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Friday, July 8, 2016

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Two Samsung Galaxy S7 Actives failed Consumer Reports water resistance test

Posted: 08 Jul 2016 02:08 PM PDT

Consumer Reports tested the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active and found it to be a very good phone with one big flaw. When submerged for 30 minutes in water pressurized to 2.12 PSI, equivalent to the IP68 5-foot rating, the device had major water intrusion and ceased functioning.

If that wasn't enough, they tried the same thing with another S7 Active and it ceased functioning, just like the first. This is strange because both the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge feature the same IP68 rating and both passed the test.

Samsung claims that it's had very few complaints about water intrusion with this phone, and the complaints that it did get were covered under warranty, but this is still a risk. Phone companies like Sony and Samsung have been known to deny warranty claims due to water intrusion on water-resistant devices, so relying on warranty isn't foolproof.

Hopefully Samsung fixes this issue, as it's obvious the company is capable of making a water-resistant device. Buying an "active" rugged device and getting water intrusion would be incredibly disappointing.


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Tidal music streaming app finally gets Chromecast support in update

Posted: 08 Jul 2016 02:08 PM PDT

What's the point of having a high-quality music streaming service if you can't stream the music wherever you want? Thankfully, the Tidal apps for Android and iOS have finally been updated to support Google Cast.

From now on, you'll be able to stream your music to any Google Cast-compatible device, like a ChromecastGoogle TV, or Chromecast Audio. It's definitely a great feature and we're sure many people are glad to finally have it.

If you're interested in checking it out, head to the Play Store and update the app. How many of you use Tidal over services like Google Play Music and Spotify? Will this be a useful addition for you? Leave a comment!


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Official Discogs Android app to spin into the Play Store on July 12

Posted: 08 Jul 2016 10:16 AM PDT

discogs-8

As a music lover, one of the first apps I looked for on Android way, way back in 2012 was a cataloging solution for my different albums and a way to browse artist releases à la IMDB. I quickly stumbled on the Discogs website, but for a long while, I couldn't find a decent app for the service on Android. The situation has changed a lot recently with several apps providing access to Discogs and working well enough to make the need for an official app less urgent.

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Official Discogs Android app to spin into the Play Store on July 12 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Facebook Messenger’s Secret Conversations will add end-to-end encryption

Posted: 08 Jul 2016 10:03 AM PDT

Facebook has reportedly been working on bringing end-to-end encryption to its Messenger platform for quite a while now, and it turns out they're ready to start testing it ahead of a full public launch.

Facebook officially announced today that they're testing end-to-end encryption within Messenger, locking down conversations so that even Facebook can't access the content therein. However, unlike other messaging platforms where the end-to-end encryption is active by default and covers all conversations, Facebook will let Messenger users turn it on in a chat-by-chat basis. To differentiate between these standard and encrypted conversations, Facebook is calling them Secret Conversations.

"To enable you to do this we are starting to test the ability to create one-to-one secret conversations in Messenger that will be end-to-end encrypted and which can only be read on one device of the person you're communicating with. That means the messages are intended just for you and the other person — not anyone else, including us. Within a secret conversation, you can also choose to set a timer to control the length of time each message you send remains visible within the conversation. Our technology uses the Signal Protocol developed by Open Whisper Systems. You can read more about the technical details here."

Secret Conversations messages can have a timer to set how long they remain visible in the thread, and users can control which conversations are secure or not. That's because the Secret Conversations can only be held on one device, and not kept up between other devices. It's worth noting that Facebook says images sent in a Secret Conversation will be encrypted, too, but metadata will not be.

Facebook is testing Secret Conversations now, will a full rollout planned for the near future.


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Video: hands-on with Android apps and the Play Store on Chrome OS

Posted: 08 Jul 2016 09:59 AM PDT

appschrome

In our latest video, Facundo Holzmeister goes hands-on with Android apps and the Play Store on Chrome OS using the Chromebook Flip. I've used the Flip's Android apps a fair bit now, and I have to say, while the experience is buggy, it does hold a lot of promise. Our video hands-on should give you a better idea of what the whole thing looks and feels like, as well as some of Facundo's thoughts on how things are progressing.

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Video: hands-on with Android apps and the Play Store on Chrome OS was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Alcatel Dawn lands on Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile with Android 6.0

Posted: 08 Jul 2016 09:11 AM PDT

For customers of Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile, there's a new Android smartphone now available at a relatively cheap price.

It's called the Alcatel Dawn, and it's a 4.5-inch handset running Android 6.0 right out of the box. The Dawn also features a 5-megapixel camera on the back, a front-facing VGA camera, and there's a 1.1GHz quad-core processor under the hood. There's 1GB of RAM and a battery measured in at 1780mAh, too. The Dawn has a microSD card slot that you can use to supplement the 8GB of built-in storage.

The Dawn is available for $69.99 at both Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.


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Facebook is testing secret conversations with end-to-end encryption in Messenger

Posted: 08 Jul 2016 08:13 AM PDT

Facebook

Facebook isn't the first company you think of when privacy comes to mind. Nor is it second, third, or anywhere near the top dozen. It's lucky if it's anywhere on the list at all. But the company does own WhatsApp, the widely used instant messenger that started encrypting all messages earlier this year. Now Facebook is testing out that same encryption in Messenger.

Facebook Messenger is using the same protocol that Open Whisper Systems developed for TextSecure and, later, Signal.

Read More

Facebook is testing secret conversations with end-to-end encryption in Messenger was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Top 10 Android app updates this week: Slack, My Verizon

Posted: 08 Jul 2016 07:09 AM PDT

Welcome back to our weekly Top 10 Android App Updates column, where we take a look at the most frequently upgraded apps for the week. We've found that one of the best ways to discover useful apps is to find the ones that are actually being updated by the developers rather than selecting the apps with the most installs. As in the past, we're going to filter out minor updates for the super-popular apps that have over 10 million installs, but we'll make exceptions for apps that have had significant updates. We hope you enjoy this weekly feature and that you discover some apps that end up being useful.

RoboForm Password Manager - Version 4.3.7

RoboForm

What's new in this version:

  • Added fingerprint authentication for Android M and Samsung SDK
  • Added ability to sync with user specified RoboForm server
  • Improved navigator list speed
  • Stability update
  • Require minimal API 16, which means Android 4.1 and higher

 

Google Fit - Version 1.57.0

Google Fit

What's new in this version:

  • More goal options and support for multiple goals. Set daily, weekly and monthly goals and goals for specific activities like "run three times a week".
  • A new look that shows all of your daily stats at once.
  • See how your weight is trending after logging a new measurement.
  • See how your activity compares against other Fit users in your area.
  • Bug fixes

 

Slack - Version 2.13.0

Slack

What's new in this version:

  • Updated the way notifications are handled and displayed, to make them better.
  • Support for Android Wear (Reply to notifications and view previous messages to a notification by swiping right)
  • Fixed: Receiving a push notification would sometimes cause you to appear active. But it was we that were active in that moment, rather than you. So we changed it.

 

FolderSync - Version 2.9.0

FolderSync

What's new in this version:

  • Provider: support for new OneDrive API and OneDrive Business, Hubic and PCloud.
  • Feature: support for Nexus Imprint to unlock if using pin code.
  • Feature: support for Marshmallow runtime permissions.
  • Bugfix: fixed issue with waiting for Wifi for SD card sync.

 

My Verizon - Version 12.1.6

My Verizon

What's new in this version:

  • We've created a completely new mobile experience — from the ground up — to harness the power of America's most reliable network.
  • Upgrade to the new Verizon Plan to gain access to all-new features including: Data Hub, On-Demand Support, Safety Mode and Carryover Data, with a real-time Feed just for you.

 

Snapchat - Version 9.34.3.0

Snapchat

What's new in this version:

  • Memories is a new way to save a personal collection of your favorite Snaps and Stories. Make new Stories, send Snaps from Memories, and easily find the moments you're looking for with search.

 

Audiobooks by Audible - Version 2.6.0

Audiobooks from Audible

What's new in this version:

  • Introducing Clips: Now you can create clips of your favorite audiobook passages for later, listening or sharing with friends!
  • Channels content is now organized better than ever! Start listening to our premium short-form content including ad-free podcasts, news, comedy, exclusive shows and more.

 

DS audio - Version 3.11.0

DS audio

What's new in this version:

  • Added support for Android Auto
  • Added support for thumbnail view when browsing files by folder
  • Added support to view by folders or songs when browsing files by folder
  • Minor bug fixes

 

Join by joaoapps (Beta) - Version 1.0.21

Join by joaoapps (Beta)

What's new in this version:

  • Screen Capture with optional upload to YouTube. Check link.
  • No longer requires Contacts permission. Only requests SMS permission when needed
  • Made "Reply Directly" action available for KitKat devices
  • Added Dutch and Russian translations
  • Clipboard bubble now remembers vertical position you last dragged it to
  • When notifications are requested, all notifications are sent
  • Other bug fixes

 

Samsung S Health - Version 4.8.1

S Health

What's new in this version:

  • You can integrate with S Health: Fitbit, Jawbone, Microsoft Health, Misfit, Runkeeper, and Strava.

 


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[Hands-on] ASAP Launcher is a familiar launcher with no homescreens, no widgets, no folders, and several cool features

Posted: 08 Jul 2016 06:13 AM PDT

asap-launcher

Over the past couple of days, I've been trying a new Android launcher called ASAP. Although I am not sure the name fits the launcher well, or is appropriate enough for my use — after all, I have perfected Nova's folders to my habits — I do appreciate several of ASAP's features and think it could be a great fit for many users.

What you need to know about ASAP though is that while it looks like most Android launchers, it doesn't work like them at all.

Read More

[Hands-on] ASAP Launcher is a familiar launcher with no homescreens, no widgets, no folders, and several cool features was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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[Update: US and Canada now] Deal Alert: Beautiful puzzler Zenge is down to 10 cents in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and 20 cents in Australia

Posted: 07 Jul 2016 09:28 PM PDT

zenge

It's monday already and even though the week has barely started, the stress of work and life might already be taking a toll on you. If you're looking for a way to unwind, there's a sweet and beautiful zen puzzler waiting for you in the Play Store and at a super cheap price too.

Read More

[Update: US and Canada now] Deal Alert: Beautiful puzzler Zenge is down to 10 cents in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and 20 cents in Australia was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Samsung announces new line of UFS memory cards

Posted: 07 Jul 2016 06:15 PM PDT

Samsung's new UFS memory in the Galaxy S7 is blazing fast, and the same speed will soon be coming to memory cards. The company has announced a new line of UFS memory cards.

These memory cards are many times faster than the UHS-1 microSD cards currently available. Samsung claims 5x faster sequential read performance, 20x higher random read performance, and 350x higher random write performance.

Unfortunately, there are no devices that support UFS memory cards. The pin layout on the back is entirely different from microSD, so these won't work in older devices. Hopefully new devices like the Galaxy Note 7 will support UFS memory cards. Samsung hasn't announced a release date for the cards, but without devices supporting the tech, a quick release isn't important.

The UFS cards will come in 32GB all the way up to 256GB sizes and will likely be pretty pricey. But for those people shooting constant 4K or RAW images with a high megapixel DSLR, these will be perfect.


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AT&T updates the Samsung Galaxy S6 active to Marshmallow

Posted: 07 Jul 2016 04:54 PM PDT

AT&T hasn't been very quick about updating its Android devices to Marshmallow (feel free to start the angry ranting in the comments), but recently it has been getting around to releasing updates for some of its less popular devices.

The latest device to get Android 6.0 is the Samsung Galaxy S6 active, which is officially receiving what is currently the latest version of Android (though not for long).

The update gives you Doze mode for better battery life, customizable app permissions for better security, Google Now on Tap, better volume controls, and a lot of tweaks to make most devices run faster and smoother. On top of that, AT&T is adding Wi-Fi calling to the device.

If you want to download the update, head to Settings > System > About device > Software update and check to see if you have a Marshmallow waiting for you. The update is almost 1.5GB in size, so make sure you have enough space!


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Nextbit announces web client, teases red Robin

Posted: 07 Jul 2016 04:54 PM PDT

Nextbit is all about the cloud, advertising its Robin smartphone as a cloud-integrated device where storage is never a worry. The company today announced on a live stream a new web client for the online storage coming soon.

The web client will allow you to view your photos with their metadata and download them either individually or multiple at once.

The company also took to Twitter to tease a new red model of the Robin by showing a black model with red paint on it. A new color can't hurt, especially with such a uniquely-styled device. Red would be fitting.

The web client will be available to beta users soon, so hit the source link to get into the beta program. Nextbit users, how do you feel about these changes?

Source: Nextbit Community, Twitter


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Honor 5X now getting Marshmallow update

Posted: 07 Jul 2016 04:05 PM PDT

If you're the owner of an Honor 5X, your device is about to get significantly better. The official Android 6.0 Marshmallow update is now rolling out, and it's bringing the new EMUI 4.0.

The Marshmallow update brings all the goodies many devices have been rocking for a while. You get Doze mode for better battery life, customizable app permissions for better security, improved audio controls, Google Now on Tap, and a bunch of other tweaks that make devices faster and smoother.

EMUI 4.0 brings some new features as well, making the update even better. The navigation bar is now customizable, there are new motion actions that can be used when the screen is in standby, a one-hand mode has been added, and more.

Head to Settings and press the Update tab to check for new updates, and let us know how you like it when it's done!


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Changes to Trusted Certificate Authorities in Android Nougat

Posted: 07 Jul 2016 03:55 PM PDT

Posted by Chad Brubaker, Android Security team

In Android Nougat (7.0), we've changed how Android handles trusted certificate authorities (CAs) to provide safer defaults for secure app traffic. Most apps and users should not be affected by these changes or need to take any action. The changes include:

  • Safe and easy APIs to trust custom CAs.
  • Apps that target API Level 24 and above no longer trust user or admin-added CAs for secure connections, by default.
  • All devices running Android Nougat offer the same standardized set of system CAs—no device-specific customizations.

For more details on these changes and what to do if you're affected by them, read on.

Safe and easy APIs

Apps have always been able customize which certificate authorities they trust. However, we saw apps making mistakes due to the complexities of the Java TLS APIs. To address this we improved the APIs for customizing trust.

User-added CAs

Protection of all application data is a key goal of the Android application sandbox. Android Nougat changes how applications interact with user- and admin-supplied CAs. By default, apps that target API level 24 will—by design—not honor such CAs unless the app explicitly opts in. This safe-by-default setting reduces application attack surface and encourages consistent handling of network and file-based application data.

Customizing trusted CAs

Customizing the CAs your app trusts on Android Nougat is easy using the Network Security Config. Trust can be specified across the whole app or only for connections to certain domains, as needed. Below are some examples for trusting a custom or user-added CA, in addition to the system CAs. For more examples and details, see the full documentation.

Trusting custom CAs for debugging

To allow your app to trust custom CAs only for local debugging, include something like this in your Network Security Config. The CAs will only be trusted while your app is marked as debuggable.


<network-security-config>
<debug-overrides>
<trust-anchors>
<!-- Trust user added CAs while debuggable only -->
<certificates src="user" />
</trust-anchors>
</domain-config>
</network-security-config>

Trusting custom CAs for a domain

To allow your app to trust custom CAs for a specific domain, include something like this in your Network Security Config.


<network-security-config>
<domain-config>
<domain includeSubdomains="true">internal.example.com</domain>
<trust-anchors>
<!-- Only trust the CAs included with the app
for connections to internal.example.com -->
<certificates src="@raw/cas" />
</trust-anchors>
</domain-config>
</network-security-config>

Trusting user-added CAs for some domains

To allow your app to trust user-added CAs for multiple domains, include something like this in your Network Security Config.


<network-security-config>
<domain-config>
<domain includeSubdomains="true">userCaDomain.com</domain>
<domain includeSubdomains="true">otherUserCaDomain.com</domain>
<trust-anchors>
<!-- Trust preinstalled CAs -->
<certificates src="system" />
<!-- Additionally trust user added CAs -->
<certificates src="user" />
</trust-anchors>
</domain-config>
</network-security-config>

Trusting user-added CAs for all domains except some

To allow your app to trust user-added CAs for all domains, except for those specified, include something like this in your Network Security Config.


<network-security-config>
<base-config>
<trust-anchors>
<!-- Trust preinstalled CAs -->
<certificates src="system" />
<!-- Additionally trust user added CAs -->
<certificates src="user" />
</trust-anchors>
</base-config>
<domain-config>
<domain includeSubdomains="true">sensitive.example.com</domain>
<trust-anchors>
<!-- Only allow sensitive content to be exchanged
with the real server and not any user or
admin configured MiTMs -->
<certificates src="system" />
<trust-anchors>
</domain-config>
</network-security-config>

Trusting user-added CAs for all secure connections

To allow your app to trust user-added CAs for all secure connections, add this in your Network Security Config.


<network-security-config>
<base-config>
<trust-anchors>
<!-- Trust preinstalled CAs -->
<certificates src="system" />
<!-- Additionally trust user added CAs -->
<certificates src="user" />
</trust-anchors>
</base-config>
</network-security-config>

Standardized set of system-trusted CAs

To provide a more consistent and more secure experience across the Android ecosystem, beginning with Android Nougat, compatible devices trust only the standardized system CAs maintained in AOSP.

Previously, the set of preinstalled CAs bundled with the system could vary from device to device. This could lead to compatibility issues when some devices did not include CAs that apps needed for connections as well as potential security issues if CAs that did not meet our security requirements were included on some devices.

What if I have a CA I believe should be included on Android?

First, be sure that your CA needs to be included in the system. The preinstalled CAs are only for CAs that meet our security requirements because they affect the secure connections of most apps on the device. If you need to add a CA for connecting to hosts that use that CA, you should instead customize your apps and services that connect to those hosts. For more information, see the Customizing trusted CAs section above.

If you operate a CA that you believe should be included in Android, first complete the Mozilla CA Inclusion Process and then file a feature request against Android to have the CA added to the standardized set of system CAs.


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