Archive for the ‘Apps’ Category

Android Market Reaches 10 Billion Downloads

  • December 7, 2011 8:04 am

Google has announced that over the recent weekend, the Android Market exceeded 10 billion downloads, a milestone reached by the Apple iOS store in January of this year.

The announcement was made by Eric Chu, Google’s Director of Android Developers Ecosystem on the Official Google Blog, who goes on to mention that the market’s download rate is clocking at a billion per month.

To celebrate, a bunch of Android apps each day will be reduced to 10 cents / 10 pence each day for 10 days, starting with Asphalt 6 HD, Color & Draw for Kids, Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro, Fieldrunners HD, Great Little War Game, SwiftKey X, Paper Camera, Sketchbook Mobile, Soundhound Infinity and the excellent indie game Minecraft. This is certainly a celebration to take full advantage of.

Legitimate “Google Phone”, Galaxy Nexus, Won’t Ship With Google Wallet Per Verizon’s Wishes.

  • December 5, 2011 9:22 pm


If there was ever an example to perfectly exemplify Google’s problem with Android, the Galaxy Nexus is the shinning example. But wait a minute? Isn’t the Galaxy Nexus the who’s who of Android phones in 2011? Well, yes. Yes it is. Unfortunately there’s a big problem. Google’s latest and greatest “Google Phone” and first device to showcase Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the Galaxy Nexus, won’t ship with one of Google’s own services — Google Wallet.

This omissions was confirmed by Computer World’s JR Raphael whom cites a Google spokesperson as giving the official word and saying it was ultimately Verizon’s decision to nix Google Wallet compatibility. In it’s place will (unconfirmed) will likely be Verizon’s own mobile wallet NFC-based solution.

In short: this is unacceptable. A “Google Phone” is supposed to be just that — a phone chock full of Google’s own services which offer an escape from traditional manufacturer and carrier bloatware. Speaking of which, the Galaxy Nexus will also have to deal with some new software additions of its own. Yup. Bloatware.

Android 4.0 is great and all, but the “one more thing” moments with the Galaxy Nexus are really starting to change our mood from ecstatic to disappointed. You could argue we’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. To that we’ll simply invite you to look at the bigger picture. The Galaxy Nexus is one phone, one phone that Verizon has now somewhat gimped. With that said, what does that do to the imaginary line Google had drawn for Nexus branded hardware, hardware that has up until now been free of just about any and every piece of manufacturer and carrier BS?

Thoughts?

Early Build Of Facebook Messenger iOS App With Video Calling Leaks.

  • December 5, 2011 11:34 am


Is this what Facebook’s official video chat functionality will look like in their iOS Facebook Messenger app when it is eventually pushed to end users? Almost certainly not. While the work-in-progress UI is understandably simple, the reveal via iPhoneItalia confirms that Facebook is in fact working on bringing simple, quick video chat to their popular Facebook Messenger app.

iPhoneItalia is promising more info from the same source regarding Facebook Messenger for iOS and it’s upcoming video chat service. Stay tuned.

Poll: Would you use Facebook Messenger video chat over FaceTime — why or why not?

[Update] Fully Functioning Siri Crack Pops Up On Cydia — Beware.

  • December 5, 2011 10:41 am

News is buzzing today of a new, alleged fully functioning Siri port by the name of “H1Siri” that appeared on Cydia over the weekend. The group behind the hack, “CD-Team”, is relatively unknown in the jailbreak world, and the actual magic behind H1Siri that allows it to succeed where others have failed is also unknown at this point. Some initial reports say H1Siri uses a modified version of the previously shown off SiriProxy that is used to fool Siri into thinking it is talking to official Apple servers when it is instead talking to a privately owned server(s).

If you’d like a crack (no pun intended) at H1Siri, add “Cydia.be” and/or “iphone3gsystem.fr/cydia” repos to Cydia to get access to H1Siri. Current reports floating around the internet point out ongoing connectivity issues with H1Siri, likely related to the huge amount of traffic the servers in question are receiving.

**Because the servers in question are under the management of a relatively obscure hacker team, the cautions against using such a hack are obvious. Personal data is sent via Siri to these 3rd party servers and can in turn be used for malicious purposes as the security (or lack thereof) isn’t known. On top of that, the files needed to make Siri work are property of Apple — this hack is almost certainly illegal to obtain and use.

If you’re still a bit leery, and we don’t blame you if you are, hop past the break for a quick video showing off the hackery in action…

Update

TechCrunch is reporting that various users of H1Siri are reporting a slew of issues including ” cause random reboots, break the camera, brick the phone, mess up the Settings app, and iPhone’s getting stuck at the Apple logo”. Probably good to stay away from this, at least mainstream/casual users.

Apple Releases Statement Regarding Carrier IQ

  • December 1, 2011 5:00 pm


It looks like Apple iPhone users can breathe a sigh of relief — the company has just released a public statement regarding Carrier IQ and the collection habits, or more accurately, the lack thereof of any collection habits of the now universally panned software.

By Apple’s account, Carrier IQ support had essentially been dropped in iOS 5. And while hooks for the tracking software still remain, Apple plans on removing Carrier IQ altogether in a later (near future) update.

We stopped supporting Carrier IQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update. With any diagnostic data sent to Apple, customers must actively opt-in to share this information, and if they do, the data is sent in an anonymous and encrypted form and does not include any personal information. We never recorded keystrokes, messages or any other personal information for diagnostic data and have no plans to ever do so.

Android users still have plenty I worry about, for it was an Android device after all that was demonstrated recording and storing encrypted information in plain text format.

HTC: “Some Carriers Mandate That We Install Carrier IQ”

  • December 1, 2011 1:06 pm

There aren’t already enough twists in the Carrier IQ drama, so why not add another. Based on some claims that it is hardware manufacturers’ choice to install/not install Carrier IQ on their phones, HTC has taken the offensive approach by hitting back with a short and simple statement: It’s not their choice, it’s the carriers’!

“Carrier IQ is required on devices by a number of U.S carriers so if consumers or media have any questions about the practices relating to, or data collected by, Carrier IQ we’d advise them to contact their carrier.

It is important to note that HTC is not a customer or partner of Carrier IQ and does not receive data from the application, the company, or carriers that partner with Carrier IQ. HTC is investigating the option to allow consumers to opt-out of data collection by the Carrier IQ application.”

Verizon has gone on the record saying they don’t make use of Carrier IQ tracking/monitoring while the other major U.S. carriers are still sitting on their hands in the corner, not saying a word. Meanwhile, iOS hacker @chpwn has found hooks for Carrier IQ in iOS specifically mentioning AT&T, Sprint, and…Verizon. Confusing indeed.

In the end, it doesn’t really make much sense for hardware manufacturers to be a lot of personal data — certainly not as much as Carrier IQ has been shown to collect. Carriers on the other hand could benefit from said information by helping them identify weak service areas among other things.

In a couple hours there will probably be another “oh my god” Carrier IQ moment, so keep checking back…

Stunt Doubles: Pinterest And Path iOS App Icons.

  • December 1, 2011 12:46 am


On the left: Pinterest — my wife’s newest obsession. On the right: Path — my newest obsession.

Looks like the designers of said apps are golfing buddies/drink at the same bar. What do you think: too close?

Carrier IQ Is Present In iOS 5.

  • December 1, 2011 12:00 am


The Carrier IQ scandal took a big twist tonight when iOS hacker, chpwn, discovered mentions of the alleged heavy-handed tracking application hidden deep within older version of iOS (3.x and earlier). But after a little more digging chpwn has found Carrier IQ hiding it’s nasty face deep within iOS 5, too. This time instead of taking the “IQAgent” identifier, Carrier IQ poses as awd_ice#.

It goes without saying a lot of people are pissed that a program such as Carrier IQ is collecting their every keystroke — even highly encrypted passwords — and reading them back in simple plain text. Now that the “secret” is out in the open, any dev with ill intentions can scrounge up a ton of data by way of virus/malicious app.

We’re far from the end of this little unfolding drama, so stay tuned…

Box.net Promotion Leaks: Sony Ericsson Owners To Receive 50 GB Of Free Cloud Storage.

  • November 30, 2011 11:31 am


Just like they did back in the summer for TouchPad owners and again earlier this fall for iOS owners, Box.net will (soon be) offering up 50 GB accounts for FREE for owners of Sony Ericsson phones. Much like the previous instances, all that’s needed by the end user is to simply sign in to Box.net via their Sony Ericsson device to unlock the 50 GB of storage before the end of next year.

The promotion isn’t ready for prime time just yet as is evident by this response sent by Sony Ericsson to The Next Web:

“On Monday afternoon, we mistakenly posted a promo offering Xperia(tm) owners 50GB of free storage via the Box for Android mobile app. While we’re really excited about working with Box down the road, this offer is not active today. We are in the midst of finalising the details of this promotion and are working to provide this offer very soon to all Xperia(tm) customers so stay tuned!”

If Box.net keeps it up, everyone is going to have 50 GBs of free storage — not that we’re complaining or anything.

All that said, take the above claims regarding the Sony Ericsson/Box.net partnership with a few grains of salt seeing as how a few t’s and i’s still need attending to.