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Mobile Solutions | Is your Android vulnerable?

  
  
  
  
  

are you vulnerable

 

According to the https://blog.duosecurity.com/2012/09/early-results-from-x-ray-over-50-of-android-devices-are-vulnerable/ website, early results received from the X-Ray program indicated that over 50% of Android devices are vulnerable to at least one exploit.  After reading the caption, I was curious as to what the X-Ray program does and if I was vulnerable. 

Being the curious natured person I am, and also wanting to make sure I am as protected as possible, I navigated to the www.xray.io website on my device and did a little reading of the program.  I then followed the instructions to download by going to www.xray.io/dl from my Android.  Once downloaded, you have to allow “Unknown sources” to install on your device (instructions clearly indicated after downloading and beginning installation of the X-Ray program).

I completed the scan after the installation completed (“Unknown sources” were then set to be blocked again, just in case J) and it turns out that I am one of the “more than 50%”, as one of the 8 vulnerabilities scanned indicated I was not protected.  I then followed the instructions listed in the “Learn More” item that appears and went to “About phone” and under “Software update”, completed a check.  No software update was available.

So the other two steps listed were to contact your carrier and inform them about the exploit or to install a third-party ROM that may be able to patch the vulnerability.  As I am a little leery of third-party apps that I don’t know about, I am going to be contacting my service provider first, in case they do have a patch for my particular device that may not be received through normal checks of the “Software update” program.  If they don’t have a patch, I am going to ask their recommendations, which may include downloading a particular third-party ROM, but I would feel safer asking them first.

Even though I now know of this one vulnerability, I am not going to go crazy to be sure it is fixed in the next hour, as I do have Lookout installed.  What is Lookout, you say?  It is a program that scans any new app installed on your Android device to be sure it does not contain vulnerabilities or malware.  It also has the ability to “Scream” if you can’t find your phone.  If you do not have this installed and you have an Android, I would HIGHLY recommend downloading this right now, even more than the X-Ray program (go to www.lookout.com and download it right now).  If you already have it installed, good for you.

Are you interested in learning more about Trigon and the many Mobile IT Solutions for Philadelphia we have to offer?  Contact us to find out more.  Want to know about more about my steps on getting my device secured?  Check back in another week or two and I will post a follow-up blog article about what I did and whether or not I was successful.

Mobile Solutions | HTC Windows Phone 8

  
  
  
  
  

The new Windows 8 Phone

 

HTC has arguably taken the Android phone to new heights and it looks like they are shooting for gold with the new Windows Phone 8.  The 3 models in prototype look to be very impressive and the windows 8 platform seems almost geared for use on a touchscreen.   The Windows phone 8 will use the same kernel as the desktop version of Windows 8, lending truth to Microsoft’s claims of a truly universal OS.  As I’ve said before the sweeping changes to the Windows GUI make it look, even on a desktop, as if you are navigating one of the current generation smartphones.  To me the best part of the release of the HTC Windows phone 8 is the entry level unit.  Admittedly I go for the top of the line but giving consumers a lower end choice that, while it may not have ALL the bells and whistles certainly gives you more options than a $100 price change based on internal storage capacity.  The entry level prototype sports a dual core Qualcomm processor with a 4 inch 720p display which is great for a handheld device and will let you watch your favorite streaming movies. In contrast the flagship design will rock a 4.7 inch 720p display and a quad core Qualcomm processor.  While I haven’t seen the final specs on these new phones, HTC may just have the stuff to pull me away from the iPhone.

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IT Solutions | Windows 8 Tablet to be out soon?

  
  
  
  
  

Microsoft to release Windows 8 tablet?

 

Do you have a tablet that you already enjoy (iPad or Android)?  Or are you waiting on the much-anticipated Windows 8 tablet?  According to the http://news.yahoo.com/microsoft-windows-8-tablet-unveiling-said-slated-monday-183444492.html website, you may not have to wait much longer.  Microsoft has indicated that it will be making a major announcement this coming Monday, June 18, that many believe will be the opening for the Windows 8 tablet.

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is already available for download and trial, so if you want a “sneak peak”, you can take a look at it.  Not all of the functionality is there yet, as it is just a pre-release of the Operating System, but it does look nice.  I have tried it myself and it takes a little getting used to, as there is no “Start” menu that previous Windows Operating Systems have all had.  The video that you can browse does give some basics on moving around the new system, so it is well worth the few minutes watching the video.

As far as tablets go, I am sure that Microsoft is going to be giving the current tablets on the market a run for their money, as the Metro interface introduced with Windows 8 brings dynamic content to the home screen.  This means you won’t need to flip through apps to see the most recent things happening.  For instance, you automatically see you have new E-mails available, without even needing to open the mail app to view.  You can also tell at a glance other updates that are happening as they happen, so there won’t be a need to open the app unless you want to see the full content.

So what about you?  Do you have an iPad or Android and really love it?  Or do you want to get the new Windows 8 tablet at the first opportunity available?  Are you interested in other mobility solutions you would like to know more about?  Contact Trigon to discuss the Philadelphia IT Mobility Solutions that are available. 

 

Trigon Mobility Solutions

Mobile Solutions | What Smartphone do you own?

  
  
  
  
  

..if you have one, that is.

Which smartphone do you have

The buzz all around the Internet these days is about the release of Samsung’s “Galaxy S III” smartphone.  According to the http://news.yahoo.com/samsung-galaxy-iii-invades-u-beginning-month-113538279.html website, it is the first time that Samsung will be using the same name for the device regardless of the carrier it is on (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless).  Previously, each carrier had a different name of the device in order to blend in with the other smartphones that the particular wireless carrier used for phones.  The Galaxy S III is set to be available this month by all above named carriers, as well as U.S. Cellular, so you should be able to get one soon if you are so lucky!!

I personally have an HTC Thunderbolt and have loved it ever since I made the switch from the Windows Mobile platform.  I used to be an MS guy all the way, but seeing the HTC Android that a friend of mine had, it looked very appealing.  It had many more features and options that I just didn’t have.  There was no “store” that I could browse to from the phone to download new apps, there was no built-in GPS (I have MS Streets and Trips and the GPS unit would need a converter to connect to the phone), and the screen was much smaller.  The Thunderbolt has the Google Play store (formerly Google Market) for easily (and for the most part, free) downloading new apps, has built-in GPS that integrates with both Google maps for planning trips and Navigation for on-the-go turn-by-turn directions, as well as having a nice screen.  Granted, I do miss my old QWERTY keyboard on my old phone that I could slide out and use easily, but I have adapted to the on-screen keyboard on the Android phone.

So what smartphone do you have and what stories do you have about trading up or trading in?  Would you like to know more about offerings that Trigon Technology has about our Mobile IT Solutions for Philadelphia?  Contact us and we can work with your SMB to develop a plan that best suits your needs.

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Mobile Solutions | What is "root access" on Android devices?

  
  
  
  
  

What is rooting access

 

Maybe you’ve heard someone say that they rooted their Android device and you wondered what that even means.  Well Android runs on top of the Linux kernel, and in Linux root access means to have administrative rights on the system.  This is similar to administrator accounts in Windows.  What this means for Android is that by gaining root access you are then able to control certain system level functions through the use of applications.  A word of warning though by rooting your Android device you will be VOIDING THE WARRANTY on it.  The reason behind this is that the phone companies cannot support the phone if system level changes have been made to it that they are unaware or untrained on.  An additional risk is “bricking” the phone.  If in the process of rooting the phone a step is not completed correctly you can risk doing irreparable damage to the software in such a way that the device cannot even boot.  At that point the device will be nothing more than an expensive paper weight. 

Now that the term rooting has been explained as well as the risks of rooting your Android device you might be wondering why people even bother with it in the first place.  Well some people do it simply because they can.  Others like having the capability of controlling the system more such as placing a software governor on the processor.   By doing this you can underclock the processor thus improving battery life or you can overclock the processor which will speed the device up but reduce the battery life.  Lastly some people like to flash new roms on their device.  Since Android is open source people have created their own versions of Android which contain new features or tweaks to existing features. 

I do have to reiterate though that by performing these functions on any Android device you are voiding the warranty and have the potential to break the device beyond repair.  This article is not a recommendation to root your device it is merely information on what rooting is and what it can do.  If while reading this you have any questions about what smart phones can do for your company then contact us and let us assist you. 

 

Trigon Mobile Solutions

Mobile Solutions | Even Smartphones can be infected by Malware

  
  
  
  
  

 

Even Smartphones can be infected by Malwar

 

So you thought that only computers could be infected by Malware?  You thought wrong.  According to the http://www.pcworld.com/article/248880/massive_android_malware_op_may_have_infected_5_million_users.html website, 13 apps that are available on the Android Market have been shown to be infected with Malware.  The article indicates that as many as 5 million users have downloaded at least one of the apps that contain the software that attempts to retrieve user information.  Symantec has titled the Malware “Android.Counterclank” and as of 3 PM ET Friday, January 27, many were still available.

Previously, those that tried to spread Malware on the Market would take a valid app, add in their own hidden code to gather information from the user, and the repost on the Market – referred to as “rebundled apps”.  Symantec security experts indicate that the Malware apps available do not appear to be from real publishers, either.  If you would like to see those infected apps on the Market, you can check out this website - http://www.symantec.com/connect/fr/blogs/androidcounterclank-found-official-android-market.

So how do you protect yourself?  First off, it is best to wait until an app has been out for a while, as most apps that are infected or cause red flags to be raised happen soon after they are released.  This doesn’t always mean that you will be safe, as the Malware reported in the above article have been on the Market for about a month and just recently were discovered as having the Malware.  Another way you can stay protected is only download apps that you know are safe, such as those from reputable publishers.

Other users are also a good bet – read the reviews, as those with low reviews can sometimes indicate something that just isn’t right.  You can also do some investigation before downloading an app and go with your gut instinct – if something doesn’t feel right about something you are downloading or going to install, it may be best to search for something else.  There are plenty of apps out there that are similar to others, so you might be better off finding something that does what you want but doesn’t throw up those red flags.

Do you want to know more ways to protect yourself and your Smartphone?  Contact us about our Philadelphia Area Mobility Solutions.  You can also find out how to protect your computer network by having Trigon complete an IT Health Check to be sure your systems are clean and protected.

 

Trigon Mobile Solutions

IT Solutions | Android Market has hit 400,000 apps milestone!

  
  
  
  
  

 

Android reaches 400,000 apps

 

So now that I have an Android and the software applications are easier to get than my previous Windows Mobile 6.2 device, I am pleased to find out that the Android Market now has over 400,000 apps available for download.  According to the http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/android-market-achieves-new-milestone-with-400000-active-apps/ website, there are now over 400,000 of the apps that I can download.  Not that I would be able to load up my device with all of these, but I certainly have made use of a few apps already.

The website also talks about the number of apps available for the iPhone, indicating that it has taken the Android longer to reach this milestone (22 months for the iPhone and 31 months for the Android), but by contrast it has taken less time to make the jump from 200,000 to 300,000 and from 300,000 to 400,000 for the Android.  This means that in the over-all scheme, the ramp-up to the 400,000 level grew faster in the second half of release than it took the iPhone App Store to get to the same amount.

One other item the website reviews is the revenue brought in by the apps in the respective sites.  More than half of the apps on the Android Market are free (68% according to the article), most of which are part of the so-called “freemium” model.  This is the idea that the basic app is provided free (most with advertisements) and an upgrade to an advertisement-free and/or advanced feature app can be purchased.  Alternatively on the Apple App Store, more apps need to be purchased in order to download.

As I am a big proponent of the “freemium” model, I am really glad I did go with the Android versus the iPhone when making my SmartPhone purchase.  What about you – what device do you have?  Do you like it or are you in the “market” for a new one?  Contact us about our Trigon Mobility Solutions to see how we can help your business grow with such a device.

 

Mobile Solutions

IT Solutions | Released: The Samsung Galaxy Nexus

  
  
  
  
  

 

Samsung last month released its brand new phone the Galaxy Nexus, and with it Google’s latest version of Android which is 4.0.  So what can we expect from Android 4.0 codenamed Ice Cream SandwiSamsung Galaxy Nexusch and the Galaxy Nexus?  Well actually quite a lot it would seem.  This version brings with it the availability of home screen folders.  With this handy tool you can organize your apps in whatever way you choose or if you prefer the all apps screen it will still be available.  If you like texting then you’ll be happy to hear that there are improvements made to the built in spell checker.  Words that are spelled incorrectly will now be underlined and tapping that word will show word suggestions.  In my opinion one of the most interesting of the latest features iAndroid Beam which will allow two people to transfer data and apps just by touching two Android 4.0 phones together. 

With the release of Android 4.0 in addition to adding some great features and really refining the user interface Google is also attempting to unify Android under one look and feel.  Their goal is to eventually do away with the skins manufacturers put on their phones such as HTC sense and Motoblur so that other than hardware all Android phones will be the same.  Is this a good move on Google’s part?  I don’t really know HTC sense tends to be a selling point for HTC’s Android based phones.  I guess only time will tell on this one.  If you’d like more information on Android 4.0 check out www.android.com and if you’re interested in mobile options for your business give us a call and let us assist you. 

 

Mobility Solutions

Mobility Solutions | What mobile device do you have?

  
  
  
  
  

 

Choosing a cellular device that's right for you

               

The last few blogs that I have written, as well as a few in the past, have been about the Apple iPhone. I had been using a Windows Mobile 6.2 device myself for the last few years and only had the pleasure of using friends’ and family’s iPhones. My phone was dying and I was going to see about upgrading to an iPhone (the only reason I hadn’t got one before was Verizon didn’t offer them until this year). After talking with a friend, he suggested I go with an Android.

I was thinking about getting an Android, but because of all the friends and family that have the iPhone, I was going to get an iPhone myself. I liked a lot of the apps that they have and wanted to be able to “play” with some of the features and things I have been writing about for the past few months. So, after seeing the Android first-hand, I knew it was going to be for me. For starters, it had the ability to have Adobe Flash Player installed on it, which the iPhone does not (why can’t Apple and Adobe come to some agreement?????).  Next, it had an appealing interface to it. While I was used to going to the “Apple Store” for apps on friends’ iPhones, I was new to the Android “Market”.  It was very easy to search and find exactly what I was looking for.

The only down-side to the Android that I have found so far is that my favorite app, Magic Piano, on the iPhone has not been written for the Android. Most of the other apps and other things that I had on my previous Windows Mobile 6.2 device, as well as a few additions I wanted, I was easily able to get for free on the new Android. For the first time, I am able to check my auto insurance coverage anywhere I want, see where I am by using Maps (including directions that rival the TomTom and Garmin) with appropriate GPS, and be able to listen to music using the Pandora app. As these are all free, it is like an early Christmas present.

So, what mobile device do you have? An iPhone, Android, Windows-based, Blackberry (perish the thought!!)? Or do you still have a device that is not a SmartPhone that can do all these fun things? What are your likes and dislikes about your device? Is it easy to use and have all the things on it you wanted?  Are you able to do what you thought you could or are you disappointed that you got it and think you would have been happier with another device?

Are you in need of some assistance with the purchase of a new device that could help your business grow by increasing your productivity?  Please contact us to discuss our Philadelphia IT Mobility Solutions. Or let us know how we can help you with our many Philadelphia IT Strategy Solutions. We would be happy to help you do what you do best – make your life easier while at the same time advancing your business however you think best.

 

Philadelphia area Mobile Solutions

IT Support | Is Apple worried about the upcoming Amazon release?

  
  
  
  
  

 

It Support, Amazon Tablet, iPad competition

According to the http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/09/26/amazons-wednesday-tablet-launch-threat-to-apples-ipad-analysts-say/ website, Amazon plans to release a tablet on Wednesday that will potentially draw customers away from Apple’s iPad.

Amazon will be releasing a new tablet that apparently has Apple reducing the number of iPads that it will be ordering from its manufacturers in Taiwan.  The release indicates it is much as a 25% reduction in orders for the tablets.  It also has been indicated that the Amazon tablet will be released at a significantly lower price than the lowest priced iPad produced by Apple.

Few details are available, but it sounds like the tablet will also be named Kindle, after the e-book reader released by Amazon.  It is rumored to sport a 7-inch, full-color touch screen that will be based on the Google Android system and priced around $250.  Just think of the apps that are already going to be available to the tablet that will most likely draw a crowd that doesn’t want to spend almost as much as an inexpensive desktop computer for a tablet solution.  Besides all this, the new Amazon tablet will have access to all of the releases from Amazon available to it, such as all of the e-books, audio and video media, and other content currently available from the Internet company.

If you are interested in mobile computing, contact us to discuss our Trigon Technology Mobility Solutions.  We also offer a number of Small Business Solutions for Philadelphia businesses.  Contact us to learn more.

 

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