Gooligan is a malware that hides within Android applications found mainly outside the Play Store, but it has recently been found that multiple apps available on the Play Store are also infected by it. The malware utilizes two vulnerabilities (Vroot and Towelroot) prevalent in pre-Marshmallow Android builds to root devices and gain access to email information, as well as authentication tokens, including those of your Google account. Gooligan then uses this unauthorized access to install applications from the Play Store itself. This of course, is done to increase the revenue associated with in-app ads. Additionally, the afflicted accounts are made to leave a 5-star review for the concerned app, without the user even being aware of what's going on.
If your device is running on Android Lollipop or an even lower version of the Android OS, Gooligan can affect your device. The secret malware was found by a cyber security firm called Check Point and they have since reported that Gooligan can access Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs, G Suite, Google Play and Google Drive on all the 1 million plus devices that it affects right now. In response to the report, Adrian Ludwig, head of Android Securities, has explained that so far, the malware, which is a variant of the previously discovered Ghost Push, has not shown any intent to steal information and has instead been only associated with promoting in-app revenue through falsified reviews and unauthorized app installations. Google has since revoked all affected tokens and has banned multiple affected apps from the Play Store.
In the words of Check Point, "Gooligan potentially affects devices on Android 4 Jelly Bean and KitKat, and 5 Lollipop, which is over 74 percent of in-market devices today. About 57 percent of these devices are located in Asia and about nine percent are in Europe,"
In order to check and see if you are affected by Gooligan, enter your email address and see for yourself at: https://gooligan.checkpoint.com/
Head over to https://forum.youmobile.org/downloads/ to find all the latest updates for your smartphone.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Samsung had to kill the Note 7 after a second worldwide recall was initiated and that has cost the South Korean giant quite dearly. Apart from the billions of dollars that Samsung had to shell out in order to recall all the Note 7 smartphones and refund its customers, there is no telling how much this incident will hamper Samsung's business in the long run. According to Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Market analyst firm, Samsung may lose as much as 5 to 7 million customers to Apple's iPhone 7 in the remainder of this year alone.
About 12 million units of the Note 7 were ordered and since each and every one of those customers will now have to opt for another smartphone, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are lucrative alternatives for them. The iPhone 7 Plus in particular will appeal to most of the ex-Note 7 customers, due to its large display, dual rear camera setup and a price tag that's quite similar to the Note 7. A portion of the remaining customers will of course stay loyal to Samsung by choosing the Galaxy S7 Edge or some other Samsung device. Other contenders for the sales gap created by the untimely death of the Note 7 are mainly the Google Pixel XL and the LG V20. We are not entirely sure about the report, but only time will tell if the Note 7 disaster is enough to make so many people change loyalties.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Microsoft is suing Samsung for $6.9 million, which the software giant says is unpaid interest that is owed to it by Samsung. The latter apparently felt that Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's Devices and Services unit was a breach of contract. The contract called for Microsoft to be paid a royalty for each Android phone and tablet produced by the Korean manufacturer over the course of a year.
While Samsung did eventually pay the $1 billion it owed Microsoft last year, the crew in Redmond said that the payment was late, and as a result it is owed the $6.9 million in interest on the $1 billion. The deal was agreed to back in 2011 and runs for seven years. It also includes a cross-licensing pact between the two firms.
When Samsung annouced the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge at the MWC 2015, Everyone expected "MAD" sales records for both devices. Analysts are expecting that Samsung will break all records with these two new flagships. Forecasts predicted this year's sales record at 38 million, but then a Citibank analysts pushed them up to 46 million.
The two flagships will go on sale in April and in that first quarter of availability they are expected to reach 22.2 million sales. Samsung has previously revealed that carriers had pre-ordered 20 million units. We hope Samsung break the record again this year.
A report came from CitiBank last month, predicts that Samsung is expected to sell over than 50 million Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge units during 2015. Today, Samsung has officially announced that it is expecting sales of its latest devices to cross the 70 million mark.
"The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are drawing positive responses. I have no doubt that they will be the biggest-sellers in the Galaxy series ever, The S6 should do well. The first week looks impressive." - said Samsung's Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun
We just will have to wait for the Q4,2015 report to see if Samsung's sales will achieve this number or not.
Samsung's latest flagship devices, Galaxy S6 and S6 edge are doing well in the market. According to a new report from Deutsche Bank, Samsung is expecting to ship around 45 million units of its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge flagship smartphones during this year 2015.
That's broadly in-line with various earlier reports a CitiBank analyst had in April predicted that the number might exceed 50 million, an estimate that was recently corroborated by research firm Counterpoint. A Samsung executive also recently revealed that the devices are hitting the South Korean company's internal targets.
HTC continues its winning streak in the 3rd Quarter. HTC's financial report for the Q3,2014 states the company made a profit of $19 million (NT$0.6 billion). Revenue for the period is $1.38 billion (NT$41.9 billion), which is down from $2.17 billion from the previous quarter.
The company is content with how the HTC One M8 held its ground for the period and continued to sell well despite growing competition. The mid-range Desire line-up is also profitable for HTC, but it didn't specify exact shipment figures for any device.
In the last quarter, the HTC One M8 was the main culprit for the company's $92 million profit turnout. HTC is looking up for a similar to Q3 last quarter of the year with a revenue of $1.38 billion - $1.55 billion.
Recently, the Wall Street Journal (Chinese Edition) has published a piece about a new business contract between Apple and Samsung. According to their source in South Korea, the 3-year contract requires Samsung to supply OLED smartphone panels to Apple for upcoming iPhones in 2017 and beyond. Although the rumor regarding this contract has been around for a while now, this adds new credibility to it. Arguably, Apple is still talking with JDI, LG, Sharp and AUO before the deal becomes final.
The article adds previously unknown details by stating that this order involves production and supply of about 100 million 5.5-inch AMOLED displays that are possibly meant to be used in the iPhone 7s. Judging by Apple's current trend of reserving the larger 5.5-inch panels for their "Plus" models, chances are that these will be used to make the iPhone 7s Plus rather than the regular 7s. Whether they will still be calling it "7s Plus" or not, remains to be seen.
Previously, famous Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had stated that Apple will not be releasing any OLED phones before 2018, but he has changed his opinion in light of the new situation. Now, Kuo is of the opinion that Apple will release at least one version of its future iPhones in 2017 with an OLED display. Rumors and predictions also suggest that Apple could be going back to the glass-metal design of the iPhone 6 and it is perhaps for the best.
According to Korea JoongAng Daily, over a million units of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are still being used around the world and these customers are unwilling to part with their stylus touting Samsung phone. According to the report, many customers do not agree that there is anything available in the market right now, which can replace the Note 7 and thus they are sticking with it. While this love and loyalty must be flattering for Samsung in many ways, it is extremely unwise and meaningless at the same time.
What the customers are failing to understand is that the Galaxy Note 7 does indeed pose a safety threat that was great enough for the manufacturer to not only recall each and every one of them back, but also to discontinue the product altogether. While this has already and will continue to cost Samsung plenty of money (read billions!), it hopes to minimize the damage that the blunder will leave on their reputation. Even if you are a Samsung loyalist, kindly note that if your Note 7 does indeed catch fire, it will only further tarnish the company's reputation and they will have an even harder time leaving it all behind. Besides, we are pretty sure that the Note 7 will not be receiving any further updates or support in the near future as the product is already discontinued officially. We suggest opting for the S7 Edge and the additional $100 bill credit (in the US) that Samsung is offering now for staying with them during this crisis.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Samsung took a big step toward being able to sell its smartphones as the way to control a smart house. Samsung officially purchased SmartThings for $200 million. The company produces devices that can be controlled using apps installed on a smartphone. Imagine controlling the lights and locks in your home by tapping on certain buttons on your phone. You should be able to spook burglars casing your house, by remotely turning on or off the lights inside or outside your home.
Samsung plans on keeping SmartThings open, thus allowing developers and producers of hardware to write software, and produce devices for the platform. Samsung rival Apple will also be offering a similar technology for a connected home with the launch of HomeKit. The latter will be featured on iOS 8, and will allow iPhone users to turn on or off smart home devices using their handset.
"We will continue to run SmartThings the way we always have: by embracing our community of customers, developers, and device makers and championing the creation of the leading open platform for the smart home. Our growing team will remain fully intact and will relocate to a new headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. In short: SmartThings will remain SmartThings." - Alex Hawkinson, CEO, SmartThings
A New Patent war for Samsung again as the Korean Company is ordered to pay $15.7 million in the latest dispute. The company has been found guilty on infringing the patents of company Rembrandt Wireless Technologies LP by the Harrison County federal jury.
The two patents that Samsung has been found guilty on infringing relate to Bluetooth technology. More specifically the patent duo relates to a "system and method of communication using at least two modulation methods." The Korean company has been making, selling, using and offering for sale Bluetooth EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) devices and the aforementioned technology is in the core of them.
WhatsApp, the well-known popular mobile messaging service has crossed another major milestone recently. The company CEO announced on Twitter that WhatsApp is now service over 600 million monthly active users.
The CEO was quick to point out that it's active users, that is, people actually using the service everyday, and not just registered users, which would be a bigger number but a lot of those people won't actually be using the service. This makes the milestone all the more impressive and shows once again just how popular WhatsApp is.
Now serving 600,000,000 monthly active users. Yes, active and registered are very different types of numbers...— jan koum (@jankoum) August 25, 2014
OnePlus One co-founder, Carl Pei, revealed that the Chinese smartphone manufacturer sold more than 1 Million units of its flagship phone "OnePlus One" last year (2014). The company will focus on refining its operations and improving its customer service in 2015. "This period that we have now is a very good time for us to become a lot more professional," - said Carl Pei.
He noted that the next generation OnePlus flagship phone, allegedly dubbed OnePlus Two, is expected to arrive in about six months, and revealed that the company is also working on a separate handset model. "I think its going to be a phone catering to a different type of audience. Perhaps for those who appreciate design over specs," Pei said.
OnePlus One is available in two storage capacities: 16 GB Silk White ($299) and 64 GB Sandstone Black ($349).
Apple is doing good on the worldwide market shipments. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a decent track record on Apple-related industry predictions, has estimated that Apple has sold more than 73 million iPhones in the last quarter (Q4,2014) only which includes about 42 million iPhone 6 and 16 million iPhone 6 Plus sold.
For Q1,2015, Kuo is expecting the figure to be around 61.6 million, up 41.1% year-on-year, but 15.6% less than the previous quarter, something which isn't exactly surprising given the fact that it was a holiday quarter.
As for the iPad, total Q4, 2014 shipments stood at around 21.4 million, down 17.8% year-on-year, but up 73.8% compared to Q3. That number is expected to be around 10 million for the ongoing quarter.
A Canadian tech startup, Mobeewave that work on payment technology specifically was acquired by Apple for a whopping $100 million. This technology enables the iPhone to act as a payment terminal. The development was reported by Bloomberg. The acquisition could help Apple extend its payment reach with merchants for Apple Pay.
The payment technology that the company invented is quite simple and requires only the NFC chip to work with. It allows users to tap on their smartphones or credit cards to another device for processing payment. Since all iPhones after iPhone 6 are integrated with the NFC chip, the technology is compatible with all the iPhones currently available in the market. As per the blog post from Bloomberg, Apple is also retaining the entire team working for Mobeewave, which employs around 100 people. They will continue to work from Canada and the office will be considered as another remote office of Apple Inc.
Interestingly, Samsung is also an investor in the company. It has partnered with Mobeewave last year to enable Samsung smartphones to use the company's technology. This resulted in a pilot program with over 10,000 downloads of Samsung's POS app, which smaller businesses used to boost sales. Apple has a history of buying startups and technologies to use as their own. This will be an addition to the list of startups Apple has bought, allowing anyone to use an iPhone to accept payments without any additional piece of hardware.
Microsoft has officially released the Windows 10 as an update to Windows 7/8/8.1 users worldwide only two days ago.
In these two days, Windows 10 has already been installed more than 14 million times, its maker has revealed. And this was achieved in just the first 24 hours of availability. That's no small feat for such an incredibly short period of time.
Obviously, the great distribution was also helped tremendously by the fact that Microsoft is giving away the update to Windows 10 for free for those who have Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
We posted about Angry Birds 2 launch about two weeks ago, the game was launched in Google Play store for free. Rovio today announced that the new game has been already downloaded 20 million times.
According to Rovio, Angry Birds 2 is currently the most downloaded game on Android. Interesting facts: since the launch of the game, the slingshot in Angry Birds 2 has been used more than 1.4 billion times, and users have completed over 300 million levels.
Rovio says that Angry Birds is hugely popular in the markets where the original game first became a hit, but it's also becoming well-known in China, where "a new generation of gamers" are only now discovering the addictive game. There are more than 700 million smartphone users in China, which means that Angry Birds 2 could soon break new download records.
According to South Korean outlet News1 the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has hit 4.5 million sales globally about a month after its launch (September,26th). That's a little lower than the 5 million units its predecessor sold in its first month, but the Galaxy Note 3 got a wider release initially. These numbers doesn't include the Galaxy Note Edge sales.
The Galaxy Note 4 started off in South Korea and China and has been expanding its availability ever since. It started selling in the US only recently.
The flagship phablet also experienced some delays in markets like the UK and India where sales started a week ago. As for China, Samsung rolled out the dual-SIM versions only a couple of days ago.