If you want to keep your Android smartphone safe, you'll have to take charge of its security. This means that you'll either have to tinker with the phone's security settings — or let a third-party app handle it for you.
Third-party Android security apps are powerful, easy to use and often free. Yet, according to a just-released report by Moscow's Kaspersky Lab, only about 40 percent of Android device owners use these apps.
Android is well known for its seemingly never-ending customization options and its permissive rooting credentials (well, among other things). Distributions that cannot be modified to enable elevated permissions are quite rare, as enthusiasts seek to have virtually every possible feature available at their disposal. But should you pursue that path? Does root provide what you need, or what you think you need?
Cyanogen, makers of popular software based on Android that extends the abilities of smartphones, is making a bid for the mainstream. The four-year-old company, which began as a one-person side project, said today that it has raised $7 million from Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures. The goal is to vault past Blackberry and Windows Phone to become the third-most popular mobile operating system, after traditional Android and iOS. And the company is already closer than you might think.
Amid rumors of layoffs and a possible sale of the company, BlackBerry today announced some good news: its growing BBM instant messaging service will be available for Android and iPhone devices in the next several days.
BBM is one of the high points of the failing BlackBerry legacy business, with recent growth in BBM users mainly in Europe and Asia. Until now, BBM has only been available for BlackBerry devices.
If an Android device (phone or tablet) has ever logged on to a particular Wi-Fi network, then Google probably knows the Wi-Fi password. Considering how many Android devices there are, it is likely that Google can access most Wi-Fi passwords worldwide.
Recently IDC reported that 187 million Android phones were shipped in the second quarter of this year. That multiplies out to 748 million phones in 2013, a figure that does not include Android tablets.