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4 years ago

Lookout -- a full security solution for your Android phone

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 lookout security 

Here at Android Central, we don't just report the Android news and review the new gear. We actually use Android phones, so we're always searching for apps and tools that make our own phones work better for us. Lately, it seems like security issues (or overblown non-issues) are crawling out of the woodwork, so the search was on for a solution that takes care of any concerns, without getting in the way.

After all was said and done, Lookout seemed to rise to the top.  Not only does Lookout address any concerns you may have with malware, it turns out that it's an excellent backup and tracking solution.  Follow after the break, while I take a good look at Lookout and even put it through the paces a bit.

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4 years ago

From the Forums: Resistance is futile

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Android Forums at Android Central 

If you haven't checked them out, you really need to take a gander through the Android Central Forums. They hold many many wonders, a few of which you can see below:

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4 years ago

LG Optimus Z Review

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LG Optimus Z

LG has remained a bit of an enigma in the U.S. smartphone market, never quite able to break through with a high-end device. But that doesn't mean they're not out there. Case in point: The LG Optimus Z.

We've spent a few days with the Korean version of the phone (also known as the Cyon SU950) and have learned a few things about it, about Android, and about ourselves. Let's everybody join hands, after the break.

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4 years ago

Google responds to app piracy primer

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 piracy bad

Google has responded to an article written this week by Android Police that teaches how to subvert the new Android Market licensing server, issuing a quick acknowledgement, and a promise to revisit the situation soon.

The story clearly stated that it wasn't intended to show how to pirate apps, though it included directions (and even a video) telling how to hack your way around the new application security measures Google enabled in the Market recently.

Here's want Google is saying about the subject for now, as written by Tim Bray:

  • The licensing service, while very young, is a significant step forward in terms of protection over the plain copy-protection facility that used to be the norm. In the how-to-pirate piece, its author wrote: “For now, Google’s Licensing Service is still, in my opinion, the best option for copy protection.”
  • The licensing service provides infrastructure that developers can use to write custom authentication checks for each of their applications. The first release shipped with the simplest, most transparent imaginable sample implementation, which was written to be easy to understand and modify, rather than security-focused.
  • Some developers are using this sample as-is, which makes their applications easier to attack. The attacks we’ve seen so far are also all on applications that have neglected to obfuscate their code, a practice that we strongly recommend. We’ll be publishing detailed instructions for developers on how to do this.
  • The number of apps that have migrated to the licensing server at this point in time is very small. It will grow, because the server is a step forward.
  • 100% piracy protection is never possible in any system that runs third-party code, but the licensing server, when correctly implemented and customized for your app, is designed to dramatically increase the cost and difficulty of pirating.
  • The best attack on pirates is to make their work more difficult and expensive, while simultaneously making the legal path to products straightforward, easy, and fast. Piracy is a bad business to be in when the user has a choice between easily purchasing the app and visiting an untrustworthy, black-market site.

We have to agree here.  While the current system is not perfect, it's far better than no protection for developers at all.  And as Bray points out, the GLS is a place to start and a framework that developers on which developers can improve. Software piracy is always going to be a big concern for application developers, and tutorials about how to circumvent it will only keep the big software houses away from the Market.  

Make no mistake -- we promote and encourage hacking your phone, provided it's the "good hacking" we're talking about.  But unlocking, rooting and customizing hardware you paid for is very different from software theft.  We applaud Google for facing this one head on, and look forward to their follow up.  [Android Developers Blog]

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4 years ago

Android App Review: Galcon [video]

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Before switching to Android, Galcon easily was my favorite game on the iPod Touch. The developer has been hard at work and has finally released a full port of the game for Android. To play, you use your single starting planet to launch ships to expand and fight opponents for control of the map. Basically, "all your planets are belong to us" sums it up nicely.

You get five game types in single player; each has its own twist on the gameplay. A scalable AI difficulty means you will always have a challenge. The real meat of the game is in the multiplayer, which works great over Wifi and 3G connections. You get up to four player free-for-alls along with 2v2 or 1v1 servers, if that is more your thing. The game also features full leaderboards and forums on the devloper's website.  

Galcon is out now on the Android Market for $2.99 and is quite honestly a steal considering how much time you will spend on it. Check out my video review past the break to see internet spaceships in action and the usual market links. 

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S Gorilla Glass demo -- Korean style

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gorilla glass

It's OK to shudder when you look at this picture of someone taking a wood screw to the Gorilla Glass screen of a Galaxy S smartphone.  I did, too.  When we reported that Samsung is using Gorilla Glass in their Galaxy S phones, a couple people wanted to see a demo -- you know, a key scratching against the glass or something of that sort.  Enter those lovely, crazy Koreans.  They certainly know how to do up video with style, and this one is no exception.  Brace yourself for a smartphone snuff film after the break. [ShoppingDaNaWa via howetechnical]

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4 years ago

Samsung releases official teaser for the Galaxy Tab coming Sept. 2 in Berlin

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 Galaxy Tab

Samsung has released an official teaser for the Samsung Galaxy Tab (that name's now official), a 7-inch tablet. The cryptic 20-second teaser, erm, teases:

  • HD video playback
  • 7" screen
  • Android 2.2 (Froyo)
  • Video calling
  • Augmented reality
  • Swype
  • A Sept. 2 coming-out party in Berlin (at the IFA conference).

It is great teaser for the sleek device. Check it out for yourself after the break! [Samsung Mobile's Galaxy Tab page]

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4 years ago

Dell Aero available today from Dell for $99, later from AT&T

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Dell Aero

Dell this morning announced the available of its first Android smartphone (that's not a MID), the Aero. The 3.5-inch device (Gorilla Glass at an, erm, interesting 360x640 resolution) runs a pre-Eclair version of Android but is so heavily skinned you might never actually notice. There's a 5-megapixel camera, 2GB of onboard memory and microSD card, Wifi, Bluetooth, and the other usual bells and whistles.

To go along with the Dell UI, erm, customizations, the usual buttons you'd find at the bottom of the screen have been moved to the side of the device. We'll let that sink in for a moment. ... ... ... OK. Let's all wait until we actually use the Aero before we pass judgment on that one.

The Aero is available now at Dell.com/mobile for $99 with a new AT&T contract, an $299.99 sans contract. It'll be available at AT&T sometime in the future. Dell's official hands-on and full presser are after the break.

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4 years ago

Flightview Android travel app updated, improves itineraries, battery life

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FlightView for AndroidFlightView for Android

Android travel app Flightview -- read our initial review -- just announced an upgrade, adding a trio of improvements. They are:

  • Manage Travel Itineraries - with the updated My Trips feature, users can save grouped flights together, record reservation information and personal notes, and sort saved flights by trip name or date.
  • Plan for Flight Delays – with the upgraded airport delay map, including the new “Low Traffic” indicator, users can get first looks at probable delays in departures or arrivals – ahead of airline announcements.
  • Conserve Battery Life – by optimizing FlightView’s servers, the new Android app allows users to track numerous flights at the same time, share travel information through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, and quickly rebook when flights are delayed or cancelled – all without draining the smartphone’s battery life.

Still missing is support for automatic itinerary -- such as you get through Tripit -- but we're still expecting it at some point. Flightview has been downloaded by more than 40,000 users since its launch in late July, the developer says. It's in the Android Market for 99 cents. Download links after the break. [Press release]

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4 years ago

Motorola Flipout shows off itself in a demo video

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Motorola Flipout

The Motorola Flipout, which we first showed you with AT&T branding in late June, is available in some parts of the world and is already being put through its paces. The basic specs:

  1. 2.8-inch capacitive touchscreen
  2. Android 2.1 (Eclair)
  3. Motoblur
  4. QWERTY keyboard

The Flipout may be coming to the U.S. soon on AT&T. If you live in Canada, however, you can buy it on Rogers right now. For more about the Flipout's look and feel, check out the video after the break. [TracyandMatt]

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab can't keep itself secret, shows up in more pictures

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Galaxy Tab

Samsung's Galaxy Tab has shown up in more pictures, giving us some more looks at the rumored Android tablet. Yesterday, we reported on a video which showed the device out in the wild in Australia. 

The pictures have been gathered by OLED-Display, who have extrapolated some information about the tablet based on the pictures:

  1. It is running Android 2.2 (Froyo)
  2. The display is 1024 x 600
  3. 3.2 M camera 
  4. GPS
  5. 3G
  6. 802.11N wireless network

Samsung's tablet will reportedly be formally introduced at the IFA Conference in Berlin in early September. Until then, I'm sure we haven't seen the last of leaked pictures and videos of the Galaxy Tab.To see more of these pictures, head to the source. [Ifanr.com via OLED-Display]

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4 years ago

Browser comparison -- WinPhone 7, iOS4, Android 2.2

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browser war

It's another browser war, this time with Windows Phone 7 thrown into the mix.  Last time we talked about web browser speed, we saw a bunch of numbers and science, but this time the folks at PocketNow have just placed three phones side by side and let 'er rip.  It's pretty interesting, pretty flawed, and full of edits -- but it's still worth a look.

I won't even begin to point out what all was wrong here, you can figure out that yourself in the comments (and I'm sure you will!), let Windows enjoy its trip to 2010.  I do wish they used some sites heavy on the javascript, or heaven forbid Flash, but we know how that test would have turned out don't we?  Hit the break to check out the video, in Flash, on your Froyo browser.  Don't worry, we include a link back to YouTube for the 'lesser' equipment :)

And for those still waiting on Froyo, don't worry.  As is your phone's browser is equal to the competition.  [Pocketnow.com via WMExperts]

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4 years ago

Twitter for Android updated to 1.0.3

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twitter for Android update

Late last night we noticed that Twitter for Android (the "official" Android Twitter app) was updated to 1.0.3 without a changelog. (Seriously? Changelogs should be mandatory in the Market listing, folks.) After some digging, I found a semi-explanatory post on Twitter (where else to best find Twitter client updates?) explaining that the new version was a patch for some bug fixes, and the client has been improved so that it now uses OAuth for signing in to Twitter.  And nothing earth-shattering or magical was seen.   Grab the update from the Market, if you don;t have Twitter for Android installed, you can grab it after the break.  [via Twitter]

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S and Gorilla Glass combine powers

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samsung galaxy s

Corning today announced that its Gorilla Glass -- an ultra durable alkali-aluminosilicate that can withstand the most uber of scratches – is engineered into all Samsung Galaxy S phones. The company even goes as far to say that its product enhances the performance of the already eye-popping brilliant Super AMOLED display. Now, it’s understood that the Gorilla Glass doesn’t make the screen brighter or crisper, but it certainly does add to the phone’s premium feature set by giving that beautiful screen some much needed protection. All in all, that Super AMOLED screen isn’t as fragile as you might think, and this could definitely be seen as another reason to choose Samsung’s gem over the competition. [via Business Wire]

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4 years ago

Verizon to release update tomorrow to bring Flash to original Droid

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Adobe Flash update for Droid

Motorola Droid owners have been anxiously awaiting an update for Verizon that will bring support for Adobe Flash. We reported last week that Verizon officially announced that the update would be the second one to come after the initial Froyo roll-out. We knew that it was coming, we just didn't have a date. 

Well, Droid-Life has been slipped a screen shot from Verizon stating that the update will be released tomorrow, Aug 24. Great news for Droid owners, who want to add Flash to their mobile experience. Be on the lookout for the update tomorrow! [Droid-Life]

[Ed. note: Any time we use the words "Verizon," "update" and "date" in the same sentence, our mothers and lawyers remind us that there's a better than average chance that we'll get through the target day without anything actually happening. Just saying.]

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