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Android 9 Pie, thoroughly reviewed

posted onSeptember 14, 2018
by l33tdawg
Credit: Arstechnica

It's time for another big Android release—and another big review to go along with it. The latest update for the world's most popular operating system is Android 9 (not 9.0) Pie. While last year's Android 8.0 Oreo release focused on under-the-hood changes, Android 9 Pie ships a ton of user-facing features and UI changes, making it feel like the "tock" to Oreo's "tick."

“P is for Power”—Android engineers talk battery life improvements in Android P

posted onAugust 2, 2018
by l33tdawg
Credit: Arstechnica

With the last version of the Android P Developer Preview released, we're quickly heading toward the final build of another major Android version. And for Android P—aka version 9.0—battery life is a major focus. The Adaptive Battery feature will dole out background access to only the apps you use, a new auto brightness scheme has been devised, and the Android team has made changes to how background work runs on the CPU. All together, battery life should be batter (err, better) than ever.

How Apps Could Be Sneaking Malware Onto Your Phone

posted onJuly 23, 2018
by l33tdawg
Credit: NextGov

Have you noticed your Android device has been slower and riddled with annoying pop-ups lately? You might have contracted malware that made its way onto your phone through the Google Play Store.

In a report, technical support site BleepingComputer details a growing trend in mobile malware that involves the use of a tool known as a "dropper," which hides code within an app.

Nokia 6.1 Review—The best answer to “What Android phone should I buy?”

posted onJuly 16, 2018
by l33tdawg

As someone who spends a lot of time with smartphones, I often get asked, "Hey Ron, what Android phone should I buy?" The high-end answer is usually easy: buy a Pixel phone. But not everyone is willing to shell out $650+ for a smartphone, especially the types of casual users that ask for advice. Beyond the flagship smartphones, things get more difficult within the Android ecosystem.

New RAMpage exploit revives Rowhammer attack to root Android devices

posted onJuly 3, 2018
by l33tdawg

In late 2016, Google’s security team scrambled to fix a critical vulnerability that allowed attackers to gain unfettered root access to Android devices by using a relatively new class of exploit that manipulates data stored in memory chips. Now, 21 months later, many of the same researchers behind the attack, dubbed Drammer, are back to say that a large number of Android phones and tablets remain vulnerable to the rooting attacks because the patches Google deployed weren’t adequate.

Tens of thousands of Android devices are leaving their debug port exposed

posted onJune 12, 2018
by l33tdawg
Credit: android

Countless Android devices are leaving themselves open to attack after being shipped with a critical port left unsecured.

Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is a feature that allows developers to communicate with an Android device remotely, executing commands, and – if necessary – taking full remote control.

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.