So you got through Monday. Bravo! You eventually made it alive through the first half of the week and right now you are dreaming of leaving the office to enjoy a well deserved cold beer. However, with all that hustling you might have missed some bits of what happened out there. And we at EuroTechTalk don’t want that to happen. So no worries, in Recap Friday I’ll aim to get you back in the loop with a quick recap of interesting things that happened this week.
WhatsApp switched on end-to-end encryption
Much like Telegram, Whatsapp now supports end to end encryption. For everyone – meaning, they will encrypt all messages, phone calls, photos, and videos sent/received for its billion-plus user base whether they’re using iPhone, Android, Windows Phone or whatever.
Despite the current battle against encryption, see the recent case of FBI against Apple, Brian Acton (Whatsapp co-founder) stated:
Building secure products actually makes for a safer world, (though) many people in law enforcement may not agree with that. […] With encryption anyone can conduct business or talk to a doctor without worrying about eavesdroppers. With encryption, he says, you can even be a whistle-blower – and not worry
The best part? Encryption is enabled by default, so there’s no random tinkering to be performed. Just keep using Whatsapp, a yellow box in the chat will notify you the conversation is now encrypted, but that won’t change the way you’ll use their messaging service. This could be a possible game changer, and will certainly make it harder for those people that (like me) are still trying to choose between Whatsapp and Telegram in terms of both features and security.
However, by looking at the Whatsapp Terms and Conditions, it is stated that:
WhatsApp may retain date and time stamp information associated with successfully delivered messages and the mobile phone numbers involved in the messages, as well as any other information which WhatsApp is legally compelled to collect.
This basically leaves still plenty of info completely unsecured and up for grabs, so perhaps the degree of encryption they are offering is definitely not that complete.
Nexus security update: April 2016
A new security update for our
glorious Nexus devices is out: coming with bug fixes and stagefright vulnerability patches, it’s recommended you update asap. A more detailed summary on the update can be found in the Nexus Security Bulletin here.
So get your fastboot running, and be sure to grab the zip from the official Google website, here.
Here’s a quick manual flashing guide:
fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-xxxxxxxx.img
fastboot flash radio radio-xxxxxxxxx.img
fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash cache cache.img
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img #if you’re using TWRP skip this or you’ll have to flash it again.
fastboot flash system system.img
fastboot flash vendor vendor.img
If you were rooted previously, it’s now time to boot back into TWRP and flash SuperSU. Reboot and you’re done.
Bash and Linux command line coming to Windows 10
Perhaps one of the most interesting and “weird” things that recently got our attention: Microsoft is going to implement some Linux software into the Windows kernel.
What the company disclosed during the latest developer conference was the development of specific kernel components (namely lxcore.sys and lxss.sys) that will support the major Linux kernel APIs – despite them not being GPL compliant and not containing Linux code.
Microsoft calls this “Windows Subsystem for Linux” – WSL, which will make Linux APIs run under the existing Windows NT native API. This will essentially provide a Linux-like command-line environment on Windows, potentially opening the possibility to run Linux applications natively.
For further reading on why Microsoft made this move, I recommend this quite interesting ArsTechnica article.
Android N Developer Preview might run on non-Nexus devices
As if it couldn’t get weird enough for this week, we have another interesting piece of info: the N Dev Preview might become available even for non-Nexus devices.
This is pretty much a rumor at this point. Or realistically speaking, just people hoping their non-Nexus device will see Android N before 2020. However, everything points to the possibility that OEMs will make the preview available. Which is only a very slight possibility – nonetheless it’s still there.
We at ETT are not convinced this will happen. In fact, while OEMs like Samsung or HTC previously released a “Google Play edition” of their flagships with an untouched AOSP firmware, it’s quite unlikely this will happen again in the future.
GPe devices didn’t sell much, as you had to buy am entirely new device in order to have a stock version of Android. There is no opt-in option for people stuck with a modified, custom OEM version of Android. In addition to this, most OEMs still lock their devices. Thus, the possibility of having a Dev Preview for every OEM devices even harder to accomplish.
That said, it would definitely be an interesting scenario if, out of nowhere, manufacturers decided to provide users the possibility of installing in a safe way a Developer Preview for the next version of Android. In case you’re interested, proof can be found in the image below, which is what we found by delving in HTML code of the N Dev Preview page.