Liliputing: Database of 200+ smartphones that can run Linux (unofficially). “In a nutshell all you have to do is type your phone’s model number into a box at… and if your phone is one of the 200+ models in the database, you’ll see listings for the GNU/Linux distributions that support your device. Have a Nexus 5? It’s supported by all three of the Linux-based operating systems mentioned above. Have a first-gen Pixel or Samsung Galaxy S7? Then your phone can run postmarketOS.”
TechCrunch: Popular Android phones can be tricked into snooping on their owners. “Security researchers have found several popular Android phones can be tricked into snooping on their owners by exploiting a weakness that gives accessories access to the phone’s underlying baseband software. Attackers can use that access to trick vulnerable phones into giving up their unique identifiers, such as their IMEI and IMSI numbers, downgrade a target’s connection in order to intercept phone calls, forward calls to another phone or block all phone calls and internet access altogether.”
Ars Technica: RIP OG Pixel: Google ends support after just three years [Update]. “Pour one out this morning for the OG Google Pixel 1. This month’s Android security patches are out, and while you’ll find bulletins covering the Pixel 2, 3, and 4, the original Google Pixel didn’t make the cut. Google is ending support this month.” An update to the story notes that support is actually ending NEXT month. Still, that means the phone is obsolete in… three years? And the these phones started at $649?
Google Blog: Google Play Points: a rewards program for all the ways you Play. “Since 2012, Google Play has been your place to find and enjoy apps, games, movies, TV shows, and books. More than 2 billion people in 190 countries use Google Play to discover blockbuster movies, apps that help you be more productive, and books that inspire imagination. To show our appreciation, we created a new rewards program called Google Play Points that lets you earn points and rewards for the ways you already use Google Play. Over the past year, millions of people in Japan and South Korea have joined the program, and starting today, Google Play Points is launching in the United States.” Considering how many problems have been coming out of Google Play lately, I’m uneasy about adding a program that encourages people to get more apps.
Engadget: How computational photography is making your photos better. “Phone cameras have undergone huge improvements in recent years, but they’ve done so without the hardware changing all that much. Sure, lenses and sensors continue to improve, but the big developments have all been in software. So-called computational photography is using algorithms and even machine learning to stitch together multiple photos to yield better results than were previously possible from a tiny lens and sensor.”
Core77: How to (Quickly) Use Your iPhone as a Super Magnifying Glass. “I hardly ever use my iPhone as a phone anymore. But as my eyesight deteriorates, I use it all the time to photograph small-print labels, then pinch and zoom on the photo so I can actually read the text. Well, what a dope I am.”
Mashable: A majority of kids have smartphones by middle school, study finds . “Between 2015 and 2019, the age at which a majority of kids have a smartphone dropped from roughly 13-14 to 11, according to new research. A new study from Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that seeks to inform parents about safe technology and media for children, found that 53 percent of kids have their own smartphone by the age of 11. By age 12, more than 69 percent of kids do.”