Monday, September 20, 2010

Droid X Finally Gets Android 2.2!!!

With the Droid, Droid Incredible, and Droid 2 all equipped with Android 2.2, Droid X users are feeling kind of left behind right now. But fear not, X-Men. A new report suggests the Motorola device will get the update in just a couple days.

This comes from a reader on Droid Life who said he reached a managerial representative at Motorola. He was told then that Droid X users would be upgrading their devices to Froyo on September 22.

Well, that would actually be keeping Verizon's original promise of bringing the update by the end of the summer. September 22 is the last day of summer, though only for part of the day until it turns over the fall. 

To date there has been little rhyme of reason to the rollout of the new Android system. So far the Nexus One, Droid, Droid 2, Evo 4G, and Droid Incredible have all gotten their push to the new Android OS. They have historically come at random times, and not on scheduled release dates.

Android 2.2 on September 22 makes sense though. Look at all those 2's. Well, again, it's just speculation and hearsay at this point. But it definitely makes sense to see the Droid X be the next to get upgraded.

Still waiting are Samsung Galaxy S users and a couple less-high-profile devices. The Android 2.2 train just keeps chugging. It'll get there eventually...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Double Authentication to Boost Security!!!

Google is making it harder for Gmail and other Google Apps accounts to get compromised by adding an optional feature that will send a security code to your smartphone for logging in.

The two-step verification feature will be available to Google Apps premier, education, and government customers on Monday, and to the hundreds of millions of individual Google users in coming months, as a built-in part of the free service, a Google product manager told.

Until now, Google accounts have been protected only with passwords, which are susceptible to phishing and other social-engineering attacks.
The two-step verification feature will put an additional roadblock in the way of online criminals by generating a onetime six-digit code that will be sent to the account holder in order to be able to successfully log in. The code will be sent after the password is provided.

This type of two-factor authentication--something you know (password) and something you have (smartphone with code)--is similar to smart cards and tokens, except that the code is accessed on a piece of hardware you most likely already carry.

Google users will sign up for the service through the Settings page and will be able to specify whether they want to get the security code sent to them via text message or automated voice call, or through a Google Authenticator app they can download to their Android device, BlackBerry, or iPhone. The code is randomly generated and changes every few minutes.

Many people might find it inconvenient to have to check their phone and type in an additional code every time they want to check their Gmail. To solve this problem, Google has made it so that people using the same computer to access their accounts can check a box to "remember verification for this computer" so that they won't be asked for a code on that computer for a month.

And for those who are happy with their one-factor password security, they don't have to opt in to this new feature. Google Apps enterprise administrators will be able to turn the feature on for any user in the organization.

The impetus for the feature came about a year and a half ago, when Google engineers asked themselves, "what's the single thing we can do to improve the security for our users the most?," said Travis McCoy, a security product manager at Google.

Google is open-sourcing the software so companies can do customization and port the app to other platforms. Google also is using an open standard to generate the codes so "vendors can offer a token that will work with Google Apps," McCoy said.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

OpenFeint Makes Its Way to Android!

Even the most ardent Android fanboy has to admit that the Apple iPhone platform has it licked when it comes to gaming. OpenFeint is trying to change that and the popular mobile gaming company is bringing the heat with a bunch of popular games.

“Android users deserve great games but haven’t had access to enough of them. That changes today,” said Jason Citron, CEO of Aurora Feint. “Hundreds of thousands of people activate Android phones every day, and there is a clear need for high quality games in the marketplace. The major wireless carriers are partnering with us to select the best games from iOS - like Fruit Ninja - to bring to Android.”

A number of top notch games will be getting their OpenFeint Android launch this month, including Mega Jump, Must.Eat.Birds, Solipskier, and MiniSquadron. When all is said and done, Android is expected to see 20 OpenFeint-enabled games in its first month alone. It may be a small number when compared to the 3000 OpenFeint games on iOS devices, but it’s also a great first step that should help introduce Android gamers to the experience without completely overwhelming them.

“This is a big step for OpenFeint and an even bigger step for Android as it becomes a serious mobile gaming platform,” said Jonathan Goldberg, Analyst at Deutsche Bank Equity Research. “OpenFeint ushered in mobile online gaming for iOS devices and we think they’ll lead the revolution on Android.”
In addition to the achievements, leaderboards, and friend-tracking that OpenFeint is known for, Android gamers will also get their own Feint Spotlight app, which will help users to discover new games and even win prizes.

With these games and the upcoming full version of Angry Birds, Android users will be able to hold their heads up high when it comes to gaming.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Alert! Adobe Flash Player Got Loophole in It!

Adobe has disclosed a newly-discovered vulnerability in current versions of the Flash Player and says there are reports that it is being exploited in the wild.

According to Adobe, a critical vulnerability exists in Adobe Flash Player for Android. This vulnerability also affects Adobe Reader 9.3.4 for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX, and Adobe Acrobat 9.3.4 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh. This vulnerability could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. There are reports that this vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild against Adobe Flash Player on Windows. Adobe is not aware of any attacks exploiting this vulnerability against Adobe Reader or Acrobat to date. 

Adobe is in the process of finalizing a fix for the issue and expect to provide an update for Adobe Flash Player Android operating systems during the week of September 27, 2010. 

While Adobe cautions owners to “follow security best practices by keeping their anti-malware software and definitions up to date”, this advice leaves Android owners in the lurch as there are no best practices or virus definition updates for this mobile OS. There are several security apps available for Android including Norton Mobile Security, droidSecurity, and Lookout, but Google’s mobile OS is a relatively young and untested platform for security applications. We really have no idea how quickly and effectively these applications will respond to a circulating threat.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Android To Rule The World By 2014!

It seems like only yesterday that we thought Steve Jobs owned the future of the mobile world and beyond. Anti-Appleites lobbied against his walled garden approach and despaired at his unstoppable tech machine. That was until that little green robot came along, of course. Then the anti-Apple world, plus me, rejoiced in their new hero. 

And now it’s predicted Google’s Android is on course to become the leading mobile operating system (OS) in the world by 2014, according to industry analysts. 

Gartner, one of the top research and analysis companies in the world, has run the numbers and decided that Android could very well hold the #1 spot by 2014. Nokia’s Symbian OS is likely to hold the top spot until 2014, and the analysts aren’t certain Android will have taken the lead by then.

Gartner says Nokia’s hold on the lower-end of the market supports Symbian. Nokia is currently hoping to take a piece of the high-end smartphone market with the much-hyped Nokia N8 and is consolidating its hold at the lower-end with releases such as the Nokia C3 and Nokia X6 8GB.

However, it says Symbian will not be able to hold off Android for much longer. Google is forging some solid relationships with manufacturers and retailers based on promoting its brand as a major selling point for a phone, look at the promotion of the Samsung Galaxy S that had significant focus on the phones Android OS for evidence of this clever win-win tactic.

The driving factor behind Android’s explosive growth? A push into budget and mainstream devices – something we’ve already started to see with the IDEOS and Intercept. Samsung in particular is named as making a large push soon, with the other major players entering in soon after.

It is this approach and Google’s open platform model that has helped it to take the mobile world by storm this year, with rivals caught napping. And this report is a clear indication that fight backs such as iOS 4.0 and 4.1, BlackBerry OS 6.0 and Windows Phone 7 will not be enough to stop the Google tide. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Android: New Flash Player is Available!

Do your Android phones support Flash Player? If not, Flash 10.1 has been updated to version and is available in the market now. We can not find a changelog available, but you’ve got to figure it’s some simple bug fixes adding to stability.

You will not be asked to update, but you instead have to manually search for the application. After giving the “Install” the previous version should be replaced.

More information to follow, once it is available...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Android Gets Google Voice Widgets!!

Google on Thursday added a standalone Google Voice widget to the home screen on Android phones.

The addition is part of the new Google Voice app, which is available now in the Android Market. It includes two widgets: one for the Google Voice Inbox; and another for Settings.

"Mobile is all about getting super fast access to what you're looking for and Google Voice is no exception," Google wrote in a blog post.

The Google Voice Inbox widget brings voicemails and text messages to the home screen. Flip through messages via the widget, and selected messages will open in the Google Voice app.

The Settings widget, meanwhile, includes four icons that provide access to several features. The phone icon will provide access to the full Google Voice app. The pen and paper icon will let you quickly compose and send free text messages. The smaller phone logo lets you change what calls are placed via Google Voice on the fly. Finally, the red and white stop icon is a "Do Not Disturb" option that will send all Google Voice calls directly to voicemail.

The Settings widget also displays Google Voice credits.

To add the widgets to a home screen panel, press the menu button from the home screen and select "Add>Widgets>Google Voice Inbox or Google Voice Settings." You will need a valid Google Voice account to access them, and they are available free online.

Earlier this week, Google added a "missed calls" notification to Google Voice that will alert users of a missed call via the Google Voice inbox, e-mail inbox, or both. Last month, Google made a form of Google Voice available via its Gmail service, which lets users "chat" within the Gmail interface via free phone calls.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nexus One's now available again in developer store!!! Hurry!!!

The Nexus One was ran out of the stock when it was first made available to the devolopers. Some still regard it as one of the best (and fastest) Android phones available. It's getting a bit harder to get as it seems that HTC isn't making enough of these bad boys to keep up with demand. 

If you hurry though the Google Developer Store has some units available. It's been sold out until recently but thanks to a tip from Juan R. we were alerted this morning that they are once again available.

So go ahead, hurry up and get your Nexus on.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Google Music could be a boon for Android!

The world of Android music is about to get flipped upside down!!

We've been hearing about Google's plans to launch a cloud-based music service for some time now -- heck, Google itself gave us a peek at the plans during its I/O conference in May. (The news was largely overshadowed by word of the Android 2.2 upgrade, which was announced at the same event.) If the latest rumors prove true, the Android-centric song system could debut within the next few months.

If you happen to be a competing executive who owns way too many turtlenecks, this is probably cause for concern.

So what would Google Music do for Android? A lot. Let's face it: For all of Android's strengths, a simple and user-friendly music management system has always been something that's evaded the platform.

The freedom from being tied to a proprietary tool is fantastic, especially when that tool is a bloated and locked-down piece of junk (iTunes). The ability to drag and drop files onto your phone like a flash drive is invaluable, too. But if you want an easy way to manage playlists and sync music, your options are rather limited. DoubleTwist gets the job done, but it isn't exactly the most elegant or full-featured solution. And if you're new to Android, it can be tough to figure out where to begin.

Google Music could change all of that. First, the service will introduce a more intuitive way of buying music: From what the Android team has described, Google Music will be integrated right into the Android Market. You'll click on songs on your PC, and within seconds, they'll be sent to your phone over-the-air. This purchasing system will likely also be available in some form through regular Google Web searches.

Purchasing aside, the upcoming Android music service will allow you to stream songs from your PC directly to your phone -- no downloads required. Thanks to Google's acquisition of a company called Simplify Media, you'll be able to access your entire music library without having to store a single MP3 file on your device.

Those two features combined will give Android a powerful new edge in the realm of mobile music. If Google is smart, it'll build functions for importing existing music and managing playlists into these tools as well. All put together, it could mark the beginning of a robust and intuitive music management system for Android.

Of course, none of this would prevent you from using a third-party alternative or copying music to your phone manually -- hey, we aren't talking about Apple here. But for users who want a simple, one-stop solution, it'd offer a hassle- and confusion-free way of getting everything accomplished. And you've gotta admit, the cloud-based downloading and streaming sound pretty damn cool.

Android has undoubtedly been a work in progress. Since the launch of that first Android phone nearly two years ago, the platform has grown in leaps and bounds, filling in the gaps and adding in more power and flexibility with each passing turn.

The Latest Android Hacks: Jailbreaking A PS3 With A Nexus One!

If Sony’s PS3 gaming system took a step backward in functionality when Sony disabled its ability to install Linux, it’s just taken two steps forward again.

t4nav, a Senior Member of xda-developers has just discovered a method to hack the PS3 using a Nexus One or a Desire! All you have to do is:

"Download this
and place it’s contents onto the root of your SD-card.
Then download my flashable boot.img 
Place that on the root of your card, Reboot into recovery and flash the
Reboot your phone.
Launch terminal emulator…
Then type the following… 
#cd sdcard 
#insmod psfreedom.ko 
Now turn your PS3 off at the wall, and plug in your phone. 
Turn the PS3 back on at the wall. 
Press the PS3 power button followed by the eject key in quick succession…"

"To get back to normal…
Download this…
Go into recovery… 
Enable USB-storage 
Copy .zip 
Flash .zip"

So far, it’s only been confirmed to work with the Nexus One and Desire, though we’re sure that with proper attention from the dev community, the hack could be ported over to other devices, such as the EVO 4G or Droid X. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

TVs Gonna Be Great With Android!

Samsung to equip its TVs with the hot trend Android, and compete with Sony Corp in offering television sets that surf the Web and double as computers. 

TV makers such as Samsung and Sony are looking to tap into the growing demand for Web-based programming and a slice of the $175 billion TV advertising market. The companies are betting on Google's Android operating system to compete with Apple Inc, which earlier this month released a $99 TV set-top box that delivers movie and TV show rentals from the Internet. 

Sony in May unveiled the prototype of a Bravia set that will deliver video and music over the Internet in partnership with Google. The TVs are expected in stores by Christmas. 

Apple TV will rent high-definition TV programs for 99 cents, first-run movies for $4.99 and will work with Netflix Inc's online service, Apple's Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said last week. To provide the TV rental service, Apple forged deals with Walt Disney Co's ABC and News Corp's Fox, Jobs said. 

Samsung Galaxy Tab Rooted Even Before Release!!

Samsung grabbed a fair bit of attention with the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy tablet and also entertained us with the tablet commercial. But rooting Android OS devices is something that strikes our attention all the time.

The folks at Sera-Apps, a German group of Android developers, have not only managed to get the Samsung Galaxy Tab a month before the device goes on sale, but they managed to root the device at IFA, the world’s largest consumer electronics show being held in Germany.

Whether the final version of the Galaxy Tab that’ll be released in the US can be rooted the same way as the trade show model remains to be seen. And how exactly Tim at Sera-Apps did the rooting isn’t exactly clear, but he did get a screen that shows he’s been granted superuser rights.

Now that Samsung Galaxy tablet has been rooted successfully, the absurd pricing for the device seems to be justified. But then, Samsung may patch up the loopholes before making the product publicly available in US and UK. In anyway, this is an encouraging sign for the Android enthusiasts and those who are looking forward to buy the Galaxy tablet.

Will this lead to Samsung’s locking down of release models of the Galaxy Tab? Or will Samsung let hackers do what they want with this tablet? Or will this pave the way for performance upgrades, improved keyboards, and more implementation of multitouch for the Galaxy Tab? Let us know your ideas in the comments!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Live Wallpaper Creation Tool for Android Phones!

With the use of mobile phones gone much beyond the average call answering and dialing, an extra touch of personalization sure doesn’t hurt!

OwnSkin thinks along similar lines and has released a new Live Wallpaper creation tool for phones running on the Android platform. The application is intended to be pre-school friendly.

When in a mood to customize mobile phones individually, this user generated tool offers a facile solution for wallpapers that are SkinLet filled. The latter is known to be an active component present in the live wallpaper and aids in personalization via animation, phone information and live data from the internet.

The makers believe the wallpapers proffered are among the slickest in the world. Nevertheless, they’re simple to use and cater efficiently to individual requirements. This tool should strike a chord with the digital community and social network enthusiasts alike. After all, innovative and entertaining mobile content doesn’t miff anyone.

Allowing seamless upload of photos for building SkinLet, users can look forward to animation, clock compass and battery details. This interactive wallpaper can also be shared with friends and it doesn’t involve download or installation of any complicated SDK either.

The free application can be downloaded from the Android market and the OwnSkin website.

Android is Gaining in The Mobile OS Market

The Android mobile Operating System is ruling the mobile web market in comparison to Apple's iOS-based devices. The latest mobile-web-browsing numbers from Quantcast show that Android continues to grab mobile share from the iPhone and RIM.

The device which got the third place had a mobile web consumption of 11 percent, while RIM was the last one who managed to exist in the list at the last spot with 10 percent. RIM and other devices have suffered serious losses but the web use on iOS devices has suffered the most due to Android's growth in the mobile web market. 

Now, obviously, when the percentage of one platform goes up, the percentage of another platform must go down. It turns out that Android is the ONLY platform whose mobile consumption percentage did NOT go down.

The August Statistics from the Quancast show that Apple has saved itself for the time being but Mobile web use of iOS devices (excluding iPad) dropped significantly remaining at 56 percent. While RIM and "other" devices dropped down to 9 percent and 10 percent respectively. Android is the only progressive mobile operating service to jump up 2 percent to reach 25 percent, its best achievement since November 2009.

Quancast is expected to reveal the August web consumption details next week. However last month's statistics show that Apple iPhone topped the chart with 36 percent. But the company's iPod line of devices was down to 20 percent. HTC an Android vendor for the first time appeared on the chart with 11 percent of total smartphone web consumption and Motorola was at 10 percent.

In addition to that, it appears a significant number of iPhone users have figured out how to make good decisions. This is great news for Android and Google. They are clearly poised for a win in the mobile industry. I don’t think it will be too long before we see feature-phones disappear entirely and the iPhone lose its rank as king of mobile devices.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Motorola DEFY: Another Google Android Magic on The Way!!!

Motorola has announced another smartphone model based on the Google Android platform.

Boasting quite possibly the most generic form factor we’ve yet seen, the Motorola DEFY is being pitched as a slightly more ROBUST Android phone than most, coming in a “dust proof” case that’s also waterproof and scratch resistant.

One of the special features of this model is that it conforms to IP67 standards. This means that the phone is designed to be scratch, water and dust resistant.

The company is shipping this device with Google Android 2.1 platform. It features a 3.7 inch touchscreen display made with Gorilla Glass. The display provides a 854 x 480 pixel resolution.

The phone also comes loaded with MotoBlur user interface. Motorola has also bundled Adobe Flash Lite considering the regular edition is only supported on Android 2.2.

“DEFY has been designed to handle everything that life throws your way,” said Alain Mutricy, senior vice president, portfolio and device product management, Motorola Mobility. “With all the features consumers expect in a smart phone, DEFY packs advanced web browsing, entertainment and messaging capabilities as well as a design that withstands the challenges of everyday life.”

Motorola Defy also includes a decent five megapixel camera with LED Flash. The phone is powered with a 800MHz processor and would ship with 2GB of storage space.