Phandroid http://phandroid.com Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sat, 23 May 2015 00:19:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Namco and the creators of Crossy Road team up for new Pac-Man game based on level 256 glitch http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/pacman-256-namco-bandai-hipster-whale/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/pacman-256-namco-bandai-hipster-whale/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 00:19:32 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165495 Pac-Man 256 screenshot

In case you didn’t mark your calendar, Pac-Man officially turned 35 years old today. To help celebrate, Bandai Namco and Hipster Whale — creators of the smash hit game Crossy Road — have released a trailer for an upcoming game based around Pac-Man’s infamous level 256 glitch.

The level 256 glitch was actually bad code in the original game that caused it glitch up upon reaching level 256. You wont find the same level progression here, with Pac-Man 256 being an endless runner like PAC-MAN DASH!, but featuring a more classic top-down isometric view. Player must navigate around ghosts and munch on glowing fruit to stay alive while a huge ever-present glitch keeps the action moving forward. It’s actually a similar gameplay mechanic to the one we saw in Crossy Road, so it’s not too much of a surprise.

As is the trend these days, Pac-Man 256 will be a freemium title when it launches later this summer with in-app purchases. Exactly what those will be remains to be seen, although we have a feeling it will something like those found in Crossy Road. We’ll keep an eye out for more details as we approach Pac-Man 256’s launch.

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Official: Nexus 6 on T-Mobile will start receiving Android 5.1.1 with WiFi Calling this weekend http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/official-nexus-6-on-t-mobile-will-start-receiving-android-5-1-1-with-wifi-calling-this-weekend/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/official-nexus-6-on-t-mobile-will-start-receiving-android-5-1-1-with-wifi-calling-this-weekend/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 23:04:32 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165499 nexus 6 lollipop

Yesterday, T-Mobile’s Des Smith hinted at the possibility of the Nexus 6 finally receiving its WiFi Calling update this weekend but today, he’s finally confirming it. The Nexus 6 will officially receive Android 5.1.1 — build number LYZ28E — on T-Mobile this weekend, and after a fairly long wait (and a few hiccups on the way), WiFi Calling is officially on board.

The update will be a gradual rollout, hitting a small number of T-Mobile customers in stages. If all goes well, expect a more broad rollout in the coming weeks. Keep in mind you’ll need to already be on Android 5.1 (build LMY47M) in order to update to 5.1.1 and if you’d like, you can grab the factory images from Google’s Nexus Factory Images site here.

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I spent a week without Android Wear or how I turned into a savage without my smartwatch http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/week-without-android-wear-moto-360/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/week-without-android-wear-moto-360/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 22:16:50 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165491 Phandroid Facer

I’ve been living like a savage barbarian the past week and I don’t like it one bit. In fact, my life has been inconvenienced more times than not, it’s been filled with various frustrations, and from time to time certain tasks that were once simple have been much harder.

Next month will mark twelve months since the launch of Android Wear and I’ve worn either my LG G Watch or my Moto 360 every day since the Google I/O 2014 launch. I’ve spent the past week without my Android Wear powered Moto 360 smartwatch and I can’t wait to get home and get it fixed.

You see, while traveling to China to attend the OPPO R7 and R7 Plus launch event, my Moto 360 got snagged on a cramped bus aisle seat and was roughly ripped off of my wrist. The accompanying strap pin went flying off into the unknown and I was left without a wrist computer for the first time in nearly a year.

Smartwatches are not for everyone. They’re accessories. Just like how not everyone needs a smartphone case, not everyone needs to wear a bracelet, not everyone needs a traditional watch, and not everyone needs a smartwatch. But that doesn’t mean that each of those items do not serve a purpose in one way or another.

Smartwatches are all about convenience and how I personally use Android Wear reflects that as notifications, Google Now, and Smart Lock are my three main use cases.

Managing notifications on your wrist is a godsend if your pocket is constantly buzzing with updates and notifications from your smartphone. While it’s not generally a big deal to pull out your phone a few times a day, this can become quite annoying and repetitive if you’re an avid smartphone user. Having this simple, yet extremely powerful capability removed from your life just plain sucks. Glancing at your wrist for a second or two is much more convenient than pulling your smartphone out of your pocket and interacting with it for a longer period of time. Think about how many minutes a day you waste just pulling a phone out of your pocket. Also, sometimes you just can’t get into your pocket because your hands are full or you’re in a meeting and anything beyond a quick glance would be considered rude, it happens.

Next on the smartwatch added convenience factor is Smart Lock and trusted Bluetooth devices. Smart Lock for Android Lollipop allows you to conveniently unlock your smartphone if a trusted device is connected or you’re in a trusted location, etc. With Smart Lock enabled, you won’t have to constantly unlock your phone if one of the security criterias are met. I like to use my Moto 360 as my trusted Bluetooth device. If my Moto 360 is powered on, then it’s on my wrist and that means my smartphone won’t prompt me for a PIN, password, or pattern each and every time I go to use it. It’s extremely convenient and a time saver.

Do you know how annoying it is to get hundreds of notifications per day and have pull your phone out of your pocket and unlock it each and every time? Sure, queue the first world problems meme, but the struggle is real.

Google’s contextual service, Google Now, is the last on my list of hardships I’ve gone through the past week. Google Now is an extremely powerful tool, giving you just the information you need, when it’s convenient. In fact, I’d argue some of the most powerful and useful features of Google Now don’t shine until you’re traveling. Having your boarding pass show up on your wrist when you arrive at the airport, having hotel information pop up on your check-in date, showcasing local restaurants, or even just the temperature, all of these just pop up with very little effort on your part. I really missed those things the past week. Though, in my case, most of them wouldn’t have worked anyways, because Google Services in China are worthless thanks to the Great Firewall of China blocking the Googs, but I’ll leave that to a future article.

Even as I type this now in the Chicago O’Hare International Airport, I hear my Nexus 6 vibrating in my backpack as it’s charging with a power bank. I can’t look at my wrist to see what’s going on and it’s driving me mad.

There’s no doubt in my mind that smartwatches are going to take off in the next year or two. Wearable tech is still fairly new, but once you give it a try, the convenience factor will win you over and you won’t want to go back to your savage, phone checking life.

Do you use Android Wear or another smartwatch? If so, have you gone an extended time without it? Let me know in the comments.

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Playboy NOW app for Android is surprisingly safe for work, might actually read it for the articles http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/playboy-now-app-for-android/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/playboy-now-app-for-android/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 22:01:41 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165487 Playboy NOW Android

The best part about owning a mobile device is the ability to keep up with news and other random going-ons from around the internet. Oh — and hot babes. The internet is full of them, but because man cannot liveth on boobs alone, Playboy has introduced a new app into the Google Play Store that puts a focus on articles… and babes.

Since Playboy knows you’re probably not going to be browsing for nudes on-the-go or while at work, the all new Playboy NOW app is more or less suitable for work. Don’t get us wrong, there are still plenty of busty babes to be found, but this is more PG-13 content. It’s essentially a retooled version of the Playboy for Android app that launched last year which had articles, but required you to pay for the girly galleries. Playboy made the move after they discovered that nearly 80% of their traffic was now coming from mobile devices so they felt it was time to cater to these users.

This time around Playboy NOW features more written articles and viral news from around the net, plenty of videos and of course, galleries of scantily clad women. It’s basically a men’s magazine in easy to digest app form, with content being repackaged from Playboy.com’s recently relaunched website (only without all the nudes). There’s also a section called The Daily list which features 5 articles (either written, photo galleries, or video) from the day and of course, exciting content revolving around Playboy’s endless well of Playmates.

Suddenly that lame excuse you told your wife about reading Playboy for the articles might actually be true.

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LG G Watch R doesn’t support WiFi right now, but it will later this year http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/lg-g-watch-r-wifi-connectivity-coming-later-this-year/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/lg-g-watch-r-wifi-connectivity-coming-later-this-year/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 18:51:30 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165484 g-watch-r-wrist

If you have an Android Wear device, chances are you’re pretty hyped about the latest software update. Aside from improving upon the UX, Android Wear 5.1.1 — which still hasn’t hit the Moto 360 — was able to unlock dormant WiFi radios located on most of devices. Of course, we know the LG G Watch definitely wasn’t on that list, but for the LG G Watch R, things were a little wishy-washy.

Whereas the original G Watch didn’t have the necessary hardware, the LG G Watch R (it’s round sibling) actually does, it’s just that for whatever reason wouldn’t be enabled in 5.1.1. Fast forward to today where an LG spokesperson is now saying a future maintenance release will, in fact, activate the LG G Watch R’s hidden WiFi functionality. According to the statement provided to AndroidWorld, LG plans to push out this update sometime in the 3rd quarter.

“LG Watch Urbane is the only wearable device Currently shipping with the latest version of Android Wear OS and is Wi-Fi capable out of the box. The original LG G Watch was not designed with Wi-Fi in mind and will not have this capability even after the Android Wear update. LG G Watch R will require a maintenance release after the patch update to Android Wear-access Wi-Fi networks. LG engineers are preparing the patch now for availability in the third quarter.”

So, if the lack of WiFi was a make-or-break for you, don’t worry. In a few months time, you can expect the LG G Watch R to connect to WiFi networks the same as most other Android Wear smartwatches. Anyone who already purchased the watch, feeling better now?

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Official: Sprint gets the LG G4 June 5th, pre-sale starts today with 3 free goodies http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/sprint-lg-g4-release-date/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/sprint-lg-g4-release-date/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 16:28:22 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165467 LG_G4_2

Sprint has announced that they will be getting the LG G4 June 5th. The carrier is among the first to offer up solid availability. They’ll have a few different options for upgrading depending on what works best for you:

  • Sprint Lease: LG G4 will be available through Sprint Lease for $0 down at signing and $18 per month. (Note that Sprint will always own the device and there will be no option to keep it if you end service).
  • At the conclusion of the lease period, customers in good standing have several options, including returning the LG G4 and leasing another device or purchasing it.
  • Sprint Easy PaySM: Well-qualified buyers can purchase LG G4 with $0 down (plus tax), no finance fees and 24 easy monthly payments of $25 (SRP: $600; excluding taxes; service plan required).
  • Purchase LG G4 for $ $199.99 with a two-year agreement.
  • Purchase LG G4 for $599.99 without a contract.

You can pre-order as soon as today, and doing so will net you some goodies, including a 32GB microSD card, a spare 3,000mAh battery and a charging cradle. You should also check out our LG G4 review if you’re still on the fence, but here’s a quick spoiler: you definitely couldn’t go wrong making this your smartphone of choice for 2015.

[via Sprint]

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Photoshop Touch is being discontinued May 28th to make way for the new kids http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/photoshop-touch-discontinued/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/photoshop-touch-discontinued/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 15:24:00 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165464 adobe creative cloud

Adobe has announced that Photoshop Touch will be discontinued May 28th, after which the apps will cease to exist in mobile app stores everywhere. Those who have bought Photoshop Touch will be able to continue using the app beyond then, though they won’t be able to redownload it unless they back the .APK file up using something like Titanium.

Why’s Adobe doing this? Well, the company recently expressed their intentions to bring more of their latest photo editing suites to Android, such as Photoshop Sketch and Photoshop Mix. These tools combine to give you much of the same functionality you enjoy now, only they are under the new Adobe Creative Cloud banner with collaboration and synchronization tools.

With that, Adobe announced that they are working on a new mobile image retouching tool called Project Rigel. They promise it’ll give you a “serious” retouching experience if you can’t get to a computer to use versatile tools like Photoshop and Lightroom.

Unfortunately Adobe still doesn’t have any specific timelines for any of this stuff, with the company still sticking to their “later in 2015″ routine.

[via Adobe]

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The first Pebble Time shipments go out May 27th http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/pebble-time-shipments/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/pebble-time-shipments/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 14:31:24 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165460 pebble time weather

Pebble has announced that their revised shipping estimates for the new Pebble Time are still on, and they even have a hard shipping date to prove it — May 27th! That’s a mere 5 days from now, and it shouldn’t be much longer beyond that until it starts arriving on doorsteps.

The team also notes that all Pebble Time backers will have their units manufactured by the end of May, with all backers expected to get tracking numbers for shipments by mid-June. This doesn’t include Pebble Time Steel orders which were originally scheduled to arrive late.

pebble management app

We also get an early look at the Pebble Time management app for Android and iOS, as well as new video demos showing how you organize menus and mange watch faces and apps. One noteworthy improvement in the app is the ability to manage all your apps and watch faces at once, instead of the 8 you were limited to for the previous version of the Pebble.

Speaking of which, the app for Pebble Time will be a standalone app, and the original Pebble app will remain in Google Play for those who won’t be getting the new color screen goodness.

[via Kickstarter]

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Here’s our first peek at the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Iron Man edition, coming “next week” http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-iron-man/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/22/samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-iron-man/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 13:18:09 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165457 samsung galaxy s6 edge iron man

When Samsung first teased the Iron Man Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge we’d only gotten a look at a box. A very cool box, mind you, but it was just the box. But today we seem to get our first glimpse at the device itself.

And a “glimpse” is all it is, as there isn’t much that can be seen in this tease of a photo. We get a rear shot of the device, with much of its detail drowned by a strong source of light emanating from the background.

It’s just enough illumination to see that the phone’s rear plate will be coated in a shade of red, with the Iron Man logo shimmering in what would likely be a golden color on top. We can also tell that the accents — particular that of the camera ring’s and the metal bumper of the device — will be shaded some sort of gold (though there’s no telling if this is some sort of paint or real gold plating).

We also get one more tidbit of info from the photo: it’ll be here as soon as next week! It’s worth noting that all this was posted on Samsung’s Korean Facebook page, so it’s possible this launch window pertains to that region alone. Heck, it’s even possible that this unit will be exclusive to South Korea. We’ll have to probe our friends at Samsung to find out more, but in the meantime let us know if you wouldn’t mind owning one of these.

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Google will fulfill all Project Fi invites by mid-summer http://phandroid.com/2015/05/21/google-project-fi-invites/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/21/google-project-fi-invites/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 01:19:41 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165452 Google is entering the mobile carrier space, if you haven’t heard, with a solution that they’re calling “Project Fi”. Upon making that huge announcement they began accepting applications for beta invites… and today, Google has RSVP’d by claiming they’ll get to everyone by mid-Summer.

Here’s the complete e-mail:

project-fi-top

Hello!

Thanks for requesting an invite to Project Fi. We’re really excited that you’re interested in trying our service! Over the past few weeks, we’ve been happy to bring the first customers onto Project Fi and the initial feedback has been very positive.

We’re sending invites as quickly as we can, while ensuring a high-quality experience. Given the number of requests we’ve received, we currently estimate that it will take until mid-summer to get to everyone.
In the coming weeks we’ll have a way for you to check the status of your invite – stay tuned for more information.

Thanks again for your interest in Project Fi. We’ll get you an invite as soon as we can!
–The Project Fi team

project-fi-bottom

We’re assuming that Google will have a LOT more to share with us at Google IO next week. Phandroid will be there to cover the event live, so make sure you stay tuned to this site for the latest breaking news. In the meantime let us know if you’ll become a Project Fi customer in the comments and for even more, visit the Project Fi Forums at AndroidForums.com

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Android M could bring native support for fingerprint scanning hardware http://phandroid.com/2015/05/21/android-m-could-bring-native-support-for-fingerprint-scanning-hardware/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/21/android-m-could-bring-native-support-for-fingerprint-scanning-hardware/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 01:05:32 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165450 Android-M

Before the Nexus 6 launched, there were hints inside AOSP that suggested the phone would come equipped with a fingerprint scanner. And according to ex-Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, it would have had Apple swooped in and muddied things up.

If you’ve been doing this Android thing for awhile now, you’d know that fingerprint scanning smartphones are nothing new to Android. You can find them on Android devices dating all the way back to the original Motorola Atrix. It wasn’t until years later — no doubt thanks to the success of the iPhone 5S — Samsung followed suit with a scanner built into the Galaxy S5, albeit much more clunky than Apple’s implementation. More recently, HTC jumped on board with the HTC One M9 Plus and before that, the HTC One Max.

We said all that to say this: without a universal Android API for OEMs to tap into, all these manufacturers have to build their own solutions. That means proprietary software and the fingerprint reader only playing nice with a specific apps. With all kinds of security methods built into Android (even face detection) it’s odd that Google hasn’t addressed fingerprint scanners into Android. But that could soon change.

A new report from BuzzFeed suggests that Google will soon support native fingerprint authentication within Android, allowing users to log into apps like the Google Play Store using nothing but their fingerprint. Ars Technica was able to corroborate this story with their featured post recapping some of the thing we can expect out of this year’s Google I/O.

Also worth pointing out is how current Nexus hardware wouldn’t be able to support the necessary software APIs with a lack of fingerprint scanning hardware. If these new APIs are confirmed in a few more days, it could mean this year’s Nexus device will come equipped with a fingerprint reader. How else would Google test their new software?

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Moto G 1st Gen (2013) now receiving Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update http://phandroid.com/2015/05/21/moto-g-1st-gen-2013-now-receiving-android-5-0-2-lollipop-update/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/21/moto-g-1st-gen-2013-now-receiving-android-5-0-2-lollipop-update/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 23:23:09 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165446 Motorola Moto G

First generation Motorola Moto G owners — the 2013 model — are being greeted today with an update to Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. It’s an update that’s been a long time in the making, with 5.0.2 originally hitting devices via a soak test all the way back in December of last year.

Motorola has had 5 months since then to iron out all the bugs associated with earlier versions of Lollipop, so we don’t expect to find any of them in this release. What you will find is a whole lot of changes on the UI side of things, along with a handful of new features introduced in Lollipop. As for the Motorola Moto G 4G LTE model, well, Motorola told us not too long ago that this version would leapfrog straight to Android 5.1.

For a full rundown of everything new, you can hit up Motorola’s release notes page here. In the meantime, jump into your settings app and check for an update if it hasn’t already hit your device. Make sure to let us know how everything is working out for you too.

 

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Nexus 6 could be getting its WiFi Calling update this Memorial Day weekend http://phandroid.com/2015/05/21/nexus-6-wifi-calling-update-memorial-weekend/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/21/nexus-6-wifi-calling-update-memorial-weekend/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 21:35:58 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165440 Nexus_6_Dbrand_Skin

We’ve known about T-Mobile’s plan to have WiFi Calling enabled on the Nexus 6 since back in October. There’s been quite a few Lollipop updates since then, with none of them bringing that feature T-Mobile customers have been clamoring for.

If the recent tweets of T-Mobile Senior Product Manager Desmond Smith are to be believed, that update — so long in the making — could finally rollout this weekend. You’ll find his tweet down below.

Nexus 6 WiFi Calling update memorial weekend

Alright, so his tweet didn’t come out and say it, but if you remember back on May 12th, Des tweeted that a last minute bug was discovered in the software, delaying the update by 7-10 days. Well, here we are 9 days later, and Des is teasing something sweet coming to the Nexus 6 this weekend.

Des’ lips are tied but if we were betting men, we’d put our chips on the Nexus 6 receiving WiFi Calling this Memorial Day weekend. Keep those fingers crossed!

[Twitter]

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Google reportedly re-introducing Android-based home platform codenamed Brillo at I/O 2015 http://phandroid.com/2015/05/21/google-reportedly-re-launching-android-based-home-platform-codenamed-brillo-at-io-2015/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/21/google-reportedly-re-launching-android-based-home-platform-codenamed-brillo-at-io-2015/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 20:59:12 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165437 Android At Home banner

You can walk into any hardware store and find smartphone-controlled light bulbs, but yet we haven’t seen much from Google’s home automation project — Android@Home — since it first debuted at Google I/O 2012. It’s been a good couple of years since then and we’ve seen Google take a few strides in that direction with their recent acquisitions of Nest and Dropcam.

Soon, just about every electronic device will find itself connected to the internet, something Silicon Valley is calling the Internet of Things. Because Android (at least in its current state), isn’t really optimized for low-power gadgets and doodads, Google is doing something about that with a new software codenamed “Brillo.”

Although we’re not entirely sure if it will be Android-based, it’s being worked on by Google’s Android unit so it only makes sense. The difference is that Brillo will reportedly have no problem running on as little as 64MB or 32MB of RAM, much way less than the 512MB minimum Android can run on right now. The aim is to make every electronic device in the entire home “smart” — microwaves, refrigerators, washer/dryers/ — and the best way to do that is by connecting them to the web.

While smart slow cookers and other appliances haven’t really taken off in recent years, home automation is becoming cheaper and more practical than ever. Hopefully we’ll learn more at Google I/O in a few short weeks.

[The Information]

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Report: NSA found a way to “hijack” Google Play to install spyware on phones http://phandroid.com/2015/05/21/nsa-google-play-hack/ http://phandroid.com/2015/05/21/nsa-google-play-hack/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 18:49:04 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=165431 NSA

Well, if you had any doubt that the NSA and national security agencies everywhere didn’t have the capability to treat themselves to your information, perhaps Edward Snowden’s latest leak will change your mind. The rogue ex-intelligence agent leaked another document to the press today detailing a program by the 5-Eyes Alliance (the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada) called “Irritant Horn.”

The idea — which was discussed at conferences and workshops in Australia and Canada between November 2011 and February 2012 — is that they could intercept the connection that happens between a smartphone and an app store when a user downloads an app, during which time they could drop a “payload,” of sorts, that would likely sneakily install some sort of spyware.

It was more than just an idea, too — the document suggests the agency did find a way to consistently and reliably intercept that connection for both Google Play and the Samsung Apps Store.. Whether they were successful in executing the other half of the strategy (dropping the “payload” and getting it installed without the user’s knowledge) remains to be known, as it’s not clear if any progress has been made on this project since these documents were drafted.

More than just receiving information, the alliance also explored the possibility of altering the information being sent to a device, potentially using misinformation to manipulate criminals, terrorists or anyone else they’d have a reason to spy on.

For what it’s worth, it’s long been revealed that the NSA and other intelligence agencies have developed software that could pull basically any bit of data they want from a phone, but this couldn’t happen unless they could guarantee a way to get the goods onto the phones in question. “Irritant Horn” may just be the last piece they need to complete the puzzle and help themselves to information whether a user likes it (or knows about it) or not.

The report also makes mention of a browser by Chinese search giant Alibaba called UCBrowser. Their studies found that the browser had a security hole that allowed those with the technical know-how to pull an alarming amount of device information from its users.

The 5-Eyes alliance reportedly used the exploit to find out about the possibility of covert operations being carried out by foreign military. It ultimately turns out to be an unrelated tidbit, though the leak and the ease of gaining access to the information supposedly sent good vibes around the offices of the intelligence agencies working on this project.

The Intercept and the CBC have a lot more information to dive into if you’re curious, so be sure to check them out when you can spare a minute. Let us know how you feel about all this straight ahead.

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