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Android

  • WhatsApp bulks up its Android encryption efforts

    WhatsApp has made end-to-end encryption the default for all Android users, following a partnership with nonprofit software group Open Whisper Systems. Privacy is a big deal with users and it should be. Private messages and information should remain exactly that, private. With this encryption, WhatsApp messages are more private than they have ever been. Open Whisper System’s encryption protocol is also used to secure TextSecure. The encryption does not need users to turn it on. Read more: Yahoo’s end-to-end encryption tool will combat email snooping According to Open Whisper Systems founder Moxie Marlinspike, Android users are the first users to get...

  • Android founder will exit Google to incubate hardware startups

    Without Android Google would still be a pretty powerful company, but nowhere near as influential as it is today. In that regard, it owes a deep vote of thanks to Andy Rubin, the man who founded Android as an independent company way back in 2003. From now on though, it'll have to do without Rubin's vision. According to The Wall Street Journal, the former Google Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content is leaving to start a hardware startup incubator. In a statement, Google CEO Larry Page thanked Rubin for his service. "I want to wish Andy all...

  • 4 things I learned building my first indie Android game

    Everyone seems to be talking about how easy it is to make money making a smash hit indie game for realise on Android or iOS. Flappy bird and Candy Crush are so simple anyone can do it right? Well yes and no. Yes, anyone can do it but they have a concept they like and the persistence to plan, design, develop and implement. Below are four things that I have learned from my first attempt at indie games development, some of these I definitely need to work on improving myself, so I am not an expert. To be clear, I am a...

  • Suck on that: new version of Android to be called Lollipop

    Right that's that mystery solved. The next version of Android will be called "Lollipop". Sorry Lemon Meringue Pie, Lava Cake and Lemon Drop. First announced at Google I/O earlier this year, the latest edition of Google's mobile operating system comes with the tagline "Be together. Not the same". In part, that's a reference to the large number of mobile device manufacturers who build devices running Android, but it's also a reference to the fact that you can now use Android on everything from smartphones and tablets to TVs, watches and even PCs. And while no one's come out and said...

  • Watch these desserts try out to be the inspiration for Android L

    In the next couple of days, Google will officially release Android L into the wild. It'll bring plenty of new features and promises to run as smoothly as a curling stone across freshly polished ice, but the thing that everyone's really wondering is what dessert it'll be named after. If the latest video from the Mountainview-based giant is anything to go by then the competition between the various 'L' desserts is heating up. Will it be Lemon-Meringue Pie? Or will Lava Cake steal it from Lady Finger at the last moment. Lemon Drop is a dark horse, but rolls...

  • Who’s most keen for the iPhone 6? In the US, the answer’s pretty much what you’d expect

    If the massive lines of people you see queuing outside the company's flagship stores every time a new iPhone goes on sale were anything to go by, you'd expect the answer to the question "who's going to upgrade to the iPhone 6?" to be somewhere close to "everyone". In truth though, it's a little bit more complicated than that. The most likely iPhone users to upgrade are those with the oldest phones. Well, that's in the US at any rate where Apple still retains a massive share of the smartphone market. A recent study by Comscore shows that people...

  • Google, Pep Stores retailer partnering to develop ‘Africa-friendly’ Android

    According to recent reports, Google and South African low-cost retailer, Pep Stores, are in talks to build an Android version that would better fit the needs of the local smartphone users. While this at first seems an unlikely match, the tech giant first got in touch with Pep during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 2013. Pep is Africa's largest mobile phone retailer relying on low-cost smartphones running the Android mobile operating system such as the Huawei Ascend Y220 that goes for about R450 (US$45), and the MTN Steppa for R500 (US$50). Within the last 12 months, Pep's smartphone...

  • Google is targeting the next billion (and Microsoft) with Android One

    At Google’s I/O conference last month, the internet giant unveiled Android One – an initiative that will help connect (at least) the next billion people. This is not a charitable move. Rather, as the number of smartphones globally head to 2-billion in the next 12 months, everyone competing in the space faces the real risk of running out of growth. For Google, this risk is even more acute. Beyond the close on 2-billion people already using smartphones, the next billion or two are not likely to be using the ‘desktop’ internet in any meaningful way. That makes owning the...

  • Want to know what’s next for Android? Here’s how to watch Google I/O live

    It's almost time: the massive annual event where Google gives us a glimpse into what it's working on (and occasionally lets us watch its co-founder skydive). Yes, Google I/O starts today in San Francisco. While we don't know the specifics of what will be unveiled at the two day event, we can make some educated guesses. We'll probably see a demo and find out more about the new version of Android, the successor to last year's KitKat, which is rumoured to be named 'Lollipop'. We'll also be hearing more about Android Wear, Google's operating system for wearable devices, which is...

  • You can now buy stuff from Google Play using PayPal, just not hardware

    This is interesting. Google will now let you pay for purchases on the Play store using PayPal. In an official blog post, Google says it hopes the new feature will help it expand international sales on the store. According to the blog post, sales on the store have increased 300% over the past year, with two-thirds of Google Play purchases now happening outside of the United States. To start with, the feature is being rolled out in 12 countries including the US, Germany, and Canada. When you make a purchase on Google Play in these countries, it says, you'll...

  • Apple and Google have already won the smartphone wars, now what?

    Last year, Android and iOS devices accounted for 93.8% of global smartphone shipments. That’s 94 out of every 100 shipped to operators and retailers. And the trend is accelerating… in 2012, the number was 87.7% (according to the IDC). By the fourth quarter of last year, it was 95.7%. During 2013, shipments of smartphones hit one-billion for the first time, and also surpassed shipments of feature phones. The line between the two categories is blurring - Nokia’s Asha range of devices is perhaps the best example of this (and it doesn’t seem to be included in IDC’s smartphone numbers). Now,...

  • Android Wear could be Google’s killer weapon in the wearable arms race

    With the launch today of Android Wear Google has made what could be its most important move to date in the wearable space. Sure Glass has been the locus of its wearable focus until now, and people are doing incredibly cool things with it, but an operating system made specifically for wearables could see it dominate the space even more thoroughly than it has smartphones. As per the official blog post announcing its launch, Android Wear is Google's attempt to extend the Android experience into the world of wearables, starting with smartwatches. The Mountain View-based tech giant says that...

  • The problem with an Intel push for an Android Windows marriage

    Android and Windows running in harmony on the same machine isn't something new. Whether it's by dual-booting -- choosing which OS to boot when starting a device -- or virtualisation -- think BlueStacks -- we've seen companies like Samsung and ViewSonic take a stab at the idea with the Ativ Q and ViewPad 10Pro, respectively. But now, Intel is said to be poised to throw its weight behind the idea. Just as the world's largest consumer electronics show is about to begin, rumours are surfacing that we are about to see a flurry of Intel-blessed devices emerge from International...

  • Baidu reports 270m active Android users in China

    If anyone is in the position to know what Chinese netizens get up to online, it’s Baidu, the nation’s top search engine. Baidu’s newest mobile trends reports reveals lots of details about what people in China are doing with their smartphones and feature phones – but let’s focus on the big picture. The report shows that China now has 270-million active Android users (in Q3 2013), up from about 130-million at the same period last year. Notice that the rate of growth of Android uptake is now slowing on average -- to about 10 to 13% per quarter -- but there’s...

  • With Android KitKat, Google knows everything you do… and that’s scary

    Android KitKat (4.4) is all about “connecting the next billion users”. That’s a lofty ideal from Google, and the fact that the new version of the OS has a vastly slimmed down memory footprint should not be underestimated. That Android can now run comfortably on 512MB of RAM is critical to extending Google’s reach beyond a hundred-million or eight devices. In fact, it’s easy to argue that this is the most important feature of the OS (ignore all the other bells and whistles). Look out below, Nokia Microsoft Asha and BlackBerry! But hidden in plain sight is a feature that’s...