Don’t Miss These Android Stories: 7/31/15

Wow, what a week this was. From OnePlus 2 and new Motorola devices to confirmation of Samsung’s arriving in a couple of weeks, the summer just got busier than expected. We also found out about a pretty scary security hole in Android that affects almost all devices, saw lots of evidence of a new Moto 360, and finally answered your questions from last week’s Q&A session.

Be sure to catch up on everything, because there was a lot going on. From hands-on time with numerous devices, to specs lists, to missing features, pricing and availability, you’ll want to know all that happened as we move forward into review periods. You may have a new phone in your future and this is the time to learn everything about what’s on the horizon.

Everything you need to know is linked below.  (more…)

Textra and Chomp SMS Issue Updates That Could Stop Stagefright Attacks

On Monday, a pretty serious security vulnerability in Android’s Stagefright was exposed, one that has left almost all Android phones susceptible to an attack. Of course, at this time, the vulnerability has been kept under wraps and supposedly only shared with Google and OEMs to hopefully get it patched. Unfortunately, patching Stagefright takes a system update that has yet to arrive on anyone’s phone. In other words, even though the vulnerability is known by Google and they have patched things on their end, we are all potentially open to attacks.  (more…)

New, Simplified Invitation Settings are Rolling Out to Hangouts

Googler Jordanna Chord announced via G+ yesterday that they are rolling out new invitation settings to Hangouts over the next day or so. These new settings should “make it easier for folks to communicate,” but from what we can tell, they are really just a simplified version of the current settings. That will surely help making communication easier, but it will hopefully make controlling your settings less of a pain.  (more…)

Android M Preview 3 Release Delayed as Google Works on “Near Final” Build

The next official build of Android M, Preview 3, may see a bit of delay in release, according to the public Android M Developer Preview community on Google+. As stated by a moderator in the community, “We want this to be a near final release to test your apps on, but we need a little more time to get it out to you.” Preview 3 was previously scheduled to be released around late July. (more…)

Android Developers Get Two New Ways to Beta Test Apps

Two years ago, Google introduced beta testing for Android app developers that allowed them to open new features and versions of their apps to users through closed groups on Google+. That beta testing method, even though it can be quite finicky, has apparently been enough of a success that Google has decided to expand upon the beta testing methods available to developers. Today, they are introducing open betas and closed beta that only require emails.  (more…)

Operating System Warnings May Soon Come to Your Boot Screen

According to a Google support page, a small change should be hitting select Android devices in the future, most likely Nexus devices, one which will inform you if your smartphone or tablet is secure for using. Upon boot, if you happen to be an OS tinkerer and flash custom OS images, you may see one of the follow warnings.

A Yellow warning will inform you that your device has loaded a different OS, allowing you to either dismiss the warning or instructing you to follow a link that gives instructions on how to flash the stock image file for your device. An Orange warning means the device software can’t be checked for corruption. The same options are offered – you can either dismiss and continue using your phone, or flash a stock image. A Red warning, which looks somewhat scary, indicates the device is corrupt and “can’t be trusted.”  (more…)