Call of Duty Mobile announced for iOS, Android, made by China’s Tencent


This post is by Sam Machkovech from Ars Technica


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SAN FRANCISCO—Activision has taken the wraps off its first major Call of Duty video game for smartphones. The title is simple enough: Call of Duty Mobile. The online, multiplayer-only game will arrive later this year, but neither Activision nor any of its Western CoD-focused studios will lead the game’s development.

Instead, dev duties will be handled by Tencent, one of China’s leading mobile-game publishing houses. (Activision did not clarify any particular studio taking the lead within Tencent on this game.)

Call of Duty Mobile was unveiled at today’s Unity keynote presentation as part of the 2019 Game Developer Conference, because it has been built in the Unity Engine. An Activision representative at the Unity event said that players can expect “beloved maps, competitive game modes, and signature combat mechanics from [Call of Duty entries like] Black Ops and Modern Warfare.” Teased maps coming to the series’ first-ever mobile

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Gorilla Glass-maker plans to produce glass suitable for folding iPhones


This post is by Samuel Axon from Ars Technica


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A folding phone by Oppo.

Enlarge / A folding phone by Oppo. (credit: Brian Shen)

According to Wired, glass-maker Corning is “working on ultrathin, bendable glass that’s 0.1 millimeters thick and can bend to a 5 millimeter radius” that may be usable for smartphone displays within two years. Corning produces Gorilla Glass used in Apple’s iPhones, as well as in phones made by other manufacturers like LG, Asus, OnePlus, Nokia, Samsung, and more.

Developing Gorilla Glass that can bend or fold like the materials used for the Samsung Galaxy Fold display or other foldable phone concepts could address some shortcomings endemic to these early designs.

The folding phones you see in headlines and gadget blog galleries today rely on plastic polymers that may scratch easier or have other undesirable properties. Generally, smartphone-makers that have announced foldable phones have not allowed us to test-drive these phones, which is otherwise normal practice for traditional

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Google declines to pull controversial Saudi government app


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App store curators frequently have to walk a fine line when deciding what to ban, and Google is proof positive of this. The internet giant told California Rep. Jackie Speier that it wouldn’t ban Saudi Arabia’s Absher app from Google Play despite calls from Speier and other members of Congress to remove it. The mobile software lets Saudi men control and track travel permissions for women and migrant workers, leading to an outcry that Google and Apple were promoting “sixteenth century tyranny.” However, Google determined that Absher didn’t violate its agreements and could remain on the store.

Source: Business Insider

Facebook VPN that snoops on users is pulled from Android store


This post is by Jon Brodkin from Ars Technica


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Facebook logo on a phone.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | SOPA Images )

Facebook has pulled its privacy-invading Onavo Protect VPN app off the Google Play store and will reportedly stop gobbling up data from users who still have the app on their devices.

Facebook “will immediately cease pulling in data from [Onavo] users for market research though it will continue operating as a Virtual Private Network in the short term to allow users to find a replacement,” TechCrunch reported yesterday.

Facebook’s Onavo website still exists, but links to the Android and iOS apps are both broken. Facebook pulled the app from the iPhone and iPad App Store in August 2018 after Apple determined that Onavo violated its data-collection rules. Facebook purchased Onavo, an Israeli company, in 2013.

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Toyota adds Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to its trucks and SUVs


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Toyota dragged its heels on smartphone integration for years, but it’s making up for that in style. The automaker is introducing Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support to its 2020 trucks and SUVs, including the Tacoma (above), Tundra, 4Runner and Sequoia. Yes, you too can navigate with Google Maps or stream Apple Music while you’re off-roading. They also support Alexa in case you’d like to bark commands to Amazon’s voice assistant.

Via: MacRumors

Source: Toyota (1), (2), Android

Emoji 12.0 brings us waffles, more diversity, suggestive “finger pinch” glyph


This post is by Ron Amadeo from Ars Technica


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Emoji version 12.0 has been finalized by the Unicode Consortium, and for 2019 we’re getting 230 new emoji. Although the standard is finalized, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other platform vendors still need to create artwork and integrate these new glyphs into their respective platforms. Today we have a preview of what to expect thanks to Emojipedia, which put together a list of the new glyphs with example artwork.

There’s a push for more diversity with this new emoji release. We have emojis for deaf people in three genders (male, female, and genderless) and five skin tones, an ear with a hearing aid, people in motorized and unmotorized wheelchairs, prosthetic arms and legs, a guide dog and a service dog, and people with a probing cane. There are actually only 59 distinct new emoji types in this

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New emoji for 2019 include wheelchairs, waffles and sloths


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It’s that time of year when the Unicode Consortium decides which new emoji you’ll see, and this year’s selection of 59 new base emoji (230 if you include all gender and skin variations) is both inclusive and eclectic. To start, Apple’s accessibility emoji play a central role: you’ll find wheelchairs, guide dogs and deaf people, among other additions. Beyond those, you’ll find many different couple combinations based on skin color and gender.

Via: Emojipedia

Source: Unicode

Google expands Chrome OS Instant Tethering beyond Pixel, Nexus devices


This post is by Valentina Palladino from Ars Technica


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Google expands Chrome OS Instant Tethering beyond Pixel, Nexus devices

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

The handy feature that lets Chromebook users connect to a smartphone’s cellular hotspot is now coming to more devices. Google announced that Chrome OS’ Instant Tethering feature will now be available on more than 15 Chromebooks and more than 30 smartphone models, including handsets from HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung.

Previously, Instant Tethering was only available on a handful of Chromebooks, including the Pixelbook and the new Pixel Slate. The list of supported smartphones was similarly short, initially confined to Google-made handsets like the Pixel and Nexus. The expansion is part of Google’s effort to make the experience of using a Chromebook easier and more seamless for those with Android smartphones, regardless of the handset’s manufacturer.

Instant Tethering, which first came to Chromebooks in 2017, requires an initial setup process that users can complete upon setting up the Chromebook or at any time from the Settings

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Google Play apps with >4.3 million downloads stole pics and pushed porn ads


This post is by Dan Goodin from Ars Technica


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Screenshots of the pop-up ads displayed by malicious apps that were available in Google's Play Store.

Enlarge / Screenshots of the pop-up ads displayed by malicious apps that were available in Google’s Play Store. (credit: Trend Micro)

Google has banned dozens of Android apps downloaded millions of times from the official Play Store after researchers discovered they were being used to display phishing and scam ads or perform other malicious acts.

A blog post published by security firm Trend Micro listed 29 camera- or photo-related apps, with the top 11 of them fetching 100,000 to 1 million downloads each. One crop of apps caused browsers to display full-screen ads when users unlocked their devices. Clicking the pop-up ads in some cases caused a paid online pornography player to be downloaded, although it was incapable of playing content. The apps were carefully designed to conceal their malicious capabilities.

“None of these apps give any indication that they are the ones behind the ads, thus users might find

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Nintendo bringing Dr. Mario to iOS, Android this summer


This post is by Kyle Orland from Ars Technica


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The logo for <em>Dar. Mario World</em>.

Enlarge / The logo for Dar. Mario World. (credit: Nintendo / Twitter)

Nintendo announced last night that it will be bringing the classic color-matching puzzle game Dr. Mario to Android and iOS devices in 60 countries as Dr. Mario World early this summer.

Nintendo said the game will be “free to download with optional in-app purchases” but didn’t go into detail on how exactly the monetization system would work. Many mobile puzzle games (such as the Candy Crush series) use timer-based “energy” systems to limit the amount you can play without paying in a certain period. Nintendo has used similar cooldown timers in games like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes, though other Nintendo-developed mobile titles have used other monetization methods.

Dr. Mario World is being co-developed by Line, a Japanese mobile developer mainly known for the messaging app of the same name. Nintendo had previously

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Google also has a data-vacuuming iOS app that bypasses the App Store


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Facebook isn’t the only tech giant to offer a data-vacuuming app that sidesteps Apple’s App Store. Since 2012, Google has allowed people to earn gift cards by offering up their data through its Screenwise project. On iOS and Android, the company gains access to participants’ data through a VPN app called Screenwise Meter. But if Facebook’s latest turmoils are anything to go by, Google could suffer Apple’s ire over it.

Source: TechCrunch

Hands-on with the new Gmail for Android (and iOS)


This post is by Ron Amadeo from Ars Technica


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Google is pushing a big redesign to the mobile Gmail app on Android and iOS. The update was announced yesterday, and after spending some time with the new app, we’re going to comb through the finer details and see what has changed between New Gmail and Old Gmail.

For now the release is only out on Android, but like the old Gmail design, it should look identical on iOS. If you’re on Android, you want Gmail version 9.x (the old design is Gmail 8). If the Play Store isn’t serving you the update and you’re into sideloading, APKMirror has a safe download. The iOS version is still wending its way through the App Store approval process and should be out sometime this week.

The new design is a good match for the new desktop Gmail design that came

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Google Developing More Secure Face ID-Style Facial Recognition System for Android Devices


This post is by Juli Clover from MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors - Front Page


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Google appears to be working on a facial recognition system that would offer similar security to Face ID, based on code for the next-generation version of Android that was highlighted by XDA Developers.

Code in Android Q, set to be shown off at Google’s developer conference in May, points towards an advanced facial recognition system that would be secure enough to be used for authorizing purchases and signing into apps, in addition to unlocking a smartphone.



Furthermore, the code references a built-in hardware based sensor through error messages that are highlighted when the sensor is unable to properly detect a face.

Combined, these two factors suggest that Google is expecting future smartphones to feature an advanced facial recognition system that could perhaps be as secure as Face ID.

Android Q code referencing a secure face unlock system. Click to enlarge.


Right now, there are Android devices that are using 2D

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Who switched off the Android>iPhone switcheroo switch?


This post is by Jonny Evans from Apple Must


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Smartphone that lasts for years: Check; Free and regular OS and apps update: Check; Retains high value: Check: These three checks and more are just some of the reasons iOS users are very loyal, and continue to become so.

iOS loyalty hits new peak

“Loyalty hit the highest levels we’ve ever measured,” said Mike Levin, Partner and Co- Founder of CIRP.

The research shows that the two major mobile operating systems, Google Android and Apple iOS, enjoyed their highest loyalty rates measured to-date, with iOS loyalty at an all-time (so far) high.

This has an impact: Nine out of ten iPhone users who upgrade will choose a new iPhone rather than anyone else.

“Apple launched its new phones in the fall, so iOS historically has a higher market share in the December quarter,” said Josh Lowitz, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP.

“Looking at the past five December quarters, we see

Apple iPhone 8, Unlocked, 64GB - Space Gray (Refurbished)

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Emulator project aims to resurrect classic Mac apps and games without the OS


This post is by Sean Gallagher from Ars Technica


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Want to be able to run classic Mac OS applications compiled for the Motorola 68000 series of processors on your ever-so-modern Mac OS X machine? Or maybe you’d rather run them on a Raspberry Pi, or an Android device for that matter? There’s an emulation project that’s trying to achieve just that: Advanced Mac Substitute (AMS).

Emulators of older computer platforms and game consoles are popular with vintage game enthusiasts. But emulators also could be attractive to others with some emotional (or economic) attachment to old binaries—like those with a sudden desire to resurrect aged Aldus PageMaker files.

Advanced Mac Substitute is an effort by long-time Mac hacker Josh Juran to make it possible to run old Mac OS software (up to Mac OS 6) without a need for an Apple ROM or system software. Other emulators out there for 64000 Mac applications

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Microsoft: Switch to iOS or Android because Windows 10 Mobile is ending


This post is by Peter Bright from Ars Technica


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Lumia 950

Lumia 950 (credit: Peter Bright)

Windows 10 Mobile will receive its last patches and security updates on December 10 this year, as Microsoft winds down the last remaining bit of development on its smartphone platform.

The last major notable to the platform was October 2017, when it was bumped to version 1709. At that point, Microsoft ended feature development entirely, shipping only security updates and bug fixes. That’s going to come to an end on Patch Tuesday this coming December.

Certain online services will continue to operate beyond that date; device backups for settings and applications will work for three months, to March 10, 2020, and photo uploads and restoring devices from backups will work for 12 months beyond the end of support.

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Why Apple’s TV & movie streaming service is coming to Android


This post is by Jonny Evans from Apple Must


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Samsung's PR image

Does Samsung’s PR image really reveal the name of Apple’s future service?

Breaking with its traditional ‘locked in’ business model, I think Apple will offer its upcoming iTunes Movies and TV service across multiple platforms and operating systems, including Android.

Why Apple will launch iTunes movies for Android

Apple’s decision to make its iTunes Movies and TV services and AirPlay 2 support available through TVs from Samsung has really got people talking, but I think we’ve missed a few clues in what we’ve been told.

Think about Samsung.

The Digital Media and Entertainment Team at Futuresource Consulting told me two critical data points concerning Samsung’s smart TVs and Apple services support.

Google Play malware used phones’ motion sensors to conceal itself


This post is by Dan Goodin from Ars Technica


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Google Play malware used phones’ motion sensors to conceal itself

Enlarge (credit: Andri Koolme / Flickr)

Malicious apps hosted in the Google Play market are trying a clever trick to avoid detection—they monitor the motion-sensor input of an infected device before installing a powerful banking trojan to make sure it doesn’t load on emulators researchers use to detect attacks.

The thinking behind the monitoring is that sensors in real end-user devices will record motion as people use them. By contrast, emulators used by security researchers—and possibly Google employees screening apps submitted to Play—are less likely to use sensors. Two Google Play apps recently caught dropping the Anubis banking malware on infected devices would activate the payload only when motion was detected first. Otherwise, the trojan would remain dormant.

Security firm Trend Micro found the motion-activated dropper in two apps—BatterySaverMobi, which had about 5,000 downloads, and Currency Converter, which had an unknown number of downloads. Google removed them once it

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JBL’s Link Drive makes your dumb old car smart


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Incorporating digital assistants into modern vehicles has proven transformative for drivers, but only the folks who can afford to pony up for a new(ish) car that has them built in. For those of us still driving older models, those features aren’t readily available unless we pull out our phones while driving — not good. But with the new Link Drive from JBL, any vehicle with a cigarette lighter can offer Google Assistant’s help to its passengers.