(Mike Matney)

What’s The NSA Using To Spy On You Now? Angry Birds.

The revelations about just how embedded into every facet of modern, technological life the NSA is just keep coming. The spy agency isn’t just collecting calling records and tracking electronics; they’re in your iPhone games, too. [More]

South Korea Has Outlawed Bloatware On Smartphones

South Korea Has Outlawed Bloatware On Smartphones

While Apple has long prevented wireless companies from force-placing cruddy, memory- and battery-sucking apps on its iPhones, most Android users have phones loaded with apps from their wireless providers and phone manufacturers that will probably never be used but which can’t be removed. Realizing that this is a mammoth annoyance to consumers, regulators in South Korea have banned the practice. [More]

Maker Of Wildly Popular Flashlight App Failed To Tell Users It Was Sharing Their Location Info

Maker Of Wildly Popular Flashlight App Failed To Tell Users It Was Sharing Their Location Info

Most of us have had the bright idea to use our smartphones as flashlights when searching underneath the couch or in the backseat of a dark car. And many millions of people have downloaded flashlight apps that maximize the light coming out of their devices. Most of those people probably never even considered that a flashlight app would be doing anything other than turning on the phone’s lights, and certainly not transmitting location data to third parties. [More]

Drones, Shmones: Google Is Building An Army Of Androids That Don’t Fall When You Kick’em

Drones, Shmones: Google Is Building An Army Of Androids That Don’t Fall When You Kick’em

While we’ve all got our eyes in the sky waiting for the robot revolution to start with Amazon (and burrito) drones, we must not be distracted by the threat on the ground. By threat I mean intelligent, walking, talking robots. Or more fittingly for Google, which quietly snapped up seven technology companies, androids. [More]

FCC Android App Lets You Test Wireless Broadband Speeds

FCC Android App Lets You Test Wireless Broadband Speeds

In an effort to include more wireless data in its periodic reports on the state of broadband in America, the Federal Communications Commission has released an Android app that lets consumers test the speed and quality of their wireless provider (and of course shares that data with the FCC). [More]

How The Heck Do I Decide Whether The New iPads Are What I Want?

How The Heck Do I Decide Whether The New iPads Are What I Want?

While the smartphone market has become much more diverse in recent years, Apple’s iPad still dominates the tablet business in the U.S. Today, the company announced the latest iteration of the full-sized iPad — the iPad Air — along with an improved iPad Mini, hoping to continue this dominance. But many consumers aren’t fully informed of how these devices compare to already available Android and Windows tablets. [More]

Microsoft Finally Takes Head Out Of Sand, Opens Up Xbox Music To Android, iOS

Nearly a year after replacing its failed Zune music store with Xbox Music, Microsoft has finally come around to the realization that the service, which only worked on computers and wireless devices running Windows operating systems, wasn’t going to convince people to drop their Galaxy S4s, iPhones, iPads, or Kindle Fires. The company announced today that Xbox Music is now available for use on iOS and Android devices, and that web-based streaming is no longer relegated to computers running Windows 8 or RT. [via PCmag.com]

(Skakerman)

Software Update Turns Nexus 4 Into Expensive, Slippery Paperweight

There was nothing earth-shattering or all that new about the newest update to the Android mobile operating system, Jelly Bean 4.3. However, some owners of the device that Google itself designed and sells directly, the Nexus 4 smartphone, report that the update turned their phones into glossy paperweights, and it’s not clear why. [More]

Google Says No (For Now) To Facial Recognition Apps For Glass

Google Says No (For Now) To Facial Recognition Apps For Glass

As consumers test Google’s Glass device on the streets and subways of America, many people have raised privacy concerns about the possibility of developers creating facial recognition apps for the wearable computers. But Google is trying to calm those fears by saying it won’t allow such apps… for the time-being. [More]

Google Thinking About How To Let Users Cherry-Pick App Permissions

Google Thinking About How To Let Users Cherry-Pick App Permissions

When you download an app from the Google Play store — or when an update to an already downloaded app includes a change in permissions — users are required to accept those permissions before downloading. But there is no way to say no to any single permission, so users are either begrudgingly downloading apps with permissions they don’t want or not downloading otherwise acceptable apps because they are concerned about these permissions. But one Google engineer says there may be some hope. [More]

If you want to Hangout on your AT&T Android phone, you will probably need a wifi connection.

AT&T Customers Will Probably Have To Wait Before Using Google Hangouts Over Cellular

If you’ve got an Android phone, you might have noticed that your pre-loaded Google Talk app has recently been updated and is now “Hangouts,” the name of Google’s video chat service. But if you’re an AT&T customer, you might have to wait a while before you’re allowed to use that app over the carrier’s wireless network. [More]

Facebook Home Earning Oodles Of Negative Feedback From Google Play Reviewers

Facebook Home Earning Oodles Of Negative Feedback From Google Play Reviewers

Earlier this month, Facebook announced Facebook Home, the massive upgrade of its Android smartphone app that basically puts the social networking site front-and-center on your device. The app began rolling out to customers late last week, and some of the responses may have you waiting to press “update.” [More]

Facebook “Home” Makes Facebook The Center Of Your Android Phone’s Universe

Facebook “Home” Makes Facebook The Center Of Your Android Phone’s Universe

As promised, Facebook has announced a big new update to its Android mobile platform that integrates the social network deeply into the phone’s operating system, making it the foundation of the smartphone interface. [More]

The update alert being pushed out to some Android users (via liliputing.com)

Facebook Android App Wants To Bypass Google Play Store For Updates

As most Android users know, one of the nice things about the operating system is that you don’t always have to get your apps through the official Google Play app store. But usually, any future updates to an app come through whichever store you downloaded the app from. Except now Facebook is asking some Android users to accept an update in the app itself that would allow future updates to be pushed through without notice. [More]

(Hofman Photos)

Want Ad-Blocking Apps On Your Android Device? Don’t Expect Google To Sell Them Anymore

Until yesterday, Android users could go into the Google Play store and find a bunch of apps developed to block ads from showing up on your wireless device. But now Big G has decided these types of apps violate its policies. [More]

(Atwater Village Newbie)

Nike Assured Me An Android App For FuelBand Was In The Works, Ditches That Plan, Shrugs

Consumerist reader Jeremy is a fan of Nike’s FuelBand, a fitness tracking wristband that’s become pretty popular in the workout world. But he has an Android phone and currently there’s only an iOS app that syncs up with the FuelBand. So he asked Nike Support on Twitter if it’d be releasing a Droid version and was pleased when it replied that yes, the app was in the works. Cut to today when Nike announced it’s ditching that idea. [More]

Kaspersky says these Android apps contain malware that could also infect your PC.

Great… Now There’s Android Malware That Can Infect Your PC & Turn It Into A Listening Device

In general, the malware relationship between PCs and mobile devices has been a one-way street, with infected computers passing on their digital disease to their mobile mates. But now come reports of at least two infected Android apps whose malware heads in the other direction. [More]

Nexus 4 gravitational field

More Nexus 4 Phones Plummet To The Ground, Smash Themselves

Google is always innovating. They’ve brought us the beginnings of a consumer fiber network, smart glasses, driverless cars, and even bringing donkeys back to life. One little-known Google project is the Nexus 4 smartphone, which is unlocked, shiny, and comes with its own field of gravity that pulls it to the ground, violating all known laws of physics. Or so our readers tell us.

[More]