not going to worry Microsoft, Slack or anyone else for a while yet. Toscana, which will run on a browser or as an app, includes IBM’s tools in the Collaboration Platform - …
Paul Kunert, 15 Nov 2016