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  1. Alternative web browser maker has finally launched the first mobile version of its product, on Android, in beta form. “Our mission has always been to give you a browser that lets you do things your way and addresses real user needs,” Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner writes in an announcement post. “While we put you in control of your browsing, we do not track the way you choose to browse. And our vision for mobile browsing is no different.” Vivaldi has been available on Windows, Mac, and Linux for three years, but the lack of a mobile version of the app has limited its appeal. Like the new Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi’s desktop browser is built on top of Chromium, but it provides its own user interface and many unique features, including quick commands, mouse gestures, tab management, and more. Vivaldi is all about customization. But its biggest claim to fame, perhaps, is how it handles personal data. “Unlike Google, our business model is not about collecting massive user data and monetizing,” Tetzchner wrote in February 2018. “We do not collect usage data. We only try to have a general overview of how many users we have, what OS they run and where in the world they are, on aggregate … We don’t use the Google sync server and therefore we cannot share data with Chrome … With Vivaldi, your data is protected using end-to-end encryption … Google does not benefit from Vivaldi being based on Chromium.” Like the desktop version of the browser, Vivaldi on Android presents a unique user interface with built-in tools like Panels, Speed Dials, Notes, and Capture. It syncs with the desktop browser, provides both light and dark themes, and lets you switch search engines on the fly. It features Private tabs that are actually private. And includes a Reader view that eliminates ads and other distractions. You can download the Vivaldi Browser Beta from the Google Play Store. And grab the desktop versions of the app from the Vivaldi website. Source
  2. Pokémon Masters has only been available on iOS and Android devices for four days, but the battle-focused Pokémon game has already reached 10 million downloads. The free-to-play game released on August 29. Masters is tracking much better than a 2018 Pokémon mobile game, Pokémon Quest. It took just less than seven months to reach 10 million installs, according to mobile market analyst Sensor Tower. Quest was also available on Switch, while Masters is only on mobile. Sensor Tower also noted that Masters has made $10 million in revenue in those first four days. While many Pokémon experiences focus on capturing and collecting the pocket monsters, Masters is all about battles. It focuses on the franchise’s trainers and gym leaders, and you use them to compete in 3-vs.-3 fights against computer opponents. The Japanese company DeNA developed and published Pokémon Masters. Source
  3. The unprecedented attack on Apple iPhones revealed by Google this week was broader than first thought. Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation said that Google’s own Android operating system and Microsoft Windows PCs were also targeted in a campaign that sought to infect the computers and smartphones of the Uighur ethnic group in China. That community has long been targeted by the Chinese government, in particular in the Xinjiang region, where surveillance is pervasive. Google’s and Microsoft’s operating systems were targeted via the same websites that launched the iPhone hacks, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. That Android and Windows were targeted is a sign that the hacks were part of a broad, two-year effort that went beyond Apple phones and infected many more than first suspected. One source suggested that the attacks were updated over time for different operating systems as the tech usage of the Uighur community changed. Android and Windows are still the most widely used operating systems in the world. They both remain hugely attractive targets for hackers, be they government-sponsored or criminal. Neither Microsoft nor Google had provided comment at the time of publication. It’s unclear if Google knew or disclosed that the sites were also targeting other operating systems. One source familiar with the hacks claimed Google had only seen iOS exploits being served from the sites. Apple has yet to offer any statement on the attacks and hadn’t provided comment on the latest developments. Google told Apple which sites had been targeted in February, according to one source close to Google, whose researchers revealed the attacks on August 29. But no one has yet named which specific Uighur-interest sites were used to launch malicious code on iPhones. It's unclear exactly what Android and Windows exploits were launched via the websites that were used to launch attacks on Apple's OS. In the case of the iOS hacks, the exploits placed malware on the phone and could spy on a massive amount of data. That included encrypted WhatsApp, iMessage and Telegram texts, as well as live location. Sustained surveillance in Xinjiang The attacks appear to form part of a mass surveillance operation taking place on Uighur civilians, who've faced various forms of persecution in Xinjiang. Surveillance cameras are scattered across the region and facial recognition is prevalent. "The Chinese government has been systematically targeting the Uighur population for surveillance and imprisonment for years," said Cooper Quintin, senior staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "These attacks likely have the goal of spying on the Uighur population in China, the Uyghur diaspora outside of China and people who sympathize with and might wish to help the Uighur in their struggle for independence." Quintin told Forbes this appeared to be a "high-risk, high-reward campaign" that was trying to scoop up as much intelligence on possible Uighur sympathizers as possible. One source told TechCrunch, which first reported the Uighur targeting, that it's likely even those who weren't part of the ethnic group were hit. Source
  4. Let them eat 10 Let them eat... GOOGLE'S DESSERT-RELATED names for Android builds will continue as codenames for internal use. All About Android revealed all during an interview with VP of Android engineering Dave Burke and software engineer Dan Sandler. Google shocked the world last week with the announcement that future versions of the mobile operating system would be known by a number, not name - with Android Q becoming Android 10. That, of course, begs the question - what would Android Q have been called. We all knew it was a tall order to find something beginning with Q that would work - and the results demonstrate exactly why Google chose to break with convention. Popular suggestions in the run-up to release included ‘Quality Street' (a selection box of chocolates from the UK) and ‘Quince' (like an apple hit with a baseball bat). But Google's name for Android Q isn't either of those - it would have been "Queen Cake" to us, after being monikered "Quince Tart" internally. Now, we're sure you're kind of looking blankly at the screen, so let's refer this one to Wikidictionary: "A soft, muffin-sized cake, popular particularly in the 1700s, containing currants, mace and sometimes flavoured with orange or lemon marmalade or shredded coconut and chocolate toppings." Sounds nommy. But all three of these suggestions demonstrate the reason for the change in the global marketplace - these names are either obscure or regional - meaning huge chunks of the world won't know what the heck they are. Funny. Never bothered them with ‘Froyo'. That was at a time before us Limeys had much access to it. Speaking of Lime - another fact which came to light in an interview with All About Android was that Android KitKat was known internally as Key Lime Pie before the tie-in deal was struck. The point is, although we'll all miss the dessert names, Q is not the only letter that would cause a mare. Google did well to get this far, but it's time to knock it on the head, at least for us plebs. Source
  5. The mobile port costs $5. Stranger Things 3: The Game arrived on consoles and PC alongside the third season of Netflix's hit sci-fi/horror show earlier this summer. Now you can get in on the pixellated fun on iOS and Android too. The mobile port costs $5, which is cheaper than on other platforms. It follows the previous mobile title Stranger Things: The Game, which debuted alongside the second season and was a freebie. It seems you can get together with your friends for local co-op this time around, and you might be able to hook up a controller to play Stranger Things 3 instead of using touchscreen controls. If you're still as hungry as a demodog for more Stranger Things games, Netflix is far from done on that front. It's planning to release a mobile RPG next year. Source
  6. And players can buy its in-game currency. Right on time, the beta test for Microsoft's augmented reality Minecraft game is ready for Android users to give it a try. Just like the beta iOS users have had access to, Minecraft Earth is still invite-only for registered testers and available in just five cities: Mexico City, London, Tokyo, Seattle and Stockholm. According to those who are already in, if you're having trouble with the invite email then try clicking the link included from your mobile device instead of on a PC. The Minecraft Earth beta recently reset its AR playing field and updated to version 2.0.0 on iOS. Crafters Earth reports that has brought familiar mobs like creepers and spiders to the game plus a number of challenges and adventures. Also, the in-game store is enabled so people can use the "Rubies" currency to buy build plates and accompanying items. A blog post notes that Android users can buy them in the game's store right now, with access on iOS coming soon. Any rubies earned or purchased will stick with a player's account through this beta test and once the game is fully available. You'll also need a device running Android 7.0 or higher to participate, and you can find out more information from the game's FAQ right here. Source
  7. TipTop malware gang was making between $1,500 and $10,500 in daily profits Russian authorities have arrested members of the TipTop cybercrime group, believed to have infected more than 800,000 Android smartphones with malware since 2015. The group operated by renting Android banking trojans from underground hacking forums, which they later hid inside Android apps distributed via search engine ads and third-party app stores. TipTop has been active since 2015, and operators have been making between $1,500 and $10,500 in daily profits, according to Group-IB, the cyber-security firm who helped Russian authorities track down the gang's members. TipTop primarily used Hqwar banking trojan The group's favorite malware was the Hqwar (Agent.BID) banking trojan, which they rented and used in most of their campaigns. Hqwar is capable of reading SMS messages, recording phone calls, and initiating USSD-requests. However, it's primary function is to show fake login screens on top of legitimate banking apps, and steal victims' login credentials. Group-IB said TipTop temporarily stopped distributing Hqwar in 2016, when they experimented with its competitors, such as Asacub (Honli), Cron, and CatsElite (MarsElite), but returned to it in 2017 when they used it alongside the Lokibot and modernized Marcher (Rahunok) trojans. In 2017, Kaspersky ranked Hqwar as the fourth most popular Android malware. A year later, Kaspersky cited Hqwar as one of the root causes in the sudden jump in the number of Android mobile banking trojans, together with Asacub. In all of this, the TipTop group played a major role, distributing their malware via third-party app stores and search engine ads leading to websites offering the trojan for download, hidden inside various Android apps that users had to side-load on their phones. TipTop group targeted Russia users Group-IB said the group primarily targeted the customers of Russian banks, which, in turn, led to an increased focus from local authorities. A breakthrough came earlier this year when Group-IB tracked down one of the TipTop members to a 31-year-old man from the city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia. The suspect was one of the TipTop "money mules," a member responsible with siphoning money from victims and transferring the funds to the main TipTop accounts. After his arrest earlier this year, yesterday, a Russian court sentenced the yet-to-be-named man to a two-year suspended prison sentence. While official documents or statements don't mention anything about the suspect collaborating with authorities, officials from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs said they also made other arrests with the information gathered from this case, while other suspects are under investigation. A video of the man's arrest is available below. Group-IB ranked TipTop as the largest mobile malware gang operating in Russia after the takedown of Cron, another case in which the company's experts played a crucial role by helping authorities identify gang members. Source
  8. I have started this sub-section for Android Games to keep Android mobile games free from applications / themes. All nsane members are requested to post Games here. If admins as requested creates a sub-forum for it at any stage, this thread will be merged later. For posting guidelines, please refer to this post: //www.nsaneforums.com/topic/220597-guidelines-and-templates/ PS: Admin, thanks for listening to Android sub-forum request.
  9. Karlston

    Lightweight Google Go now available worldwide

    Google Go for Android is now available globally Google Go, a lightweight application for Android to use Google Search and other Google services, is available globally now. Google launched the application back in 2017 in select regions and as part of Android Go. Go is a relatively new line of applications by Google designed specifically for regions with less reliable Internet connectivity. Google published several Go apps for Android in recent years, most recently Photos Go, a lightweight alternative to the heavier Photos application on Android. Other examples include YouTube Go, the files manager Files Go, or Google Maps Go. Google Go was known as Google Search Lite previously. Google Go for Android is a lightweight alternative to Android's Google application. While it does not support all the features of the Google application, it supports popular features and may be an alternative (or the only option) for some users. Google notes that the application uses less storage and memory than the Google application and that it has added some extra features to the application to reduce used storage on the device even further in some circumstances. A list of tools and application links is displayed to you when you launch Google Go; that is different to the main Google application which displays news on its startpage. The top two rows link to Google or Android specific tools and services. You may tap on search or voice search to run searches on the device, tap on images to run a search for images, check downloads, or open the YouTube application. Lens is a relatively new feature that enables you to use the camera of the device to translate text or hear the words of text you point the camera at. Discover is still there but you need to activate the option to get a list of news items (the same that the Google app displays when you start it). The two rows underneath link to the web versions of popular applications. You find links to Amazon, Wikipedia, Facebook, or Instagram there. An option to add apps or to display them all is provided as well. Want to add Reddit, Pinterest, or eBay to the list? Just tap on add app to add it. Note that the selection seems to be based almost entirely on your region. When I opened the "all apps" listing, most apps offered to me on the page were German services and websites. Google Go offers no options to change the region. It is easy enough to add shortcuts to web versions of sites and services that you use without using Google Go. If you use Chrome on Android, all you need to do is open the site in question and select Menu > Add to Home afterward. Google Go may open special "lite" versions of these sites. You need to open the application's Settings and enable the lite option there first, however. Lite versions focus on the content and remove other elements of webpages to speed up the loading of pages. Closing Words Google Go and the entire Go line of apps is an attempt to win over users who don't have the best of experiences with the standard Google apps. If you do use the Google app on your Android device you may want to check out Google Go to see if it suits you better; this may be the case especially if you notice slow-downs or other issues while using the main Google application. Some of the included features may be useful to some users, e.g. the Lens functionality to translate text that you focus the camera on. Google does not reveal anything about the data that it collects when users use the application. The company links to the global Privacy Policy which does not mention Google Go specifically. Source: Google Go for Android is now available globally (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  10. Unsweetened: Android swaps sugary codenames for boring numbers Android gets a new logo, and it looks like a final release is coming any day now. We usually get a fun codename to go along with each big new Android release. The names are based on sugary snacks that started with the letter C in Android 1.5 and have been working their way down the alphabet. Over the history of Android, we've had 1.5 Cupcake, 1.6 Donut, 2.0 Eclair, 2.2 Froyo, 2.3 Gingerbread, 3.0 Honeycomb, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.1 Jelly Bean, 4.4 KitKat, 5.0 Lollipop, 6.0 Marshmallow, 7.0 Nougat, 8.0 Oreo, and Android 9 Pie (this last one dropped the decimal point!). Usually these names are a big deal. There are jokes and guesses made about them all year, Google often commissions a statue, and sometimes there are media events and huge cross-company, brand-sharing initiatives with companies like Nestle or Nabisco. This year's Android Q is one of the harder letters to come up with a snack codename for, so today Google has announced it's not going to do snack names anymore. Android is getting a branding rework, and in addition to new logos and colours, the snack-based codenames are dead. Android Q is official as "Android 10" and just Android 10, with no extra names whatsoever. Google says the codename system was fun, but it wasn't "always understood by everyone in the global community:" For example, L and R are not distinguishable when spoken in some languages. So when some people heard us say Android Lollipop out loud, it wasn’t intuitively clear that it referred to the version after KitKat. It’s even harder for new Android users, who are unfamiliar with the naming convention, to understand if their phone is running the latest version. We also know that pies are not a dessert in some places, and that marshmallows, while delicious, are not a popular treat in many parts of the world. As a brand, Android is getting new logos and colours. The Android robot is actually part of the logo now, sitting next to or above the newly tweaked wordmark. The robot's green colour has been changed significantly, too, moving from a neon green to a more seafoam colour. While there is no official word on what will happen to the Android version statues that decorate the Android HQ lawn, Android Police reports the company has commissioned a big number "10" this year. The announcement of the official Android Q name as "Android 10" means the OS' release should be just around the corner. The Android Q—er Android 10 now, I guess—security bulletin went online the other day as well. We'll keep you posted and will have the usual massive review when the OS eventually comes out. Source: Unsweetened: Android swaps sugary codenames for boring numbers (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  11. This thread will be based on Android roms and mods. Anyone needing help regards to roms, kernels, mods etc can decision here.. This thread will help user with there device or any problem they are having.. Disclaimer:
  12. How to disable OK Google and Google Assistant on Android devices Many Android devices come with Google applications and services, even if the device is not a device created by Google itself but by another company. Google Assistant is available as a standalone application as well which Android users may install to integrate it on their device. Two of the features that you may find on your Android device are OK Google and Google Assistant. OK Google is a tool that is activated by voice to run searches or certain actions. Google Assistant ties into that but can also be controlled via text. If OK Google or Google Assistant are active on your Android device but you are not using these tools, you may want to consider disabling those. You may remember that I bought a Google Pixel 3A device when it first came out to replace my trusted by aging Nokia 5.1 device. The Google device is chock-full when it comes to Google services and tools; OK Google and Google Assistant are a part of the device but I never use these services. I don't have any use cases for these, don't want to talk to my phone, and don't like the privacy implications either. One of the first things that I did was to go through the smartphone to disable any service or tool that I don't use. OK Google and Google Assistant were two of the features that I disabled. Here is how I did it. Note: The way to disable Google Assistant and OK Google may be different depending on the Android version of the device. If you notice that you have to follow different steps to disable the features, let me know in the comments. If you figured it out, please share your experience in the comments so that others may benefit from it as well. Disable OK Google Here is how you disable OK Google on your device: Open the Google application on the Android device. Click on the "More" link when it opens. Now navigate to Settings > Voice > Voice Match Disable "Access with Voice Match", "Unlock with Voice Match", and "While Driving". Disable Google Assistant Google Assistant is disabled in the Google settings on the device, not in the Google application. Open the Settings on the device. Select Google and use it to navigate to Search, Assistant & Voice > Google Assistant. In the Google Assistant settings, switch to the Assistant tab. Scroll down until you find the list of Assistant devices. Select your device. Turn off "Google Assistant" on the screen that opens. Closing Words Disabling does not mean that these two services are removed entirely from the device. You still get the voice icon in the search field but a tap on the icon displays a "turn on" prompt indicating that Google Assistant is turned off. Source: How to disable OK Google and Google Assistant on Android devices (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  13. Google Reminders to require Google Assistant Google is rolling out a change currently on Android that affects customers who use the Reminders feature of the Google application. The Google application is installed on many Android devices and one of its features is called Reminders. It provides customers with options to set reminders, e.g. to make sure that you don't forget a birthday, buy certain products, or remember the room number on a trip. Google started to roll out a major update a couple of days ago that finally broke with the group notifications view of reminders. The group view merged multiple reminders into a group which made it impossible to deal with them on a one on one basis in Android's notifications area. The change that is rolled out now impacts all users of the Reminders feature. A report on Android Police suggests that Google moved Reminders under the Google Assistant umbrella. Means: if you have disabled Google Assistant or if Google Assistant is not available in your region, you cannot use Reminders anymore. You need to use another feature for reminders, e.g. setting up events in Calendar instead. Users from a region in which Google Assistant is available in have the following experience once the change lands: instead of adding or editing reminders in the Google application, you are taken to the Google Assistant application directly. If you have turned Google Assistant off, you get a prompt to turn it back on first as you won't be able to use the reminders feature otherwise anymore. Google customers who used Reminders to add "Place" reminders will notice that the option is no longer available in the new interface. It is possible that it gets added back at a later point in time but there is no guarantee for that. The only option, apparently, is to communicate with Assistant directly by saying something like "remind me to [something] when I get to [place]". Closing Words Google has not announced the change yet and it is unclear if it ever will. We don't know why the company is making the change but the most likely explanation is that it is interested in getting customers to use Google Assistant. I have to admit that I don't use Google Assistant or the Google application on Android. I use the Calendar to set up reminders instead which works just fine Source: Google Reminders to require Google Assistant (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  14. Two privacy-first, open-source platforms want to give consumers what the tech giants won’t. But starting from scratch isn’t easy. For years, the devices and services we use have ever more aggressively monitored our activities and mined our data. But as consumers have grown increasingly attuned to privacy concerns, solutions have been appearing to help them evade tracking. Browsers such as Brave and search engines such as DuckDuckGo play up their privacy-first design. When it comes to the dominant mobile operating systems, Google has talked about preserving privacy by providing more transparency and exposing opt-out controls. Apple, on the other hand, has sought to create services that remove the opt-out requirement by not collecting data in the first place, turning privacy preservation into a key differentiator. But many users aren’t comfortable even with Apple’s approach. Recently, two groups have created new platforms that avoid sharing data with Google, Apple, or any other entity behind the scenes. Nevertheless, their product-development approaches parallel the market strategies of Google and Apple, with some striking differences. One of these is the e Foundation. Its eOS aspires to be a Google-free version of Android that has a wide range of device support. It’s not a new idea: One existing alternative to Google’s flavor of Android is LineageOS, a fork of what had been the leading Google Android alternative, CyanogenMod. However, according to Gaël Duval, head of e Foundation, producing a version of Android that is completely Google-free requires far more effort than just stripping out Google apps such as Gmail; even LineageOS sends some data through Google’s servers or relies on its services. 20 years ago, Duval created Mandrake Linux, a more approachable distribution of the open-source operating system. Drawing on this experience, he wants to make replacing Google’s Android with the foundation’s eOS version as simple as clicking a button on an installer app. The software’s current beta version supports about 75 different smartphone models. For now, though, the process is similar to installing any custom ROM on an Android phone—that is, not very convenient. To bridge the gap, e Foundation is gearing up to sell a number of refurbished Android phones with the current version of eOS preinstalled. Next year, it intends to offer its own new, optimized smartphones with the OS preinstalled. Until e Foundation can offer its own hardware designed from scratch, it will have to rely on third-party hardware drivers that it doesn’t control. Avoiding that liability is one of the main goals of Purism and its forthcoming smartphone, the Librem 5. A social purpose corporation with a charter to consider goals beyond profit maximization, Purism has been shipping laptops with a strong focus on security and privacy since 2015. It’s used the revenue from its laptops to fund development of its first smartphone. Like its previous devices, the phone runs Purism’s own version of Linux, giving it even more distance from the Google ecosystem than e Foundation’s Android-based system. Image:LineageOS on Samsung Galaxy Note 3 With eOS, e Foundation is taking a Google-like approach, by trying to get its software on as many smartphones as possible in order to reach ubiquity. Purism, by contrast, is pursuing Apple-like vertical integration by developing its own operating system, optimizing hardware to run on it, and even launching a group of services under the banner of Librem One. While Purism’s product development approach has similarities to Apple’s, there are some critical differences. Unlike Apple, Purism makes software that’s open and free to be used by other developers. The company’s devices are endorsed by the Free Software Foundation, and it will only bundle apps on its smartphone that are similarly endorsed. Second, Purism has very different design goals than Apple. While Apple is obsessed with integration and sleek design, Purism’s smartphone will include dedicated hardware switches for the camera and microphone, allowing users to swiftly and definitively turn off those features in the interest of privacy. Instead of integrating as many functions as possible onto its CPU, the phone will err on the side of security with distinct CPU, GPU, and modem modules. It will also have a removable battery, a feature that Apple long ago abandoned in the interest of svelte devices. Purism’s design decisions help contribute to the Librem 5’s 14-mm profile, which is thick for a modern smartphone. Dissatisfied with the level of openness from leading smartphone chip vendors, Purism is using a processor from NXP Semiconductors. The Dutch company, which was long an acquisition target of Qualcomm, is generally known for automotive processors and sensors. Image: Librem 5 Linux smartphone Purism plans to start with the basics of phone calls and texting and add functionality from there. One advantage it has is that its smartphone runs the same Pure Linux distribution that its laptops use, so a pipeline of existing apps could be adapted to run on the smartphone once they’ve been rejiggered to work on a smaller display. The company seems unconcerned that its devices’ slow gestation and relatively high prices—it’s taking Librem 5 preorders for $699—will faze consumers. It believes other manufacturers will eventually adopt its open-source platform, but only after it has proven its viability. Both of these startups’ efforts are ambitious and thoughtful, but they’re taking on one of the most daunting challenges in all of consumer technology. From Windows Phone to the enthusiast-backed Sailfish OS, alternative platforms have failed to gain a foothold in the era of the Apple-Google smartphone OS duopoly. Even if Purism and e Foundation achieve all of their platform goals, they will still have to make their case for a mobile experience that lacks virtually all of the most popular apps that consumers use today. While both camps consider Apple an enemy, it’s done more than any other mainstream tech company to advocate for privacy, a move that could help these new entrants. On the other hand, apps that mine our data, such as Facebook and YouTube, remain some of the most popular offerings on iOS. Apple recognizes that it must balance the services consumers know they want with the privacy Apple believes they need. One way or another, these smartphone upstarts will also need to strike that balance, in a way that makes sense to a critical mass of consumers. Source
  15. Operating systems are dwindling towards irrelevance, and that’s no bad thing When PC Pro was born nearly 25 years ago, it didn't start life under that name: It entered the world as Windows Magazine. Magazines gathered in little tribes. There was PC Pro, PC Magazine, Computer Shopper and several others all vying for the Windows users, and then there were MacUser and MacFormat trying to tempt the Macolytes. Later on, the Linux mags came along, once the writers had managed to unjam their beards from the printer. There wasn't – with the possible exception of the ultra-snobby Wired – one magazine that served all those audiences, because why would they? What would a Mac owner want to know about the new advances in Windows 98? It just didn't compute. A quarter of a century later, the operating system is on the brink of irrelevance. Nothing much is defined by the OS that you use. You could be running macOS, Windows, Android or iOS, even desktop Linux, and to a large extent your day-to-day work would be unaffected. Files flow freely from one OS to another with compatibility rarely raising its ugly head. Computing's tribes have never rubbed along so harmoniously. This outbreak of peace has had a dramatic effect on the computing landscape, and nowhere more so than at Microsoft. The company's mantra used to be "Windows everywhere"; now it's getting harder to find mention of Windows anywhere. New Windows releases used to be huge staging posts, now they're little more than blog posts. The recent Build conference, once the place where we tech journalists flocked to get a full day's advanced briefing on all the new features in the next version of Windows, barely made mention of the W word, according to those who were there. Microsoft's embrace of Linux and its conversion to the Chromium engine for the Edge browser are based on a realisation that Microsoft failed to grasp for too long: despite those billion or so users, the world doesn't revolve around Windows anymore. It's hard to think of anything but niche software packages that could survive by chaining themselves to a single OS anymore. In the process of researching and writing this column, I've gone from Word on my Windows laptop to finishing it off on the train using Word on my iPad Pro. I read the background articles using Chrome on my Android phone, clipped quotes and notes to OneNote mobile, which I've accessed on the other platforms, and saved the copy itself in Dropbox. Had any of these applications or services been tied to a particular OS, I wouldn't be using them. Twenty years ago, Sun boss Scott McNealy used to lose his rag at every press conference when asked about Windows. "Who cares about operating systems?" he would bellow. "Nobody knows what operating system is running inside their car or their mobile phone," he would argue, in the days before iOS and Android were even conceived. They were, to his mind, an irrelevance. He was wrong at the time, but he would be entitled to say "I told you so" if he were still around to swagger into press conferences now. The OS is dwindling in importance. Like a good football referee, you barely notice it's there at all. Even Microsoft has sussed that the operating system just has to get out of the way, which is why it's worked hard to reduce unwanted interruptions from security software and the dreaded Windows Update. To use the favourite phrase of a former editor, Windows has learned to "just deal with it". While a small part of me misses the tribalism and the pub banter with the smug Mac brigade (they probably had reason to be smug, truth be told), the "anything for an easy life" part of me is relieved. I can pick up almost any device and be confident that it will let me get on with the day job. Only a few specialist apps are tied to a particular machine. Windows doesn't really matter any more – it's a good job we changed PC Pro's name all those years ago. Source
  16. Google confirms “Play Pass” subscription service for Android apps Screenshots show $4.99 a month service for "hundreds" of apps and games. Google is testing a new "Play Pass" subscription service for the Google Play Store. The company confirmed testing of the new service to Android Police, after the site was sent screenshots of the subscription service by a user. Screenshots show the service would have users sign up right inside the Play Store, allowing them to pay a monthly fee for access to "Hundreds of premium apps and games." The promo mentions "no purchases, no ads, and in-app purchases unlocked" for "a curated catalog spanning puzzle games to premium music apps and everything in between." The purchase screen shows a $4.99 a month price with a 10-day free trial of the service. Developers will apparently get paid based on usage, as the screenshots mention Google will track "Play Pass app and game usage to determine how much developers earn." Apps that are part of the service will get a Play Pass badge in some sections of the Play Store. The screenshots also show a "Play this game for free with Google Play Pass" promo right below the buy button on participating apps. There's no hard list of participants yet, but the screenshots show icons for Stardew Valley, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Monument Valley, Limbo, and more. Apple is also launching a game subscription service called "Apple Arcade" sometime this fall. Apple's service is only for games (Google is including some apps), but Apple's game selection will have some amount of exclusivity to Apple Arcade. An Android subscription service faces two challenges, one is that Android users are not willing to spend as much on apps and games as iOS users. iOS users, somehow, still manage to outspend Google Play users overall, even though there are way, way more Google Play users. The other issue is that Android apps are generally not as a polished or well-supported as their iOS counterparts. (These two things are probably related!) For now Play Pass is just in testing, and there's no word on a final rollout. The price could change, or Google could need more time to negotiate with developers. It looks like whoever this user is actually has access to it though, so maybe we'll see it launch sometime soon. Source: Google confirms “Play Pass” subscription service for Android apps (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  17. Quick Tip Today am gonna show you how you can download your favorite Android Apps directly from Google Play Store. From the Play Store, search for your favorite app, copy the link with the app id visit apps.evozi.com/apk-downloader/ Paste the link and click generate download link. Wait for some seconds as your download link is been generated. After some few seconds, your link should be ready for download. eNJOy!!! source: thetechblog
  18. Google last year released a file management app called Files Go for Android devices. It comes with an AirDrop-like wireless file sharing functionality in supported devices to support the highest transfer speeds possible. It also allows users to clean up their device by quickly finding and suggesting files for removal. Google today updated the Files app with two new features. First, Google is bringing dark theme support. Google claims that this new dark theme can preserve your battery and reduce eye strain. New audio player allows users to listen to music or watch videos offline with new controls like Skip, Rewind or Fast-forward. Download the updated app from Google Play Store. Source
  19. How to check your Android phone’s notifications on a Windows PC Your phone and PC can work together if you set them up properly Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge It’s been a long time coming, but Microsoft finally has its own system for managing Android notifications from Windows. This system makes it possible to see notifications from your Android phone on your Windows 10 PC as they arrive and to pull up your entire SMS history along with any pending notifications on demand. You can even reply to messages and compose new texts right from your computer. Here’s how to get started. On your Windows 10 computer First, make sure you have the latest version of the Your Phone app: Open the Microsoft Store, and search for “Your Phone” If the app isn’t already installed, install it If the app is installed, click the three-dot menu button next to the “Launch” command. If “Update” appears as an option, select it. Next, prepare your computer for the connection: Open the Your Phone app Click the Android box, then click “Get started” Enter your phone number in the prompt that appears 1 of 3 Got it? Good. Time to move to the phone side of things. On your Android phone Look for a text from Microsoft with a link to install the Your Phone Companion app (or just find the app in the Play Store on your own), and then install it Open the Your Phone Companion app, and tap “Sign in with Microsoft” Enter your Microsoft credentials. Make sure to use the same account shown in the Your Phone app on your computer. Grant the app the various permissions it requests When the app prompts you to set up the Your Phone app on your PC, tap “My PC is ready” When the app prompts you to allow the connection, tap “Allow” 1 of 12 The final link There’s just one bit of setup left, the part that allows notifications to go through: Open your phone’s system settings, search for “Notification Access,” then select the Notification Access option Find the Your Phone Companion app in the list, and activate the toggle beside it Tap “Allow” on the confirmation window that appears Go back to the Your Phone app on your computer, and click the Notification tab on the left side of the screen. If you don’t see a Notification tab, close the app and then reopen it. Click “Get started,” then click “Open settings for me.” You already manually adjusted your settings (which is the more direct way of doing it — and the only way to do it as of this year’s Android Q release), so you should be taken right to the app’s Notifications screen. 1 of 2 That’s it! Any notifications you get on your phone will now automatically pop up on your desktop and then move into your Windows 10 Notification Center (in the lower-right corner of the screen). Any text messages will include the option to reply — something that’s currently limited to your default Android SMS app but will soon expand to support all apps with reply functions in their notifications. 1 of 3 Any time you want to look through all of your messages and pending notifications, just open the Your Phone app on your computer. While you’re there, click on the “Customize” command within the Notifications tab. That’ll let you selectively mute notifications from specific apps, in case you ever need a little less noise. Source: How to check your Android phone’s notifications on a Windows PC(The Verge) (To view the article's image galleries, please visit the above link)
  20. These days, our lives are dependant on our smartphones, and losing it is can spell disaster. Even misplacing our phone inside the house leads to one missing a few heartbeats. Almost everyone who owns a smartphone has faced this nightmare at least once in their lives. Here’s how you can find your lost phone using Google Firstly, the most important thing is that have an active data connection with GPS turned on and are signed in to the the Google account on your phone. These settings will enable you to track your smartphone regardless of the location. Recovery from a Desktop – Gmail comes to the rescue if you have lost your phone as it comes with a range of services. Sign in to your Gmail on your system and go to the homepage – Head to the profile icon in the upper right hand corner – Select Google Account – Choose Security on the left-hand side – Select Find a lost or stolen phone which can be found under a section called Your devices – Select the device you are trying to find (Your older phones or a PC might be shown) – Verify it is you by entering in your Gmail password Recovery from mobile – Click on the Gmail app – Tap on add another account if it is not you phone own. If you already have a second phone, click Manage your Google Account. – Go to the top and click Security – Go down to Your devices and select Find a lost or stolen phone – Choose your device – Verify that it is you by entering in your Gmail password Here onwards, Google can help with you a few things. If the phone’s location is current, then the icon will turn green and if it is the phone’s last known location, it’ll turn gray. Select the green icon which leads to Google Maps and shows you the coordinates to find the phone. If you are close to the mobile location, click Play Sound after which Google will ring your device for five minutes, even if it happens to be on silent. Erasing the device data As often is the case, we lose our phones because we forget where we last kept it and this is where Google’s Secure Device comes into play. This feature will lock your phone in case you don’t have a password pin to protect it and sign out of your Google account so that your data is not misused, However, you will still be able to locate your phone. This also enables you to leave a recovery message along with an alternate phone number if a good Samaritan finds your phone and intends to give you your phone back. If everything fails, the best option would be to select Erase the Device which will erase all the information on the phone, however, if it is backed up on Google then you will be able to access it. Also, it has to be noted that this also means that you will not be able to locate your phone any longer. Moreover, the users must keep in mind that whether the internet is turned will pretty much decide as to what happens to the phone’s data. The next time the phone comes online, its data will be erased and if the phone does not show up online, the data will not be erased. Google Find My Device App Apart from the above mentioned, one can also download Google’s Find My Device app. The app’s layout is quite similar to using the Gmail recovery process. Sign in with your Gmail account or simply use the guest option and make sure to give the app access to your phone’s location when it asks in order to begin the process. Furthermore, another bonus is the app’s indoor maps feature, which can also be found on Google Maps. This will be particularly helpful if you loose your phone in an airport or a mall. However, it must be noted that the feature will not work if the phone is on silent. Source Site: https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/technology/google-can-help-you-find-your-lost-phone-heres-how/1658790/
  21. Google launches Gallery Go by Google Photos for Android Gallery Go by Google Photos is a new Android application by Google designed as an alternative to Google Photos. The application has been launched worldwide by Google but it is feature-restricted in some regions. Designed to be lightweight, Gallery Go by Google Photos follows other "Go" applications such as YouTube Go, Google Search Go or Google Maps Go which Google launched in recent years. The applications are designed for new mobile users and markets favoring lower-end devices, and are part of Google's plan to reach even more users. The application requires Android 8.1 or higher but that is the only requirement. Anyone may download Gallery Go by Google Photos to their Android device if they meet the requirement. The app has a size of 10 Megabytes which is small when you compare it Google Photos which has a size of 42 Megabytes currently. One of the appeals of Gallery Go by Google Photos is that it is designed for offline use. The gallery application is not as feature-rich as Google Photos but it comes with a handful of extras that may make it interesting. It can be used to view and manage photos, and to edit them as well. The app supports viewing, copying and transferring photos from and to SD cards as well. The application displays categories at the top and below that a chronological view of images. Categories are feature limited in certain regions but Google fails to mention why that is the case. Gallery Go by Google Photos may sort photos into categories such as Selfies, People or Nature automatically using machine learning. Google calls the restricted feature face grouping in the description. Tap on any group to display its photos and tap on any individual photo to view it in full and display editing options. You may share or delete the image, use the built-in auto enhancing functionality, or tap on edit to display further editing options. These are basic and allow users to apply filters, and to rotate or crop images. Videos support sharing, editing, and deleting. The edit options are limited to selecting part of the video to save it to the device. Other features include switching to a folder view mode to manage Camera photos, screenshots, or WhatsApp images. Closing Words Gallery Go by Google is designed as a lightweight application to speed up certain image and video viewing processes by using machine learning to categorize content automatically. The app is fairly limited in regions where face grouping is not enabled in. The app supports some of Google Photo's major features, auto-enhancing being a major one. The app is definitely better than YouTube Go as I refuse to use the application because of its requirement to enter a phone number on start. Source: Google launches Gallery Go by Google Photos for Android (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  22. Advanced mobile surveillanceware, made in Russia, found in the wild Monokle infected Android devices, but evidence suggests iOS versions may also exist. Enlarge Big Brother Utopia Researchers have discovered some of the most advanced and full-featured mobile surveillanceware ever seen. Dubbed Monokle and used in the wild since at least March 2016, the Android-based application was developed by a Russian defense contractor that was sanctioned in 2016 for helping that country’s Main Intelligence Directorate meddle in the 2016 US presidential election. Monokle uses several novel tools, including the ability to modify the Android trusted-certificate store and a command-and-control network that can communicate over Internet TCP ports, email, text messages, or phone calls. The result: Monokle provides a host of surveillance capabilities that work even when an Internet connection is unavailable. According to a report published by Lookout, the mobile security provider that found Monokle is able to: Retrieve calendar information including name of event, when and where it is taking place, and description Perform man-in-the-middle attacks against HTTPS traffic and other types of TLS-protected communications Collect account information and retrieve messages for WhatsApp, Instagram, VK, Skype, imo Receive out-of-band messages via keywords (control phrases) delivered via SMS or from designated control phones Send text messages to an attacker-specified number Reset a user’s pincode Record environmental audio (and specify high, medium, or low quality) Make outgoing calls Record calls Interact with popular office applications to retrieve document text Take photos, videos, and screenshots Log passwords, including phone unlock PINs and key presses Retrieve cryptographic salts to aid in obtaining PINs and passwords stored on the device Accept commands from a set of specified phone numbers Retrieve contacts, emails, call histories, browsing histories, accounts and corresponding passwords Get device information including make, model, power levels, whether connections are over Wi-Fi or mobile data, and whether screen is on or off Execute arbitrary shell commands, as root, if root access is available Track device location Get nearby cell tower info List installed applications Get nearby Wi-Fi details Delete arbitrary files Download attacker-specified files Reboot a device Uninstall itself and remove all traces from an infected phone Commands in some of the Monokle samples Lookout researchers analyzed lead them to believe that there may be versions of Monokle developed for devices running Apple’s iOS. Unused in the Android samples, the commands were likely added unintentionally. The commands controlled iOS functions for the keychain, iCloud connections, iWatch accelerometer data, iOS permissions, and other iOS features or services. Lookout researchers didn’t find any iOS samples, but they believe iOS versions may be under development. Monokle gets its name from a malware component a developer titled "monokle-agent." From Russia with… Lookout researchers were able to tie Monokle to Special Technology Centre Ltd. (STC), a St. Petersburg, Russia, defense contractor that was sanctioned in 2016 by then-President Obama for helping Russia’s GRU, or Main Intelligence Directorate, meddle in the 2016 election. Evidence linking Monokle to the contractor includes control servers the malware connects to and cryptographic certificates that sign the samples. Both are identical to those used by Defender, an Android antivirus app developed by STC. Monokle’s sophistication, combined with its possible use in nation-sponsored surveillance, evokes memories of Pegasus, a powerful set of spying apps developed for both iOS and Android devices. Developed by Israel-based NSO Group, Pegasus was used in 2016 against a dissident of the United Arab Emirates and again this year against a UK-based lawyer. Lookout researchers found Monokle folded into an extremely small number of apps, an indication the surveillance tool is used in highly targeted attacks on a limited number of people. Most of the apps contained legitimate functionality to prevent users from suspecting the apps are malicious. Based on the app titles and icons of the apps, Lookout believes targets were likely: interested in Islam interested in Ahrar al-Sham, a militant group fighting against the Syrian government and Bashar al-Assad living in or associated with the Caucasus regions of Eastern Europe interested in a messaging application called “UzbekChat” referencing the Central Asian nation and former Soviet republic Uzbekistan Many of the icons and titles have been stolen from legitimate applications to disguise Monokle’s purpose. Enlarge Lookout Other titles used familiar words like Google Update, Flashlight, and Security Update Service to appear innocuous to the intended target. Titles are mostly in English with a smaller number in Arabic and Russian. While only a small number of samples have been found in the wild, a larger number of samples dates back as long ago as 2015. As the graph below shows, they follow a fairly regular development cycle. Enlarge / Signing dates of Monokle samples. Lookout STC is best known for developing radio frequency measurement equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles. It claims to employ 1,000 to 5,000 people. It develops a suite of Android security products, including Defender, that are intended for government customers. Lookout monitored Russian job search sites for positions open at STC and found they required experience in both Android and iOS. As noted earlier, the control servers and signing certificates used by the Android defensive software were in many cases identical to those used by Monokle. Monokle’s design is consistent with a professional development company that sells to governments. The surveillanceware defines 78 separate tasks—including “gathers call logs,” “collects SMS messages,” “collects contacts,” and “gets list of files in particular system directories”—that control servers can send through SMS, email, or TCP connections. Control phrases used to invoke the commands—including “connect,” “delete,” “location,” and “audio”—are short and vague enough that, should an end user see them appear in a text message, they aren’t likely to arouse suspicions. Infected phones can also receive calls from specific numbers that will turn off headsets and allow the device on the other end to record nearby sounds. There are clear differences between Monokle and Pegasys, including the fact that the latter came packaged with powerful exploits that install the surveillance malware with little interaction required of the end user. By contrast, there are no accompanying exploits for Monokle, and Lookout researchers still aren’t sure how it gets installed. The chances of ordinary people being infected with either of these types of malware are extremely small. Still, Lookout’s report provides more than 80 so-called indicators of compromise that allow security products and more technically inclined end users to detect infections. Lookout customers have been protected against Monokle since early last year. Source: Advanced mobile surveillanceware, made in Russia, found in the wild (Ars Technica)
  23. Dr. Mario World by Nintendo for Android: first look Dr. Mario World is Nintendo's latest mobile game. The game is now available for Android and iOS devices, and gamers from all over the world can download and install the game on their mobile devices. Dr. Mario World is a free to play game with in-app purchases. The game is a mobile remake of Dr. Mario, a game released in 1990 by Nintendo for various systems including the Game Boy, NES and SNES. First, the basics. You can download Dr. Mario World from Google Play and install it on the device. The game can be played without account and you can get started right away after launch. Dr. Mario World requires an active Internet connection, the game cannot be played offline. Dr. Mario World Dr. Mario World is an action puzzle game that modifies the concept of the original Dr. Mario game in some key aspects. The main objective of the game is to destroy viruses using capsules; this works similarly to Tetris. Unlike in Dr. Mario, gameplay has been turned 180 degrees. Viruses are at the top and capsules are pushed from the bottom to the top; Nintendo did not reveal why it made the decision but the bottom approach improves the handling and one-hand usage. Players have a limited number of capsules in a level. They may rotate the capsules and push them towards to the viruses. Capsules can be rotated even when they are already on their way and you may also move them to the left or right. The first levels act as an introduction to main game concepts. Nintendo introduces different viruses and other elements such as blocks that players need to take into account. Regular capsules are split into two parts that may have different colours. Viruses are removed when capsules are connected to viruses of the same colour provided that the linked structure has a size of at least three vertically or horizontally. New game elements are introduced regularly, e.g. Koopa shells that remove viruses when it hits them, bombs that destroy anything around them, bottles that fill up the character's skill meter, or rainbow capsules that act as wildcards. Once you reach level 10 you may select a different doctor to play. You start the game playing Mario but may switch to Princess Peach or Bowser once you reach that level. Characters have different skills that may help you play the game. Once you finish the first stage, you get to choose your first assistant. Assistants add their own sets of unique skills to the game. The first that you may get, Goomba, adds 1% to the score. The game world is divided into different areas, comparable to the stages in Super Mario World games. The "real" game begins in the second stage; it is here that your live limit is set so that you may run into a situation where you end up without any lives left. Lives are required to play levels and when you run out of them you either have to wait for them to fill up again or make a purchase. In-game purchases Dr. Mario World supports in-game purchases to buy special items and the in-game currency diamonds. Diamonds are used to fill up hearts or continue playing a level when the game over sign appears. You may also purchase characters. Purchases are not required to play the game but they certainly help speed things up or master difficult levels. Please note that I this may change in later stages and levels, I did not make it this far yet, though. Challenges and Versus Mode Challenges are introduced in world 2 that add a time limit to levels. Unlike regular levels, challenge levels are quite difficult to beat because of the time limit and layout of the level. Dr. Mario World supports a versus mode (hence the name). You may play against friends or random players from all around the world. Versus mode is a fast pace game mode in which you try to clear the level faster and build up skill to defeat the opposing player. Versus mode is an independent game mode that you can play all the time as it is not linked to the lives of the regular mode. Good to spend time playing the game if you run out of lives and don't want to make a purchase. Closing Words Dr. Mario World is a well designed puzzle game for mobile devices. It features a single-player mode and versus mode, and should keep Mario and puzzle fans entertained for a while. The game features in-game purchases but Nintendo made a wise decision not to push these forcefully in the game so that the game can be played without ever needing to make purchases. Source: Dr. Mario World by Nintendo for Android: first look (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  24. Microsoft unveils Puppets, its Animoji alternative Microsoft released a new beta version of the company's Swiftkey keyboard application for Android recently. The new beta release comes with a new feature called Puppets. Puppets works similarly to the Animoji feature of Apple's iOS operating system. It gives Swiftkey users an option to create virtual character (puppets) clips based on the recorded facial expressions of the person that is in front of the camera. Microsoft introduced the feature in Swiftkey Beta for Android. The feature will roll out to all users once the beta hits final but for now, it is limited to users of the beta version of the keyboard application. Interested users may download the beta APK from third-party sites like Softpedia. Note that beta versions should not be installed on production devices. An attempt to run Swiftkey Beta on a Google Pixel 3A resulted in a crash of the application, it ran fine on another Android device however. Here is a video by Microsoft that demonstrates the feature. Swiftkey is a keyboard application for Android which means that it may be used in any application on the device that supports keyboard input. The Puppets feature works in any messaging application provided that it supports the sharing of video files. The first version of Puppets comes with five different avatars that Swiftkey users may select when they choose to create a new animation. The characters in question are a dinosaur, panda, cat, owl, and a dog. Puppets works by selecting the option in the Swiftkey application and recording once own facial expressions which the application uses to animate the selected avatar. The created animation may then be shared using built-in sharing functionality. Microsoft's Swiftkey team is especially proud of the fact that its solution relies on RGB cameras and not on cameras with in-built depth sensors. The fact reduces the requirements to create Puppets and ensures that the feature can be used on nearly any Android device out there. Puppets is available to all Android N and newer devices. SwiftKey worked with the Microsoft Computer Vision and Microsoft Research Asia teams to bring Puppets to life. Unlike other facial tracking software, SwiftKey’s Puppets does not rely on users having a device with an inbuilt depth sensor in their camera and instead uses an RGB camera found in most Android smartphones. Puppet's algorithm was trained using "thousands of volunteers from around the world" according to Swiftkey to train a Deep Neural Network to "learn how to identify facial movements and transfer these onto an expressive animal character ". Closing Words Puppets algorithm worked surprisingly well during tests. While you should not expect that the algorithm mimics all facial details it does a good job at mimicking expressions. Android users who like to attach animated gifs, videos, smileys, emojis, and other visuals to their messages will probably like this feature as well. Source: Microsoft unveils Puppets, its Animoji alternative (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  25. Google Begins Rolling Out Its Major Android Auto Redesign Google has started the official rollout of the Android Auto overhaul that the company announced earlier this year at the I/O 2019 event. At that point, the search giant said the refreshed Android Auto experience would go live in the summer, and albeit no specifics were provided, people familiar with the matter said the target was late June. By the looks of things, this information was accurate, as Google has now commenced the global rollout of the Android Auto redesign as part of version 4.4. However, it’s very important to note that the release takes place in stages and appears to be based on a server-side switch. In other words, not everyone is getting the overhauled Android Auto just by installing version 4.4, but users need to wait for Google to enable the update on its side.Not available for everyoneA discussion thread on redditindicates that the new AA is now available in the United Kingdom, albeit not everyone in the country seems to be getting it. There’s no clear pattern as to who receives the refreshed UI and who does not. I installed version 4.4.592344 on my Samsung Galaxy Note 9 but the overhauled AA experience isn’t yet available. Users who received the Android Auto redesign say they were asked to unplug and reconnect the phone to the car, with the new UI then showing up on their screens. The new AA version comes with a navigation bar whose functionality adapts to the running apps, and it can display buttons for controlling the media playback, navigation, and calls. The UI has been redesigned with a smaller status bar, and AA now features a notification center to display the call and message history. Source
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