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Posts tagged ‘Android’

26
Jan
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5 reasons you should root your Nexus 6



I have had my Nexus 6 for just under two months now and one of the main reasons for getting the device was to receive prompt updates. Everyone knows how that goes; Google sends updates to their devices before any other carriers/manufacturers send out their updates. The other main reason for me getting the Nexus 6 was to have a pure Android device. It is something I’ve always wanted; previously having the HTC One M8 with Sense 6.0, multiple Samsung devices with TouchWiz, and the LG G3 with LG’s UI.

Since all of the Google Nexus devices are very popular in the developer community, the possibilities for you to customize your Nexus 6 is endless. The Nexus 6 section on the XDA Forums are always full of great developers and even better, people who will help you out if you ever get stuck while flashing, rooting, etc. It’s a very friendly community, so if you plan to root, flash, or whatever you’d like, you should familiarize yourself with the community!

Now rooting your Nexus 6 isn’t for everyone. It takes some time and some reading, so make sure you understand all that comes along with the process. If you don’t follow instructions carefully, you could end up with a soft-bricked device, or even worse, a totally bricked Nexus 6 that is unusable. I’ll try to link as many resources as I can to make this as easy as possible for everyone.

**DISCLAIMER** ROOTING YOUR DEVICE WILL DISABLE OTAs. ROOT AT YOUR OWN RISK! (This is where custom ROMs come in!) **DISCLAIMER**

Note: If you plan on using the command line method, I recommend familiarizing yourself with Minimal ADB and Fastboot. It saves a lot of time instead of installing and setting up the full Android SDK. On the page it includes detailed instructions. If you have any trouble or any questions, please feel free to email me at matt@androidguys.com. I am not responsible if you destroy device!

Root privileges

When you get a phone, what you are able to do with it is limited. Whether it is customization, adding features that weren’t included in the finally build (thanks Google), or getting more information out of your device by using apps such as Better Battery Stats, Wakelock Detector, and Greenify.

There are a few ways of rooting your Nexus 6, but I have found the two easiest for you. There is a great step-by-step guide thrown together by Gotta Be Mobile, Wug’s Nexus Toolkit over on the XDA forums, or multiple videos on YouTube. I personally would recommend sticking with the first two.

The first one from Gotta Be Mobile uses the CF-Auto-Root (Shamu zip file) method. While it may look intimidating, if you just follow the steps it is quite easy. Chainfire is one of the most known and best developers around. His methods have been hundreds of thousands of times, if not millions; you are in good hands.

The second method is an automated program made by XDA developer WugFresh. His Nexus Root Toolkit has been around for a good while and now is fully compatible with the Nexus 6. His program can automate rooting, unlocking, and decrypting all in one click (essentially). Along with that, it can also un-root your device and flash the stock image if you find yourself in some trouble such as a boot loop/soft-brick.

Not only will rooting get you super user access to your  device, it will open up the door for the next things you should do once your device is rooted. You’ll be able to enable tap-to-wake, the LED notification light, and use apps like I stated above that give you extra information about your device.

Tap-to-wake

Nexus 6 tap to wake

The Nexus 6 comes with the feature called Ambient Display. When the device receives a text, email. call, etc., the device will “breathe” and the screen will show your notifications in black and white. The reasoning for this is because the Nexus 6 comes with an AMOLED display, which is much easier on battery life when displaying darker colors than an LCD display. The display will “breathe” when it is moved. Sometimes when you pick up your device the display will turn on, sometimes it won’t. This leads to using the lock button to wake the device.

While using the lock button to wake the device isn’t the most inconvenient thing in the world, it would be much easier if the Nexus 6 just came with tap-to-wake enabled. Unfortunately, Google decided to not commit that line of code and it was left out in the final build of the device. The fortunate part is that since it was just hidden in the coding, it can be re-enabled.

Personally, I think all devices should come with tap-to-wake as a default method of waking a smartphone. It is one of the most convenient things to come on a smartphone in a long while, and now that phone screens are consistently eclipsing 5 inches, it is a necessity. When using a device that was dubbed “Shamu” as a codename, you know it is already going to be big, so it needs tap-to-wake.

There are two methods of enabling tap-to-wake on your Nexus 6 without flashing a custom ROM or Kernel. Both methods require rooting to make it easy, so it is just up to preference at this point. One method includes downloading an app from the Google Play Store called Nexus 6 Double Tap to Wake. This app costs $.99, so hopefully you have the money to spare because this is the easiest method. Once installed, just press enable and you have tap-to-wake on your Nexus 6.

The second method comes from XDA developer qwerp_. Technically you can do it without root as long as you have a custom recovery and an unlocked bootloader, but we’ll stick with the rooted method. He recompiled the power.shamu.so to re-enable the illusive tap-to-wake feature. You can find the file and instructions on this XDA thread. Essentially you find the file by using an app such as ES File Explorer and replace the default power.shamu.so with his recompiled version. Make sure you back up your old file first!

LED Notification light

Nexus 6 LED

Something that took a similar path as the tap-to-wake feature was the notification light. The Nexus 6 does indeed have a notification light, but it was thrown in the can due to Ambient Display. Once you are rooted, it is very simple to enable the LED notification light hidden under your top speaker grille. You can follow this easy tutorial from hutzdani on the XDA Forums. You need to download the Lightflow app, and it cannot be the ‘lite’ version, it will not work.

The Lightflow app also costs money, but is a little more than the Nexus 6 Double Tap to Wake app at $2.49. It is totally worth it if you are going to stick with a stock ROM or something like CyanogenMod 12 (currently CM 12 doesn’t have the notification light built in). If you do not wish to pay for it, some kernels/ROMs come with it enabled.

Decryption

This topic has been debatable on the internet ever since it was found out the scores of the Nexus 6 before and after decryption. I ran a stock Nexus 6 for over a month before I rooted and decrypted it and found no adverse effects. Although, will downloading files, the device seemed to lag a little. I am currently encrypted again since I am running a CyanogenMod 12 nightly, so it is just up to preference.

You technically don’t need root priviledges to do this, but this will break OTAs as well, so if you are going to root your device and delve this far into customizing your Nexus 6, why not do this along the way; especially if you plan to flash new ROMs/kernels.

You can decrypt your Nexus 6 by using the Nexus Root Toolkit as well as using the command line. If you are unfamiliar with using the command line on your PC, then I recommend the latter. I personally prefer using the command line because it is more straight forward if you have the instructions, although it may be difficult to follow.

This thread on the XDA forums gives instructions on how to do it, but previous experience is definitely needed. If you would like a video to you walk through, you can find them on YouTube as well.

Custom ROMs/Kernels

Nexus 6 CyanogenMod

This is personally my favorite part of having a rooting device. Some things are left out of stock Android, and that includes a lot of customization. From the little things such as modifying the status bar, navigation bar, and even the color of the interface. To top it off, custom ROMs usually start using the latest AOSP build a lot sooner than Google will release them. This means you can still get prompt updates along with the customization that stock Android leaves out.

Like I stated earlier, the XDA Forums are full of great development and you can explorer the 40+ threads of Nexus 6 ROMs for days along with a few kernels. ROMs bring along with them the user interface changes that you wish you could do on stock Android. Almost all of them let you enable the circular battery icon (my personal favorite), the reorganization of  quick toggles in the notification shade, any many other little things to tinker with.

A few of the ROMs I have used on my Nexus 6 are:

As far as kernels go, they give the user a little more power when it comes to their Nexus 6. Everything is on the table from under-clocking/over-clocking the CPU, custom voltage support, custom haptic feedback settings, tap-to-wake, LED notification, etc. Long story short, they are a really good way for you to maximize the device to your choosing. I don’t particularly mess with my kernels to much, but so far I have found I have liked the franco.Kernel the most.

The franco.Kernel has the easiest installation by far, and it is literally one click. If you download the app from the Google Play Store (Both paid and free versions available), it automatically installs itself to your device. If you have the paid version, you can get a little deeper into the settings over the free version as well as an automatic updater. That way you won’t have to manually flash an update every time.

A few of the kernels I have used on my Nexus 6 are:

Conclusion

The Nexus 6 is a very powerful device and while it does come with stock Android on it, it can be quite limited in how it performs. Some people don’t like rooting because it breaks the OTA system, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons in this situation. With your device rooted you can customize your device to the fullest by enabling tap to wake, LED notification light, and even installing/flashing custom ROMs and kernels. Ever since I rooted my device and moved away from stock Android I have not regretted and I guarantee you won’t either. I find myself exploring new builds daily, even though I have to re-setup my phone. It is worth it to find what you like the most.

Like I stated earlier, do all of these modications at your own risk! I am not responsible with what you do to your device nor is AndroidGuys. Make sure you do your research before attempting anything and know what you’re getting yourself into. If you have any questions, feel free to email me (matt@androidguys.com) or even leave a comment below! I’ll be sure to keep up with this post.

If you enjoy any of these ROMs, Kernels, Apps, etc., please make sure to support the developers! Development takes time and a lot of these developers do this in their free time! The same goes for apps; please don’t Google the apk file, if you enjoy it, purchase it! It keeps Android development going. It’s what makes our community better than iOS ;)


The post 5 reasons you should root your Nexus 6 appeared first on AndroidGuys.

25
Jan
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Cyanogenmod 12 has a new boot animation



Looks like users of the Cyanogenmod 12 nightlies can expect a new boot animation in the latest version, and it’s gone light.

You can check it out in the below video.

What do you think of the new boot animation for Cyanogenmod 12?


The post Cyanogenmod 12 has a new boot animation appeared first on AndroidGuys.

25
Jan
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Android’s future is with us, not Google, according to Cyanogen CEO


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Many things in our world splinter into a variety of subsects. Some of which are political parties, Protestant denominations, and Linux distributions, which includes Android. They all have something in common with that from which they derive, but all claim superiority in some fashion.

Kirt McMaster (CEO of Cyanogen Inc.) recently spoke to a crowd gathered at The Information’s Next Phase of Android event, to say that a new dawn is coming to the Android distribution and the daybreak will show Cid standing triumphant over Andy.

kirt_mcmaster_picture1McMaster is no stranger to saying outlandish things. He’s called Google tyrannical and he’s gone on record stating that Samsung doesn’t have a clue when it comes to designing a mobile operating system.

To be clear, McMaster doesn’t want to get rid of Android. The Seattle-based company’s CyanogenMod is nearly entirely based off of Google’s Linux distro. Rather, he wants his company to be Android’s new overlord. McMaster feels that he would be a more magnanimous ruler than Google has been.

During the time of Android’s inception, Google set out to create a free mobile operating system that was open-sourced and available to all. This is the reason why we see it on so many different smart devices created by a variety of OEMs like Samsung, Sony, HTC, etc. This is also why we see its presence in such a huge range of third party ROMs, which is in fact where Cyanogen got its start.

Over time, Google has been more than aware that it has lost a great source of revenue by making Android free. During the past few years, in an attempt to rein in some control and profits, Google has tightened its clutches around the Android kernel and has forced OEMs to include the next best thing Google has to garner some income: its suite of Google apps must be included on every Android device.

McMaster offers a different vision for Android’s future. He gives Google Now as an example of what an app can truly do if given complete access to the very core of Android, and wants to offer the same ability to third-party app developers.

He goes on to state: “We’re making a version of Android that is more open so we can integrate with more partners so their servicers can be tier one services, so startups working on [artificial intelligence] or other problems don’t get stuck having you have to launch a stupid little application that inevitably gets acquired by Google or Apple. These companies can thrive on non-Google Android.”

While his statements with regard to third-party apps being acquired by Google are profoundly naïve, it would be interesting to see what app developers could do if they were able to offer a program as integrated as Google Now currently is.

McMaster further delved into the possibility of opening up many more app stores to consumers. Among those stores, he hopes to see a Cyanogen app store setting up shop in the next couple of years.

Cyanogen has also been busy lately creating partnerships with a variety of app services and companies. Most noteworthy is its relations with OnePlus, which runs CyanogenMod straight out of the box.

Additionally, and also appearing at the same conference, is its work with Nextbit’s Baton, a cloud-based service desiring to bring a more unified experience to consumers who use multiple smart devices. Its CEO, Tom Moss, was also candid with reporters about Android.

Further reading: Early Android employee says that Android and iOS likely to maintain status quo

Google and Cyanogen have had a peculiar relationship. Just last year, it was rumored that Google attempted to purchase Cyanogen, but both companies were unable to reach a final agreement. Also, Google removed Cyanogen’s CyanogenMod Installer application from the Play Store back in 2013.

Could McMaster be serious about wanting to remove Google from the Android picture? Or is this all smoke and mirrors in some secret attempt to get Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo to want them again?

 

Source: Android Authority via The Information

 

Come comment on this article: Android’s future is with us, not Google, according to Cyanogen CEO

25
Jan
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Early Android employee says that Android and iOS likely to maintain status quo


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If you’re an Android owner, you’ve probably experienced an iPhone-owning friend or family member asking you about whether or not they should switch to Android. For me, this question has increased in frequency over the years as the youthful Android devices have matured and planted themselves more clearly in the limelight.

Interestingly enough, I used to have more to say software-wise about the differences between the fruits and the robots, but as Apple has done a decent job lately of catching up to Android, a lot of the convergence has eliminated some of my old arguments. Notifications in iOS are handled better and there are now quick settings. The interface is still a glorified app drawer, though.

At a recent event held to discuss the future of Android, Tom Moss echoed this sentiment and focused on the business sector. 

During The Information’s Next Phase of Android event, Moss stated, “I think, right now, Android doesn’t solve any different problems for users than Apple does and Apple has a better brand. As long as the platforms don’t solve any new and different problems, I don’t think anything will change the status quo.”

tom_moss_picture1Moss went on to talk about Google’s upcoming Android for Work, but claimed that while it was nice that Google was finally addressing its absence from the enterprise environment, it’s just Google playing catch-up to Microsoft and Apple. Android for Work brings nothing new to the table, to paraphrase Moss’ laments.

The former Google employee wrapped up his statements nicely by tying it all back to his original comments, “It’s a second-order problem. If you give an employee the option to have an iPhone or Android phone, the first-order problem is that most of them are going to select iPhones.” 

As I often say when discussing comparisons, it’s always a matter of if all things being equal. It applies to candidates for employment, it applies to holiday travel plans, and it definitely applies to business technology solutions.

As Apple rises from the ashes, what will Google do to further differentiate Android from iOS? For power-users, rooters, Google-lovers, and consumers who enjoy a better experience with apps on an open environment, Android will always trump Apple, but for the layman and woman? You get the idea…

On the flip-side of the coin, if all things are equal, Android does have one thing going for it: the hardware behind the operating system in its OEMs’ flagship devices cannot be matched.

Source: Business Insider

Come comment on this article: Early Android employee says that Android and iOS likely to maintain status quo

25
Jan

Extend your Nexus 6 battery life with these tips



The Nexus 6 has a huge 3,220mAh battery and combined with Android 5.0 Lollipop’s battery optimisation thanks to Google’s Project Volta, provides pretty decent battery life, but there’s always room for improvement, especially when compared to the battery life of the Xperia Z3 or OnePlus One for example.

That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips you can use on your Nexus 6, and pretty much most Android smartphones, to stretch the battery life just a little bit further. These may be common knowledge to the technically gifted of us who know our devices inside-out, but will perhaps prove useful for someone who is not necessarily familiar with such techniques.

Turn off Ambient Display

To benefit from a longer standby time, head on into Settings -> Display -> Ambient Display to turn it off. Ambient display allows you to see notifications without having to fully wake the device, but at the cost of battery life.

Optimise Location Settings

Google allows for different location modes when it comes to the accuracy and method of obtaining your location for various apps. Often certain apps, especially social network apps, can request a GPS location quite frequently putting a strain on your battery.

If you’re not running the Maps application and can cope with a less refined location, then it’s worth setting your location to only be requested by using your geo-location through WiFi or Cellular network. Alternatively, to fully save battery, you can turn location services off completely.

Enable automatic brightness

It should come of no surprise that usually the biggest culprit of battery drain is the screen itself, and with the huge 6-inch qHD display on the Nexus 6, having the wrong brightness settings can significantly affect battery life.

Android 5.0 Lollipop has a feature called adaptive brightness, which automatically adjusts the brightness of your screen to suit the environment. This means that firstly you don’t have to manually adjust the brightness and also ensures permanent maximum brightness isn’t killing your battery. You can check adaptive brightness is still enabled in Settings -> Brightness.

Check what is using your battery

Even having every battery optimisation under the sun turned on, all it takes is one erroneous app to be maxing out your processor to absolutely kill your battery life, so be sure to check what is using the most battery under Settings -> Battery.

You should notice the usual culprits like ‘screen’ and ‘Android OS’, but if you see an app that you haven’t used in a while clocking up the %’s then chances are it’s doing something funky in the background and needs to be force closed or uninstalled.

Do you have any other tricks that you’ve found gives you the few extra hours of battery life on the Nexus 6, or any other Android device? Let us know in the comments below.


The post Extend your Nexus 6 battery life with these tips appeared first on AndroidGuys.

25
Jan

Cyanogen to attempt a Google free Android



The Information, an online subscription based news site, recently had an event in San Francisco on the “Next Phase of Android.” According to Android Authority, Cyanogen had a lot to say when it came to their future as well as the industry’s.

With an opening statement that hid nothing back, Kirt McMaster introduced himself as, “…the CEO of Cyanogen. We’re attempting to take Android away from Google.” As the interview continued, McMaster clarified by expressing that Android is currently limited in how apps can interact on a base system level, so his company would create their own version of Android to rectify this, with more possibilities for app developers and less Google influence. The bold statements didn’t stop there however, with another statement saying that Cyanogen will have their own version of the Google Play Store within 18 months. Until then, they will encourage alternative app stores on the Android platform.

These are massive goals for any company to set for themselves, let alone achieve, and whether or not they are actually viable remains to be seen. There are many challenges facing Cyanogen in the future, such as achievement of enough of a loyal fans to switch from Google to Cyanogen apps, creating their own ecosystem and dealing with the imminent security threats that could arise with allowing applications deeper system integrations.


The post Cyanogen to attempt a Google free Android appeared first on AndroidGuys.

24
Jan

What is a fanboy?



In almost any phone article on any website, you will find people fighting over what phone is better. These arguments range from iPhones vs Android phones to different Android manufacturers and every spot in between. Some of the people in these debates have good points while others do not, but regardless of the validity of each person’s opinion, you will see one word thrown around more than any other. That word is fanboy. You will see commenters say this to each other and to the writer of the article. However, people do not seem to understand what the term means and just attribute it to anyone who does not share the same opinion they do. This is completely wrong and we need to stop the overuse of fanboy towards those who do not share the same characteristics.

Who is a fanboy?

To decide whether to call someone a fanboy, we first need to figure out what exactly a fanboy is. The first sign you are talking to a fanboy is that they only buy a certain phone brand and do not have any reasons for that. Apple fanboys will often say that iPhones are the best because there is an apple on it. This same characteristic is also seen in fanboys of Android OEMs such as Samsung, LG, HTC, and Motorola. They buy their phones because it is a certain brand and nothing else. Another key sign that you are talking to a fanboy is that they think every other phone is terrible. Regardless of how good another phone is or how awesome a new feature on it is, fanboys of other phones will not say anything good about it. If a fanboy does compliment another phone, it will be backhanded. They will say something like, “That 2K screen is really nice, if you like a phone that cannot fit in your pocket,” or, “The thinness of that phone is cool, but you are just going to put a case on it”. The biggest giveaway that you are talking to a fanboy is that they will never admit that their brand makes a mistake. No matter how blatantly obvious the mistake is, fanboys will defend it as long as they can. Whether this is a protruding camera, large bezels, laggy software, or poor build materials, fanboys will not recognize these as flaws and rather commend them or say they do not exist or matter. If you are talking to someone who is exhibiting these traits, then you are probably talking to a fanboy.

Who is not a fanboy?

Now it is time to look at those who prefer a certain brand but do not fall into the fanboy category. While these people may only buy a certain phone, they actually have respectable reasons for doing so. Examples include people buy iPhones because they are integrated into the Apple ecosystem, or people who buy HTC phones because they love music and the HTC One speakers are fantastic. If they have good reasons for owning the phones they do, then they are not a fanboy. These phone users also respect other phones and are able to accept when another manufacturer does something better than their preferred company. It is also possible for them to like other phones even though they prefer a certain brand. Odds are, you will never hear someone like this claim that their brand is the best at everything. Another characteristic of these non-fanboys (for lack of a better term) is that they can accept it when their company makes a mistake. They do not try to overlook it or hide it because they know that all companies make mistakes. If you are talking to someone like this, then they do prefer a certain phone but are not a fanboy.

What kind of fanboys are there?

Now that we have determined who is a fanboy and who is not, we can move on to the different types of fanboys. The most common form of fanboy seen on tech sites is a phone fanboy. These are the ones that prefer a certain phone from a certain maker. You have iPhone fanboys, Samsung Galaxy Note fanboys, HTC One fanboys, Nexus fanboys, Moto X fanboys, and every fanboy in between. You can easily find them in the comment section of almost every article on every tech site. A less common type of fanboy is an operating system fanboy. These are people who prefer Android or iOS but do not have a certain phone that they are loyal to. Instead, they argue that their operating system is the best and every other one is terrible.

When is the word fanboy appropriate?

We have discussed who are fanboys, who are not fanboys, and what kind of fanboys there are, and now we are on to when the term fanboy is okay to use. The answer is simple – never. Sure, people are fanboys and they are relatively easy to spot; however, nothing good will ever come from calling someone else a fanboy. People should not be criticized because they prefer a certain type of phone or type of operating system regardless of their reasons. Be together. Not the same.


The post What is a fanboy? appeared first on AndroidGuys.

24
Jan
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Google explains why it’s not fixing web security in old Android phones


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You might not be happy that Google isn’t fixing a web security flaw in your older Android phone, but the search giant now says that it has some good reasons for holding off. As the company’s Adrian Ludwig explains, it’s no longer viable to “safely” patch vulnerable, pre-Android 4.4 versions of WebView (a framework that lets apps show websites without a separate browser) to prevent remote attacks. The sheer amount of necessary code changes would create legions of problems, he claims, especially since developers are introducing “thousands” of tweaks to the open source software every month.

Ludwig suggests a few things you can do to avoid or mitigate problems, though. For a start, he recommends surfing with browsers that don’t use WebView but still get updates, like Chrome (which works on devices using Android 4.0) and Firefox (which runs on ancient Android 2.3 hardware). Hackers can’t abuse the vulnerable software if you’re not using it, after all. The Googler also tells app creators to either use their own web rendering tech or limit WebView to pages they can trust, like encrypted sites.

The advice should help if you’re either a tech-savvy user or write apps. However, it still hints that quite a few people will remain at risk until those older releases of Android ride into the sunset. Many Android device owners aren’t aware of alternatives to the stock Android browser, or can’t easily get them (you have to jump through hoops to install Chrome if you can’t use the Google Play Store, for instance). Also, there’s no simple way to tell whether or not an app is using WebView. The chances of an attack are low if you’re careful, but it could take a long, long while before the majority of Android gadgets are truly safe from WebView-related web exploits.

Filed under: Cellphones, Tablets, Internet, Mobile, Google

Comments

Via: Android Police, Wall Street Journal

Source: Adrian Ludwig (Google+)

24
Jan
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Android Security lead engineer provides further insight to WebView security issues on devices running Jelly Bean and older versions


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It was reported by Talk Android’s Jeff Causey on the 12th of January (link here) that Google would no longer be providing security updates to WebView on devices running Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and earlier. In fact, it is even deeper than that: Google will not be managing the entire WebKit for these versions any longer, from which WebView is derived.

In a post on Google+ today, Android Security’s lead engineer, Adrian Ludwig, provided clarification and guidance to those nearly 1 billion device owners running Jelly Bean or earlier Android versions.

WebKit is a software component for web browsers that creates the layout engine for the browsers to render web pages. WebKit is used for both Google Chrome and Apple Safari, whereas Trident is used for Internet Explorer and Gecko is used for Firefox. WebKit is also found in the browser utilized by the Tizen Operating System.

WebView, a part of WebKit, is what allows apps to display web pages inside of the app itself. This is done to keep the user inside of the app, instead of exiting the app you’re in and redirecting you to the browser app.

WebKit, and thus WebView, is mostly open-source, with companies like Google pitching in and supporting the development of the software. By ending support for WebKit on Jelly Bean and earlier versions (from here forth, I will just say Jelly Bean), Google raised alarms that certain known exploits involving WebView may leave users running Jelly Bean exposed to malicious malware.

According to Ludwig, maintaining the legacy code for Jelly Bean in WebKit’s open-source environment was actually creating more security issues than abandoning support for it. Ludwig stated, “Until recently we have also provided backports for the version of WebKit that is used by WebView on Android 4.3 and earlier. But WebKit alone is over 5 million lines of code and hundreds of developers are adding thousands of new commits every month, so in some instances applying vulnerability patches to a 2+ year old branch of WebKit required changes to significant portions of the code and was no longer practical to do safely.”

Ludwig went on to say that the best practices that a user of Jelly Bean devices can do is to open web materials inside of the Chrome or Firefox browser, which is updated with the latest security patches regardless of what Android version they are running. This negates the ability for any exploits made possible by WebView, which again, is something that is used inside of third-party apps not wanting to redirect to the browser. “Using a browser that is updated through Google Play and using applications that follow security best practices by only loading content from trusted sources into WebView will help protect users.”

For developers of apps maintaining support on Jelly Bean devices, Ludwig encourages redirecting to the browser or making sure WebView only accesses content from local sources or over HTTPS. Additionally, he suggests that app developers abandon WebView altogether and instead incorporate a webpage renderer of their own design so they can maintain security patch updates on their own.

Adrian Ludwig came to Google after serving in technical leadership positions held at Adobe, Macromedia, and Joyent. He also worked for the National Security Agency. Since his arrival on the Android Security team, he’s been very vocal about Android’s minuscule vulnerability to malicious attacks.

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During a speech to the Virus Bulletin conference in Berlin back in 2013, Ludwig claimed that Google and its data-driven methodology made it extremely difficult for it to be attacked by malcontents. He also pointed out the many layers of security that are in place to prevent malware from finding its way onto your Android device.

Source: Adrian Ludwig via Google+

Come comment on this article: Android Security lead engineer provides further insight to WebView security issues on devices running Jelly Bean and older versions

24
Jan
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10 of the most popular apps this week (January 23)



Welcome back to the regular series aimed at helping Android users get more from their devices. If you’re looking for some new Android apps or games check it out: we have a handful of popular new titles to get you started. What you’ll find below are some of the hottest trending apps of the last seven days (or so). We’re certain you will find something fun to play with this weekend. Let’s get to it!

Words On Tour

Zynga, the developers behind Words with Friends, have created a new word game, Words On Tour. It is fairly simple word game, but centered around levels that take you to around the world to various cities. You can play with friends, offline or online (its said that we even have to clarify that anymore). It has 4.2 stars and over 500,000 installs. It is free with in-app purchases, check it out with the widget below.


app lockApp Lock by AJK

One of the coolest features that came with Android Lollipop is the ability to pin apps so that someone borrowing your phone will only use the apps you have pinned. App Lock by AJK takes this idea to a whole other level by giving some customization and more control over this feature. You can use a password, pattern, or even a fake app crash to block certain apps. Its got tons of other features on top of all of that.


the witcher battle arena

The Witcher Battle Arena

The popular video games Witcher now has a mobile game, The Witcher Battle Arena. This is a MOBA game where two teams face off against each other in an arena. Characters you choose have various abilities that can get better as the game advances. What is cool about this game is they say you can unlock everything in the game by playing the game, but if you choose to get things sooner you can purchase it. However, theoretically you can unlock everything in the game by just playing through it. It looks like it has great graphics as well.


crossy road

Crossy Road

Fans of Frogger and Minecraft will be happy to know that the new game Crossy Road is Frogger with Minecraft-like graphics, but rather than a frog you play a variety of other characters. There’s not much else to it other than that. You can collect characters, play 50 levels, and it is completely free to play. It does have over 5,000,000 downloads and 4.7 stars, so it should be a great play.


star wars kotorStar Wars™: KOTOR

Knights Of The Old Republic was a very popular video game when it came out back in 2003. With today’s smartphones, their processing power can handle older video games. That is what this is, the old video game available for your smartphone. It is the full game, so they even mention in the description that it will be a big download. This has all the features of the game: choose your adventure, build your character, learn 40 force powers, build a lightsaber, and more. Because it is the full game, it does cost $9.99. If you are pining for this game though, this is a great way to have it with you everywhere.


 app of the dayApp of the Day ’15 – 100% Free

There are lots of app discovery apps out there, but this one supplements the finding of apps with discounts, ranging from 15% to 100%. What’s cool is if the app features an app that has a premium and a lite version, it will unlock all of the premium features. And, if you later decide to get rid of this app, the features and apps you get from the app stay with you for life.


dr mcdougalls mobile cookbookDr. McDougall Mobile Cookbook

This was an app initially on iOS, and was in high-demand enough that they released it on Android. What is cool about this app is it is health focused, so has healthy meals and even health tips. It even will help you gather a shopping list. The only thing with this is app is it costs $4.99. If you’re willing to spend that (which we support paying for apps) then try it out.


Restaurant story: coffee shopRestaurant Story: Coffee Shop

If you’re looking to build your own coffee shop, then this game is for you. This allows you to design and build your own restaurant, and then serve customers. You even create your own menu, and decorate everything. You can even invite friends to build a shop next to you and share recipes. It currently has 4.2 stars and over 100,000 downloads.


wwe immortalsWWE Immortals

WWE Immortals brings your favorite WWE stars and brings them into a game. You can have powers, level up, play others online, and more. It has good graphics, and evidently great game play based on the 4.3 star rating and over 500,000 downloads. Otherwise, this is a cool looking fighting game with WWE stars.


cops n robbersCops N Robbers

Cops N Robbers is a popular mini game that is now in a game to download for your phone. It has comfortable touch controls, good graphics (in a purposefully pixelated look way), and even multiplayer. You can either play a Cop or Robber, and depending on your role will depend on your goal in the game. It is currently $0.99, download it with the widget below.


The post 10 of the most popular apps this week (January 23) appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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