Odds and Ends 

Google will lose $50 million or more in 2018 from Fortnite bypassing the Play Store

When Fortnite Battle Royale launched on Android, it made an unusual choice: it bypassed Google Play in favor of offering the game directly from Epic Games’ own website. Most apps and games don’t have the luxury of making this choice – the built-in distribution Google Play offers is critical to their business. But Epic Games believes its game is popular enough and has a strong enough draw to bring players to its website for the Android download instead. In the process,  Unlike Apple, which only allows apps to be downloaded from…

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Unhackable BitFi crypto wallet has been hacked

The BitFi crypto wallet was supposed to be unhackable and none other than famous weirdo John McAfee claimed that the device – essentially an Android-based mini tablet – would withstand any attack. Spoiler alert: it couldn’t. First, a bit of background. The $120 device launched at the beginning of this month to much fanfare. It consisted of a device that McAfee claimed contained no software or storage and was instead a standalone wallet similar to the Trezor. The website featured a bold claim by McAfee himself, one that would give…

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Google acquires GraphicsFuzz, a service that tests Android graphics drivers

Google has acquired GraphicsFuzz, a company that builds a framework for testing the security and reliability of Android graphics drivers. The news, which was first spotted by XDA Developers, comes on the same day Google announced the release of Android 9 Pie. A Google spokesperson confirmed the news to us but declined to provide any further information. The companies also declined to provide any details about the price of the acquisition. The GraphicsFuzz team, which consists of co-founders Alastair Donaldson, Hugues Evrard and Paul Thomson, will join the Android graphics team to…

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Millions of Android Devices Are Vulnerable Right Out of the Box

Security meltdowns on your smartphone are often self-inflicted: You clicked the wrong link, or installed the wrong app. But for millions of Android devices, the vulnerabilities have been baked in ahead of time, deep in the firmware, just waiting to be exploited. Who put them there? Some combination of the manufacturer that made it, and the carrier that sold it to you. That’s the key finding of new analysis from mobile security firm Kryptowire, which details troubling bugs preloaded into 10 devices sold across the major US carriers. Kryptowire CEO…

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Android Pie Is Here. Let’s All Enjoy a Slice

Google has just released the final version of its Android P software, which was first previewed at the company's annual developer conference back in May. This also means that we're finally learning what P stands for, after months of online debate. Popsicle? Pudding? Pumpkin pie? In keeping with Google's dessert-themed naming convention for its mobile OS, the new software is simply named Pie—although, as many will be quick to point out, not all pies are dessert pies. One element of this users might find jarring: The permanent back button is…

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Android fix will stop predictive text suggestions for ‘sit on my face’

Google has promised to stop its Android phones from suggesting “my face” when its users text “sit on.”  Cory Doctorow came close to a disaster when he texted his kids’ babysitter, “Hey! Are you free to sit” and Android’s predictive text came up with “on my face.”  SEE ALSO: Here’s how malicious Android apps are sneaking malware onto your phone “Needless to say, I have never entered that string into my Android device,” he insisted in his tweet.  I tried it and got the same thing, basically. Strange. pic.twitter.com/52sBQjITgX —…

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Apple, Samsung Declare Peace in Biggest Modern Tech Patent Fight

The biggest patent battle of the modern technology world has finally come to an end after seven years. Samsung Electronics Co. told a judge Wednesday they’d resolved the first filed but last remaining of the legal disputes that once spanned four continents. The string of lawsuits jihadist.” The ensuing litigation cost each company hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees, and tested their reputations as innovators. ‘Sumo Wrestlers’ “The sumo wrestlers have tired of the wrestling match,” said Paul Berghoff, a patent lawyer with McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff…

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8 big announcements from Google I/O 2018

Google kicked off its annual I/O developer conference at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. Here are some of the biggest announcements from the Day 1 keynote. There will be more to come over the next couple of days, so follow along on everything Google I/O on TechCrunch.  Google goes all in on artificial intelligence, rebranding its research division to Google AI Just before the keynote, Google announced it is rebranding its Google Research division to Google AI. The move signals how Google has increasingly focused R&D on computer vision,…

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Android blatantly copies the iPhone X navigation gestures

Google unveiled some of the new features in the next version of Android at its developer conference. One feature looked particularly familiar. Android P will get new navigation gestures to switch between apps. And it works just like the iPhone X. “As part of Android P, we’re introducing a new system navigation that we’ve been working on for more than a year now,” VP of Android Engineering Dave Burke said. “And the new design makes Android multitasking more approachable and easier to understand.” While Google has probably been working on…

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Huawei P20 Pro has three rear cameras and one of them is 40 megapixels

Huawei P20 and P20 Pro both have the notch on the front, but you can hide it with a black bar if you like.Image: Raymond Wong/mashable Huawei has a new flagship, and boy is it hot.  The company officially launched the oft-leaked P20 and P20 Pro today at a special media event in Paris. (A third variant, the P20 Lite, was soft-launched in China a week ago.) This time, Huawei’s got one goal: Crush every other smartphone camera with an insane amount of resolution. SEE ALSO: Best Buy just screwed…

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Google Could Owe Oracle $8.8 Billion in Android Fight

Google could owe Oracle Corp. billions of dollars for using Oracle-owned Java programming code in its Android operating system on mobile devices, an appeals court said, as the years-long feud between the two software giants draws near a close. Google’s use of Java shortcuts to develop Android went too far and was a violation of Oracle’s copyrights, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Tuesday. The case — first filed in 2010 — was remanded to a federal court in California to determine how much the Alphabet…

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Sweatcoin lets you earn crypto for working out

Want a way to workout and earn some coin? Sweatcoin has risen to the top of the App Store for helping folks get something more than just a glow for taking those daily steps. The startup says it has accumulated more than 5 million users in the past year and increased revenue by 266 percent in the last quarter. There are more than 2 million weekly active users on the app, and growing, making it one of the fastest-growing fitness apps in the App Store and second to the top…

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Friday’s iPhone X Pre-Orders Will Be Crucial for Apple

The most important date for shorter lines of expectant fans waiting outside stores on release days. So even though analysts widely expect iPhone X supplies to be limited early on, the device will still be available in 55 countries and territories. Apple also expects to have the iPhone X in many stores on Nov. 3 and said Tuesday that walk-in buyers should “arrive early.” Investors and analysts will be able to monitor how the wait times for delivery develop in the course of Friday, giving insights into demand. As more…

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Bill Gates has finally switched from the Windows Phone to an Android

Image: Getty Images At last, Bill Gates has joined us in the present. The Microsoft co-founder announced in an interview with Fox News Sunday that he’s now using an Android phone.  The move was probably inevitable. Windows on mobile has effectively been a dead platform ever since Microsoft gutted its phone division two years ago. While Windows 10 technically works on phones, there’s been pretty much zero support from hardware makers and app developers outside of Microsoft. Gates told Fox that the phone he uses is an “Android phone with…

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Escher Reality is building the backend for cross-platform mobile AR

The potential of mobile augmented reality is clear. Last summer Pokemon Go gave a glimpse of just how big this craze could be, as thousands of excited humans converged on parks, bus stops and other locations around the world to chase virtual monsters through the lens of their smartphones. Apple was also watching. And this summer the company signaled its own conviction in the technology by announcing ARKit: a developer toolkit to support iOS developers to build augmented reality apps. CEO Tim Cook said iOS will become the worlds biggest…

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