Writing for Android Police from my home office in Virginia, it's not every day that I get to report on something somewhat close to home. But here it is. A Virginia Circuit Court judge has ruled that while police officers cannot compel a person to give up their passcode, they can demand someone use their fingerprint to unlock their phone.
Judge Steven C. Frucci made the ruling this week, saying that giving a police officer your fingerprint is similar to providing a DNA or handwriting sample, something the law permits. Read More
Google's two-factor authentication system is a great way to keep your email and other accounts safe, especially if you've always got a smartphone (or even a dumb phone) around. Today Google is adding even more options beyond the current phone call, text message, email, and app-based verification. The latest update to the desktop version of Chrome lets you use a USB key as your two-factor security token, ensuring access via both your physical presence and your login password. Read More
The final round of Developer Preview images released on Friday left a number of users without root access on their devices, but a lightning fast quick-fix by Chainfire had them back in business the following day. Yesterday, he took to Google+ with a follow-up of how it works and the issues that are making it more difficult to acquire root on the latest version of Android.
Due to increasingly effective security measures and stricter enforcement of SELinux, it seems that many, or possibly all of the available methods for initializing the SuperSU daemon at startup have been rendered ineffective. Read More
Google showed off the trusted device unlock support back at Google I/O, but the feature didn't make it into the last dev preview. Well, it's there now and it works as advertised. Just pair your favorite wearable or Bluetooth gizmo, and the secure lock screen goes away. Lose connection, and it's back.
Handing over your phone to a friend or acquaintance who "just needs to make a call" can be a little nerve-wracking. Sure, this person probably won't poke around in your email or secretly send your private pictures to their Dropbox account, but you would feel better if you could be certain. Lollipop has just the feature to keep your phone secure in the hands of your friends: Screen Pinning. Now you can lock a single app into the foreground, and nobody will be able to sneak a peek at your web history. Read More
Since the beginning, Lookout has been a consumer-focused company. Now, after having snagged millions of paying subscribers and deals with many carriers spread across various parts of the globe, it's ready to get down to business. Big business, so to speak. The company is pushing its offerings towards enterprise clients, the kind of customers with plenty of employees all managing potentially confidential information on their mobile devices. It's trying to entice them with the promise of a security solution that works and a user experience that won't tick people off. Read More
Galaxy S4 Active users on AT&T, don't get too excited when you see a new software update message appear in your notification bar. This is a minor update with minor changes, and once you apply it the phone will still be running the same Android 4.4.2 build that you've had since June. According to an AT&T support page, the update includes just three things:
- Connectivity improvements related to receiving calls and text messaging
- Security patch
- Updated Google apps
We've got no idea what kind of updated Google apps Ma Bell put in there, since Google prefers to do its own updating via the Play Store these days. Read More
Not everyone needs one of those antivirus/security suites on Android. However, it's a good idea to have if you're going to do stupid things. It might as well look nice while cleaning up your mess too, right? Well, Avast just got an update with a new UI and a few feature tweaks.
If you already use Avast, you'll probably notice that the UI isn't vastly different (some old shots at the bottom). Read More
When I was in the process of opening my small pharmacy more than 3 years ago, I contacted a security firm and installed several thousands of dollars worth of surveillance and alarm equipment. It works reliably, but it's a huge pain to change any setting in the system (there's no user interface, just a bunch of wires and keys) or get any footage out of it. It feels antiquated compared to today's more modern Internet-connected smart solutions with simplified experiences, but that was the most appropriate choice at the time. Read More
At the Google I/O 2014 keynote, Sundar Pichai took to the stage to let us know that the L release of Android is set to make massive improvements in security for the enterprise as well as regular users. The Washington Post has received word from Google that gives us another glimpse of what we should expect in the next version. It seems that devices shipping with Android L will have disk encryption enabled by default. Read More