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3 years ago

Android malware scanners -- should you use one?

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Recently we've seen AVG, an Android "security" app marking other applications as malware when they aren't. That's called a false positive, and it's a fairly common occurrence. When it happens to a popular app, it always causes confusion and gets everybody unnecessarily stressed out. This time it also got us thinking -- do people really need to run any type of Android malware scanner, and are they doing more harm than good?

Android malware certainly exists. We take issue with the way it gets reported sometimes, as sensationalism draws focus away from real issues, but we're not foolish enough to pretend that people aren't writing apps designed to cause trouble. But who needs to worry about this sort of thing, and how to stay safe is something that needs discussed. That's what we're going to try and do today, in real-talk that everyone can understand. Hit the break and let's get started.

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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S3 receiving large OTA update

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It looks like many users with the Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3) on Sprint are receiving a relatively large -- about 157MB -- OTA update on their devices. Grant, who sent us the above screenshot, notes that this is a Samsung software update and not a regular firmware update. Sprint's support pages indicate that the update to software version L710VPMA6 brings updates to the voicemail app, adds SMS features and fixes calendar sync issues. Users in the forums have also reported that it fixes a security exploit.

Sprint users have yet to see the update that would bring Samsung's premium suite to the device, and will have to wait a bit longer as this update doesn't have it included. Has your device pulled down the update yet? Let us know here and in the forums what changes you're seeing after the install.

Source: Sprint; More: Sprint Galaxy S3 Forums; Thanks, Grant!

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3 years ago

WeFi Pro: get the most out of public Wifi access

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Many of us are coming to the realization that mobile data limits are, well, limiting. At the same time, public Wifi access has been a major initiative in many large cities and private businesses alike. WeFi Pro, which was previously only available to Cricket customers, is hoping to help users take advantage of the vast amounts of public Wifi available today.

Stick around after the break to see how WeFi Pro could help you cut down on the monthly data charges.

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3 years ago

Archos releases free, ad-supported version of video player app

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One thing that Archos has traditionally done pretty well is video, and back in December they launched a standalone version of the video player app that ships on their Android tablets. With a lengthy feature list, and a well designed UI, the only thing preventing some from giving it a spin was the price. At $4.99 (£3.99) it carried a premium price along with the excellent feature set. 

Now though, Archos has released a free, ad supported version of the app into the Google Play Store. Above all, it gives you a perfect chance to test out the full version of the app without dropping down any green first. It promises to work on both smartphones and tablets, but will require Android 4.x to run. Grab yourselves a copy at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Slacker Radio hits v4.0 with a new UI

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Very popular streaming radio app Slacker Radio has just received a notable update to a completely new user interface. The new UI follows a stark blue and white contrasting design, with some holo-esque features to it such as use of the overflow menu button and clean transitions. Other than that, the new app is generally pretty simple and unique in its design. You still follow a simple design of a homescreen with search and four options -- genres, my music, specialty stations and news/talk/sports -- with the rest of the UI being just lists of stations when you dive deeper.

This is a big step forward in design for Slacker, and it seems to perform as well as it looks. Not to mention that v4.0 slots it right in with the styling of its web interface, which is important. You can grab a free download of the app at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Google Now officially gets widgets in latest Google Search update

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Seems like it was only a couple days ago that we were tipped to home screen and Android 4.2 lock screen widgets for Google Now, and today that update has come, along with a few other trinkets.

First off is that widget. It works on a home screen or lock screen (the latter only if you've got Android 4.2). We not noticing any real customizable settings just yet -- sing out if you see any. But you can at least resize it on the home screen, and you might well need to if it tries to take up a full 4x4 spot by default.

Then there's support for movie passes from Fandango, as well as ratings from Rotten Tomatoes. If you're searching for a home, you'll get real-estate listings from Zillo. In the United States, you'll now see a music button when a song is playing in voice mode. And, as some of you have already noticed this week, there's now support for college sports. (Just in time for March Madness!)

Update: Google's got a blog post detailing the update here.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Sprint pushing out security fix update to Samsung Galaxy Note 2

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Sprint Galaxy Note 2 owners should be looking for an update notification sometime soon, as the carrier has begun to push out a security fix update which bumps the device to version L900VPAMA7. While not particularly exciting, security fixes are important so you'll be wanting to grab it as soon as it becomes available. 

The update is rolling out in stages OTA and Sprint says all users should receive it within 5 days. To check for the update manually, head into Settings>System Update>Update Samsung Software>Check Now. If there's anything else you notice post update, be sure to jump into the comments below, or the forums, and let us know what you've found. 

Source: Sprint via Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Opera hits 300 million users, confirms switch to WebKit and MWC showing of new Android browser

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We first heard of Opera's intentions to switch to WebKit back in January, following the release of a leaked internal video which made mention of the 'Ice' browser. Today, Opera has confirmed the move in a statement which also pins their user base now at 300 million. Whatever 'Ice' turns out to be will have to wait, but Opera's new browser for Android will be on show for the first time at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in a couple of weeks. 

That's not to say that 'Ice' isn't real though, Opera has confirmed its existence as one a series of R&D projects: 

Opera is also experimenting with WebKit in several research and development projects, and many of you got a peek of one of them, codenamed ‘ICE’, last month. As a leading innovator in browsers, we are very excited that ICE received such great buzz. We will provide more information about ICE and other exciting R&D projects in the future, but as we are also really proud of our new browser on Android and our Opera Web Pass operator offering, those products will be the main focus at MWC

In addition to WebKit, Opera also intends to make use of the Chromium Project too in future releases of its browsers for both computers and mobile devices. Of course, we'll be on the ground in Barcelona as everything unfolds starting in little under 2 weeks. 

Source: Opera

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3 years ago

Gotta catch 'em all, with Pokemon TV for Android

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Here's one for all the kids -- and big kids-- out there. Pokemon TV has been released into the Google Play Store bringing with it hours upon hours of cartoon battling fun. We've all come across Pokemon at some point, be it on the old Nintendo Game Boy's, or the cartoons, or the trading cards, and there's probably a good few of you guys out there that will be secretly -- or not so secretly -- delighted by this.

Pokemon TV is an official application, completely free of charge, and promises fresh episodes every week. It's good for both phones and tablets, we've had no problems installing it on a range of devices, and only requires Gingerbread and above. Grab yourselves a copy at the Play Store link above, and go ahead and pretend you downloaded it for the kids. We won't tell. 

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3 years ago

Three UK pushing out Jelly Bean update for HTC One S

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HTC started pushing out the Android 4.1.1 update to eager owners of the unlocked, international One S back on Christmas Eve. Fast forward just over a month and Three UK has today announced that they have begun to push out the Jelly Bean update to their own, carrier branded HTC One S owners. 

To snag the update for yourselves, head into Settings>About>Software Updates and start hammering on the check now option. As ever with these things though, it won't hit all of the people straight away, so a healthy dose of patience may be also be required. 

The update to Jelly Bean on the HTC One S brings with it the latest version of Sense, Sense 4+. It's a hefty download though, weighing in at over 600MB so you're likely going to want to tackle it on WiFi. If you've already managed to snag it, be sure to jump into the comments below and share with us how you're finding it. 

Source: Three UK

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3 years ago

Foursquare adds features, refreshes interface in latest update

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Everyone's favorite social check in service Foursquare has just pushed out a notable update in the Play Store, bringing a refreshed UI, some new features and a lot of polish. The previous UI wasn't bad or ugly by any stretch, but the Foursquare team has managed to add a bit more functionality and design to this latest update. The main homescreen is now a bit cleaner, with a universal "explore" search bar at the top and options to check in, see your last location and add a photo at the bottom of the screen. A now Android-standard swipe to the right reveals a settings screen to access your profile, lists, settings and friends -- although curiously there's still a very iOS-like menu slide button in the upper left corner.

The Check In screen has received a facelift as well, with some cleaner lines and little more visual flare. The text box asking "What are you up to?" is now more prominently laid over a map of the check in location with an option to add a picture still prominently set to the right of it. There's still a bit more cleaning up and unification of the UI to go, but things are looking better with each update.

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3 years ago

Real Racing 3 coming Feb. 28, speeding down the freemium route in the process

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Some great news has emerged for those eagerly awaiting the arrival of the latest in the Real Racing series, Real Racing 3. The title now has a release date, and a price. The so far stunning looking title will be dropping into Google Play on Feb. 28 and will be a completely free download. 

That's right, Real Racing 3 will be a freemium title. Knowing that would be met with mixed reaction, the developers, Firemonkeys, made a statement regarding the decision:

Today we announced Real Racing 3 will be free. And yes, Real Racing 3 was designed from the ground up to be a free to play experience. We are so excited about this game and wanted it to be accessible to everyone so we didn't want there to be any barriers to entry. This accessibility is also what drives the awesome new Time Shifted Multiplayer feature, in that you can play competitive multiplayer with anyone any time, and they don't need to be online with you at the same time. At launch we have 46 licensed vehicles covering 3 classes, a 22 car grid, real world tracks, 8 varied event types and 900+ events. This means hundreds of hours of gameplay for free making this one of the most expansive games ever on mobile. We plan to continue to add more free and exciting content with every update.

Doesn't sound all that scary, and being free to download will potentially drive higher initial download figures. In any case,  we're looking forward to this one a lot, and thankfully we only have a couple more weeks to wait. 

Source: Firemonkeys via Facebook

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3 years ago

Shapes & Sound: a beautifully designed and Android-exclusive game

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Retro-style arcade games are definitely "in" right now, and the new title Shapes & Sound: The Shape Shooter is a great offering in this quickly expanding genre. Shapes & Sound brings a clearly well thought-out game from end-to-end, with awesome gameplay, soundtrack, graphics and performance that all add up to a great experience.

Oh, and did we mention this is an Android-exclusive title? Read on past the break and see what it's all about.

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3 years ago

DashClock Widget for Android 4.2

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I've made no secret about my outright displeasure for the new lock screen widgets in Android 4.2. Clunky, for one, often lacking style for another. 

DashClock Widget is quickly changing my mind. It's the work of Roman Nurik, a Googler and Android design guy and was released this morning to Google Play and as open-source code.

The widget itself is devilishly simple. Add it to the Android 4.2 lock screen like you would any other widget. From there you add "extensions." At launch you've got extensions for weather, missed calls and texts, your next calendar appointment, unread e-mails and your next scheduled alarm. Chances are we should see additional extensions pretty quickly. (Here's hoping for some world clock love, which is the only thing I'm missing from the stock Android lock screen clock.) Want to get rid of an extension? Just swipe it away. Nice.

This one's free, it's open-source, and it's definitely worth a look. Hit the link above, and ease on past the break for a little hands-on action if you need more convincing.

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3 years ago

BlueStacks brings Android apps to Microsoft Surface Pro

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BlueStacks, which is a product that lets users run Android apps on Windows computers, is releasing a new version today that brings the functionality to Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface Pro. Until today, BlueStacks has only been available for Windows 7 and Mac OSX. The latest version of BlueStacks fully supports Windows 8 -- including new features like charms bar support and rotation support -- but is also optimized for the recently released Surface Pro.

BlueStacks has partnerships with several OEMs already, and users have made over 5 million downloads of the software directly from its website alone. The software is also free, which is fantastic for Windows 8 users looking to try out the experience of running Android apps on their PC's with full touch capabilities. You can get more information and grab a download at the source link below.

Source: BlueStacks

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