Category Archives: Android

Gingerbread Officially Begins To Rollout For The Samsung Galaxy S

In what should come as great news for millions for Galaxy S owners, Samsung has started rolling out the Gingerbread update for their widely successful device. But before you get too excited, do keep in mind that this is a staggered release and it may take some time before an official version hits Kies in your region.

That being said, if you cannot wait for the update to reach your shores, you can flash the new firmware via Odin and get a piece of an official Gingerbread ROM as opposed to leaked Gingerbread ROM that has been floating around.

The Gingerbread on the Galaxy S is still based on the RFS file system, but early reports indicate speed improvements in startup times, and general phone behavior. The RFS lag only creeps in after the a while, so it may be a few days before we know the engineers at Samsung have finally be able to get rid of the lag, once and for all. The build date for the firmware is April 8.

Do keep in mind that downloading the ROM and then flashing via Odin, may void your warranty. I suggest you wait for an official release for your region which will also come with all the operator data, MMS etc settings for your region. But if you cannot wait, follow the XDA Developers thread below.

You can also spoof your product code and force Kies into believing that you are entitled to the update, tutorial here and reports suggest that these settings work.

[via: XDA Developers]

Malware On The Android Market: Roots Your Phone, Steals Your Data & Leaves A Backdoor Open

It appears that the shit just hit the fan as far as malware for Android is concerned. Redditor lompolo has found that someone has taken 21 popular free apps from the market, injected root exploits into them and republished. What makes it even more alarming is that those apps have accounted for a total of 50k-200k downloads in just 4 days.

Malware On The Android Market That Roots Your Phone, Steals Your Data & Leaves A Backdoor Open

The good news is that Google pulled the apps within 5 minutes of being made aware of it. Android Police, based on their own investigation, suggests that the compromised apps have the ability to download even more code, making their potential to do harm virtually limitless.

Here’s the explanation:

Link to publishers apps here. I just randomly stumbled into one of the apps, recognized it and noticed that the publisher wasn’t who it was supposed to be.

Super Guitar Solo for example is originally Guitar Solo Lite. I downloaded two of the apps and extracted the APK’s, they both contain what seems to be the “rageagainstthecage” root exploit – binary contains string “CVE-2010-EASY Android local root exploit (C) 2010 by 743C”. Don’t know what the apps actually do, but can’t be good.

I appreciate being able to publish an update to an app and the update going live instantly, but this is a bit scary. Some sort of moderation, or at least quicker reaction to malware complaints would be nice.

EDIT: After some dexing and jaxing, the apps seem to be at least posting the IMEI and IMSI codes to http://184.105.245.17:8080/GMServer/GMServlet, which seems to be located in Fremont, CA.

The offending apps from publisher Myournet:

  • Falling Down
  • Super Guitar Solo
  • Super History Eraser
  • Photo Editor
  • Super Ringtone Maker
  • Super Sex Positions
  • Hot Sexy Videos
  • Chess
  • 下坠滚球_Falldown
  • Hilton Sex Sound
  • Screaming Sexy Japanese Girls
  • Falling Ball Dodge
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Dice Roller
  • 躲避弹球
  • Advanced Currency Converter
  • App Uninstaller
  • 几何战机_PewPew
  • Funny Paint
  • Spider Man
  • 蜘蛛侠

Looks like you can’t be too sure even when you are downloading apps directly from the Android Market. It will be interesting to see if Google now starts to implement some sort of screening process to prevent such incidents in the future. Head over to Android Police for more details.

WSJ Details The Run Up To The Nok-MS Deal: “Nokia’s Flirtations Put the Fear of Google Into Microsoft”

The behind the scenes stories about what goes on in the dark corridors of billion dollar politics is always an interesting read and the Wall Street Journal has just put together a compelling read about how Microsoft went all out to woo Nokia. As it turns out, Android was very much on the table till the very end.

WSJ Details The Run Up To The Nok-MS Deal:

“Mr. Ballmer and his lieutenants headed for Helsinki in January to show how serious Microsoft was about cutting a deal. The plan was for Mr. Ballmer to fly privately into Helsinki, where he would then travel to a private Nokia facility, Mr. Elop added.

Mr. Elop said he instead got a call from Mr. Ballmer informing him that because of snow and fog, the plane wouldn’t be able to land in Helsinki. About to run out of fuel, Mr. Ballmer instead landed in Stockholm. At that point, the fastest way for Mr. Ballmer to reach Helsinki was to fly commercially, Mr. Elop said, despite the greater risk that he could have been recognized.

While Mr. Ballmer was waiting quietly in the lounge, his cover was nearly blown when he was paged by name over the loudspeaker because of an error related to his plane ticket”.

Its a recommended read – “Nokia’s Flirtations Put the Fear of Google Into Microsoft“.

[Image Credit: TOI]

ESPN Cricinfo Launches Android & iOS Apps Just In Time For The Cricket World Cup

The Cricket World Cup is about to kick off this Saturday and ESPN Cricinfo has just launched its official Android and iOS apps just in time. Cricinfo which has recently been taken over by ESPN, is a website that brings us the most comprehensive cricket coverage from around the world. The good news is that the app, featuring a special World Cup section includes all of ESPNcricinfo’s in-depth coverage including ball-by-ball commentary, breaking news, incisive opinion pieces from the World’s best cricket writers and audio and video features.

There is no widget to give you a live scores at a glance, but there are push notifications to keep you updated when major events like a wicket occur in the game. The app is pleasing to the eye and customizable. Once you select your country, it tailors the news to your taste.

ESPN Cricinfo Android App ESPN Cricinfo Android App

(Options for selecting when push notifications will be triggered, the homescreen of the app)

ESPN Cricinfo Android App ESPN Cricinfo Android App

(You can keep up with multiple games at the same time, also use the dedicated World Cup section to stay on top of current standings)

Highlights include:

  • Live game coverage – Commentary, scorecard, match graphics, photographs, reports and player profiles from every international game.
  • ‘Lean back’ mode – Switch the app to lean back mode, place your device  on your table and follow live scores throughout a busy work day.
  • Push notifications – Get instant alerts for wickets, batsman milestones and score updates during live matches.
  • World Cup 2011 – Dedicated cricket World Cup 2011 section featuring squads, standings and stats and exclusive video content.
  • Personalisation – Customise news, results and fixtures by your favourite team.
  • Video/Audio – Watch and listen to the latest ESPNcricinfo video and audio podcasts.
  • Magazine – Read from a selection of the best features from ESPNcricinfo Magazine
  • News, Results, Fixtures, Records and Rankings

The above screenshots are from my Android powered Galaxy S, however a visually similar app is also available for iOS. Unfortunately, there is no similar ‘official’ Cricinfo app on the Ovi Store, but you might find lesser equivalents.

The ESPNCrininfo app is a free download on both iOS and Android and if you follow cricket, is a must download.

Alien Dalvik Will Let Android Apps Run On MeeGo & Maemo

A very promising press release hit my inbox today morning, the Myriad Group has announced Alien Dalvik, a solution that will let users take advantage of applications made for Android devices on their MeeGo smartphones. According to the press release, Alien Dalvik ‘enables the majority of Android applications to run unmodified, allowing application store owners to quickly kick start Android application store services by simply repackaging Android Package (APK) files’.

Alien Dalvik Will Let Android Apps Run On MeeGo & Maemo

The best part about the solution is that Alien Dalvik applications will appear as native and can be seamlessly installed on devices, as you can see from the demo video below, they appear just as any other native Maemo app would.  Myriad Alien Dalvik is slated to become commercially available later this year on the MeeGo platform with support for other platforms to be announced in the coming months.

The press release only mentions MeeGo, however the demo video has been shot on the N900, running Maemo 5 and other documentation also mentions it, so chances are N900 owners might get some love as well. Alien Dalvik will also be demonstrated publicly for the first time on the Nokia N900 at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 14th-17th at the Myriad hospitality suite located at The Avenue, Stand AV91.

Myriad claims that the Alien Dalvik solution will let Android apps run on non Android smartphones with the same speed and performance as they would on a native Android device. ‘A very tight integration to both the Android SDK and the MeeGo SDK (QTCreator) makes it very easy to modify, package and test applications. Most Android applications can run unmodified as the vast majority of Android APIs are supported and tight integration with the QT framework leads to a seamless user experience.’

The bottomline is, if the solution can do what it claims and Nokia can churn out a great looking UI for MeeGo, people will stop their demands for a Android or WP7 device from Nokia.

Firefox Beta 4 Out For Maemo & Android: Promises Faster Performance

Mozilla has just rolled out Beta 4 of its Firefox browser for Maemo and Android devices. Beta 4 promises to be noticeably faster, improve start-up and page load times and responsiveness to panning and zooming.

Firefox Beta 4 Out For Maemo & Android: Promises Faster Performance

Also advertised is compatibility with 100 add-ons to customize the features, functionality and look of your Web experience. According to Mozilla, tests on JavaScript benchmarks show Firefox 4 Beta is faster than the stock Android browser; roughly three times faster on Kraken, about twice as fast on SunSpider and slightly faster on V8.

Other advancements in this release include increasing stability, reducing installation memory usage, improving readability with zooming, and fixing some keyboard issues. The latest beta is available to download from the Android Market and if you use a Nokia N900, visit this link to get downloading.

Despite Mozilla’s claims, the browser doesn’t feel as fast in the real world and I found myself going back to the N900’s stock MicroB and the stock Android browser on my Galaxy S.