Android Phones, Info and Apps

TAG | Android Phones

Apr/12

9

Samsung Galaxy S3

The Samsung Galaxy S2 proved to be the most popular Android smartphone of 2011. So it comes as no surprise that people have been pouncing on news of its successor… the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Update: Samsung Galaxy S3 Full Specs

Samsung Galaxy S3

The phone will boast top specs with a quad core Processor, 2GB of ram, and a full HD 4.8 inch screen!

Shipping with the latest Android operating system (Ice-Cream Sandwich), and will also contain Samsung’s Touch Whiz skin which has proven so popular.

A features of the S2 which most people were not enamored with was its plastic rear. This is set to be remedied as the S3 may come with a ceramic rear casing. This is an unusual material choice for a phone but one that could prove popular in the future.

Samsung’s are touting this phone as being their flagship phone for the coming fiscal year. From what we can see so far we have no reason to doubt this.

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ASUS EEE Pad SliderCan we really see the ASUS Eee Slider in September? The slider was revealed back in January at CES, but those were only rumors. A new page of products showed the specs of ASUS slider and hinted its launch in September in Italy.
They have revealed the prices for 16 GB and 32 GB slider; the price for 16 GB Eee pad is $400 and for 32 GB is $550. The Slider has a massive screen at 10.1 inches. The device is loaded with NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core 1 GHz processor and a total of 1 GB RAM. It has a front camera 1.2 Mega pixels for video calling and a rear 5 mega pixe camera. It supports USB 2.0 and has a mini-HDMI along with micro SD card reader, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The device will be launched first with Android 3.1 Honeycomb but it will later be upgraded to the latest version of Android 3.2. This is a little disappointing as the ASUS Transformer tablet already has the upgrade, the device is said to launch in September so there maybe enough time for ASUS to pack the Eee Slider pad with the update.
Update: We have heard that ASUS will release an update in the first week of its launch.

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Google wants to make Android safer for its users, for this it has removed more malware-infected applications from its Android Market. This action was done in response to the report of Xuxian Jiang, an assistant professor in computer science at North Caroline State University.

Jiang had published a malicious code, dubbed “Plankton” recently in a blog post. “Plankton” has the capacity to remotely access a command-and-control (C&C) server for instructions, and upload additional payloads. Once a person installs the fake app, Plankton has the capacity to call in other files from the hacker-controlled server and this would exploit one or more un-patched Android bugs.

A total of 10 apps have been pulled by Google. Many of these apps were not affected by the malware but were helping in the delivery of Plankton. “Angry Birds” was the game being used by the malware.

On June 5th, Google Apps were infected with “DroidKungFu” which works on the same bases as “DroidDream” which was the first malware to hit the Android Market. It is connected to an unauthorized Chinese App stores, two days later “YZHCMS”, a Trojan horse was reported, it was sending hidden text messages.

We see that malicious apps are causing a lot of problem to Google Android since the last few months. In March Google had to pull down more than 50 programs which were able to compromise phones and remotely issue commands.

Around two weeks ago Google was forced to suspend nearly three dozen malicious apps from the market. “Droid Dream Light” was the cause for it and was connected to the March Campaign.

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The news circulating around is that Sprint is currently testing one of the versions of Apple’s iPhone for its network. Sources of the Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac, say that the physical appearance of this phone is very much similar to the present iPhone 4S. As per the news posted on the blog on June 8, it looks like Apple has (in late 2010) ordered Sprint-Compatible cell towers – for usage on their campus and for testing. For the past few months the silence of the Sprint executives about the impending iPhone is noticeable.

Currently Sprint offers a line of 4G smartphones; these phones have some real unique aesthetic and features. On June 9 in a big event in New York City, the company introduced two new Android phones: the Motorola Photon 4G, this is a touch-screen device with a dual-core processor and Android 2.3, and the other is a Motorola Triumph, an Android 2.2 device for Virgin Mobile. Both the devices are to be made available in the market this summer.

Motorola Photon 4G is the first dual-core smartphone from Sprint. It has special features, a big 4.3-inch screen and a dominantly powerful 8-megapixel rear camera. Photon users can access and create content on large screen, via a Webtop application and a special smartphone dock. This Android device also has special features like a kickstand for hands-free viewing; this is good for the users who are in the habit of watching movies and television while moving around.

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Android has taken the world by storm but not the US. The US market is quite lukewarm towards Android Smartphones and the response of the market towards Android tablets is even poorer. It’s the iPhone which is predominant in the USA. Popular manufactures like Motorola and Samsung have not sold many Android tablets in the US, on the other hand Apple has sold over 25 million iPads (most of them in the US). Although we see that the response of the rest of the world is very good toward Android tablets. The Samsung Galaxy Tab has actually had amazing sales and has become a craze.

The recent announcements of Dell are going to make it even more difficult for Android in the US. According to a recent interview of John Thode the vice president of Dell with CNET, the American market is not yet ready for Android, this system has been quotes as ‘ahead of its time’ for the US. For many reasons Dell has decided to launch its’ first 10-inch Android tablet, the Streak 10 Pro, in China. This summer launch is expected to be real big, but the US consumers will have to wait for this product till the end of the year. This is another disappointment of Android in the USA.

Dell has decide to see the response of the market in China for its forth coming product, as the Chinese market will very soon be the worlds largest tablet market. Here people are savvier to new technology.

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Malicious apps and Android seem to have a strong bonding. Every few weeks such apps keep coming up in the market; this keeps Google busy; removing the malware all the time. Google at times uses the “kill switch” to disable all the already downloaded apps from all the Android devices around the world.

At the Next@Norton event last week, Eric Chien, Technical director for Security Response, Symantec researchers; showed some simple steps by which any trouble maker could build a Trojan. This was demonstrated by creating a quick new sample, as follows.

Start with a simple free download of any app, preferably one which is popular.
The language complier takes textual source code and converts it into assembly language for the CPU to read and process, this is a one-way translation, with no way to go from the final executable file back to source code. Android apps are written in Java, you can easily decompile the target apps using simple tools.
The tricky step is where you have to obtain a nasty Java source code, like Android.Geinimi.
After adding the source code, copy it into the folder containing the existing course code. Make a small change to run the Trojan code before the whole app. Give it permission to have free access to the whole device. Then Chien tweaked the demo app’s name “FREE”.
The app is ready, once you compile it and upload to the market.

The good thing is that, malicious apps don’t last for long in the Android market. These apps can easily be spread in China as it has no official Android market.

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For the past few months, it has been observed that voice calls over the android phones have been the subject of interception and to avoid that Cellcrypt has released an android based application to encrypt voice calls over android phone. According to the company, they decided to build the application after they saw an increase in number of users for Android phones. Cellcrypt already has the voice encryption applications for E-series and N-series of Nokia phones.

Even though it was acclaimed that GSM calls are already encrypted, software tools to break A5/1 stream cipher are easily available in the market and software experts have claimed that they can intrude into the GSM calls within 30 minutes of time which is a dangerous sign for voice calls. Meanwhile, it is also an issue that once the call has been intecepted, it becomes hard to trace the intruder.

Looking at all these aspects, Cellcrypt decided to develop an application and finally did it for android as well. This application is a singular software application which can be downloaded from android market. In order to make an encrypted call, it is necessary for dialer as well as receiver to have this application installed in their respective phones. However, different OS is no issue in this case and they can have Android and Symbian on their phones.

This voice encryption app is a VOIP app which can work on Wi-Fi or operator’s data channel on GPRS, 3G, Satellite or Edge networks to transceiver voice. Application works on public key based cryptography and each device using application generate its own private encryption key.

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2011 has been quite a remarkable year for Google’s Android OS and phones that are using the android OS. To be honest, I am a big fan of Android not because of its popularity but its functionality, features and applications. Android has grown in stature quite quickly and to take the advantage of that stature many mobile companies are looking to launch new smart phones with latest Android OS. Let us look at few of the best android phones launching in this month.

1. Samsung Infuse 4G: It’s perfectly good to say this phone is more of a mini tablet than a phone. It has a 4.5 inches screen and has a gorgeous display along with having all the latest features accommodated with Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS.

2. Motorola Atrix 4G: This is one of the most powerful android phones in the market with its dual processor. The only disappointment is its version of Android OS which is still 2.2 while 2.3 has already been available from past three months. However, it contains all those features that one can demand in a latest smart phone.

3. HTC Inspire 4G: HTC Inspire is just like a DROID Incredible from Verizon and it contains all the latest mobile features in it with Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS. You can take advantage of lovely HTC widgets with the HTC’s phone.

4. HTC Thunderbolt: Thunderbolt works on Android 2.2 (Froyo) and has new enhanced camera tools. The special feature of this smart phone is its 4.3 inch LCD display.

5. HTC DROID Incredible 2: Another smart phone from HTC leads the chart of top 5 android smart phones with its amazing features. It has 4 inch display screen and operates on Android 2.2 with 8 MP camera. It has been claimed as one of the best available phone in the market.

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