Calling all hackers and security researchers: Google wants to pay you money. Quite a lot, in fact. The top prize for finding a new critical flaw in Android in the new Project Zero Prize competition is a whopping $200,000, with the second prize at $100,000 and $50,000 split among additional entrants. The contest is being run by Project Zero, the company's own internal team of security researchers that documents critical flaws and bugs in wide-reaching software. Read More
tinyCam Monitor is probably the most feature-packed remote surveillance app on the Play Store. Almost everything you could imagine is here - two-way audio for select cameras, SSL support, MP4 video recording, Google Cast and Android TV support, and even a built-in web server. Version 7.0 of tinyCam has just been released, and to celebrate, the Pro version is 50% off until September 20. Read More
NVIDIA is pretty good about regular updates for its SHIELD line, and the Tablet twins are the recipients of the latest bumps. Update version 4.3 for the original SHIELD Tablet (the one with the stylus) and 1.4 for the newer SHIELD Tablet K1 are basically identical, and in both cases the biggest addition is an update to Android 6.0 that brings the security patches to July of this year. The rest of the changes are pretty minor bug fixes and other small adjustments: Read More
September's platform distribution numbers for Android are now available, and... they're dully predictable. Marshmallow's growth returned to the levels we saw in July, gaining 3.5 points versus its position a month ago. Lollipop has returned to a net decline, with v5.0 losing a full point of the pie and 5.1's half-point increase not being able to make up for it. That means Lollipop, combined, is on 35% of all Android devices Google counted versus Marshmallow's 18.7%.
KitKat dropped 1.5 points, Jelly Bean (all versions) collectively dipped a meager 1.1 points, and Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread barely budged from their previous positions. Read More
There's no denying that the Galaxy Note 7 recall is a big deal, but as with any big story, a little caution is called for when reporting on it. There are in fact other things that can catch fire besides the Note 7, including - gasp! - other smartphones. Such is the case with one of the more dramatic reports of a Galaxy Note 7 malfunction. As it turns out this New York Post article about a 6-year-old injured by an exploding Note 7 (which still hasn't been updated or corrected (update: see below)) is in fact about a Galaxy Core Prime, an entirely different Samsung phone model. Read More
SoundHound is a bit like Shazam, but on steroids. If it wasn't for Shazam's integration with OK Google, SoundHound would be the only music identification app I have on my phone, because it doesn't just do searches of music playing around you, it can also recognize songs you sing or hum. It works more often than you'd think, even with a couple of missed lyrics, out of tune notes, and even half-accurate hums.
SoundHound also has the benefit of the Hound voice assistant, which means that you can ask it to identify a song, add it to your Spotify playlist, get information about artists and releases, and more without touching a single button. Read More
LG and the V20 could hardly have hoped for a more fortuitous turn of events in recent weeks. Samsung’s Note7 has been globally recalled for a serious battery defect, and replacement shipments are nowhere to be seen. The V20, by contrast, offers an increasingly rare removable battery. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone 7 duo have been unveiled without a headphone jack. The V20 proudly touts its high-end wired audio capabilities as being among the best in the smartphone world. It may be of little consequence that it will likely be the first, or at least technically first, phone to ship with Android 7.0 - but of much greater import is the fact that it will be available on all four major US carriers. Read More
Back in May, Cody unveiled strings in the Google Cast app version 1.15 that pointed to an upcoming "Chromecast Preview Program." It was clear from the code that the app would start offering an opt-in option for users to test new versions of the Chromecast firmware before they're released to the public. But for months, the Preview Program was nowhere to be found in the app.
In the last couple of days, we've received a couple of tips from users telling us that the option has now shown up for them inside the Google Cast app. And now it's finally been officially announced by the Google Cast team. Read More
The international recall of the Galaxy Note 7 is becoming a full-fledged disaster for Samsung, with millions of early devices (and consumers) affected. But even with the negative press and a direct hit to revenue, Samsung would prefer its customers send their faulty phones in for a replacement rather than face even a small possibility of said phones bursting into flames. In the company's home territory of South Korea, it's going to use some more direct methods of encouragement. Read More