September security update brings patches for 7 critical issues
Android 7.0 Nougat factory images now available for Nexus range
Nexus 6P and Nexus 6 yet to receive factory images from Google
Google last month started rolling out the final build of Android 7.0 Nougat for compatible Nexus devices. The Android 7.0 Nougat update was rolled out to the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C tablet, and Android One General Mobile 4G devices gradually. Now, the company has started rolling out the monthly Android security update for September. The company has also released factory images and OTA binaries for Nexus devices.
The September security bulletin is now available to Nexus through an over-the-air (OTA) update. Google has also released the new Nexus firmware images to the Google Developer site. Google says that it notified the partners about the issues described in the bulletin on August 05, 2016 or earlier. The source code patches for the reported issues will be released to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository in the next 48 hours.
The update patches seven vulnerabilities that have been flagged as “critical” by Google, and 23 vulnerabilities that fall on the spectrum of “high” severity. In addition, 17 “moderate” security glitches have also been resolved.
Some of the critical security vulnerabilities that have been fixed include remote code execution vulnerability in LibUtils, which if left untreated will enable an attacker using a specially crafted file to execute arbitrary code in the context of a privileged process; remote code execution vulnerability in Mediaserver, which if not resolved could enable an attacker using a specially crafted file to cause memory corruption during media file and data processing; elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel security subsystem; elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel networking subsystem, elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel netfilter subsystem, and elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel USB driver, and elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel shared memory subsystem, which if left untreated could enable a local malicious application to execute arbitrary code within the context of the kernel. These issues are rated as “Critical” due to the possibility of a local permanent device compromise, which may require reflashing the operating system to repair the device.
Apart from September Android security patch, Google is also rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat factory images for Nexus range. New Android 7.0 build for Pixel C is NRD90R; Nexus 5X is NRD90S; Nexus Player is NRD90R; Nexus 9 Wi-Fi is NRD90R, and Nexus 5 is MOB31E. Unfortunately, Google is yet to rollout Android 7.0 factory images for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9 LTE devices.
The Meizu M3 Max offers a full-HD display resolution
The smartphone will go up for pre-orders soon
The M3 Max bears ago a MediaTek Helio P10
Following the launch of the Meizu M3E last month, Chinese smartphone company Meizu has launched the M3 Max in its home country. It has been priced at CNY 1,699 and goes up for pre-orders from September 12. The M3 Max will be available in Champagne Gold, Grey, Rose Gold, and Silver colour variants.
Like the M3E before it, the Meizu M3 Max is a hybrid dual-SIM (Nano-SIM) smartphone that runs on a MediaTek Helio P10 processor, with four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz, alongside 3GB of RAM.
The Meizu M3 Max’s highlight is its 6-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixel) touchscreen. It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter. The phone packs 64GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded via microSD card 9 (up to 128GB).
The smartphone supports such connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, 3G, 4G. Sensors on the phone include proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope.
Notably, the M3 is powered by a 4100mAh non removable battery, measures 163.40×81.60×7.7 and weighs in at 189 grams.
Apart from the Meizu M3E, the Chinese mobile firm also launched two budget smartphones last month – the Meizu U10 and the Meizu U20. Before that, it launched its Mix swartwatch with an analogue display.
LG has been teasing their new LG V20 over the last week, the company will unveil the handset at a press event at IFA on the 6th of September.
Google just announced their new In Apps search feature for Android and now LG has announced that their new LG V20 smartphone will be one of the first devices to have the feature.
A shortcut to In Apps is featured on the home screen and Second Screen of the V20, putting user’s contacts, messages and other app content only one tap away. The Second Screen, an inset display above the main display of the V20 that works independently, can be set as a dedicated launching area for shortcuts of the user’s favorite apps, allowing them to launch In Apps even while watching videos.
“As smartphone features become increasingly diverse, a growing number of smartphone users are willing to search for more information saved on their mobile devices,” said Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics and Mobile Communications Company. “The V20 combined with Google’s evolving search tools will allow users to search for information they need faster in a more convenient and smart manner.”
The new LG V20 will be announced at IFA next week, it will be one of the first devices to come with Android 7.0, we will have more information about the device next week.
The US Justice Department is starting to look like the boy who cried wolf.
The government on Friday, at about 9 p.m. ET, filed a letter to the court in Brooklyn, New York, to say it doesn’t actually need Apple’s help to unlock an iPhone 5S used by a confessed drug dealer. Instead, it said “an individual provided the passcode to the iPhone at issue in this case” on Thursday evening. The government “used that passcode by hand and gained access to the iPhone,” the filing said.
The case is the second time in the past month that the FBI has dropped a request for Apple to help it gain access to data on an iPhone used by a criminal. The first involved an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, California, terrorists. In that case, the FBI ultimately paid a third party to help it unlock the iPhone 5C. It dropped its request for Apple’s help the night before a hearing was scheduled in Riverside, California.
In both instances, the FBI initially said Apple was the only organization that could get into the iPhones. But both times, the bureau ended up being able to access the phone with the help of third parties at the eleventh hour. The government didn’t specify in either instance who helped it get into the iPhones.
Apple declined to comment about the filing. The FBI didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The California and New York cases are just a couple out of dozens of cases in which the US has looked to Apple to help bypass security on iPhones. The California case turned the previously private dealings between Apple and the FBI into a public battle and started a broader debate over privacy and security. Technology companies and rights groups argue that strong encryption, which scrambles data so it can be read only by the right person, is needed to keep people safe and protect privacy. Law enforcement argues it can’t fight crimes unless it has access to information on mobile devices.
In both the New York and California cases, the US relied on the two-century-old All Writs Act to compel Apple to help. A New York judge determined the act couldn’t be used to force Apple’s hand, but the DOJ earlier this month asked the judge to reconsider the ruling. The DOJ dropped its suit in California before the judge could reach a decision in the San Bernardino case. It’s up to individual courts around the country to determine whether Apple should assist.
A hearing date hadn’t yet been scheduled for the New York case.
Microsoft has just published its third-quarter results, and they paint a very bleak picture for Windows Phone. Sales of Lumia devices were down 73% compared to the same quarter last year, with just 2.3 million devices sold – during the same period in 2015 8.6 million were sold.
That’s resulted in a massive 46% drop in phone revenue, though it’s easy to point to a relative lack of new devices, particularly at the high-end, as one of the factors.
The Microsoft Lumia 950 is the latest flagship available and that launched around five months ago in November 2015, so it’s no wonder sales have stalled, but that can only tell part of the story.
Even last quarter Microsoft only sold 4.5 million Lumia devices, which is hardly a huge number compared to its contemporaries and was down from 10.5 million during the same period last year.
This all seems to show that even the launch of Windows 10 Mobile has done little to slow the decline of Windows Phone and that its days could be numbered.
Tablet revenues are surfacing
It’s not all bad news for Microsoft though, as while its $3.8 (£2.6/AU$4.9) billion of total net income and $20.5 (£14.3/AU$26.4) billion of revenue are both down a little from this time last year its tablet business is showing growth.
Surface-related revenue is up 61% at $1.1 (£0.76/AU$1.4) billion for the quarter, while last quarter also saw healthy Surface revenues. Microsoft hasn’t broken down the figures but claims that this increase has been driven by the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Microsoft Surface Book.
That’s still a drop in the ocean compared to Apple’s iPad revenue though, which in quarter one of 2016 stood at over $7 (£4.9/AU$9) billion and has rarely dropped below $4 (£2.8/AU$5.1) billion.
Surface sales aside it looks like Microsoft’s mobile devices could be in for a continually rough ride this year, with the Surface Phone rumoured to be a 2017 launch and little else of substance on the horizon.
Lenovo’s online-only smartphone brand Zuk launched its first smartphone last year in China, and was aimed at countering the rise of Xiaomi in China. Now, Lenovo has dropped a hint that the Z1 smartphone is coming to India.
The Chinese company has started teasing the launch of the Z1 smartphone in India. Lenovo has sent physical media invites for the launch of the smartphone, but has not confirmed a date for the event. The invite points to a dedicated website for the Z1 smartphone, with a tagline that says, “small actions = big chances.”
To recall, the Zuk Z1 sports a metal frame and includes no branding from Lenovo. There is only Zuk branding at the back of the handset. It was launched in China at CNY 1,799 (approximately Rs. 18,250).
For specifications, the Zuk Z1 features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display and sports a physical home button on the front panel. Notably, the home button on the Z1 smartphone also embeds the fingerprint scanner. Much like some high-end smartphones, Lenovo’s Zuk Z1 features the USB Type-C 3.0 port. Under the hood, the new smartphone packs a dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5GHZ coupled with 3GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU. The handset supports dual Nano-SIM cards and runs ZUI based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. It packs 64GB of inbuilt storage.
The smartphone sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with Sony sensor (IMX214) and optical image stabilisation (OIS), another feature that’s found in high-end smartphones. There is an 8-megapixel front-facing camera also on board. It packs a large 4100mAh battery and will be available in White and Grey colours. The Zuk Z1 smartphone measures 155.7×77.3×8.9mm and weighs 175 grams.
The model launched in China supports both 4G LTE bands in India (FDD-LTE Band 3 1800MHz and TDD-LTE Band 40 2300MHz). Other connectivity options on the Zuk Z1 include Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, and Glonass. It features an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, digital compass (magnetometer), and proximity sensor.
Intex, soon after launching the entry-level Aqua G2 smartphone, has now unveiled the Aqua 4.5 Pro. The smartphone is now listed on the company site with pricing details. There are currently no availability details of the Intex Aqua 4.5 Pro mentioned, but we can expect the handset to go on sale soon.
The Aqua 4.5 Pro smartphone features a 4.5-inch (480×854 pixels) TFT display, with a pixel density of 294ppi. The official listing says that the smartphone sports a screen-to-body ratio of 62 percent. The dual-SIM Aqua 4.5 Pro smartphone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box.
It sports a 2-megapixel autofocus rear camera with dual-LED flash, and a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera. It is powered by a quad-core Spreadtrum (SC7731G) processor clocked at 1.2GHz paired with 1GB of RAM. It packs 8GB of built-in storage and supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 32GB).
Backed by a 1500mAh battery, the handset offers up to 6 hours of talk-time and up to 300 hours of standby time. Connectivity options of the Intex Aqua 4.5 Pro include GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with hotspot functionality, Bluetooth, FM radio, Micro-USB, and GPS. It comes preloaded with some apps such as Matrabhasa, 360 Security, OLX, Freecharge, Saavn, Newshunt, Opera mini, Follo, Hike and Messenger.
Intex earlier this week unveiled its Aqua G2 smartphone in India at Rs. 1,990 and said that it is targeted at first time smartphone buyers. The Aqua G2 features 2G connectivity and comes with a 2.8-inch TFT display with a screen resolution of 240×320 pixels. The smartphone runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and supports dual-SIMs. The device packs an 1100mAh battery.