Android

Google softens Android full-disk encryption requirement

Google softens Android full-disk encryption requirement

Encryption has become a touchy subject. What was once was, and still is, a standard way to protect data has become controversial in light of recent events. But while most tech companies hailed its privacy and security benefits, few, especially on the mobile device sector, choose to enforce it. It seems that, at least for the time being, the cause has lost one strong proponent. Google has rather quietly revised its Android 5.0 compatibility requirements to let OEMs choose whether to enable full-disk encryption or not.

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Intel charges at mobile again with new Atom x3, x5, x7 chips

Intel charges at mobile again with new Atom x3, x5, x7 chips

You have to hand it to Intel. It just doesn't let go of a dream. Despite not being able to make a big enough dent in the smartphone market, it is still soldiering on, revising its strategy again and again. While many of us thought (or hoped) that the chip maker would just focus on wearables, it's taking another stab at smartphones, phablets, and tablets. This time with a new line of mobile chips under the names of the Atom x3, Atom x5, and Atom x7.

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You want the Nokia N1, but you can’t have it: Hands-on

You want the Nokia N1, but you can’t have it: Hands-on

Nokia's N1 tablet may not be the newest Android on the block, but its China-only availability has meant checking out the iPad mini-esque hasn't been easy. Happily the Finns have been showing off the sleek hardware here at Mobile World Congress, and I can legitimately say I'm suddenly jealous of mainland China. Sure, the design is nowhere near original, but with a sticker price equivalent to $249 and what's possibly the best-constructed hardware of any Android tablet I've used recently, it's hard not to be impressed.

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Archos announces Fusion Storage tech, 256 GB tablet

Archos announces Fusion Storage tech, 256 GB tablet

When speaking of mobile devices, there are usually two kinds of storage. Internal memory which comes with all devices and, for those with microSD card slots, external or expansion storage. Android seems to have a love/hate relationship with the latter, with Google opting to scrap it altogether because of security and stability, while users want the freedom to expand their available storage. Archos seems to have a rather strange solution called "Fusion Storage" that attempts to virtually combine the two into one unified "internal" memory.

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Google API puts games on TV as phone/tablet become controller

Google API puts games on TV as phone/tablet become controller

Android users might have another reason to want an Android TV soon. Adjunct to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Google is hosting a Developer’s day event, and has announced a new API. Called ‘Nearby Connections’, the API has a few handy tweaks for Developers, and when used properly, you as well. With Nearby Connections, users will be able to use Android devices as game controllers for Android TV-ready games. It’s only available on one game so far, but expect more to follow suit quickly.

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Alcatel announces the budget-friendly Hero 2+ running Cyanogen OS

Alcatel announces the budget-friendly Hero 2+ running Cyanogen OS

Need a big, unlocked phone that won’t break the bank? Good news! Alcatel is introducing the Hero 2+, a device with a 6-inch screen that comes unlocked. An android device, this one is a touch different than you might imagine it would be on the software side. Rather than running a home-brewed, modified version of Android, Alcatel is wisely turning to Cyanogen for their software needs. Another disruptive tidbit — the Alcatel Hero 2+ can be yours for $299 beginning in Q2 2015.

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Android Pay mobile payments framework gets offical

Android Pay mobile payments framework gets offical

First Apple Pay, then Samsung Pay, and now Android Pay. Google's Sundar Pichai has confirmed a new mobile payments system is in the pipeline, not just an app like Google Wallet, but a full service on which other companies would be free to build their own payments system. It's also being created with more than just NFC in mind, Pichai said, though the near-field technology for "tapping" to pay is likely to be the first way Android Pay payments will be made.

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Sundar Pichai: Google has carrier plans, but think Nexus-scale

Sundar Pichai: Google has carrier plans, but think Nexus-scale

Google will indeed light up its own MVNO network in the coming months, SVP Sundar Pichai has confirmed, but it's more like the Nexus of wireless than a strike at AT&T and Verizon. Rumors of Google-controlled wireless cellular service have circulated for some years, surfacing again in January with speculation of a direct-to-user network which the search giant would use to test out new mobile tech. According to Pichai, while there is indeed some truth in the Google MVNO chatter, it's not quite the same as a play for the market as a whole.

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Alcatel ONETOUCH IDOL 3 rocks even when held upside down

Alcatel ONETOUCH IDOL 3 rocks even when held upside down

From time to time, we see some new "feature" that manufacturers employ to entice users to their products. Sometimes, those features tend to stick around and become popular (like LG's Knock Code), and sometimes, they leave us scratching our heads in bewilderment. Alcatel's newest smartphone feature maybe of the latter, but it is also one that partly makes sense as well. The new ONETOUCH IDOL 3 announced MWC 2015 boasts of many high-end features, but perhaps its most eccentric one is that it is usable even when held upside down.

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