Tag Archive : Android

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The justices finished up the first week of the new term by finally hearing argument in Google v. Oracle, a case that has been pending at the Supreme Court since the fall of 2018. The high-stakes dispute presents a challenge by Oracle (the current owner of a copyright in the Java platform created by Sun Microsystems) against the Android operating system, which Google designed when it entered the smartphone market.

Google wanted Android to be accessible to developers familiar with Java. Accordingly, although Google purchased or rewrote from scratch all the code that provides the functionality of Android, it reused the “declaring” code from Java (about 11,000 lines) that programmers use to call up particular commands. (You might imagine that it reused phrases like “Open Sesame,” but created anew the mechanisms to cause doors to open and shut.) A jury held that Google’s actions were “fair use,” but the

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Microsoft recently published a security blog that warned about a sophisticated new ransomware variant. Not, as you might expect, ransomware that impacts users of the Windows operating system, though. Nope, instead, this was a warning for Android users.

The discovery of a context-aware machine learning code module in the MalLocker.B certainly deserves the sophisticated tag. However, that module has yet to be activated, and more of that in a moment. What has grabbed the attention of Android users who have read the various reports online, it would seem, is the fact that MalLocker.B can effectively brick phones only with a press of the home button when answering a call. But how true is that, and how worried should Android smartphone users actually be?

First things first, this is a fascinating and highly detailed bit of technical

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Google Assistant Now Works With Android Apps

October 11, 2020 | technology | No Comments

Google announced that now it’s possible to use Google Assistant with third-party apps on Android phones. So, Android users will be able to search and control their third-party apps when they ask it to Google Assistant. Google is rolling out the ability to search apps, use voice commands for popular tasks like sending text messages, ask for the news on Twitter, or browsing your shopping cart. For example, you can now say, “Hey Google, search cozy blankets on Etsy” and get right to what you’re looking for. Or if you’re looking for something (or someone) specific within an app, just say, “Hey Google, open Selena Gomez on Snapchat.” 

Previously, Google Assistant’s third-party support was largely limited to some custom actions, mostly apps that run within Assistant. With the new functionality, Google Assistant will work directly with apps that you have installed on your phone. Now, these kinds of voice commands

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(Reuters) — The U.S. Supreme Court appeared divided on Wednesday as it considered whether to protect Alphabet Inc’s Google from a long-running lawsuit by Oracle accusing it of infringing Oracle copyrights to build the Android operating system that runs most of the world’s smartphones.

The shorthanded court, down one justice following last month’s death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, heard oral arguments in Google’s appeal of a lower court ruling reviving the lawsuit in which Oracle has sought at least $8 billion in damages.

Some of the eight justices expressed concern that Google simply copied Oracle’s software code instead of innovating and creating its own for mobile devices. Others emphasized that siding with Oracle could give software developers too much power with potentially harmful effects on the technology industry.

A jury cleared Google in 2016, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned that decision in

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Samsung’s One UI 3.0 update, which incorporates Android 11’s new features alongside some Samsung-specific improvements, has started rolling out in public beta in the US, SamMobile reports. The software is reportedly available for the T-Mobile variants of Samsung’s Galaxy S20 lineup, including the standard S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra, though the rollout should expand in the hours and days ahead. If you’ve got a supported device, you can enroll in the beta via the Samsung Members app.

Thanks to the earlier developer beta release, we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from One UI 3.0. There are minor UI tweaks like being able to touch and hold an app to quickly access its widgets, or double-tapping the home screen to turn off the phone’s display. A full list of these Samsung-specific improvements, which also include include DeX, stock app, and Bixby updates, can be found

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Microsoft Lumia 950 Windows 10 Mobile

The overwhelming majority of smartphones on the market today are powered by Android or iOS, but it wasn’t long ago that Microsoft was in the game with Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile.

Windows 10 Mobile was Microsoft’s last attempt to gain traction with a smartphone operating system. It offered a distinctive Live Tile interface, a desktop mode for external displays, and support for universal Windows apps.

Unfortunately, the Achilles Heel for Microsoft’s latest mobile OS continued to be a lack of apps compared to Android and iOS. This would be a significant contributing factor to the platform’s demise, but did you know that Microsoft was in the advanced stages of bringing Android app support to Windows 10 Mobile?

Project Astoria

Microsoft's Project Astoria initiative.

Microsoft initially developed multiple software “bridges” for Windows 10 Mobile, with the purpose of helping developers easily port their apps from legacy Windows, iOS, and Android. The first two

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Google already has efforts to improve Android security, such as speeding updates and offering bug bounties, but it’s now ramping things up by disclosing flaws for software it didn’t write. The company has launched an Android Partner Vulnerability Initiative (via XDA-Developers) to manage security flaws it discovers that are specific to third-party Android devices. Google hopes to both “drive remediation” (read: prompt faster patch releases) and warn users about potential problems.



a hand holding a cellphone: Huawei P30 and P30 Pro running Android


Huawei P30 and P30 Pro running Android

The company added that its initiative had already addressed a number of Android issues. It didn’t mention companies by name in a blog post, but a bug tracker for the program mentioned several manufacturers. Huawei had issues with insecure device backups in 2019, for example. Oppo and Vivo phones had sideloading vulnerabilities. ZTE had weaknesses in its message service and browser autofill. Other affected vendors included Meizu, chip maker MediaTek, Digitime,

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James Gosling, the father of Java, one of the world’s most widely used programming languages, has talked with research scientist Lex Fridman about Java’s origins and his motivations for creating a language that would be used on tens of billions of devices and become central to the development of Android at Google. 

Gosling designed Java 25 years ago while at Sun Microsystems. In 2009, Java would be one of the key reasons Oracle acquired Sun. According to Oracle, today there are 51 billion active Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) deployed globally. 

But long before Oracle’s acquisition of Sun, Gosling said he and a team at Sun “kind of worried that there was stuff going on in the universe of computing that the computing industry was missing out on” – what would become today’s Internet of Things.

“It was all about what was happening in terms of computing hardware, processors and networking

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Given you’re reading this story, the chances are that you’re somewhat cyber aware. If I was to send you a file attachment in a text message—let’s say a Word or PDF document, you’re hopefully programmed to ask a whole set of questions before opening or saving that attachment to your phone. Do I know the sender? Was I expecting the file? But what if it was just a photo—something amusing or attention-grabbing to keep or share? You can view the image within the messaging app, you can see what you’re getting, surely there’s no harm in saving it to your photo album?

If only that was the case. The fact is that a malicious image has the same capacity to damage your device and steal your data as a malicious attachment. The only difference is that it’s a more sophisticated attack, which makes it rarer. We saw the latest

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Image: Zscaler

special feature


Securing Your Mobile Enterprise

Mobile devices continue their march toward becoming powerful productivity machines. But they are also major security risks if they aren’t managed properly. We look at the latest wisdom and best practices for securing the mobile workforce.

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Google has removed this week 17 Android applications from the official Play Store. The 17 apps, spotted by security researchers from Zscaler, were infected with the Joker (aka Bread) malware.

“This spyware is designed to steal SMS messages, contact lists, and device information, along with silently signing up the victim for premium wireless application protocol (WAP) services,” Zscaler security researcher Viral Gandhi said this week.

The 17 malicious apps were uploaded on the Play Store this month and didn’t get a chance to gain a following, having been downloaded more than 120,000 times before being detected.

The names of the 17 apps were:

  • All
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