J. Angelo Racoma(444 posts)

J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo develops business case studies for Microsoft enterprise platforms, and is also co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing team that offers digital content and marketing services.

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Chinese Xiaomi Phone 2 to launch August 16 in seemingly indestructible packaging

by: J. Angelo RacomaAugust 5, 2012

The Chinese are apparently crazy over smartphones. After all, this country of 1 billion mobile phone users is the biggest and fastest-growing market for mobile devices today, and so brands are eager to get their wares marketed here.

However, the Chinese are also a practical community, and here’s where bang-for-the-buck (or yuan) is considered important. Smartphone maker Xiaomi, for one, has launched its Mi-One earlier this year to rave reviews. At 1,999 yuan ($300) a pop, the Mi-One was a premium smartphone with a not-so-premium price.

Xiaomi has reportedly sold 3 million units as of June, just a bit over six months after the [...]

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Android Jelly Bean Face Unlock ‘liveness’ check easily hacked with photo editing

by: J. Angelo RacomaAugust 4, 2012

Google improves Face Unlock on Jelly Bean by requiring users to blink, but even this can easily be spoofed through image editing.

When Android Ice Cream Sandwich was released, one of the much-touted features was Face Unlock, which supposedly made the smartphone more friendly in terms of user experience. The phone unlocks just by “seeing” the owner’s face. Unfortunately, this was found to be insecure, as the Face Unlock feature recognized even static photos of the owner.

With profile pictures easy to access through social networks, Face Unlock could easily be circumvented, which defeats the purpose of securing the lock screen in the first [...]

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Android malware found in seemingly legit versions of Opera Mini, Angry Birds. Always check permissions!

by: J. Angelo RacomaAugust 4, 2012

There is a new generation of Android malware, and authors are increasingly becoming sophisticated with their social engineering capabilities. According to security companies, there is a trend among malware makers that involves using hacked versions of real apps to deliver a malicious payload.

There are about 20,000 malicious Android apps in circulation, says Trend Micro. And about 13 million phones worldwide have been infected, says Chinese security firm NetQin. A big part of these involve remotely controlling smartphones into sending premium text messages, as well as spamming the phones’ inboxes with junk messages.

Real apps with real payloads

The [...]

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RIM CEO admits to having considered switch to Android

by: J. Angelo RacomaAugust 3, 2012

RIM isn’t exactly in the best form today, having risen and fallen as the preferred smartphone platform in the enterprise market. To date, BlackBerry’s market share has dwindled, although the platform remains in third place after Android and iOS. In the aim of keeping up with the times, RIM had actually considered making the switch to Android.

In an interview with The Telegraph, RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins admitted that the Canadian company could not keep up with Apple and Samsung, given their market dominance in the smartphone and tablet business. He pointed out that RIM did not have “the economy of scale to compete [...]

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Temple Run hits 100M downloads in its first year

by: J. Angelo RacomaAugust 3, 2012

Folks, it seems we have yet another addicting smartphone and tablet game on our hands. A year after its launch, Temple Run has had 100 million idol-snatching fans out there eager to collect coins while dodging wild demonic monkey attacks. Imangi Studios has just confirmed that a third of these are Android users. To be exact, 32 million of these downloads are from Android devices, while 68 million are from iOS.

Since August 2011, more than 10 billion sessions of the game have been played, which results in an average of about 100 games per user. Imangi says these amount to almost 54,000 person-years spent playing. That’s a lot of years [...]

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Samsung Confirms August 29 Galaxy Note 2 Launch

by: J. Angelo RacomaAugust 3, 2012

Even as Apple and Samsung are battling it out in the courtroom, the two companies are likely to have  a showdown in the market, too, with the launch of their latest gadgets in the upcoming weeks. Samsung, for one, is set to launch the latest version of the Galaxy Note by end of August.

“We plan to unveil the next Galaxy Note at the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event in Berlin on August 29,” a Samsung representative told Reuters earlier today. This event will be held a couple of days before the annual IFA electronics trade show, considered the biggest in Europe.

This confirms earlier rumors that the event invites Samsung has been sending out was meant for [...]

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Multi-user support coming soon to Android

by: J. Angelo RacomaAugust 3, 2012

(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

Multi-user support on Android smartphones and tablets is said to already exist within Jelly Bean, although there is no working user-switching implementation yet. Still, analysis of the underlying code suggests that Google developers may be working on enabling multi-user support in the near future.

Smartphones and tablets are primarily personal devices. You don’t usually share your phone or tablet with family members, colleagues or friends. However, multi-user setups do have their use. For instance, enterprise users may want to keep separate accounts for work and home use. Then there’s also the concept of [...]

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Benchmark: 16GB version of Nexus 7 outperforms competitors in storage speed

by: J. Angelo RacomaAugust 2, 2012

Google Nexus 7 tablet being shown off at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, in this June 2012 photo. Recent bechmarks have determined the 16GB variant to have a 43% improvement in storage performance over the 8GB model (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma).

Access speed is usually the litmus test for solid-state storage performance. Inexpensive devices usually come with slower Flash-based storage, while more expensive gadgets will feature faster “true” SSDs. Oftentimes, the architecture will dictate how quick read and write access will be. While not always an issue in devices like tablet computers, sometimes the added bit of speed helps in keeping [...]

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Are iPhone users richer & better-educated than Android users?

by: J. Angelo RacomaAugust 2, 2012

Image credit: Shutterstock

Media consumption differs according to platform, a study by the Reynolds Journalism Institute has found. This is also influenced by demographics, including age, education and earning capacity. In the recently-released 2012 RJI Mobile Media News Consumption Survey, researchers have determined that Apple iPhone users are generally older, better-educated and earn higher than those using Android. This may account for Apple’s market dominance over Android since the beginning.

RJI’s Roger Fidler has found that — surprise! — iOS and Android are the leading [...]

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Samsung Galaxy Pocket available on Three UK by September

by: J. Angelo RacomaAugust 1, 2012

Not everyone can afford a top-of-the-line Android smartphone. In fact, some mobile users would prefer cheap and rugged phones that don’t get second looks from thugs when you use it on the subway or dark alleys at midnight. Enter the Samsung Galaxy Pocket GT-S5300, the South Korean company’s upgrade to the cheap Galaxy Y, which has proved to be a big hit in emerging markets.

In the UK, Three will start offering the Galaxy Pocket by September, although the network is still mum about how much the phone will cost. It will likely be offered for free with a contract and data plan, judging on how the phone usually retails for about $120 [...]

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