Barnes & Noble’s $50 Nook came pre-installed with spyware
Barnes & Noble introduced the $50 Nook just in time for the holiday shopping season, but it failed to mention one crucial bit of software pre-installed on its 7-inch e-reader: malware. Specifically, the new Nooks came with an ADUPS program that granted a third party full access to all of a device’s data plus complete control privileges. This means someone overseas had the ability to collect your personal information and wipe your Nook clean, if it had the ADUPS spyware installed.
This is the same malware that was recently discovered in 120,000 Blu unlocked smartphones.
Barnes & Noble told 9to5Google that a software update removing the exploit was deployed for all Nooks, and it’s working on an update that will remove ADUPS from the e-readers entirely. ADUPS additionally said it didn’t collect any “personally identifiable information or location data,” and it didn’t intend to.
Barnes & Noble tried something new with its latest Nook. Its existing partner, Samsung, doesn’t manufacture Android devices in the $50 range, so Barnes & Noble outsourced production to Shenzhen Jingwah Information Technology Co., Ltd, according to LinuxJournal. ADUPS is also a Chinese company, based out of Shanghai.
Source: LinuxJournal, 9to5Google
Lenovo is bringing Chrome OS to its Yoga Book next year
Lenovo already debuted Android and Windows versions of its Yoga Book and it’s planning to add a Chrome OS option next year. Laptop Magazine reports that the third version of the hybrid gadget that ditched a traditional keyboard in favor of a touch surface for both typing and scribbling was confirmed during an interview with Lenovo vice president Jeff Meredith. Meredith oversees Android and Chrome devices for the company.
Meredith explained that Lenovo has had “a lot of interest” in a Chrome OS version of the Yoga Book. He went on to say that the device could be a solid option for schools due to its rather unique design. And yes, the Chrome model will still support the Yoga Book’s so-called Real Pen stylus. With that accessory, you can write on the pressure sensitive keyboard surface.
There’s no exact timing for a release date, but Meredith did say Lenovo plans to “maintain the three distinctive products throughout this year at least.” Perhaps that means we’ll see that new model soon enough.
Via: The Verge
Source: Laptop Magazine
Digitize your doodles with an e-reader you can draw on
No matter how useful a tablet can be, for many, nothing can beat the versatility of paper. Well, paper-loving reader, it might be time to re-think those analog allegiances as reMarkable has just unveiled an impressive new e-paper tablet.
Simply called “reMarkable,” the device aims to combine the flexibility of a paper notepad with the electronic convenience of a tablet. While companies like Sony have attempted to create similar pieces of tech, the slow refresh rates of e-paper displays has rendered them frustrating at best. This is a problem reMarkable claims to remedy thanks to what it calls a “Canvas” display. This 10.3-inch Kindle-esque screen not only looks like paper, but also delivers a very low latency of 55ms, meaning that you can write or draw on it with the included pen without noticeable delay.
Spec-wise, the reMarkable features 8GB of onboard storage, is powered by a 1GHz ARM A9 CPU and runs Codex — a custom Linux OS optimized for e-paper. Weighing in at 350 grams, it’s considerably heavier than your traditional paper notepad, but not much more than an iPad mini. Featuring no glass parts and battery life of around a couple of days, reMarkable seems to have struck a decent balance between portability and endurance.
Still, it’s fair to say that this paper-tablet does considerably more than your traditional pad and pen. In addition to providing a realistic pen-on-paper response, the reMarkable will also instantly sync your notes or doodles to the company’s cloud service, making them easy to share across all your devices.
As well as sharing created files, you’ll also be able to import documents, textbooks and the like onto the tablet, allowing you to add notes or sketches painlessly to existing files. While only PDF and ePub files are currently supported, reMarkable states that more compatible formats will be announced at a later date. The final big feature is one reMarkable hopes will make the tablet an indispensable school or office tool. It allows users to take notes on one device while they appear in real time on a second device.
The reMarkable certainly sounds good on paper… or should we say tablet? Yet this technology comes at a cost, with pre-orders starting now at a discounted price of $379. Purchasing now guarantees buyers the limited first edition, which includes the pen, the folio case and, shipping. The regular cost after pre-order is almost doubled: $529 for reMarkable, $79 for the pen and $79 for the folio case.
While an impressive piece of tech, the hefty price tag may prove too steep an entry-point for what is essentially a single-use device. We’ll find out whether the market agrees when the reMarkable ships in summer 2017.
Mobile shopping reaches an all-time high on Black Friday
Did you get some of your holiday gift shopping done on your phone, instead of your PC? You’re far from alone. Adobe has determined that mobile shopping (both phone and tablet) was responsible for $1.2 billion in US online sales on Black Friday — the first time it has ever crossed the $1 billion mark, in fact. It’s still in the minority, representing 36 percent of the total $3.34 billion, but that’s still a huge 33 percent spike over the shopping frenzy from last year.
Those mobile users actually outweighed their PC counterparts in terms of viewing, racking up 55 percent of visits. In other words, some of those people shopping from their PCs still checked on their phones before committing to a purchase. As for what Americans bought? In terms of tech, the highest-grossing gadgets were iPads, Samsung 4K TVs, MacBooks (particularly the 13-inch Air), LG TVs and the Xbox One.
Adobe’s data lines up with what the retailers themselves are saying. Amazon is shy on numbers, as usual, but says its mobile orders on Thanksgiving alone topped what it saw last year. Target reports that over 60 percent of its record-setting online sales came from mobile, while over 70 percent of Walmart’s web traffic was from mobile devices.
The figures were likely helped by incentives. Amazon, Target and Walmart all offered perks for shopping from your phone, such as exclusive discounts and early access. Still, it’s clear that online stores ignore the mobile crowd at their peril — they’re leaving a lot of money on the table if they assume you’ll buy gifts at a computer.
Source: Adobe, Target, Walmart
Huawei’s MediaPad M3 is out now for $299
After launching in Europe this September, Huawei’s high-end Android tablet has finally made its way stateside. Available now to order on Amazon, the 8.4-inch MediaPad M3 ships on November 20th. Although Europe got 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions, complete with 4G and WiFi options, only the 32GB WiFi model has made it over to the US, priced at $299.
Announced at this year’s IFA, the MediaPad M3 is a tablet with an unsurprising focus on media. Huawei is aiming to court those who love watching movies on the go with the M3, as it boasts a 2,560 x 1,600 display, high resolution audio support, Harmon Kardon-certified speakers and a generous 5,100mAh battery. Additionally, Huawei says its 10.1-inch MediaPad M2, another tablet already available in Europe, will join the M3 in the US next month.
Wacom Cintiq Pro displays bring its Pro Pen 2 to desktop users
Wacom’s pen displays have long been an option for creatives looking to use a stylus to work directly on a screen while connected to a laptop or desktop machine. They were a staple in many creative studios long before the company began making standalone tablets. Today Wacom announced the latest versions of its Cintiq devices: the Cintiq Pro 13 and Cintiq Pro 16. What’s the difference? Size mostly, but there are some differences when it comes to display quality. While the 13-inch model packs a full HD panel (1920 x 1080), the larger 16-inch option has an ultra HD screen (3840 x 2160).
The upgraded display for the 16-inch Cintiq Pro also means the tablet covers more of Adobe’s RGB gamut. The larger model handles 94 percent while the 13-inch version wrangles 87 percent. Noticeably absent from these new Cintiqs are the handy ExpressKeys and TouchRing that offered easy access to the tools you use most right on the side of the display. Instead, Wacom opted to nix those controls, but you can regain the functionality with a separate ExpressKey Remote — if you’re willing to spend an extra $100. Both units also have ErgoFlex pop-out legs and an optional desk stand is on the way in February.
There is a major improvement over the Cintiq 13HD, the predecessor to these new pen displays. Multi-touch gestures are a standard feature on these new Cintiq Pros from the jump. With the 13HD, the company released a non-touch version before debuting a touch-friendly model almost two years later. The Cintiq Pro 13 and 16 also include Wacom’s new Pro Pen 2, an upgraded stylus that’s four times more accurate and pressure sensitive than the previous Pro Pen. And yes, these pen displays are compatible with both Mac and PC.
The Cintiq Pro 13 will go on sale next month for $1,000. If you’d rather splurge for the larger 16-inch model, you’ll have to wait until February. When the Cintiq Pro 16 does arrive, expect to pay $1,500 in order to nab one.
Google doesn’t want proprietary fast charging in Android phones
Google isn’t a fan of non-standard approaches to fast-charging Android phones over USB-C, and it’s bent on having manufacturers fall in line. Its newest Android Compatibility Definition document (for Android Nougat) now says it’s “strongly recommended” that device makers don’t support proprietary charging technology that modifies voltages beyond standard levels, or otherwise creates “interoperability issues” with standard USB charging. In other words, tech like Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 is likely considered naughty. On top of that, the company warns that later versions of Android might even require full interoperability with standard chargers.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t see fast charging. Remember, both of Google’s Pixel phones can top up quickly. However, it’s evident that Google would like to fulfill USB-C’s promise of cables and chargers that always work together. It doesn’t like the idea that you might have to carry a specific charger for your phone to work as expected, or that a flaky cable might fry your charger, phone or both. The company might never force vendors to drop their preferred fast charging standards, but it certainly won’t look kindly on them.
Via: Android Police, Phandroid
Source: Google (PDF)
EE updates its £130 Robin tablet for kids ahead of Christmas
It was a year ago to this very day that EE began offering the first Robin tablet: a bumper-bound slate designed with kids in mind. And with Christmas fast approaching, the carrier has today launched an updated, second-gen Robin to fill those empty stockings. It brings a few welcome, albeit relatively minor improvements on the hardware front. You’re still looking at a 7-inch (1,024 x 600) display, quad-core 1.1GHz processor and 2-megapixel camera, but both RAM and storage have doubled to 2GB and 16GB, respectively.
The new Robin also comes with a different bumper that includes a carry handle/kickstand, and apparently, of the device’s 40 preloaded e-books and apps, some of the games now feature gesture controls, responding to what the front-facing VGA camera sees. The 4G tablet still runs EE’s kid-friendly Kurio OS (based on Android 5.1 Lollipop) and comes with Hopster preinstalled, which offers kids shows, songs and a variety of other educational content. Depending on the contract you choose, you get either a three-month free trial of Hopster, or two years of unlimited access.
All the parental controls are still part of the package, and improved it’s said. These include app permissions, internet filters and time limits, with support for multiple profiles. It kinda feels like EE has done the bare minimum here though, plugging some pretty minor improvements to keep the Robin’s price tag at £130 on pay-as-you-go. Amazon’s Fire Kids Edition tablet might be a better option, starting at £95 with a two-year guarantee and free access to plenty of appropriate content.
If your sprog requires 4G data and/or you’d rather spread the cost, however, then EE’s Robin can be picked up on 24-month contracts from £16 per month (with a £30 upfront payment).
iOS update fixes your iPhone’s missing Health data
The iOS 10.1 update addressed a lot of initial gripes with Apple’s latest mobile operating system. However, it also introduced a glaring bug for some users: the Health app might not show your data, which is more than a little troublesome if you’re a fitness maven or need those stats for medical reasons. Don’t fret, though. Apple has released an iOS 10.1.1 update for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch that makes sure you can see Health info. This is a relatively tiny update (the over-the-air fix is well under 100MB for many iPhone users), but it’ll matter a lot if you’re tracking step counts or calories with your Apple gear.
iPad regains share in a shrinking mobile tablet market
Apple’s share of the tablet market has been sliding for a while, but it’s making a comeback… if not for the reasons the company might prefer. Strategy Analytics estimates that the iPad climbed from 19.1 percent of the market in the third quarter of 2015 to 19.9 percent a year later. However, that’s mainly because the market as a whole shrank 10 percent. The analysts believe that many tablet manufacturers’ shipments dropped year-to-year, and that Apple simply experienced a smaller decline than most. The one major exception is Amazon, whose $49 Fire tablet helped its shipments more than double.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple is on the wrong track. Strategy Analytics argues that the iPad Pro line puts Apple “on the path to recovery” by giving the company a laptop-like tablet that wasn’t an option before. However, it does show that Apple is consciously veering away from the strategies of its peers. Many of its Android rivals are shifting attention to 2-in-1 Windows tablets, like Lenovo’s Yoga series or Samsung’s TabPro S. Researchers say that Windows hybrid and tablet shipments jumped 25 percent year-over-year in the third quarter — some of those are bound to be from companies no longer convinced they can sell Android tablets as full-on computer substitutes.
The data suggests that the tablet market isn’t so much dying as maturing. Basic mobile tablets will still have an audience among those who just want to read books or watch video, but higher-end slates are taking hold. People want “everyday computing devices” that really can fill in for a conventional PC, according to analysts, and they’re willing to pay more for these devices.
Source: Strategy Analytics