Sunday, 26 May 2013

Google Galaxy S4 with Stock Android, on Sale for $649 in June

Google Play will soon be showing off a slightly modified Samsung Galaxy S4 on its shelf. And it is not like any other Samsung Galaxy S4 that you have seen before. It runs stock Android. It is in a completely unlocked form and comes with an unlocked bootloader as well as Google’s prompt system updates. Even though Samsung has been named Google’s key leader, numerous Android spy apps have been able to bring frown lines to the tech giant’s forehead.

Changes in Samsung Galaxy S4
The new S4 will be available on Google Play store from June 26th. The device will not only be carrier unlocked but also supports an unlocked bootloader. That allows the users to load their own software on the device including things like CyanogenMod which means that the user can go for a very deep customization of the software. The new S4 is all set to become the next big thing for developers but its high price tag, however, makes it more likely to be a Smartphone for the a small part of the market.

Apart for some modifications in the software, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition is the same down to the bezel. Counting the drawbacks of purchasing an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4 is the inability to access to TouchWiz.

Several rumors paint a picture of years to come that Samsung might not want to continue Android OS in its device. At this time, Google trying to take advantage of the opportunity to sell its OS in Samsung’s hardware is not at all surprising.

When Samsung Galaxy S4 was launched last month, tech experts found it not is as physically solid as the HTC One or as good as the improved Galaxy SIII but it is being crowned as the most compelling Smartphone running Android. As compared to the unlocked Nexus 4 which can be purchased from Google Play for just $299, Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition will make the pocket lighter. The unlocked device is probably the top current devices running Android Jelly Beans 4.2. It happens to be the first non-Nexus device to get the opportunity.

The high price tag
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Google will be up for purchase on Google Play from June, 26th. Holding no contract, owners will be able to use it both on AT&T and T-Mobile. The high price doesn’t really make it a device for the masses but many might volunteer to spend that much for an experience of an untouched Android.

Interestingly, Samsung announced all of its devices to be stock Android. Fans seem to be a bit overwhelmed by Samsung’s software smorgasbord and this might end up presenting the Samsung Galaxy S4 in a new light altogether.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Android Security in 2013 - Users and Their Woes

As the US Army approves of Samsung Android phones running Knox to be replaced by Blackberry, security must have been given a lot of thought before the decision was made. Introduced by Samsung during the launch of Galaxy S4, smartphones running Knox allows the users to keep their private and personal life separate while providing an added security to the professional data in the phone. As Android phones have been an easy target for Android spy apps ever since their launch back in 2007, the OS seems to have recently experienced another malware blow as users discover about the excess baggage that Facebook Home app seems to be sporting.

Latest Android Malware in town
The Home app, which refashions the phone into the Facebook Home page, has recently been under speculation for the unnecessary features that come with it. once the user installs the Home app to their smartphone, the app is automatically given access to your audio settings, camera and sound recoreder. It can adjust the volume of the phone without giving to a notification or asking your permission. It can record audio by using the phone’s microphone and use the camera to take pictures and record videos without your permission. The question does arise here that why would an app need all this excess baggage to run. A spokesperson from Facebook did admit that though the Home app has the ability to do things like these, the company will not do that.

2013 and Android malware
With a whopping 52.2% market share in the US alone, more than a 100 million Android phones have reportedly been shipped in the second quarter of 2012 in the country. Android’s share of malware rose in 2012 when in the fourth quarterof the year, 96% of all attacks on mobile OS were targeted at Android phones during this time period. Here are some of the scandals that have risen against Android in recent times:

Google Play scandal
In Feburary 2013, Android experienced a massive blow when it was asked by web developers and customers alike to change it’s policies when they discovered what their harmless downloading has been resulting in. Google Play store has been getting information out of every single person who purchases Android apps from the Google Play store. The news broke when a developer of Android apps noticed personal information of customers when they purchased one of his apps. their names, e-mails, addresses and even the suburbs they lived in were accessible.

A report in April 2013 by a Romanian firm, Bitdefender, warned cell phone users against the highly intrusive qualities of apps. Almost 30,000 free Android apps were analyzed in this study and 12.87% of them were found to be collecting personal information from their customers without permission or even knowledge.

Google may be using your private Gmail messages and Scroogled
What 70% of the population of US is unaware of is the fact that Google uses Gmail messages to deliver advertisements. Microsoft launched it’s Scroogled campaign against this policy of Google. Much of Scroogled was based on ads and Microsoft played on the fear of the general masses by leaving the impression that people at Google are reading each and every message sent through Gmail. Although not impossible, this is very difficult as this would allow huge databases and logarithms.

Google has not been able to resolve many of the security issues that Android users have been faced with. The question arises that apart from filling the previous loopholes in the OS, will Google give it’s customers another privacy blow in the rest of the year. A lot of this depends on the time to come.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Nexus 11 Awes Market With it’s Leaked Specs

On it’s I/O developer event last year, Google introduced the Samsung Nexus 7 to showcase it’s software. Nexus 7 had Android 4.4.1 and will be available only at Google Play store, revealed Google last year at San Francisco. This year the attendees of the event anticipate the rumored launch of Samsung Nexus 11. A larger device, Nexus is reportedly going to be octa-core and a whole lot of firsts by Samsung. The Samsung tablet plan for the year has been subject to a major leak as the specifications and features of the Nexus 11 tablet and many more come to the public front.

Where the leak occurred
Recently, SamMobile recently posted a blog about Samsung’s plan of action for the year 2013. Samsung sketches out a road map for what kind of tablets it wants to launch this year. One of the mark here which catches the eye is the Nexus 11. SamMobile has more than average track for such leaks in the past. An entire list referring to all the tablets and their specs that Samsung intends to introduce in the market.

Samsung Nexus 11
Samsung is currently known in the market for it’s Nexus 10 tablet, Nexus smartphone and Galaxy Nexus. As the Galaxy line has become almost synonymous with the Android brand, Samsung seems to be Google’s key partner of late. Samsung is the biggest seller of Andtoid hardware.

As the name indicates, the new member in the Nexus line is slightly larger than it predecessors. It features an 11-inch Super PLS TFT  LCD display most likely at 2560 x 1600 which is the  same reso;ution as the Nexus 10 tablet. It is also going to have Samsung's new Exynos 5 Octa processor which has been showcased in some variants of the Galaxy S4. The Exynos bosts of a 5 Octa 5410 that has four ARM Cortex-A15 cores alongside four ARM Cortex-A7 cores, allowing lower-power tasks to be offloaded to the A7s to conserve battery.

Furthermore, the Nexus may be snagging the market segment craving quikc photography with it’s 8 megapixel camera on the back side of the tablet. The front holds a 2 megapixel camera. It will also include microSD card slot for expandable memory. It is the first Nexus with memory expansion. Expected to be the next launch from Google’s side, Nexus 11 might be running Android 4.3.

Another feature of  Samsung’s plan of action for 2013 is the Galaxy Tab 11. It is a similar 11-inch device that might not be including the classy Exynos 5 octa chipset but a dual-core Exynos 5 that has been admired in the Nexus 10 tablet. To keep the cost down of this tablet, Samsung plans to use a lower resolution display as compared to Nexus 11.

Rumor has it…
With almost no time left in Google’s i/O developer event, the the world expectantly looks forward to what it has in store for the market. All of the above remain unconfirmed rumors which hold no solid ground. Many have their eyes on the annual event for more than just rumors on Google’s Nexus plans.