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Posts Tagged ‘ Android ’

 

In light of the latest news of the AccuWeather app that is reportedly collecting data on iOS users in secret: Just across the digital pond, Google recently removed more than 500 Android apps from the Play Store for similar reasons.

 

According to a report by the International Business Times, the 500 Android apps that were removed were discovered to have advertising software used by the affected apps that could easily be exploited and used to install spyware on unsuspecting Android handsets.

 

The software development kit (SDK) used to develop the apps is a Chinese-made SDK known as Igexin. The SDK is known to perform targeted advertising services, but is extremely vulnerable to attacks by hackers or programmers looking to sneak malware on to a device.

 

Igexin’s primary purpose was to help developer create advertisements for users of certain apps, and from there, help the app maker generate some revenue from the program. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to the creators of Igexin, the SDK’s control server was compromised by attackers and used to deliver malware to device.

 

“While not all of these applications have been confirmed to download the malicious spying capability, Igexin could have introduced that functionality at their convenience,” Lookout security engineers Adam Bauer and Christoph Hebeisen said in their report about Igexin.

The Google I/O conference this year saw the announcement of the Mi Box, the first 4K capable Android TV set top box to be available in the U.S. The announcement comes as Android TV is getting a makeover, with a bevy of new apps.

 

The Mi Box is certainly not the company’s first foray into making set-top boxes, as it has sold over 10 million smart TVs and set-top boxes in China since 2013.

 

Inside, the Mi Box is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and Mali 450 GPU backed by 2GB DDR3 RAM and 8GB eMMC flash. This enables it to display 4K UHD content at 60 FPS. The set-top-box also supports the latest HDR10 standard and the updated HDMI 2.0a specification.

 

Mi Box ships with the official YouTube app, with more apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, Pandora, Vudu and more available on Google Play. It also comes with a Bluetooth remote control that supports voice search and commands.

 

With the Mi Game Controller, which is sold separately, users can also play games on the Mi Box.

 

Sadly, there is no information regarding price and availability of the Mi Box, but it is certain that this set-top box will be available to the U.S. market first.

WhatsApp has reached another milestone this year  one billion people are using WhatsApp everyday

 

The latest milestone comes more than a year after WhatsApp shared that one billion people used its instant messaging app every month, which has now grown to 1.3 billion monthly active users. It also revealed other interesting figures such as: 

  • 55 billion messages sent per day 
  • 4.5 billion photos shared per day 
  • 1 billion videos shared per day 

 

WhatsApp has seen its usage statistics increased over the past year. A recent study conducted by the Reuters Institute revealed that people in some countries (Malaysians included) use WhatsApp to get their news. Earlier in January this year, a WhatsApp spokesperson informed VentureBeat that 63 billion messages were sent on New Year’s Eve, which included 7.9 billion images and 2.4 million videos! In June 2016, WhatsApp stated that there were more than 100 million voice calls made through its app everyday. 

 

 

In preparation of the upcoming SEA Games 2017, the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) has launched its first ever First Aid app for mobile devices.

 

The app was developed and made in partnership with the Prudence Foundation, as well as with the support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

 

The MRCS touts the apps as the first of its kind in the country. It is designed to provide first aid advice through videos, animations, as well as interactive quizzes, all of which will be easy to access. There is something that makes the entire thing.

 

“During an emergency, a lack of first aid knowledge could lead to lasting injuries and disabilities, and even unnecessary deaths,” Dato’ Sayed A. Rahman bin Sayed Mohd, Secretary General of the MRCS said. “As a national society that is advocating the importance of first aid, we believe that having this mobile app allows users to access crucial, life-saving information at the touch of their fingertips.”

 

The app is already available on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The contents of the app be delivered in both English and Bahasa Malaysia, thus making accessible the Malaysian majority. However, Dato’ Syed did state that while the app itself provides first aid information, it is in no way a replacement for proper first training and certification, or the need to seek medical advice when (and where) necessary.

 

 

AgileBits has introduced Travel Mode for 1Password, a way to keep your passwords safe while traveling abroad.

 

1Password, a password manager app for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android, stores and organizes passwords in ‘vaults.’ When Travel Mode is activated, every vault is removed from your devices, except for the ones marked ‘safe for travel’. The information isn’t hidden, it’s actually removed.

 

After you arrive safely at your destination or back home, you can turn off Travel Mode, and the vaults are downloaded back onto your devices. 

 

However, Travel Mode is not available for users who’ve bought perpetual licenses, which doesn’t include sync. It only works for users who are on the 1Password subscription plan, which syncs accounts using 1Password’s own services.  

 

The unfortunate reason why something like Travel Mode is necessary is that border guards are increasingly demanding that travelers hand over their passwords for security checks. 

 

If your device only contains your personal info, you face a loss of privacy, but if it contains sensitive work or government data, you face losing much more — like this NASA engineer who was forced to unlock his phone at Houston’s airport. And if your device leaves your sight for a few moments, there’s a chance that its contents may have been copied over.

 

On the other hand, if you don’t surrender your passwords, you risk being deported or detained. It’s not a pleasant state of affairs, and there’s already debate whether or not it should even be allowed.

 

With 1Password’s new Travel Mode, you can at least contain the damage done if you do surrender your passwords. Only select accounts in the ‘safe for travel’ vault risk being compromised, and because you’re not actually hiding information, you’re not breaking the law by using it.

 

 

The cell phone business seems so ancient these days that it’s easy to believe the sides are entrenched.

 

You’re either an iPhone person who mocks anyone who has an Android phone. Or you’re one of those Android or other non-iPhone people who derides everyone who has an iPhone.

Is it worth trying to get people to switch? Apple thinks it is.

 

In a new campaign aimed at the Android types, Apple claims that it’s better along several axes. More than that, though, the campaign wants you to believe that it’s astoundingly easy to give up your Android and come over to the bright — or, depending on your perspective, dark — side.

 

Five short ads highlight Apple’s allegedly superior offerings. One claims that the music in your world will become so much more jolly when you have an iPhone. For no obvious reason whatsoever.

 

Another says that the iPhone keeps you away from digital snoopers — and they’re very creepy-looking.

 

Then there’s speed. Apparently, iPhones are far faster than Android phones. Blindingly so, says this ad. Oh, it seems to me that all new phones start fast and then slow down as they age.

 

Another ad insists iPhone will straighten out your photos — and migrating them is so easy. Why, Apple will even send movers to your house to help you.

 

Talking of easy, the last ad doesn’t even bother with a semblance of rationality, settling for just telling you to jump because it’s simple.

 

Is this all persuasive? Not if you’re ingrained in your ways and fear that something, somewhere along the line will be lost if you change systems. This campaign is more a nag for those who already have the nagging feeling that something might be better on the other side of the fence.

 

For me, it’s like cooking with gas or electric. They both work. I’ve always been comfortable with gas. Last week, I ended up cooking on a very fancy electric stove top. It was surprisingly good. Would I get one? Probably not.

 

The gas hasn’t let me down enough yet.

 

 

 

Google’s Chrome browser has always been open source on Android and PC, but never available on iOS. This is because Apple demands that browsers use its own WebKit platform instead of their own rendering engines, so Google can’t just use its typical code base for iOS Chrome. However, that’s all changing today, as Google has just added the iOS Chrome code into Chromium.

Not only should this speed up the development of Chrome for iOS, Google also points out that as all of the company’s usual Chromium tests now apply to the iOS code, it’ll also be easier to implement cross-platform features, which means more frequent updates that will help the iOS browser more closely match its Android counterpart.

oppof1s_crowd_malaysia_600

If you’ve noticed a sudden increase in the number people using the Oppo F1s in and around the city, that’s probably because of Oppo’s tenacity in pushing their phone into the Malaysian market.

According to Oppo’s sales figures, the company from China has already sold more than 100,000 units of their midrange selfie-centric smartphone. Additionally, those sales figures have helped the company seize more than 50 percent of the midrange market in just two months, making it the company’s star performer for this year.

The Oppo F1s launched back in August this year with the appeal of the phone being its 16MP f/2.0 front-facing camera.

oppo_f1s_selfie_expert_600

Opera recently announced the latest updates available for their data-saving web browsers for mobile. Both Opera Mini for Android and Opera Browser for Android will get new features for a better browsing experience.

Video compression – Opera Browser for Android

According to Opera’s blog, the new video compression feature helps the user shrink the size of online videos streamed your device. This means that videos viewed via the Opera Browser no longer use as much data or take as long to load, saving plenty of bandwidth and time.

To use this feature, simply update your Opera for Android app, and enter the settings menu to access the Data Savings category. Check the box that says Video Compression. The rest will be handled by Opera.

Download notifications and improved tab switching – Opera Mini for Android

Opera’s ‘lite’ browser, the Opera Mini for Android, now notifies you when you’re done downloading files via the browser. We admit it’s not that groundbreaking, but it is a nice add-on even for a browser designed for a trim web-browsing experience. Another user-experience enhancement is the improved tab-switching format. Users can stay on their current tab and open new tabs in the background, with an option to flit between tabs quickly. This new functionality is ideal for comparing different deals on separate e-shopping sites.

Finally, the Opera logo has been updated for these mobile browsers, and it’s now congruent with the desktop browser’s new logo as well. Opera’s last update – Opera 33 – focused on compressing data for faster surfing, and the update before that (Opera 32) was brought in to improve privacy for web browsing users.

Opera and Opera Mini: What’s the difference?

For the uninitiated, Opera has two stable browsers on the Android OS platform – Opera Mini and Opera for Android. The key difference between the two is their compression technology: Opera Browser gives the full web browsing experience where sites and images load as if the user is viewing them on a desktop, with an option to compress web pages up to 50 percent of their original size for saving on mobile data and load times. Opera Mini, on the other hand, is a cloud-based browser where all web browsing will go through Opera’s servers, and those servers will automatically compress the web page’s text and images, down to 10 percent of their original size.

The Opera Browser is what a typical person would use on a flagship Android smartphone; whereas the Opera Mini browser is suited for overseas travel, in situations where mobile data bandwidth may be limited or subjected to poor connectivity.

From this month onwards for 30 days, Muslim all around the world will be fasting for the holy month of Ramadan.

 

To mark the occasion, Google has launched the My Ramadan Companion service on Google Now. The service will provide information pertaining to the festival, as well as exact times for sunrise and sunset, so that Muslims may know when exactly they can break fast and what time is ‘sahur’ – the morning meal that is taken before the fasting cycle begins anew. The Google Now site will also provide users with other content pertaining to the festival, such as apps that will alert you to wake up to Sahur, or YouTube content ranging from drama series and comedy sketches.

 

My Ramadhan Companion will provide you with content pertaining to the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan. <br> Image source: Google.

My Ramadhan Companion will provide you with content pertaining to the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan.

The site is already live, allowing those who are interested in using the free service from Google to do so for the 30-day period of Ramadan.