Android 2.3 Still Vulnerable To Previously “Fixed” Data Theft

Do you remember that old vulnerability in Android 2.2 that allowed an attacker to grab data off an SD card, provided they knew the absolute path of a file and were able to get a user to visit a specially crafted site? Well, Google specifically stated they would fix the issue in 2.3 Gingerbread. It would seem that they did indeed patch something in a hotfix – but the issue cropped up again. Xuxian Jiang, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University has confirmed with Google’s Security team that a related vulnerability still exists in the “shipping” branch of Gingerbread. This means that the fabled Nexus S is being boxed, bought and used with a very exploitable security hole. Fortunately, the team says they are unaware of any active exploitation of this in the wild.

With manufacturers and carriers only now upgrading devices to the old and relatively antiquated releases of 2.1, how many devices does this leave vulnerable? As far as it’s known, 2.2 devices have not received an update that completely closes this security hole. It also looks as if all the new devices on the horizon that are slated to be released with Android 2.3 may be vulnerable to this as well. Google may deny that fragmentation is a problem for users, but when security is at hand and you can’t patch your mobile device due to the OS being fingered by 3 different companies before you get it (Google, OEM, carrier) then it should be a huge concern for consumers. For those enterprising users who want take all attempts to reduce their risk, it is recommended that you use a third party browser or completely disable javascript in the stock browser until the issue is resolved.

Motorola Droid And Nexus S Software Update Imminent

It was nearly a week ago, that Google released the Android 2.3.2 update for the Nexus S and the Android 2.2.2 update for theNexus One. The 2.3.2 and the 2.2.2 update was a minor one and were mainly aimed at fixing the popular SMS bug. Now, it looks like Motorola is already working on the Android 2.2.2 update for the original Droid.

The company sent an email to a group of beta testers for a pre-launch soak’ testfor a minor software update before releasing it to the general masses. The company has not confirmed whether this update will fix the SMS bug or not, but I am pretty sure it will.

Motorola_Droid

It is really nice to see Motorola already working on releasing an update for such an old handset the Droid. Hopefully, the company will also release the 2.2.2 update for its other Android based handsets like the Droid 2 and the Droid X. I hope other companies like HTC and Samsung will also release the Android 2.2.2 update for their handsets.

The Google-branded-Samsung-manufactured Nexus S will also be getting another OTA update in the next couple of weeks. This update will be aimed at fixing the random reboot issues which some of the Nexus S owners are facing (bug #13674).

Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830 Unveiled; Runs On Android 2.2

After a couple of leaks and special appearances, Samsung has finally unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830. The Indonesian website of the Korean company was silently updated to the Ace S5830.The Ace packs a 3.5-inch display with a HVGA (320×480) resolution. The handset is powered by an 800 MHz processor and packs 158MB of internal memory and 512MB of RAM along with a microSD card slot.

The usual Bluetooth 2.1, GPS with A-GPS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, 3G with HSDPA (7.2 Mbps), FM radio and a 3.5mm audio jack are also present.

Samsung_Ace

The back of the phone sports a 5MP camera with Auto-Focus which is aided by an LED flash as well. Sadly, the phone is capable of recording videos at a disappointingly low QVGA (320×240) resolution. The handset is powered by a 1350mAh battery and Samsung quotes a standby time of up to 640 Hours (!) in 2G mode and up to 420Hours (!) in 3G mode.

The Ace runs on Android 2.2 with Samsung’s proprietary TouchWIZ UI on top of it. The phone also comes pre-installed with Samsung bloatware like Social Hub. Swype is also pre-installed on the device.

Sadly, Samsung did not announce anything regarding the pricing and the availability of the Ace. Hopefully, the company will provide more information about the device in the coming days.

Google Nexus One And Nexus S Get An OTA Update To Fix The SMS Bug

Remember the SMS bug in the Android OS which erroneously sent your text message to the wrong contact and all the hype surrounding it? Few weeks ago, Google said that they have managed to re-produce the bug in their test lab and are trying to fix the bug. The big G promised to roll out an update to fix the bug ASAP as well.

Google_Nexus_One

Well, today Google has rolled out the Android 2.2.2 and Android 2.3.2 OTA update for the Nexus One and the Nexus S, respectively. However, the change-log of the update does not mention whether it fixes the SMS bug or not. However, we are guessing that these two updates are aimed at fixing the SMS bug only.

Nexus One owners can download and install the update manually from their handset from here. Hopefully, other manufacturers will also soon start rolling out this small but important update for their Android based handsets.

Nexus One owners must be feeling disappointed as they are still impatiently waiting for the Android 2.3 update to roll out for their handset. At the beginning of this month,   Google had promised to release the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Nexus One in the coming weeks’.

Sadly, since then Google has not mentioned anything about the update. Hopefully, Google will release the Android 2.3 update for the Nexus One before the end of this month.

Samsung Galaxy S 4G Officially Announced By T-Mobile

Remember the T-Mobile branded Vibrant 4G whose specs leaked out a couple of weeks ago? Today, T-Mobile and Samsung have officially announced the device. The name of the handset has changed from Vibrant 4G to Galaxy S 4G, though.

The Galaxy S 4G will be the first handset being announced by T-Mobile which will take the full advantage of the carrier’s 4G network and offer download speeds of up to 21Mbps.

TMobile_Logo

The Galaxy S 4G is very similar to the Samsung Vibrant. The Galaxy S 4G has the same 4-inch SAMOLED screen with WVGA resolution as found on the Vibrant. The 4G sports the same internals as the Vibrant does a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, a PowerVR SGX540 graphics core and 512MB of RAM.

The back of the phone sports a 5MP camera without an LED flash. The Galaxy S 4G also sports a front-facing camera for video calling, which the Vibrant lacks. The Galaxy S 4G runs on Android 2.2 unlike the Samsung Vibrant.

With Galaxy S 4G, T-Mobile will deliver its fastest smartphone yet on America’s largest 4G network, providing rich entertainment virtually whenever and wherever consumers want,said Cole Brodman, chief marketing officer, T-Mobile USA.   And with 4G data plans from $10 per month, we’re making blazing-fast 4G speeds and super smartphone experiences easily accessible to the millions who crave them.

Sadly, T-Mobile did not provide any other detail about the phone including its pricing and the release date. The company will provide more information about the Galaxy S 4G in the coming weeks.’

Samsung Clears All The Rumors Surrounding The Galaxy S Android 2.2 Update In The U.S.

Nearly a week ago, we had reported that Samsung might be intentionally holding back the Android 2.2 update for the Samsung Vibrant in the United States. Since then, another rumor popped up on the Internet that the update is not being rolled out because of a tiff between the U.S carriers and Samsung. Reportedly, that the reason behind this tiff was that Samsung wanted to charge the carriers for the Android 2.2 update, which the carriers did not agree to.

Samsung_Galaxy_S

Nevertheless, this news spread like a fire on the Internet and definitely pissed off a lot of Samsung Galaxy S owners along with giving the Korean company some extremely bad publicity. Now, Samsung have sent an email to PhoneScoop confirming that they are not going to charge the U.S carriers for the Android 2.2 update. However, the company did not provide any other information about the Android 2.2 update except for promising that they will provide more details on the update shortly’.

Thankfully, this move from Samsung will at least kill all the rumors regarding the Android 2.2 update for the Galaxy S handsets in the States floating around the Internet. Samsung has started rolling out the Android 2.2.1 update for the Galaxy S handsets in all regions of the world except for the States. So I wonder what’s stopping them from releasing the update in the United States.

Hopefully, Samsung will come out clear and tell us the reason for the delay instead of giving a diplomatic answer.

HTC Desire Z Now Available In India

At the end of last month, we had reported that the popular online retailer Flipkart had listed the Desire Z for pre-orders. Now, the website has the Desire Z in stock from the last few days and the phone has hit the retail stores of cities all over India as well.

The HTC Desire Z packs a 3.7-inch S-LCD screen with a WVGA (800×480) resolution. The Z is powered by an 800Mhz Scorpion CPU along with 512MB of RAM and 1.5GB of ROM.

HTC_Desire_Z

The phone also features the usual Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, microSD card slot, 5MP camera with Auto-Focus and Flash, GPS with A-GPS, DLNA, FM Radio and a 3.5mm audio jack. The 5MP snapper at the back of the phone is also capable of recording 720p HD videos.

An 8GB microSD card also comes pre-bundled with the phone. The Desire Z is powered by a 1300mAh battery and runs on Android 2.2 with the popular HTC Sense UI on top of it. The phone also has features integration with HTCSense.com and has some nifty features like flip-to-silent etc.

Interested users can buy the Desire Z either from Flipkart or from any other their local shops. I just got my hands on a Desire Z so readers can expect a review of the handset within a week from now.

LG Optimus 2X Quadrant Benchmark Score

LG announced the Optimus 2X last month. The Optimus 2X was the first phone announced from any manufacturer which is based on the highly anticipated Nvidia Tegra 2 platform. Nearly all the upcoming handsets and tablets from all major manufacturers will be based on the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform.

However, as much as we have heard about the Tegra 2 platform no company has provided us with raw benchmarks of the device, until now that is.

Thanks to Tech Bloggr, we have got a video of Quadrant in action of the LG Optimus 2X-:

LG Optimus 2X Quadrant Benchmark

Here is the link to the video for all our feed readers.

As seen from the video above, the Optimus 2X literally blows the competition away. The phone scores a whopping 2391 in the Quadrant benchmark. However, we should keep in mind that the Quadrant app has still not been optimized for dual-core processors.

The app still sees the dual-core Tegra 2 processor as a single core one.   Once an updated version of the app comes out, we expect these numbers to improve.

(Source)

Rumor: Samsung Forte, New QWERTY LTE Android for MetroPCS

Samsung ForteSamsung Hub has come across some details and a leaked image of a new Android smartphone by Samsung – the Samsung Forte. Apparently, it is an LTE enabled device for MetroPCS. It will sport a sliding QWERTY keyboard and will come with a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor and a 5 MP camera.

It will run Android 2.2 Froyo with the TouchWiz UI but will likely get an upgrade to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. No other details are out yet.

via Samsung Hub

Samsung Intentionally Holding Back Android 2.2 Update For Vibrant

The folks over at AndroidSpin have received a tip from a very reliable source which says that Samsung is intentionally holding back the Android 2.2 update for the Vibrant. According to the tipster, Samsung has a fully functional Android 2.2 OTA for the Vibrant ready to be pushed to the owners but the company is not doing so.

Samsing_Vibrant_T_Mobile

The reason behind this move is that the update will affect the sales of the upcoming Vibrant 4G which runs on Android 2.2 and features 4G and a front facing video camera.

Below is what the tipster exactly said-:

Some disturbing things have happened the last week or so concerning our Vibrant.   Samsung has NOT allowed us to push the update OTA for 2.2 because they feel it will decrease the value of the upcoming Vibrant4G +. While from a marketing aspect i totally understand, as the Vibrant 4G is what the original Vibrant should have been in the 1st place. But to shun off and bold face lie to customers is NOT what T-Mobile is about.

…Being that, Vibrant 4G and Vibrant have exactly same stats, added FFC and a new movie and the 4G. But i will tell you this, the original vibrant CAN utilize 4G FULLY. Yes FULLY. not what they are telling you.

If this news is true, then Samsung is surely in knee deep trouble. Selling millions of handsets is not going to work for a long time; you need to keep the existing customers happy with Android updates as well. This will make sure that the existing customers remain happy and will make them brand loyal as well. Looks like Samsung is unable to understand this simple logic here.

However, I think T-Mobile should also be blamed here. The carrier can easily force’ Samsung to release the Android 2.2 update for the Vibrant owners but the company is not doing so. It is even possible that it is T-Mobile and not Samsung who are holding back the Android 2.2 update for the Vibrant.

After all, Samsung has released the Android 2.2 update for the Galaxy S handsets in all over the world including the Vibrant for the T-Mobile UK network. In fact, the Vibrant 4G has not even been announced yet. Holding back the Android 2.2 update for an unreleased phone does seem a bit impractical to me.

What do you think especially T-Mobile Vibrant owners? Do let us know your views by dropping in a comment.