Android SMS Bug Sends Messages To Random Contact, Running Free for 6 Months

A recent bug in the Android system might cause some abnormal behavior on your smartphone. Your handset may send out text messages to random numbers from contact book and as it seems, this has been happening from the last six months. The issue is rated as a medium priority in bug reports and this fact has rightfully upset Adrian Kingsley-Hughes over at ZdNET.

However, I have seen five Android devices in my vicinity constantly for the last six months and have had contact with a dozen other people who own one. Not one has reported this problem to me until now. Neither has the bug affected me yet. Thus, in my opinion, this is just one of those problems that get more attention than they deserve.

In my opinion, those making complains of this abnormal behavior should check the apps and their permissions. The behavior sounds more like the work of malware. Once again, users are warned not to install apps from anywhere else than the Market and strictly check if an app asks for more permission than it requires. If true, help others by reporting the app in question.

However, I am not shedding off this claim totally. There is a very good possibility that the bug has crept into my phone or anyone else’s, just that the effects are not visible yet. While a few friends including me are using CyanogenMOD, the rest are still on their default ROMs. The bug seems to spring up into action on a firmware upgrade only.

Android Platform Soon To Have VLC Media Player

VLC media player is one of the most admired open source software available in the market. The media player has found immense takers thanks to its compatibility with almost all the video formats used.

VLC Media Player Logo Picture Because of this exceptional quality many Windows users prefer it over the Windows Media player. VLC which has made its way into iPhones and iPads will soon be available in the Android market.

Development Of Android Version Of VLC
According to Jean Kempf, lead developer of VLC, it is simply a matter of weeks before VLC player’s application for Android is released. It is expected that Android version of VLC will go live in early 2011 and when launched, Android will become the second mobile OS to be supported by VLC.

VLC team had been working for quite some time now on the port of VLC but faced difficulties as Android’s multimedia output was based on Java. But with Google launching Native Development Kit, the process had become much easier. However, fragmentation which has been a problem for Android platform might delay the release of the VLC version for Android.

Take your Firefox anywhere.

Firefox 4 for Mobile released an update today.

Its faster and sleeker! Features “undo close tab” and “enhanced sharing” too.

Firefox mobile: UI concepts, Device concepts

Note: Check Settings > Application settings > Unknown sources to be able to install the app.

New Android Malware Geinimi Hits Android Platform

The Android platform which has seen rapid increase in malware attacks in the last year has been once again targeted, this time by a Android Malware Attack Imagenew Android malware dubbed as Geinimi. California based security research firm Lookout Mobile Security discovered the Geinimi through user postage in a forum and the security firm has said that it is the most decorated Android malware it has seen till date.

The firm has also said that this is the first malware which exhibits botnet like features and once installed it is capable of taking significant amount of personal data. The malware has come up in China and many infected programs have been sent to various Chinese apps store.

Mobile Security: An Important Issue
It is to be noted that in the last one year there has been a significant growth in malware attacks targeted towards the Android platform. In a report released by security vendor Adaptive Mobile earlier this month it was revealed that malware attacks have increased by nearly 33% as compared to last year with Google’s Android platform witnessing the maximum rise of such attacks. However, the report also said that infection rate of Android remained little as compared to other platforms.

Manage hidden settings to improve battery life

Spare Parts allows you to change some settings and helps optimize your phones battery life.

Also, install the power widget to shutoff wifi and 4g when you don’t need them.

Battery History
Spare parts setting
QR Code: Spare Parts

Show Android icons as chat images for buddies currently on Android

  • Enable Green Robot!

Talk to the phone. It now gets personal!

Voice search now recognizes you and understands you better as you talk to it.

QR Code: Voice search
More features:
  • Improved contact name recognition for Voice Actions
  • Lower latency, especially over 3G and EDGE
  • Improved connectivity and less connection errors
---Enjoy with Android---

Use Your Android Phone Like a Credit Card?

You’ve probably seen the commercials of people walking up to soda machines, typing a few buttons on their phone, and having teh machine dispense a soda. Seemed pretty cool? To me it does, although it could also mean that I will have even more trouble not overusing my ATM/debit/credit card. Well, the commercials are yet another step closer to reality. At the Web 2.0 Summit, Google’s Eric Schmidt said that the upcoming Android 2.3 (or Gingerbread) mobile operating system will support a technology called Near Field Communication (NFC) via a standard API for interaction with Near Field Communications hardware.

NFC, for the technologically challenged (like me) is a very short distance, high frequency wireless technology that swaps data from two devices kept closely together (think a few inches apart). To the layperson, it will seem allot like an access card you use to swipe in at work, or maybe like a device you put in your window to drive through toll booths.

There are few handheld phones today that already have the NFC embedded. It sounds as though Gingerbread will be an impetus for the handheld makers to include these chips in future releases. While Google, according to Schmidt does not want to get in to the mobile payment software business, I can’t imagine they would not at least be interested if the revenue model makes sense (can you imagine credit card processing service not making money?).

In my mind this technology is surely to become a buzz word in 2011. I can’t wait to use my second, third or fourth generation EVO to pay for dinner!

Want to read more about NFC? Check out What’s Google going to do with NFC? at the Register.

Try Android 2.2 Froyo On Your Computer : How to Android

Google's next version of Android, 2.2 "Froyo", is obviously a huge step, and we've done what we can to explain what's so great about it. But enough reading, why not try it for yourself?

Nexus One owners are reporting early Froyo updates already, but chances are, you don't own a Nexus One. Any mobile OS with apps has an SDK—a developer kit—which gives devs the tools needed to create and test apps for the platform. And any good SDK comes with an emulator for the OS itself, so devs can test apps without actually installing them on a phone. Apple's got one, but it only works on Macs. Microsoft's got one, but it only works on PCs. Google's Android emulator, on the other hand, works on any platform, and it's totally free. Here's how to load up Android Froyo on your desktop in just a few minutes.

How to Set Up the Emulator

First, you'll need:

• The Android SDK (Windows, Mac)
• A reasonably powerful computer (netbooks will strain to emulate a smartphone)


1. Extract the Android SDK. You should see a collection of folders and files including names like Platforms, Add-ons and Tools

2. In the Tools folder, open an app or script called Android. This will start the SDK manager app.

3. In the manager app, click the Available Packages button in the left column. This should present you with single option for download. This is a repository; downloading it will do nothing but give you new download options, so go ahead and do that.

4. From the new download list, select and download the following four items (This will take a few minutes—you're downloading the actual OS here, as well as some extra tools):

5. Once the downloads are completed and installed, navigate back to the "Virtual Devices" section in the left column of the SDK manager. On the right side of the window, click New.

6. This is the windows where you can define the parameters of your imaginary, emulated Android phone. Aside from the mandatory Android 2.2 target setting, you'll need to decide on a few settings. You can get by with a small virtual SD card, so feel free to set that at a few hundred megabytes. For the screen resolution, don't necessarily choose the highest setting (WVGA854)—it's 854 pixels tall, which may be taller than your computer's screen, if you have a MacBook or other smaller widescreen notebook.

7. Click Create AVD. Your computer might lock up for a second, and the app may become unresponsive for a bit longer than that, but don't worry—just let it do its thing.

8. Now, under Virtual Devices, you'll have a simulated Android phone. Select your phone, and click Start. (Startup can take a little while. If it's not done in two or three minutes, try again, or create a new virtual device.)

Aaaaand that's it: You're in Android Froyo! Look around a little.
Uhh, Where Are the Apps?

Right, so what you're using now is barebones Android 2.2. This is the raw, open source core of the OS, recognizable as Android 2.2, but missing a lot of little pieces, including close-source apps like Google Maps. You won't be able to test out Flash, for example, but luckily, you can install all manner of other apps. Here's how, according to Google:
  • Download a development tool called Eclipse (you want the IDE for Java Developers at this link)
  • Install the Android Development Toolkit in Eclipse
  • Point the ADK to the directly where you're keeping your Android SDK files (the same place where you extracted the SDK earlier, unless you moved it)
  • Import and run Android apps. (You'll have to search the internet for Android apps you want to try. The file format is .apk, and many sites host them independently of the Android market.)

Available Froyo Acer Liquid E

Rogers and Fido customers are now able to update their phones Acer E fluid to the latest version of Android, Froyo. Instead of the usual updates over-the-air, this will require a bit of help instructions. Customers can go to Acer Canada download the file and update the phone on their own, without waiting. Remember to back your files up children, do not want to lose those precious photos and video to be something stupid. Acer should have a step-by-step process in case you need a hand a bit.

By: Android Central

Cheapest Android phone coming from Intex ( Just Rs 5500)

Bangalore: Intex is joining the Android bandwagon by releasing its first Android smartphone in February 2011. And this is not just the end of news. The smartphone from Intex will also be the cheapest Android phone to be available in the Indian market at  Rs 5,500.

Due to launch in the first week of February next year, the phone will be running on Android 2.2 (Froyo), complete with a 3.2MP camera, 2.8 inch resistive full-touch screen, Wi-Fi and GPS.

It should be noted that the Intex phone will be in competition with Micromax's Andro A60, launched earlier in the month. The Andro A60 however costs more at 6,999 and runs on Android 2.1. This will give an edge to the Intex phone when it releases.

While we don't have the full specs of the Intex phone at present, we will get all of that when the phone releases. We have to wait for the phone to release to see how the market reacts to it.

How to discover and install apps (APK) from outside the Android Market

The Android Market, home to tens of thousands of apps, is an amazing resource. However, it’s not the only one. In fact, some of the most incredible apps aren’t available at the Market, and in some cases, never will be due to Google’s guidelines.

STEP 1: Find the non-market app.
This is a broad step, and often you will have discovered the app by accident. If you’re looking, search engines like Google and websites like Droid-Life are a great place to start. Perhaps the best way to find non-Market apps is to be active in an Android community. Android fans love to post about that new cool app they’ve found. There are also websites like Slide Android Market and AndAppStore, which cater to non-market apps and users who do not have access to the Android Market.

STEP 2: Verify that the app is in the right format.
The file you will download has the extension APK. APK stands for Android Package, and it indicates an Android app installer. Other file types will be sources and resources for developers.

STEP 3: Download the APK file to your phone.
Generally, you will download it to the browser’s default download folder. However, location is irrelevant, so place it wherever you find most convenient.

STEP 4: Configure your Android for a non-Market installation.
Press Menu, then Settings, and then Applications. Check the box labeled Unknown Sources.

STEP 5: Download and install an Android file manager.
Note that you can use the Android SDK to install APK files. However, most users will prefer the convenience of a free file manager app. The most common is the free Apps Installer from the Android Market, but there also many great free and paid third-party options.

STEP 6: Install the new app.
Start the file manager, and select the install option. Browse to the downloaded APK file, and then select it. Select OK, and follow the on-screen instructions, if there are any. This is usually a hands-free process.

STEP 8: (Optional) Secure Android.
Press Menu, then Settings, and then Applications. Uncheck the box labeled Unknown Sources.
For those who prefer to use the Android SDK, replace steps #5 and #6 above with the following:

STEP 1: Download and install the Google Android SDK on your PC.

STEP 2: Type adb into the command shell to access the SDK tool (adb.exe).

STEP 3: Install the Android USB drivers.
The Android USB drivers specifically, not general Windows drivers, are necessary for using the SDK.

STEP 4: Connect the phone to the computer via USB.

STEP 5: Disable USB storage.
Press Settings, the SD card & phone storage, and then disable Use for USB storage.

STEP 6: Install the app.
Type adb install full_filepath_and_filename

STEP 7: Enable USB storage.
Press Settings, the SD card & phone storage, and then enable Use for USB storage.

LG Optimus 2X Android Mobile Announced

LG Mobiles have launched world’s first Smartphone with Dual core processor. LG launched LG Optimus 2X Mobile with high performance Tegra 2 Processor. The high performance processor helps in Multitasking, Faster and smoother access of web applications and browsing. The price and launch date of LG Optimus 2X is yet to be announced for India. Optimus 2X is capable of 1080p Video Playback and Recording.

Key Features of LG Optimus 2X:
  • 1Ghz Dual-core Processor (NVIDIA Tegra 2)
  • Android 2.2 Froyo Operating System
  • 4-inch WVGA screen
  • 8GB memory (up to 32GB via microSD)
  • 1,500 mAh battery
  • 8 megapixel rear camera and 1.3 megapixel front camera
  • HDMI mirroring
  • 1080p MPEG-4/H.264 playback and recording
  • Micro-USB Port
  • Accelorometer
  • Gyro Sensor
  • Upgradeable to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
“Dual-core technology is the next leap forward in mobile technology so this is no small achievement to be the first to offer a smartphone utilizing this technology,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, CEO and President of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “With unique features such as HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) mirroring and exceptional graphics performance, the LG Optimus 2X is proof of LG’s commitment to high-end smartphones in 2011.”

How to Use the Android Trademarks Properly?

A few days ago one of the employees of the App Store refused to accept an Android magazine application, claiming that there is inadequate content in the meta data of the application. The application focusing on the Android OS was probably refused by the uninformed Apple employee because the word "Android" was used in its description or among its tags.
This story highlights that many are not familiar how the Android trademark and the items in the Brand Guidelines shall or shall not be used. The Development Terms of Apple do state that in case of the infringement of certain licenses the applications can be refused (or deleted) from the App Store, however, in the above case the term was only used in a descriptive way, thus one can not talk about the infringement of any license.
Obviously an other reason for the rejection is the prejudice of the Apple employee towards its company, and knowing the attachment of the Apple users to their devices this can be understood – but still is not an excuse for not even explaining the reason for the rejection, as it should have been done by quoting the related clause of the Developer Program License Agreement.
Let us now take a look at the terms of use of the Android Brand and the related items. Google gives the following guidelines on

The Android Robot

Can be used, modified or reproduced in any way. The standard green color of the droid is the one with the HEX code #A4C639. Using the robot or any modification of it is allowed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license.

The Android Logo

The Android logo may not be used.

The Android typeface

Using the custom typeface is also forbidden.
Android in Official Names
Using the words "Android" and "Droid" on their own is not allowed, using these is only allowed as descriptors (like "for Android"). Would we want to include "for Android" in the logo, it has to be smaller in size than the logo itself. The first instance of this use should be followed by a TM symbol.
Android in Messaging
May be used in text as a descriptor, as long as it is followed by a proper generic term (e.g. "Android™ application").
We must bear in mind, that Android is the trademark of the Google Inc. and using it is only allowed after its permission. And the lesson of the story above is, that the relevant terms and conditions must always be studied and complied with before the development of any application, let it be Android, iOS or anything else, because otherwise we could loose a lot of time and energy.

Upgrading Samsung Galaxy S to Froyo 2.2

Samsung Galaxy S has started receiving the upgrade to the famous froyo 2.2. However, the release is rolled out in phases and you might be the unlucky one to not get an upgrade as yet. However, using the following simple hack you can now upgrade your Samang Galaxy S easily.
Before we start ensure that you have downloaded Samsung Kies version or something that is not the latest, you will need to uninstall the latest then install this one.

1. Connect your phone and let Kies detect the device as usual.

2. Keep Kies open, minimize it and run regedit in windows.

3. Locate HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Samsung\Kies\DeviceDB\

4. You should see some folders, named 1,2,3 etc in that folder, look for the one that mentions your current firmware, IMEI number, etc.

5. Once you find the correct folder (only one folder mentions this information), you need to modify 3 strings by simply double-clicking on them.

6. Locate the following 3 entries and change their value to the ones shown below. (You may first like to backup their value data to a notepad file).
SoftwareRevision = I9000XXJF3/I9000SWC/I9000XXJF3/I9000XXJF3
ProductCode = GT-I9000HKDXEE
Now close the Registry editor and do a Refresh. So, while Kies is minimized and still open and connected to your phone, you have changed these 3 strings.

7. Click on ‘Firmware Upgrade’ button in Kies, and you should now see Kies saying there is one upgrade for JP6.
Now wait and let the upgrade process to complete.

 Once installed you will have Android 2.2 or Froyo on Samsung Galaxy S.

Android 2.2 Froyo update for HTC Wildfire rolls out

The HTC Wildfire entered our review labs coyly offering the goodness of Android 2.1 Éclair. Even though by then Google had released Froyo, the update was still to come. Today, the official HTC Support page has posted that the Android 2.2 Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) update is now finally available for this beauty.

The Wildfire flaunts a 3.2-inch QVGA touchscreen display along with a 5 megapixel camera. Users have a variety of customization options that can be encapsulated on the seven homescreens that the device offers. Handset owners who wish to upgrade their device will have to wait until they receive a notification alerting them on the availability of the FOTA update.
Plunge into the river of frozen yogurt, by accepting the installation process for the Android 2.2 upgrade. In order to download it, HTC customers will require data connection like Wi-Fi or GPRS/3G. The company recommends them to access it via a free Wi-Fi hotspot or an unlimited data plan as the update file is quite large, if not they might have to pay for the standard data connection charges.
It is further advised to back up the device’s data before upgrading for safety sake. Once the installation is complete, users can confirm the the new Build number which is supposed to be 2.22.405.1 to assert a successful update.
original post

Installing non-Market Apps on Android Phone

If you own an Android Dev phone, at some point you'd probably want to create and try your own apps (or apps from your friends).

Android Application Setting
To ensure that you do not break your phone by installing malicious apps, Android has a couple of safety features built in. So you need to specifically instruct android to be able to install unsigned / non-market apps.

Menu > Settings > Applications > Unknown Sources
Check "Unknown Sources" to allow install of non-Market applications. While developing, you most likely also want to enable "Stay awake" in Menu > Settings > Applications > Development so that your screen does not go to sleep every often.

Now you can install any app (including malicious ones) the usual way either by browsing to the app using the browser or using adb install command.