One of the most common questions newcomers to Android have is do I really need an antivirus? While there are varying answers to this question depending on who you ask, it's hard to deny the demand for such apps. Of course, most AVs have other, far more useful features than just the AV scan – like anti-theft, device location features, and more. For that reason alone, I always have one installed on all my devices.
In a world where Samsung and Apple dominate the smartphone sphere, and multi-billion dollar companies like Sony, LG, and Motorola struggle to maintain single-digit market share, it's rather easy to convince yourself that real innovation and excellence costs lots of money. And, as an extension of that thought process, that there's little reason to look outside the current crop of popular phone makers.
But you'd be wrong.
Known mostly in the United States for its Blu-ray players (yes, really), Oppo is a Chinese electronics maker that is easily ignored.
Say what you will about Samsung, but their catapulting into the number-one position among Android smartphone vendors hasn't made them feel "above" responding to various product foibles. Speaking to Android Central, a Samsung spokesperson confirmed that the company is aware of a fairly-serious kernel exploit affecting a number of its high-profile devices using the Exynos 4 chipset. This includes handsets like the Galaxy S III and Note II (in most forms), and tablets such as the Note 10.1 or Tab 7.7.
Google has been on an update roll lately, with Voice, YouTube, Google+, Calendar, and Music all getting updates in the last week. I've been dutifully doing teardowns on all of them, but there's been no hidden goodies, and thus, no articles. There was a Play Store update this weekend, however, and that does have some interesting, new stuff in it, so we're back!
Google+ App Reviews
Android is quickly becoming the Google+ OS.
We knew that Android 4.2 would see the introduction of new security features both on your device and in the Play Store, but Computerworld got a chance to speak with Android's VP of Engineering, Hiroshi Lockheimer, about the platform's beefed up security measures, specifically Android's new real-time app scanning utility.
The scanner builds on the functionality of the Play Store's existing security features by bringing app-scanning security to the frontend, scanning incoming apps from third party sources (including apps like Amazon's App Store).
We've got an LG Nexus system dump and endless desire to spoil every Googley surprise we can. Today's edition of the Android 4.2 Teardown could be alternatively subtitled "The Super-Serious Security Edition," because we're talking about the sort of stuff that should make your sysadmin jump for joy.
Please keep in mind this is just as forward-facing and time-ambiguous as all my other teardowns. This is a list of new stuff in the 4.2 dump, not a list of "confirmed for 4.2" features.
Welcome to the Android Police Week In Review - your source for the biggest Android stories of the week. Don't forget, you can catch a lot of these stories (and more) on our weekly podcast.
- AT&T drops its device return policy from 30 days to 14, so hey, that's 16 less days you'll have to think about returning your phone.
This morning, Verizon announced it was launching a brand-new mobile security app for Android. It's called Verizon Mobile Security. Catchy, right?
Fact aside that like most mobile security apps the "malware and virus protection" feature is basically worthless unless you're visiting Chinese / Russian warez sites on a regular basis, this app does bring one thing of value to the table: remote track and wipe (for $2 extra a month, $1 a month if you have a Verizon Equipment Protection plan).
A bunch of new fun stuff is coming down the pipeline, Google-fans! Your favorite search giant has just pushed several updates to some of its headlining properties, including Play Music, Play Magazines, and Google Goggles. We've got the full rundown for you.
For starters, Google Music has added expandable notifications to its repertoire. It doesn't look like you'll see much more info if you expand it, but Play Music continues to be one of the best examples of how to make notifications robust and useful.
Xuxian Jiang, along with his research team at North Carolina State University, has cooked up a proof-of-concept "clickjack rootkit" which targets Android. The rootkit is unique not only in that it can function without a device restart, but also in that it targets Android's framework, not requiring deep modifications to the underlying firmware or kernel.
Clickjacking, for those unfamiliar, is a malicious technique typically used on the web to "trick" users into handing over control of their device or confidential information.