Chrome OS is one of the most secure desktop operating systems on the market (privacy concerns about the Google ecosystem aside). Automatic system updates, verified boot, and system drive encryption all keep your Chromebook safe from attacks. Most models also use a Trusted Platform Module, or TPM, for generating the cryptographic keys that protect local data. Read More
At the beginning of the month, Samsung started rolling out its Android 8.0 Oreo beta to its Galaxy S8/S8 Plus devices in the US, UK, and Korea. The company isn't resting on its laurels, it seems, as the second beta build is already making its way to users. The firmware may have the build number G950FXXU1ZQK4 or G955USQU1ZQK6 depending on which region you're in. Read More
Finding stock firmware for phones can be a pain, but Chainfire is here to help. He's launched a new website at firmware.mobi, where you can find official firmware for a variety of devices. It also simplifies the process of using CF-Auto-Root, if that's your goal. Read More
This flew under our radar back at I/O, but it's big news. On compatible devices, the new Verified Boot changes in Android 8.0 Oreo will prevent a device from booting should it be rolled back to an earlier firmware. The new feature is called Rollback Protection. So if your phone is flashed with older software, you (and your data) are protected from whatever potential security vulnerabilities may have been present in earlier versions. Read More
If you happen to still own a Google Glass unit, yesterday's mysterious update of the MyGlass companion app might have had you thinking about dusting off the headset to see if it could still hold a charge... If you could ever really say Glass held a charge. In possibly the biggest tease (or troll) for Glass owners, today brings an even bigger surprise: New firmware. Yes, if you leave Glass connected to the Internet for a little while, it should download and install the brand new XE23 update.
What was wrong with 3.5mm audio jacks? They have been standard for many years, they worked reliably, and you could find tons of headphones that supported them. But no, companies have to sometimes invent reasons to change things around and here we are with the 3.5mm jack mysteriously disappearing from modern smartphones to be replaced by USB-C digital audio. Yes, I know that size constraints matter, but so far, the released phones with no jack don't make a good case for that argument and don't provide any new hardware that uses the additional empty space favorably. And for the record, I am ranting even though I use Bluetooth headsets 99% of the time; I just like having the 3.5mm plug option for that 1%. Read More
Not too long ago, Google began offering users the chance to test unfinished Chromecast firmware. The first preview firmware, version 1.21.72444, began rolling out to users recently. Google's release notes for the update only state, "General bug fixes and stability improvements." Really helpful, Google.
Thankfully, tipster Rafael sent us the screenshots above and below. They indicate that all references to the word 'Chrome' have been removed. The current public firmware shows the Chrome logo when the device starts up, which is now replaced by a Google logo. Read More
Normally only Nexus and other first-party Google devices get a taste of an upcoming Android version before it's released, barring custom ROMs and other end user activities. But Sony has been offering experimental AOSP builds for some of its phones for some time, and today the company has surprised and delighted owners of the former flagship Xperia Z3 with a custom Android N developer preview. This is more or less the same as the preview builds for Nexus phones and tablets, and it includes the Play Store and Google Services - everything one needs for a full Android experience. Read More
Evidence has been mounting over the last few days and it looks like it's finally happening: Android 6.0 for Wear is starting to roll out. Googler Wayne Piekarski just announced on his Google+ feed that OTAs have begun and should continue over the next few weeks.
An official blog post by Google lists some of the new features we can expect in the new firmware, including: newly navigation gestures, audio support on speaker-equipped watches, and expanded support for messaging clients.
In Piekarski's post, he reminds developers that the API 23 SDK is already out, but that nobody should remove support for API 22 until the rollout is complete. Read More
Fair play to Huawei for including a speaker on its self-titled Android Wear watch long before the software actually supported it. That being said, I'm sure Huawei Watch owners are wondering when their expensive gadget will have all of its parts activated so they can stop carrying around an extra quarter-ounce of extraneous electronics. According to multiple sources, that speaker will be activated soon, specifically whenever Google gets around to issuing the next version of Android Wear's firmware.
A user on Reddit says that he or she is currently using a test build of Android Wear on the Huawei Watch, and that the speaker is active with the new software installed. Read More