Malware is a problem for Android, but that problem almost exclusively exists outside the confines of the safety of the Play Store. Like any platform where the sharing of pirated, cracked software occurs, if you're downloading something you didn't rightly pay for, there's a risk it might be carrying a little something "extra" you hadn't counted on being included. For the most part, this is how Android malware spreads - but what do malware distributors do once they've got a device infected?
I love Update Wednesdays, and today we've already seen pretty decent updates to several Google apps. As you've already seen, Google Play Games was updated to v1.5, but the one I'm excited about the most is, without a doubt, Google TTS v3.0, which made a jump today from v2.4.
So, what's so cool about TTS 3.0?
First and foremost, Text-to-Speech 3.0 adds support for high quality voices.
Today the Google Play Games app has made the big jump from version 1.1 to 1.5, and there are quite a few new features tucked away inside that may cause you to hit its icon in your app tray a little bit more often. Let's dive in.
The previous version allowed you to join multiplayer games from within the app, but the latest update introduces the ability to view invitations as well.
The official Motorola Migrate app received a notable update today, adding a few new features to Moto's smartphone transfer tool that should ease the pain of getting a new handset.
In particular, the new version allows more granular control over which content you want to transfer to the new handset, instead of just sending everything over wholesale, at least for Android-to-Android migration. You can toggle contacts, messages, photos, videos, music, and call logs as part of the new version's migration process.
Samsung just took a load of code and dumped it on the company's open source repository this afternoon, a la the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 in both Wi-Fi and LTE trims. There are a total of 5 kernel source files here, 2 for North American Wi-Fi variants (SM-T320_NA), 2 for global Wi-Fi variants (SM-T320), and one for the global LTE variant (SM-T325).
This follows the release of kernel source code for both the Tab Pro 10.1 and Note Pro 12.2 a month ago.
360-degree video. Next to the holodeck, it really is the holy grail of next-generation viewing. The possibilities are seemingly endless - can you imagine a 360-degree video drone copter buzzing around a basketball arena or providing live coverage of a protest in a foreign land? A submarine wading through the depths, giving you the complete ability to pan around the undersea world? And unlike 3D or other crazy video tech, you don't even need a special TV - just a way to control the current area of focus in the video.
The PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One all allow gamers to record and broadcast gameplay online via Twitch, turning even single-player games into social experiences. Now the technology is coming to Android. Today Twitch has announced the release of its mobile SDK, which game developers can use to provide players with functionality similar to that found on consoles. Mobile gamers will soon be able to share their mobile gaming experience with the rest of the Twitch community.
It seems we're awash in fitness and activity trackers of late, and Kickstarter has been home to a number of such devices in the past year. FlyFit, another such product, just surpassed its $90,000 funding goal this morning, so backers should hopefully be seeing a product at some point.
FlyFit's primary claim to fame is that it's a fitness tracker designed exclusively to be worn around the ankle, as opposed to the wrist.
Sprint has posted the details regarding an impending OTA for the Galaxy Tab 3. This software update won't turn the tablet into a brand new device, nor will it even bring along much in the way of fresh air, but it's better than nothing. Software version T217SVPUANB8 will improve WiFi, install KNOX, and make the WiFi "auto network switch" default to off. That last one's pretty specific, but Sprint says it will ultimately enable users to connect to any WiFi network regardless of its strength by suppressing the "Your internet connection is unstable" error message.
Verizon's version of the Galaxy S III Mini (you know, the one with the defaced home button) is slated to receive a minor over-the-air update in the coming days, bringing along software version G730VVRUANA4. The update is indeed fairly unremarkable, updating some of that lovely Verizon bloat, removing a "never time out" feature from Bluetooth settings, adding photos to incoming calls on call waiting, and something about "enhanced device security" (probably Android security patches).