Asus reportedly sold more tablets than Apple in Japan during first half of 2014

Image via TechSmartt

Image via TechSmartt

According to figures released by market research company BCN, Asus sold more tablets than Apple during the first half of 2014 in Japan. Asus’ market share rose 8 percent year-over-year during the first half of 2014, the report claims, giving it a 38.9 percent portion of the tablet market in Japan. Apple, on the other hand, holds a 36.4 percent share (via Nikkei). This is the first time Asus has ever held the top spot in Japan, according to the report. Read more

Security firm Zscaler finds 28% of Android apps request permission to read SMS logs

In a study conducted by security research firm Zscaler, 28% of Android apps request permission to read old SMS logs, while a whopping 68% request permission to send SMS messages from your phone. They also found that 36% of apps request GPS permissions, while over 46% request access to the “phone’s state”, allowing the app to gather information related to the SIM card, IMEI number, serial number and more. For the study, Zscaler analyzed over 75,000 apps from the Google Play store and logged the requested permissions from each app. Being a security firm, Zscaler considers SMS and GPS related permissions to be the two most “high risk” permissions to grant access to, with “device information related permissions” landing sixth on the list.

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Rumored NVIDIA Shield tablet pictured in leaked press renders

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Back in May, a device made by NVIDIA that looked like a game controller hit the FCC and sparked rumors of a follow up to the company’s Shield system. Shortly after this filing surfaced, word broke that the chip maker was instead developing a gaming tablet utilizing its new Tegra K1 processor. Today, the often reliable @evleaks has shared what appears to be a press or concept render of NVIDIA’s unannounced slate, with a caption referring to it as the “NVIDIA Shield Tablet.”

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Google and Samsung’s relationship continues to worsen, this time over wearables

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According to a new report out of The Information, the already tense relationship between Samsung and Google has begun to worsen thanks to both of their own lines of wearables. The report claims that Google CEO Larry Page and Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee took part in an a “tense” private meeting at the Allen & Co. conference last week in Sun Valley. The meeting reportedly centered around Page being frustrated that Samsung was investing more in its smartwatches running Tizen than the ones running Android Wear.

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Google updates 2D physics engine LiquidFun with Chrome extension and iOS support

Google today announced the release of LiquidFun 1.1, an update to the open-sourced 2D physics engine originally released last December. New in today’s release is browser support and this allows games using the engine only found on Android devices to be ported over as Chrome extensions. Also new in the update is iOS support. Google says previous versions of the engine could be modified to work on iOS, but today’s update brings native support to the platform. The release notes are below:

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will reportedly feature an ultraviolet sensor to help users take care of their skin

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The forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will reportedly feature some type of ultraviolet (UV) sensor that is expected to be integrated with the company’s S Health software, according to SamMobile. So, how will this ambitious gizmo work? The sensor will reportedly measure the sun’s ultraviolet radiation levels to help users avoid damaging their skin, which could potentially help reduce their risk of skin cancer.

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Standalone Android L keyboard app resurfaces on the Amazon Appstore

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Shortly after its unveiling, an actual copy of the Android L keyboard pulled straight from the Developer Preview OS appeared on the Play Store thanks to a developer by the name of Shen Ye. And while it was pulled after two short weeks because it violated Google’s policies, Ye has now taken the keyboard to the Amazon Appstore to hopefully avoid any future conflict.

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Google rolling out live event alerts in search results for YouTube and Hangouts

Google Live Events Search

Google has began rolling out an experimental feature on its search engine that makes it easier to find live events on YouTube or Hangouts on Air. A live event will begin showing up in search results up to 3 hours before it starts, providing users with a link that takes them to the event page to watch. A card-like box appears at the top of Google when searching for the name or author of live events.  Read more

EU invites Google to discuss ‘right to be forgotten’ rules

Europe Antitrust Google

European Union privacy regulators have reached out to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to discuss the rules of the recent court-ordered “right to be forgotten” rule. EU officials told The Wall Street Journal that they are trying to set up a meeting with the tech juggernauts for next Thursday in Brussels, however it remains unknown if the companies have accepted the invitation.

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Here’s how to make sense of Google’s earnings report later today

cheatsheet

RBC analyst Mark Mahaney has put together a cheat-sheet (via re/code) to help make sense of Google’s earnings call, due later today.

The tl;dr version is that gross revenues above $15.65B will be viewed by the market as positive, below $15.55B seen as negative and anything between the two business as usual. The market consensus is for a neutral announcement at around $15.61B and earnings per share of $6.25 – ad growth offset by lower revenues due to more mobile ads, which typically cost less …  Read more