Weekly Android Wrap-Up: Issue 005

Smart watch competition is heating up, flags are going up about security and refurbished tablets are dropping in price. It’s been a busy week in Android but we’ve got the important news covered. Here is your AndroGeek Week in Review for the week of August 18th.


Mobile Usage Trumps Desktop Usage, But We’re Only Using a Handful of Apps ~ Android Authority
Even as Android continues to dominate the smartphone market, it would seem that the shininess of apps could be waning. A recent Comscore study reports that barely a third of users download any apps over the course of a month. For many, it also appears that the majority of time spent in an app is spent in the same social media app or a favorite game. Android Authority breaks it down and tries to determine why.

Most of Your Favorite Free Android Apps Leave You Open to Hackers ~ BGR
Google Play does a great job of keeping malware off the Play Store. Unfortunately, it appears that developers have been a little slack in keeping up security on their end. A recent analysis by the FireEye Mobile Security Team indicates that 70-percent of the top 1,000 apps on Google Play contain critical security flaws. BGR breaks down the details in their latest article.

Samsung to Cough Up $2.3 Million for Lying to U.S. Government ~ DigitalTrends
It would seem that Samsung’s decision to be less than forthcoming about where it was sourcing its parts from is going to come back to haunt them. They just settled with the U.S. Justice Department for $2.3 million. Digital Trends outlines the specifics.

Researchers Learn How to Hack Your Phone’s Gmail App at a Stunning 93% Success Rate ~ BGR
Using an easily disguised piece of malware and a common feature of mobile apps, researchers have found a way to steal information from smartphones using a number of apps. While success rates are highest for Gmail, at 92%, other popular apps, such as WebMD, Amazon and Newegg are susceptible to abuse as well. BGR outlines what you need to worry about in their latest article.


Just How Many Different Androids Are Out There? ~ PocketNow
Last week, we touched on the growing fragmentation problem that Android is facing. After a little research, it seems that a number of studies have noticed a similar trend and wanted more concrete numbers. A recent report from OpenSignal breaks down the details about the nearly 19,000 distinct Android phone models in existence.

Android Wear vs Pebble: How Do They Compare? ~ Android Authority
Android Wear is a hot trend in Android news. It seems every day a new device is leaked promising to be the next big thing in smartwear. If you feel like you might have heard this all before, you wouldn’t be mistaken. Pebble, with its eInk display, has built quite the following long before Android Wear. How do the two compare? Android Authority breaks it all down for you.

The Extra Step You Need to Take Before You Sell Your Android Device ~ Gizmodo
Whether you are upgrading to a new device or simply handing an extra off to a family member or friend, you’ll want to get rid of your data first. Most think that a factory reset is all that takes. However, anyone with a little know-how might be able to restore the files even after a reset. Gizmodo shows how to ensure your personal information stays personal when your phone or tablet changes owners.


Samsung Gear 3 Details Leak, Curved Displays Expected ~ PocketNow
Rumors are flying about a new smart watch from Samsung at IFA. If rumors are true, the device will sport a new design from the Gear 2, including a curved display and better button placement. Pocket Now lays out all the details.

Specs Leak for Verizon DROID Turbo ~ AndroidGuys
Android Guys is reporting news of a new DROID device in the works. If reported specs, including a Snapdragon 805 processor and a 1440-by-2560 resolution display, are indication, Verizon could be looking to challenge the top of the charts with this one.

Full Moto 360 Details Leaked by Premature Best Buy Listing ~ TechHive
After weeks of speculation, it appears it is Best Buy that has finally confirmed the specs of the Moto 360. From voice activation to a built-in heartrate monitor, this offering from Motorola looks to compete with the top smart watches out at the moment with a price tag to match. Tech Hive dishes out the details in their recent article.

Knowledge Vault Could Boost Google Now’s Intelligence to a New Level ~ Android Authority
By combining Knowledge Graph and Big Data with in-house algorithms, Google hopes to bring a whole new level of awareness to its services. Android Authority reports that a possible use for the new project includes bolstering the already impressive Google Now. As Cortana catches on and Siri catches up, Google is looking for new ways to keep ahead of the pack.


OneNote for Android Adds Handwriting Support ~ PCAdvisor
While some might argue that the whole point of a digital notebook is not having to write things down, a recent update brings additional features, including handwriting support, to Microsoft’s OneNote for Android. PC Advisor puts the feature through its paces in their recent article.

Google Working on a Kid’s Version of Services, Will Require Age When Signing Up for Android ~ PhoneArena
While details are scarce, Phone Arena is reporting that Google is working on a feature to allow children under the age of 13 to utilize their own Google accounts for popular services. With the rumors of multi-user functionality coming to Android L, this could be an ideal way for parents to let their younger children play games and communicate on their smart phones and other devices.

Ingenious Mom Comes Up With An App That Locks Her Kids’ Phones Until They Call Her Back ~ BGR
BGR reports the app is capable of locking down a kids’ phone completely, except for calls to parents or 911, until the child calls their parents. It is currently an Android exclusive and at $1.99 could help parents break through the wall of texts, skyping and gaming and reach their children.

Cycada lets iOS Apps Run on Android Natively ~ SlashGear
Slash Gear reports that engineers from Columbia University have developed a system to run iOS apps on Android devices. While there is no mention of a consumer release and certainly a number of licensing concerns to address, it hints at the potential of cross-platform mobile apps and computing.


We’re introducing a new category this week at AndroGeek. Our #deals category will bring you the best of time-limited deals and finds from around the web. We’ll always try to ensure deals will be relevant when the newsletter goes out. Hit us up on social media and let us know what you think of the new section or other sections you would like to see in the future!

That’s the big news in Android for this week!
We’ll be back next weekend with a new list of bits and bytes for you to enjoy.