If you've been watching your tech news feed regularly over the past day or so, you've probably come across at least one story making the rounds about a "backdoor" vulnerability in some newer Samsung phones. The original report, published by the Free Software Foundation and written by Paul Kocialkowski, a developer of Replicant, does all but directly accuse Samsung of planting a method of securing remote access to users' devices. A quick read over of the piece makes it rather obvious that the author has a rather significant bone to pick with any and all proprietary software:
Another week closer to HTC's big New York event, another huge leak from the indefatigable Evleaks. This time he's taken to Google+ to show off what looks like a first-party case for the HTC M8 (a.k.a. "The New HTC One"). This case it unlike any we've seen thus far: instead of a transparent "window" like the ones that Samsung and LG have been using for their flagships, this one appears to be covered in tiny holes, allowing the screen below to flash simple messages.
Remember Project Ara? We haven't heard much about it since Motorola revealed its existence back in October, exciting us with the real possibility that one day we will be able to effectively build and customize phones to suit our tastes. As it turns out, the Advanced Technology and Projects team (now owned by Google) is still working full-steam ahead. Today they've announced the first Ara Developers' Conference, which will take place online from April 15 - 16th.
You've probably read by now that Nokia's making Android phones. Sort of. And I'm sure there are all sorts of analysts, experts, and other people trying to scream at you collectively that this means something. Nokia's changing directions. Nokia's making Android a backup if the Microsoft merger doesn't go through. Nokia's Android is going to finally end Google's dominance in the world of cheap smartphones!
Let's leave all that aside, because those are frankly annoying and pointless conversations to have.
It seems like just yesterday when we heard that Verizon was inviting users to the Moto X 4.4.2 soak test, and now here we are. Big Red just updated its Moto X support docs with the full 4.4.2 changelog, which should mean that the update is preparing to roll out to users soon – possibly within a few days.
Update 2/24: Motorola just pushed the release notes to its customer portal, so the update should be hitting devices any time now.
Love it or hate it, the smartwatch is a category that seemingly every manufacturer still wants to conquer. No matter how many devices debut, and no matter how they perform, it seems there are those companies who still think that they have the right solution. According to TechCrunch, @evleaks, and others, Google is one such company, and plans to debut its own smartwatch before or during this year's Google I/O conference.
Google has just pulled the curtain off Project Tango, the latest innovation to come to us from its Advanced Technology and Projects hardware group (the folks also involved with Project Ara). This device is capable of tracking its movement within an area while creating a 3D map of the environment at the same time. It could be immensely useful for indoor navigation or the creation of highly immersive video games.
In recent years, Google hasn’t exactly been known as particularly hospitable toward SD cards with regard to its Android operating system. This theme is most often associated with the Nexus line of devices - the Nexus One was the only such handset to ever offer expandable storage. But despite arguments from Dan Morrill and Matias Duarte suggesting this stance is about keeping the Android interface simple and file picker-free, people still want more space.
This weekend's poll is a pretty simple one, but one that I'm curious to see the results of given our worldwide audience: how did you pay for your current phone?
In the US, there are generally three ways (broadly speaking) you can buy a smartphone - on-contract from a wireless carrier (aka subsidized), outright (full price, no contract), or as part of an installment / financing plan. Carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile offer phone financing plans, offsetting the full cost of a device by spreading it over the course of one or two years.