Archive for the ‘Android’ Category

Emoji 12.0 brings us waffles, more diversity, suggestive “finger pinch” glyph

February 6th, 2019

Emoji version 12.0 has been finalized by the Unicode Consortium, and for 2019 we're getting 230 new emoji. Although the standard is finalized, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other platform vendors still need to create artwork and integrate these new glyphs into their respective platforms. Today we have a preview of what to expect thanks to Emojipedia, which put together a list of the new glyphs with example artwork.

There's a push for more diversity with this new emoji release. We have emojis for deaf people in three genders (male, female, and genderless) and five skin tones, an ear with a hearing aid, people in motorized and unmotorized wheelchairs, prosthetic arms and legs, a guide dog and a service dog, and people with a probing cane. There are actually only 59 distinct new emoji types in this release, but everything that depicts a human comes in five skin tones and three genders, which pumps up the numbers. You can really see this with the "People holding hands" emoji, which is completely configurable for a total of 70 possible combinations.

The emoji that's causing the most buzz is "pinching hand." Emojipedia's example shows a thumb and pointer finger with a small distance between them, which could also be interpreted as a hand signal for "small." People are already coming up with uh, "suggestive" uses for such a glyph, and if the actual implementations follow Emojipedia's design, the glyph could end up on the naughty list next to peach and eggplant.

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Posted in Android, emojis, emojis emojis emojis, iOS, MFING EMOJIS YOU GUYS, Mobile, Tech | Comments (0)

Chrome OS’ Instant Tethering now works with more than 30 Android smartphones

February 5th, 2019
Chrome OS’ Instant Tethering now works with more than 30 Android smartphones

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

The handy feature that lets Chromebook users connect to a smartphone's cellular hotspot is now coming to more devices. Google announced that Chrome OS' Instant Tethering feature will now be available on more than 15 Chromebooks and more than 30 smartphone models, including handsets from HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung.

Previously, Instant Tethering was only available on a handful of Chromebooks, including the Pixelbook and the new Pixel Slate. The list of supported smartphones was similarly short, initially confined to Google-made handsets like the Pixel and Nexus. The expansion is part of Google's effort to make the experience of using a Chromebook easier and more seamless for those with Android smartphones, regardless of the handset's manufacturer.

Instant Tethering, which first came to Chromebooks in 2017, requires an initial setup process that users can complete upon setting up the Chromebook or at any time from the Settings menu. Users must be signed in to the same Google account on the Chromebook and the Android smartphone in order to use Instant Tethering features.

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Posted in Android, Chrome OS, instant tethering, pixel, pixel 3, pixel slate, Tech | Comments (0)

Several Popular Beauty Camera Apps Caught Stealing Users’ Photos

February 4th, 2019
Just because an app is available on Google Play Store doesn't mean that it is a legitimate app. Despite so many efforts by Google, some fake and malicious apps do sneak in and land millions of unaware users on the hunting ground of scammers and hackers. Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro uncovered at least 29 devious photo apps that managed to make its way onto Google Play Store and have been

Posted in Android, android apps, Android Malware, Beauty Camera Apps, malware, Mobile Security, Photo Editing Apps | Comments (0)

Google Play apps with >4.3 million downloads stole pics and pushed porn ads

February 1st, 2019
Screenshots of the pop-up ads displayed by malicious apps that were available in Google's Play Store.

Enlarge / Screenshots of the pop-up ads displayed by malicious apps that were available in Google's Play Store. (credit: Trend Micro)

Google has banned dozens of Android apps downloaded millions of times from the official Play Store after researchers discovered they were being used to display phishing and scam ads or perform other malicious acts.

A blog post published by security firm Trend Micro listed 29 camera- or photo-related apps, with the top 11 of them fetching 100,000 to 1 million downloads each. One crop of apps caused browsers to display full-screen ads when users unlocked their devices. Clicking the pop-up ads in some cases caused a paid online pornography player to be downloaded, although it was incapable of playing content. The apps were carefully designed to conceal their malicious capabilities.

“None of these apps give any indication that they are the ones behind the ads, thus users might find it difficult to determine where they’re coming from,” Trend Micro Mobile Threats Analyst Lorin Wu wrote. “Some of these apps redirect to phishing websites that ask the user for personal information, such as addresses and phone numbers.”

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Posted in Android, apps, Biz & IT, google play, porn | Comments (0)

Nintendo bringing Dr. Mario to iOS, Android this summer

February 1st, 2019
The logo for <em>Dar. Mario World</em>.

Enlarge / The logo for Dar. Mario World. (credit: Nintendo / Twitter)

Nintendo announced last night that it will be bringing the classic color-matching puzzle game Dr. Mario to Android and iOS devices in 60 countries as Dr. Mario World early this summer.

Nintendo said the game will be "free to download with optional in-app purchases," but didn't go into detail on how exactly the monetization system would work. Many mobile puzzle game (such as the Candy Crush series) use timer-based "energy" systems to limit the amount you can play without paying in a certain period. Nintendo has used similar cooldown timers in games like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes, though other Nintendo-developed mobile titles have used other monetization methods.

Dr. Mario World is being co-developed by Line, a Japanese mobile developer mainly known for the messaging app of the same name. Nintendo had previously partnered with Line for sticker packs in that app, but had relied on a partnership with DeNA for games like Super Mario Run and Miitomo. Nintendo also owns a five percent share of mobile developer Cygames, which released action-RPG Dragalia Lost with Nintendo last year.

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Posted in Android, dr. mario, Gaming & Culture, iOS, Mobile, Nintendo, puzzle | Comments (0)

Hands-on with the new Gmail for Android (and iOS)

January 30th, 2019

Google is pushing a big redesign to the mobile Gmail app on Android and iOS. The update was announced yesterday, and after spending some time with the new app, we're going to comb through the finer details and see what has changed between New Gmail and Old Gmail.

For now the release is only out on Android, but like the old Gmail design, it should look identical on iOS. If you're on Android, you want Gmail version 9.x (the old design is Gmail 8). If the Play Store isn't serving you the update and you're into sideloading, APKMirror has a safe download. The iOS version is still wending its way through the App Store approval process, and should be out sometime this week.

The new design is a good match for the new desktop Gmail design that came out in April, along with all the other apps using the "Google Material Theme" design language. Everything is really white—an homage to the Google homepage—and everything uses rounded corners. The horizontal line dividers are gone, leaving nothing but white space to separate your messages. Control iconography is changed to Google's new outline style, and while message text remains in the Roboto font, everything else now uses Product Sans (the same typeface as the Google logo).

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Posted in Alphabet, Android, apps, gmail, google, iOS, Mobile, Tech | Comments (0)

Microsoft: Windows 10 Mobile support to end, so use Android or iOS instead

January 18th, 2019
Lumia 950

Lumia 950 (credit: Peter Bright)

Windows 10 Mobile will receive its last patches and security updates on December 10 this year, as Microsoft winds down the last remaining bit of development of its smartphone platform.

The last major notable to the platform was October 2017, when it was bumped to version 1709. At that point Microsoft ended feature development entirely, shipping only security updates and bug fixes. That's going to come to an end on Patch Tuesday this coming December.

Certain online services will continue to operate beyond that date; device backups for settings and applications will work for three months, to March 10, 2020, and photo uploads and restoring devices from backups will work for 12 months beyond the end of support.

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Posted in Android, iOS, lumia, microsoft, Nokia, smartphones, Tech, Windows, Windows 10, windows 10 mobile, Windows Mobile | Comments (0)

New Android Malware Apps Use Motion Sensor to Evade Detection

January 18th, 2019
Even after so many efforts by Google for preventing its Play Store from malware, shady apps somehow managed to fool its anti-malware protections and get into its service to infect Android users with malware. Two such Android apps have recently been spotted on the Google Play Store by security researchers with the Trend Micro malware research team, infecting thousands of Android users who have

Posted in Android, Android Malware, cyber security, google apps, Google Play Protect., Google Play Store, hacking news, mobile hacking, mobile virus | Comments (0)

Google Play malware used phones’ motion sensors to conceal itself

January 18th, 2019
Google Play malware used phones’ motion sensors to conceal itself

Enlarge (credit: Andri Koolme / Flickr)

Malicious apps hosted in the Google Play market are trying a clever trick to avoid detection—they monitor the motion-sensor input of an infected device before installing a powerful banking trojan to make sure it doesn’t load on emulators researchers use to detect attacks.

The thinking behind the monitoring is that sensors in real end-user devices will record motion as people use them. By contrast, emulators used by security researchers—and possibly Google employees screening apps submitted to Play—are less likely to use sensors. Two Google Play apps recently caught dropping the Anubis banking malware on infected devices would activate the payload only when motion was detected first. Otherwise, the trojan would remain dormant.

Security firm Trend Micro found the motion-activated dropper in two apps—BatterySaverMobi, which had about 5,000 downloads, and Currency Converter, which had an unknown number of downloads. Google removed them once it learned they were malicious.

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Posted in Android, anubis, Biz & IT, google play, malware, motion sensor | Comments (0)