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3 years ago

Making sense of the latest Android 'Master Key' security scare

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No spin, no bullshit, just clear simple talk about what's going on this time

Some real talk about this exploit that the Bluebox security team discovered is needed. The first thing to know is that you’re probably affected. It’s an exploit that works on every device that’s not been patched since Android 1.6. If you’ve rooted and ROM'd your phone, you can freely ignore all of this. None of this counts for you, because there is a whole different set of security concerns that comes with root and custom ROMs for you to worry about.

If you don’t have the infamous “Unknown Sources” permission box checked off in your settings, this all means nothing to you. Carry on, and feel free to be a little smug and self-righteous — you deserve it for eschewing sideloading all this time in case something like this could happen. If you don't know what this means, ask someone

For the rest of us, read past the break.

More: IDG News Service.

Special thanks to the whole Android Central Ambassador team for helping me make sense of this!

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3 years ago

'Double speed' EE 4G launched in 12 UK cities

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Download speeds of 40Mbps or more enabled by new 2x20MHz LTE network

As promised, network operator EE has launched "double speed" 4G LTE in some twelve British cities today. The new, faster speeds are enabled by allocating more of EE's spectrum to its LTE network — it's now using 2x20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum instead of 2x10MHz. This brings theoretical transfer rates of up to 150Mbps, with real world speeds averaging around 30-40Mbps. In practice we've seen download speeds regularly hit 40-50Mbps in London and Manchester, with throughput reaching highs of 78-79Mbps in some areas.

The new "double speed" 4G is available today in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield, with Derby and Nottingham being two last-minute additions to the list.

If you're on EE in any of these cities, be sure to run a speed test or two and let us know if you're seeing faster transfer rates.

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3 years ago

White Nexus 4 now sold out on Google Play

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White N4 'no longer available for sale,' says Google Play Store

Once an elusive beast captured only in blurry-cam photos from far corners of the world, it seems the white Nexus 4 has disappeared back into the shadows, at least for the moment. The device is now sold out on the U.S. Google Play Store, where both the 8 and 16-gigabyte versions are marked as "no longer available for sale." So if you're after a Nexus in this exclusive color, you'll have to look a little further afield — various sellers are still listing the device on eBay, for instance.

The white Nexus 4 hasn't been offered for sale through Google Play outside of the United States, though an LG press release did state that it'd be heading to "Asia, Europe and the Middle East" in addition to North America. Despite this, the white version has been hard to track down in many countries — and LG UK wasn't able to confirm to us whether the device would ever hit British shores.

The Nexus 4 is of course still available to buy in the original black color.

More: White Nexus 4 hands-on

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Ridiculously hard running simulation game 'QWOP' lands on Google Play for $0.99

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Well-known developer Noodlecake Studios is bringing the hilariously fun running game QWOP to the Google Play Store. Following up on its long-time success as a web game and more recently an iOS title, QWOP will hit Android with a full set of features including different game modes, leader boards and group competitions. If you're not familiar with the game, QWOP got its start as a running simulation game on the web that used the Q, W, O and P keys (get it?) on the keyboard to control a runner. It sounds easy, but in practice is hilariously hard to master. The game transitions the controls slightly to fit onto the mobile space, using the device's accelerometer to control the player's leaning, and two touch pads on-screen to control the legs.

The new Android version is also fully integrated with Google Play Game Services, meaning that you can link your Google+ account to the game to track achievements, leader boards and get group games going. You will get to test your skills at 100m, Hurdles, Long Jump, Steeplechase and the 50km Walk -- but don't expect to get too far without some serious practice. You can give the game a try on the web at the link below, or wait for the game to go live tomorrow for $0.99.

More: QWOP on the web

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3 years ago

The Droid RAZR HD and RAZR HD MAXX are ready for another soak test

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Verizon's Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR HD MAXX have something cooking up in Motorola's ovens, and emails are going out to potential testers right about now. Users who participate in the Motorola Feedback program and have one of the mentioned handsets are receiving instructions how to register to be included in the upcoming software test, and we imagine quite a few will be saying yes.

For those not familiar with the term, a soak test is one of the final steps where something (in this case software) is tested by a wide range of users under many different conditions. Think of it as sort of a stress test so developers know how things will stand up with continuous use. If you're thinking that sometimes it's not very fun to participate in something like this, you're absolutely right.

Anyhoo, the test emails are going out but we've no idea exactly what is being soaked, erm, tested. It could be Android 4.2.2, or it could be another bug fixing maintenance update to correct issues from the last bug fixing maintenance update -- this sort of thing can be a never ending circle. We'll know more when the participants start to receive the software, because some secrets are too good not to tell.

Thanks to our anonymous tipsters!

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: What is your top social networking feature?

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We've been talking social networking all week here at Mobile Nations, and with close to a Billion Android devices out there, we know the social networks are filled with plenty of Android users. And we have plenty of choice about which social networks we want to use.

While using the same network as our friends is probably the biggest deciding factor, there are other reasons why we pick the service we want to use as our virtual soapbox. Some people have very valid privacy concerns. Others are more interested in the best way to share the pictures and video they take. And some get hooked on the messaging or video chat services these platforms have to offer.

All the popular services are slowly beginning to resemble each other. Messengers, photo and video uploading and sharing, and contact management seem to be the popular issues people think about when they decide which service is the best for them. When we want to know what you guys and gals think, we ask. 

On the sidebar to the right, and after the break, you'll find this week's poll. Take a second and let us know what you think the most important feature of a good social network is. My answer? I share everything with the public. I don't need fancy privacy settings (though i appreciate that they are there) or contact management. My big feature is photo storage and sharing. Be sure to tell us what you want.

Before we go, let's revisit last week's poll.

Are you ordering a Google Play Edition phone?

Pretty convincing and expected result there. We knew going in that these weren't going to be mainstream devices, and your choice echoes that.

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3 years ago

Strategy & Tactics: WWII and Tiny Token Empires just $0.99 each for July 4th

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Recognized Top Developer on Google Play HeroCraft Ltd has put up two of its great games on sale today to celebrate the Fourth of July Holiday. From today until July 5th, both Strategy & Tactics: WWII and Tiny Token Empires are cut down to just $0.99 each from $4.99 and $2.99, respectively. Strategy & Tactics is a more serious game focused on replaying the actions of World War II between the different world powers with turn-based gameplay. Tiny Token Empires on the other hand is a more light-hearted game that mixes strategy with brain teaser puzzle games set in the Roman times.

Both games have already seen their discounts go live in the Play Store at the links above, so go take advantage of these great deals on top-rated games while you can.

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3 years ago

The new Android Central Photography forums are open and feature Photosphere embedding

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A great place to talk about the camera on your Android phone, and share the great pictures you take with it

The new Android Central Photography forums are now open for business! Our Android phones are for more than calling and texting, and taking photos to share with friends and family is now a great reason to have one. Cameras are advancing, and while their probably never going to be as good as professional equipment, we've seen some awesome pictures snapped with the camera that's always in your pocket -- the smart phone.

All of us here at AC are big picture takers as well. We know what it's like to have questions, or want to talk about the best way to use our phone cameras, and of course share pictures. Part of being a blogger for a big site like AC means learning how to take the best pictures you can, and we're often out and about depending on our phone to get the shot. You guys deserve nothing less than our best. We can't wait to talk and share with you guys and gals!

One really great tool we've been working on is being able to embed your photosphere pictures right into your forums post. A whole lot of reading, a little bit of sweat and a cold bottle of refreshment or two later, and we have it up and running. In fact, we've got a dedicated forum designed for sharing them and we really want to see them all! There are full instructions with a video about how to post them, and it's a pretty easy affair. 

So get your lenses wiped clean, grab your best pictures, and head into the forums to share with the world. We'll see you there!

Join us in the Android Central Photography forums

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3 years ago

Moto X custom color back plates allegedly caught on camera

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Candy colored Moto X back plates appear in alleged leaked photos

And just like that we're seeing what's supposedly some of the custom colors that Motorola will be offering for the upcoming Moto X phone. Earlier we passed along the news that sources at ABC say the customization options consist largely of colored shells, and the French blog NoWhereElse has scored some images.

Their source says there will be a total of 16 different colors to choose from, including subdued tones like blue and more bold colors like the ones pictured. We can only assume that the front facing shell will be using the same palatte if these photos are accurate. Hit the break to see two more pictures.

Via: Android Community

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3 years ago

Google Play highlights great apps with the 'Beautiful Design Collection'

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A set of apps that show off the highest quality of design and function on Android today

Every so often Google Play will put up "collections" of apps that fall into a certain genre or fit with a current season or holiday. This time the Android Design Team is taking time to highlight 11 apps that have taken design to the next level with the "Beautiful Design Summer 2013 Collection". In a blog post detailing the criteria for the collection, the team explains what makes an app "beautiful":

"Transitions are fast and clear, layout and typography are crisp and meaningful, and design touches that delight you in surprising ways are sprinkled throughout."

They have made up a list of 11 apps that exemplify these ideals -- Pattrn, Pocket, Timer, Eye in Sky Weather, NY Times, Grand St., Pinterest, Press, Expedia, Flipboard and TED -- of what great Android design looks like. And that doesn't mean that every one of these apps follows Android's Design Guidelines pixel-for-pixel, either. They're called guidelines and not requirements for a reason, because Google thinks that it is possible to make an app feel coherent to the Android aesthetic while still keeping its own personality.

The team encourages all Android developers to take a look at these apps to get a feel for the design details necessary to "separate good apps from great ones." For users, you may want to grab a download of some of these as great examples of what is possible with Android apps today.

Beautiful Design Collection on Google Play

Source: Android Developers Blog

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3 years ago

Moto X customization details leaked: custom colors, engraving, your photo as wallpaper

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In addition, sensors and new software services are outlined by alleged insiders

Sources at ABC News say they have confirmed details of the upcoming Moto X, and have outlined the supposed customization options. While many were hoping for things like choosing the internals, things are sounding more realistic -- at least according to ABC's sources.

Through a website, buyers will be able to select from a palette of different colors. One color can be used for the back case and another can be selected for the trim of the phone. Users will also be able to engrave a name or message on the back cover as well as upload a personal photo through the site to be used as the wallpaper on the phone's screen, according to people familiar with the rollout.

In addition, they say the phone will be running Android 4.2.2, which is currently being tested by U.S. carriers. The device is said to be available for purchase online as well as from carrier stores, though no pricing details were mentioned.

More interesting is the alleged confirmation of the new sensors and "smart" technology Motorola will be building into the device. Examples given were flicking the phone to open the camera app, extended voice recognition services, and the ability to sense when you're driving and activating the speaker phone. 

This may not be as "fully customizable" as people wanted or as we were led to believe by Motorola's recent ad, but be honest -- an Android Green version with a Lloyd engraving would be sweet. Where do I sign up?

Source: ABC News

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3 years ago

HTC One Mini pictured in black ahead of release

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The best shots of the HTC One Mini yet, with a few more details on build materials and software

Following up quickly on leaked documents that show an impending release of larger and smaller versions of the HTC One on O2 in Germany, we now have solid images of the HTC One Mini. As you can see from the picture, the device really is just a smaller HTC One, although not drastically so because we're talking about less than a half inch difference in diagonal screen size. Based on the images we have here, the rim around the outside of the One Mini appears to be the same (or similar) plastic as is injected into the antenna slots on the back rather than metal, but we'll have to wait for an official release to see for ourselves.

The leak also pins down the specs that were rumored before: a 4.3-inch 720x1280 display, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Those in contact with the device also say it is running Android 4.2.2, building on the fact that it is rolling out OTA for the original HTC One currently. Stick around after the break for two more images of the One Mini.

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3 years ago

ZEN & TECH 55: Parenting; Keeping kids safe on social

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ZEN & TECH is our mobile lifestyle podcast, focusing not just on our phones, tablets, and gadgets, but how we can use technology to help us live better, richer, happier lives. It's how we center our inner geeks! On today's show, Georgia and Rene tie into Talk Mobile 2013 and, as part of our ongoing parenting series, look at how we can handle kids going online and onto social networks, from when they're very young, to when they're legally adults.

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3 years ago

Barnes & Noble drops Nook prices to £99/£149 in the UK, US price drops extended

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The latest Nook tablets, now with Google Play access, receive price drops

We've known about the impending demise of the Nook hardware division of Barnes & Noble for some time now, but that's not stopping them from putting out some killer deals on their not-long-for-this-world tablet hardware. Starting today, B&N is dropping the price of the Nook HD and HD+ in the U.K. to just £99 and £149, respectively. The current sale in the U.S. is being extended as well to $129 and $149 for the two versions, which start at 8GB of storage on the Nook HD and 16GB on the HD+.

If you're interested in picking up a cheap tablet that now has access to all of the apps on Google Play with some solid hardware, now may be the time to jump on a Nook. Hit the appropriate source links below to check them out.

More: Nook HD / Nook HD+ (U.S.)

Nook HD / Nook HD+ (U.K.)

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Tablet Z video walkthrough

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A 10-inch 1080p display. Water resistance. Eight-megapixel Exmor RS camera. 4G LTE support. Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core. The Sony Xperia Tablet Z certainly seems to check all the relevant boxes for a high-end, big-screen Android tablet, while packing its impressive internals into a thin and light chassis. But Sony isn't the first Android OEM to attempt to break into the large form factor tablet space, a section of the market dominated by Apple's full-size iPad. Meanwhile smaller, cheaper Android tablets have achieved greater success than their full-sized, full-priced brethren.

So how does Sony's super-thin 10-incher measure up? Check out our video walkthrough after the break. We'll have a full review headed your way in the days ahead.

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