February's batch of factory images started turning up earlier today and Google followed up with a push to AOSP a few hours later. As usual, we've got some changelogs to look over. The focus this month appears to be entirely on sealing any holes that could be used by bad people to do bad things.
Google posted a security bulletin with a list of fixes found in this release, and there are a few pretty big ones this month. Five items have been tagged Critical, including two that allowed for remote code execution without any user interaction, and the remaining three could have been used for privilege escalation. Read More
An article on PC Mag published earlier today claims that US Mobile is the "first legit" Xiaomi and Meizu carrier in America. This is, frankly, misleading. To clarify immediately: some US T-Mobile MVNO that no one has heard of is working with an electronics distributor in Hong Kong to sell gray market Xiaomi and Meizu devices on its online store, and they don't even support US LTE bands. Read More
Google stopped being the Google we all knew last year when it formed a new umbrella parent company called Alphabet. Now, following the first quarterly earnings call for Alphabet, the company's market capitalization (a measure of value based on the price of outstanding shares) has topped that of Apple. That means by one measure, Alphabet is the most valuable company on the planet. Read More
Not to be outdone, WhatsApp today announced literally during Alphabet's earnings call minutes after it was announced Gmail had 1 billion MAUs that it, too, has joined the billion user club.
Unlike Gmail, the Facebook-owned communication service got there substantially quicker relative to its Play Store app: WhatsApp registered 1 billion installs on the Play Store in March last year, meaning it converted those installs into a billion MAUs in just 11 months. WhatsApp, of course, has also not been around nearly as long as Gmail, which makes it an even more impressive feat. Not to mention that here in the US most people have no freaking clue what WhatsApp is. Read More
During Alphabet's first earnings call this afternoon, Google CEO Sundar Pichai commented that as of this month, Gmail now officially has one billion monthly active users. That's a lot of Gmail.
The Gmail app for Android, by comparison, hit one billion installs a little over 20 months ago, back in May of 2014. And that was two years after Gmail became the most popular email service on the planet. When that occurred in 2012, Google reported around 425 million MAUs for Gmail, meaning the service has grown its active user base twice over in around three-and-a-half years. Read More
A rather lengthy report on The Information was published this morning about the state of Google's Nexus program, and if I had to put it in one word, the state of Nexus seems to be "fluctuating." While there's a lot to chew through here, there are a few talking points worth pulling out specifically to digest and analyze, so let's dive in.
- Google will take more control over Nexus device development and branding in the future. Maybe.
What does this actually mean? It really is impossible to know. The Information carefully clads these statements in a lot of "ifs," "mays," and "coulds." Google clearly already does nearly all of the aesthetic design on Nexus devices and likely many major feature or hardware decisions - neither the Nexus 5X nor the 6P look anything like what LG or Huawei currently produce. Read More
Virtual reality is the hot new-ish thing these days, but making your own fully immersive 360-degree content is far from a simple experience. Samsung might be getting ready to release a companion to the Gear VR called the Gear 360. According to SamMobile, it's a 360-degree camera that records video using two 180-degree fisheye lenses. Read More
Love the idea of cloud storage providers but don't want to trust your data with the big guys? One more of your options is about to go away. Copy, the cloud storage service from Barracuda, is shutting down on May 1st, 2016. Read More
Android tablets have never been considered the best options on the market, but according to the International Data Corporation, they're not the only ones performing worse than they did in years past. Across the board, tablets aren't leaving store shelves the way they used to. Read More
Twilight aims to make your phone screen less damaging to your sleep cycle, operating on the idea that blue-shifted light screws up your circadian rhythms. There's some evidence behind this, but you could only put it to the test on your phone. Now you can take advantage of the sleep-friendly screen Twilight filters on your watch and TV as well. Read More