Showing posts with label Android. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Android. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Leaked: Galaxy X1 and X1 Plus are Samsung's new Android flip phones

Samsung is known to be working on its foldable phones, as the company had patented this technology not too long ago. There is no news on how the phone would look like, but there have been several rumours that pointed to the phones being developed under the Project Valley codename. Now new reports suggest that Samsung might launch the phone under the Galaxy X series.

Two new smartphones named Galaxy X1 and Galaxy X1 Plus have allegedly leaked online, which indicate that these devices would be the new foldable smartphones, from Samsung.

Weibo, the Chinese social platform, known for its leaks, have posted the phones, which also reveal the model numbers of the devices, which are 'Sm-X9000' and 'SM-X9050'. Both handsets are tipped to run on Android operating system.

Another report from AndroidSoul have pointed that both the phones already are under test in China. Rumours also point that the Galaxy X1 would be running on Android v6.0.1 Marshmallow and the Galaxy X1 Plus would come with Android Nougat operating system.

The patent filed by Samsung, suggests that Galaxy X might feature a flexible or secondary display that would turn on when the smartphone is folded. Other hearsay suggest that Samsung might feature the new smartphones with a 4K display and host a lot many other features like iris scan, fingerprint scan, face scan, biometric authentication as well as palm pattern.

Other information suggests that Samsung might announce these new Galaxy X branded phones in Q3 and Q4 of 2017. Both will have dual screen with flat screen on each side and Samsung might also launch another foldable model with a single flexible OLED screen that is likely to come next year in 2018.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X rumoured to launch soon

Xiaomi always finds ways in getting the spotlight and this time it's in context to the new Redmi Note 4X. Although the company launched two new colours of its existing Redmi 4 smartphone in China recently, now the company has shifted its focus on the upcoming Note-series phones.

Rumoured reports suggest that Xiaomi is expected to launch the Redmi Note 4X soon, which would be a much powerful version of the Redmi Note 4. The Note 4X will most likely be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 processor, coupled with 4GB RAM and for storage might comes with 64GB internal storage.

The existing Xiaomi Note 4, which is likely to arrive in India soon comes with interesting specs too. The Note 4 features a 5.5 inch IPS LCD capacitive touch screen, with 1080 x 1920 resolution. The phone runs on Android v6.0 Marshmallow OS, skinned with MIUI 8.0 and powers on a 2.1 GHz Deca-core Mediatek MT6797 Helio X20 processor with Mali-T880 MP4 GPU. The phone gets two variants, the first being 2GB RAM with 16GB storage and the other a 3GB RAM version with 64GB storage. The phone comes with a microSD card slot that allows storage expansion of up to 256 GB and also features a Fingerprint senor, mounted at the back.

In terms of optics, the Note 4 at the back uses a 13 Megapixel camera with dual LED (dual tone) flash and on the front is a 5 Megapixel camera for video calls and clicking selfies.

Powering the phone is a Non removable Li-Po 4100mAh battery and comes with connectivity options like Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, microUSB v2.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. The Xiaomi Note 4 is available in five colour options of Silver, Gray, Gold, Blue and Black.

The Note series is a very popular phone line up in China and if the rumoured reports regarding the Redmi Note 4X are to be true, then we might have a much powerful phone with a much better performance.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Xiaomi Mi 6 likely to launch on Valentine’s Day

Xiaomi is tipped to make an entry at CES 2017 next year and reports suggest that the company, most likely will be launching its new flagship, the Mi 6 at the event. If rumours are to be true, then it's highly possible, since Xiaomi had launched the Mi 5, early in 2016 as well.

Weibo, the Chinese social media known for mobile leaks, initially pointed to a tipster, which said that Xiaomi would officially launch the Mi 6 in March, but now another conflicting report points that Xiaomi Mi 6 most likely will be announced on February 14, 2017.

If the leaks turn out to be accurate, then the Mi 6 would actually be the first smartphone to be announced with Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU.

Other reports suggest that Xiaomi might launch the Mi 6 in three different variants, of which the international version would be called Xiaomi Mi 6S that will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, second being the Xiaomi Mi 6E that might run on MediaTek Helio processor and the third would be Xiaomi Mi 6P that might house the company's very own Pinecone processor.

In terms of specs, the phone is expected to come with a 5.2 inch display with 2.5D glass. Tipped to launch with three different processors, the handset might feature a 4GB and a 6GB RAM variant as well. It likely would back a dual 16 Megapixel camera at the back and would power on a 3000mAh battery with support for QuickCharge 4.0.

Point to be taken here is that, all information's tipped are sheer rumours and can't be confirmed till Xiaomi officially launches the phone.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Lenovo plans on launching Chrome OS version of YogaBook next year

Lenovo’s Yoga Books are some of the most innovative notebooks around. Certainly more so than Apple’s stylish MacBook Pros in terms of design. But these are Windows-based notebooks which means they are bound to be expensive. To bring them to the masses, Lenovo is looking at launching Chrome OS based versions of the YogaBook in 2017 claims a report by LAPTOP Magazine.

Lenovo’s VP and General Manager for Android and Chrome computing business group Jeff Meredith has confirmed the same to the publication. Already, there are versions of the YogaBook that’s based on Windows and Android, so this points towards the popularity of Chrome OS especially in the education sector.

"We've had a lot of interest. It's an interesting idea for education, especially with the form factor. Over time, we probably see the Android and Chrome versions melding together, especially based on the fact that we've now seen Chrome roll out the Google Play store capability into Chrome. We'll probably maintain the three distinctive products throughout this year at least," said Meredith said about the possibility of the Chrome OS-powered YogaBook.

Meredith also claimed that new features like Real Pen which Lenovo introduced for the Android version of the Yoga Book at IFA in September will also be available on the Chrome OS model.

The very same laptop was launched in India last week for Rs 49,990 and is available on e-commerce website Flipkart. That being said, in India, Lenovo has chosen to launch the Windows model, not the Android model pointing towards the usability of the Windows model.

The Yoga Book in India has a halo keyboard which is a touch enabled keyboard and the Real Pen. It has a 10.1-inch full HD screen, an Intel Atom X5 quad-core processor clocked at 2.4GHz and 4GB RAM. It also comes with 64GB of internal storage and also has a microSD card slot supporting up to 128GB memory cards.

Chrome OS based products over the last few years have grown in popularity and have started to give Windows based alternatives stiff competition in developed markets like the US. That being said, the future of the platform is clouded as there are rumours rife which suggest that Google is planning to merge Android and Chrome OS and create one OS called Andromeda.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Lenovo ZUK Edge to launch on December 20

Lenovo’s ZUK Edge has been the talk of the town since quite some time now, and Lenovo has finally lifted the veil over the release date for the smartphone. The device is set to be unveiled on the coming Tuesday, December 20.

The smartphone has been surrounded by leaks and rumours. Current leaks suggest that the smartphone sports a 5.5-inch full-HD display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The display sports minimal bezels, hence the ‘Edge’ nomenclature. Moreover, these bezels also come with a slight curve around the edges.

Coming to the hardware on the smartphone, ZUK Edge is reportedly said to be rocking Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 chipset paired with Adreno 530GPU. The device is expected to be available in 4GB and 6GB RAM variants, and 64GB or 128GB storage variants.

Coming to the optics on the ZUK Edge, the device is expected to sport a 13-megapixel primary rear camera and an 8-megapixel selfie camera at the front. There are no further details for the specs of the camera as of now.

The device is expected to run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ZUK’s near stock Android skin on top, which has been the case with almost all ZUK smartphones in the past. For battery, the device is said to sport a 3000mAh battery. The device would charge using a USB Type-C connector.

There are no hints for the device to support quick-charging as of now, but considering it’s rocking the 821 chipset, which already comes with Quick Charge 3.0, we could expect the quick charging capabilities be present on the ZUK Edge.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Sony Xperia X Performance is now getting the Android 7.0 Nougat update

For a change, Android's latest version, 7.0 Nougat is popping up on phones earlier than the previous versions did when they launched. After the Moto phones received its fair share of updates, it's time for Sony's premium lineup to receive the update. Sony is now beginning to roll out the Android Nougat update to the Xperia X Performance.

For now, only model numbers F8131 and F8132, the Dual SIM variant of the phone are reportedly receiving the update. It has also not been confirmed which regions are getting the update.

The Xperia X Performance release back in February at MWC 2016 and Sony had been reportedly testing Android Nougat on the Xperia X lately through the Xperia Beta Program as of November 1st, according to Android Headlines. And only after a thorough round of test, the update is now rolling out officially to devices.

Android 7.0 Nougat is the new incremental update to Android, announced earlier this year in Google's I/O conference. While there are no significant design changes, Nougat brings support for multi-window and Direct Replies. 

Moreover, Android Nougat comes with a whole new notification panel and some nifty tweaks for battery improvements.

In addition, Nougat comes with the Google Assistant, the AI-powered Digital Assistant that is more contextually aware than any of its counterparts.

Nougat is also more secure than the previous versions in the sense that it now uses file-based encryption and direct boot which prevents the entire system to be compromised through one bad sector.

Google has also made it easier to install the monthly security patches that it releases to make it even more secure.

The update for the Sony Xperia X Performance is rolling out in phases. To update your phone, head to Settings, About Phone and hit on System Updates.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Meizu m5 Note to be officially revealed on 6 December

Meizu has sent out invitations for its upcoming smartphone called the Meizu m5 Note that will be launched in China at an event dated December 6. The phone will be an upgrade of Meizu m3 Note that sold 20 million units from the time of launch.

The specs of the Meizu m5 Note had been tipped online at a Chinese telecommunication site TENAA. According to the tipped reports, the phone features a 5.5 inch full HD display with a resolution of 1080x 1920 pixels and will very likely power on a MediaTek Helio P10 MT6755 Octa core chipset that comes paired with MALI t860 MP2 GPU and works on Andrid v6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system. The phone is likely to launch in three different variants, which include 2GB RAM for 16GB storage, 3GB RAM for 32GB storage and 4GB RAM with 64GB storage. More so, there will be an external memory slot for all the phones, but considering three different variants, the battery too of the 64GB model would be different and will host a large 4000mAh battery, on the other hand, the 16GB version as well as the 32GB variant might operate n a 3920mAh battery.

To click images and record videos, the smartphone at the back would use a 13 Megapixel rear camera where as at the front would be a 5 Megapixel camera that assists users in doing video chats and clicking selfies. The Mezu m5 will come in colour options of White and Black and in terms of design, the handset would be available in a metal unibody frame paired with rounded edges along with a presumable fingerprint scanner that most likely will be placed in the Home Button of the phone. The handset is likely to weigh 175 grams and come with 8.5mm thickness.

Well all the specs mentioned are alleged rumours, and shouldn’t be considered official. To get an official prospect about the specs of the phone, we would rather wait till the official launch takes place.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Google quickly clarifies the security tech in Android Nougat after the Pixel hack

After the Pixel phones were hacked in less than 60 seconds by a team Chinese dudes, Google has rushed to clarify the kind of security the smartphones come with. In its official Keyword blog, Google has outlined the improvements in security in Android Nougat as well as in the Pixel phones, which includes File-based Encryption, Direct Boot and TrustZone security. Google had earlier said that Android is now as secure as iOS. The company now has explained what exactly is going on behind the scenes to secure the devices. 

Android Nougat comes with file-based encryption which basically encrypts different files with different keys which are unlocked independently. This allows the rest of the files to remain uncompromised even when one file has been hacked. Earlier, Android used Full Disk Encryption which didn't do much good to the security. File-based encryption separates the data into device encrypted data and credential encrypted data, keeping the important credentials in a separate container.

Direct boot in Android Nougat uses the file-based encryption to keep the user experience seamless after a device reboots. For instance, applications like alarm clocks, accessibility settings and phone calls are available immediately after boot.

What's more, Anroid Nougat comes with TrustZone security tech that executes system-level codes in a mode that is secure even when the main kernel is compromised. It also stores the disk encryption keys and when it detects the operating system has been modified, it won't decrypt the keys to keep the data inside secure.

To prevent brute force attacks, TrustZone comes with a waiting period that gets longer each time a wrong sequence of the pattern is made. With over 162 valid four-point patterns and the ever growing waiting period, brute force attackers will need four years to hack into an Android Nougat phone.

In addition, the Pixel phones come with an inbuilt hardware encryption engine that provides hardware level encryption all the while maintaining the I/O performance.
This Blog was first published on:- 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

OnePlus 3T announced: New processor, larger battery, improved front-facing camera

With smartphones like the OnePlus 3 it's tough to justify paying more than $400 for a smartphone today. The company just announced the next model, the OnePlus 3T that brings improvements in the processor, battery, and camera with an option for more internal storage.
The OnePlus 3T will start at $439 for the 64GB model and is advertised as launching on 22 November.
The OnePlus 3 is an excellent Android smartphone available for $399. It was released in June and just five months later we are seeing an incremental bump in the internal specifications. Current OnePlus 3 owners likely won't have any need to upgrade, but others looking for an affordable Android phone with flagship specifications may definitely consider this powerhouse of a phone.


  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad core
  • Display: 5.5 inch 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution Optic AMOLED, 401 ppi
  • Operating system: Oxygen OS built upon Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 64GB or 128GB of internal storage
  • Cameras: 16 megapixel rear camera with OIS and 16 megapixel front facing camera
  • Wireless technology: NFC, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Battery: 3,400 mAh battery with OnePlus Dash Charge technology
  • Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm and 158 grams
OnePlus has publicly stated that a beta build of Oxygen OS built on Android 7 Nougat is coming soon so we can expect the OnePlus 3T to be upgraded to this version within the next couple of months as well.
Instead of gray, a new gunmetal color will be available with the OnePlus 3T. It looks to be a darker gray than the standard gray found in the OnePlus 3.
The only things lacking here compared to the iPhone 7, Google Pixel, and Samsung Galaxy S7 are a Quad HD display and water resistance. The cameras on these newest Android and iPhone devices are fantastic while the OnePlus 3 and 3T are fine for most well-lit environments. Consumers will have to decide if paying twice the price for these features is worth it as they consider the OnePlus 3T.
One aspect that I like about the OnePlus 3 and 3T is the ability to customize the smartphone to your personal preferences, even more so than you can with most Android smartphones. The OnePlus smartphones have always catered to the smartphone enthusiast, but with more people considering SIM unlocked devices at half the price of a flagship major brand there is an opportunity for OnePlus to succeed with these devices.
This blog was first published on:

Monday, 14 November 2016

How To Boost Your Android Gaming Performance With A Simple Trick

Short BytesBy activating Force 4x MSAA setting in Android Developer Options, you can enjoy a better gaming performance. It forces your phone to use 4x multisample anti-aliasing in OpenGL 2.0 games and apps. However, enabling this setting can drain your smartphone’s battery faster.
Android’s hidden Developer Options menu contains a variety of advanced options for developers. However, these options can also benefit the normal users. Along the similar lines, in the past, I’ve told you how to make your Android device faster by disabling the animations. In this article, I’ll tell you about another secret setting in the Developer Options that will allow you to boost gaming performance.
Before going ahead and telling you about this trick, I would like to remind you how to access the Developer Options menu in Android smartphones.
To do so, you need to open the Settings screen, find the About phone option at the bottom and tap on it. Now, in the next screen, find the Build number and tap a few times. This will show you a notification something like “You are now 3 steps away from being a developer.” Tap few more times and you’ll see the message “You are now a developer!”.
Now we are ready to explore the newfound setting and make some changes to improve the Android gaming performance.

How To Boost Your Android Gaming Performance?

Hidden in the Developer options is a setting that can help improve your gaming experience. Simply scroll down and look for the Force 4x MSAA option. For those who don’t know, MSAA stands for multi-sample anti-aliasing.
If you enable this option, your Android smartphone will render games at the highest possible quality. It forces Android to use 4x multisample anti-aliasing in OpenGL 2.0 games and apps.
Important note:
This feature drains tons of battery life. So, you might want to use it on a smartphone with a lot of battery juice. Turning on this option might give you a smoother performance but things will vary on different apps and devices. Also, after playing the game, you are advised to revert back the setting.
Did you find this article helpful? Don’t forget to drop your feedback in the comments section below.
This Blog was first published on:-

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Asus Zenfone 3 Max Review: A rather boring phone with good battery life

Lately there has been an exponential growth in the budget smartphone market which has seen devices launching left, right and centre. Be it the likes of Xiaomi, Lenovo and Motorola, or domestic phone makers like Micromax, Lava and Xolo all have been focusing greatly on the budget smartphone segment. Taiwan based Asus has also been focussing on this market in India for the last few years. The new ZenFone 3 Max is yet another phone which is targeting this very market. It also comes with a big battery which is its main USP. After the using for the last few days, I can tell you that this is a polarizing device.

Designed to Impress

The moment to see the handset, you would undoubtedly be pleased with how the phone looks. With a perky design, and use of copious amounts of metal the phone seems quite premium with its brushed finish on the back. The feel of the phone is also quite good with its curved sides enabling a great in-hand feel. From the back, the phone will also remind of a HTC phone or a newer device like the OnePlus 3 in terms of design and the way the camera has been laid-out on.

The back panel of the handset is also embedded with slight chrome like stripe on the top and bottom that fosters an elegant look, which is shared with same on the fingerprint sensor as well. All in all, Zenfone 3 Max is quite nice to look at and I have no doubts about that.
The camera that sits right at the center of the back panel accompanied with the LED flash and laser auto-focus module also has chrome like bezel finish that complements the over all aspects of the handset.

Aiding the fine build and design, the Zenfone 3 Max comes with a contoured 2.5D glass touch screen which seamlessly sinks into the metallic frame of the device. The button arrangement is also quite logical as on the right side of the panel there is the power button and volume rockers, where as the left side has a dedicated SIM tray that is removable with a pin. At the bottom is the USB port embedded precisely, just besides the speaker grill, at the same time the top has a 3.5mm jack port embedded in the panel.

The device gets a 5.5-inch full HD IPS display that expels good vibrant colours with 450nits brightness under all light conditions along with a noteworthy 73 percent screen to body ratio, for less bulk and more display. Compared to some of the other phones in the market, the screen does appear to be slightly washed out, but it isn’t a horrible screen.

Basic performer, not a dazzler

While there are no complains on how the phone looks or about the build quality, what really matters on any device is how good is the hardware and how well does it sync with the interface of the phone. Well, powering this device is the 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 CPU that is clocked at 1.4GHz and powering the graphics in the handset is the Adreno 505 paired with 3GB RAM. Now, this is the same hardware package which powers the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime, so it is kind of overpriced for what you’re getting.

That being said, the phone does perform decent in basic day-to-day tasks as it is backed with good speed, but you do get a sense of the software not optimized to its fullest potential, as it took time for the phone to open the phone menu and on dialling a number, it almost took a pause of few seconds, before the calling menu popped up. Furthermore, while playing a game like Need for Speed: No Limits, the phone preformed reasonably, with not many major drops in frame, though it didn’t dazzle.

Multitasking on the phone was adequate and while running heavy duty apps in the background you got a feeling that the phone was behaving in a sluggish manner. Thankfully on the storage front, the phone gets 32GB of on-board storage and there’s a microSD card slot which can be used to expand the memory to all the way up to 128GB.

Decent camera

Cameras on handset’s these days can be the key selling point of the device and almost all companies try insuring a good sensor at the back and Asus too has tried doing the same. The back panel of the phone comes with a 16-megapixel camera that captures decent images in high resolution without a shutter lag – be it daylight or close up shots, however, in night time it stumbles.

The camera is paired with a Tri-Tech auto-focus technology which is a combination of laser auto-focus, phase detect auto focus and a contrast detection system. It instantly tracks and focuses the subject for better images and also has a three-axis electronic image stabilizer (EIS) that helps in capturing handheld videos as steady as possible. The HDR mode too clicks decent images and has up to 4 times the dynamic range that helps enhance the brightness by up to 400 percent. The Super Resolution on the other hand can combine simultaneous shots at a 64-megapixel resolution.

The front 8-megapixel front camera also has a few tricks built under its software that can help you get nice selfies and accompanies other modes like Beautification, Auto, Night, HDR Pro, Effect, Low Light and Time Lapse. The image quality overall was also quite good and usable for handsome selfies.

Clearly, this phone doesn’t have a camera that’s in the same league as the new iPhone or the Google Pixel, but it isn’t the worst thing on the planet at the same time.

Ugly and irritating software

All manufactures have their own UI in their handsets and so does Asus. Powered by the Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the Zenfome 3 Max comes skinned with ZenUI 3.0, which according to Asus is intelligently incorporated that brings up all the apps you need and for that matter when you need it. It also gets some gesture controls that open the app, even when the screen is off. The fingerprint sensor too, integrates seamlessly with third party apps that aids in providing great security.

But the problem is that Asus overloads the phone with a plethora of duplicate apps which just doesn’t make for a very user friendly phone. If you’re a power user, then the good news is that it is possible to get rid of the many duplicate apps which aren’t even as good as the basic Android variants that Google provides.

Powerful battery

The battery of is the most crucial aspect of a phone and on a handset with a 5.5-inch screen, expecting the phone to survive through the day would be a big deal, but here apparently with the high capacity 4100mAh battery, the ZenFone 3 Max just lets you keep going by offering up to 38 days of standby time. Everyone wants a device that lets you play games, watch videos and talk endlessly without having to worry about the phones battery. (For how much time could you use it on a single charge? How many hours? How much time did it take for the phone to get charges?) The best part I liked here is that it offers so much so that you could literally double up the phones potential and use it as a power bank to charge other devices. In fact, the battery prospects are so good that it comes with a Super Saving mode, which is pre-configured to maximize every last milliampere and turning on the mode you can extend the phone to last another 30 hours on standby time even on 10 percent battery.

Should you buy it?

In this flooded smartphone market, if you look at the ZenFone 3 Max, then you look at it with a view that it has a lot of potential, but basic hardware and poor software basically straddle its potential. The phone sure looks up-market and feels premium, which is a good think but its performance is also quiet rudimentary at the same time. Certainly, the hardware could’ve been tuned in a better way to the software, but not many companies have proven that ability and that also includes a luminary like Samsung. Overall, it is a boring phone which has rather decent battery life, nothing more, nothing less; there certainly are better phones in the market.

This blog was first published on:

Monday, 7 November 2016

General Mobile GM5: The first Android One phone running Nougat launched

If you think in this new age of Google’s Pixel smartphones, it has forgotten its budget Android One programme, then think again because it is still alive and kicking. The search giant has collaborated with General Mobile to launch the first Android One smartphone which is based on the latest build of the mobile operating system called Nougat. It is called the GM5.

This phone has been designed for emerging markets like Azerbaijan, Albania, Afghanistan, Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Iraq, Kenya, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Pakistan, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. This also means it has a bleak change of coming to India, but then again the market here is quite mature which you realise the moment you see the specifications on the phone.

It has a rather rudimentary 5-inch 720p HD LCD display which is reinforced with Gorilla Glass 4. It is powered by the aged Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor which we have seen in phones for quite a few years. There’s also 2GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage and even a microSD card slot for the sake of memory expansion.
For imaging, the device also packs in a 13-megapixel snapper on the back and a 5-megapixel camera on the front. It has a 2,500mAh battery and it is quite chunky at 160 grams and 9.3mm.

The phone comes with the usual array of features that one expects of a basic Android phone - Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, FM Radio and even Wi-Fi Direct.

Overall, it is a rather basic Android phone which is differentiated by the fact that it is part of Google’s Android One programme and is running stock Android Nougat out of the box which isn’t true of many smartphones.
This blog was first published on:

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Android is as secure as iPhone says Google

Google now contents that Android is as secure as Apple’s iOS which powers iPhones and iPads. Android’s head of security Adrian Ludwig touted Android’s secure nature at the O’Reilly security conference in New York City on where he spoke at great length about the security that the new Google Pixel smartphone provided.

“For almost all threat models…they are nearly identical in terms of their platform-level capabilities,” he said. “In the long term, the open ecosystem of Android is going to put it in a much better place,” claimed Ludwig.

Ludwig also touted Google’s Safety Net which scans through 400 million devices every day and 6 billion apps per day. According to Ludwig this means that less than 1 percent Android devices have malware on them.

“At this point we still don’t have any confirmed instances of exploitation in the wild,” he said talking about the StageFright malware issue, which he believed was blown out of proportion.

Ludwig believed there was room for improvement especially when it comes down to Android updates. He believes Google and its carrier and smartphone OEM partners can better collaborate to provide timely updates especially when they are related to security patches.

As in the US, updates are also vetted by the carriers and deployed by them, often phones don’t get updated for months after.

Ludwig also believed that Android is so secure as a platform that it doesn’t suffer any of the afflictions that have plagued dominant operating systems like Windows.

Mass exploitation is something that I’m not expecting that we’re going to see at any point in the ecosystem.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Blackberry launches its last, most powerful Android phone

BlackBerry Ltd launched its third Android-based phone on Tuesday, the last device whose success will be the company's financial responsibility, opting to price its top-end device well below Apple Inc's iPhone 7.
The Canadian smartphone pioneer, which has lost most of the market to Apple and others, last month said it planned to completely outsource the development of its smartphones to focus on its more profitable business of making software and managing mobile devices.
That means the Android-based DTEK60 will be the last phone for which BlackBerry buys components itself, which carries a heavier risk if it does not sell well.
"This one is our phone," BlackBerry Chief Operating Officer Marty Beard said in an interview. "This is fully our responsibility."
BlackBerry's Toronto-listed shares were down 1.2 percent in afternoon trade at C$9.70. They had touched C$11.18 - their highest since January - on Sept. 28 when the company announced its outsourcing plan.
"BlackBerry had to kill its hardware in order to save it," website TechCrunch wrote in a broadly positive review of the DTEK60 that nevertheless questioned how much interest it would elicit.
Instead, it is pitching the phone directly to companies and governments, as well as selling it on its own websites in the United States, Canada, and several major European countries.
"It's not necessarily an anti-carrier strategy," Beard said. "It's more that we see this as the most efficient and most cost-effective way to get to that customer base."
The device, which has a 5.5 inch touchscreen, will be priced at $499. Apple's iPhone 7 with the same screen size starts at $769, while the equivalent version of Android-maker Alphabet Inc's Pixel starts at $649.
"Certainly it's not going to be the next superstar in the marketplace," said William Stofega, a mobile phone analyst at IDC Corp. "But it's a solid device that brings some really high-end security features and capabilities to it."
The DTEK60 is being manufactured by TCL Corp, a Chinese electronics company that makes phones as well as televisions, air conditioners and other household appliances.
BlackBerry launched its first Android device, the high-end Priv, in November last year and followed it with the much cheaper DTEK50 in July. The company last month wrote down $137 million of phone inventory and supply commitments.

Monday, 24 October 2016

5 Best Open Source Mobile Test Automation Tools

Short Bytes: There is a wide range of devices and platforms one needs to account for when developing a mobile app. An automation app for Mobile Testing can save development and testing time. Here are 5 top open source automated mobile testing frameworks to use, including the likes of Appium, Robotium, and Selendroid.

Testing a software application can be quite cumbersome. Software companies have separate teams allotted just for testing and analyzing their applications. To ease this process, they often design and develop their own effective testing strategies.
The process gets further complicated when the application is cross-platform rather than a single platform (native). For example, a cross-platform mobile app accounts for usage across multiple devices and operating systems. Additionally, mobile hardware and their operating systems are constantly upgraded. Therefore, it is natural to have a generic automated tool for testing software applications. Focussing on mobile applications, the first step in automating your testing is to choose the right framework.

Here are 5 top open source mobile testing frameworks to use:

1. Appium (Android, iOS)

  • Supports Android versions from 2.3 and above
  • Utilizes UI Automator and WebDriver libraries
  • Supports Java, C#, Ruby and those available in the WebDriver library
  • Cross Browser support (Safari and Chrome)
  • Compatible with JSON wire protocol
  • Cross-platform capabilities to run tests across multiple devices

2. Robotium (Android)

  • Supports Android 1.6 version and above
  • Easy to write powerful test scenarios
  • Supports Java
  • Handles multiple Android routines automatically
  • No Record and Play function and no screenshots

3. Selendroid (Android)

  • Uses Selenium 2 client API
  • Fully compatible with JSON wire protocol
  • No alteration of app under test is needed to automate it
  • Can interact with multiple Android devices at the same time

4. Keep It Functional (iOS)

5. Monkey Talk (Android, iOS)

  • Supports a broad range of basic to advanced tests
  • A Powerful cross-platform tool enabling high productivity
  • Records and plays test scripts for cross-platform apps
  • Widely used for native Android, iOS, HTML5, and Adobe Flex apps
These are the top open source tools for mobile test automation. They have a large open source community that is involved in guiding users and contributing to the project. Try any of the above frameworks for a faster mobile app development.
So, which mobile testing app do you use? Do you have something to add? Comment and share with us.
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Saturday, 22 October 2016

How to install the Android 7.1 developer preview on your device

Android 7.1 marks the first time Nexus owners aren’t getting the full suite of upgrades from Google. The Pixel phones have some exclusive features, including built-in Google Assistant, the new Pixel Launcher, and fingerprint sensor gestures. However, not all of this is an arbitrary decision to add value to the Pixel. In the case of some features (e.g. fingerprint sensor gestures), there are hardware limitations in existing devices that prevent the feature from working. So, it’s not technically a Pixel-exclusive; there just aren’t any other phones that support it right now.
As for what you can expect in the developer preview, there will be a handful of noticeable changes. For one, touch display responsiveness had been boosted. There’s also a new storage manager that helps you clear old files from your device to get more space for new stuff. Android’s launcher shortcuts, which were previously demoed in the 7.0 preview, are coming back. Although, now they are called “app shortcuts,” which might be the least descriptive name ever. They’re long-press shortcuts that app icons can produce to specific functionality in an app. For example, the camera icon includes links to take a video and take a selfie.
To install the developer preview, you need to have a Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, or Pixel C. Other Nexus devices like the Nexus 9 and (maybe) Nexus 6 will be added next month. The easiest way to to go to the beta site and sign in with your Google account. There, you’ll be shown eligible devices. Once you choose to enroll one, an OTA update to the developer preview will be pushed down in a few minutes. Doing this will not erase your data, but it’s a preview. Things could go wrong, so back everything up to be safe.
If you want to handle the process manually, there are full system images available for download. This doesn’t require joining the beta, and you can install them even if you’re running a third-party ROM. You will need the Android SDK working on your computer, and your device’s bootloader needs to be unlocked. This will delete everything on your device, by the way.
While this is technically for developers, plenty of enthusiasts are installing the beta too. It’s a pretty smooth process, and you can get a look at Android 7.1 before almost everyone else. Google is planning to have a final version of Android 7.1 available on Nexus devices by late this year or early next.
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Monday, 17 October 2016

Microsoft: 'Apple can no more secure your iPhone than Google can secure Android'

Microsoft thinks the recent discovery of the Trident malware for iPhones should be a wake-up call for the enterprise to stop unquestioningly trusting Apple's ability to protect corporate secrets.
Microsoft corporate vice president enterprise and client mobility Brad Anderson argues the case for reconsidering trust in Apple in a blogpost entitled 'What we can learn from the Trident/Pegasus iOS vulnerability'.
The Trident malware was discovered in August by researchers at mobile security firm Lookout and Canadian rights group Citizen Lab, prompting Apple to issue an emergency security update.
The malware, which used three previously-unpatched iOS vulnerabilities, was developed by Israeli-founded pen-testing vendor NSO Group and sold as a surveillance product called Pegasus. It was used by a government in the Middle East to target human rights activists.
Lookout called it the "the most sophisticated attack we've seen on any endpoint". As Anderson notes, NSO Group had deep pockets, having been acquired in 2010 by US VC fund Francisco Partners Management for over $100m.
NSO Group sold Pegasus for $8m for 300 licenses, with the price indicating it would have been reserved for high-value targets, such as political dissidents or senior execs from top firms.
With well-resourced opponents such as these operating in the open, organizations need to stop blindly trusting Apple's ability to keep their iOS devices secure, according to Anderson.
"Over the last two years, I've had senior executives tell me countless times that they have unwavering implicit trust in the iOS platform. In these discussions it's been pretty common to hear a comment like, 'I don't trust Android because it is like the wild, wild west, but I have tremendous trust in iOS because it is a controlled and procured ecosystem'," he writes.
"I'm not attempting to throw stones at Android or iOS but there is a dilemma with this perspective: I know for a fact that all the providers of mobile operating systems go to superhuman lengths to harden their platforms and do everything they can deliver the most secure operating system possible but this fact also exists in our modern era of digital threats that produce consistent successful attacks despite the incredible efforts of the organisations building these platforms."
Of course, while Microsoft has all but bowed out of smartphone hardware, it is still focusing on enterprise mobility via Intune, its mobile-device management product, which it recently partnered on with mobile security firm Lookout for malware protection.
The other lesson Anderson draws from Trident/Pegasus is that it highlights the commercialization of cyberattacks, which makes it easier for opponents to exploit weaknesses in mobile devices.
For example, attackers that don't have the skills to compromise your systems can simply rent them from NSO Group or numerous other firms in the business of developing, selling and brokering so-called zero-day exploits.
"This is the very scary fruition of something that cybersecurity experts have been heavily emphasizing for the past few years. The work behind corporate hacks, online theft, cyber espionage, and cyber-terrorism is a commercial business and not only an underground effort," Anderson writes.
"If you, as an organization, have intellectual property that is of interest to another company or a state organization, that company does not have to have the expertise to build a sophisticated attack like this, they just have to have the money to buy a license."

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