Google I/O 2023 Highlights

Google I/O 2023 was filled with announcements surrounding hardware, software, and lots of artificial intelligence (AI).

In the hardware department, Google unveiled the Google Pixel Tablet, featuring an 11-inch display, Tensor G2 for performance, and a 12-hour battery life. The tablet doubles as a smart home control panel when docked and is priced at $499. Alongside, Google introduced the Pixel 7a smartphone, a mid-range device with the same Tensor G2 processor, a 90 Hz display, a 64 Mpix camera, and wireless charging support, also priced at $499. The headline hardware reveal was the Google Pixel Fold, a slim, foldable smartphone with a 5.8-inch exterior screen and a 7.6-inch interior display. Running on Tensor G2, it is available for pre-order at $1799.

The Android 14 Developer Preview is here

Google has released the first developer preview of Android 14, and you can install it now on supported Pixel phones. Based on my experience, you can face some battery optimization issues, so I recommend waiting until the next beta if you use this phone daily.

Main features and app changes:

  • Migrate foreground services to user-initiated data transfer jobs
  • Foreground service types are required
  • Schedule exact alarms are denied by default
  • Context-registered broadcasts are queued while apps are cached
  • Minimum installable target API level (For new Android it is 23)
  • Non-linear font scaling to 200%

Google Play full of Trojans

Cybersecurity experts from SecneurX have recently compiled a long list of Google Play apps infected with dangerous Trojans, including:

  • Color Paint & Draw Master – Harly Trojan
  • Real Photo Editor - Joker Trojan
  • Coloring Painting - Joker Trojan
  • Happy Voice Changer - Harly trojan
  • Emoji Live Wallpaper - Joker trojan
  • Screen Mirroring Cast - Joker Trojan
  • Advanced Cast Screen - Joker Trojan

What can the Joker and Harly Trojans do?

A trend is emerging from the above reports. Most often, mobile applications with Joker and Harly Trojans impersonate relatively simple applications. Some of them are games, others are used for simple entertainment or personalization of the smartphone by changing the wallpaper or screensaver. Screen mirroring and screen casting applications are also popular. Viruses are designed to steal data, e.g. taking over our contacts or reading e-mails, text messages or conversations on messengers. Malware can also enable premium services and charge us a high phone bill.

Source: SecneurX 

Kotlin 1.8.0 Released

The Kotlin 1.8.0 release is out.
Here are some of its biggest highlights:

  • New experimental functions for JVM: recursively copy or delete directory content
  • Improved kotlin-reflect performance
  • New -Xdebug compiler option for better debugging experience
  • kotlin-stdlib-jdk7 and kotlin-stdlib-jdk8 merged into kotlin-stdlib
  • Improved Objective-C/Swift interoperability
  • Compatibility with Gradle 7.3


Google Home speakers were vulnerable to eavesdropping hackers

Earlier last week, a researcher/programmer/ethical hacker Matt Kunze released a blog post detailing a severe vulnerability of Google smart home speakers that could give hackers remote control over the devices. In his blog post, Matt details how the vulnerability was discovered and then explains in frightening detail exactly how this backdoor could be used to access a wide range of commands and actions using the affected Google speaker.

The potential for attack stemmed from a vulnerability that could allow someone to add themselves to the Google Home App. From there, a hacker could control devices connected to the account. Once connected, an attacker could utilize voice commands to activate the microphone on a given device. You can imagine how much chaos could ensue from that point. The device could potentially be used to do anything that the Google speaker was capable of as it relates to any other connected devices in the home.


Google plans to boost Fuchsia OS development in 2023

Google is ramping up the development of the Fuchsia OS. While it remains the primary author of Fuchsia, it is now opening up more parts of the OS's development to the public. Interested developers can take a peek at the open source project's bug tracker, for example, and can even submit patches.

Google also made public the project's roadmap to prove that it isn't simply a skunkworks endeavor. Interestingly, a lot of it involves a "version 2" of the operating system's major components, indicating that the current state of the project is far from the form that Google has envisioned for it.

We can also expect Fuchsia on Nest speakers to Fuchsia, with new models hinted for 2023. Everything shows that Fuchsia can start its popularity soon.

KotlinDL 0.5 is out!

According to the latest blog post we now have quite interesting features on Android:

Version 0.5 of our deep learning library, KotlinDL, is now available! This release focuses on the new API for the flexible and easy-to-use deployment of ONNX models on Android. We have reworked the Preprocessing DSL, introduced support for ONNX runtime execution providers, and more. Here’s a summary of what you can expect from this release: […]