This is a guest post by Ricardo "arcee" Cerqueira who takes things apart for sport, on a quest to understand how they work. He currently works on Android devices at Cyanogen.
As people started receiving their Nexus 6Ps, some began freaking out over a new message that comes up on the screen when booting into fastboot mode: “QFUSE: ENABLED,” with wild speculative theories coming up regarding what it does and doesn’t do, what kind of limitations it’s imposing, and wondering if and how it can be “disabled.” So... what’s this qFuse thing, anyway?
Think of an eFuse as the mind’s eye representation of a bit that only flips one way, or something that can only be done once on a piece of writeable flash.
Secure Settings is a complex Tasker/Locale plugin for rooted and non-rooted security conscious users alike. Version 1.3.5 of the app has gone stable, bringing with it a beefy changelog that should help the software play nicely with modern devices and give older handsets new perks as well.
We don't often cover Kickstarter campaigns – after all, the platform is flooded with entries that may not be worth mentioning, or are dead on arrival. Sometimes, though, a gadget comes through that exceeds expectations, and the myIDkey is one of those.
myIDkey is a voice-activated secure USB drive that manages your passwords. Across all devices. Oh, and it has a fingerprint scanner. The project has absolutely demolished its $150,000 funding goal, reaching (at the time of writing) $164,126 with twenty seven days left to go.
The handy USB device looks to give you a "key to all your devices," connecting directly through USB to your PC or via Bluetooth to your mobile device(s).
For the past few weeks, I've been testing Hideman - a VPN solution with a feature set I've been seeking for a very long time. I've been using both Android and Windows apps to test the service, and let me tell you - it is everything I was hoping it would be and then some.
Hideman is available for the following operating systems:
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).
The service is of course "opt-in" – when you first install a third party app on your device, you'll see a friendly popup asking if you'd like Google to check on all your incoming apps for "harmful behavior." The decision to include this feature, according to Lockheimer, came down to the idea that "security [is] a universal thing.
Jean-Sebastien Royer, a developer making his debut on Google's Play Store, recently released Kainy – an app that promises to allow users to stream games from their PC over a Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G connection. The first problem that comes to mind with this concept is devising a cohesive and broadly applicable control scheme. Addressing that in perhaps the most logical (and ingenious) way possible, Kainy allows users to create customized control layouts for each game.
Kainy offers ~100 preset control templates, and allows for infinite customization, as well as accelerometer control where appropriate. For added control, users can connect a Bluetooth keyboard.
Avira, a "worldwide leading supplier of self-developed security solutions," has thrown its hat into the Android security ring, releasing Avira Free Android Security to the Market today. The app offers a bevy of familiar anti-theft functions, including remote lock, scream, GPS tracking, and device info monitoring, among others.
Though Avira's solution offers the old standbys as far as anti-theft functionality, the app also has a few unique touches and key features that make it worth checking out.
First off, the service can handle multiple devices, which is a huge plus in my book. The app also allows users to add a convenient button to the lock screen which will call a predetermined phone number, allowing the person who finds your phone to get a hold of you quickly and easily.
Manilla, a popular account management/bill paying solution, has made the process of paying for goods and services even easier by releasing an app for Android today.
The app allows you to view all of your accounts and payment statuses in a single place, and boasts the same soundness of security as its online counterpart.
For someone like me who enjoys the convenience of paying bills online and often double, triple, and quadruple checks their bill payment statuses, Manilla is a great solution, and now you can securely pay and manage accounts from almost anywhere. If you haven't already, go grab the app from the Android Market.
We recently started a new series of posts called the Mobile Security App Shootout, which focuses on keeping our devices safe and recovering them if lost or stolen. Along those same lines comes an amazing Tasker/Locale plugin centered around the device security called Secure Settings.
Designed for Android 2.2+, Secure Settings offers a plethora of features for both rooted and non-rooted users, including quick keyguard toggle and lock, Linux run command, set or reset password/pin, device wake, or wireless ADB (root only). With the help of Secure Settings Helper, rooted users can also take advantage of more advanced features such as the ability to enable/disable ADB, enable/disable GPS, enable/disable pattern lock, and much more.
Remember the super-sweet anti-theft software Theft Aware that we first showed you back in November? The creators of said software have pinged us with some pretty rad info: the licensing has been tweaked so you can now transfer it to a new device!
Initially, the license was tethered to the handset for which it was originally purchased, so once you upgraded your phone, you had to buy a new license to go along with it. Now, though, they are offering a new, separate licensing model that allows you to transfer your license from your old device to the new one.