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How Android Phones Hide Missed Security Updates From You

posted onApril 24, 2018
by l33tdawg

Google has long struggled with how best to get dozens of Android smartphone manufacturers—and hundreds of carriers—to regularly push out security-focused software updates. But when one German security firm looked under the hood of hundreds of Android phones, it found a troubling new wrinkle: Not only do many Android phone vendors fail to make patches available to their users, or delay their release for months; they sometimes also tell users their phone's firmware is fully up to date, even while they've secretly skipped patches.

Hands-on with Android P—Is this the beginning of a new design language?

posted onMarch 12, 2018
by l33tdawg

Android P Developer Preview is out this week, and the whole Android community is combing through it looking for changes. When Android P is released later this year, it will bring an all-new notification panel, new settings, official notch support, and a ton of other tiny changes.

We already did a rundown of the features announced in Google's blog post, but now we've actually gotten to spend some time with the next major version of Android, so we're here to report back. What follows are some of the more interesting things we discovered.

Google is good at building phones but terrible at selling them

posted onFebruary 13, 2018
by l33tdawg

With the recent acquisition of one of HTC's smartphone teams, Google appears more committed than ever to being a smartphone hardware maker. The company still has a long way to go to reach a substantial customer base, though. The research director for IDC, Francisco Jeronimo, shared some interesting smartphone shipment numbers from the IDC's quarterly industry report.

Google Flips the Switch on Its Pixel Visual Core

posted onFebruary 6, 2018
by l33tdawg

When Google launched its Pixel 2 flagship smartphone last year, it included something of a surprise: A co-processor called Pixel Visual Core, the company’s first homegrown, consumer-facing piece of silicon. And while that feels like a momentous foray, the co-processor has lain dormant for months. Monday, Pixel Visual Core goes to work.

Pixel 2 XL Fingerprint Sensor Issues Reported After Android 8.1 Update

posted onDecember 17, 2017
by l33tdawg

It hasn’t been long since Google started rolling out Android 8.1 for the Pixel and Nexus devices. It seems that there are still a couple of bugs that should have been addressed before the firmware was sent out the door. Some Pixel 2 XL owners have taken to Google’s official support forum to complain about a slowdown in the performance of the handset’s fingerprint sensor after updating it to Android 8.1.

Apple’s Phil Schiller thinks that Android’s facial and iris recognition efforts “stink”

posted onDecember 11, 2017
by l33tdawg

This year’s launch of the iPhone X also included the introduction of Apple’s Face ID. Apple thinks that its facial recognition camera and hardware on the front of the iPhone X are among its biggest technological achievements. However, other Android phones have had facial and iris recognition hardware and software of their own. Samsung, as usual, is the leader in this effort, adding those kinds of features to the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, along with the more recent Note 8 and the older, and explosion-prone, Note 7.

Pixel won’t get KRACK fix until December, but is that really a big deal?

posted onNovember 10, 2017
by l33tdawg

In October, security researchers discovered a major vulnerability in a Wi-Fi's WPA2 security called "KRACK." This "Key Reinstallation Attack" can disrupt the initial encryption handshake that happens when an access point and a device first connect, allowing an attacker to read information assumed to be securely encrypted. It's possible to totally defeat WPA2 encryption using KRACK, allowing a third party to sniff all the Wi-Fi packets you're sending out.

​The 10 best ways to secure your Android phone

posted onNovember 6, 2017
by l33tdawg

The most secure smartphones are Android smartphones. Don't buy that? Apple's latest version of iOS 11 was cracked a day -- a day! -- after it was released.

So Android is perfect? Heck no!

Android is under constant attack and older versions are far more vulnerable than new ones. Way too many smartphone vendors still don't issue Google's monthly Android security patches in a timely fashion, or at all. And, zero-day attacks still pop up.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? A lot actually.

Android 8.0 Oreo, thoroughly reviewed

posted onSeptember 6, 2017
by l33tdawg

Android 8.0 Oreo is the 26th version of the world's most popular operating system. This year, Google's mobile-and-everything-else OS hit two billion monthly active users—and that's just counting phones and tablets. What can all those users expect from the new version? In an interview with Ars earlier this year, Android's VP of engineering Dave Burke said that the 8.0 release would be about "foundation and fundamentals." His team was guided by a single question: "What are we doing to Android to make sure Android is in a great place in the next 5 to 10 years?"

Looking for a Way to Fix Google Pixel Audio Issues? Install Latest Security Patch

posted onFebruary 7, 2017
by l33tdawg

Since the launch of Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL phones, we have seen a number of issues popping up. One of the most reported problems has probably been the audio distortion issue at higher volumes. While there were several arguments whether this was a hardware issue, yesterday’s Android 7.1.1 Nougat February security patch has apparently resolved the issue.