One of Google’s selling points on KitKat was that it could run on low-power devices and phones with as low as 512 MB of RAM, but no one realistically expected extremely old devices to get official KitKat support. Of course, that’s never stopped Android’s developer community, and as of today both the Nexus One and Nexus S (yeah, remember those?) have unofficial KitKat ROMs. Best of all? They actually run pretty well.
Do you remember the NASA PhoneSat project that we learned about last summer? The purpose of it was to build small nanosatellites using small consumer electronics. Well the Nexus One was the chosen one and it’s in space right now. The Nexus One launched on February 25th, and HTC is calling it the first smartpho-naut.
So what is it doing up there? It’s taking snapshots, and what’s really cool is the 360app is installed on it, which means earth creatures will be able to request snapshots soon. That feature isn’t live yet, so stay tuned. For background information on the PhoneSat project, hit the break for a short video.
You have probably heard references to the fact that today’s smartphones contain way more computing power and capability than what was available to the world’s space programs back during the heyday of the space race. That saying is close to getting a test when the Surrey Space Centre and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) launch the British-built Strand-1 satellite into space later this month. At the heart of Strand-1 lies a Google Nexus One smartphone which the project team hopes will be able to take over full control of the satellite at some point during the six-month mission.
Researchers at North Carolina State University revealed some major findings regarding Android devices. Using a tool called “Woodpecker” that was developed the researchers, they found noteworthy vulnerabilities on HTC, Samsung and Motorola smartphones. The specific phones studied were the HTC Legend, EVO 4G, and Wildfire S; the Motorola Droid and Droid X; the Samsung Epic 4G; and the Google Nexus One and Nexus S. Woodpecker analyzed the pre-loaded pieces of software on each phone, probing for capacity leaks– sensitive application and operating system privileges left exposed to other applications in ways that would allow them to be accessed by a malicious app without requesting permission from the device user. The researchers were “surprised to find out these stock phone images [on the devices tested] do not properly enforce [Android's] permission-based security model”.
Basically the capacity leaks fell into two categories, explicit and implicit. Explicit leaks allows applications to exploit a public interface or service of another app without making a permission request. Implicit leaks allows other applications to inherit permissions from another application signed with the same digital certificate (this allows applications from the same developer to automatically interact with each other). They found that while implicit leaks were not as serious a problem, explicit leaks were. Sensitive information such as geo-location, address book, SMS messages, etc.– were leaked on the pre-installed apps. Moreover the researchers found “an untrusted app on these affected phones can manage to wipe out the user data on the phones, send out SMS messages (e.g., to premium numbers), record user conversation, or obtain user geo-locations—all without asking for any permission”. This study is definitely eye-opening, but not surprising as there are examples of some HTC phones and Motorola DROIDs being vulnerable.
So what do you as an Android owner take from this study? First pay close attention to the permissions that each and everyone of your applications of your smartphone or tablet may have. Remember gang, we have a nice little tip sheet for how to spot questionable applications and verify permissions in order to keep your Android protected. Second– Android manufacturers (and even Google) will need to take software security much more seriously. Hopefully the new generation of Android devices will alleviate our fears and concerns for these software holes found in the Android OS.
[via ars technica by North Carolina State University]
Many of you felt let down when Google’s Mobile Product Manager, Hugo Barra, announced that the big G had no plans to update the Nexus One to ICS because the device was cited as being “too old”. This news didn’t sit well with XDA members either, and because the released ICS SDK-port for the Nexus One was entirely too slow for any real use, members decided it was time to get crafty.
It was only last week when news broke about the release of the ICS Source Code and we knew it would only be a short time until AOSP builds would arrive on the scene. Here we are 5 days later and we are pleased to see that XDA member, dr1337, has created a functional AOSP build for the Nexus One and is ready to share with the world. What’s even better is the fact that this is just one of the devices to receive ICS AOSP builds, and even more XDA members have been busy as well.
Thanks to the hard work from, dizgustipated, MongooseHelix, stritfajt, jaybob413, onecosmic, Chaosz-X, and zFr3eak; the Nexus S, Droid Eris, Hero, Hero CDMA, Galaxy S I9000, Desire, and Desire HD now get to feast on a little Ice Cream Sandwich treat. I know this has got to be great news for many of you and you are just dying to get to work on your own device. We have included the following XDA links to help you in your task:
Most of these are going to have a few hiccups here and there but that can be expected with any early AOSP build. Please read all the directions carefully and pay attention to the XDA comments for your respective device, you may find out that there are certain bugs that you may not be able to deal with. Reported user feedback has been overwhelmingly good but, TalkAndroid is not responsible for anything you do to your device and this is purely for your reference. If you are a Nexus S owner and want to see what is in store for you, jump past the cut to check out a Youtube video of the phone in action. Lets all be sure to give thanks where it is due, these guys must have been working really hard to bring these builds to the public. Thanks guys!!
We received confirmation last week that the Nexus S would receive Ice Cream Sandwich, but what about the Nexus One? Unfortunately we have bad news as Google Director of Android Product Management Hugo Barra told the Telegraph that the Nexus One’s hardware is too old.
The hardware is relatively close between the Nexus One and Nexus S as they both have processors clocked at 1GHz along with 512MB RAM, so what gives? The theory is the problem lies with the lower internal storage space, which could be an issue for a lot of late 2009 and early 2010 Android phones.
The good news is we’re sure there will be some custom ROMs based on Ice Cream Sandwich, but there’s no question this is a big disappointment.
On the brighter side, Hugo Barra said to expect the ICS update for the Nexus S about a couple of weeks after the Galaxy Nexus starts to ship.
We’re pretty excited here at TA because we likely have a bit of Nexus Prime news on our hands. The Samsung GT-I9250 has just passed WiFi certification today. If the info on a recently leaked Samsung roadmap holds any truths, this is 99.9% the Nexus Prime. It’s coming people, we’re close. If you’ve been out of the Android loop recently, the new Nexus will have a Super AMOLED 1280×720 HD screen, feature Ice Cream Sandwich, and some sort of TI OMAP4 processor rumored to be a 1.5Ghz dual core. This will be the Android to own. Being a Verizon customer, I’ve been denied a Nexus One and Nexus S, but my hopes are high this time.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of a Nexus device boldly going where no man has gone before and it’s probably not the last time either. The University of Surrey and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd want to send their very own satellite, the STRaND-1, a three-unit CubeSat into orbit with a Nexus One strapped to it. Measuring only at 34cm x 10cm x 10cm and weighing in at 4kg, this mini guy aims to collect a plethora of data for the organization. So how is this different from the last time a Nexus device was shot up into space? This time, the group wants to include and utilize your creative application on board.
Your app has to be interesting, preferably with some kind of scientific or technological goal (but we are not ruling out apps which are just plain fun!) and you have to convince us that you could have the app ready for the 1st of October 2011.
We’d like to see applications from individuals or groups. We don’t mind commercial companies entering but we don’t want profit-making apps ideas please.
If you’re absolutely bent on seeing your application on a Nexus One in space while providing a good service in the name of science, head on over to STRaND’s official Facebook page via the source link for a “like” where you’ll also be sent to their sign up page. Feel free to post your ideas, whether highly scientific or downright goofy, in the comments below.
Like to write on peoples facebook walls? How about writing on their living room wall? You may be able to do that sooner than you think…without ever having to be there physically. This hacked printer device is set to receive messages from facebook, twitter and SMS, and be able to scribe them physically on a wall using 7 felt markers attached to an IOIO board with what looks like a Google Nexus One stripped down. As the device receives messages, the markers begin to write by the printer pushing the markers up and down to form text on a flat surface.
Here’s a video below to show you this cool meld of software and hardware, bringing SkyNet global domination ever closer, and thus making the master plan of removing humans from any real usefulness almost complete.
For those of you that have a Nexus One, you will be getting Android 2.3.4 pushed to your phone soon. Unfortunately this update does not support the new Google video chat because the Nexus One does not have a front-facing camera.
If you can’t wait for the update to push automatically to your Nexus One, here is how you can get it right now:
- Download the update from the source link
- Rename the file to update.zip. Note that if you’re using Windows, just rename it to “update” (no quotes, of course) because it’s already a zipped file.
- Copy the update.zip file onto your microSD card.
- With your Nexus One off, hold down the trackball and press the power button.
- You’ll be booted into a white screen with three Android robots on skateboards. Select “Bootloader.”
- On the next screen, select “Recovery.”
- Your phone will reboot, giving you a picture of the Android robot and an exclamation point inside a triangle.
- Now press the power button and volume up button at the same time. It could take a couple of tries.
- Now (using the trackball this time) choose “Apply sdcard:update.zip” and let things run their course.