android http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/1707/ en Nvidia Shield Tablet Review http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_shield_tablet_review_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>The best gaming tablet in town</h3> <p>Despite its problems, we actually liked <a title="Nvidia Shield review" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_shield_review_2013" target="_blank">Nvidia’s original Shield Android gaming handheld</a>. Our biggest issue with it was that it was bulky and heavy. With rumors swirling around about a Shield 2, we were hoping to see a slimmer, lighter design. So consider us initially disappointed when we learned that the next iteration of Shield would just be yet another Android tablet. Yawn, right? The fact of the matter is that the Shield Tablet may be playing in an oversaturated market, but it’s still great at what it sets out to be.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/shield_tablet_shield_controller_war_thunder.jpg" alt="Shield Tablet review" title="Shield Tablet review" width="620" height="343" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The new wireless controller uses Wi-Fi Direct instead of Bluetooth for lower latency.</strong></p> <p>At eight inches, the Shield Tablet features a gorgeous 1,900x1,200 display, which shares the same resolution as Google’s flagship <a title="nexus 7 review" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/google_nexus_7_review_2013" target="_blank">Nexus 7</a> tablet. At 13.1 ounces, the Shield Tablet is about three ounces heavier than the Nexus 7 but still a lot lighter than the original’s 1 lb. 4.7 ounces.&nbsp;</p> <p>Part of the weight increase with the Shield Tablet over the Nexus 7 is due to the extra inch that you’re getting from the screen, but also because the Shield Tablet is passively cooled and has an extra thermal shield built inside to dissipate heat. It’s a little heavier than we like, but isn’t likely to cause any wrist problems. On the back of the Shield is an anti-slip surface and a 5MP camera, and on the front of the tablet we have a front-facing 5MP camera and two front-facing speakers. While the speakers are not going to blow away dedicated Bluetooth speakers, they sound excellent for a tablet. In addition to the speakers, the Shield Tablet has a 3.5mm headphone jack up at the top. Other ports include Micro USB, Mini HDMI out, and a MicroSD card slot capable of taking up to 128GB cards. Buttons on the Shield include a volume rocker and a power button which we found to be a little small and shallow for our liking.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/shield_tablet_exploded_view_black_bckgr.jpg" alt="Nvidia Shield Tablet guts" title="Nvidia Shield Tablet guts" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The guts of the Nvidia Shield Tablet</strong></p> <p>All of this is running on the latest version of Android KitKat version 4.4. Nvidia says that it will update the tablet to Android L within a few weeks of Google’s official release. If Nvidia’s original Shield is any indication of how well the company keeps up with OS updates, you should be able to expect to get the latest version of Android but after a couple of weeks if not a months after release. Regardless, the Shield Tablet is running a pretty stock version of Android to begin with the main difference being that Nvidia has pre-loaded the tablet with its Shield Hub, which is a 10-foot UI for you to purchase, download, and launch your games.</p> <p>Arguably the real star of the tablet is Nvidia’s new Tegra K1 mobile superchip. The 2.2GHz quad-core A15 SOC features Nvidia’s Kepler GPU architecture and 192 CUDA cores along with 2GB of low power DDR3. K1 supports many of the graphical features commonplace in GeForce graphics card including tesselation, HDR lighting, Global illumination, subsurface scattering, and more.</p> <p>In our performance benchmarks, the K1 killed it. Up until now, the original Shield’s actively-cooled Tegra 4 is arguably one of the most if not the most powerful Android SOC on the market, but the K1 slaughters it across the board. In Antutu and GeekBench benchmark, we saw modest gains of 12 percent to 23 percent in Shield vs. Shield Tablet action. But in Passmark and GFX Bench’s Trex test, we saw nearly a 50 percent spread, and in 3DMark’s mobile Icestorm Unlimited test, we saw an astounding 90 percent advantage for the Shield Tablet. This is incredible when you consider that the tablet has no fans and a two-watt TDP. Compared to the second-gen Nexus 7 , the Shield Tablet benchmarks anywhere from 77 percent to 250 percent faster. This SOC is smoking fast.</p> <p>In terms of battery life, Nvidia is claiming you’ll get 10 hours watching/surfing the web and about five hours from gaming with its 19.75 Wh battery. This is up 3.75 Wh up from Google’s Nexus 7 equivalent and from our experiential tests, we found those figures to be fairly accurate if not a best case scenario. It will pretty much last you all day, but you'll still want to let it sip juice every night.</p> <p>Of course if you’re going to game with it, you’re going to need Nvidia’s new wireless Shield Controller. Sold separately for $60, the 11.2-ounce Shield Controller maintains the same button layout as the original Shield controller, but feels a lot like a lighter and more comfortable to hold. While most Android game controllers operate over Bluetooth, Nvidia opted to go with Wi-Fi Direct stating that it offers 2x faster response time and more bandwidth. The extra bandwidth allows you to plug in a 3.5mm headphone into the controller and also allows you to link up to four controllers to the device, which is an appreciated feature when you hook up the tablet to your HDTV via the Shield Tablet’s <a title="shield console mode" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_sweetens_shield_console_android_442_kitkat_price_drop_199_through_april" target="_blank">Console Mode</a>. Other unique features of the controller include capacitive touch buttons for Android’s home, back, and play buttons. There’s also a big green Nvidia button that launches Shield Hub. The controller also has a small triangle shaped clickable touch pad which allows you to navigate your tablet from afar. A quibble we had with it is that we wish the trackpad was more square, to at least mimic the dimensions of the tablet as the triangle shape was a little awkward to interface with. Another problem that we initially had with the controller was that the + volume button stopped working after a while. We contacted Nvidia about this and the company sent us a new unit which did remedy the issue, however. One noticeable missing feature from the controller is rumble support. Nvidia said this was omitted on the original Shield to keep the weight down, however its omission is a little more glaring this time around since there is no screen attached to the device.</p> <p>The controller isn’t the only accessory that you’ll need to purchase separately if you want to tap into the full Shield Tablet experience, however. To effectively game with the tablet, you’ll need the Shield Tablet cover which also acts as a stand. Like most tablets, a magnet in the cover shuts off the Shield Tablet when closed but setting up the cover and getting it to standup is initially pretty confusing. The cover currently only comes in black and while we’re generally not big on marketing aesthetics, it would be nice to have an Nvidia green option to give the whole look a little more pop. We actually think the cover should just be thrown in too, especially considering that the cheapest 16GB model costs $300. On the upside though, you do get Nvidia’s new passive DirectStylus 2 that stows away nicely in the body of the Shield Tablet. Nvidia has pre-installed note writing software and its own Nvidia Dabbler painting program. The nice thing about Dabbler is that it leverages K1’s GPU acceleration so that you can virtually paint and blend colors in real time. There’s also a realistic mode where the “paint” slowly drips down the virtual canvas like it would in real life.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/shield_tablet_shield_controller_trine2_0.jpg" alt="Shield tablet review" title="Shield tablet review" width="620" height="404" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Shield Controller is a lot lighter and less blocky than the original Shield Portable.</strong></p> <p>But that’s probably not why you’re interested in the Shield Tablet. This device first and foremost is a gaming tablet and even comes with a free Android copy of Trine 2. Trine 2 was originally a PC game and it’s made a great transition to the Shield Tablet. While the game was never known to be a polygon pusher, it looks just as good as it ever did on its x86 debut.&nbsp;</p> <p>With gaming as the primary driver for Shield Tablet customers you may wonder why Nvidia didn’t bundle its new controller. The company likely learned from Microsoft’s mistake with Kinect and the Xbox One: Gamers don’t like to spend money and getting the price as low as was likely on Nvidia’s mind. Of course, not everyone may even want a controller with the general lack of support for it in games. Nvidia says there are now around 400 Android titles that support its controller, but that’s only a small percentage of Android games and the straight truth is that the overwhelming majority of these games are garbage.&nbsp;</p> <p>Nvidia is making a push for Android gaming, however. The company worked with Valve to port over Half Life 2 and Portal to the Shield and they look surprisingly fantastic and are easily the two prettiest games on Android at the moment. Whether Android will ever become a legitimate platform for hardcore gaming is as good as anyone’s guess, but at least the Shield Tablet will net you a great front seat if the time ever arises.</p> <p>Luckily you won’t have to rely solely on the Google Play store to get your gaming fix. Emulators run just as well here as they did on the original Shield and this iteration of Shield is also compatible with Gamestream, which is Nvidia’s streaming technology that allows you to stream games from your PC to your Shield. Gamestream, in theory, lets you play your controller-enabled PC games on a Shield. &nbsp;</p> <p>At this point, Nvidia says Gamestream supports more than 100 games such as Batman: Arkham Origins and Titanfall from EA’s Origin and Valve’s Steam service. The problem though is there are hundreds more games on Steam and Origin that support controllers but not the Shield Tablet’s controller. For example, Final Fantasy VII, a game which we couldn’t get working with the original Shield still isn't supported even though it works with an Xbox controller on the PC. When Gamestream does work, however, it’s relatively lag-free and kind of wonderful. The one caveat here is that you’ll have to get a 5GHz dual-band router to effectively get it working.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/rh7fWdQT2eE" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Nvidia Shield Video Demo</strong></p> <p>Would we buy the Shield Tablet if we owned the original Shield (now renamed the Shield Portable)? Probably not. If we were looking for a new tablet and top notch gaming performance was on the check list, the Shield Tablet is easily the top contender today. We’d take it over the second-gen Nexus 7 in a heart beat. While we understand why Nvidia decided to separate the cover and controller to keep the prices down and avoid the Kinect factor, we think a bundled package with a small price break as an alternative would have been nice. All things considered though, consider us surprised. The Shield Tablet is pretty dang cool.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>$300</strong></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_shield_tablet_review_2014#comments android Google Hardware KitKat maximum pc nvidia portable Review shield tablet wireless controller News Reviews Tablets Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:36:57 +0000 Jimmy Thang 28263 at http://www.maximumpc.com Effort to Transition Chrome to BoringSSL Underway http://www.maximumpc.com/effort_transition_chrome_boringssl_underway897 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/chrome_1.jpg" alt="Chrome" title="Chrome" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>BoringSSL is a fork of OpenSSL</h3> <p>An effort is currently underway to switch Google Chrome over to <strong>BoringSSL, an OpenSSL fork the search engine giant announced last month</strong>. Weaning the world’s most popular browser off of the two cryptographic software libraries it currently uses (OpenSSL on Android and Mozilla NSS on all other platforms) is proving somewhat difficult at this early stage, though.</p> <p>There have been a number of issues ever since developers first began adding <a href="https://www.imperialviolet.org/2014/06/20/boringssl.html" target="_blank">BoringSSL</a> code to Chromium earlier this month. Just take a look at this recent <a href="https://codereview.chromium.org/401153002" target="_blank">revision note by Google engineer David Benjamin</a>: “This is a reland of r284079 which was reverted in r284248 for components build issues. That, in turn, was a reland of r283813 which was reverted in r283845 because it broke WebRTC tests on Android. That, in turn, was a reland of r283542 which was reverted in r283591 because it broke the WebView build.”</p> <p>“This [the switch to BoringSSL] is a much larger change than its diff suggests.” Benjamin wrote further. “If it breaks something, please revert first and ask questions later.”</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/effort_transition_chrome_boringssl_underway897#comments android boringssl chrome chromium cryptographic software library heartbleed libressl mozilla nss openssl Security News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:33:49 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28248 at http://www.maximumpc.com VIA Toughens Up Android, Launches Ruggedized Viega Tablet http://www.maximumpc.com/toughens_android_launches_ruggedized_viega_tablet_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/via_viega.jpg" alt="VIA Viega" title="VIA Viega" width="228" height="132" style="float: right;" />Not your ordinary Android slate</h3> <p><strong>VIA today unveiled its new Viega ruggedized Android tablet</strong>. Armed with a 10.1-inch display, the Viega features IP65 certification and rocks a durable design that protects it from spills, rain, dust, shock, vibration, drops from up to two meters, and more. It has tempered glass to prevent cracks in the panel from cutting your workday short when you're out in the field, and an "extra long-life polymer batter pack" that's good for up to 9 hours of runtime.</p> <p>A 1.2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 SoC with NEON technology runs the show, Other specs include 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 16GB eMMC flash, optional 2MP front and 5MP rear cameras, micro SIM slot, microSD card slot, two micro USB ports, micro HDMI output, Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC support, stereo speakers, and Android 4.2.</p> <p>"As more and more enterprises seek to increase productivity and improve customer service by equipping their staff with mobile devices, they are quickly learning that it is critically important to deploy customized solutions built to withstand the demands of their target environments rather than standard off-the-shelf products," <a href="http://www.via.com.tw/en/resources/pressroom/pressrelease.jsp?press_release_no=7867" target="_blank">said Epan Wu</a>, Head of the VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies, Inc. "With its rugged design, enhanced security features, and customization support, the VIA Viega addresses this need and provides the longevity support that enterprise level customers require."</p> <p>No word yet on when the Viega will be available to purchase or for how much.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/toughens_android_launches_ruggedized_viega_tablet_2014#comments android enterprise Hardware mobile rugged slate tablet VIA viega News Tue, 15 Jul 2014 14:43:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 28166 at http://www.maximumpc.com Google Talks Android L, Set-Top Box, and More at I/O Developer Conference http://www.maximumpc.com/google_talks_android_l_set-top_box_and_more_io_developer_conference_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_io_1.jpg" alt="Google I/O" title="Google I/O" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />It's shaping up to an Android world</h3> <p><strong>Google's I/O developer conference kicked off today</strong> and much of the talk so far has been about Android, Android, and more Android. That's not surprising, or even a bad thing, especially if you're a fan of the open-source platform. Based on the keynote, Google wants to expand Android into just about every facet of your life, from your living room to your car and everywhere in between.</p> <h3>Android L</h3> <p>One of the most exciting developments is that of Android "L," the next version of Android (it may still end up being called Lollipop), and its underlying Android Runtime (ART) software layer. Through ART, Google claims Android apps will run roughly twice as fast as they do currently. The best part about that is developers don't have to do anything different with existing apps.</p> <p>"All your app code gets the performance for free," Android Engineering Dave Burke said, <a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/google-next-android-doubles-app-performance/" target="_blank">according to <em>CNET</em></a>.</p> <p>ART also works on 64-bit chips, though not just ARM-based processors that are so prevalent in mobile today -- it also supports 64-bit x86-64 parts from Intel and AMD, along with the MIPS64 architecture from MIPS.</p> <p>Just as iOS recently underwent a major design change, so too will Android with its "L" release. You can expect a flatter aesthetic, rounder elements, softer edges, simplified shapes, smooth transition animations, the illusion of depth through elevation and shadows, and more.</p> <p>On the feature end, you'll be able to interact with notifications from the Lock screen, which will be sorted by relevance and importance rather than chronologically. <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2014/06/25/Android-L/" target="_blank"><em>Endgadget</em> has more</a> on what you can expect.</p> <h3>Android TV (Set-Top Box)</h3> <p>Google has some unfinished business in the living room. As was previously rumored, Google is releasing a set-top box to compete with the likes of Apple TV and Roku. It's called Android TV but unlike the company's failed Google TV platform, it will have an added focus on gaming.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/6/25/5840424/google-announces-android-tv" target="_blank"><em>The Verge</em></a>, search is baked into the Android TV experience, as is content from the Google Play Store. It will provide recommendations based on what you watch, and you'll even be able to control the software with an Android Wear-enabled smartwatch.</p> <h3>Android Auto</h3> <p>With your living room and mobile devices covered, Google switched gears to automobiles and discussed Android Auto with a redesigned interface built specifically for cars.</p> <p>"Android Auto will make it easier and safer to use the connected services drivers want in a card," Google's Patrick Brady said, <a href="http://arstechnica.com/cars/2014/06/android-auto-will-arrive-in-new-cars-by-year-end/" target="_blank">according to <em>ArsTechnica</em></a>.</p> <p>Things like navigation, communication, and music will be front and center so you don't have to fiddle around looking for the appropriate app. It's also voice enabled, allowing you to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes where they should be -- on the road.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/google_talks_android_l_set-top_box_and_more_io_developer_conference_2014#comments android android l Google google I/O open source Software News Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:34:15 +0000 Paul Lilly 28071 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft's First Android Phone (Nokia X2) Focuses on Affordability http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_first_android_phone_nokia_x2_focuses_affordability_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nokia_x2.jpg" alt="Nokia X2" title="Nokia X2" width="228" height="135" style="float: right;" />Nokia X2 rolls out globally in July for 99 euros</h3> <p>The day has finally come that Microsoft released an Android handset. Of course, we knew this day was coming, the wheels of which were set in motion when Microsoft acquired Nokia's mobile division. Still, it's a bit surreal. That said, <strong>Microsoft's launch of the Nokia X2</strong> isn't about dominating the Android space with a high-end handset, but about introducing the "next billion" people to the mobile Internet and cloud services.</p> <p>This is an entry level device from head to toe. The Nokia X2 has a 4.3-inch display with an 800x480 resolution powered by a Snapdragon 200 dual-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz and 1GB of RAM. It also features a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and flash, 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and an 1800 mAh battery that's good for up to 10 hours of talk time on 2G, up to 13 hours of talk time on 3G, and up to 23 days of standby time.</p> <p>Microsoft is being careful not to overly promote the Android brand. While Microsoft is <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/jun14/06-24nokiapr.aspx" target="_blank">quick to point out</a> that the Nokia X2 "provides access to a world of Android apps and popular Microsoft services," the OS is referred to as the Nokia X Software Platform 2.0, which we hear is based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.</p> <p>The Nokia X2 will launch as a dual-SIM device available in glossy orange, black, and green in July for 99 euros. Later on Microsoft will add glossy yellow, white, and matte gray color options to the lineup. All of these seem destined for developing regions rather than places like the U.S. where Microsoft would prefer you purchase a Lumia handset.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_first_android_phone_nokia_x2_focuses_affordability_2014#comments android Hardware microsoft mobile nokia x2 smartphone News Tue, 24 Jun 2014 15:33:31 +0000 Paul Lilly 28061 at http://www.maximumpc.com Kill Switch in iPhone is Working, Microsoft and Google to Follow Suit http://www.maximumpc.com/kill_switch_iphone_working_microsoft_and_google_follow_suit_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/activate_iphone.jpg" alt="Activate iPhone" title="Activate iPhone" width="228" height="201" style="float: right;" />iPhone thefts are down as a result of kill switch technology in iOS 7</h3> <p>One of the debates in the mobile phone industry is whether or not so-called kill switches can actually reduce smartphone theft. Well, early indications suggest that they do. <strong>Authorities in New York and San Francisco -- two locations where smartphone theft is a growing epidemic -- say they've seen a drop in iPhone robberies</strong> since Apple implemented its Activation Lock feature in iOS 7.</p> <p>Looking at data in the six months before and after Apple implemented the feature, police said iPhone theft in San Francisco dropped 38 percent. Those in London -- another place where smartphone theft happens far too often -- fell 24 percent. As for New York, robberies involving Apple products dropped 19 percent, and those involving grand larcenies went down 29 percent in the first five months of 2014 compared with the same time frame in 2013, <a href="http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/19/antitheft-technology-led-to-a-dip-in-iphone-thefts-in-some-cities-police-say/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_r=0" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em> reports</a>.</p> <p>Police have long believed that this type of antitheft technology would discourage crooks from stealing smartphones, and the data up to this point shows they're right. However, kill switch technology might not deserve all the credit. There are other factors at play, such as an increased effort on the part of law enforcement and tech companies to educate consumers on additional security measures to protect their handsets -- things like setting up passcodes.</p> <p>Regardless of the debate, the industry is moving forward with kill switches. As it stands, both Google and Microsoft have plans to implement antitheft technology into the next version of their respective mobile operating systems. Between the three platforms -- iOS, Android, and Windows Phone -- almost every new device will have a kill switch.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/kill_switch_iphone_working_microsoft_and_google_follow_suit_2014#comments android Google iOS 7 iphone kill switch microsoft mobile Security smartphone windows phone News Thu, 19 Jun 2014 15:20:23 +0000 Paul Lilly 28035 at http://www.maximumpc.com BlackBerry Inks Deal with Amazon to Offer Android Apps on BB10 Handsets http://www.maximumpc.com/blackberry_inks_deal_amazon_offer_android_apps_bb10_handsets_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/blackberry_android.jpg" alt="BlackBerry Android" title="BlackBerry Android" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Can Amazon fix BlackBerry's app problem?</h3> <p>Desperate times call for desperate measures, and for BlackBerry, that means opening up your ecosystem to run Android apps -- some of them, anyway. <strong>BlackBerry announced today that Amazon Appstore will be available with the launch of the BlackBerrry 10.3 operating system this fall</strong>. The deal will give BlackBerry users access to more than 240,000 Android apps, including popular titles like Netflix, Pinterest, and Minecraft.</p> <p>"Making the Amazon Appstore available on BlackBerry 10 devices will help BlackBerry continue to meet two essential needs: greater app availability for our smartphone users and enhanced productivity solutions for enterprises," <a href="http://press.blackberry.com/press/2014/blackberry-to-expand-application-ecosystem-by-making-amazon-apps.html" target="_blank">said BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen</a>. "We’ve listened to our customers and have taken this important step to deliver on their needs, while executing on our strategy."</p> <p>BlackBerry has tried various different strategies up to this point to try and regain relevance in the mobile space. However, consumers have continued to show a much stronger preference for Android and iOS. By tapping into Android, BlackBerry has a shot at reclaiming lost customers.</p> <p>The other upside for BlackBerry is that this deal frees itself up to focus on enterprise applications.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/blackberry_inks_deal_amazon_offer_android_apps_bb10_handsets_2014#comments amazon android apps bb10 BlackBerry mobile smartphone Software News Wed, 18 Jun 2014 15:39:15 +0000 Paul Lilly 28026 at http://www.maximumpc.com Google Maps Android App Breaches 1 Billion Downloads Mark http://www.maximumpc.com/google_maps_android_app_breaches_1_billion_downloads_mark <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/google-maps-navigation-landscape.png" alt="Google Maps Android" title="Google Maps Android" width="228" height="137" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Only the second Android app to do so</h3> <p>Seeing as how Google’s many apps are a staple on most Android devices, it’s not surprising that some of the most downloaded apps on the world’s most popular mobile platform come from the search engine giant’s stable. It was only last month that it became the <strong>first company to have an Android app with over 1 billion downloads</strong>, and now it has two.</p> <p>The Google Maps Android application, which debuted in late 2008 and became the first app on the platform to reach the 50 million downloads mark in 2011, <a href="http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/06/13/google-maps-has-arrived-at-its-destination-app-reaches-1-billion-downloads/" target="_blank">has now amassed over 1 billion downloads</a>, making it only the second app to do so after Gmail. </p> <p>With many other Google-developed apps, including Search, Text-to-Speech and YouTube, not too far behind, we expect Android’s 1 billion downloads club to remain an all-Google affair for quite some time to come.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/google_maps_android_app_breaches_1_billion_downloads_mark#comments android Gmail Google google maps play store News Mon, 16 Jun 2014 05:37:42 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28007 at http://www.maximumpc.com Spotify to Update Android App Following Security Breach http://www.maximumpc.com/spotify_update_android_app_following_security_breach_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/spotify_4.jpg" alt="Spotify" title="Spotify" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Another day, another hack</h3> <p><strong>Spotify is the latest company to fall prey to a hacker attack</strong> and has launched an investigation into the data breach. Based on initial findings, only one person's data has been accessed, and that information didn't include any password, financial, or payment information. Nevertheless, Spotify says it's erring on the side of caution and plans to roll out an updated Android app, which should show up in Google Play and Amazon Appstore over the next several days.</p> <p>Mobile users running Spotify on iOS and Windows Phone don't need to worry about checking for an updated app, as the vulnerability that was exploited only affects the Android version. However, Spotify said it will be asking certain users to re-enter their username and password to log in over the coming days.</p> <p>"Please note that offline playlists will have to be re-downloaded in the new version. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes, but hope you understand that this is a necessary precaution to safeguard the quality of our service and protect our users," Spotify said.</p> <p>You can find more information related to the data breach on a <a href="https://support.spotify.com/us/problems/#!/article/downloading-android-update" target="_blank">special website</a> Spotify constructed.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/spotify_update_android_app_following_security_breach_2014#comments android Google google play music Software spotify streaming News Tue, 27 May 2014 16:13:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 27883 at http://www.maximumpc.com HP Launches $99 Quad-Core Android Tablet in U.S. http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_launches_99_quad-core_android_tablet_us990 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/hp_7_plus.png" alt="HP 7 Plus" title="HP 7 Plus" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>HP 7 Plus has been available in Europe for some time now</h3> <p>Hewlett-Packard entered the media tablet race in mid-2011, at a time when almost every upcoming tablet was labeled a potential iPad killer. Both the $500 webOS-based TouchPad and the $1.2 billion Palm acquisition that made it possible in the first place turned out to be patent disasters. If the company has learned anything from the whole fiasco, it’s perhaps the fact that <strong>people really love a good $99 tablet.</strong></p> <p>Late last year, the company launched a <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_intros_line_android_tablets_starting_150" target="_blank">quartet of affordable Android tablets priced between $150 and $300</a>. Now, the company has gone one better with the launch of a $99 tablet called the <a href="http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Tablets/HP/G4B64AA" target="_blank">HP 7 Plus</a>.</p> <p>The HP 7 Plus packs a 7-inch IPS display (1,024 x 600), Allwinner A31 quad-core 1Ghz processor, 1 GB DDR3 SDRAM, 8 GB (eMMC) internal storage, 802.11b/g/n, and a 2,800mAh lithium-polymer battery (with up to 330 minutes battery life). The ports on this Jellybean-running 7-incher include one micro USB 2.0, a micro SD (expandable up to 32 GB), an integrated microphone and a 3.5mm headphone jack.</p> <p>The tablet is currently listed as being “out of stock” over at HP’s online store.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_launches_99_quad-core_android_tablet_us990#comments android hp 7 plus jelly bean quad core tablet News Mon, 26 May 2014 06:43:32 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 27872 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Formally Acknowledges Windows 8.1 with Bing http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_formally_acknowledges_windows_81_bing810 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/windows_bing_0.jpg" alt="Windows 8.1 With Bing" title="Windows 8.1 With Bing" width="228" height="134" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Many devices preloaded with the free SKU to be unveiled over the coming weeks</h3> <p>Microsoft is now getting very serious about taking the fight to all those low-cost Android tablets and cheap Chromebooks.&nbsp; Hot on the heels of its decision to begin <a href="http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2014/04/02/thoughts-on-day-1-of-build-2014.aspx" target="_blank">offering OEMs free Windows licenses for building sub-9-inch devices</a>, the <strong>Redmond-based tech bellwether on Friday announced a new version of Windows that will be offered free of cost to device manufacturers regardless of screen size.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/rumor_microsoft_may_offer_free_version_windows_81_bundled_bing_2014" target="_blank">First heard of in February</a>, <a href="http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/archive/2014/05/23/helping-our-hardware-partners-build-lower-cost-windows-devices.aspx" target="_blank">Windows 8.1 with Bing is a new, free edition</a> of the company’s touch-friendly tablet and desktop OS mainly aimed at “lower cost” devices. The SKU will, per Microsoft, only come “preloaded on Windows devices from our hardware partners.”</p> <p>“Windows 8.1 with Bing provides all the same great experiences that Windows 8.1 offers with the Windows 8.1 Update, and comes with Bing as the default search engine within Internet Explorer.” Microsoft blogger Brandon LeBlanc wrote in a post on the Windows Experience blog Friday. “And of course customers will be able to change that setting through the Internet Explorer menu, providing them with control over search engine settings. This new edition will be only be available preloaded on devices from our hardware partners. Some of these devices, in particular tablets, will also come with Office or a one-year subscription to Office 365.”</p> <p>Microsoft is clearly excited at the prospect of Windows-based devices being able to compete in price-sensitive segments where they have hitherto failed even to find a toehold, having been seriously bogged down by Windows licensing costs. The onus is now on the company’s various hardware partners to justify this excitement by showing some some stellar devices over the coming weeks.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_formally_acknowledges_windows_81_bing810#comments android chromebooks free windows microsoft OEM operating system Software tablet windows 8.1 with bing News Mon, 26 May 2014 02:39:40 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 27870 at http://www.maximumpc.com Fake AV Vendors Go Mobile http://www.maximumpc.com/fake_av_vendors_go_mobile200 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/fake-apps10-239281_0.png" alt="Fake AV Apps" title="Fake AV Apps" width="228" height="163" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Recently, one paid fake AV app notched up over 10,000 downloads</h3> <p>There has been an alarming surge in malware targeting Android in recent years. According to one estimate, the platform accounts for 97 percent of total mobile malware. Under the circumstances, it makes sense to use an antivirus app — especially if you happen to use a lot of apps downloaded from sources other than the Play Store. While we’d love to tell you which AV apps to use, it is not something we’re going to indulge in at this point. Instead, let us tell you about the <strong>type of AV apps you should definitely avoid.</strong></p> <p>Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 is one AV app you should avoid at all costs. Why, you ask? Well, because it is not a real AV app, but useless (and possibly harmful) “fakeware” that was until recently available from the Play Store. What’s more, it had a $3.99 asking price and had been downloaded over 10,000 times before being exposed? It was, in fact, not the only fake AV app trying to pass off as a legit product from Moscow-based AV vendor Kaspersky Labs’ stable. As Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014 was scaling Play Store popularity charts, a paid app called Kaspersky Mobile was trying to recreate its success in the Windows Phone Store.</p> <p>“The first fake app was discovered in Windows Phone Store. This in itself was unusual because scammers tend to target users of Android – via Google Play – due to the platform’s popularity. The app in question went by the name of Kaspersky Mobile,” <a href="http://www.kaspersky.com/about/news/virus/2014/Attack-of-the-Clones-Fake-AV-Invading-Mobile-App-Stores" target="_blank">Kaspersky said on its website</a>. “The fact there is no such program in Kaspersky Lab’s product line suggests the fraudsters didn’t expect anyone to notice the discrepancy. Another interesting feature of this particular app was the fact users had to pay for it. This meant its creators immediately started making money without having to devise additional scams such as demanding payments to remove “malware” that had supposedly been detected on users’ computers.”</p> <p>“The second fake app imitating the Kaspersky Lab brand was for sale on Google Play and was called Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014.&nbsp; Unlike the app for sale in Windows Phone Store, the creators of this fake app didn’t even bother to add a simulation of a scanner – the functionality was limited to random series of statements appearing on top of an “official” logo.”</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/fake_av_vendors_go_mobile200#comments android antivirus fake av kaspersky rogueware News Mon, 19 May 2014 07:13:35 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 27827 at http://www.maximumpc.com Gmail is First Android App to Boast 1 Billion Downloads http://www.maximumpc.com/gmail_first_android_app_boast_1_billion_downloads_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gmail.jpg" alt="Gmail" title="Gmail" width="228" height="143" style="float: right;" />No other Android app has been downloaded more times than Gmail</h3> <p>High fives are in order for Google's Gmail team, as<strong> Gmail is the first Android application to notch 1 billion downloads</strong> in its belt. The feat, which actually occured a few days ago, was announced today by Google VP Sundar Pichai, who <a href="https://plus.google.com/+SundarPichai/posts/KBahhDyRaXB" target="_blank">posted the achievement</a> on his Google+ page. It was a succinct (albeit excited) recognition, though crossing 1 billion downloads doesn't mean there are a billion people using Gmail.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2345299/gmail-becomes-first-android-app-to-see-one-billion-downloads" target="_blank"><em>The Inquirer</em></a>, the ticker on Gmail's Google Play page indicates the total number of installs instead of the total number of devices that have the app. That means a single person using Gmail on his or her Android phone, tablet, and perhaps even all-in-one gets counted as a separate download for each device.</p> <p>The ticker also doesn't take into consideration inactive or duplicate accounts. This is important because Gmail comes preinstalled on almost all Android devices, so the download number is artificially inflated.</p> <p>Nevertheless, reaching 1 billion downloads is still an impressive feat, even if the actual number of Gmail users isn't quite as high.</p> <p><a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/gmail_first_android_app_boast_1_billion_downloads_2014#comments android apps email Gmail Google Internet online webmail News Fri, 16 May 2014 18:30:19 +0000 Paul Lilly 27823 at http://www.maximumpc.com Archos Undercuts Chromebook Market, Unveils Android-based ArcBook for $170 http://www.maximumpc.com/archos_undercuts_chromebook_market_unveils_android-based_arcbook_170 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/archos_arcbook.jpg" alt="Archos ArcBook" title="Archos ArcBook" width="228" height="122" style="float: right;" />Basically a netbook with Android running the show</h3> <p>You may have thought that netbooks had vanished from the modern era, but that's only partially true. Nobody really cares about Windows-based netbooks anymore, but would they buy one built around Android? Archos is determined to find out with its ArcBook, a 10.1-inch laptop running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. We've seen low cost Android laptops before, but <strong>according to Archos, the ArcBook is the world's first Android netbook with a touchscreen display</strong>.</p> <p>The capacitive touchscreen display sports a 1024x600 resolution and is powered by a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.2GHz. Other specs include 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage expandable via a microSD card slot,, two micro USB 2.0 ports, a full-size USB 2.0 port, 3.5mm audio jack, bulit-in Wi-Fi, a pair of speakers, and a front-facing camera.</p> <p>There's a full keyboard and trackpad to play with, which you can use to work with the preinstalled Office Suite 6 productivity software. You can also access Google Play.</p> <p>Look for the <a href="http://www.archos.com/us/products/themed/arcbook/index.html" target="_blank">Archos ArcBook</a> to ship in June for $170.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/archos_undercuts_chromebook_market_unveils_android-based_arcbook_170#comments android arcbook archos laptop mobile notebook OEM rigs News Tue, 13 May 2014 17:05:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 27803 at http://www.maximumpc.com AOC's mySmart All-in-One Touch Display Comes Wrapped in Android Ice Cream Sandwich http://www.maximumpc.com/aocs_mysmart_all--one_touch_display_comes_wrapped_android_ice_cream_sandwich_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/aoc_mysmart_a2472pw4t.jpg" alt="AOC mySmart All-in-One A2472PW4T" title="AOC mySmart All-in-One A2472PW4T" width="228" height="193" style="float: right;" />A new all-in-one line with an old version of Android</h3> <p><strong>AOC is getting the work week started by rolling out a pair of mySmart All-in-One systems running Android</strong> 4.2 Ice Cream Sandwich. There are two versions: the 22-inch A2272PW4T and the 24-inch A2472PW4T. Other than the size and physical screen real estate, they're configured exactly the same, right down to the Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) resolution and odd decision to run a version of Android that's two generations old.</p> <p>Both models sport touchscreen ADS In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels. Other shared specs include an Nvidia T33 quad-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz, 2GB of LPDDR3 memory, 8GB of eMMC storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 720p HD webcam, four USB 2.0 ports, SDHC card read, a pair of 2W stereo speakers, and both VGA and HDMI inputs.</p> <p>"The mySmart All-in-One delivers technology that empowers consumers to stay connected to the things that matter in today’s constantly evolving digital world," said Steve Young, AOC Channel Marketing Manager. "The mySmart line extends AOC’s longstanding tradition of providing award-winning technology that combines an intuitive, user-friendly experience with visually appealing yet functional design at a competitive price point."</p> <p>AOC says the <a href="http://us.aoc.com/monitor_displays/a2272pw4t" target="_blank">A2272PW4T</a> and <a href="http://us.aoc.com/monitor_displays/a2472pw4t" target="_blank">A2472PW4T</a> are available now at national retailers for $300 and $400 MSRP, respectively.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/aocs_mysmart_all--one_touch_display_comes_wrapped_android_ice_cream_sandwich_2014#comments A2272PW4T A2472PW4T aio all-in-one android aoc display Hardware ice cream sandwich OEM rigs News Mon, 05 May 2014 15:30:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 27752 at http://www.maximumpc.com