Google using Microsoft-created API to fix scrolling issues in Chrome
Google is going to be leaning on some Internet Explorer technology to fix scrolling and touch support in its Chrome browser. At the same time, Google has launched an extension for the desktop versions of Chrome which aims to reduce the amount of data used to surf the Internet, a feature that has already made an appearance on iOS and Android versions of the browser.
Pioneer debuts second-generation NEX in-dash receivers with CarPlay, Android Auto
Auto audio accessories maker Pioneer has debuted a new series of second-generation NEX receivers that feature both CarPlay and Android Auto baked in, replacing earlier models that added CarPlay compatibility through a firmware update. Versions are available with either resistive touch or capacitive touch screens, ranging from $700 to $1,400 for aftermarket installation. The new models add support for Android Auto, and offer better touch sensitivity, brighter screens, and better color vibrancy.
Leaked presentation suggests selection of apps, in-app purchases will be offered at no charge
Android users may be able to benefit from free apps, if a rumor about Amazon is true, The retailer is said to be considering creating a new section of its Amazon Appstore called "Unlocked," which would provide users with access to paid apps at no charge, with typical in-app purchases also receiving the same treatment, being effectively free for users to select.
New Android Lollipop security function prevents locking when smartphone is held
Android users may be able to use their smartphone for longer periods without seeing their lock screen, thanks to a new feature spotted rolling out to Smart Lock on Android Lollipop devices. On-body detection will keep a smartphone or tablet unlocked if it detects it is being carried, automatically reinstating the lock when it detects it has been placed down on a surface.
BlackBerry adds BBM Protected mode to iOS, Android apps
BlackBerry is allowing its enterprise users to have highly-secure FIPS 140-2 validated conversations with other mobile users, rather than just between BlackBerry devices. BBM Protected, a mode for the BlackBerry messaging app that encrypts the conversation between two parties, is now available on the iOS and Android versions of the client. BBM Protected requires the use of the paid service BES from BlackBerry in order to set up the secure communications, though the secondary party only needs the free client to receive secure chat requests.
Luxury market singled out by trio, first units expected end 2015
Tag Heuer, Google and Intel have announced a partnership to launch a Swiss smartwatch, powered by Intel technology and Android Wear. The trio of companies working on the new Android Wear device call the effort "a new era of collaboration between Swiss watchmakers and Silicon Valley, bringing together each company's respective expertise in luxury watchmaking, software and hardware."
Microsoft to provide PCs in China running pirated Windows with free upgrade
Microsoft may end up allowing more people to use a free version of Windows 10 than previously thought. One report claims Microsoft is going to be trying to make it easier for Android users to switch to a Windows mobile device by transforming their existing smartphone, and some pirates may also end up being able to upgrade their existing Windows installation to the new release.
Android apps on Google Play inspected by team of experts before being sold
Google is making one major change to its Android app store, and has revealed it already made another significant alteration. Apps in Google Play will now be covered by a new global content rating system, advising buyers of the kind of content they can expect within the app, and new apps are being subjected to an improved app review process, which will involve a team of human experts inspecting apps before they go on sale.
HTTPS bug still just a proof of concept, no proof of any successful wide attacks
Researchers at FireEye have continued looking at FREAK https attack vulnerabilities, and have found a number of top apps on Apple's iOS app store and Google Play Android apps remain vulnerable to the vector, despite a system-level patch being available on both platforms. The company found 5.5 percent of iOS apps it surveyed were still vulnerable on iOS 8.1 but only seven apps under 8.2, which contained Apple's patch. However, even with current patches, 11.2 percent of the top Android apps were susceptible.
Apple hints that Apple Watch has received FCC approval
Apple on Tuesday removed disclaimer language from its Apple Watch web page, signalling that it has obtained approval for sale of the device in at least the US, if not all the major countries where Apple is currently planning to launch the Apple Watch at retail beginning April 24. The Watch will be available for preview and pre-ordering -- but not for sale -- at Apple Stores beginning April 10 in select countries.
Report claims non-Apple device trade-in program starting in coming weeks
Owners of Android smartphones may soon be able to earn some money by trading in their old devices, this time via Apple. A report claims Apple is looking to start accepting non-Apple devices in an upcoming refresh of its recycling and trade-in program, with the program providing Android switchers with gift cards that can then be used to purchase iPhones.
Is your device plugged in or is it not?
Circuit Mouse is a cheeky little app that answers a very simple question. "Is your device plugged in, or isn't it?" That might seem like a silly question -- devices tend to make a noise when plugged into, or removed from, a power source. Plus, there's usually a little lightning bolt on the battery indicator to show if it's charging, for example. Nevertheless, there are some clever ways to use that information, and Circuit Mouse provides several methods of showing it.
Video game inspired artificial intelligence assistant part of Microsoft's broader plan
Microsoft has broader ambitions for its Windows Phone voice-enabled assistant "Cortana." As part of an upcoming initiative slated for later in this year, not only will the voice recognition technology arrive on the desktop with Windows 10, it will also be seen on Android and iOS as a standalone app, according to Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research. The company had previously given a vague suggestion that it would come to alternative operating systems, but no details were provided until now.
Initial Vaio-branded smartphone limited just to Japan
The first Vaio-branded smartphone has surfaced in Japan, following the sale of the computer manufacturing arm and the brand by Sony to Japan Industrial Partners last year. Simply called the Vaio Phone, it is a mid-ranged device with a five-inch 720p IPS display, using a quad-core 1.2GHz processor with 2GB of RAM, running on Android Lollipop.
Launches on other platforms could join Windows Phone MixRadio update this summer
MixRadio, the rebrand of the Nokia Music streaming service known to Windows Phone users owning Lumia devices, is being tested on Android and iOS. Fresh from being transferred to Line after being acquired from Nokia by Microsoft, MixRadio is now performing a private beta of the app for the other two major mobile platforms, suggesting it could be heading to users sooner than initially thought.
Report claims scrolling via wrist flicks on the way for Android Wear devices
The next software update for Android Wear could introduce Wi-Fi support to supported smartwatches, according to a report. Smartwatches running the operating system may be able to work without relying on a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone in the future, along with gesture controls and some tweaks to the user interface to make navigation easier.
Dual SIM, HD Voice support, improved device protection in latest Android update
Google has launched its update to Android Lollipop, officially introducing version 5.1 of the mobile operating system. At the same time as announcing the update, which is more a minor improvement than a completely new version, Google has started to roll out the update to devices today, with Nexus smartphones and tablets being the first in line to receive it.
App teardown highlights possible split of Photos from Google+
Google may be setting up Google Drive to be a second place to back up a user's photographs, possibly as a replacement for its current Google+ image storage. A teardown of the latest version of the Android Google Drive app allegedly includes code that could be used as part of an automatic backup system transferring images stored on a smartphone or tablet to the Google cloud storage service.
Google VR development team said to include dozens of engineers
Google is working on making an interface for Android specifically for virtual reality headsets, a report from the Wall Street Journal claims. The search company allegedly has a team made up of "tens of engineers" and other staff working on a VR experience for the mobile operating system, which aims to make Android more useful for developers of VR apps and games.
Encouraging new and better habits through gamification and cute fantasy pets
HabitRPG by OCDevel is an iOS app that accompanies the website HabitRPG. The app is similar to Chore Wars, but a bit more robust and with an adorable 16-bit aesthetic. The app is a simplified interface that allows iOS and Android users to manage their character and tasks, as well as interact with other users, without having to use their mobile or desktop browsers to log onto the website.
Flexible tablet good for everyday use, soured by design decisions
Lenovo is building a bigger name for itself year after year, including its devices expanding beyond desktop computers. The company's line of stylish, portable devices continues with one of its newest tablets, the Yoga Tablet 2. The 10.1-inch, Android-powered tablet continues the trend set by other Yoga devices, allowing users to position it in several configurations to suit specific needs. But does the Yoga Tablet 2 hold up to everyday use, or is it just another drop in the bucket for Android devices? Find out in our review.
FREAK attack forces low-complexity '90s era encryption mandated by US
Researchers have discovered a critical flaw in the backbone of HTTPS-protected traffic, and it is an exploit that has potentially existed for decades. The flaw exists in approximately 36 percent of websites that use HTTPS, and miscreants are able to intercept and modify data passing between a vulnerable browser and a susceptible site. At the moment, OS X and iOS Safari and Chrome are vulnerable to the attack, as are virtually all Android devices ever produced, plus all browsers on Linux.
Pay API will be used for app integration
Google is finally ready to enter the mobile payment arena, today introducing a payment platform known as Android Pay. The platform will be available via an API framework, with support for NFC and biometric authentication, allowing developers to creatively integrate the feature into a wide range of third-party apps. Android Pay appears to offer many of the same capabilities as Google Wallet, but without relying solely on Google's own app and implementation scheme.
Sony style with an accessible price point
Sony has expanded its Xperia smartphone lineup, adding the M4 Aqua this week at Mobile World Congress. The company is not shy about labelling it a midrange Android device, promising that all of the popular features and capabilities remain mostly intact, despite its lower price tag.
Vibe Shot is smartphone with heavy focus on photography
Following on from yesterday's tablet launches, Lenovo has unveiled another trio of mobile devices at Mobile World Congress. The Vibe Shot is a smartphone with a focus on photography, the A7000 is claimed to be the world's first smartphone to use Dolby Atmos, and the Pocket Projector is a compact accessory for Android devices.
The timepiece looks like a traditional wristwatch
Huawei has introduced its flagship Android Wear device, simply known as the Watch. The company has called on traditional timepiece designers to help with industrial design. The result resembles a typical wristwatch, until the display flips from a clock face to an app interface.
First devices with the technology available later in 2015
MediaTek today announced CrossMount -- a new technology that simplifies hardware and software resource sharing between different consumer devices. Designed to be a new standard in cross-device convergence, the CrossMount framework ensures any compatible device can seamlessly use and share hardware or software resources authorized by the user. CrossMount is an open technology for MediaTek customers and partners.
World domination in the palm of your hands
Lux DLX by Sillysoft Games is a play-and-pass strategy board game of troop movements and world domination. The app has been around since 2008, it's the mobile version of Lux Delux. Behind it is an enthusiastic community of players, creating custom maps and providing strategy tips with an in-app accessible wiki.
Windows Phone holds steady at one percent; BlackBerry not counted in survey
The latest Good Technology Mobility Index Report on the mobile enterprise space, based on a survey of Good's customer base for its own enterprise-level email services, shows iOS gaining ground by taking away share from Android in calendar Q4 2014, with the former growing by four percentage points to hit 73 percent share of global enterprise activations. Android fell by the same amount to 25 percent, while Windows Phone held steady at one percent.
Android Pay rumor comes as Softcard pulls support for Windows Phone
Google will be launching a new payments API at its Google I/O developer conference in May, a report claims, potentially giving Apple Pay some stiff competition. Android Pay will allow developers to not only add mobile payments to their apps, but to also facilitate in-store purchases via smartphone over NFC. The news comes as Softcard reveals it is starting to pull support for its apps, following the purchase of its intellectual property by the search company.
Work, personal data kept separate, Google Play for Work to help with IT management
Google is attempting to make Android more relevant to enterprise and business users, by launching Android for Work. The initiative centers around allowing employees to use the same device for business purposes as well as personal, with Android for Work keeping the profiles and data completely separate, theoretically improving security on mobile devices.
Smartphones joined by trio of Kazam Windows tablets
British smartphone producer Kazam has introduced a number of new devices ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress. The Trooper range of Android smartphones has been bolstered with six new models, with the company also preparing to show off three Windows tablets and two Windows Phone devices at the Barcelona-based tradeshow.
A game that feels silly at first but becomes surprisingly challenging
On The Line by Kevin Choteau is a scrolling not-quite-a-maze game where you hold a finger down on the screen and try to stay ... (wait for it) ... on the line. We were pleasantly surprised by how compelling it was. We were dubious that we would find it very interesting to play at first, because it just seemed too easy. You can't get any easier for instructions than: keep your finger on the line, don't touch the sides, take your finger off the screen to pause the game. That being said, we were amused by how fun it was to play, and the fact that we can't stop grinning when we played it.
Mazes without walls
Lyne, by Thomas Bowker, is 250 levels of puzzles, where the player connects shapes on a grid with lines that may not intersect (mostly). It's by no means a new game -- the game got its last update about a year ago -- but it's still a pretty good diversion for anybody looking to unwind with a puzzler while waiting in line (see what we did there?) or while traveling.
Google adds more editing options to Google Docs for Android
Google Docs for Android has been updated to provide more from its Office Compatibility Mode. The latest version allows for the cutting, copying, and pasting of text, images, tables, and charts in the mode, according to the Google Apps Updates blog, with the app also introducing the ability to insert links into Google documents. The updated app is available to download now from Google Play.
Large proportion of dating apps on Google Play contain vulnerabilities
Users of dating services may be leaving themselves and their employers at risk, by using mobile apps, according to research performed by IBM Security. Researchers claim that a high proportion of dating apps on Android are vulnerable to attack, with 26 out of 41 apps analyzed on Google Play having medium or high severity vulnerabilities, opening the user up to attack.
Engaging puzzler equally good for binging or playing in spurts
The game Portal brought two things to the attention of a wider audience more so than any other puzzle game: firstly, just how satisfying it is to feel so clever after solving a puzzle; and secondly, just how easily a normally rational human being can become emotionally invested in a box. Odd Bot Out is a side-scrolling puzzler for iOS and Android, providing equal parts "I'm a big dang genius" and "totes adorbs" moments throughout.
Avast discovers Android app malware that triggers days after initial installation
Millions of Android users are at risk from malicious apps offered for download on Google Play, an antivirus firm has revealed. A card game called Durak downloaded between 5 million and 10 million times, an IQ test, and a history app are all said by an Avast researcher to include malware which can trick users into paying for services or buying apps they do not need.
Reddit users allegedly find voice calling function in WhatsApp early
WhatsApp may have started to roll out voice calls to some of its user base, according to reports by users. Screenshots surfacing on Reddit suggest the vocal addition to the Facebook-owned messaging service could be making its way to devices, one feature the company has previously advised will be heading to the app early this year.
Apple might be late to the party, but delivers a much better phablet experience
The Nexus 6 is the latest flagship Android smartphone from Google that is designed for developers and Android fans who prefer Google's stock iteration of its popular Android operating system. The massive six-inch device is meant to stand as a testament to the Android platform, its capabilities, and where the technology is currently heading. In the other corner, we have Apple's iPhone 6 Plus, the first "phablet" from Apple, which has famously resisted pushing into this segment in the recent past. Like the Nexus 6, the iPhone 6 Plus represents all that is currently state-of-the-art when it comes to iOS-powered smartphones. The two devices are undoubtedly two of the leading heavyweights in this segment, but which stands tall over the other in a head-to-head fight?
Largest switch rate in company's record-keeping happened for iPhone 6
During its conference call with analysts on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook noted that "the current iPhone lineup experienced the highest Android switcher rate in any of the last three launches," which he later clarified was how long the company has been measuring the metric rather than that switching rates were higher in 2011. Further analysis by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners suggests that most of the switching is happening overseas rather in the US.
Cyanogen investment may be ploy to weaken Google control of Android
Microsoft may be planning to make an investment in an Android-related startup, a report claims. According to sources of the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft will allegedly take part in a funding round as a "minority investor" of Cyanogen, creators of the CyanogenMod Android ROM, with rumors that the round will bring in a total of $70 million to the ROM maker.
Outlook preview edition for iOS, Android rebrands existing Acompli app
Microsoft has made its Office apps available to all Android users, following the limited preview release and the iOS version. The apps, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, are accompanied by a new preview of another Office app, with a rebranded version of email app Acompli as Outlook downloadable from both Google Play and the iTunes App Store.
EVGA launches Torq X5L, X5, X3 gaming mice
EVGA has revealed the Torq X5, X5L, and X3 gaming mice to their range, alongside its existing Torq X10. Featuring customizable RGB LEDs, onboard storage for five profiles, and eight programmable buttons using Omron switches, the mice ship in four different models, with the standard X5 and X3 having 6,400 dpi and 4,000 dpi optical sensors respectively, while the X5L uses 8,200 dpi laser sensor. The new collection starts from $40, rising up to $60.
HP Pro Slate 12, 8 include ultrasound-based Duet Pen stylus input
HP added a large number of tablets to its arsenal, running on Android and Windows. The main launches from the collection are two Android tablets, with the Pro Slate 12 and the Pro Slate 8 both equipped with the Duet Pen, an accessory using Qualcomm's ultrasound technology that lets the user write anywhere nearby and have the text appearing on the tablet automatically.
Nexus 9 struggles to deliver a knockout blow against iPad Air 2
Ever since the day that I scored a world exclusive for Electronista by spotting the original Samsung Galaxy Tab in the wild ahead of its release, I have taken a keen interest in watching Android tablets continue to take on the iPad and fail. Google's success with Android has been largely dominated by smartphones, with no single Android tablet competitor getting anywhere near the sales numbers of Apple's iPad. With the continued rise of "phablets," which effectively do double duty as a smartphone and a tablet, it seems that the chance for Android tablets to truly challenge the success of the iPad may have passed. Despite this, Google is persisting with Android tablets of its own, with the Nexus 9 its latest hope. Does the Nexus 9 stand a chance against the undisputed champion of tablets, the Apple iPad Air 2?
Google Maps for Android updated with route-sharing option
Google has made some changes to Google Maps for Android, with some new features mirroring similar additions in the iOS update. Version 9.3 for Android introduces filtering restaurants by cuisine, as well as permanently dismissing the location settings pop-up. More importantly, Android Police notes the app has a Share Directions option, allowing the user to send an email to a contact containing instructions for following a specific route.
OnePlus still developing its own custom Lollipop-based ROM
Late last month, smartphone maker OnePlus asked their users for feedback on naming the custom ROM for the OnePlus One. An alpha release of the ROM, based on Android v5.0 "Lollipop," has been available at the OnePlus forums since just before the New Year. Today, an interview with Cyanogen founder Steve Kondik confirmed that Cyanogen plans to ship its own Lollipop/CyanogenMod 12 for the OnePlus One next month.
Lighter TouchWiz could increase usable space in Samsung smartphones
The next iteration of Samsung's Android overlay may include smaller changes to the mobile operating system's appearance and functionality than previous versions, according to rumors. Keeping the TouchWiz user interface closer to stock, and without adding Samsung's extra software features, could help users by taking up less of the internal storage space, granting more user-accessible free space in its future flagship devices.
Security analysts warn of security problems for 60 percent of current users
There comes a time in any piece of software or hardware's life when the company that produced it decides that it's no longer worth providing updates or support for it. That time has apparently come for the version of WebView used by Android Jelly Bean and earlier, which is still installed in roughly 60 percent of Android devices: Google has made the surprising announcement that it will no longer update the default browser technology, opening older devices up to vastly increased security issues.