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Google's Android 5.0 Full Disk Encryption hindering NAND speed

11/22, 10:13am

Testing on Nexus 6 shows dramatic decrease in NAND read and write performance

While initial reviews of the anticipated Google Nexus 6 device were decent, a few reviewers pointed out some confusing performance metrics. Initial examiners of the device are reporting that implementation of Android 5.0 Lollipop's Full Disk Encryption (FDE) cuts NAND random read speeds dramatically, from over 16.6MB/s with encryption off to 6.18MB/s with the feature active.

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Google, Rockstar Consortium submit filing to end legal battle

11/20, 6:32pm

Agreement reached November 12, set to end year-long legal battle by end of 2014

Google's legal battle with the Rockstar Consortium over claims that the search company infringes upon seven patents with the Android operating system appears to be coming to an end. According to a filing submitted to the US District Court of the Eastern District of Texas on November 17, both parties have agreed to settle their dispute.

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Hands On: Gunspell (OS X, Windows, iOS, Android)

11/19, 6:51pm

Match-3 game with RPG elements makes for enjoyable casual game

It's not unusual for games to try and break out of being confined to a single category. More and more, we find games that try very hard to incorporate the best of two or more types of games. We tend to see this in Real Time Strategy games (RTSs) a lot, as they combine rogue-like or RPG elements. But there are other games that are making headway in the cross-genre arena. Gunspell, by Ino-Сo Plus, touts itself as a cross-genre title, combining elements of both RPGs and puzzles.

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Google adds Trusted Places location-based security to Android Lollipop

11/19, 8:30am

Trusted Places automatically unlocks smartphone at specific locations

Android devices running the latest version of the operating system will be able to unlock automatically in specific locations, via a security option slowly rolling out on Google Play Services. Available on hardware running Android Lollipop, the Trusted Places feature will keep a smartphone or tablet unlocked while within a predefined geographic area.

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WhatsApp teams up with Open Whisper Systems for encryption

11/18, 5:27pm

End-to-end encryption added in Android messaging app, adds TextSecure support

Those that love privacy, but have security concerns about using a messaging platform to stay in contact with friends and family, have a new app to look forward to. It was unveiled today that the most recent build of WhatsApp for Android features end-to-end encryption for messages, enabled by default (similar to what Apple's iMessage and FaceTime have offered for years). With the addition of the strong encryption, WhatsApp is now suspected to be the largest messaging service in circulation with end-to-end encryption active.

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Nokia N1 Android tablet revealed as first post-Microsoft release

11/18, 6:16am

Android-based Nokia N1 tablet has 7.9-inch display, Z Launcher

Nokia's first hardware release since its break-up with Microsoft is an Android tablet, though rather than producing the device itself, Nokia is applying its branding and design skills with a third-party manufacturer. The N1 possesses a 7.9-inch 4:3 aspect ratio IPS display with a high 2048x1536 resolution, protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and using the same fully-laminated zero air-gap process as its smartphones, packed into a 6.9mm-thick aluminum unibody casing highly reminiscent of the iPad mini.

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Square, Snapchat partner on Snapcash mobile payment service

11/17, 4:25pm

Allows simple user-to-user transactions

Payment service Square has partnered with Snapchat on a new feature in the latter's mobile apps for iOS and Android, called Snapcash. Users can quickly transfer money between each other by joining a chat, typing in the amount preceded by a dollar sign -- for instance "$3.50" -- and then hitting a green button. Prior to this, a person must register a debit card, the data for which is stored on Square servers.

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BlackBerry partnering with Samsung for joint Knox-BES12 security

11/13, 3:42pm

Combination of Samsung Knox and BES12 said to provide end-to-end security

BlackBerry is working with Samsung to make its Android devices more secure for corporate users, the manufacturer has revealed. The partnership, which will be offered to enterprise customers from early next year, will see Samsung's Knox working in tandem with Blackberry Enterprise Service 12 (BES12), in order to provide a "tightly integrated, end-to-end secure solution" for communications.

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Nvidia bringing Grid cloud-based game streaming to Shield Tablet

11/13, 11:40am

Android Lollipop update dated for Nvidia Shield Tablet among other updates

Nvidia is finally going to offer its Grid cloud-based gaming service to customers later this month. Nvidia Grid will allow gamers to stream a selection of PC games from its servers over the Internet, similar to PlayStation Now and OnLive, though the GPU producer will only allow owners of the Shield Tablet access initially, before a wider launch of the service to other devices.

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Android 5.0 OTA updates starting, some full restore images available

11/13, 7:44am

Google makes data-erasing full restore images available for download

Google is now offering a number of methods by which users of four selected Nexus devices can upgrade to Android 5.0 "Lollipop." The primary method, an "Over The Air (OTA) update" is rolling out in phases to users of Google's mobile devices now, and is expected to be available to all owners of the four devices in the next month. Additionally, the company has posted full-restore factory images to its website, should a user want to completely erase a device, and start from scratch (otherwise known as a "clean install").

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New Square Reader scans both chip- and stripe-based cards

11/12, 3:30pm

EMV tech becoming standard in US by end of 2015

Retail payment service Square has opened up preorders for a new version of the Square Reader, designed to scan chip-based credit and debit cards. It supports older stripe-based cards as well, and the company is promising end-to-end encryption, as well as active tamper detection. It's compatible with iOS and Android, requiring only the appropriate apps and an account with Square for paying service fees.

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IK Multimedia ships iRig HD-A, app for Samsung Android smartphones

11/10, 3:04pm

Samsung Professional Audio required for Android version of iRig

IK Multimedia has made a version of its iOS-based iRig HD for Android Devices, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 being the first compatible device. The iRig HD-A digital guitar interface is also accompanied by an Android version of the AmpliTube app, the guitar processing app, which will also only work with Samsung mobile devices.

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Unofficial Amazon Instant Video Chromecast app pulled after 36 hours

11/10, 8:06am

Primecast app allowed Chromecast streaming of Amazon Instant Video

An Android app which allowed users to watch Amazon Instant Video content on the Google Chromecast has been removed from sale just 36 hours after launch. The Primecast app, an unofficial app sold for $2.99 via Google Play, was pulled after the app's ability to stream video was blocked, effectively making the app useless to its users.

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Briefly: Android Lollipop on LG G3, Withings Activité pre-orders

11/10, 6:58am

LG bringing Android Lollipop to G3 smartphone in Poland this week

LG is claiming it will be the first major manufacturer to roll out Android Lollipop to its flagship device. The company is aiming to ship the Android 5.0 upgrade for the LG G3 in Poland this week, with "other key markets" to follow in the "near future." A rollout schedule for other LG smartphones and tablets will be announced by the device producer at a later date.

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Briefly: LG G Watch R on Google Play, Sony runs Android 5.0 on Xperias

11/07, 7:18am

LG G Watch R available to purchase on Google Play for $299

LG's G Watch R is now available to purchase from Google Play, just as the smartwatch is about to appear in stores in the United States. The Android Wear smartwatch, complete with a 1.3-inch round P-OLED display and a heart rate monitor, finally joins the original G Watch on the Google online store, though it is priced at a rather expensive $299.

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Google overhauls Maps apps, adds right-click app launches to Drive

11/05, 2:58pm

Maps gets 'material design' look in iOS, Android

Google has announced a collection of important app updates. The Google Maps apps for iOS and Android are both making the switch to "material design," the new aesthetic behind Android Lollipop. The scheme is more bright and colorful, and uses elements like animations and drop shadows to reinforce the connection between interface components. Google has also integrated OpenTable reservations for US restaurants, and pickup times and prices for Uber cars. In the latter case, users must also have their platform's Uber app installed.

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Nvidia shows Lollipop, updates on Shield Tablet, new game promotion

11/04, 4:56pm

Shield Tablet getting Android 5.0 by end of November, free Ubisoft game for GPU buyers

While Nvidia teased that the Shield Tablet would be getting the Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade on Twitter last month, the company failed to say when. Thanks to a new video teasing Lollipop on the tablet, owners can now expect to see the new mobile operating system (OS) on the device by the end of November. Nvidia also announced today that it's launching a new game promotion for GPU buyers called "Pick Your Path."

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Microsoft Office apps for iOS, Android to get Dropbox integration

11/04, 11:49am

Updates arriving in 'the coming weeks'

Microsoft has announced a partnership with Dropbox that will bring the latter's cloud service into Office apps for iOS and Android. Integration is promised with updates in "the coming weeks" that will let people browse, edit, and share Dropbox files from within Office apps. Inside of Dropbox's proprietary app, people browsing Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files will see an option to edit them in the appropriate software.

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Briefly: HTC Desire Eye on AT&T, Disney Movies Anywhere on Android

11/04, 6:09am

HTC Desire Eye exclusive to AT&T, discount available for RE camera

The HTC Desire Eye will be exclusive to AT&T in the United States, the carrier has revealed. The smartphone, complete with a front-facing 13-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, will go on sale from November 7th priced at $549.99 off-contract, $149.99 with a two-year contract, $22.92 per month under AT&T Next 18, or $27.50 per month on AT&T Next 12. Customers buying the Desire EYE on-contract will also be able to acquire the RE camera at a discount, saving $50 off the $199 sticker price.

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Starwood hotel chain begins rollout of iPhone, Android door unlocks

11/03, 10:50am

Will cover 150 hotels by end of 2015

Following a pilot program earlier this year, the Starwood hotel chain has officially inaugurated its SPG Keyless initiative. At supporting hotels, guests will be able to use an iPhone or an Android phone to both check in and unlock doors via Bluetooth. The system will become available at 10 Aloft, Element, and W hotels on Wednesday, and gradually expand to 150 hotel brands by the end of next year.

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Gmail for Android available to download with non-Google email support

11/03, 7:19am

Material Design, IMAP and Exchange support included in Gmail APK

Version 5.0 of Gmail has become available to download as an APK, ahead of its expected release on Google Play. The latest iteration of the email service's app introduces many aspects uncovered earlier this month, with a visual refresh to Material Design and support for external email service both making an appearance in the app.

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Google's Copresence could allow communications between Android, iOS

11/02, 2:42pm

Feature coming in 'the coming weeks,' features similar to Nearby, Bump

A new method of communications between Android and iOS devices might be available soon, as a sources indicate that the two device types could share photos, files, messages, directions and other content through Google's Copresence service. The service appeared in the latest version of the Google Play Services Android application package (APK), allowing some clues to be collected on how a service could tie the two operating systems together.

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Hands On: Organ Trail Director's Cut (iOS, Android)

10/31, 1:23am

Zombie mashup of original Oregon Trail game works surprisingly well

Organ Trail: Director's Cut is a nostalgic game that promises to entertain both those who loved the original classic Oregon Trail as well as players who are simply looking for a surprisingly in-depth iOS game. Don't think that this game is simply riding the coattails of retro-gaming's popularity right now -- Organ Trail is an interesting game, even without the allure of the chiptune music and cutting-edge graphics circa 1985.

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Android co-founder Rubin leaves Google to found hardware incubator

10/30, 10:29pm

Robotics head leaves after nine years with Google, company confirms departure

The co-founder of Google's Android, Andy Rubin, is leaving Google after more than nine years the company. Rubin was brought aboard in 2005 when the search giant acquired the company that is now responsible for the most widely-used mobile operating system in the world. The move comes after Rubin stepped down from the Android group in 2013, to lead the company's robotics division under Google X.

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Briefly: Tylt wireless charging devices, djay 2 released for Android

10/29, 6:17pm

VU Wireless Car Charging Mount, VU Solo give consumers new options for charging

Tylt unveiled two new wireless charging solutions, adding the VÜ Solo and VÜ Wireless Car Charging Mount to its lineup. The VÜ Solo is a wireless Qi charging base powered by Micro USB, keeping it compatible with existing smartphone and tablet charging blocks. Only a single Qi coil is in the base, but Tylt includes a Micro USB cable that contains its Alin positioning system to ensure the device makes contact at the correct point. Devices that require 1A to charge can use the base, which also features a non-slip surface and suction base. Price for the VÜ Solo is set at $40.

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YouTube releases WatchMe for Android for streaming app development

10/28, 9:20pm

WatchMe project aims to help developers add live YouTube streaming to apps

Android app developers may take advantage of live YouTube streaming, thanks to a new open source project released by the video service. The YouTube WatchMe for Android project, hosted on GitHub, uses a combination of existing APIs to make it easier for developers to add live streaming capabilities to their apps in the future.

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Samsung's Knox Android security suite under fire from new researcher

10/24, 8:59am

Unknown author calls Knox compromised, unsafe for use

Reports have begun to circulate about a pervasive flaw in Samsung's Knox security software for Android phones. The technology, which is the foundation of Android 5.0 Lollipop's enhanced protections, has come under fire by a lone, previously-unknown researcher, who calls the effort merely "security by obscurity."

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Google adds GPS support, music storage option to Android Wear

10/23, 5:35pm

Android Wear update makes smartwatches more useful without smartphone connection

Google's first major update to Android Wear will be preparing the operating system for use on standalone smartwatches. The software update adds support for GPS sensors built into devices, as well as the ability to store music on a smartwatch instead of a smartphone, with audio able to be played through a paired set of Bluetooth headphones.

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Microsoft releases three apps for Android, Android Wear on Google Play

10/23, 8:47am

Next Lock Screen, Journeys and Notes, Torque released from Microsoft Garage

Microsoft is taking the unusual step of trying to court Android users, by releasing three new apps for the platform. The first from Microsoft Garage is the self-explanatory "Next Lock Screen," which provides a handy notifications and app launching interface, the second lets travelers pass notes to others following the same route, while a third allows Android Wear users to search Bing directly from their wrist.

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Gmail for Android leak shows updated interface, third-party support

10/20, 11:51am

Updated Gmail app could support mail accounts from Yahoo, Outlook

Google will allegedly include support for some alternative email services in its refreshed Gmail app for the next version of Android. Aside from a visual upgrade, Gmail 5.0 will apparently be able to handle email from other mainstream providers, including Yahoo and Outlook, with the user able to quickly switch between the different accounts with a swipe of the screen or by selecting the relevant account from a dropdown box.

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WSJ: Google management changes point to Chrome, Android convergence

10/17, 6:37pm

Alleged internal changes could lead to Google operating systems merging into one platform

A change in management at Google suggests the search company is still planning to combine Android and Chrome OS, a report suggests. The Wall Street Journal claims Linus Upson, the head engineer of Chrome OS, has left the role and has been replaced by Hiroshi Lockheimer, the vice president of engineering for Android.

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We're hiring: paid mobile app reviewer position available

10/17, 10:05am

Get software and money for writing app reviews for MacNN, Electronista

MacNN and Electronista are hiring paid app reviewers! We're looking for writers who have a familiarity with and own iOS and OS X devices, with Windows and Android gear a bonus. The ideal candidate has four hours free per day, and is available five days a week of your choosing. Applicants will be expected to write two reviews of software we would provide, of approximately 400 words in length, in a daily shift. Interested? Look inside for more details.

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Nvidia, Sony, HTC detail devices set to receive Android Lollipop

10/17, 5:59am

Android software updates for more manufacturers revealed

More manufacturers have revealed which of its devices will be getting the upgrade to Android Lollipop in the future. Nvidia, HTC, and Sony have all confirmed their support for Android 5.0, though a rumor suggests that Google's own Nexus 7 Wi-Fi and Nexus 10 will be the earliest existing Nexus devices to gain the software update.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition spotted on Android website

10/16, 8:06am

Stock Android device collection image shows Galaxy S5 three times

A version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 with a stock installation of Android could be on the way, according to reports. Following the launch of Android Lollipop, version 5.0 of the mobile operating system, Android.com has been updated with new images and information, with one image seemingly showing the Galaxy S5 amid other Google Play Edition and Nexus devices.

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Motorola details first smartphones receiving Android Lollipop update

10/15, 8:00pm

Nine phones set to receive Android after it releases, support could grow

With Google's announcement today that Android 5.0 Lollipop is coming soon, many consumers are waiting to find out if their smartphones and tablets will run the new operating system (OS). Owners of Motorola devices can make an informed decision on upgrades tonight if they choose, as the company said nine phones are getting the newest Android version after its launch.

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Nexus Player video streamer launched, first device with Android TV

10/15, 1:47pm

Google-branded HDMI set-top box manufactured by Asus

In conjunction with the other Nexus releases, and the reveal of Android Lollipop, Google has also debuted yet another shot at a television-connected Android device. Called the Nexus Player, the Asus-built device is similar in functionality to the Amazon Fire TV, but draws content from Google Play rather than Amazon Prime.

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Android L now called Lollipop, ships on new Nexus devices

10/15, 12:58pm

Other carriers' upgrade paths to Android Lollipop unclear

Alongside three hardware announcements, Google has formally named Android 5.0. Previously known as "L," the latest iteration of the search engine giant's mobile operating system is officially titled Lollipop. Previewed at Google I/O earlier this year, the newest revision focuses on its consistent design language that it calls "Material Design," and a new battery saver feature that extends the life of mobile devices in use by up to 90 minutes.

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Google wins small battle in Rockstar suit, case moves to California

10/13, 1:50pm

Texas court abused discretion, single California case heard for less confusion, resource savings

Google's battle with the Rockstar Consortium is getting closer to a trial, as the matter of the venue for the case has finally been settled. While several cases were ongoing in California and Texas, judges gave different opinions on where the court battle should take place. Google asked the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to weigh in, a risky move that ended up working in its favor.

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Google, Oracle legal fight could end with petition for final ruling

10/09, 10:50pm

Google asks Supreme Court to weigh in over Java API use in Android

The battle between Google and Oracle could be heating up again in the near future, as the search giant has petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the case for a final ruling. Previously, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal District overturned a lower court ruling that found Google didn't infringe upon Oracle copyright by using pieces of open-source Java APIs in Android without a license.

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Lenovo announces Windows, Android powered Yoga 2 tablets, Yoga 3 Pro

10/09, 5:18pm

Standard Yoga 2 tablets offered in two sizes, Pro models jump up to 13-inch screen

Lenovo announced a new slate of Yoga tablets and ultrabooks today, beginning with two Yoga 2 tablet models and a Yoga 3 Pro convertible PC. Each of the new machines fit different consumer needs, from the Yoga 3 Pro "ultra slim" PC with attached keyboard or the Yoga 2 tablets that are powered by either Windows 8 or Android.

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Emulator for 64-bit Android released, windowed apps allegedly spotted

10/09, 7:15am

New Android emulator will help developers create 64-bit apps

Android developers looking to create 64-bit apps for the mobile operating system have been given some help, in the form of a new emulator. At the same time as the Android L preview emulator release, reports have appeared suggesting Google is considering adding a function to a future Android iteration where its apps load within a smaller floating window rather than taking up the entire display.

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HTC brings Zoe app out of beta on Android, heading to iOS this year

10/08, 9:06pm

Highlight reel app opens to more devices, iPhone version due soon

HTC has made its Zoe highlight video creation app available to a wider number of Android devices, after the phone producer fully launched the app earlier today. Announced during the Double Exposure event, the venue for the HTC Desire Eye and the Re Camera launches, HTC also revealed it is working on a version of the app specifically for iOS devices.

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Tesco Hudl 2 launches with 8.3-inch 1080p display, Intel processor

10/03, 5:06am

Upgraded Android tablet from Tesco ships in range of 64 colors

British retailer Tesco has launched its expected follow-up to the Hudl Android tablet. The Hudl 2 increases the size of the screen from the original's 7-inch 1440x900 to a 1080p 8.3-inch version, powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor clocked at 1.83GHz with 2GB of RAM, with a fair number of other areas receiving similar small upgrades.

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Vertu Aster smartphone has 4.7-inch 1080p display, premium materials

10/02, 10:08am

Assorted leather options available for upscale Vertu Android device

Luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu has unveiled the latest in its high-priced mobile device collection. The Vertu Aster is an Android 4.4 device with a 4.7-inch 1080p sapphire-protected display, and while it has relatively high specifications, the luxurious materials used in its construction pushes the price tag up far above any comparable flagship smartphone.

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Honda in-car entertainment systems to use Nvidia Tegra, Android

10/02, 7:12am

Honda Connect touchscreen system arriving in Europe early next year

Honda's future in-car entertainment systems will be using Tegra processors, Nvidia has revealed. Joining the ranks of BMW, Tesla, Audi, and others, the Honda Connect infotainment system will use an embedded version of Android combined with the Nvidia processors, though it will be using the older Android 4.0.4 rather than a newer version.

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Pro-democracy protesters targeted with malware on iOS, Android

10/02, 1:47am

Malware entry vector not yet identified; may capitalize on jailbreak compromise

In an almost unheard-of claim, Lacoon Mobile Security has said that it has discovered a new spyware attack that targets both iOS and Android devices and which appears to be aimed specifically at Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters. Lacoon says it made the discovery while investigating the Android version, but did not clarify how the malware might be installed, or overcome the security built into iOS that has, thus far, kept it largely immune to serious malware or viruses.

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Briefly: Mozilla's new streaming dongle, TiVo adds Android streaming

09/30, 11:03am

Mozilla announces launch of Matchstick streaming Internet and media dongle

Creator of the open-source Firefox OS, Mozilla has announced the launch of its own Internet and media streaming dongle device, named Matchstick. A competitor to Google's Chromecast, the dongle runs Firefox OS, and allows users to view content -- via a WiFi connection -- from their smartphone, tablet, or laptop to stream to a big screen TV. TV apps will be available for download through the Matchstick App Store, and both the hardware and software for Matchstick are open-source, providing ready potential for other uses for the dongle to appear. Matchstick has been launched as a Kickstarter campaign, with backers pledging for the Early Bird option receiving one Matchstick dongle for $12. Retail pricing is anticipated to be $25.

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Google reportedly adds more restrictions to Android agreements

09/26, 4:48pm

More pre-installed Google apps allegedly stipulated in manufacturer contracts

Producers of Android smartphones and tablets will need to increase the promotion of Google apps and services in their devices in the future, according to a report. It is claimed a number of hardware partners including Samsung, Huawei, and HTC will have to accept a new set of terms before being able to use Android, as Google attempts to keep users within its ecosystem.

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FBI Director Comey worried Apple, Google encryption 'above the law'

09/25, 6:35pm

Agency thinks Android L, iOS 8 security put consumer security ahead of law enforcement

Addressing reporters in Washington today, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey voiced his concerns over the recent shifts in security policy for Android and iOS 8. Specifically, Comey believes that the new security encryption measures that cannot be bypassed for law enforcement puts consumers before possible emergency situations.

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Archos debuts low-end 45c and 50b smartphones

09/25, 3:35pm

New Archos phones available at low-cost, with no contract

Electronics manufacturer Archos has announces the availability of its new range of Platinum smartphones, the Archos 45c Platinum and Archos 50b Platinum. Both entry-level phones feature Android 4.4 "Kit Kat," MediaTek quad-core processors, IPS screens, and a choice of three colored back covers.

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