Way back in January 2011, we were all gobsmacked at the recent announcement of 300,000 Android activations per day. That looks cute now, doesn't it? A year later and it's more than doubled, now we're up to 700,000 per day.
Budget phone. The very sound of those two words, together, makes me slightly ill. In fact, it makes me almost immediately seethe with a sort of "nerd-rage." I hate the way budget phones are peddled onto the tech-illiterate by commission-motivated hucksters at "Big Four" carrier phone stores. I hate seeing people get locked into 2-year contracts because they got a "great deal" on a smartphone. "It was free!" they'll say, and that the nice sales representative (his name was Jimmy) kept them from buying "something they didn't need," because they walked in with a firm spending limit and they weren't going to budge!
Make no mistake about it - the Galaxy Nexus is the most important phone of 2011. It's the first device from the next generation of Android. It hits every major feature the phones of 2012 will be touting: On-screen buttons, a massive 720p OLED screen, NFC, LTE, and Ice Cream Sandwich. Together these things make this phone unlike any other Android phone. This is what Android's future looks like.
Carrier IQ has been a hot topic as of late, but not without good reason. The "service" that no one had really heard of before October of this year has been raising eyebrows for the last couple of months, leaving us all wondering how much data was actually being extracted from our devices.
While it definitely has a deep ditch to dig its way out of, CIQ has started on that long and tedious process by releasing a nineteen-page document detailing exactly what information is collected.
If you're a Verizon Wireless customer and concerned about Carrier IQ, it looks like you can leave your worry at the door. Verizon's Jeffery Nelson confirmed via Twitter to The Verge's Joshua Topolsky that Verizon phone are free of CIQ, and that this "was made clear two weeks ago."
So, if you're on Big Red and have been feeling panic-ey thinking about CIQ or digging through your running processes looking for IQRD, you can rest your weary mind - Papa VZW has your back.
According to a group of computer scientists at North Carolina State University, a vulnerability exists within many Android devices that would allow hackers (or malicious apps) to bypass the permissions request process and tap into audio and location, wipe apps and data, or send unauthorized SMS messages, all without the user knowing.
This news may sound a bit sensational, but the researchers have created and tested a dummy app which effectively demonstrates the exploit:
Among the eight phones tested with the researchers' diagnostic app (Woodpecker), HTC's Evo 4G seemed to be the most vulnerable, able to "leak" eight different capabilities to their dummy app, which was not explicitly granted appropriate permissions by the user.
Lately, we've talked a lot about Carrier IQ, the "service" that hides itself in the background of an unknown number of Android devices, harvesting information and sending it back to carriers. While it's still unclear how deep the rabbit hole actually goes, the dev who discovered it, TrevE, is still digging in search of the answer. His latest findings may shine a bit of light on the subject, and I can promise you one thing: it's not pretty.
From the day I picked up the original Evo 4G, I realized that battery technology was, no doubt, lagging behind the devices it powered. Looking to push batteries a bit closer to the impressive power of today's mobile technology, researchers at Northwestern University have significantly boosted the power of lithium-ion batteries by making a few key changes.
To achieve such impressive performance enhancements, the researchers essentially poked millions of holes in the battery's graphene layers using a chemical oxidation process.
Update: Public Service Announcement: I'm an idiot. My sincere apologies to everyone. This post was totally wrong. I misread the PR and really had no idea an "Unlimited Value Plan" was special or cheaper.
So let's try this again.
T-Mobile is having a sale! "Magenta Saturday" is one day only, this Saturday, November 19th. You will save money, but it's complicated. Pay attention.