CyanogenMod Installer now in Google Play store

One of Android's biggest hang-ups could be going the way of the rotary phone, thanks to a new app released on Tuesday by CyanogenMod.

The first app published by CyanogenMod since it received $7 million in funding and incorporated in September is the CyanogenMod Installer, which streamlines installing the customized version of Android.

Installing custom versions of Android, called custom ROMs, is tricky business. CyanogenMod's new installer app aims overcome the learning curve and make it easy for any Android user to install its custom ROM.

While CyanogenMod didn't immediately have many details available, an explanation of … Read more

Android 4.4 gives apps vastly better Web technology

Chrome for Android has been available for more than a year, but the improvements it offered over the operating system's more basic browser weren't available to developers who wanted to draw upon the browser's abilities for their own native apps.

Until now.

With the KitKat release of Android, Google updated a programming interface called WebView so it now employs Chrome instead of the earlier WebKit-based browser. That enables apps with many modern browser features such as WebRTC for real time audio and video chat, WebGL for accelerated 2D and 3D graphics, and a full-screen option.

The new … Read more

iPhone 5S now in even shorter supply, says analyst

The iPhone 5S is now playing even harder to get.

Over the past three weeks, availability of the new high-end iPhone has dropped to less than 5 percent of all iPhone models, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said in an investor note released Friday. That contrasts with the 6 percent availability previously cited by the analyst for the week ending October 11.

Following the launch of the 5S on September 20, the new model accounted for 27 percent of all iPhones in stock, Munster said. But that number plummeted as consumer demand shot up.

When might the iPhone 5S become … Read more

Android signs up for official default setting for texting

The underlying code that powers Android text messaging is about to get a makeover, and that could have far-reaching changes for how people text each other on Android 4.4 KitKat and beyond.

For non-developers, the changes will be practically unnoticeable. As the screenshot above indicates, soon you'll be able to choose a default SMS (Short Message Service) app through the Android operating system itself. Currently, the SMS app developer must make it an option in the app's settings.

The changes to how KitKat will handle text messaging involve altering its application programming interfaces. Google said in an … Read more

iPhone 6 will raise screen size close to 5 inches, says analyst

Apple's iPhone 6 will jump in screen size to almost 5 inches from the current 4 inches. At least, that's the claim from Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White.

After meeting recently with an Apple supplier, White expressed confidence that a new big-screen iPhone will emerge next year, as reported by Boy Genius Report.

"Our meeting with a tech supply chain vendor highlighted a bigger iPhone is in the works, and our contact expects a launch in the 2Q:14/3Q:14 time frame," White said in an investors note released on Thursday. "Nearly a year … Read more

iPhone 6 will offer a 4.8-inch screen, predicts analyst

iPhone buyers yearning for a much bigger screen will get their wish next year, at least if a forecast from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek comes true.

After meeting last week with Apple suppliers in Asia, Misek issued a note to investors on Monday in which he said that the iPhone 6 would offer a 4.8-inch screen. If true, that would be a hefty increase over the 4-inch screen found in the current iPhone lineup.

Misek didn't reveal exactly what triggered his prediction, but he did note that the new screen size would drive a huge number of upgrades. … Read more

Apple may need Samsung to make enough chips for iPhone 6

Apple may have to rely on arch-rival Samsung for a hefty percentage of processors to power the next iPhone.

Samsung has been Apple's go-to manufacturer for the past several chip generations, most recently producing the A5, the A6, and this year's A7. Apple has sought to reduce that dependence by reportedly cutting a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to take on production of future A series processors. But Samsung is far from out of the picture, according to a story from The Korea Economic Daily.

Samsung will manufacture 30 to 40 percent of the A8 processors … Read more

Hacker video shows how to thwart Apple's Touch ID

One of the hackers who recently tricked Apple's fingerprint sensor now has a video out showing just how he does it.

Earlier this week, a group of hackers in Germany, known as the Chaos Computer Club, took credit for bypassing the biometric security on the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. That hack was accomplished by scanning someone's fingerprint and ultimately using that to gain access to that person's iPhone 5S.

Posted on Vimeo by one of the hackers known as Starbug, the video takes us through the entire process from the initial scan to the actual fingerprint trickery. … Read more

Cyanogen aims $7M in funding at mobile OS conquest

If you're an Android enthusiast, you've probably heard of CyanogenMod. If you're not, the newly incorporated company's leaders have big ideas on how to make sure you do.

CyanogenMod recently flipped the switch from an Android Open Source Project (AOSP) enthusiast's dream to become a legitimate company with a team of 17 developers. Under the aegis of Boost co-founder Kirt McMaster as its chief executive, Cyanogen, Inc., has secured $7 million in Series A funding from Benchmark Capital to push it to become more than an fan project.

The focus of Cyanogen's development will … Read more

Hardware ahoy: Adobe to sell its Mighty digital pen in 2014

Like Google and Microsoft, Adobe Systems has been bitten by the hardware bug.

The software company announced Tuesday that it will begin selling its Mighty digital pen -- a stylus for iPads that it first demonstrated in prototype form in May. And it announced two new iOS app prototypes, Parallel and Contour, that make use of the Mighty and a related Adobe hardware product, a digitally connected ruler called Napoleon.

The Mighty is designed to close the gap between drawing on paper and using a tablet, with a Bluetooth link to the tablet software and drawing technology that Michael Gough, … Read more