Mobile

Wed
15
May
John Lister's picture

Researchers: Android Bloatware a Security Risk

Unwanted pre-installed software on Android devices often poses privacy and security risks according to a new study. That's because the so-called "bloatware" often by-passes Google's vetting process. One of the key selling points, or big drawbacks - ... depending on your perspective - of the Android operating system is that phone and tablet makers can customize their own devices, through the user interface and the apps that appear when a new device is first powered on. That's different from systems such as Apple, where both the hardware and software are controlled by the same company . The study ... (view more)

Mon
06
May
John Lister's picture

Apple Accused of Overhyping Battery Life

A consumer group has accused Apple of significantly overstating battery life on iPhones. The group also said some manufacturer's smartphones perform much better than advertised. The claims come from "Which?," a British organization similar to ... Consumer Reports in the US. It tested a range of handsets from five leading manufacturers: Apple, HTC, Nokia, Samsung and Sony. (Source: which.co.uk ) The tests were specifically about talk time: how long the battery lasts while making voice calls. That's provoked some criticism from people who argue this is only a small part of battery life ... (view more)

Wed
13
Mar
John Lister's picture

Apple Wants To Block Police Phone Tracking

Apple wants to patent a technology that would make it harder for police to track people's location through their phone. The technology wouldn't make messages and calls secret, but rather make it harder to prove who owned the phone in question. The ... patent is for end-to-end encryption for the mobile subscriber identification number (MSNI). That's part of a longer number that also identifies the country and mobile network a phone is registered to What's important here is that the MSNI identifies the specific handset. Police could then force a mobile carrier to hand over the ... (view more)

Tue
26
Feb
John Lister's picture

New Energizer Phone Has Beast of a Battery

Energizer has made a smartphone that is not surprisingly all about the battery. Though to be fair, it's got six times the capacity of some leading models. The few people who've seen the phone say it's bordering on impossibly big, but that it does ... provoke debate about the way phones suck up electricity. The Android-based handset is called the Energizer Power Max P18K Pop. It has a battery capacity of 18,000 mAh. To put that into context, it's three times more than a Motorola phone that's specifically marketed around long battery life. It's also around six times more than many flagship Android ... (view more)

Fri
11
Jan
John Lister's picture

The Truth Behind 'Undeletable' Facebook App

Reports which suggest that Samsung has made it impossible to delete Facebook from its smartphones turn out to be slightly overblown. In fact, the app isn't actually on the handsets in the first place. Many media outlets have followed up on a report ... by Bloomberg that was sparked by Internet forum complaints. Bloomberg cited the case of a man who, like many others, was surprised to discover that it wasn't possible to delete the Facebook app on his Samsung Galaxy S8. The app had been there from the day he first used the phone. (Source: bloomberg.com ) The man noted that it was only possible to ... (view more)

Tue
04
Dec
John Lister's picture

Report: Cellphones 'Dirtier Than Toilet Seat'

A hygiene company says the average smartphone is "seven times dirtier" than a toilet seat. People using them in bathrooms could be the cause. The company says it swabbed 50 phones with a device that lights up spots on a surface housing live ... bacteria. On average it found 1,479 such spots on a phone, compared with 220 on a toilet seat. Not all phones are equally icky however. Phones with a wipe-clean plastic covers had slightly fewer bacteria spots than the average handset. The worst offender was a phone in a leather case that doubled as a wallet and had nearly 17 times as many bacteria spots ... (view more)

Thu
01
Nov
John Lister's picture

Report: Apps for Kids Contain Dubious, Unsuitable Ads

Apps aimed at very young children are a "wild west" of dubious advertising according to the author of a new study. Jenny Radesky of the University of Michigan's CS Mott Children's Hospital said the advertising was often manipulative. The researchers ... looked at 135 Android apps played by children, including the 96 most downloaded from the Google Play store in the "5 And Under" category. Their headline finding was that 95 percent contained at least one form of advertising. That's arguably a little misleading as this includes 42 percent of the apps featuring a commercial character such as one ... (view more)

Mon
29
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Disable, Delete Messenger 'My Story' Permanently

Infopackets Reader Samantha G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I use Facebook Messenger to send and receive text messages to my friends using my Android smart phone. One of the neat features Messenger offers is the ability to take a photo of yourself (or ... someone else) using filters. For example, there's a rabbit filter that puts bunny ears and a mouth on the person being photographed. I had fun with this one day and took over a dozen photos of myself using various filters. Unbeknownst to me, all of these goofy photos were automatically posted in the 'My Story' folder, where they were viewable to ... (view more)

Thu
18
Oct
John Lister's picture

New 'LiFi' Gets 8 Gigabit Speed; Faster than WiFi, 5G

Light could be the key to solving one of the big problems of faster mobile Internet. But the technology, which uses spotlights to send out signals, has some limited range of uses. The technology developed by pureLiFi works on a simple principle: ... rather than using radio waves to transmit data (as does WiFi), it uses light waves. A demo of the system uses ceiling spotlights which blast out light in a cone shape. To the human eye it looks like an ordinary constant light supply. In fact it's actually flickering at incredibly high speeds to create a pattern. 5G Signals Hurt By Walls A plug-in ' ... (view more)

Wed
19
Sep
John Lister's picture

Google Remotely Changes Phone Settings

Google has apologized for remotely switching on "battery saver mode" on some Android phones. It says it was an internal test that was mistakenly rolled out. Battery Saver is an optional mode first added to the Android system in 2014. It aims to find ... a balance between reducing battery drain and maintaining convenience and functionality. The mode is effectively a collection of settings changes. These include reducing background processes (activity by apps the user isn't actively using), cutting down on screen animations, and stopping apps from automatically updating. It also disables ... (view more)

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