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  1. This month witnessed the debut of Porn Time, a variant of Popcorn Time specializing in adult videos. In less than a week the software clocked almost 450,000 downloads but it's not stopping there. Ensuring that mobile users aren't left empty handed, Porn Time has just made its Android debut. After becoming a smash hit with viewers of mainstream movies for more than a year, earlier this month a new version of Popcorn Time thrust onto the scene. Titled Porn Time, this hot variant allows users to access a wide range of adult content pulled from Pornleech, the largest public adult oriented BitTorrent tracker. With the ability to cast directly to big screens using Chromecast, Airplay or DLNA, Porn Time was always destined for success, but new figures reveal that the software has exceeded all expectations. According to the people behind the project, in the week following its release the software was downloaded an impressive 450,000 times. “We’re pretty shocked and find it a little hard to believe and amusing in a way. But Porn Time, the Popcorn Time for Porn, became an Internet phenomenon just one week after it went live!†the team informs TF. But it didn’t stop there. Figures complete up until this Wednesday reveal that the software now has 598,580 active users, an impressive feat for software with zero marketing budget and no app store to rely upon. However, this growth wasn’t achieved entirely smoothly. “We weren’t prepared for such an eruption of people coming to get Porn Time and our servers crashed. Twice,†the team reveal. “Pornleech also crashed!! They just couldn’t handle the heat. It took them a few days to get their act back together and got back online just recently. In the meantime we went and fetched some more sources of content, The Pirate Bay for example, which made our users happier and more addicted.†With 58.6% of installs the Windows edition of Porn Time proved most exciting, with Mac users holding their own with 32.71% of the total. That left Linux users to bring up the rear with 8.69%. Keen to keep pressing forward, a few hours ago the Porn Time team debuted a brand new Android edition. They expect that it too will become a roaring success. “Anyone can understand why an app like this on your personal mobile device is the best thing that has happened to humanity since bread came sliced,†the team told TF. “Creating the first Android app was pretty easy because of Popcorn Time’s awesome Android app. We just took their app, made some cosmetic changes, and voila! Now you can see content that puts a smile on your face.†And if Apple users are feeling left out, that sensation shouldn’t last for long. The team inform us that an iOS edition is just around the corner. “I think we will release it in three weeks. We are in an advanced development stage, but the truth is that this is the first time we are programming in Objective C and it’s taking us some time,†the team concludes. More information on Porn Time for Android can be found here. https://torrentfreak.com/porntime-for-android-debuts-after-huge-desktop-success-150619/
  2. Sellers of Android boxes loaded with software enabling the free viewing of movies, TV shows and live sports have been raided this week by UK authorities. Trading Standards officers, police and representatives from Sky TV carried out raids in several locations, causing other sellers to quickly reconsider the tone of their marketing efforts. While paying subscriptions to services such as Netflix, premium satellite and cable channels, sports broadcasters and PPV outlets are legitimate ways to obtain content on a TV, there are others that require very little outlay. Apple TV boxes, Android set-top boxes and even the lowly Raspberry PI can run software such as Kodi (previously XBMC) alongside third-party addons to provide all of the above at virtually zero cost. Unsurprisingly, this annoys content providers no end. While selling any of the above devices alone is entirely legal, over the past couple of years online markets such as eBay and Amazon have been flooded with “fully loaded†boxes (Android-based in particular) that enable free viewing of anything from first run movies to live sports. Surprisingly, many vendors have been happy to publicly advertise that fact, with many apparently under the impression that if they don’t provide the illegal content themselves then they aren’t liable. In the UK that argument is unlikely to fly and during the past week patience appears to have run out. Earlier this week Trading Standards officers and police carried out raids on sellers of Android boxes setup to receive unauthorized content. One seller, operating from GeekyKit.com, told customers that his physical shops would not be trading as normal. “As you may be aware we were visited yesterday by Sky [television] in conjunction with Trading Standards. Whilst we continue to investigate our position the stores will remain closed and support will remain suspended. Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused,†he explained. “We do not control the content that is accessible on the internet via the product that we sell. We are currently working with Trading Standards to ensure that we can sell our products whilst adhering to UK copyright laws.†Although no details on changes were provided by GeekyKit, the signs on the front of one of their shops will be the first thing to go after leaving little to the imagination. A source who asked to remain anonymous told TorrentFreak that raids were also carried out at home addresses. In those cases officers reportedly seized computer equipment and mobile phones. A 38-year-old man was arrested under the Copyright Designs and Patent Act. The raids have certainly provided food for thought for other companies involved in the supply of similar devices. DroidSticks, one of the most prominent UK suppliers, is now limiting discussion on its Twitter account to matters relating only to the device. Whether or not the company intends to continue packaging third-party addons with its boxes will remain to be seen, but for now ‘pirate’ talk is strictly off-limits. DroidSticks did not respond to our request for comment. Finally, complying with UK legislation should be a fairly straightforward process if sellers want to play it safe, but that will probably mean never mentioning the “special features†of these boxes in a sales pitch ever again. It could also mean relying on users to install their own third-party addons from scratch. It’s a simple enough process for those with patience but something unlikely to appeal to Joe Public who increasingly wants a simple plug-and-play device. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-android-tv-box-sellers-raided-by-police-150612/
  3. A new app for Android makes viewing torrents easier than ever before. After simply clicking on a magnet link, iFlix takes over, playing video and music in a clean interface. There's no need to wait for a torrent to complete and skipping can be achieved in just a few moments. Created by Romanian software engineer Vali (also known as 0x4139), iFlix is a torrent client designed to stream any magnet link in an instant. Unlike other clients there are no complex settings to manage and the app only springs into life once a magnet link has been clicked. It is incredibly simple to use. As can be seen from the image below, clicking a magnet link calls up the iFlix interface containing a list of files inside the torrent being accessed. Users simply pick a file and choose their preferred (and already installed) video player and in a matter of seconds the torrent begins to play. iFlix not only works well, it also has interesting roots. “We have this startup, which is an application for kindergartens (gradiapp.ro), and one of the features is that we connect mobile/web and all sort of apps to the cameras inside the kindergarten so that parents can watch their kids while there,†Vali tells TorrentFreak. “We were having problems streaming the data to mobile devices (bandwidth issues) until I decided to make some kind of tracker that keeps the data in chunks of five seconds. That tracker is a peer as well, and after we saw that it worked, we wanted to use it with generic trackers as well. “With a little tweaking it worked well, after that we spent like two months talking about legal concerns with all kind of lawyers, and we saw the potential that this can grow into a distributed computing grid based on its own keychain,†the dev explains. In common with all tools that attempt torrent streaming, iFlix performs better with well-seeded torrents. That being said, skipping around files with plenty of peers works surprisingly well and only once or twice did we experience any significant delay. The software also allows users to listen to music torrents and as expected these cue up even more quickly than video. As for the future, iFlix is likely to receive updates but is actually a stepping stone within another of Vali’s projects. “iFlix is a product that’s based on a platform that I am trying to create. This platform is intended to be a P2P compute grid based on the Bitcoin protocol where instead of computing hashes to mine coins you compute different tasks, e.g ‘fetch the first two chunks from the magnet:x†which iFlix does at this moment,†Vali explains. “At this moment the engine behind the platform is based on the Google SPDY protocol and the purpose of iFlix is to measure the scalability of the engine. “In the near future you can expect to see more products based on the same P2P platform. For example, imagine that you are skiing and directly streaming 2k video from your GoPro via P2P,†Vali concludes. iFlix for Android can be downloaded here. http://torrentfreak.com/iflix-instantly-watch-listen-to-torrents-on-android-150222/
  4. Early February an Android dev revealed how his popular calendar app was suffering from 85% piracy rates. The news was echoed in dozens of headlines, but how did things turn out? TorrentFreak is informed that sales are dramatically up and piracy has been slashed by a third. Today Calendar Pro is a popular replacement calendar for Android. Several thousand voters on Google Play agree on its quality, most voting near to the fabled five stars. However, at the start of February developer Jack Underwood announced that rather than pay for his software, a huge majority are preferring to pirate it instead. The figures were substantial. According to the UK-based dev, 85% of ‘pro’ users were using his software without paying for it. While that fact might’ve caused some creators to go nuclear, Underwood remained pragmatic. He engaged his public and decided to make light of the situation by introducing some novel anti-piracy measures in his software. Rather than make it unusable, Underwood added some pirate-themed events as detailed in our earlier article. It turned out to be a great move on the PR front. News of Underwood’s approach spread quickly and dozens of news outlets covered the story giving the developer and his software plenty of exposure. Interested in the effects of this new-found fame, TF caught up with the dev to assess his mood. As it turns out Underwood was in fine form. News of massive piracy of his app published February 2nd/3rd onwards had certainly turned into a positive. Sales of his software enjoyed a significant boost, as the graph below illustrates. While reluctant to talk about money generated, Underwood did reveal the size of the increase over regular sales. Today Calender Pro sold around three times more than it usually does after the news broke, leveling to twice as many sales shortly after. However, it was the effect on Google Play’s rankings that appears to have done Underwood the biggest favor. Following news of the high piracy rates there was a five-fold increase in Play user ratings, averaging a score of 4.8. This means that Today Calendar Pro is now the highest rated calendar on the Play store. The ratings boost means that sales are now running at a steady 50% uplift, a great result all considered. Interestingly, however, the free version of the app hasn’t done quite so well. On the first day sales increased two-fold, dropping to 1.5x the day after. Unlike the ‘Pro’ version, there was no change in Play ratings and ‘sales’ are now back to the level they were before. But perhaps of most interest is how these new figures have affected piracy rates overall, which previously sat at 85%. “Over the last week pirated installs have made up 56% of the downloads,†Underwood informs TF. “Much better, but I guess we’ll see how long it lasts!†Finally, Underwood says that interest in the pirate-themed events he added to his software has resulted in lots of requests from users wanting to see them. He’s come up with the following solution. “Users can now trigger the pirate events themselves. Any event title with ‘walk the plank’ or ‘swashbuckling’ or ‘pirate’ (providing there’s no other trigger words) will cause the pirate images to be displayed,†he concludes. http://torrentfreak.com/android-piracy-news-gives-app-a-sales-boost-150215/
  5. A few hours ago Android developer Jack Underwood revealed that his software was being pirated by 85% of users. Now, on the advice of Reddit, the UK-based dev has tweaked the app to provide pirates with some special surprises. Speaking with TF, Underwood says traditional anti-piracy measures are a waste of time. It doesn’t really matter what kind of digital media a company or individual produces, it’s a given that someone, somewhere, will attempt to pirate it. Software, which has traditionally been expensive to buy, has always been targeted by those with small budgets seeking to enjoy products often placed out of reach. But price doesn’t always provide an excuse for those obtaining software without permission. With the rise of smart phones and tablet computers, software has become cheaper than ever, with many paid apps now available for just a few dollars. One such app is Today Calendar Pro from UK developer Jack Underwood. It’s an already popular replacement calendar for Android with 4.5 stars from several thousand voters on Google Play. However, like many devs, Underwood is trying to find a way to bring down piracy rates. Just a few hours ago he revealed to Reddit users that 85% of people are using pirate versions of his app. How to reduce that volume quickly became the topic of conversation. Some Reddit users were very aggressive but Underwood eventually settled on a more gentle approach. “Today Calendar Pro has a 85% piracy rate, so the way we’ve chosen to combat that is to have the app randomly insert pirate-themed events if the app decides the install is pirated,†Underwood told TorrentFreak. The first one, which has already been implemented, sees a graphical depiction of a plank suspended over shark-infested waters alongside a subtle reminder – “That’s what ye get fer piratin’ matey.†But despite the huge piracy rates, Underwood is surprisingly pragmatic. The developer informs TF that he actually ‘gets’ piracy and understands the mindset behind it. “I’m not against piracy, from either a consumer or developer standpoint – I can totally understand why people pirate Today Calender. They want to try it out for an extended period of time, or they can’t afford to buy it, or they don’t think it’s worth the asking price, and that’s 100% fine with me,†he says. Nevertheless, there’s no getting away from the fact that almost 9 out of 10 people using the Pro version aren’t paying the $6 price tag. Underwood feels there could be two reasons. “Maybe it’s far too convenient to pirate (for the consumer, not the cracker), and the cost of the pro version is more than the convenience of updates from the Play Store. Or perhaps it’s not actually worth $6,†he says. “Obviously I’m a little biased, but personally I think it’s worth $6 to people who use a calendar app on a daily basis. I also update the app a lot, probably three times a week.†In the meantime Underwood will stick with more unorthodox ways of tackling piracy – he has no interest in investing time in the old tried-and-failed methods. “Fighting piracy in a traditional way is a waste of time in my eyes, software will get cracked anyway. The majority of people who pirate my apps wouldn’t have bought them anyway, so it’s not as if I’m losing 85% of my revenue. In any event, I’d rather spend that time making Today more awesome.†People who do decide to pirate Today Calender Pro will find it easily using Google, but Underwood hopes that the ‘special events’ appearing in the app at surprise intervals might encourage people to spend $6 if they find the software useful long-term. “These events wont start occurring instantly, but when they do they’ll happen a lot – so the cracker (at first) won’t see the event coming, but once they start, they might get annoying quite quickly. “The plan is that people will get so bored of being invited to ‘pirate parties’ and being told to walk the plank that they’ll give up and just buy the thing,†Underwood concludes. Those who do want to spend $6 can do so here, but for everyone else there’s a free ad-supported version. Those choosing to use unauthorized sources can do so, but expect to be invited to pirate-themed parties – every Tharrrrrsday. http://torrentfreak.com/android-dev-punishes-pirates-at-the-behest-of-reddit-150203/
  6. New versions of I2P Android and Bote have been released! They can be downloaded from these URLs: I2P Android 0.9.17 Bote 0.3 The main change in these releases is the transition to Android's new Material design system. Material has made it much easier for app developers with, shall we say, "minimalist" design skills (like myself) to create apps that are nicer to use. I2P Android also updates its underlying I2P router to the just-released version 0.9.17. Bote brings in several new features along with many smaller improvements; for example, you can now add new email destinations via QR codes. As I mentioned in my last update, the release key that signs the apps has changed. The reason for this was because we needed to change the package name of I2P Android. The old package name (net.i2p.android.router) had already been taken on Google Play (we still don't know who was using it), and we wanted to use the same package name and signing key for all distributions of I2P Android. Doing so means that a user could initially install the app from the I2P website, and then later if the website was blocked they could upgrade it using Google Play. Android OS considers an application to be completely different when its package name changes, so we took the opportunity to increase the strength of the signing key. The fingerprint (SHA-256) of the new signing key is: AD 1E 11 C2 58 46 3E 68 15 A9 86 09 FF 24 A4 8B C0 25 86 C2 36 00 84 9C 16 66 53 97 2F 39 7A 90 Google Play A few months ago we released both I2P Android and Bote on Google Play in Norway, to test the release process there. We are pleased to announce that both apps are now being released globally by Privacy Solutions. The apps can be found at these URLs: I2P on Google Play Bote on Google Play The global release is being done in several stages, starting with the countries for which we have translations. The notable exception to this is France; due to import regulations on cryptographic code, we are unable yet to distribute these apps on Google Play France. This is the same issue that has affected other apps like TextSecure and Orbot. F-Droid Don't think we have forgotten about you, F-Droid users! In addition to the two locations above, we have set up our own F-Droid repository. If you are reading this post on your phone, click here to add it to F-Droid (this only works in some Android browsers). Or, you can manually add the URL below to your F-Droid repository list: https://f-droid.i2p.io/repo If you would like to manually verify the fingerprint (SHA-256) of the repository signing key, or type it in when adding the repository, here it is: 68 E7 65 61 AA F3 F5 3D D5 3B A7 C0 3D 79 52 13 D0 CA 17 72 C3 FA C0 15 9B 50 A5 AA 85 C4 5D C6 Unfortunately the I2P app in the main F-Droid repository has not been updated because our F-Droid maintainer has disappeared. We hope that by maintaining this binary repository, we can better support our F-Droid users and keep them up-to-date. If you have already installed I2P from the main F-Droid repository, you will need to uninstall it if you want to upgrade, because the signing key will be different. The apps in our F-Droid repository are the same APKs that are provided on our website and on Google Play, so in future you will be able to upgrade using any of these sources. https://geti2p.net/en/blog/post/2014/12/01/Android-app-releases
  7. Popular card game not coming to mobiles until 2015; Blizzard still working on rebuilding game for smaller screens; Android tablet version coming soon. A mobile version of the critically acclaimed collectable card game Hearthstone will not be released until 2015, its developer Blizzard Entertainment has announced. While the PC and iPad editions have now amassed more than 20 million players worldwide, Blizzard has said it needs more time rebuilding the title for smaller mobile screens. However, the Android tablet version is still on schedule for release by the end of 2014. "Throughout the past year, many of you have been asking about the release date for Hearthstone on Android. The team has been hard at work to bring Hearthstone to that platform, and is making great progress," reads a notice on the Hearthstone blog. "We’re taking things one step at a time and we’ve got our sights set on a release for Android tablets, our next new platform, before the end of the year. "We’re also close to having Hearthstone out to our iPhone and Android phone users, but it’s become clear that we need a little more time to get that version right. While we have a build up and running internally, it needs a bit more work, and we don’t feel like we’ll be ready to share it with you until early next year." Because a maximum of 14 cards can be played on a Hearthstone board, each with their own details and statistics, condensing this to the size of a mobile phone whilst keeping those details legible means a straightforward port is out of the question. "It’s very important to us that the phone experience for Hearthstone is just as accessible as the tablet and PC versions," Blizzard wrote. "One of the biggest challenges with that is revamping the user interface so it feels intuitive and offers the same quality Hearthstone experience, but this time from the palm of your hand. "Releasing Hearthstone on iPhone and Android phones is something we’re incredibly excited about, but ultimately we’d rather take the extra time to make Hearthstone’s user interface on the phone customized to feel great for the platform, rather than a port that doesn’t take into account the limitations of a smaller screen." Since it was formally released on PC in March, and then on iPad in April, Hearthstone has cultivated a community of hardcore and casual players, with more than 20 million people having played the game. The free-to-play title recently expanded with the single-player Naxxramas challenges, which also included some thirty new cards. The next major update to the game, according to Blizzard, will add around 100 new cards. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  8. The Creators Project today presents an exclusive video of Damon Albarn's recent performance at Japan's National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation (Miraikan). The Blur and Gorillaz frontman played electric piano and sang songs from his debut solo album Everyday Robots for a select audience which included Otonoroid®, a lifelike female android, who moved her body and hummed along to the lyrics, and Telenoid®, an abstract human robot, who took a front row seat. Also in the video, Albarn reveals to The Creators Project how technology's relationship with society influenced his album Everyday Robots, which explores the impact of our increasing dependency on smart devices, as well as the balance of nature versus technology. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  9. Ever wondered why anti-virus programs detect malware apps along with viruses? Many believe that the malware because it’s not a virus, isn’t that harmful. However, a new study shows that the malware is more harmful than many believe it to be. The study, done by University of Michigan and California-Riverside researchers, found that one single malware app is all it takes to reduce the security of the remaining apps on the device. The team used a malware-ridden app to hack into popular apps on Android devices, and in so doing, found that Google’s email app, Gmail, was the easiest app to hack into. The team tested seven apps, with Gmail being the easiest to hack (92% success rate), tying with H&R Block (92%), followed by Newegg (86%), WebMD (85%), Chase Bank & Hotels.com (83%), and Amazon (48%). Despite how hard it is for hackers to access Amazon.com, a 48% success rate is still a bad sign for Android. And Gmail, as the default email app for Android users, is sadly unprotected from malware and hackers – which is the most unfortunate part of the study. This likely explains why Google looks to integrate Samsung’s KNOX business security into the upcoming Android L update. Google shouldn’t stop there, however – ordinary customers should receive access to KNOX security as well, even if they’re not business professionals. The researchers also seemed certain that the same hacks could be replicated on iOS and Windows Phone, although they hadn’t tested this hypothesis at the time of the study. The key to the hack involves accessing the app at the same time that a user attempts to enter into the app to check email (Gmail) or deposit a check (Chase). “By design, Android allows apps to be preempted or hijacked. But the thing is you have to do it at the right time, so the user doesn’t notice. We do that, and that’s what makes our attack unique,†said the University of California-Riverside researcher Zhiyun Quian. For Quian and his team, shared memory is the cause of successful malware hacks: shared memory is tied to public side channels that can be accessed by anyone – including hackers. Hopefully, studies such as this will show Google that Android still needs more internet security protection safeguards in the future. Google has started scanning apps for malware (which is a good sign), but the search engine giant also needs to find ways to prevent malware-ridden apps from arriving in the Google Play Store in the first place. Although some consumers have never come into contact with malware-ridden apps, some of us here at Inferse have – and it pays to have an anti-virus app that scans your device thoroughly in such cases. There’s always danger in mobile, and you can’t discredit the testimonies of others because you’ve never encountered it yourself. Thefts and robberies exist in the world, and you can’t say that they don’t exist because a thief has never arrived at your doorstep. Here’s to hoping that we get to a place one day where malware apps no longer appear in the Google Play Store – and stories such as this become irrelevant.
  10. A cross-platform push may be on at "cloud first/mobile first" Microsoft, but for now Internet Explorer isn't a product the company plans to make available for its mobile OS rivals. There's been a big cross-platform push at Microsoft for the past year or so, with the company releasing its software and services for non-Windows-powered devices -- sometimes even ahead of the Windows versions. So what about Internet Explorer? There was a version of IE for Mac up until 2003, after all. So couldn't -- and shouldn't -- a "cloud first/mobile first" Microsoft make IE available on non-Windows devices, too? It sounds like the answer, at least for now, is "no." In a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Thursday, when asked about making IE available on iOS andAndroid, an IE team member answered: "Right now, we're focused on building a great mobile browser for Windows Phone and have made some great progress lately. So, no current plans for Android/iOS. We are committed to improving our own engine. We love the fact that the web was built on multiple competing (yet interoperable) platforms and believe that this is how it is going to move forward into the future!" Microsoft is enabling developers to test IE sites using Macs, but that's about it for now, another IE team member said. There were some other good tidbits in the IE Reddit AMA. For one, Microsoft may bring over some of the features in "Modern"/Immersive/Metro Style IE to desktop IE. "There are some great features that are in the immersive version (FlipAhead, reading view, using site images to represent Favorites, swiping to navigate back and forward...) that we'd like to bring over to the desktop. Feel free to tell us any of your thoughts or what you'd like to see, too," said one IE team member. Based on Microsoft IE team responses, it also sounds like Microsoft plans to make a UserVoice feedback and feature suggestion site available for IE some time soon. Microsoft IE team members repeatedly found themselves responding to those who don't believe IE has changed much from the bad old days. There's been talk -- including some very recently -- inside the company about rebranding IE to reflect the newer, more standards-centric focus by the IE team, one of the Microsoft Reddit participants acknowledged. "It's (rebranding's) been suggested internally; I remember a particularly long email thread where numerous people were passionately debating it. Plenty of ideas get kicked around about how we can separate ourselves from negative perceptions that no longer reflect our product today," the Softie said. (Another joked that "Ultron" -- the villain in Marvel comic books -- was one name considered, which Microsoft lawyers vetoed.) Asked why IE doesn't do automatic updating like Chrome and Firefox, an IE staffer responded: "When a new version of IE is pushed out, it's setup as an important update and for those users with automatic updates turned on in Windows (which is the majority) they automatically get the newest version." In response to the same question from another participant, a Microsoft IE team member noted, "We've gotten faster. Went from 2 years to 18 months to 12 months. We're getting better but more work to do." Microsoft officials noted that the company has begun delivering new IE features, not just bug fixes and security patches, as part of Microsoft's Patch Tuesday updates. This week's August Patch Tuesday updates included new WebGL and F12 development tool features. Microsoft also recently announced plans for IE to block outdated ActiveX plug-ins, starting September 9. And as of January 2016, Microsoft will drop support for IE 8 and will require users on various versions of Windows to use the most current browsers available for those platforms in order to continue to receive security fixes and patches from the company. The IE team provides a public-facing Web site (status.modern.ie) that lists features on which Microsoft is planning to support and not support in future versions of its browser. http://www.cnet.com/news/ie-on-android-or-ios-not-in-microsofts-current-vision/
  11. Between April and June, a whopping 255.3 million Android-based smartphones were shipped worldwide. Google's Android and Apple's iOS have combined to downright dominate the smartphone market, but it's Google's mobile operating system that continues to make its presence felt, according tonew data from research firm IDC. During the second quarter, over 255 millionAndroid-based devices shipped worldwide, representing an 84.7 percent market share, IDC reported on Thursday. Apple's iOS came in second place with 11.7 percent market share and 35.2 million shipments. Combined, the Google and Apple operating systems own 96 percent of the global smartphone market, according to IDC. Vendors shipped a total of 301.3 million smartphones worldwide between April and June, said IDC. "It's been an incredible upward slog for other OS players," Melissa Chau, a senior research manager at IDC, said in a statement. "Windows Phone has been around since 2010 but has yet to break the 5 percent share mark, while the backing of the world's largest smartphone player, Samsung, has not boosted Tizen into the spotlight." During the same period last year, the Android and iOS combined to own 92.6 percent of the space. Still, IDC's study shows further consolidation in the marketplace and even more power for Google.Windows Phone was only able to nab 2.5 percent of the market in the second quarter on 7.4 million shipments. Blackberry came in fourth place with 0.5 percent share, according to IDC. During the second quarter of 2013, Android owned 79.6 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, meaning Google's software saw a 33.3 percent growth rate over the last year. Save for iOS, which saw shipments jump 12.7 percent year over year, all other operating systems' market share fell during the period. Android's success during the period had everything to do with its value for budget-focused device makers, according to IDC. "With many of its [original equipment manufacturer] partners focusing on the sub-$200 segments, Android has been reaping huge gains within emerging markets," Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team, said in a statement. "During the second quarter, 58.6% of all Android smartphone shipments worldwide cost less than $200 off contract, making them very attractive compared to other devices." Looking ahead, things don't appear to look any better for other operating systems. IDC says that Android's iron-like grip on the sub-$200 market will only boost its market share in the coming quarters. The research firm also believes that software developers will drive more customers to iOS and Android as they see little value in creating apps for less-popular platforms. "The biggest stumbling block is around getting enough partnerships in play - not just phone manufacturers but also developers, many of which are smaller outfits looking to minimize development efforts by sticking to the two big ecosystems," Chau said. CNET has contacted Google for comment on the IDC report. We will update this story when we have more information. http://www.cnet.com/news/android-ios-dominate-smartphone-market-as-q2-shipments-hit-300m/
  12. Ten months since the release of KitKat Android 4.4, the most up to date version of Android now runs 21 percent of all Google OS devices. As interest turns to what Android L will bring when it's released later this year, Google's 2013 OS, KitKat, continues to inch up, climbing from 18 percent in July to 20.9 percent in August. Despite small changes to the market share each OS has, there's been no movement in their respective ranking. With 54 percent share between them, the three versions of Jelly Bean make up the most widely-used version of Android, followed by KitKat. However, Jelly Bean's overall share declined month on month, falling from 56.5 percent in July.Google's latest Android distribution numbers are gathered from devices that have the Google Play Store app installed, and covered a seven day period to 12 August. Ice Cream Sandwich also dropped, decreasing to 10.6 percent, while Gingerbread's share rose ever so slightly to 13.6 percent. Froyo, which will likely soon drop off the list, now runs 0.7 percent of Android devices. Google provides the numbers to developers each month to help them prioritise which versions to target. While KitKat now commands a respectable share of Android devices, it still means most people with an Android phone are still stuck on an outdated OS that isn't receiving maintenance updates. Generally, devices that are older than 18 months at the time a new version of Android is released don't get the update. Besides that, Android users are now focused on the new features that will come with Android L and the devices that will launch alongside it, such as the rumoured Nexus 6. Google has partnered with LG for the Nexus 4 and 5, but if the Android rumour mill suggests itcould partner with Motorola this time around. Smartphones that are expected to get Android L include the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7, in addition to newer Google Play Edition phones, while HTC has promised to deliver the update to the HTC One M8 and M7 within 90 days of Google releasing the OS. There's also been lots of speculation over whether Motorola will deliver Android L to the Moto X. A Motorola exec confirmed last week that it will indeed get the update. http://www.zdnet.com/kitkat-now-runs-one-in-five-android-devices-7000032621/
  13. Still finishing up its antitrust probe of Google's search practices, the EU is now looking into allegations regarding the company's control over Android apps, reports The Wall Street Journal. The European Union is prepping a formal investigation into whether Google is promoting its own Android apps and services over those of rival developers, The Wall Street Journalreported Friday. The investigation into Android, uncovered by the Journal, is based on a questionnaire sent to mobile device companies inquiring about any deals with Google that demanded "exclusivity." In particular, the EU is looking for proof of any agreement in which Google prevented mobile device makers or carriers from pre-installing items that competed with the search giant's Android apps or services. Mobile companies have also been asked whether they ever tried to restrict Google's "anti-fragmentation agreements," which require that all of the company's Android apps are bundled as a single package. If so, the EU wants to know Google's response. An antitrust probe into Google's Android practices could further bog down the company in European legalities, especially if the search practice settlement remains unresolved.Google has been through the ringer with antitrust regulators in Europe over the past two years. In February, the company reached a tentative settlement with the EU over complaints about its search practices by agreeing to display search results to its own services in the same way as those for rival businesses. But EU Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia is reconsidering the settlement in light of criticism from several of those rivals. The EU reportedly had sent out questionnaires last year to certain companies inquiring about Google's Android licensing agreements. But the matter now seems to be more serious as companies that receive the new questionnaires are legally required to answer them by September 12, the Journal said. Responding to a request for comment about the EU's possible investigation, a Google spokesperson sent CNET the following statement: Anyone can use Android without Google and anyone can use Google without Android. Since Android's introduction, greater competition in the smartphone market has given consumers more and better choices. Both the U.S. FTC and Korean Fair Trade Commission have examined Google's agreements around Android in depth and concluded that there was no cause for legal concerns. http://www.cnet.com/news/google-to-face-european-antitrust-probe-over-android-wsj/
  14. ou’ve been enjoying the convenience of having your messages and Facebook status updates in the core Facebook app. Well, prepare to be inconvenienced! Facebook’s now moved your messages to its Facebook Messenger app – prompting yet another download by some Facebook users who feel that the social media company should centralize its offerings. Facebook is now notifying users who’ve yet to download the Facebook messenger app on their phone by way of the Facebook Home page as well as their current list of Facebook messages sent to friends in the core Facebook app. There’s a “learn more†button you can press to learn about why Facebook’s moving its messages. In short, Facebook claims by way of its FAQ page that Facebook messenger gets your messages to you faster than the core Facebook app. At the same time, however, we here at Inferse have used both the core Facebook app for messages and the Facebook Messenger app – and we’ve yet to understand the difference in message delivery speeds. We’d like to be optimistic here, but we believe that Facebook’s doing this for company benefit rather than user benefit. In any case, the company’s not yet relocating everything. According to its FAQ page, “We’ll keep giving you links to install Messenger, and soon you’ll see a reminder notice where you’d normally see your messages. At that point, you’ll need to install Messenger or go to www.facebook.com from a browser to view and send messages.â€
  15. Ever heard the saying that “slow and steady wins the race?†Well, today’s races don’t operate according to this saying. In most cases, the most swift and speedy wins the race. And the same can be said for the world of smartphones, tablets, and mobile gadgets in general. When it comes to Android, the King of Android smartphones belongs to Google’s Nexus line. The Nexus line belongs to Google, and Google owns Android – so Nexus devices get the latest Android update first. It’ll be no different this Fall when Google releases Android L. Motorola was getting some of the action in early updates, but her transfer to Lenovo will likely put things back to normal in Android Land. It’s become a bragging right on the Web when someone can comment, “I’ve had Android 4.4.2 KitKat for two months now – what took your update so long?†And Google’s Nexus line gives users the opportunity to continue the bragging tradition.
  16. Three federal indictments have been unsealed in Georgia revealing charges against six former members of three Android piracy groups. The United States Department of Justice says that the men are charged with intellectual property offenses related to the illegal distribution of millions of copyrighted apps. Assisted by police in France and the Netherlands, in the summer of 2012 the FBI took down three unauthorized Android app stores. Appbucket, Applanet and SnappzMarket all had their domains seized, the first action of its type in the Android scene. For two years the United States Department of Justice has released information on the case and last evening came news of more charges and more arrests. Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced the unsealing of three federal indictments in the Northern District of Georgia charging six members of Appbucket, Applanet and SnappzMarket for their roles in the unauthorized distribution of Android apps. SnappzMarket Joshua Ryan Taylor, 24, of Kentwood, Michigan, and Scott Walton, 28, of Cleveland, Ohio, two alleged members of SnappzMarket, were both arrested yesterday. They are due to appear before magistrates in Michigan and Ohio respectively. An indictment returned on June 17 charges Gary Edwin Sharp II, 26, of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, along with Taylor and Walton, with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. Sharp is also charged with two counts of criminal copyright infringement. It’s alleged that the three men were members of SnappzMarket between May 2011 through August 2012 along with Kody Jon Peterson, 22, of Clermont, Florida. In April, Peterson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. As part of his guilty plea he agreed to work undercover for the government. Appbucket Another indictment returned June 17 in Georgia charges James Blocker, 36, of Rowlett, Texas, with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. A former member of Appbucket, Blocker is alleged to have conspired with Thomas Allen Dye, 21, of Jacksonville, Florida; Nicholas Anthony Narbone, 26, of Orlando, Florida, and Thomas Pace, 38, of Oregon City, Oregon to distribute Android apps with a value of $700,000. During March and April 2014, Dye, Narbone and Pace all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. Applanet A further indictment June 17 in Georgia charges Aaron Blake Buckley, 20, of Moss Point, Mississippi; David Lee, 29, of Chino Hills, California; and Gary Edwin Sharp II (also of Appbucket) with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. Lee is additionally charged with one count of aiding and abetting criminal copyright infringement and Buckley with one count of criminal copyright infringement. All three identified themselves as former members of Applanet. The USDOJ claims that along with other members they are responsible for the illegal distribution of four million Android apps with a value of $17m. Buckley previously launched a fund-raiserin an effort to fight off the United States government. “As a result of their criminal efforts to make money by ripping off the hard work and creativity of high-tech innovators, the defendants are charged with illegally distributing copyrighted apps,†said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “The Criminal Division is determined to protect the labor and ingenuity of copyright owners and to keep pace with criminals in the modern, technological marketplace.†A statement from the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office indicates that the FBI will pursue more piracy groups in future. “The FBI will continue to provide significant investigative resources toward such groups engaged in such wholesale pirating or copyright violations as seen here,†Special Agent in Charge J. Britt Johnson said. http://torrentfreak.com/six-android-piracy-group-members-charged-two-arrested-140722/
  17. Android: Movie streaming service Popcorn Time has had some trouble staying in business (for obvious reasons), but an unofficial client from Time4Popcorn makes it possible to access the service on Android.P The service works by downloading torrents in the background while you watch. As with any service like this, both legal films as well as illegal, copyrighted movies show up, so it's up to you to decide how you use it.P Update: As has been pointed out by a couple members of the community, this app is not associated with the original Popcorn Time developers (an issue you can read more abouthere). This app uses some server-side code and, as with any app, it's possible that it could be updated with malicious code in the future. As of right now, nothing unsafe has been found in the app's code.P Any time you install an app like this, there are going to be security concerns (for more reasons than usual). If you're not sure an app is trustworthy, don't use it. If you're not sure about Time4Popcorn, you can find a list of alternative Popcorn Time clients here.