Carrier IQ is bad news. We have spent much ink covering and debating the maliciousness of this pre-installed service which hides itself in the background of some Android devices, collects user information, and then sends it back to carriers. However according to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Carrier IQ is just the tip of the iceberg as most smartphones can be hacked remotely "with ease." At a recent speech, Assange stated point blank that anyone with an iPhone, BlackBerry or Gmail account was "screwed." While Assange didn't mention Android by name in his introductory speech, our favorite operating system is indeed referenced in some Wikileaks' reports.
|Abhiroop Basu||Abhiroop Basu is an opinionated tech and digital media blogger. As a doe-eyed twenty-something he started his first blog TechComet to comment on anything tech-related that caught his omniscient eye. Since then he has blogged for Android Police, Make Tech Easier, and This Green Machine. In the real world, Abhiroop Basu is a resident of Singapore and the Editor of The Digit, a subsidiary of The Potato Productions Group.|
If you wish to claim the 50GB of free storage, simply download the free Box Android app and login before March 31, 2012. The promotion is valid on all LG phones and tablets in the US running Android 2.1 and above. Once claimed, your account will have 50GB of free, secure file storage and sharing forever.
Offering free cloud based storage seems to have become a trend for device manufacturers, as HTC recently partnered with Dropbox to offer 5GB of free storage on all Sense 3.5 handsets.
Earlier today, mobile software developer SPB Software announced on its website that it had been acquired by Russian search engine giant Yandex. TechCrunch reports that the price of the acquisition was a cool $38 million.
Yandex is Russia's largest internet company, operating the country's most popular and the world's seventh largest search engine. In contrast, SPB Software is a leading mobile software developer, that has, since 1999, been making applications for mobile phones that enable subscribers to do more with their handsets and network connections.
Amongst other forays into mobile development, SPB is known for their highly rated "next generation user interface" SPB Shell 3D, created for the Android platform.
Samsung's Galaxy Note is an oddity. At 5.3-inches it is clearly too large to be a conventional smartphone, but it is also too small to be a tablet. Adding further to its mysticism, it comes with a stylus, something rarely seen in contemporary touch screen devices. Nevertheless, Samsung has big plans for this device evidenced by their enthusiastic release of the SDK for the S Pen.
The first version of the SDK provides developers with the tools needed to create rich apps that can fully utilise all the functions of the S Pen. Some of these features include, a CanvasView for drawing the background, a panel for adjusting the width, opacity, and line colour of the pen, an adjustable eraser, and an undo/redo option.
Announced earlier this month, the ASUS Transformer Prime is the world's first quad-core Tegra 3 device and it is truly a beast. But don't take our word for it, check out NVIDIA's demo of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running on the device.
The US product page of the device went live a few days ago, and developers and other enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that the official source code and user manual for the Transformer Prime are now also available via the "download" section.
The source code is version 220.127.116.11, as of 2011.11.24, and weighs in at about 90MB.
Today's Ice Cream Sandwich announcement yielded a number of exciting enhancements, but not quite as distinctive as the new font Roboto. Indeed during the keynote, the presenter spent an inordinate amount of time expounding the virtues of this font. Roboto is a sans-serif font with characters that have a pleasing roundness, and are spaced evenly, making e-mails, clocks, and menus easy on the eyes, and, in the words of one presenter, "a pleasure to read".
Unfortunately, as the font comes with the new OS, the majority of Android users will not be able to experience Roboto until their devices are upgraded to Android 4.0.
Engadget managed to get some face time with Google's Gabe Cohen and he has confirmed that Ice Cream Sandwich will definitely be coming to the Nexus S. According to Engadget, both he and Matias Duarte are of the opinion that most Gingerbread devices (e.g. the Samsung Galaxy SII) will receive the upgrade.
They said that Google is "currently in the process for releasing Ice Cream Sandwich for Nexus S" and that in theory it "should work for any 2.3 device."
Unfortunately, there is no word yet on when ICS would be coming to the Android 2.3 devices and there is also no clear plan on whether ICS will ever come to older devices such as the Nexus One.
In an age where a "contact" is more than a mere phone number and email address, contact management has become a tedious process. So, I was pleased to see Google taking a step in the right direction with ICS and updating the contact manager into the new and improved "People" app. During the ICS live blog Hugo Barra, Product Management Director for Android at Google, demoed the new People app by showing off how it seamlessly integrated all the contact's basic information together with the person's different social profiles.
The user interface has also been completely revamped and viewing contacts has now become a much more visual experience.
Although the official launch of Google and Samsung's first Ice Cream Sandwich phone is still a few hours away, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has prematurely confirmed the existence of the Galaxy Nexus. In a tweet sent out a few hours ago, @docomo stated that it would be "among the fastest" to launch the handset, when it becomes available in November.
Rumours have already surfaced indicating that Google's latest flagship phone will come to Verizon on November 10th and will cost $299.99. However that is more likely to be the earliest possible launch date and there has been no confirmation of these rumours.