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25 Dec 12 How to Set Up Your Nexus 7


If you got a new 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet for the holidays, you’re in for a treat as you now are in possession of an extremely useful tool for things like reading, gaming and video watching. If you don’t know what to do after you get the Nexus 7 out of the box, we’re here to show you how to set up your new tablet and get it ready to go for the days to come.

Here, we’ll walk you through setting up the Nexus 7 and tell you how to turning on security and parental controls, offer some tips on using the Nexus 7 and show you some apps that will help get you started.

The Nexus 7 set up process should only take 15 to 30 minutes, so those that are fortunate enough to have received the Nexus 7 will be able get it set up and ready to go before traveling this holiday season.

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Learn how to set up the Nexus 7.

In addition to setting up the Nexus 7, we suggest taking a look at some of the great Nexus 7 cases out there to help protect your new device. Some of them will even act as a stand for the tablet which will ensure a fantastic video watching experience with an app like Netflix or content found through the Google Play Store.

Nexus 7 Setup

When you turn your Nexus 7 on for the first time, the device will take you to a Welcome screen where you’ll want to change to your language of choice. This is an option that you can change later but unless you’re master of several languages, you’ll just want to choose a default one right off the bat.

The device will then ask you for Google account information. If you already have a Gmail account, you’ll simply want to enter in your information. If you don’t have an account, this is a great time to set one up.

The Nexus 7 will ask if you want to backup your device to Google’s servers. We highly recommend this as it will make restoring app data, bookmarks, WiFi passwords, and other settings to the Nexus 7 easier if you reset it or switch to a new device down the road.

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Next, it will ask if you want to enable Location Services. By turning it on, it will enable Google Location Services and Standalone GPS Services to let the Nexus 7 deliver location-based results for Google Now and for Google searches.

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Finally, you’ll want to connect to a Wi-Fi network. Connect to a WiFi network when prompted and the device will scan for your home network. At that point, simply enter the password, if you have one, and the device will be Wi-Fi-enabled.

Nexus 7 Security

Now is a fantastic time to take some steps to protect your Nexus 7 tablet. This way, others won’t be able to use your personal information or the apps and content that you’ve downloaded to your tablet device.

With Android, Google gives you several options that will allow you to protect your Nexus 7 and your data from harm. In order to change security settings, you’ll want to head into the Nexus 7′s Settings, scroll down and tap Security under the Personal section. Here, you’ll be presented with five possible security options to protect your device from others.

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Setting up a PIN or password for your Nexus 7 is a smart idea.

Slide provides no security and allows users to simply slide to unlock. The second is Face Unlock which allows you to unlock the phone with your face. It’s not a fool-proof system though so we don’t recommend it. The other three options are the recommended.

The first, pattern, allows you to set up a swiping pattern to protect your device. You will have to connect at least four dots and once that’s done, you’ll repeat the pattern and the device will be locked and will only be able to be opened by using that pattern.

Article source: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/12/24/how-to-set-up-your-nexus-7/

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21 Apr 12 Proof-of-concept Android Trojan App Analyzes Motion Sensor Data to Determine …


A team of researchers from Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and IBM have designed a proof-of-concept Android Trojan app that can steal passwords and other sensitive information by using the smartphone’s motion sensors to determine what keys victims tap on their touchscreens when unlocking their phones or inputting credit card numbers during phone banking operations.

The Trojan horse is dubbed TapLogger by its creators and was designed to demonstrate how data from a smartphone’s accelerometer and orientation sensors can be abused by applications with no special security permissions to compromise privacy.

TapLogger was created by Zhi Xu, a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at PSU, Kun Bai, a researcher at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center and Sencun Zhu, an associate professor of Computer Science and Engineering at PSU’s College of Engineering.

Accelerometer and orientation sensor data are not protected under Android’s security model, and this means that they are exposed to any application, regardless of its permissions on the system, the research team said in a paper that was presented during the ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks on Tuesday.

The TapLogger application functions as an icon-matching game, but has several background components that capture and use data from the motion sensors to infer touchscreen-based user input.

When certain regions of the touchscreen are tapped during the normal phone operation, the device experiences subtle moves. For example, tapping somewhere on the right side of the touchscreen, will cause the phone to tilt slightly to the right.

These phone movements are picked up by the motion sensors and can then be analyzed to build patterns corresponding to specific tap events when performing certain actions, like when typing the screen unlock PIN or entering the credit card number during a phone call.

After installation, TapLogger runs in training mode and collects motion sensor data while the user plays the icon-matching game. This is necessary because tap-generated movements can be different for every phone and user.

After it has collected enough data, the Trojan app builds tap event patterns and starts using them to infer user input during targeted operations.

“While the applications relying on mobile sensing are booming, the security and privacy issues related to such applications are not well understood yet,” the researchers said in their paper, noting that other motion sensor-based attacks have been demonstrated in the past.

In August 2011, a pair of researchers from University of California proposed a similar attack and designed a concept application called TouchLogger to demonstrate it.

However, compared to TouchLogger, TapLogger uses additional orientation sensor readings and introduces the training mode for device-specific data. It also features stealth options and supports two practical attacks — inferring screen unlock passwords and credit card PIN numbers, the new Trojan’s creators said.

Another motion-sensor-based attack was presented in October 2011 by a research team from the Georgia Institute of Technology, who used data from an iPhone 4′s accelerometer and gyroscope to infer what was being typed on a computer keyboard positioned near the device.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/254170/proofofconcept_android_trojan_app_analyzes_motion_sensor_data_to_determine_tapped_keys.html

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20 Apr 12 Proof-of-concept Android Trojan uses motion sensor to determine tapped keys


IDG News Service - A team of researchers from Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and IBM have designed a proof-of-concept Android Trojan app that can steal passwords and other sensitive information by using the smartphone’s motion sensors to determine what keys victims tap on their touchscreens when unlocking their phones or inputting credit card numbers during phone banking operations.

The Trojan horse is dubbed TapLogger by its creators and was designed to demonstrate how data from a smartphone’s accelerometer and orientation sensors can be abused by applications with no special security permissions to compromise privacy.

TapLogger was created by Zhi Xu, a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at PSU, Kun Bai, a researcher at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center and Sencun Zhu, an associate professor of Computer Science and Engineering at PSU’s College of Engineering.

Accelerometer and orientation sensor data are not protected under Android’s security model, and this means that they are exposed to any application, regardless of its permissions on the system, the research team said in a paper that was presented during the ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks on Tuesday.

The TapLogger application functions as an icon-matching game, but has several background components that capture and use data from the motion sensors to infer touchscreen-based user input.

When certain regions of the touchscreen are tapped during the normal phone operation, the device experiences subtle moves. For example, tapping somewhere on the right side of the touchscreen, will cause the phone to tilt slightly to the right.

These phone movements are picked up by the motion sensors and can then be analyzed to build patterns corresponding to specific tap events when performing certain actions, like when typing the screen unlock PIN or entering the credit card number during a phone call.

After installation, TapLogger runs in training mode and collects motion sensor data while the user plays the icon-matching game. This is necessary because tap-generated movements can be different for every phone and user.

After it has collected enough data, the Trojan app builds tap event patterns and starts using them to infer user input during targeted operations.

“While the applications relying on mobile sensing are booming, the security and privacy issues related to such applications are not well understood yet,” the researchers said in their paper, noting that other motion sensor-based attacks have been demonstrated in the past.

In August 2011, a pair of researchers from University of California proposed a similar attack and designed a concept application called TouchLogger to demonstrate it.

However, compared to TouchLogger, TapLogger uses additional orientation sensor readings and introduces the training mode for device-specific data. It also features stealth options and supports two practical attacks — inferring screen unlock passwords and credit card PIN numbers, the new Trojan’s creators said.

Another motion-sensor-based attack was presented in October 2011 by a research team from the Georgia Institute of Technology, who used data from an iPhone 4′s accelerometer and gyroscope to infer what was being typed on a computer keyboard positioned near the device.

Article source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9226421/Proof_of_concept_Android_Trojan_uses_motion_sensor_to_determine_tapped_keys?taxonomyId=144

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19 Oct 11 Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich: Our top ten favorite features


Ice Cream Sandwich has finally come out of the Google freezer and it’s easily the most significant Android update to date. Representing more than just a bunch of neat features that has typified previous OS updates, Ice Cream Sandwich is a radical rethink of all things Android.

The old user interface we’ve known from the past has gone; with Ice Cream Sandwich comes a new UI that’s an evolution of the black and green/neon themes of Gingerbread and Honeycomb along with refreshed browser, Gmail and Google Calendar apps.

Ice Cream Sandwich represents a “unified user experience for phones, tablets, and more” and is due to be rolled out to existing Android smartphones at some point too. There’s no timetable for rollouts to devices just yet but you can be sure we’re keeping an eye out for those.

There’s many reasons to be excited about Ice Cream Sandwich; here’s the ten things that we’re most excited about right now, why they’re important and why you should care.

1. New keyboard, new font

In line with Google’s commitment to making a unified OS, Ice Cream Sandwich prominently features a new font that’s “optimized for HD displays,” so it’ll look at home on huge 10.1-inch tablets as well as smaller smartphone screens.

Google has also “dramatically improved the keyboard,” adding faster and more accurate word prediction, with the auto-suggestions now being sensibly limited to three suggestions at a time.

2. New browser with Google Chrome bookmark syncing, offline reading and full desktop sites

Speaking of the new font, you’re also able to increase the default text size across the system for improved readability; this extends to the web browser.

Being able to send links from Chrome and Firefox (and vice versa) to your phone is something we’ve been able to do for a little while on our Android phones, but the process required involved a bit of a workaround.

As cool as this is, we’re pleased to hear that the stock Ice Cream Sandwich browser allows you to sync bookmarks from your desktop on Chrome with those on your phone.

You’ll also be able to save copies of pages for reading articles offline (perfect for train journeys) and toggle between desktop and mobile versions of sites.

This is something that you can already do on certain phones, like the browser on the HTC Sensation, but it’s great that this feature will be an Android standard in the post Ice Cream Sandwich world.

3. Android Beam – Tap to share docs, contacts and more with NFC

Back when Google announced Android 2.3 Gingerbread along with the Nexus S, much was made of the NFC capabilities of the phone and the platform in terms of how it would revolutionise spending.

The m-commerce revolution hasn’t quite happened yet, but there’s more to NFC than just turning your phone into an expensive, battery-powered credit card.

Ice Cream Sandwich comes with a neat new feature called Android Beam. Similar to BlackBerry Tag announced just over a week ago, Beam will allow you to tap two NFC’ed Android phones together and share things like contacts, URLs, YouTube links, map locations and directions, and apps.

“Simply hold two NFC enabled Android phones close to each other and touch to beam and share,” says Google.

Sadly, it won’t let you shoot frickin’ laser beams at goofy British spies.

4. Improved notifications

The all-important notification bar that’s been a staple Android feature since the year dot has got a welcome refresh. From the pull-down bar you can manage individual notifications, dismissing them one at a time instead of wiping the entire slate clean like before.

From the notif bar you’ll also be able to “play music tracks, see real-time updates from apps, and much more.”

Additionally, you’ll also be able to access the new notification bar from the lock screen, which will allow you to control music without opening the phone. The new lock screen also features a new ‘unlock to camera’ option, a la HTC Sense.

5. Cut down on bloatware thanks to the ‘disable pre-installed apps’ option

It’s always been a kicker when we see an Android phone that’s got a bunch of apps installed on it that we can’t uninstall, at least not without rooting the phone which not everyone is able or inclined to do.

In any case, you’d have to spend time (while voiding any warranty) doing something that you ought to be able to do from the Applications menu in the Settings.

Ice Cream Sandwich won’t be able to cut pre-installed apps out totally, but will allow you to ‘disable’ them. “From the All Apps launcher, users can now simply drag an app to get information about it or immediately uninstall it, or disable a pre-installed app.”

Google engineer Dan Morrill says on his Google+ that disabling an app means that its “resources never run and its launcher icon is gone until you re-enable it,” but it won’t “free up any space — it can’t, since pre-installed apps are included in the read-only system storage. But it does put them “out of sight, out of mind.”

6. Redesigned gallery app with a ton of editing features

As we heard earlier in the week the standard Android Gallery app has been significantly beefed up for Ice Cream Sandwich. The Gallery now comes with a bunch of effects that essentially turns your phone into a mini Photoshop for pictures taken on your phone.

Elementary editing tools like crop, rotate and flip are now built in, along with correction options for red eye and shiny face removal.

As well as this you get the ability to adjust the contrast and pick from a number of artistic effect filters.

7. Redesigned camera app adds panorama mode and face detection

As well as post-photo editing options, a panoramic sweep mode has been added to the standard Ice Cream Sandwich camera app, allowing you to stitch together huge pictures. Google says that “the user starts an exposure and then slowly turns the Camera to encompass as wide a perspective as needed. The Camera assembles the full range of continuous imagery into a single panoramic photo.” We’re assuming this means you’ll get a full 360 degree panning as we’ve seen on this iOS app.

Things like face detection, tap to focus come built in, as do decreased shot-to-shot speed, continuous focus and zero shutter lag exposure which ought to allow for snappier, more precise pictures.

While shooting video, you’ll also be able to take snapshots at full video resolution while the phone is still recording. So, on the Galaxy Nexus, with its Full HD video recording capabilities, this means you’ll be able to snap pics at 1920×1080 (1080p). Nice!

Though many of the higher-end Android phones out now come with some decent camera software built in, it’s great to see that all this kind of stuff will be available to any Ice Cream Sandwich phone.

8. Taking screenshots is now a piece of cake

Taking screenshots on your Android phone is a feature that was actually tucked away in Android 2.2 Froyo, but for some reason wasn’t enabled on all phones. We recently found out that you could do this on a handful of phones by holding down the power button and tapping the Home key.

On phones that don’t have this function, you can also enable screengrabbing without having to root them with a little workaround, which is obviously great.

Thankfully, this elementary screengrab feature will be baked in to Ice Cream Sandwich. “Users can now share what’s on their screens more easily by taking screenshots. Hardware buttons let them snap a screenshot and store it locally,” says Google.

9. Better data management

With Ice Cream Sandwich, you’ll be able to have greater control over the amount of data your phone munches through, as well as setting up alerts for when you’re close to the end of your monthly data allowance.

You’re also able to set hard limits that will disable 3G connections altogether once a certain threshold has been reached and manage data used by individual apps.

Again, we’ve been able to do this in the past thanks to apps like 3G Watchdog and Onavo for Android, but its great that this type of functionality comes built straight in out of the box.

10. Face Unlock – no more PIN numbers, no more unlock patterns

We’ve seen PIN numbers, we’ve seen that iconic green discs unlock pattern, we’ve seen boring old passwords and even fingerprint scanners on Android phones.

Now Ice Cream Sandwich brings things one step further with a new Face Unlock tool, similar to the recently announced Symbian app.

Using the front-facing camera of your Android phone, Ice Cream Sandwich used face detection technology, allowing you to unlock your phone just by smiling at it. Genius and super-secure as should your phone go missing, anyone who picks it up won’t be able to unlock it unless they happen to have your face lying around.

We’re really curious to see how this works for ourselves; we’re wondering if somebody could take a picture of your face, hold it up to your ICS phone and if it’d accept that, a la Demolition Man.

Seeing as the front-facing camera of the Galaxy Nexus doesn’t appear to be a 3D camera we wonder if the software could distinguish between a 2D image and a real face.

As we said, there’s much much more to Ice Cream Sandwich than these ten points, but this is what we’re most excited about at the moment. You can have a look at Google’s own Android Platform Highlights, google.com/nexus and the Google Mobile Blog.

Article source: http://recombu.com/news/android-40-ice-cream-sandwich-our-top-ten-favorite-features_M15566.html

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