Recent Articles | Android Central

Headlines

1 month ago

OxygenOS 2.2.1 for OnePlus X brings security patch update and bug fixes

1
1 month ago

Kik's new Bot Shop turns the chat app into an assistant

12

Messaging app Kik is giving people more chatting options with the addition of bots. Partnering with brands like Funny or Die, Sephora, and Vine, Kik Bots can find funny videos, check the weather, or give you makeup tips. To make it easy to find bots, Kik has built the Bot Shop.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Twitter adds new Message button to quickly share tweets with DM contacts

2

Twitter users now have a faster way to share other tweets with the people that they choose to Direct Message. A new Message button has been added to its Android and iOS apps that allows that to happen much more quickly than before.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

WhatsApp turns on end-to-end encryption for its 1 billion users

30

The Facebook-owned WhatsApp has announced that going forward, messages, voice calls, and sharing of photos and videos, are now encrypted end-to-end. Now people using WhatsApp on any platform can send anything to another user, and it will be inaccessible to anyone except the recipient. Not even WhatsApp itself can get in.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

The how and why of third-party music widgets

35

Music makes us better. Their widgets need to get better.

Music is a very important function of my phone, and it's the most important widget on my home screen. If I can only fit one widget on my screen around my totally awesome wallpapers, it's the music widget. Problem is, a lot of widgets from the top music streaming apps just don't look that great. They have buttons we don't need, they don't have the buttons we want, they don't resize well, and they just don't get along with a lot of themes.

Thankfully, we have choices.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

STARZ morphs into the one app for all your entertainment needs

1

STARZ has morphed its collection of apps together into a single experience. STARZ Play, ENCORE Play and MOVIEPLEX Play have combined to create the ultimate STARZ app. The app has also been met by a new design and improved overall functionality.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Bubba Watson blasts his way onto your phone with Bubbamoji!

6

You're Bubba Watson. You already own two green jackets and are looking for a third this week at The Masters golf tournament. You've got a hovercraft golf cart. Played Bubba Claus. Host Bubba's Bash. Did, uh, this thing. You were just featured on CBS' "60 Minutes.". You're part owner in one of minor-league baseball's top organizations. And you've got more trick shots than one man should be able to pull off.

So what's next?

Bubbamoji, of course.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Android Auto update removes interaction limit on Google Play Music when your car is parked

36

Android Auto, since launch, has always limited user interactions with the screen to just six taps. That is, until today, when an Android Auto app update made a big improvement by letting you interact with your Google Play Music as much as you want ... so long as your car is parked.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

The best way to set up your fingerprint on the Galaxy S7

54

It's super easy to set up, but making it work perfectly can take some time.

For the most part, setting up and using the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S7 is exactly as easy as it's supposed to be. You go through the 13-part process of recording your finger on the sensor, and in exchange you get the ability to unlock your phone quickly and use your fingerprint as your password wherever it is supported.

As long as you're down with using your fingerprint like this, it's one of the best setups available today. That is, as long as you set it up correctly.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Google is updating its Play family of apps with a unified icon design

95

Google has announced that it will be rolling out a new set of icons to its Play family of apps. The suite of apps includes Google Play, Play Store, Play Movies & TV, Play Music, Play Games, Play Books and Play Newsstand. All of the icons now have the same triangular design so at a glance they look similar, yet they each feature a distinction to make it easy to recognize the app.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

AC editors' apps of the week: Attack the Light, Foodora, Miitomo and more

19

Our weekly app picks

It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.

Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Snoopy and the Bat-Watch are just a few of the faces in the Gear S2 watch face roundup

27

A blend of features, and simplicity in this week's watch face round up.

There are plenty of watch faces that are available on the Samsung Store to help you customize your experience. Trying to wade through all of them can be a serious pain though, especially when you can't go scrolling through the store from your computer. To help you out we've grabbed 5 watch faces available for your Samsung Gear S2 that you may not have seen quite yet.

See if we've found your favorite watch face!

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Alone at the top: RBC and the mobile payment coup

16

It's early days, but mobile banking in Canada is already very competitive.

There aren't as many banks in Canada as there are in the United States, which has allowed the top ones — namely RBC Royal Bank, TD Canada Trust, CIBC, Scotiabank and BMO — to maintain a relatively large share of customers, and of regulatory influence.

But sprawling, monolithic organizations tend to get fat and lazy on their piles of presumed profit, and for years the Canadian banks didn't do much to brace for the impact of mobile computing.

Things changed in late 2011 with partnerships between two sets of Canada's leading companies in their respective categories: Rogers and CIBC; and RBC and Bell. The pilot projects were meant to bring mobile payments to Canadians at a time when few phones supported the necessary technologies, such as NFC and Secure Element SIM cards. For years, the banks relied on the carriers because there was no other way to store confidential PAN (primary account number) credentials — they had to stay on the SIM card itself.

But in late 2013, alongside Android 4.4 KitKat, Google unveiled a new initiative, Host Card Emulation, with the goal of moving those all-important credentials from a physical SIM card to the cloud. Working with Visa and MasterCard, banks like RBC could take ownership of their mobile payment strategies, removing the need for per-device certification and the need to educate the customer on these strange SIM cards that looked the same but cost significantly more.

Now, after being the first to release Host Card Emulation-based payments for all Android devices, RBC has revamped its Android app suite with new, modern designs, separating its unified banking app into two: one for core mobile banking; the other for all payment and wallet-related activities.

According to Linda Mantia, Executive Vice President of Digital, Payments and Cards at RBC, despite competitors like TD Canada Trust recently moving to HCE-based solutions for their Android mobile payments, her company is still way ahead of the pack, both in Canada and the rest of the world.

"We are the leader in North America in fraud [prevention]," says Mantia, referring to the multiple levels of security developed for the solution. The first is the mere use of Host Card Emulation, which allows for more efficient remote improvements of credential storage standards. The other is RBC's own patented dynamic tokenization method, which takes those of the payment networks, namely Visa and MasterCard, and amps the security. Tokens are numeric representatives of a customer's PAN, exposed to the merchant and network in lieu of an actual credit card number. Should that number be stolen or intercepted, the number is almost impossible to decipher.

But regular tokens, like IP leases, can last for days, months or even years if desired, depending on the needs of the issuer. RBC generates a unique token for each transaction — a one-time cryptogram, according to Mantia — that is never reused.

"We are the leader in North America in fraud prevention"

The third advantage to RBC's Secure Cloud, which encompasses the company's mobile payment environment, is the use of a so-called digital master key is generated when the RBC Wallet app is installed on an Android device. When the phone is registered with Secure Cloud, it forms a trust network between the phone itself and the payment network, protecting the dynamic token the entire way through the transaction.

These are all valuable security features, sure, but the reality is that only a small number of people in Canada care about mobile payments right now. Mantia says that number is growing quickly, and the industry is primed for services like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay to bolster the mindshare.

In the meantime, Mantia says that Android-based RBC customers are well served with this two-tiered app approach, which now allows customers to check balances without logging in (in the core app) and purchase gift cards directly from the Wallet app.

Mantia tells me that she sees the smartphone as the future of banking, not just payments, where customers will be able to open accounts, apply for credit, transfer money to friends, make in-store and in-app payments, and do comprehensive budgeting, in the same place.

"We are in the early innings of mobile banking"

She separates mobile payments — the physical act of paying for items using a smartphone instead of a physical credit card — from the rest of the ecosystem, because she acknowledges that Canada's payment infrastructure is already so mature, and that there needs to be a continuous benefit cycle, which involves more than just the lateral displacement of payments from plastic to phone, to entice mainstream customers.

Many millions of Canadian smartphone users engage in some form of mobile banking. According to a Canadian Banking Association survey done in mid-2015, 31% of Canadians used mobile banking in some form in the previous year, and nearly half anticipated migrating to a predominantly mobile banking future in the next five years.

For Mantia, who says that we are in the "early innings" of mobile banking, the most important place her company can be is as far ahead of her competitors as possible. That won't translate to overnight success, but in the meantime there are fancy new Android apps to peruse.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

Samsung Galaxy S6 on Verizon is the first to get the April security patch

30

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge owners on Verizon are currently being treated to a Marshmallow update on the day typically reserved for terrible pranks in the tech world, and it looks like there's something extra in this build of Android 6.0.1. If you take a look at the security patch level for these phones, you'll see it reads April 2, 2016. This is unusual for a couple of reasons, but it's true nonetheless. The Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge have received the latest security patch from Google before it has even been announced, not to mention before Nexus and BlackBerry phones have received the full patch update.

Read more and comment

 
1 month ago

A deeper look at themes on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

93

Samsung's theme engine has been improved dramatically on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, completing the concept from the previous generation.

Theming your phone can be a complicated but deeply rewarding project. Even with in-depth instructions and a tutorial video, a frequent response to some of the incredible themes assembled by our own Ara Wagoner is asking why there isn't a one-button solution that applies the theme automatically. Last year we started to see that exact feature roll out in various forms from Samsung, HTC, LG, and Cyanogen. Each system presented their own unique set of problems, but Samsung's has shown the most growth and improvement from the early days.

Here's what you need to know about Samsung themes on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages