Sunday, April 28, 2013

4.3 Jelly Bean may become next Android iteration

Google I/O is supposed to start in a couple of weeks and it always has been the stage for announcement of new Android versions. Although it was being suggested previously that this release will be of Android 5.0, whose name was confirmed as Key Lime Pie by a Google employee back in December, there hasn't been anything concrete to back this up. But according to a recent build being seen in the server logs of Android, we may not get Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie at Google I/O 2013 and instead Google may go with Android 4.3 JellyBean to give OEMs and developers some breathing space.

A build, Android 4.3 JWR23B, was spotted in the server logs. While these can be faked but the IP address was traced back to two Google employees thus putting it in Google's affinity.

The starting letter of the build, "J", means that it is going to be named JellyBean as the first letter of the build is always same as the first letter of the version name. Moreover, Google doesn't give a name to its build until and unless they are ready to be released in short period of time, maybe a couple of weeks. Also version numbers aren't assigned to internal test releases and the fact that while Android 4.3 has been spotted, Android 5.0 is still in hiding which may imply that we may get to see Android 4.3 JellyBean as the new Android iteration at this year's Google I/O.

While this may mean that we are almost sure that next Android iteration will be Android 4.3 Jelly Bean instead of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, there is still no information on what new features we should expect from Google to bake in its next Android version. But Google I/O isn't that far off now and it is safe to assume that all the mystery surrounding Android's future should be revealed by the time it ends.
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Google X reveales itself in AnTuTu benchmarks

Google's Android mobile operating system is the most used one in the smartphone industry today and Google has been looking to cash-in on this popularity directly with its Nexus line of smartphones which feature a pure-bred Android ecosystem. But with the help of its Motorola acquisition, Google has now direct access and control over the hardware of its smartphones giving them a better chance of success at this game. And to harness these sources effectively, this time, it is coming up with an interesting smartphone, Google X.

Back in December 2012, the rumors of this project started coming up but now its getting intriguing as a new phone just cropped up in the AnTuTu score cards list, Google X. According to the screenshot, the smartphone will come with a 1.5 GHz process and Android 5.0.1 Key Lime Pie.

While the score of 15479 may be far from ground breaking (Galaxy S4 scores 24716 in its Exynos variant), this is hardly a surprise as we all know Google phones are not known for their performance but their amazing prices and pure-bred Android experience. Also, this score card gives us some hope that maybe Google is not far from announcing next Android iteration. But as usual, this leak too is to be taken with some amount of salt as the screenshots can be faked as well. We will know more when Google X is ready for prime-time.
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WWDC 2013 announced by Apple

Apple has been one of the foremost innovative companies of all time and it has manged to contribute something to the smartphone industry with its every iPhone, and iOS iteration and the stage has been its annual WWDC (World Wide Developer's Conference) event which is held in June. This year Apple has chosen June 10 - June 14 as WWDC's dates and it will be held at its usual venue, Moscone West cultural center in San Francisco.

According to Apple, "developers from around the world will learn about the future of iOS and OS X" which means that Apple is going to talk about iOS 7 and Mac OSX 10.9 (which is going to be named after another big cat surely). This also means that we won't be seeing hardware announcements this summer most probably meaning Apple is going to keep its September cycle for new iPhone launch which it started a couple of year back with iPhone 4S.

The tickets for this hotly anticipated event were to start selling 25.04.2013 10 am PST and as it turns out, it took only 2 minutes (Yes! That is correct) for the even to be a sell out, which according to Apple, is a record time.

After last year's maps debacle, Apple made some very important and influential changes to the iOS development team meaning we may get to see some interesting UI design changes, for which everyone has been waiting for a long time now, this summer. Lets wait, watch and hope Apple startles the world with something amazing.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

May 21 will see the unveiling of next-gen Xbox

Xbox was Microsoft's first go at console gaming and after the launch of Xbox 360 it never looked back. It has been tremendously popular with some high-in-demand titles exclusive for the platform and Xbox 360 standing back to back with Sony's PlayStation console gaming platform to provide gamers a rich gaming experience. But after the announcement of Sony's PlayStation 4 back in February, Xbox 360 users started to feel a little outdated and expectation from Microsoft grew. Microsoft has answered all the questions and have sent out press invites for a May 21 event for the unveiling of the successor to Xbox 360.

The invite doesn't even drop a hint about the next Xbox but it is rumored to be built around the "always online" motto of gaming. Along with the new console, Microsoft is said to be announcing the update to its Kinect accessory as well.

We'll have to wait and watch Microsoft's play here and if they would be able to outsmart Sony in the console gaming industry. You can connect with Microsoft and stay in the loop with the #XboxReveal hashtag mentioned in the invite but May 21 is the date you need to mark on your calendars.
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Twitter is one of the most used social media networks today and everyday hundreds of millions of people communicate using it and that is why this also becomes an effective carrier from security attacks. This time it is being used to spread malware through hijacked accounts.

The attack was originally discovered by security firm Trusteer according to which, attackers are leveraging Man-in-the-browser (MiTB) attack for this process and using hijacked accounts to tweet malicious tweets and since the accounts used are legitimate ones, people trust the tweet and click on the links attached with those.

A JavaScript code is injected into the accounts of victims giving attackers their authentication tokens which are then used to tweet malicious links from the victims account through token based authorization calls to Twitter's APIs. Here are some of the malicious tweets being posted using victims' accounts.
  • Original Text (in Dutch): "Onze nieuwe koning Willem gaat nog meer verdienen dan beatrix. check zijn salaris."
    Translation (in English): "Our new King William will earn even more than Beatrix. Check his salary."
  • Original Text (in Dutch): "Beyonce valt tijdens het concert van de superbowl, zeer funny!!!!"
    Translation (in English): "Beyonce falls during the Super Bowl concert, very funny!!!!"
  • Original Text (in Dutch): "topman [Dutch Bank] gaat ervandoor met onze miljoenen!! De minister heeft weer het nakijken... zie"
    Translation (in English): "CEO of [Dutch Bank] is off with our millions!! The minister is inspecting again... see"
    Note: We have removed the name of the bank being actually used from this tweet.
And one of these links follow these tweets leading the victim right into the trap but the good news is that now none of them seems to be active.

Note: Please do not try to go to any of these links. These are inactive but may still harm you or your data in some form.
  • hXXp://
  • hXXp://
  • hXXp://
  • hXXp://
As it can be easily assessed seeing the malicious tweets, people are quite likely to click on the links attached with them if it comes from a legitimate account they are following. According to Trusteer, these malicious tweets have already been spotted coming from many Twitter accounts implying that the attack has already been successful.

Although the attack has been targeted towards Dutch community as of now but this can very well be used at an international level so we appeal our readers to spread this news and be very aware of the links you click on because they may very well be a malware creating problems for you and the people who trust you, digitally or personally.

Disclaimer: The author or SmartHacks will not be held liable for any damage, whatsoever, occurs if any reader tries to access any one of the malicious links.

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Windows Phone may soon get Instagram

Instagram is an amazing photo editing and sharing tool that has been widely popular since its release. It became so lucrative that Facebook acquired it for a cool billion dollar. The app, which was originally released on iOS, broke its exclusivity in early 2012 when it was made available for Android users as well. Since then the smartphone world has been speculating its release on Windows Phone operating system as well but even after so many "leaks" there hasn't been any sign of official word. But this time, the word of its inevitable launch comes courtesy of Nokia Sweden itself.

In a reply to a fan on their facebook page, Nokia Sweden let the word of its upcoming launch slip. The translation roughly reads as "Instagram is on the way but can’t give an exact date right now". The comment was taken down sometime after lending it a bit more credibility.

Last month also something similar occurred when a Nokia Sweden account tweeted that Instagram from WP is under works and should be released soon which in turn created a wave of expectations among its fans. After all such speculations, asking the question that if people are still interested make more sense now. But still lets wait and watch when this amazing app comes to WP and does it break records like it did when its iOS and Android siblings were launched.
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

iPhone 5S rumored to feature a 12 MP shooter

iPhone is one of the most successful smartphones ever and Apple's major source of income. Since the release of Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z, the sales have been taking a hit and it now looks like Apple really needs to take things to the next level with its next generation of iPhone, iPhone 5S. And an improved camera might be an important ingredient in the recipe.

According to the source (a guy that works at Wonderful Saigon Electronics - the manufacturer of Apple's camera modules) of the guys over at Vietnamese blog, iPhone 5S will sport a 12 MP shooter at the back with improved low-light shooting capabilities and full HDR support instead of the current 8MP f/2.4 shooter at the back of iPhone 5.

As this is a rumor at this point, please do not forget to take it with a pinch of salt. Whether true or not, Apple is in need of a huge hit in the form of iPhone 5S if it wants to keep its fans to itself and keep adding more to the horde.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Google reveals Glass specifications

Google's Project Glass has been in talks since its release last summer. It was an interesting announcement but while everybody was wondering about its release schedule, Sergey Brin was roaming around wearing them. After that, many were jealous that only the participants of Google's 2012 I/O conference, where the project was announced publicly for the first time, will get Google's first batch of Glass products. Google made aspiring Glass developers very happy by announcing that it is expanding pre-orders for the Glass. But even after all this, the specifications of Google Glass were kept hidden from all of us. Today, Google has revealed the specifications.

According to Google, the Glass will have a 640 X 360 display. This may seem to be a very mundane but remember, this will sit so close to your eye that it will be equivalent to a 25 inch HD resolution screen. It will have a 5MP 720p camera and the sound will be heard through a Bone Induction Transducer. It will have Wi-Fi b/g (n standard isn't supported) and Bluetooth in-built and thus will be compatible with any Bluetooth smartphone. It will have 16GB storage out of which only 12 gigs will be available to the user. On battery side, Google hasn't mentioned any specifications but has claimed that it will last a day on full recharge on normal usage. Of course, features like Hangouts and video sharing will eat up much more battery than usual.

As far as compatibility goes, as mentioned above, it will work with any Bluetooth device but it will work at its best if the smartphone has MyGlass companion application which will work only with Android 4.0.3 or higher. This application will also enable SMS messaging and GPS capabilities in the Glass.

This specification may not look like much but when you factor the wearable and easy to use aspect of this technology, this sounds pretty cool.

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The Windows 8 Infographic

Microsoft's Windows 8 was released some time ago and since then it has been adopted by quite a lot of number of people and most of them have praised impressive boot times after Windows 8 is installed. But still we wonder what special new feature Windows 8 has and how much it took to test it out so that Microsoft could get it right. Many people wonder about it and today we have an infographic that displays and sheds light on some very interesting and curious facts about Windows 8.

Let look at the infographic to know for ourselves.

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Run Facebook Home on your Android device

Facebook is one of the biggest social media companies in the world today and to hold this position it needs to innovate and bring new features to the table constantly. One such innovation is Facebook Home which was debuted about a week ago. Though everyone has different opinions about it, every one wants to get their hands dirty with it atleast once but there is a catch. Facebook Home app is available in the Google Play store only for HTC First, HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Samsung Galaxy S3 for now out of which, HTC First holds exclusivity for a true experience. But when it comes to problems, there is always a solution too to each one of them and today we have a look at the solution to this one.

As you might have guessed, this comes the courtesy of brilliant guys over at XDA Developers. A senior member, theos0o, who performed the hack and modded the apk files to compile the port. To get Facebook Home on your Android device, you just need to follow these few simple steps. Lets have a look at them.

Step 1: Firstly, you need to uninstall original Facebook and Facebook messenger app from your device. If Facebook came pre-installed on your device, than you have to root it and remove it manually.

Step 2: Download the modified Facebook App and Facebook Home apps from this link and Facebook Messenger app from this one.

Step 3: Now unzip these two files and install com.facebook.katana.apk (Facebook App), com.facebook.home.apk (Facebook Home app) and fborca242.apk (Facebook Messenger) on your Android device.

Step 4: The process is done and to start Facebook Home, you need to 'Enable' Facebook Home from your Facebook app settings.

Note:  The Facebook Home app that is provided here works only for Android 4.0 ICS and later. Also, if it doesn't work, just reboot your device and clear the dalvik cache.

While the instructions are pretty clear and easy, if you have any doubt you want to be cleared or any thing you want to say, you can do so by clicking here. There is another version of Facebook Home patched apk available but that one requires build.prop files of the device and thus making rooting of the device a pre-requisite. You can find about that one by clicking here.

The original Facebook Home will take some time to launch of other than the 5 initially mentioned devices but it won't surely be soon as Facebook hasn't given any timeline for the launch of this app for other devices as well. Since it can be a long wait, you can try the application using the above method but even if you don't, apparently, you are not missing out on anything important as Facebook Home isn't getting the response Facebook would have wanted from its users.
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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Samsung launches Galaxy Mega 6.3 and Mega 5.8

Samsung was the company that started the phablet category of smartphones through its Galaxy Note smartphone. At the time it was considered something that was doomed to be failed but now, as we know, phablet has become an amazingly popular category and while Samsung still leads in the category, it doesn't want to miss out on the mid-range category buyers and hence to tap this category, Samsung has unveiled Galaxy Mega 6.3 and Galaxy Mega 5.8.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3

First up is Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3. It is a 6.3" phablet with a 720p IPS LCD display and is powered by an Exynos 5250 chipset featuring 2 Cortex-A15 cores running at 1.7 GHz and 1.5GB of RAM. It runs on Android 4.2 JellyBean with Samsung's TouchWiz running atop of it incorporating all the tricks (like Multi-Windows) Samsung's own Note 2 has. Unlike Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Mega 6.3 lacks the amazing S-pen.

On the connectivity side, it is equipped with everything a flagship smartphone of today is and there is even a thing more. It is wi-fi ac ready apart from b/g/n, LTE, NFC, IR emitter and Bluetooth 4.0 being on board as well.Galaxy Mega 6.3 features an 8 MP back camera which is capable of 1080p shooting and a more modest 1.9 MP camera on the front for video calls.

Although the overall footprint (167.6 X 88 X 8.0 mm) of the phone is understandably monstrous, it is just 8mm thick (or thin?). The device weighs at 199g and is powered by a 3200 mAh battery. It comes with two internal memory options of 8 GB and 16 GB with expandable up to an addition 64 GB storage with the help of the given micro SD slot.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8

The smaller sibling of Galaxy Mega 5.8 is a true mid-range smartphone. It has a 5.8" qHD screen and is powered by a more modest 1.4 GHz Exynos 5250 processor but has the same 1.5 gigs of RAM. Also, the advanced connectivity options such as wi-fi ac, NFC, IR emitter and LTE have also been axed off from the package.

Other things that have changed is the size (162.6 X 82.4 X 9.0 mm) and weight which is now ligher 182g. The battery has also shrank from the 3200 mAh one in Mega 6.3 to 2600 mAh in this one.

The only that hasn't changed is the camera unit. This one also has a 8 MP 1080p back shooter and a 1.9 MP front camera.

As far as the availability goes, these will be available in Europe and Russia from the month of May. According to JK Shin, Samsung sees a lot of potential in the bigger screen for extensive viewing multimedia, web browsing and more. While these smartphones have a very large size and may be irksome for many folks, they are still already attracting quite an amount of attention. 
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Evolution of Gmail: Infographic by Google

Gmail has become a synonymous name to e-mail these days. It is one of the most popular and widely used e-mail clients these days. Today, it has turned 9 and to celebrate this occasion Google has published an interesting infographic on its official blog.

It reveals some amazing information like the fact that Google relesed it as an invite-only service initially which has now grown to a whopping 425 million users and that is just till June 2012. There are many more such facts in this infographic. So lets have a look at it.

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Set Google Maps and Chrome as defaults on iDevice

When Apple decided to part with Google's mapping data for its iOS 6, many were shocked about the change but were quite excited to see Apple give mapping a serious try for the first time. They were disappointed when iOS 6 came out as the maps application was very premature and showed wrong data. Scott Forstall, vice president of iOS at Apple, was axed off his job because of this maps debacle. Then in December of 2012, after a long wait, Google released its Google maps application for iOS and it became an instant hit. 

But there was still one issue unresolved. Before, Maps app was powered by Google's mapping data and thus by default every other iOS and web application would use it. But now, Google's Maps app is a secondary app and the faulty Apple Maps app is the default one. This is the problem that is solved today with the help of a small tweak. Lets see how to go through with it.

Step 1: You need a jailbroken iDevice for this purpose. If your iDevice is already jailbroken, then you can move on to the next step otherwise you can either click here (for iOS 5 and less users) or here (for iOS 6 - 6.1.2 users) to know how to get it done.

Step 2: Go to our beloved Cydia and then let it load and reload its resources.

Step 3: Go to Search tab in Cydia and then search for Browser Changer in it. A result from Big Boss repository should come up here.

If it doesn't, then you can add insanelyi repo to your device. To do that, just go to Manage -> Sources. Then click on edit and then click on add. When the option comes, type in the URL box. Click on Add and then let it download and reload your devices resources. As this repo also hosts Browser Changer app, now you can get it from this as well.

Step 4: Now let Browser Changer load and then click on Install. Then click on Confirm that now appears at exactly same point. Now let Browser Changer be downloaded and loaded on your iDevice. When it asks to, click on Restart SpringBoard. Now let your device restart.

Note:  There is another jailbreak tweak named BrowserChooser. Browser Changer and BrowserChooser can not be installed at the same time on your iDevice.

Step 5: Now the task of installation has been completed successfully. To access the app, go to Settings menu in your iDevice and you will find a new column of Browser Changer which is your access gate to the app.

Et Voila!! Installation is successfully done and when you will open this setting, you will see that now you can set Google Maps as your default mapping application as well as set Chrome or any other browser you like as your default browser.

As I mentioned above, Browser Changer doesn't work with BrowserChooser. While this may seem to be a problem but in reality it is not. BrowserChooser's task is to let you choose the default browser only but Browser Changer adds the same functionality for maps too which makes it a better and more effective alternative.

So now you don't have to worry about getting lost because of Apple maps' faulty location service anymore and you don't have to worry about Safari getting opened by mistake again. You can now enjoy your iDevice's experience with the services you like.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How to simulate Firefox OS on PC

Mozilla is one of the pioneers of modern internet browsers and now it is gearing up for taking the battles to the mobile OS platform with its Firefox OS. It has already made some waves at this year's MWC by launching two mobile phones running on the OS. They also released an experimental build of Firefox OS for Sony Xperia E showing the strength and dedication of their partnership. So naturally the mobile community, fans and critics alike, has become very eager to try the new OS out to know what new Mozilla has brought to the table especially when developers have already begun to develop and test apps on the already available devices.

If you too want to try out the OS but are not the developer, don't worry because there is a way to let you experience it out on your PC regardless of your work and operating system you use. Lets have a look at how to simulate Firefox OS on your PC.

Now before you begin the process, make sure you have internet connection on your PC and latest Firefox browser in installed on your machine. If you don't have the browser, you can click here to download. After you have the pre-requisites taken care of, lets move on to the steps to emulate Firefox OS.

Step 1: Open Mozilla Firefox browser and go to Tools -> Add-ons.

Step 2: In the add-ons manager, go to search box and type firefox simulator in the search box and hit Enter.

Now in the search results that show up, find Firefox OS Simulator 2.0.1 and click on it. Right beside it you can see an Install button and the add-on will download and get installed. Mind you, its a 67.7 MB download so make sure you have the data and as well as time for it. When informed that the author is now verified, just click on Install Now.

Sometimes an error crops up during installation of add-on so there is an alternative way to get the task done. First, download the add-on from direct links for your suitable operating system.
Firefox OS Simulator 2.0.1 for Windows
Firefox OS Simulator 2.0.1 for Mac
Firefox OS Simulator 2.0.1 for Linux

Then, in your add-on manager, go to Settings by clicking on the little gear icon in top right and then to Install Add-on from File... option. Now browse and point it to the .xpi file you downloaded from one of the links above. This will install the add-on to your Firefox browser. When informed that the author is now verified, just click on Install Now.

Step 3: Now in the browser, go to Tools -> Web Developer -> Firefox OS simulator.

Now in this console, you will see stopped right beside the simulator option. Click on this and it will turn to running.

Well, there you go. The Firefox OS simulator is now started on your PC and you can start to have fun with it and experience what Mozilla is bringing to the, already heated, war of smartphones.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

WikiLeaks launches 'PlusD' searchable repository

WikiLeaks is all about blowing whistle and releasing classified information about various governments "so readers and historians alike can see the evidence of the truth". Julian Assange, its founder, has already been the center of many legal battles and many countries and high ranking political figures have accused him of treason as well as demanded his assassination or extreme action against him. Now, WikiLeaks has launched the Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD) which has been claimed to be "the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications". It holds about 2 million documents which amount to roughly 1 billion words which includes leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and those released by the US Department systematic declassification review.

WikiLeaks, the international non-profit organization, has also published "The Kissinger Cables" - a collection of over 1.7 million US diplomatic records from 01.01.1973 to 31.12.1976 under the PlusD. They cover numerous intelligence reports, cables and congressional correspondence. Most noteworthy of these records relate to Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, and hence the name.

According to WikiLeaks, the collection totals roughly 700 words and the original PDFs mount to a total of 380 GB in size which include 320,000 originally classified documents, 227,000 confidential records and 61,000 secret cables. The Kissinger Cable is supposed to include "significant revelations about US involvements with fascist dictatorships, particularly in Latin America, under Franco's Spain (including about the Spanish royal family) and in Greece under the regime of the Colonels".

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