Recent Articles | Android Central

Pre-order Samsung Galaxy S8: AT&T | Verizon | T-Mobile | Sprint

Headlines

1 week ago

At just $21 you won't be afraid to try some tricks with this mini drone

9

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a great deal on a mini drone!

Update: This popular deal is back again with a new coupon code. Be sure to use code AUKEMINI at checkout for the savings!

Right now you can pick up Aukey's mini-drone for just $21 at Amazon with coupon code AUKEMINI, a savings of $9. You can control this drone with your smartphone, allowing you to fly it just about anywhere, and once you get good at flying it you can even start performing some tricks as well. It takes off and lands easily with just a single tap, and the controls are super responsive so you won't have to worry about delays. It comes with two extra sets of propellers, just in case you happen to crash and break one.

Being so small you can pack in just about any bag so you can keep it with you at all times. Remember to use coupon code AUKEMINI for the full savings. Will you be learning to fly with Aukey's drone? Let us know in the comments!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Best Cases for the Samsung Galaxy J7

What are the best cases for the Samsung Galaxy J7?

Samsung's annual flagships steal all the attention, but their mid-range phones like the Galaxy J7 are surprisingly solid options for significantly less coin.

If you've got yourself a Galaxy J7, you're probably going to want to keep it protected with a case, no? The compromise here is that the bigger accessory makers don't typically make cases from mid-range phones like the Galaxy J7, however, that doesn't mean there aren't quality cases available. Better yet, all the cases we've featured here are under $10!

TJS Hybrid Carbon Fiber Slim Fit Case

If you're looking for rugged protection for your Galaxy J7, this two-piece case should fit the bill. The first layer of protection is a flexible TPU sleeve that includes shock-absorbing patterns on the inside, offers grip around the sides, and provides ample protection for the camera on the front. Around the front, a raised lip ensures your phone's screen is protected when you lay your phone face down on a surface. It also ships with a tempered glass screen protector which is a nice bonus.

The most arresting feature of this stylish and protective case is the carbon fiber pattern on the backside. Of course, this is just one of the styles available through Amazon if you're looking for a more flashy case.

See at Amazon

LK Ultra Slim Clear Case

If you're looking for a slim, clear case for your phone, LK has you covered. This case barely adds any bulk to your phone while keeping it protected with tough, shock-absorbing TPU. Precise cutouts ensure you always have easy access to all the buttons, controls and ports.

This case also helps with grip, both in your hands and when you've placed your phone on a surface. If you're looking for something with a bit more color to it, you'll find four other options on Amazon — Black, Hot Pink, Mint, and Purple.

See at Amazon

LK Armor Defender Case

LK's Armor Defender case looks to deliver a tough case that feels comfortable in your hands. So what you get here is a rugged two-piece design that combines a shock resistant silicone sleeve coupled with a hard back PC bumper. The back plate features a pattern of raised bumps which will greatly help with grip.

This case includes precision cutouts for the ports, buttons, and camera on the back, so your phone's functionality is never affected. It's also available in a range of color options, from the standard black to two-color combos. You're sure to find one that fits your style.

See at Amazon

Abacus24-7 Slim Bumper Wallet Case

Looking for a premium leather look for your phone without paying a premium price? Abacus24-7 offers a very stylish case option for your Galaxy J7 that doubles as a card holder on the back. it's made with a combination of TPU and synthetic leather materials, this case offers basic protection for the back, sides and corners of your phone while also providing a raised lip around the front of your phone.

On the back, you'll find the card pocket with can accommodate up to two cards — say a credit card and your ID. This is a slim and functional way to reduce the number of items on your personal carry while also providing protection for your phone.

See at Amazon

LK Luxury PU Leather Wallet Case

If you really like the idea of keeping your phone and your wallet in one place, you should get an LK luxury wallet case for your Galaxy J7. It allows you to carries the phone, some cash, and three credit cards in one pocket.

The synthetic leather comes in four colors, from a classic black to more vibrant color options. The magnetic closure is secure and the TPU inner shell offers shock resistance, covering the edges and corners of your phone.

LK's wallet case also folds into a sturdy kickstand for hands-free operating. You'll still have access to all the buttons and ports, including your camera, without removing your phone.

See at Amazon

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Did you know YouTube had a dark mode?

34

Not everything needs a "Dark Mode" but YouTube looks real nice in black.

Google has been flirting with a "Dark Mode" in Android for a little while now, but it looks like YouTube is taking that experience to the web. Reddit discovered a console edit in Chrome 57 for Windows and macOS that enables a toggle switch in settings to flip everything from the red and white you're used to into shades of black and grey.

The text in the setting suggests you might use this feature when enjoying YouTube at night, but there's more than a few people out there interested in using it like this all the time. While you can't get this on mobile yet, here's how you activate Dark Mode fin Chrome.

  1. Go to Youtube in Chrome
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + I on Windows, or Option + Command + I on macOS to open the developer window
  3. Click the "console" tab at the top of the window
  4. Type document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=fPQ4jCL6EiE" into the console and hit enter
  5. Close the developer window
  6. Click refresh on the Chrome window
  7. Click the Settings menu in YouTube and find the Dark Mode toggle

If that all sounds like too much work for you, there are already Chrome extensions like ImprovedTube that will add something similar to this mode. Really, this is just a cool way to see what YouTube may be including in future releases.

Are you a fan of this new color scheme? Would you like to have it on mobile as well? Get down there in the comments and let everyone know what you think!

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

This is how our Google Pixels are holding up [Roundtable]

91

A six-month check-in to see how well the Pixel has fared from people who use it every day.

Most of your Android Central staff uses a Google Pixel or Pixel XL on a daily basis. We need to be able to see what Google has going on with Android so it's something we use for our jobs, and we all agree it's a great phone in either size. In either case, it's a phone we carry around and do all the things you can do with an Android phone and we've been doing it for six months.

We already know Russell Holly's Pixel XL is trashed on the outside but still going strong despite the scratches and scars. How it got there is something that Google needs to think about: we want our phones to work well and not look like they just came back from a war zone. Or maybe Russell just needs to try something different.

Anyhoo, since we wanted to know how your Pixel was faring, we need to tell you how ours are doing. Let's go around the table and see!

This is why we can't have nice things.

Alex Dobie

My Pixel XL has aged about as badly as any smartphone I've ever wielded. Granted, it's seen a fair amount of use in the four months that it was my daily driver. (I got it in mid-October, and switched to an LG G6 in mid-February.)

It's worn poorly.

But still, it seems like this phone has picked up an unusual amount of wear and tear compared to other Samsung, LG and even other HTC-built phones I've used in years past. The oleophobic coating on the screen is just about gone. The back glass is scratched to hell. Even the display glass has managed to pick up a few gnarly scratches. And the anodized paint job seems to attract scuffs more than most competitors. That's not usual for me after just four months.

Maybe it's just unlucky, but I've spoken to many other journalists who've used Pixels since the beginning — sometimes in a case with minimal use — and theirs have worn equally poorly.

Jen Karner

It went right into a case.

My Pixel XL is still in pretty decent shape after months of use. It's got a few small scratches, but they're mostly near the fingerprint scanner, and the camera. Even those are small and not really visible unless I'm looking for them.

This is probably because as soon as I got it, I threw on a sturdy Incipio case to keep it safe. Especially because I have a tendency to kill phones by dropping them. The scratches that are on the back of the phone all tend to be where the case cut-out is, and I'm comfortable with trading a bulkier case for as few scratches as possible.

Daniel Bader

I have both a white Pixel review unit and personal Pixel XL unit and both look immaculate. I was worried, after reading about my coworkers' brushes with scratches and coatings, that the same would befall my XL, but so far, so good.

What can I say? It's a well-made phone, Brent.

Marc Lagace

It has a few scuffs.

I've been using the Pixel as my daily driver since day one, and I still regret not slapping a case on it right out of the box. I'm a huge klutz when it comes to phones, so my phone has a few scuffs around the corners from accidentally falling off a table or out of my pocket

I've been rolled with a slim clear case on my Pixel ever since, which lets me show off the unique look of the phone while drawing attention away from the scuffed corners. This phone has held up wonderfully to the daily wear and tear I can put phones through — including the glass panel on the back which appears to have only picked up a few microabrasions in the top-right corner.

Jerry Hildenbrand

Looks good to these eyes.

My Pixel and Pixel XL both look pretty good. I'm not saying there are zero scratches on the glass but there aren't any to be seen at a glance and even holding them at funky angles under the light doesn't show anything. Maybe it's my eyes.

I think I know why. I always have my phone in my pocket by itself or on the desk/table face down. Being in a pocket without keys or garden tools or anything else that goes in pockets keeps it from getting scratched. My reasoning for always putting it face down when it's not in my pocket? You can still use a screen with a few scratches, but if you gouge that camera lens you're going to have a bad time.

Florence Ion

These are all the cases I own for the Pixel XL.

I swap them out depending on how I'm feeling at the beginning of each day. And if I'm traveling with the Pixel XL, I wrap it up in an Otterbox Defender case. This is to ensure the device stays pristine and still retains some resale value. You never know when you're going to need to offload a smartphone.

So cases, being careful and lucky magic keeps our Pixel's mostly in good shape. Take a minute and use the comments to tell us about yours, and anything special you might do to keep your Pixel looking good!

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Prime members can grab third-gen Philips Hue bulbs for just $40 each

11

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time saving you on some new Philips Hue bulbs!

Update: It appears as though Amazon has removed the listing. We've reached out for clarification on this and will update when we have an answer!

If you aren't already a member of Amazon's Prime service, here is yet another great reason to sign up. Prime members can currently save 20% (automatically taken at checkout) on the purchase of the third-gen Philips Hue bulbs, dropping the price down to just $39.99 each. With these bulbs, you can choose from 50,000 different shades of white (from warm to cool) and over 16 million different colors. The lights can sync to your music, movies, video games and more for an immersive effect, which is pretty dang cool.

You can control the bulbs right from your phone (iOS and Android only), but if you are just looking to start your Philips Hue collection you'll need a hub, and this starter kit is the way to go. Amazon offers a free 30-day trial of Prime so you can try it out before committing to the annual fee. Be sure to give it a shot so you can take advantage of these savings, free shipping, and so much more!

See at Amazon

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Galaxy S8 Active is (unsurprisingly) heading to AT&T later this year

21

Samsung is working on a ruggedized version of the Galaxy S8.

Samsung has released rugged variants of its flagships exclusively on AT&T for a few years, and it looks like the company will continue that trend with the Galaxy S8. According to the folks over at SamMobile, Samsung is working on the Galaxy S8 Active with a model number SM-G892A codenamed Cruiser that's destined for AT&T.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Unboxing the gorgeous Midnight Black OnePlus 3T!

13

The OnePlus 3T is one of the most exciting smartphones of the past six months, and it's squaring up against the coming 2017 flagships with a fresh coat of paint. The exclusive, limited edition "midnight black" 3T comes with 128GB of storage, packaged in a luxurious matte black box, with all the essentials you'd expect from OnePlus — a Dash Charger, SIM tool, case, screen protector and even a welcome message from the company's co-founder.

Check out our unboxing video for a quick first look at the hottest color for one of our favorite affordable flagships.

OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3

OnePlus Amazon

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be making their debut in India on April 19

7

Samsung is bringing its 2017 flagships to India next week.

Samsung is all set to launch the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in India on April 19. The phones are up for pre-registration, and the brand confirmed the launch date in a now-deleted tweet. For now, Samsung is just stating that the phones will debut sometime next week, but it's looking very likely that we'll see the manufacturer's 2017 flagships make their debut next Wednesday.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

How to properly secure your Android phone

69

Know how to use the tools you're given to keep your phone and your data secure.

Update, April 2017: In light of the recent round of celebrity phone hacks, we have refreshed this page with up-to-date information.

Google, Apple, and Microsoft have great tools for managing your online security. Some implementations may be technically better than others, but you can be reasonably sure that your data — both on the phone and in the cloud — is safe. If you need more reassurance or have different needs, third-party companies are available that with the big three to provide enterprise-grade security assurances. No method is 100% secure, and ways to get around it are found regularly; then patched quickly so the cycle can repeat. But these methods are usually complicated and very time-consuming and rarely widespread.

This means you are the weakest link in any chain of security. If you want to keep your data — or your company's — secured you need to force someone to use these complicated time-consuming methods if they wanted to get into your phone. Secure data needs to be difficult to obtain and difficult to decipher if someone does get hold of it.With Android, there are several things you can do to make someone work really hard to get your data — hopefully so hard that they don't bother trying.

Use a secure lock screen

Having a secure lock screen is the easiest way to limit access to the data on your phone or the cloud. Whether you just left your phone on your desk while you had to walk away for a moment or two or if you've lost your phone or had it stolen a lock screen that can't be simple to bypass is the best way to limit that access.

The first step is to lock the front door.

If your company issued you a phone or you work for someone with a BYOD policy there's a good chance your phone is forced by a security policy to have password protection and your IT department may have assigned you a username and password to unlock it.

Any method that locks your phone is better than none, but generally, a random six-digit PIN is enough to require someone have special knowledge and tools to bypass it without triggering any self-destruct settings. Longer randomized alpha-numeric passwords mean they will need the right tools and a lot of time. Entering a long complex password on a phone is inconvenient for you and we tend not to use things that inconvenience us so alternatives have been thought up that use patterns, pictures, voiceprints and a host of other things easier to do than typing a long password. Read the instructions and overview for each and decide which works best for you. Just make sure you're using one.

Encryption and two-factor authentication

Encrypt all of your local data and protect your data in the cloud with two-factor authentication on your account logins.

Recent versions of Android come encrypted by default. Android 7 uses file-level encryption for faster access and granular control. Your corporate data may have another level of security to reinforce this. Don't do anything to try and lessen it. A phone that needs to be unlocked to decrypt the data is one that only someone dedicated is going to try to crack.

Online accounts all need to use a strong password and two-factor authentication if offered. Don't use the same password across multiple sites and use a password manager to keep track of them. A centralized spot with all your account credentials is worth risking if it means you'll actually use good passwords.

Know what you're tapping on

Never open a link or message from someone you don't know. Let those people email you if they need to make the first contact, and offer them the same courtesy and use email instead of a DM or a text message to get in touch with them the first time. And never click a random web link from someone you don't trust. I trust the Wall Street Journal's Twitter account, so I'll click obscured Twitter links. But I won't for someone I don't trust as much.

Trust is a major part of security at every level.

The reason isn't paranoia. Malformed videos were able to cause an Android phone to freeze up and had the potential to allow elevated permissions to your file system where a script could silently install malware. A JPG or PDF file was shown to do the same on the iPhone. Both instances were quickly patched, but it's certain that another similar exploit will be found now that the "right" people for the job know where to look. Files sent through email will have been scanned and links in the email body are easy to spot. The same can't be said for a text message or a Facebook DM.

Only install trusted applications

For most, that means Google Play. If an app or link directs you to install it from somewhere else, decline. This means you won't need to enable the "unknown sources" setting required to install apps that didn't originate from a Google server in the Play Store. Only installing apps from the Play Store means Google is monitoring their behavior, not you. They are better at it than we are.

If you need to install apps from another source you need to make sure you trust the source itself. Actual malware that probes and exploits the software on your phone can only happen if you approved the installation. And as soon as you're finished installing or updating an app this way, turn the Unknown sources setting back on as a way to combat trickery and social engineering to get you to install an app manually.

None of this will make your phone 100% secure. 100% security isn't the goal here and never is. The key is to make any data that's valuable to someone else difficult to get. The higher the level of difficulty, the more valuable the data has to be in order to make getting it worthwhile.

Some data is more valuable that others, but all of it is worth protecting.

Pictures of my dogs or maps to the best trout streams in the Blue Ridge Mountains won't require the same level of protection because they aren't of value to anyone but me. Quarterly reports or customer data stored in your corporate email may be worth the trouble to get and need extra layers.

Luckily, even low-value data is easy to keep secure using the tools provided and these few tips.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

With its 600MHz win, T-Mobile has no more excuses for gimmicks

97

T-Mobile was a big winner during this year's 600MHz spectrum auction, but now it needs to use it to win.

Sometimes it seems that T-Mobile's put-on brand bravado, its showy marketing and breathless self-promotion, is all done to make up for the fact that its core product — the network — is not very good.

Specifically, compared to AT&T and Verizon, the company's network is full of gaps in areas outside major cities — and often just outside — because it doesn't own a sufficient amount of the proper spectrum needed to close those gaps. Well, not anymore.

This week, the company announced that it has spent $7.99 billion on 31MHz of low-band 600MHz spectrum after the U.S. regulator closed its complicated reverse auction for legacy digital TV signals last month. That 31MHz amounts to 45% of the available licensed spectrum being auctioned off, which sounds like a lot but for the fact that the FCC put aside 30MHz(PDF) for carriers that didn't already have sizeable low-band spectrum holdings. In other words, T-Mobile and Sprint were the only companies able to pony up the cash to pay for the holdings, and Sprint wanted nothing to do with this auction.

T-Mobile's new coverage map with 600MHz.

With its win, T-Mobile now has the low-band spectrum to properly compete with AT&T and Verizon across the entire country. In a statement, the company effusively said that it is now in its best-ever competitive position against the two biggest mobile providers in the U.S.:

T-Mobile now owns premium low-band spectrum that can cover every single American. And, most importantly, while the Duopoly's existing low-band spectrum is already crowded and congested, T-Mobile's new low-band spectrum will be clear and wide-open for customers, meaning a better, faster experience. With this purchase, T-Mobile now has significantly more low-band spectrum per customer than any other major provider and nearly TRIPLE the low-band spectrum per customer than Verizon.

Of course, the comparison to Verizon is not particularly fair, since Big Red has nearly twice the mobile customers as T-Mobile, but the facts are true: T-Mobile is finally in a position to get rid of its gimmicks and hacky promotions and start beating AT&T and Verizon in tangible ways: in speed, in coverage, and in reliability. If it manages to keep costs down, and passes those savings along to consumers as it does today, then it should accelerate its growth faster than it is doing today.

Low-band frequencies, like this 600Mhz spectrum and the 700Mhz spectrum that was auctioned off in 2008, are considered the "beachfront" property of LTE, since it carries high-speed signals further distances, with better penetration of thick walls and basements than mid-high frequencies, which is where T-Mobile currently deploys the fast majority of its LTE network. The company has plenty of AWS-1 and AWS-3 airwaves, but Verizon and AT&T have most of the 700Mhz band locked up and deployed.

Low-band spectrum is prized for its ability to go through walls and reach people in remote areas. Now T-Mobile has plenty of it.

T-Mobile says that it will begin rolling out 600MHz service later this year, sharing some of it with its subsidiary MetroPCS. Equipment from Nokia and Ericsson is already available on the tower side, and Qualcomm is finalizing its baseband chips to support the new band plan. But that brings up a very important point: no current in-market phones support 600MHz, and devices with such support won't likely roll out until the end of 2017. T-Mobile is contending with a similar problem on the AWS-3 side, which also began hitting handsets last year with the LG V20 and, more recently, the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8, but it's going to take three years or so for the full effect of 600MHz's potential to show itself. By then, though, T-Mobile will be deploying the first stage of its 5G strategy.

Dish and Comcast also spent some money for licenses in the 600MHz auction, but it's unclear what they plan to do with it. The former already owns plenty of unused spectrum, while the latter just partnered with Verizon on its own MVNO-based mobile network, and doesn't have enough 600MHz spectrum to augment it. That's why the real winner here was T-Mobile, and it's time for the company to focus on the fundamentals.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

HTC One X10 is official with 4,000mAh battery and metal body

19

Coming to Russia for the equivalent of $355.

HTC has announced the latest in its mid-tier "One X" family, the HTC One X10. Drawing from both old and new HTC design elements, the X10 packs a 5.5-inch 1080p display into a metal body, with an enormous 4,000mAh battery which the company claims can deliver up to two-day longevity.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Google Aero is a hyperlocal food delivery and home services app for India

1

Google is now targeting the hyperlocal segment with Aero.

Google has launched several India-specific initiatives recently, including a data-friendly version of YouTube and free public Wi-Fi at train stations. The company is now setting its sights on the burgeoning hyperlocal segment with a new app called Aero.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Why I'll only drink coffee from this $150, Android-connected mug

41

Only peasants drink coffee from a mug that doesn't have its own battery and heating element — to say nothing of not having Bluetooth and an app an upgradable firmware, right? RIGHT?

How much would you pay to keep your coffee hot for up to two hours? If you said $150 — well you're a little crazy. But that's what I spent on the Ember Mug. (OK, I spent more than that. I'll explain in a minute.)

Here's the gist: Ember Mug is, first and foremost, a mug. And it's a really good mug. (Damn well better be for $150.) The feel of the thing is great, from the soft-touch coating to the position of the "shoulder." And the 360-degree, spring-loaded lid is brilliant.

That's not what makes this thing $150, though.

No, what makes the Ember Mug ridiculously expensive for a coffee mug is what's tucked into the bottom of it. Mainly, a battery, heating element and Bluetooth radio.

This is a smart mug.

Subscribe to Modern Dad on YouTube!

OK, here's the real gist. ... Ember Mug has this "phase change cooling system" thing that helps bring it down from scalding to something more survivable, and then keep the temperature wherever you choose. Well, between 120 degrees and 145 degrees, anyway. You tap the logo on the mug to turn it on, then twist the bottom of the mug to set the temperature, with a little hidden dot-matrix-style display showing you what's what.

Me? I'm liking things at about 135 degrees. Some quick (unscientific) testing at home points to the mug being accurate within a couple degrees or so, which is good enough for me.

By the way — yes, the mug will heat room-temperature water just fine, but it's not terribly quick about it, and that definitely eats at the battery. This really is meant to keep hot things hot, not to reheat cool things.

Yes, this is more than a little bourgeois. But it's also very good.

And of course there's an app. (Because how did you ever drink coffee without an app, right?) The app has presets for various drinks — coffee, tea, latte, etc. And you can use it to set a custom name on the mug, and to update the mug's firmware. (Because how did you ever drink coffee without updated firmware, right?) It's the same experience on Android as it is on iOS. Or you can forget the previous sentences and just drink hot coffee from your $150 electric mug like a semi-normal person.

One sort-of major headache with this thing, though. If you want to use your Ember Mug at more than one location — say, at home and at the office — you're going to need a second charger, right? The good news there is that Ember sells spare chargers for exactly this purpose, for another $40. That brings you up to $190 for the mug and a spare charger. (Plus the $18 in shipping I paid for said extra charger. WTF.)

On the other hand, if you're the sort of person who has to have a $150 smart heating coffee mug in the first place, maybe that's not so bad.

You can pick one up inside of a Starbucks store, at Ember's site, or at the link below.

See at Amazon

Modern Dad

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Forestry review: Being a lumberjack has never been so fun

So far I haven't found anyone chained to any trees...

This review is based on the Oculus Rift version of Forestry. It is also available for HTC Vive.

My tent is set up, my axes are sharpened, and I'm ready to get to work. Birds are chirping in the plentiful forest and the sun is shimmering off the nearby lake. It's peaceful here, but that peace is about to be destroyed by my cliche announcements of "Timber!" as I fell trees. This is Forestry and, as the name implies, you're going to be doing some chopping. Does this budget VR title for Vive and Rift offer a unique experience? It does. Is it worth adding to your library? Let's find out.

Read the full review at VR Heads!

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Most Secure Android Phone

Update, April 2017: These are still our picks for the most secure Android phone.

Best overall

Google Pixel

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel is the most secure Android phone you can buy, and one of the most secure phones of any available today.

Without disabling any security protections, the Pixel and Pixel XL are updated to keep you protected against known public security exploits and remote installations are monitored by Google's scanning software which blocks potential malicious content. While security and privacy are two very different things, when you decide you want private things to stay private you need to make sure your phone is secure to keep them that way.

Bottom line: The open-source nature of Android and the dedicated Android security team work in tandem to make the Pixel and Pixel XL the best phones when it comes to security and privacy.

One more thing: The Pixel and Pixel XL also show us that a secure phone that's great to use is a reality.

Why the Google Pixel is the best

A phone you want to use can also keep your data safe — and it comes in two sizes to fit everyone.

Every device that can connect to the internet has exploits available that break the default security configuration. If your phone isn't getting timely updates to combat them, you're simply not secure. We keep a vast amount of private — and priceless — data on our phones, and we all should care about keeping it safe from outside attacks. After you read all the agreements and decide what you're willing to give away, you should expect the remainder to stay private.

The Pixel phones are updated directly from Google with the latest version of Android. Outside of any new features that may come with, the device security model has been updated and strengthened by a dedicated team who regularly audits and enhances the code used to build Android. On top of this, Google releases updates to the security model at the beginning of every month for the people who build Android phones to apply to their software. These are important. More important than any other update. the Nexus 6P will get every one of them for its lifespan.

Equally important, but often overlooked, is transparency. You shouldn't have to trust a company when they say something is secure or updated, and the Android code for both the platform version and all updates is available for anyone to take a look at. Plenty of people do, and despite any opinions to the contrary, Android, as written, has proven to be a very secure platform. A phone like a Pixel is the embodiment of this.

Most important of all is that both Pixel phones are not only secure but are also phones that you'll want to use. No compromise is needed and the 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL both share the same fast processor and other internal components. A great — and secure — experience is available for fans of both sizes.

Best for typing

BlackBerry Priv

See at Amazon

BlackBerry is legendary when it comes to mobile device management and security, and they follow that trend when they use Android to power their phones. In some ways, the Priv is more secure than any other Android phone — the bootloader and application manager use what BlackBerry calls a root of trust so that the phone just won't work if software is able to get through the first line of defense. We've put that to the test, and while hyperbole usually surrounds any claim coming from a company who wants your money, this one rings true.

Bottom line: BlackBerry is a company with a reputation on the line when it comes to mobile security. they live up to expectations with the Priv.

One more thing: The BlackBerry is usually the first phone to get the monthly Android Security Bulletin update — hours before google releases the bulletin itself!

Best for simplicity

BlackBerry DTEK60

See at BlackBerry

BlackBerry says the DTEK60 is the world's most secure Android phone.

The DTEK50 adds an enhanced version of their DTEK software tool to monitor application and system use to warn you when something isn't playing nicely. While this software is available as an update for the Priv, the out-of-the-box experience on the DTEK60 lets BlackBerry claim the "most secure Android "title. It's also pretty nice to use, too.

Bottom line:The DTEK60 is a welcome addition for many users and IT managers.

One more thing: Scott Wenger, VP of design and devices for BlackBerry says DTEK stands for "Detection."

Conclusion

Media outlets like to give Android a bad reputation when it comes to security, and it's difficult to blame them. Old, outdated software from manufacturers with no real concern for your security or privacy are the norm when it comes to phones running Android. But it doesn't have to be this way.

The Google Pixel delivers a great smartphone experience that ticks all the boxes for reviewers and users alike, and with no modifications, your personal data is very safe. A team of security professionals and engineers are dedicated to keeping it that way. Any of the phones on our list will do a great job when it comes to security, but the overall experience makes the Google Pixel the best.

Best overall

Google Pixel

See at Google See at Verizon

The Google Pixel is the most secure Android phone you can buy, and one of the most secure phones of any available today.

Without disabling any security protections, the Pixel and Pixel XL are updated to keep you protected against known public security exploits and remote installations are monitored by Google's scanning software which blocks potential malicious content. While security and privacy are two very different things, when you decide you want private things to stay private you need to make sure your phone is secure to keep them that way.

Bottom line: The open-source nature of Android and the dedicated Android security team work in tandem to make the Pixel and Pixel XL the best phones when it comes to security and privacy.

One more thing: The Pixel and Pixel XL also show us that a secure phone that's great to use is a reality.

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages