The Galaxy Note 8 shows up in a convincing render, and it looks like a squarer, taller Galaxy S8.

We are just over three weeks from the unveiling of the Galaxy Note 8. We know this because Samsung has itself admitted it.

And while we’ve already seen fairly convincing renders of the upcoming S Pen-enhanced flagship, Evan Blass of Twitter’s @evleaks has most recently given us the best look at the phone yet.

Samsung Galaxy S8 next to the rumored Galaxy Note 8.

Here you can see the front of the phone in what looks like a press render, conveniently laid out next to the Galaxy S8. You can see the Note 8 is ever so much taller, and appropriately squarer for the brand. It bridges the gap between the Galaxy Note 7 and the Galaxy S8.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 (in Midnight Black)

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 31, 2017

The Note 8 is also expected to share a similar spec sheet to the Galaxy S8, including the popular Snapdragon 835 / Exynos 8895 combination that has been so well received this year. But Samsung intends to give the Note 8 slightly more memory, with 6GB of RAM and a 128GB storage option. On the camera side, Samsung’s first dual camera setup is expected to debut on the Note 8, with two 12MP sensors with lenses of different focal lengths and both optically stabilized.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: What we know so far

What do you think of the Galaxy Note 8 so far? Let us know in the comments below!

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Another security scare has big consequences.

U.S.-based phone company BLU is back in hot water as Amazon has suspended sales of its phones citing concerns over the security of the software loaded on the phones. Amazon says the move is in response to a “potential security issue,” though it’s not immediately clear if it stems from the same security worry uncovered in apps pre-loaded on BLU phones late last year.

Most people probably don’t have any specific brand affinity for BLU’s phones, but it has made some of the cheapest Android devices available on Amazon, which has driven sales as it competes in the ultra-low-end segment. BLU has even partnered with Amazon for a “Prime Exclusive” device that was sold with lock screen ads at a steep discount — just $60. At the time of the previous security scare it was apparently determined BLU had things under control enough to keep the phones on sale — but now Amazon is pulling the plug 8 months later.

Amazon’s provided the following statement to CNET:

Because security and privacy of our customers is of the utmost importance, all BLU phone models have been made unavailable for purchase on until the issue is resolved.

The interesting part about this whole thing is how long it took Amazon to put a halt on sales, particularly if this is indeed a continuation of the same issue from November last year. With Amazon’s reputation on the line in that it’s selling co-branded Prime Exclusive versions of BLU phones, it’s surprising that it wouldn’t have at least temporarily paused sales while this was ongoing. Now, Amazon is now directing customers to BLU for inquiries on their phones, and continuing to sell other Prime Exclusive phones from the likes of Motorola, Nokia and Alcatel.

It isn’t likely that anyone will be too upset by not seeing a BLU phone available on Amazon alongside the many other Prime Exclusive devices, but for those who bought one throughout 2017 there are bigger questions as to how big this security hole is and how responsible BLU will be in addressing it.

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More than a few of you were disappointed that the HTC U11 didn’t have Bluetooth 5.0 when it was announced. The phone’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC does support the Bluetooth standard, but for some reason, HTC’s software engineers didn’t enable … Read More

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 | Posted by | Categories: HTC |

It seems like everyone these days own a smartphone and a computer. Both devices serve their respective purposes, but there’s a huge disconnect when it comes to sharing media or files between these devices. Most the time, you have to pull … Read More

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 | Posted by | Categories: HTC |

What are the best videos to watch in VR?

Virtual reality isn’t just all about gaming — it’s also about emotional and exhilarating experiences in the form of 360-degree videos. Apps like Within, Littlestar, and YouTube make it easy to download and digest these videos across multiple VR platforms. Here are the best VR videos to watch right now.

Read more at VRHeads!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Let’s face it: No matter what neighborhood you live in, your house could be broken into. You could also go your whole life without a break-in, but it’d still be nice to keep an eye on the kids or pets while you’re away from home, no?

Watch your kids, pets, and things from anywhere for $70 Learn more

Thankfully, we now have the technology to keep an eye on our homes and businesses from afar, and all we need is a smartphone, an internet connection, and a Wi-Fi security camera.

The Kodak 180-degree panoramic Wi-Fi security camera is just such a device, and what it does is right in the name. Set this device up anywhere in your home and you’ll be able to stream in HD from anywhere in the world, using the companion app. The Kodak security camera regularly retails for $149.99, but at Android Central Digital Offers, you can snag it for $69.99, 53% off.

This isn’t just a camera, though, since you can talk to loved ones or pets via the built-in two-way microphone. It also acts as a Wi-Fi range extender, expanding your home network coverage. The Kodak Wi-Fi security camera has a host of automation and detection features, including the ability to detect people so that you can be alerted when someone’s in your home when they shouldn’t be. Your motion-triggered clips can be stored in the cloud for 24 hours, so you can watch them back. You can also choose to add on 14- or 30-day cloud storage for a feee.

If you want to keep an eye on your abode while you’re away, check out the Kodak Wi-Fi security camera at Android Central Digital Offers and save 53%.

Watch your kids, pets, and things from anywhere for $70 Learn more

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Our very own Daniel Bader leads Andrew, Jerry and guest Mr. Mobile (that’s Michael Fisher, if you didn’t know) on a deep discussion into all of the latest topics of the week. Motorola has a new phone, the Moto Z2 Force, and we have some thoughts on its strategy of a shatterproof display and smaller-than-most battery capacity. We compare it to the rumors of the upcoming Note 8, which should only help pad Samsung’s bottom line further. Unfortunately LG hasn’t seem the same results from its G6 launched earlier this year. So why is it so hard to make money selling phones? We discuss. And of course, we couldn’t go another show without more talk about Android O — the latest Developer Preview is out, and we’re getting oh-so-close to the final release along with a new Pixel or two.

Show notes

Podcast MP3 URL:

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No matter who is to blame, Google’s name is on it so they own it.

“That Broadcom bug makes me not want to use anything other than an iPhone or Pixel.”

That’s what I heard from an admittedly security conscious friend while talking about him getting a new phone. The bug being referenced here, in case you’re unaware, affected over 1 billion phones that use a Broadcom Wi-Fi chip and would have been an easy way for them all to be hacked in any number of ways.

Most likely the phone you’re reading this on has a nasty, exploitable bug.

You don’t have to worry about it if you have an iPhone or a Pixel (or any Nexus that’s still supported) or an Android-powered BlackBerry because it was patched before it was disclosed to the public. But the Pixel, late-model Nexuses and Android BlackBerrys sold in minuscule numbers compared to all the other Android phones (I’m being very generous here). That means millions and millions and millions of other Android-powered phones are still vulnerable. Including the Galaxy S8, even though every Android partner has had access to the patch as long as Google and BlackBerry and Apple have.

In “real life” this is both a problem and not a problem. One thing goes hand in hand with every announcement of malware or other tricks and tools that can be used to remotely hack a phone: it almost never happens. But it still could. Simple logic says one day it will. And unfortunately, outside of some sort of government oversight on phone software (which nobody wants), there is no way to fix it.

The T-Mobile G1 — we’ve come a long way.

Not long after the release of the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1, a security flaw was found where anyone could take control via outside software. Early iPhones all used the same admin credentials for remote logins. This sort of thing comes with the territory — all software has bugs or holes that can be exploited. These early bugs were promptly fixed and updates were sent to the phones. That’s not how it works anymore, at least for Android.

All software ever written has bugs. Good software has had them patched.

Because Android is given under an open-source license, Google has no control of how it’s used outside of the requirements for access to Google Play and the associated apps. It’s tough to wrap your mind around that unless you’re familiar with open source software, I know. But Google simply can’t force a company who makes Android phones into doing anything more than meeting a few minimum requirements designed to make them compatible with the APIs Play Store developers use to write apps. Even those are in question by courts in Europe.

This puts another company in control of the majority of the software we call Android, and with control comes a lot of responsibility. I truly believe Samsung (for example and because it is such a large part of Android) cares enough to want all of its customers to be immune to things like the Broadcomm bug. But that takes work and commitment that it is unable to give. It’s not that Samsung doesn’t care, it is just unable to fix it as fast because of how its business works. The same goes for every company that makes Android phones, possibly even more so because none have the resources that Samsung has.

It says Android right on the box, so this is Google’s problem.

Software is hard. Doing it right — patching every known bug as soon as it’s disclosed — is even harder. Adding yet another middleman means it’s damn near impossible.

Ultimately, all this falls on Google’s shoulders. The Android name is on the box, on the phone, and on your mind when you buy a new phone. This might not be fair to the people at Google who work hard to patch bugs and issue updates or security bulletins, but that doesn’t matter. Android is Google’s baby. When brand new phones from any company are running Android and have severe vulnerabilities, all eyes look towards Mountain View.

Google has done things to address the problem, and it is doing even more with Project Treble. I’m sure one of the long-term goals is to fix the issue somehow, whether that means a complete rewrite of the Android underpinnings or altering the usage license or pulling a rabbit out of a hat. It knows as well as we do that it owns this problem, and rather than cry foul it is trying to address it.

I hope it can do so before it’s too late, because “not wanting to use anything other than an iPhone or Pixel” is a sentiment nobody wants to hear.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Defeat sliding puzzles, warp away from descending spikes and reawaken a world where music has gone missing.

Once the music giants roamed the land, filling the world with music. Unfortunately, time and great evil have stolen them from the land. That’s where you come in. You’ll need to explore ancient ruins, and reconnect portals in order to bring music back to the world. With an African theme intertwined through the game and challenging puzzles there is plenty to do in order to return music to the land.

Read more at VRHeads

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

In today’s online world, you can’t be running around with weak passwords. There are too many people out there trying to get a hold of your personal information for a variety of nefarious reasons and your standard “Passw0rd” password is not going to protect you from ransomware and data dumping. How do you fight back?

Get stronger passwords today! Learn more

A password manager is an excellent way to make sure you’re creating complex and difficult passwords to keep all your data secure; however, plenty of password managers cost a pretty penny. What if you didn’t have to spend a fortune to secure your login information?

Right now, through Android Central Digital Offers, you can get the award-winning password managing service RoboForm today!

RoboForm will not only store your passwords in a secure vault you can access at any time, it will also help you create strong and reliable passwords to use for all the accounts you have!

Just take a look at all the amazing features RoboForm provides:

  • Automatically remembers your passwords for every site you enter one and logs you in with a single click.
  • Random password generator creates strong and unique passwords for every site.
  • Folders and powerful search functionality make organizing hundreds of passwords easy.
  • AES 256-bit encryption protects against dictionary, brute force, and other attacks.
  • Password auditing ensures you have strong passwords for everything.

If you jump on this offer right now, Android Central Digital Offers will provide you with a 4-year subscription to RoboForm for only $29.95! That’s a savings of 62%!

Stop worrying about your accounts getting broken into and start creating strong and reliable passwords to protect all your sensitive information today!

Prevent your important accounts from being hacked! Learn more

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