Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
By Usama Jawad96
OnePlus: Yes, we throttle some popular apps but not to manipulate benchmarks
by Usama Jawad
While throttling of software has become a somewhat common practice from OEMs in pursuit of better battery life, lawsuits are still filed against firms when such discoveries become public knowledge. This time, OnePlus has admitted that it throttles certain apps in its OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro smartphones following a report from AnandTech.
AnandTech discovered that the OnePlus Performance Service makes changes to the CPU scheduler in order to throttle the performance of certain apps. While throttling based on app behavior isn't entirely uncommon, the issue here is that it explicitly identifies which apps to throttle. Some of these apps are quite popular, including Chrome, Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Microsoft Office apps, and even some of OnePlus' own apps. These apps are limited to the Cortex-A55 cores only instead of making use of Cortex-X1 core, which means that they suffer quite a performance hit. The report noted that this resulted in the blacklisted apps returning scores similar to a budget smartphone rather than a flagship device.
In response, benchmarking website Geekbench has delisted the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro from its Android performance charts, saying that:
Geekbench says that it will now investigate the benchmark scores of other OnePlus handsets as well, and if they exhibit the same behavior, they will be removed too.
In a statement to XDA Developers, OnePlus has officially admitted that it does throttle the apps in question, but this is not to manipulate benchmark scores. The company's statement reads:
The problem here is twofold. The first issue is misrepresentation of performance in the guise of battery life optimization. The OS uses more performant cores while some apps are restricted to slower cores, potentially making customers believe that slow performance is an issue of app optimization rather than the phone itself. This also results in manipulated benchmarks scores, as pointed out by Geekbench. The second issue is that apps that are to be throttled are explicitly singled out rather than it being in response to their battery-hungry behavior. The developers of these applications certainly won't be happy to find out about this. Overall, this leads to the question of whether OnePlus has been doing this with its older phones too or is this is just an exception it made based on user feedback? More importantly, will it revert its design changes based on the backlash it is currently receiving or will it stick with its stance? We will let you know as the situation unfolds.
Source: AnandTech, XDA Developers
By Jay Bonggolto
New app claims to test your phone's water resistance even without using water
by Jay Bonggolto
Most flagship smartphones such as Samsung's Galaxy S21 series have a native capability to resist water submersion up to 1.5 meters deep, thanks to their IP68 rating. This gives you the confidence that your device is deemed fit enough to withstand water, dust, and sand. However, it can be hard to prove that without actually submerging your device in water.
Thanks to a new Android app called Water Resistance Tester, you can now use your phone’s barometer to check the integrity of its waterproof seals. What's more interesting about it is you don't need any water to gauge your phone's water resistance capability. The barometric sensor determines the pressure level inside a device and the app measures changes to that pressure level.
Using the app is pretty straightforward. You only need to let your phone sit on a surface and press your thumbs down firmly on the screen. After the test, the app will let you know whether your phone's waterproof sealing is still intact.
It should be noted that you won't be able to use the app if your device doesn't have an IP rating or barometer. Likewise, you should really prevent your phone from being submerged.
The developer also warned against exposing your handset to water splash if it's on the older side since the seals may no longer do their job as the phone ages. If you want to give it a try, you can download the Water Resistance Tester app through the Play Store for free. It comes with ads, but you can donate $0.99 if you want them removed.
Source: Ray W (Play Store) via Android Police
Surface Duo gets May update with more stability improvements
by João Carrasqueira
Microsoft has released the latest firmware update for the Surface Duo, its dual-screen phone powered by Android. The company promised security and feature updates for the next three years at launch, and it's been mostly living up to that.
The update arrives with firmware version 2021.419.70 in North America, and 2021.419.72 in Europe. As you might expect, it adds this month's Android security patch, but it also comes with a handful of fixes and improvements to stability and reliability. There were a few complaints about the Duo's software bugs at launch, but Microsoft has continuously been making improvements over time. Here's the full changelog:
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced a new feature for the Surface Duo, that being the ability to display Xbox cloud gaming controls on one display, while the game is displayed on the other screen. This should give users a better experience with controlling cloud games, as they no longer have to cover the game with their fingers while playing.
With Android 12 already on the horizon, what might be a bit more concerning to some is that the Surface Duo is still running Android 10, despite releasing near the launch date of Android 11 last year. The update to Android 11 is reportedly planned for this summer, but that will probably leave some users to question when the next major update will arrive, seeing as it's only a few months away now. Considering that the Duo is mostly geared towards business users, however, security updates are understandably the biggest priority for Microsoft.
By News Staff
Access 210+ curated apps for both Mac and iPhone at 42% off with Setapp
by Steven Parker
Today's highlighted deal comes via our Apps + Software section of the Neowin Deals store, where for only a limited time, you can save 42% off a 1-year subscription to Setapp. Access 210+ curated apps for both Mac and iPhone and start focusing on your work.
Setapp is the next generation productivity service for Mac and iPhone users to get the right way and tools to organize their work, with a curated collection of 210+ apps and personalized app recommendation system. Like a genie’s lamp, Setapp is bursting with tools that easily install to boost workflow. With a Setapp membership, get every app available now and every app to come.
Access to 210+ apps gives you the endless joy of discovery Browse a library of apps spanning maintenance, lifestyle, Mac hacks & productivity, task management, developer tools, creativity, personal finance, & more Use apps without distractions, in-app purchases, or ads Get new software without paying for costly upgrades so you always have the latest version No need to separate Mac & iPhone routines - with Setapp, your apps are fully synced across devices A 1-year subscription to Setapp normally costs $119, but you can pick it up for just $69 for a limited time - that represents a saving of $50 (42% off). For a full description, spec, and terms, click the link below.
Get this deal, or learn more about it
Not for you?
That's OK, there are other deals on offer you can check out here.
Enter giveaways: Polycade Home Arcade | $5K in cash | $10K in Crypto Ivacy VPN - 5 year subscription for just $1 per month NordVPN - 2 year subscription at up to 68% off Private Internet Access VPN - subscriptions at up to 71% off Unlocator VPN or SmartDNS - unblock Geoblock with 7-day free trial Neowin Store for our preferred partners. Subscribe to Neowin - for $14 a year, or $28 a year for Ad-Free experience Neowin Deals · Free eBooks · Neowin Store
Disclosure: This is a StackCommerce deal or giveaway in partnership with Neowin; an account at StackCommerce is required to participate in any deals or giveaways. For a full description of StackCommerce's privacy guidelines, go here. Neowin benefits from shared revenue of each sale made through our branded deals site, and it all goes toward the running costs.
By Usama Jawad96
Apple rejected over 200,000 apps in 2020 for violating user privacy
by Usama Jawad
A few weeks ago, Google released some stats about how it stopped malicious activity on Google Play in 2020, with the most notable one being the banning of over 100,000 developer accounts. Now, Apple has revealed similar stats regarding its own review process for the App Store.
Apple noted that the sophistication and scale of cybersecurity threats in apps is increasing day by day, which is why it has a stringent review policy in place that aims to restrict malicious apps from launching in the App Store. A crucial part of this process is the App Review team which utilizes the App Store's guidelines to approve or reject submissions from various developers. These guidelines are also updated frequently given the continuously evolving threat landscape.
To that end, the App Review team assisted 180,000 developers to launch their apps in 2020 while over one million new apps and one million updates were rejected for not working as advertised or for not having proper moderation mechanisms in place to monitor and moderate user-generated content.
48,000 of these apps were rejected for containing undocumented capabilities while 150,000 were rejected because they were deemed to be copycat or contained features which scammed users into making purchases. 95,000 apps were removed from the App Store for employing bait-and-switch tactics. Lastly, 215,000 app were rejected because they violated user privacy by either mishandling consumer data or demanding more permissions than actually required. Apple says that even now it is continuously working to remove apps which switch functionalities after the initial review process to engage in predatory activities such as selling drugs, gambling, and rewarding users for sharing pornographic content via video calls.
Another core component of the App Store is the ratings and reviews system since many users depend on it to decide which apps to download or purchase. In 2020, Apple use a combination of artificial intelligence and humans to examine over a billion ratings and reviews, which resulted in almost 250 million of them being removed for not meeting Apple's standards.
When it comes to account fraud, Apple terminated the contracts of 470,000 developers in 2020 and rejected an additional 205,000 new enrollments due to suspicion of fraudulent activities. On average, Apple detects and terminates fraudulent developer accounts within a month after enrolling them. The company also boasted that:
The Cupertino firm also has a Developer Enterprise Program for organizations which want to publish their apps for internal use, bypassing the standard app review process. Even here, Apple noticed and stopped over 3.2 million instances where fraudulent submissions were being made, likely by a malicious actor tricking an insider to leak credentials.
Apple's activity did not only stop at fraudulent developer accounts. In fact, it deactivated 244 million customer accounts because of "fraudulent and abusive activity". Another 424 million new enrollments were rejected for suspicion of the same.
Finally, with respect to payment and credit card fraud, Apple once again used a combination of artificial intelligence and human review teams to stop transactions from over 3 million stolen cards in 2020. A million accounts were banned from transacting in the future altogether. Overall, these activities resulted in users being protected from $1.5 billion in potentially fraudulent activity in 2020.
While the figures are arguably impressive and Apple says that it is working around the clock to make the App Store a safer place for developers and customers alike, no system is perfect and malicious activity can sometimes still slip through the cracks unnoticed. If something like this grabs your attention, Apple recommends that you make use of the "Report a Problem" capability in the App Store or directly call Apple Support to alert them.