Android’s bright future
HTC (2498.TW) has been a poster child for Android manufacturers, and the company is surely looking to spill that success into the tablet market. Rumors of three upcoming Android tablets from HTC are getting some attention, starting with the Flyer, expected to hit the U.S. some time in March. No details on pricing yet, but they should run on Android 2.3, with plans for a Honeycomb 3.0 update.
The creativity surrounding Android’s malleable platform is inspiring some cool concept phones as well, with designer Kristian Ulrich Larsen dreaming up the Flip Phone. It features a triangular design, each side with its own home screen. You can adjust the flexible displays and configure them for things like open book reading, or propped for movie time.
Not everything is coming up roses for the Android platform, however. A pair of researchers at the Black Hat DC conference this week demonstrated an interesting hack against laptops and smartphones, initiated by plugging an Android phone into the PC. This is done by masking the phone as another device (like a keyboard) and using that to take control of the computer.
And more malware scares are giving rise to caution, with a low-profile Trojan aimed at Android. Called “Soundminer,” this malware isn’t easily detected by antivirus software, and it monitors phone calls, recording when a person says or types a string of numbers (think credit cards). Right now Soundminer is part of a study at City University of Hong Kong and Indiana University, but it’s still scary to know something like this can exist.