A very common feature in new mobile phones during 2011 was dual-core processors, and this was most visible among new Android devices. Much like the “megapixel wars” from years in the past, a dual-core processor became a must have for a lot of users, and many times it seemed like users ignored if the system could utilize it or not. In heated discussions some even compared one brand with another and judging them, and sometimes ruling them out based on if they had a phone with a dual-core or not.
The tech world moves fast, and dual-core processors might already be old news. Early talks in 2012 indicated that further discussions for the year would be all about quad-core processors, with a lot of rumors of new devices mentioned both before and after CES. It now seems HTC is bringing one more core to the party, flexing it’s muscles with a penta-core processor.
What may be the largest ever malware campaign against Android users have been uncovered. The malware discovered was packaged in 13 different apps from three different publishers, and found in Android Market. Dubbed “Android.Counterclank” by Symantec, the attack seems to take a different tactic compared to the more common “repackaging method”. This practice involves repackaging a legitimate app with attack code, then re-release it to the marketplace in the hope that users will confuse the infected version with the real deal. “These aren’t rebundled apps, as we’ve seen so many times before” said Kevin Haley, a director with Symantec‘s security response team.
The 13 different applications have titles ranging from “Sexy Girls Puzzle” to “Counter Strike Ground Force”, and many of the infected apps were still available on the Android Market as of 3 p.m. ET Friday. Symantec estimated the impact by combining the download totals of the 13 apps, arriving at a figure between 1 million on the low end and 5 million on the high. “Yes, this is the largest malware outbreak on the Android Market” said Haley.
Today Samsung along with Google officially announced the Galaxy Nexus, the first phone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s planned to be released in November to US, Europe, and Asia through NTT DoCoMo in Japan. The Android’s UI has been tweaked considerably in Ice Cream Sandwich, to be as Google puts it, “a pure Google experience”. This therefore means no longer any manufacturer created skins. ICS has a cleaner interface and is driven entirely on screen. Much like what Nokia introduced with the Nokia N9 running MeeGo, there is no longer a need for any hardware buttons. The commands you commonly use, like Home, Back, and a multitask button, appear directly on the display.
The Galaxy Nexus features a 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 HD Super AMOLED screen with a reported 1/100th of a millisecond response time. It runs a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB internal memory, and a 1750mAh battery. It also has a front 1.3 megapixel camera for video calling, and a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash on the back. Samsung say it will take stills “with zero shutter lag” and video up to 1080p at 30fps. For connectivity there is Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz), and also NFC. It supports Pentaband HSPA+, and for some regions an LTE version will also be available. There still no USB-OTG support though it seems.