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PSA: New Android Malware Discovered by Lookout Could be 'nearly impossible to remove'

Nov 06, 2015 - 10:54 AM - by dgstorm

When it comes to Malware on Android, it doesn't really get much scarier than this. The security company, Lookout, has just found a new trojanized malware "strain" for Android and the worst part about it is that it can actually root itself to your device.

According to Lookout's analysis, this new malware strain has been found on over 20,000 apps masquerading as legitimate top applications, including Candy Crush, Facebook, GoogleNow, NYTimes, Okta, Snapchat, Twitter, and others. The vast majority of these were found on third party download sites instead of the Google Play Store, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be cautious even when downloading from there. The highest rates of infection are in Google Play-friendly countries like Germany and the US.

What's especially troubling about this malware is that after it gains root access to your device it embeds itself as a system application. Lookout themselves claim this makes it "nearly impossible to remove." Only the most die-hard developer or tinkerer would be able to repair an infected phone by loading a completely fresh ROM or carefully modifying system files over ADB. This is obviously outside the capabilities of the average Android user, although many of our own members could tackle it.

Still, it would be an annoying hassle just to save your device from an infection. As always be extra careful what you download, and go out of your way to make sure it is legitimate. For more details read Lookout's report here: https://blog.lookout.com/blog/2015/1...anized-adware/
  0 Replies | 949 Views


Happy Birthday Android! Google's Mobile OS Turns 8 Today!

Nov 05, 2015 - 12:34 PM - by dgstorm

November 5th, 2007 was the first day that Android was revealed to the world. The Open Handset Alliance, which was composed of Google, Sony, HTC, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments announced the birth of the first Android-powered handset. That was the T-Mobile G1, otherwise known as the HTC Dream.


The continued evolution of Android has seen a number of radical changes and vast improvements over the years. Our current iteration is Android 6.0/Marshmallow. For the most part the OS is nailed down pretty tight. It's smooth, fast and efficient.

It's tough for Google to make it much better, but Google always finds something useful to add. This year was Android M, but next year is Android N. What crazy concoctions will those creative engineers craft? Either way, we look forward to finding out. You have our permission to grab a piece of cake, a donut or even a Starbucks scone to celebrate. Just be sure to wish your happy little Android a deliriously Happy Birthday!
  1 Reply | 1,177 Views


Blackberry is 'going all in' with PRIV Android; Could be Their Last Phone

Nov 03, 2015 - 12:11 PM - by dgstorm

Photo credit: GSMArena

According to statements from Blackberry's own CEO, John Chen, the company is betting the farm on the new PRIV Android smartphone. Analysts in the industry point out that Chen has basically set the stakes for an "all or nothing" move with the new phone. CNET's Roger Cheng claims that if the new $700 PRIV isn't a success, it may be Blackberry's last smartphone. He points out that Blackberry CEO Chen has repeatedly stated that he will dump the smartphone business if the PRIV flops. Here's a quote with the details,

“If the $700 Priv flops, that will likely spell the end of the BlackBerry smartphone,” Cheng states bluntly. “[BlackBerry CEO John] Chen has already set the stakes. He’s said, repeatedly, that he’ll dump the smartphone business if it doesn’t turn a profit. While it doesn’t break out earnings from its devices business, BlackBerry has lost more than $6 billion in the last two and a half years. To move into the black, the company must sell 5 million smartphones next year. That’s a tall order considering it sold just 800,000 last quarter, less than half as much as it sold a year ago.”

Similarly, Bloomberg quotes Brian Colello, a Chicago-based analyst at Morningstar Investment Services, who also thinks this is likely it for BlackBerry as a device manufacturer.

“Perhaps there’s something else in the pipeline, but this device does seem like a last stand,” he said. “We’ve seen new products come out for the last couple years, BlackBerry’s trying to get a hit with any form factor, any price point and now it’s with a different operating system.” ~ BGR
What do you folks think? Could Blackberry sell this many devices next year, or is it too late for Blackberry's hardware business?
  0 Replies | 870 Views


Nexus 9 Tablet Available for Just $239.99 [Deal Alert]

Nov 03, 2015 - 11:54 AM - by dgstorm

Even though HTC has been taking a beating lately (in multiple ways), they still make solid products. Here is an awesome deal alert for the Google Nexus 9 Android tablet. HTC themselves are offering deep, deep discounts on their Nexus 9 tablets for a limited time. This looks like the same promo they launched briefly back in September, which offers up to 40% off. Here's a breakdown of the offer:
  • 16GB WiFi for $239.40 (previously $399)
  • 32GB WiFi for $287.40 (previously $479)
  • 32GB LTE for $359.40 (previously $599)

Here's a recap of specs to whet your appetite:
  • 8.9 2048x1536p display
  • Tegra K1 processor
  • 2 GB of RAM,
  • 8 MP rear camera
  • 1.6 MP front shooter
  • 6700 mAh battery

This offer lasts until Midnight Pacific time tomorrow, and it looks like their inventory is running out fast, so you may want to hurry. Here's the link: Buy the Nexus 9 | HTC United States
  0 Replies | 764 Views


Google Released the November Security Update for Android

Nov 02, 2015 - 5:09 PM - by dgstorm

A new security patch update will soon be rolling out to Nexus devices and will be available for review for all other OEMs and carriers. This is the November security update for Android 6.x Marshmallow, and it fixes seven security vulnerabilities, two of which are considered critical.

Google indicated that OEM partners were of these security issues on October 5th. They also shared that source code patches are going to be released to AOSP over the next 48 hours. There have been no reports of anyone exploiting any of these security vulnerabilities, but/so it's great to see Google taking care of them so quickly.

Here's a link to the Google developer page for folks who want to download the Factory images: Factory Images for Nexus Devices

Of course, if you own a Nexus device, you should see an OTA rollout in just a few days if you would prefer to wait.
  0 Replies | 821 Views


Samsung is Supposedly Needing to Modify the Snapdragon 820 Due to Heat Problems [Rumo

Oct 28, 2015 - 11:08 AM - by dgstorm

Uh oh... The infamous heat problem with Qualcomm chips might have returned. Throughout the last year, one of the big topics of conversation has been the overheating issues faced by Qualcomm with their Snapdragon 810 chipset. The problem was so egregious that Samsung declined to use the chip in their Galaxy S6 line. For a while, the industry speculated that Sammy was just taking an opportunity to try and hurt Qualcomm's reputation so they could push their own Exynos chips.

Even when it was revealed that Qualcomm really did have heat issues with the chipset, various media outlets continued to speculate that Samsung was taking advantage of the situation to pump up their own brand name in SoC manufacturing. While that may or may not be true, the latest murmurings from the supply side world suggest that overheating problems have once again reared their ugly head for Qualcomm, but this time it is with the Snapdragon 820.

What's really interesting is that this time, instead of abandoning Qualcomm and taking advantage of the situation, Samsung is supposedly digging in deeper to help Qualcomm work out the issues. This is partly because Qualcomm is using Samsung for their 14nm FinFET manufacturing process design on the chipset, because TSMC is still stuck at 20nm. We've also heard previous rumors that Samsung has committed to using both Qualcomm and their own Exynos chips in the new Galaxy S7. This is obviously another incentive to help Qualcomm make the chipset work.

For now, take this intel with a heaping helping of salt. We haven't been able to get any additional corroboration on this piece so it's possible it is bogus. We will keep an ear to the ground and let you know.

Source: SlashGear
  0 Replies | 843 Views


AnTuTu Releases the Top 10 Fastest Android Smartphones for Q3; The Winner Surprises

Oct 26, 2015 - 1:00 PM - by dgstorm

AnTuTu just released their latest smartphone performance rankings for quarter 3. The top 10 Android smartphones list is here, and the number one smartphone is likely to surprise you. According to AnTuTu benchmark numbers, the Meizu PRO 5 is the fastest Android smartphone with an aggregate score of 76852.

The PRO 5 beat out the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, the Galaxy S6 Edge+, the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge, which rounded out the top 5 in that order. The Galaxy Note 5 wasn't really a close second with a score of 72156. Of course, once you read the specs of the PRO 5, the reason it came out the winner is quite clear: it has the same Samsung Exynos Exynos 7420 chip as the other devices but it only has a 1080p display. It's version of Android is also closer to stock than any of the Samsung products.

Source: AnTuTu
  1 Reply | 935 Views


Nexus 5X Scores 7/10 Repairability on iFixit Teardown

Oct 23, 2015 - 12:26 PM - by dgstorm

The latest device to go on iFixit's surgery table is the Google Nexus 5X. The LG-made device scored a solid 7 out of 10 on their repairability scale. Here's a quote with their summary, but be sure to hit up the source link for their full video and writeup:

Nexus 5X Repairability Score: 7 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).
  • Many components are modular and can be replaced independently.

  • Standard Phillips screws means a driver is easy to find.

  • The battery isn't immediately user accessible but isn't too challenging, or too adhered, to replace.

  • Fused display assembly—glass and LCD will need to be replaced together if one or the other breaks.


They must have performed their dissection on October 21st, because they playfully included several "Back to the Future" DeLorean toys in their screenshot. Clever and funny!

Source: iFixit
  1 Reply | 844 Views


Google is Beginning to Charge Credit Cards for Nexus 6P Preorders; Probably Shipping

Oct 23, 2015 - 11:42 AM - by dgstorm

From multiple sources we have heard that folks are starting to be charged for their Nexus 6P pre-orders. That is highly suggestive that Google plans to ship the devices out soon.

So far, these reports are all in the US, which is probably unsurprising. We suspect that Nexus 6P smartphones should start showing up on doorsteps within a week or two, so be sure to watch out for yours.

Also, don't forget to drop by our dedicated Nexus 6P section for further discussion: Nexus 6P by Huawei | Android Forum at DroidForums.net
  0 Replies | 881 Views


Unlocking the Nexus 6P Bootloader Blows a Hardware Fuse that is Irreversible

Oct 23, 2015 - 11:42 AM - by dgstorm

Apparently, Google and Huawei have made unlocking the bootloader on the Nexus 6P a questionable proposition. They built a fuse into the Nexus 6P called QFuse, and whenever someone unlocks the bootloader, it blows this hardware fuse permanently. Once blown, there is no way to reverse it back to its "locked" default setting.

This is similar to what Samsung did with Samsung Knox. Before you start hollering that they hate developers, supposedly the primary reason for the QFuse is simply to enhance the security of the device. It is meant to make Android Pay more secure and help let you know if the device has been tampered with. Of course, that is small comfort for folks who want to tinker with or develop on a completely unlocked Nexus 6P.

We can only cross our fingers that Google will release an unlockable Developer Edition that eschews the QFuse. Sound off and let us know if this affects your perspective on Google's latest Nexus device. Here's our dedicated Nexus 6P section for further discussion: Nexus 6P by Huawei | Android Forum at DroidForums.net

Source: PhoneArena
  0 Replies | 962 Views


Nexus 5X is Getting Small OTA Update Immediately

Oct 23, 2015 - 11:41 AM - by dgstorm

The Nexus 5X is going to get a very quick software update. In fact, as soon as folks start getting the phone in their hands, they may see the OTA update version MDB08I arrive on their device.

This "new" version actually brings the phone up to the same release as can be found in the factory images. This suggests the update is just a few bug fixes and security patches. The update is around 42MB, so be prepared to grab it over the "why-fies."

Here's our dedicated Google Nexus 5X section for further discussion: Nexus 5X (2015) | Android Forum at DroidForums.net
  0 Replies | 678 Views


Google Announces YouTube Red Subscription Based Premium-Style Streaming Membership

Oct 21, 2015 - 2:38 PM - by dgstorm

It was probably only a matter of time before this occurred. The big wigs at Google have decided to offer a different version of YouTube that will basically be akin to a "Netflix for Youtube" product. It's called YouTube Red, and it will use a $9.99 per month subscription model to access any and all content with NO Ads.

That's not all you get for your monthly fee. Google also promises that the service also applies across all devices, anywhere you sign into YouTube. This will include YouTube's recently launched Gaming app, and will also apply to a brand new YouTube Music app, that they officially announced today.

The YouTube Music app has been floating around the rumor-mill for a while, and it is basically a streaming music service. As an extra bonus, YouTube Red will also work with Google Play Music, which means that when you subscribe to one you automatically get access to the other.

Finally, it looks like Google/YouTube is investing heavily in the future of the service. They are planning on offering unique, premium, original content that will only be found on YouTube Red. This is basically like the original shows and movies that you find on Netflix, except that Google is the one investing in and hosting them. Here's a link to the first spate of original content that YouTube Red has planned: YouTube Blog

For more info, here's a link to the YouTube Red blog post: Official YouTube Blog: Meet YouTube Red, the ultimate YouTube experience

You can also check out a YouTube video in the thread below describing the service.
  1 Reply | 777 Views


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