mobile

Phones can be tracked without warrants thanks to carrier feature

Phones can be tracked without warrants thanks to carrier feature

As smartphones become more and more a common part of everyday life, so too do their potential to be used for harm. While we mostly rely on laws to protect us both criminals and less conscientious companies, sometimes the laws aren't exactly clear or up to modern standards and have just enough grey areas for some enterprising people to take advantage of. Case in point is the ability of some companies and individuals to track cellphone locations even without warrants, all thanks to a feature almost all carriers provide to aid marketing and advertising.

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Steam Controller now has Bluetooth support in beta client

Steam Controller now has Bluetooth support in beta client

Valve seems to be cooking up quite the treat for mobile users while still clinging to is PC gaming focus. It recently announced the expansion of its Steam Link system that would allow Steam games to be streamed to Android and iOS devices. Now it has revealed a crucial piece of that puzzle by announcing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) support for its Steam Controller. While Valve explains that this is an important requirement for its Steam Link plans, it also makes it possible to use the wireless controller directly with mobile devices.

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iPhone SE 2018: How the notch works

iPhone SE 2018: How the notch works

Today we're having a peek at a mockup of the iPhone SE 2018 based on leaks from the past week. We're exploring the viability of the leaked models that've appeared - with regard to the software and the hardware that'd need to work with said hardware. This is a test. If this had been a news story based on Apple products straight from Apple, we'd be going in on all angles.

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Galaxy Note 9 vs 8 Pre-release and tip-based

Galaxy Note 9 vs 8 Pre-release and tip-based

This morning we're having a peek at the battle we'll be re-addressing in just a few weeks time - that is Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy Note 8. These two devices will roll with extremely similar hardware with a few important adjustments made to the newer of the pair. The newer device comes with the latest in processor and camera technology with a splash of slightly-shorter body finesse.

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Google Pixel 2018 confirmed in code

Google Pixel 2018 confirmed in code

This morning we've discovered the existence of Google's 2018 edition(s) of the Google Pixel smartphone. Wording in an official AOSP code commit suggests that more than one Pixel device will be revealed in 2018, but that Google's not quite gotten to AOSP testing just yet. Once Google developers begin testing AOSP builds on their 2018 Pixel devices, we'll see their code-names (fishy, fishy code-names) for the first time.

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Google’s AI-powered future is convenient, wonderful, and scary

Google’s AI-powered future is convenient, wonderful, and scary

Google wants to make the world a better place by making it smarter and, perhaps by extension, making us lazier. All throughout its I/O 2018 presentation, AI, machine learning, and neural networks take center stage to relieve our brains of most of the cognitive workload and thereby free us to do and enjoy the more important things in life. There is, however, no such thing as a free lunch and everything comes at a price. And the price we'll eventually have to pay for Google's wonderful future is our privacy. At least some of it or maybe even all of it.

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Steam Link app for iOS and Android: Streaming at last

Steam Link app for iOS and Android: Streaming at last

Two new apps from Steam were announced this morning - one for video, the other for playing games on your phone. The Steam Video app will be released later this summer and will feature the ability to watch Steam-based movies and shows on iOS and Android devices. The Steam Link app is a bit more revolutionary - if it works. With Steam Link, users will be able to play their PC games on their iPhone or Android device.

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Android at I/O 2018: Google’s smarter play

Android at I/O 2018: Google’s smarter play

As expected, Google devoted a good chunk of its I/O 2018 stage and press time to Android. But unlike previous I/Os, Android wasn't just an independent, major Google product among other Google products. This time, it was part of a bigger whole. If there were one pervasive theme in Google's entire conference, it would be the use of machine learning and AI to make our lives easier and better. Naturally, that theme applies even to Android and not just in a future version but even starting very soon.

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iOS 11.4 USB Restricted Mode will give police a headache

iOS 11.4 USB Restricted Mode will give police a headache

Apple has already fallen afoul of law enforcement because its hard stance on encryption and protecting users' privacy, no matter who that user may be. The company and authorities are almost playing a game of cat and mouse, with police doing everything to thwart Apple's safeguards, even going as far as using dead people's fingers. Apple might soon be stepping up its game once more with the upcoming iOS 11.4's new USB Restricted Mode feature, which will practically disable USB data connection if an iPhone has not been unlocked for 7 days.

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Android App Bundles to make apps lighter, install faster

Android App Bundles to make apps lighter, install faster

App developers have always dreaded Android's fragmented device ecosystem because of the burden of supporting multiple device types and sizes, which often means generating and managing multiple APKs for those different types. To lift the weight off developers shoulders while maintaining Android's rich diversity, Google is introducing the App Bundle format that will make apps look lighter and install faster, benefiting both developers and users on both ends of the pipeline.

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ARCore now supports shared experiences and walls

ARCore now supports shared experiences and walls

As expected, Google had a thing or two to share about its VR and AR endeavors, mostly the latter. And, as expected, it's not exactly much. Make no mistake, though, the updates Google has announced for its ARCore augmented reality platform for Android are not just much-needed ones, they are also long overdue. Now AR app developers will be able to create experiences that can be seen and experienced by more than one device, including ones that can get pinned on walls.

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Mobile VR: What it needs to succeed

Mobile VR: What it needs to succeed

Last week, the Oculus Go and the Lenovo Mirage Solo launched, both standalone mobile versions of virtual reality platforms. This week at its I/O developers conference, Google will undoubtedly make a case again for its Daydream VR platform, be it powered by smartphones or standalone, almost the poor man's VR experience. None of these are entirely new. From the Google Cardboard to the Samsung Gear VR, mobile VR has been around for as long as "desktop" VR has and yet, unlike its bigger cousin, it has failed to gain long-lasting traction and support. That despite being potentially more affordable. Why has it failed and what does it need to survive and thrive? Here are some points to consider.

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