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Beginner’s Guide to the Android Debug Bridge

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1
Beginner’s Guide to the Android Debug Bridge

Most of us here are already quite familiar with the ADB (Android Debug Bridge). Heck, I’d even wager that many of us use it on quite a regular basis—adb pushing and pulling files, adb rebooting, running shell commands, and so on. Most new users, however, have not had such exposure. And let’s face it: For youngsters born after the emergence and popularization of the GUI, command line interfaces can be rather intimidating. So if you’re a seasoned veteran who knows ADB like the back of your hand, this article is not for you. But if . . . READ ON »

Device Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Device Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 3

note3The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the successor to the wildly popular Galaxy Note II. The Note II was a giant-sized phone with a 5.5” screen display, and the Note III is even bigger at 5.7”. The Note III was released to the international markets in September 2013. US release dates lagged a bit, depending on carrier. For this review, we will be looking at the T-Mobile variant in particular, which was released on October 22013.

The internal hardware of the US market Galaxy Note III is based on the Snapdragon 800 SoC, whereas the international model features . . . READ ON »

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Just How Safe is “Safe” in Android?

Just How Safe is “Safe” in Android?

We’ve all heard about the Android malware problem. After all, proponents of other mobile operating systems love to spread FUD stating that Android’s malware situation is out of control. Further, there are various entities such as antivirus firms with vested interests in demonstrating that there is indeed an issue.

Who’s to blame the companies using these unscrupulous tactics? After all, it’s simply good business to undermine your mobile OS competitors or create demand for your product in the case of security solution providers. And up until very recently, Google unfortunately lacked a reliable way of determining and tracking the scope . . . READ ON »

Google Bans Spammy Ads from Play Store

Google Bans Spammy Ads from Play Store

If you’re a developer who writes mobile apps for a living, chances are that you’ve at least experimented with mobile ads in the past. Far more true than on other competing platforms, the Android app developer ecosystem is essentially driven by in-app advertisements rather than upfront payments.

This is a topic we broached some time ago, when we presented a thread with various developers’ experiences with different monetization strategies. Long story short: Ads and in-app purchases seem to be far more powerful tools in your monetization arsenal than upfront paid apps.

This should all come as no surprise for a . . . READ ON »

Another Round of Updates for First Party Google Apps

A little over a month ago, Google issued a slew of updates for various first party Android apps. Most notably, Search, Maps, Keep, and YouTube received major functional changes. These updates brought Waze integration to Google Maps, picture-in-picture to YouTube, additional and improved cards to Google Now, and location-aware notes in Google Keep. Today, Google has begun rolling out another round of updates for Hangouts, Voice, Search, and Gmail.

At the time of the last round of updates, Google Hangouts also received an update. However, there were no major user-visible changes at that time. Thankfully, an update being rolled out . . . READ ON »

Device Review: HTC One

Device Review: HTC One

IMG_4640Before Samsung and Apple were on top of the mobile smart phone world; HTC, Palm, and Blackberry were the Big 3. We all know that Palm quickly disappeared, and that Blackberry is losing market share daily and will be a forgotten memory soon. HTC is still around, but no longer as seen as a leader in mobile devices.

HTC ran into a few problems with their devices, and some may argue that they became greedy by releasing too many devices in one year, rather than perfecting one device like Apple or Samsung. HTC saw this as a flaw and started . . . READ ON »

Major Updates for Select First Party Google Apps

Google has been on a roll recently, updating various updates to its first party mobile apps. Two days ago, Google released rather substantial updates to Google Maps and YouTube for Android and iOS. And just a few hours ago, Google Keep and Google Search were given rather hefty overhauls as well. Hangouts was also graced with an extremely minor revision, but the changes are not quite as dramatic as the other apps.

Google Maps underwent a major transformation, integrating functionality previously only seen on Waze such as real-time incident reporting from Waze users. Conversely, Waze benefits from this intermingling by integrating . . . READ ON »

Device Review: Nvidia SHIELD

Device Review: Nvidia SHIELD

NV_Shield_Angled_Left_RealBoxing_LRBack in January, I was lucky enough to be asked to represent XDA at CES. In my experience, one of the most exciting things unveiled at this year’s CES was the Nvidia’s “Project SHIELD.” Here we are, just over six months later, and SHIELD is no longer a “Project,” but a full-fledged, consumer-ready device.

In the middle of June, I ended up with a SHIELD in my hands, direct from the people at Nvidia. We were given a demonstration, allowed to try it out, and then sent away with one, and sworn to secrecy (in a manner of speaking).

Over . . . READ ON »

Latest Google Chromecast OTA Blocks Root Method

Five days ago, we covered a rather useful discovery by the fine folks over at GTV Hacker, where due to a rather convenient oversight in the device’s cryptography pathway, a to-be-flashed firmware’s return code was never checked after passing through the device’s image verification software. In other words, this meant that you could run your own firmware at will, and all you needed was a USB key, the appropriate firmware, and a powered USB OTG cable.

At the time of the previous article, I noted the very real possibility that a future OTA would likely break this root method. . . . READ ON »

Yet Another Reason to Update to Android 4.3: TRIM Support

Android 4.3′s launch last week has been nothing short of an almost resounding success. Why “almost?” Well, aside from a few issues with copy/paste, most users seem to be quite happy with the latest iteration of Jelly Bean. This level of user satisfaction is to be expected, as the latest flavor of Jelly Bean brings added performance, improved API support, additional functionality, and a few other features. One of these “other features,” however, is quite important for those of us who frequently transfer massive amounts of data to our devices such as media content and other large files.

Of . . . READ ON »

CyanogenMod Team Introduces Nemesis Stage 1: Focal

Coinciding with the release of Android 4.3 and and an updated lackluster stock camera, stage one of the CyanogenMod team’s top secret “Project Nemesis” was finally unveiled, July 26. According to the development groups weekly wrap-up on www.cyanogenmod.org, the goal of this project is to bring users the best custom operating experience possible. As such, Focal, a feature-packed camera application, was announced as the first component geared towards reaching that goal. CyanogenMod developer Guillaume Lesniak posted details about the new camera on Google +, explaining almost a dozen new and improved features that were integrated into the Open Source app.

Android 4.3 Announced and Rolling Out to Nexus Devices, Images Available

We were all expecting it. In fact, we’ve all been waiting for it ever since this year’s Google I/O. However, that conference came and went, without a trace of Android 4.3. But after last week’s Android 4.3 leak, we knew it was finally coming soon. And in today’s Google event, which also marked the release of the Nexus 7 refresh, it has finally been made official.

So what’s new in this latest flavor of Jelly Bean? Here are some of the key changes, courtesy of the Android Developers blog post:

  • OpenGL ES 3.0 — Game developers can now

. . . READ ON »

Xposed Patch for Master Key and Bug 9695860 Vulnerabilities

Difficulty:
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Xposed Patch for Master Key and Bug 9695860 Vulnerabilities

By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the Android Master Key vulnerability, which allows a malicious payload to be inserted in an application that is installed, due to a discrepancy between signature verification and app installation. The vulnerability has been known for some time, having been responsibly disclosed by Bluebox back in February, and patched a couple of weeks ago.

Another vulnerability, also known officially as Bug 9695860, works in a similar fashion and results in the installation of an unwanted malicious payload from a seemingly innocuous file. It, just like its predecessor, has also been patched a little . . . READ ON »

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