Android OS

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[Hands-On] Volkswagen Officially Unveils Android Auto On Upcoming 2016 Models, Some Hitting US Dealers Within Days

At an event in California earlier today, Volkswagen officially announced that upcoming 2016 VW models will be Android Auto-ready. Which models? For now, what we know is this: most model year 2016 VWs at "SE" trim and above will likely pack the generation two MIB infotainment system, which has Android Auto (and Apple CarPlay). There are 6.5" and 8" versions of MIB 2, but both offer the same Auto experience.

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Microsoft Releases Standalone Android Emulator With Easy Instructions To Use It With Android Studio And Eclipse With ADT

Microsoft surprised Android developers last year with the launch of a brand new emulator designed for performance and features that aren't available anywhere else. While the initial Preview release only included an image for KitKat, subsequent updates introduced an expanded set of emulator images and some valuable new features. While a high-speed emulator is certainly compelling, many developers still didn't adopt it because it had to be downloaded and installed alongside a very large Visual Studio package, not to mention it was also frustrating to set up for use with other IDEs. Last week, Microsoft unburdened the emulator and released it as a standalone download along with step-by-step instructions to set it up to easily run with Android Studio and Eclipse with ADT.

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A Motorola Smart Watch Just Passed Through The FCC, Probably The New Moto 360

Motorola's big announcement came and went today with no word on a new Android Wear watch. Phones? Psh, whatever. We have plenty of phones, Motorola. Where's the new Moto 360? Well, it might be sitting at the FCC for regulatory approval right now.

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InBrief
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HTC Posts The Kernel Source Code For The Unlocked Version Of The One M9

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Vast Majority Of Android Devices Are Vulnerable To 'Stagefright' Exploit That Can Be Executed Via Text Message, According To Researchers

In a blog post published today by the researchers at Zimperium Mobile Security, the group divulged an extremely widespread security vulnerability that can be exploited with nothing more than a targeted MMS message. The hole exists in the part of the Android operating system called Stagefright, which handles the processing of certain types of multimedia.

How it works

If targeted, the hypothetical hacker needs only to send an MMS message, which in many cases doesn't even need to be read before the attacker gains access to the victim's microphone and camera.

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Google Posts Details Of User-Facing Verified Boot System, Probably Coming In Android M

Google has just added an interesting page to the Nexus support site that lists new operating system safety warnings. According to the page, this is a boot verification system that checks the integrity of your device software during each startup. You probably haven't seen this on any devices yet, but Android M is right around the corner.

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InBrief
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Motorola Publishes Android 5.1 Kernel Source For The 2014 Moto X

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T-Mobile Galaxy S6 And S6 Edge Get Updates With Battery Life Improvements And Other Tweaks

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are already on the latest version of Android, but the T-Mobile variants are getting a small maintenance update today with a few fixes. It's not huge, but you may as well install it when you've got a moment. The changelog promises battery life improvements, which is always appreciated.

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NVIDIA Releases Android 5.1 OTA Update For Tegra Note 7 Tablets

Screenshot credit: Lisa Antunes

Remember the Tegra Note 7? It was supposed to be an OEM platform from NVIDIA, but it got a bit overshadowed when the SHIELD Tablet came out. About a half-dozen manufacturers took NVIDIA up on its offer, notably EVGA, Zotac, Gigabyte, and HP, but it doesn't look like a second model is coming any time soon. Still, they're pretty nice little tablets, especially if you want one with a relatively clean version of Android and a built-in stylus for a low price.

One of the other nice things about the Tegra Note 7 tablets is that updates come straight from NVIDIA (though HP's Slate 7 Extreme seems to be an exception).

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[Hands-On] Honda Announces Its First Car With Android Auto - The 2016 Accord

As the year goes on, more and more automakers are announcing vehicles with Android Auto, and Honda joined the club today with the refreshed 2016 Accord.

The new Accord will be arriving soon at American dealerships (how soon, we're not sure), and it will be among the very first cars to ship with both Android Auto and Apple Car Play here in the US. Currently, no on-sale vehicle is offered with both, and some upcoming cars won't get both until dealer-installed software updates are made available.

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The 2016 Accord is the second model to use Honda's new Android-powered infotainment experience (not to be confused with Android Auto), which proves to be a vast step up from previous iterations of Honda's system, with smooth 60FPS graphics and better performance overall.

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