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Google launches new Assistant developer tools

At its I/O conference, Google today announced a slew of new tools for developers who want to build experiences for the company’s Assistant platform. These range from the ability to build games for smart displays, like the Google Home Hub and the launch of App Actions for taking users from an Assistant answer to their native apps, to a new Local Home SDK that allows developers to run their smart home code locally on Google Home Speakers and Nest Displays. This Local Home SDK may actually be the most important…

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India is investigating Google over alleged Android abuse

More than 95% of the smartphones that ship in India run Android, according to industry estimates. Now the Indian antitrust watchdog is convinced that the nation should investigate whether Google is abusing the dominant position of its mobile operating system to hurt local rivals. The Competition Commission of India (CCI), the local anti-monopoly regulator, began looking at Google’s Android business in India last year after it received a complaint from unspecified people. Last month, the regulator preliminarily found that Google had abused the dominant position of Android in the nation,…

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Say goodbye to Google+

Google's robot assistant can make phone calls for you now.Image: Getty Images / ethan miller Sometimes, making an important phone call to set up an appointment can be inconvenient or nerve-wracking. That, or you just don’t feel like doing it. There’s potentially good news on that front. Google Duplex, a Google Assistant-powered phone call service, is finally coming to devices that the majority of people own. According to Google’s support site, Duplex has started rolling out to iOS and non-Pixel Android devices, as spotted by 9to5Google. SEE ALSO: Say goodbye…

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Your Facebook Password Isnt Safe. Neither Is Your Android Phone

Tech news you can use, in two minutes or less: Change your Facebook password Facebook acknowledged a bug that caused hundreds of millions of user passwords (dating back to 2012) for both Facebook and Instagram to be stored as readable text internally. This basically means that thousands of Facebook employees could have searched for and found them. Facebook says they weren't accessible outside of the company, and that there's no evidence employees did in fact abuse or improperly access them. We say, change it anyway. Airbnb may be beloved by…

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An Android Vulnerability Went Unfixed for Over Five Years

With more than 2 billion users, Android has a staggering number of devices to protect. But a "high-severity" bug that went undetected for more than five years—that attackers could exploit to spy on a user and gain access to their accounts—serves as a reminder that Android's impressive open source reach also creates challenges for defending a decentralized ecosystem. Discovered by Sergey Toshin, a mobile security researcher at the threat detection firm Positive Technologies, the bug originated in Chromium, the open-source project that underlies Chrome and many other browsers. As a…

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Most Android Antivirus Apps Are Garbage

The world of antivirus is already fraught. You’re basically inviting all-seeing, all-knowing software onto your device, trusting that it’ll keep the bad guys out and not abuse its own access in the process. On Android, that problem is compounded by dozens of apps that aren’t just ineffective—they’re outright phony. That’s the finding of newly published research from AV-Comparatives, a European company that, as its name suggests, tests antivirus products. In a survey of 250 antivirus apps found in the Google Play Store, only 80 demonstrated basic competence at their jobs…

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Samsung Galaxy S10+ review: a simply stunning screen

A fantastic display bolted to great cameras, a strong battery, an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner and even a headphone socket The Galaxy S10+ may be Samsungs most important phone in years, but at 899 does the huge screen, triple camera and fancy ultrasonic fingerprint scanner make for a worthy upgrade? One thing is obvious: the Galaxy S10+ is not the Galaxy Fold and Honors View20 had this hole-punch notch design first, but Samsungs made it its own with a screen that is easily the unlike last years S9+, but its there…

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The ‘Matrix phone’ is back and it’s awful…

Can Nokia return to its former mobile glory?Image: LightRocket via Getty Images Nokia’s finally ready to return to the smartphone race in the U.S. The phone brand, once an independent global powerhouse, then sold to off to Microsoft, then revived under HMD Global in 2016, has announced it’ll sell two new Android phones on Verizon and Cricket Wireless, respectively. While the new Nokias don’t stack up (not even close in terms of performance) to an iPhone XR, iPhone XS, or Galaxy S9, or OnePlus 6T, the phones are significant in…

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Facebooks gaming hub Fb.gg launches into beta on Android

This summer, Facebook launched Fb.gg, its online gaming hub and Twitch competitor, designed to attract game streamers and their fans to watch videos on Facebook instead of on rival sites. The destination shows videos based on which games and streaming celebrities users follow, plus Liked Pages and Groups, and other featured suggestions of what to watch. Now, Fb.gg is expanding to mobile with its launch on Android. The new app, first spotted by Sensor Tower, arrived just a few days ago and is currently in beta testing. According to its…

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Google gets more RCS messaging support from Samsung

Google has secured a bit more buy in from Samsung for a next generation text messaging standard it’s long been promoting. The Android OS maker’s hope for Rich Communication Services (RCS), which upgrades what SMS can offer to support richer comms and content swapping, can provide its fragmented Android ecosystem with a way to offer comparably rich native messaging — a la Apple’s iMessage on iOS. But it’s a major, major task given how many Android devices are out there. And Google needs the entire industry to step with it to support…

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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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