Google Play PIN code can be easily disabled

We’ve already reported the possibility that your Google Wallet account could be compromised with a brute-force attack. Now, Google Play has a similar issue that has come to light. If you have been using the PIN code verification feature in Google Play to protect your phone, read on.

There is a setting for the Google Play Market that enables a PIN code prompt when you are about to purchase something. The idea is to protect you in the event that someone steals your phone, and wants to buy a ton of apps on your dime.

The problem is that the PIN is stored on the device itself, not in the cloud. So, if a thief were to clear the data for the Google Play Market in the “Manage application” settings of your phone (the same way we explained to update Google Play from the Android market), the PIN would be gone, and the thief could buy anything they wanted in the Google Play Market using your credit card. If you realize your phone is gone, you can change your Google password so that Google Play will prompt the user to reenter the password. However, if you don’t realize your phone is gone right away, the thief might already be using your account to purchase things.

Hopefully Google will issue an update for this soon, but in the meantime, you can use a lock screen on your phone to keep unwanted people from messing with your stuff.

source: Mgamerz
via: Briefmobile




Developer of Battleheart and ZombieVille abandons Android

The developer of the popular apps Battleheart and ZombieVille USA, Mika Mobile, has blogged that the cost of Android game development outweighs the profit their apps bring in. Both games are hits on iOS, and had been ported to Android to much excitement. Apparently, the Mika Mobile/Android marriage was not a good one, and the game developers will no longer support the game on Android.

Here, the developer explains their challenges with Android:

There’s a big difference between generating revenue, and “making money” – It’s not that they haven’t generated income, but that income is offset by the additional support costs the platform has demanded. Where did your dollar go? We spent about 20% of our total man-hours last year dealing with Android in one way or another – porting, platform specific bug fixes, customer service, etc.  I would have preferred spending that time on more content for you, but instead I was thanklessly modifying shaders and texture formats to work on different GPUs, or pushing out patches to support new devices without crashing, or walking someone through how to fix an installation that wouldn’t go through.  We spent thousands on various test hardware.  These are the unsung necessities of offering our apps on Android.  Meanwhile, Android sales amounted to around 5% of our revenue for the year, and continues to shrink.  Needless to say, this ratio is unsustainable.

This begs the question: is Android shooting itself in the foot by needing support for so many different devices? Will this fragmentation issue lead to other developers leaving Android? While the open system of Android has its challenges, it is also the most popular operating system, accounting for 48.6% of all smartphone subscribers.

I suspect the future of Android will require compromise from both the developers and Google. Android developers will have to use different tactics in creating apps than they would for iOS, not just porting over a popular app and expecting it to thrive. Google, though, also has to strive to make the Google Play store a viable place for developers to make money and continue to innovate. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

source: Mika Mobile
via: Mobile Syrup

Teknision Changing Perception Of UI Skins For Tablets By Developing Chameleon Skin Based Off ICS

Ice Cream Sandwich is away and by far the best Android OS to date. By including the most fluid UI yet while integrating noteworthy features such as facial unlock and an improved set of widgets for use, ICS makes for a solid experience using the OS and especially UI. As a trademark of Android’s open platform, ICS allows for custom “enhancements” in the form of skins (Sense, TouchWiz, MOTOBLUR, etc.) and style by the various OEM who sell Android-based devices. One thing that’s painfully obvious for many of the “enhancements” done by OEMs is many of the custom skins include well… useless features and poorly designed widgets which tend to actually slow down Android devices despite those same devices having incredible processors and memory.

And that’s exactly why you tend to see many (though not all) Android owners go the way of the ROMing route in order to stick it to OEMs and experience what they feel a solid Android experience. While some folks (like me) prefer their Android in vanilla flavor or others (like many of the writers here at TA) prefer custom ROMs and some ummm, you know— like their resource hogging skins, Canadian developer Teknision is out to re-define how Android skins should be developed. Highlighted in our Forums, the same team behind RIM’s Blackberry Playbook UI has developed not only a intriguing skin for Android 4.0′s homescreen, but a stellar one at that in its Chameleon concept which is for tablets. Hit the break to read more details about what it does and to check out a video to see it in action. 
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Ten Days With the TSF Launcher: A Hands On Review

Back before my experience with Ice Cream Sandwich and the amazing launchers like Apex or Nova I found a constant need for finding a perfect launcher that fit both my need for functionality and my need for it to be polished as well. You know, one that was fancy but fit my needs for daily use without lag. Well when I first saw the preview for TSF Launcher and its functionality I became quite excited as I felt this would possibly fit the bill.

Well when the launcher became live I went to the Android Market now turned Google Play Store to download it. I gawked at the $17 price tag but made the purchase thinking I would play with it for a few minutes and then return it in the 15 minute refund window. Well as I got to playing with it I decided that I’d keep it and write up a review for you guys so that you didn’t have to go in blind in purchasing this.

In order to get a good feel for the launcher and how it worked I dedicated 10 days to it because honestly I feel that you can’t get a good feel out of a launcher or an app until you’ve used it consistently for a period of time. While apps may take less time, a launcher is something you use everyday so it requires some extra attention. So here it is in all its glory; ten days with the TSF launcher, my hands on review.
Read more

New Samsung Galaxy Series Names Trademarked

Samsung just filed for US trademark protection for a new series of names for their Galaxy series of devices, in addition to the ones filed earlier for the Galaxy Emerge, Stellar, and Halo. Whether or not these new names end up as commercial products, Samsung now has the option to use Galaxy Thunder, Galaxy Express, and Galaxy Accelerate. Could these actually be three names for the upcoming Galaxy S III, each slated for a different US carrier? We’ll have to wait and see.

One other interesting trademark from Samsung is Samsung Wallet, which sounds like an NFC payment system that could be another competitor to Google Wallet and ISIS. Just what does Samsung have up its sleeve?

source: uspto (thunder), uspto (express), uspto (accelerate), uspto (samsung wallet)
via: pocketnow


Quad-Core HTC One X Passes Through FCC

HTC’s much anticipated One X is coming in two flavors: the Snapdragon S4 dual-core LTE model destined for AT&T, and the Tegra 3 quad-core international version. The One Series of phones is getting a lot of chatter about their superior cameras with ImageSense technology.

The good news is that the Tegra 3 international version, model number PJ46100, has just cleared through the FCC, bringing it closer to launch. If you are disappointed that the LTE version is dual-core, it should be possible to import the quad-core and use it on AT&T’s 3G frequencies if HSPA+ is fast enough for you. However, I would recommend waiting until full benchmarks and real-world testing can determine whether the Tegra 3 is indeed faster than the Snapdragon S4, at least for your uses.

Tell us what you think in the comments below. Would you prefer the quad-core with slower connection speeds, or the dual-core with LTE?

source: fcc
via:  pocketnow

Possible Snapdragon S4 manufacturing delays could setback Android device releases

There’s a rumor flying around that the Snapdragon S4 processor could be facing manufacturing delays. It’s possible that TSMC, the plant that makes the Snapdragon S4, is having difficulties with the 28nm process. Word on the street is they haven’t been making the chip since mid-February, and probably won’t start up again before the end of March. Qualcomm has spent quite a while on the development of the Snapdragon S4, but TSMC ultimately makes the chip.

If the Snapdragon S4 isn’t being manufactured, several Android devices might not make their scheduled debuts. Some of the phones in question are the HTC One X for AT&T and the HTC One S. Both of these phones were slated to be available this spring. The international version of the HTC One X would not be affected, however, since it will use the quad-core Tegra 3 by NVIDIA. Also possibly affected by the Snapdragon S4 delay are the Panasonic ELUGA Power and the Asus PadFone, which were hopefully going to be available in April.

This is definitely a rumor, and none of the companies involved have commented on the matter. Let’s hope that this story is false, and we’ll see the devices on time.

source: SemiAccurate
via: PhoneArena

‘Original’ White Galaxy Nexus Replacement Battery Door Shows Up on eBay

In case you were wondering if we were ever really going to see the rumored white Galaxy Nexus, a white replacement battery door popped up on eBay recently taking away most doubt. The replacement parts manufacturer has 91% positive feedback from buyers so it’s hard to believe this thing is a fake. Although the seller’s page says the door is “original,” I will still remain skeptical of its maker until the device actually hits Verizon. Speaking of Verizon, the latest rumor suggests that the white VZW model is to be of the 16GB flavor, and could possibly arrive alongside the silver/grey version on April 6th. Hit up the source link below if you want to get a white spare battery door ahead of the game.

source: eBay



Asus debunks rumour on £700 price tag for Padfone

It seems some tech sites had an itchy trigger finger this morning and prematurely released the speculated price of the upcoming Asus Padfone. The rumour doing the rounds was that the phone, tablet and keyboard docking station combo would retail without a contract at £700 ($1,090). Interestingly, most websites were spinning £700 as a ludicrously high price for the package however I challenge you to pick up a high spec phone, tablet and notebook separately for significantly less. It’s a moot point for the time being as Asus was quick to come forward and set the record straight by releasing the following statement : 

“ASUS is yet to announce pricing and availability of the ground-breaking and shape-shifting PadFone – anything to the contrary is merely rumours and speculation. We will be announcing details with our carrier partners in due course, so keep an eye out for updates on the official ASUS website and social media pages for more information as and when it is available.”

There we have it, those of you keen to get your hands on Asus innovative, new 3-in-1 combo will just have to wait a little longer to find out just how big a dent it will make on their credit card!


Test Photo Outs Low-End HTC Golf

Just in case you haven’t gotten enough news about new HTC handsets recently, we have another one to add to the list. Unlike the higher end One series phones that were just announced at MWC, this leaked device is more of the budget friendly caliber. A leaked test photo has surfaced, outing the phone codenamed the HTC Golf. According to the test specs and Pocket Now, the Golf has a measly 3MP camera, a 3.5-inch display, single-core processor and 512MB of RAM. Supposedly the device only has 4GB of on-board storage (also with microSD slot) but will come in a plethora of colors. This will obviously be HTC’s attempt to grab a foothold on the entry level Android market, as the One series should round out the top-end. The Golf is believed to arrive late in the 2nd quarter and pricing has yet to be determined (with those specs I would imagine damn-near free). We’ll keep you posted.

source: Pocket Now