Google rolls out new versions of Chrome all the time, but Mozilla is no slouch when it comes to Firefox. Version 42 of Firefox is hitting the stable channel with a number of important changes and improvements, but right at the top of the list is a revamped private browsing mode with a feature called Tracking Protection. It's basically a built-in ad-blocker. Read More
In our final Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document post, we'll be looking at a small[-ish] clause added in the security section of the CDD. Previously, Google had not actually defined any particularly specific requirements about factory resets for Android devices. While all devices have such a function, they may differ in their efficacy and level of security post-wipe. And while we don't have any reason to believe a particular manufacturer is not already meeting these new requirements (a point I will stress), it's good to see Google is at least laying down a clear mandate on this issue going forward.
Basically, it was possible, pre-Android 6.0, for a manufacturer to merely conduct a logical wipe when doing a factory reset of a device. Read More
Inbox by Gmail is Google's way of experimenting with your email account. The service comes up with new ways to present information and organize it effectively. Now the search giant is taking the next step and responding to your email for you. Well, almost. It will look at your message and provide you with a few logical responses to pick from. Or you can use these snippets to jump start your reply if you feel you have more to say. Read More
Ever had a phone with a bum gyroscope? Or a totally irrational pedometer? Google, in the interest of better counting your steps and determining just what in the hell your phone is doing moving around in three-dimensional space has now defined a "high fidelity sensor support" flag for Android devices, as in the Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document.
The idea here is to give developers a single flag to look for that says "this phone / tablet / whatever is not a dumpster fire of awful sensor accuracy." Or, perhaps, more positively, to just say a device has really good sensors. Read More
Pushbullet is all about sharing, version 17 seems a natural progression. You now have the option to insert Pushbullet targets into Android's share menu. Don't just send a file to Pushbullet—send it to a specific phone, tablet, or PC. This is through implementation of Android 6.0's Direct Share feature, which lets apps provide their own share options. In a future update, the developers want to prioritize whichever devices serve as frequent recipients.
Since this release gets Pushbullet ready for Marshmallow, enhancements don't stop there. The developers have implemented support for runtime permissions, granting access as it's needed rather than when first installing an app. Read More
Can you hear that sound off in the distance? That's the Fallout hype train picking up steam as we approach the much-anticipated release of Fallout 4 on November 10th. Bethesda released the mobile game Fallout Shelter a couple months ago, but now it has dropped a messaging app into Google Play. It's called Fallout C.H.A.T., which stands for Communications Hub and Transmitter. Read More
You can get by without a cable subscription these days and still watch plenty of video with the magic of the internet. Well, unless you have an oppressive data cap to deal with. Yuck. For everyone else, there's the streaming cable service Sling TV. It launched a while back with support for a few devices, which has been expanding steadily. Now, you can watch Sling TV via the Chromecast. Read More
Before today, if you liked a message on Twitter and wanted others to see it, you could retweet it. And if you liked a tweet and wanted to keep it all to yourself, you could "favorite" it by tapping the little star icon, which would fill in and save it as a quasi-bookmark in your account. Today Twitter announced a change to its social platform that will rock the very foundations of the Internet: the star is now a heart. Oh, and it's called a "like" now.
The move is a small one, but it's almost certainly designed to make Twitter more accessible to newcomers who might be somewhat confused by the star imagery. Read More
Google's monthly security updates are out in the form of factory images, and that means it's time for some new code in AOSP. Since these versions are dedicated to closing security holes, there certainly won't be any new features and the bug fixes probably won't have much effect on battery life or performance, but they will keep the baddies from treating your phone like it runs an old version of Windows.
A number of serious vulnerabilities were fixed in this release, including two critical issues that could be used for remote code execution. Details have been posted on the Nexus Security Bulletin. Read More
A certain guilt accompanies many of the apps I write about for this site. They're cool, and they're probably going to make your life easier in some way or another. But they involve signing up for yet another account, creating one more record of your online activity.
This post is different—it's about a company that boasts about how little it knows about you. Today Open Whisper Systems has announced that it is combining its RedPhone and TextSecure Android apps into one called Signal, just like it did on iOS earlier this year.
RedPhone and TextSecure both made end-to-end encryption accessible to privacy conscious folks who just want to download an app. Read More