Android's popularity is showing in a big way, though not in the way that we would like: Symantec has just reported that as many as 5 million Android handsets are infected with a trojan called Android Counterclank. The malware is embedded into a lot of different apps in the Android Market.

So, what does this malware actually do? Once it's downloaded, the tainted app launches services that spill information about the device back to the malicious host, including your MAC Address, SIM Serial, IMEI, and IMSI.


The estimate is just that -- an estimate. Android Counterclank may be installed on anywhere from 1 million to 5 million devices.

Want to know if you're infected? You can look for the presence of a "search" icon on the home screen -- it's pretty easy to see.

Symantec is still doing their investigation, but that doesn't mean that you can't look and make sure that you don't have one of these already identified apps hiding out.

There are 3 publishers at the heart of the attacks -- iApps7 Inc, Ogre Games, and redmicapps.

iApps7 Inc's apps in question include Counter Elite Force, Counter Strike Ground Force, Counterstrike Hit Enemy, Heart Live Wallpaper, Hit Counter Terrorist, and Stripper Touch Girl.

For Ogre Games, the games in question include Balloon Game, Deal & Be Millionaire, and Wild Man.

For redmicapps, the apps in question include Pretty Women Lingerie Puzzle, Sexy Girls Photo Game, Sexy Girls Puzzle, and Sexy Women Puzzle.

If you have any of these apps on your device, you will need to uninstall them immediately. To do this, you're going to want to open up the Menu, go to Settings and then selection Applications. From there, click Manage. Finally, you will want to select the application you want to remove and click the uninstall button.

You will need to do this for every app that is questionable on your device. Don't forget that there are protections for your Android phone -- after all, who wants to be left worrying about the next trojan making the rounds? You can install Norton Mobile Security which will protect your Android phone from threats. It's in the Android Market, of course!

Factory reset should be considered a last resort because you will lose any data that isn't backed up.

Hang in there, Android fans -- these trojans come and go. If anything, look on the bright side -- people consider Android a serious player now, which is why you're seeing threats against the platform. Proper protection and prevention will let you enjoy your Android phone for a long time, though!

Recent statistics have shown that more and more people are buying smartphones every week. This is due to a huge range of features offered on smartphones that you just do not get on other phones. Features such as web browsing, e-mail, top digital cameras and, of course; applications.

The increase in the amount of apps available on Android market is a sure indicator of this and although many of them are not particularly useful, there are many that very much are. Here are some of the best apps available for your Android HTC Desire (or other Android phone) at the moment.

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy videos on YouTube have become more and more popular with students all over the world. If you feel you are struggling with any subject at school or college then you can watch a series of videos explaining them in a simple, friendly way. Now you can get these video tutorials on your Android phone to access whenever you want.

LazyDroid

This application allows you to remotely access your smartphone even when you do not have it in your hand. Send messages, e-mails, take photos and plenty more after syncing your phone up with the LazyDroid application. You can even show people a live shot of what's happening on your phone at any time.

Photo Wonder

There are plenty of great photo effects and editing applications for your Android mobiles, with retro camera and Vignette being just two of them. This is another slant on the idea and lets you add clip art and captions as well as giving you other options for your photos. You can also share your artwork with all of your friends, and of course perfect strangers, on the top social networking websites.

Find more of the best apps at the Phones4u website.

The HTC Desire is one of the latest generation of smartphones. It was released in spring 2010 and it is powered by the Android operating system.

What sets the Android operating system apart from such operating systems as Symbian is that it was designed from the start with browsing the internet in mind, whist with Symbian browsing was something added to the original operating system. Not surprisingly then, phones using the Android system provide their users with a much better browsing experience and in performance they are the match of the iPhone.

The design of the Desire was based on a previous Android phone Nexus One, a phone that was manufactured by HTC but marketed by Google. With the desire, branding is entirely HTC and the connection with Google is downplayed. As in the Nexus One, the Desire uses the famous Snapdragon microprocessor which employs 1 GHz ARM technology though the display, which is 3.7 inches, is now manufactured by Sony which many claim to be an improvement. It is touch sensitive with pinch zoom functionality and has a resolution of 480 by 800.

Android allows you to create up to seven home screens and all can be viewed simultaneously. The software is also packed with features which includes HTC sense which has applications such as automatic weather and clock adjustment which senses location and time zone; a ringer that is silenced just by turning over the phone; graphic features such as text reflow with automatic size and position optimisation; and a universal search feature which searches everything on your phone and the web.

The built-in camera has a five megapixel sensor with autofocus and flash. Whilst far from being the best phone camera on the market (the 12 megapixel camera found on the Nokia N8 takes some beating) it is adequate for most purposes. It includes such features as face detection and geo-tagging.

Arguably the Android operating system provides the best experience in satellite navigation including Google Maps Navigation and Street View. Download speeds are up to 7.2 Mbps on 3G or 560 Kbps on EDGE.

These are just some of the features offered by one of the most desirable smartphones on the market, the HTC Desire. To find out more about it, then check out Phones4u.co.uk today.

Android apps are still fairly new on the block, but their popularity is expected to grow rapidly with Android's continuously growing market share.  According to IDC's new "Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker", global smartphone market of 2014 could see Android in second place with a 25 percent share, followed by powerhouses like BlackBerry, Apple, and Windows Mobile.

Among other factors, these trend shifts in mobile operating systems popularity are influenced by hardware developments, with the greatest impact comping from the development of new processors, led by Intel, with AMD and a number of more anonymous companies trailing far behind.  We can see similar changes happening in the non-mobile sector.  As new processor technology is being introduced ,we can see Intel Windows 7 migration is happening more and more.  Many small business can now afford to purchase computers with fairly high-end processors, capable of running Windows 7 and various office software, as their prices have dropped very quickly with the introduction of even newer processors (followed by aggressive marketing campaigns.)

Again, this phenomenon has its equivalent in the world of smart phones and mobile devices, as new hardware is being developed which is fairly cheap, while still being capable of supporting Android very competently.

The Samsung Epic 4G, the Nexus S, HTC's EVO 4G, and the Motorola DROID PRO are just a few examples of phone which manage to keep hardware prices down while running the latest version of Android, compatible with most Androids apps.  As most of the major mobile phone manufactures are quite openly battling Apple's iPhone domination, we should expect to see more and more new Android devices, offering high end performance at competitive prices (the competition being you-know-who.)

The Samsung mobile giant has recently confirmed a release date for a much-anticipated handset. The handset in question offers an assortment of high tech features and apps and is available in the UK in just over a month.

So which handset are we talking about? The mobile phone in question is in fact the Samsung Galaxy Note and if you are lucky, you may be able to get your hands on one in the very near future!

This isn’t just a smartphone, it is also a tablet and a hybrid and the much talked about device was raved about at the IFA 2011 in August.

So what can we expect from such a unique smartphone? The specs include an 8-mega-pixel rear mounted camera, which in fact features 1080p HD video recording facilities as well as a front facing 2-mega-pixel lens! This means taking photos of you and your friends together no longer requires the task of trying to hit the button from the other side of the camera. This is a technique that often results in missing half of the group out of the camera shot!

The operating systems included are Android Gingerbread 2.1, which is powered by a 1.4 GHz processor. Despite all of the technology squeezed into this handset, it still only measures 9.65mm. This is great news for those that desire a high tech gadget that isn’t bulky but instead easy to carry around, whether this is too and from work or whilst travelling to various venues.

Samsung have stated that they have in fact brought an extremely innovative product to the market with the introduction of this handset. The Samsung Note is said to be the fastest handset to date and still offers the entire award winning specifications expected from a state of the art smartphone. Visit the site to see more about this new innovative mobile phone at the Dialaphone website.

Android app developers usually deal with a lot of aggravation when it comes to application piracy. This is why Google Android has created a way to combat against unauthorized usage, which has brought some relief to quite a few Android developers. The newly released Google Licensing Service has quickly become an invaluable protection tool to application developers everywhere.

What It Does and Who Can Use It

The way this service works is by pinging the application attached to the Licensing Service and sending it to Google's main server in order to check if users have paid for it. However, this app is only available to other applications that come at a cost; the Licensing Service can be utilized by Android 1.5 and newer versions.

With this free service by Google, Android developers are able to access the paid applications on Android Market. Unfortunately, this app can only be installed on devices that are compatible and and have highly-secure internal storage. With the exception of certain Google libraries, this Android app can access the licensing server of Android Market's to find the users' licensing status. Based on the sales records from the store, the user can determine whether or not users have the proper authorization.

All in Real-Time

Google's Licensing Service runs in real-time in order to give the Android developer more flexibility when selecting their strategy for enforcing licensing. This method is considered to be more secure than copy protection in regards to protecting apps from unauthorized users.

Customized Constraints

If the developer finds it necessary, they may use customized constraints that are based on the app's licensing status in Android Market; this only adds to the security of Google's Licensing Service. When this app searches for an application's licensing status, Android Market's server will sign off on the results of the query by using a unique key pair linked to the developer's account.

Although it is too soon to tell how it will perform, if Google's Licensing Service is effective in keeping unauthorized usage at bay, this may be the answer to every developer's worst nightmare. So even though they must deal with a parallel rise in Droid popularity and pirating challenges, the ever-developing technology and strategies will help the entire Android developing community continue to thrive in the marketplace. Anyone who needs a paid Android app should use one created by a developing company that provides not only a great deal of expertise, but also uses the latest security measures to support the hard-working creators that develop the many wonderful Android apps consumers love.

Every since the Android operating system made its debut back in 2007, mobile device users across the world have come to love and rely on their Android phones. And throughout its short history in the mobile marketplace, Android has created many upgrades and updates to further feed the public's frenzy for newer, better and faster technology.

This has given the older, standard smartphones a lot of competition. Truly, the cellular phone industry is no longer dominated by the Blackberry and iPhone. Because of the Android's exploding popularity, it is worth the time to take a short look into its history in the modern world and how this mobile device invention came to fruition.

The Android Was Not Created by Google

The beginning history of the Android phone did not start within Google. Even though the credit is usually given to Google, going so far as to refer to Androids as “Google Phones,” the actually creators responsible for the Android Operating System are Andy Rubin and Rich Miner. In 2003, these co-developers sold their invention to Google for an undisclosed amount. However, Google waited several more years to release Android in order to further optimize this operating system for the general public.

The Open Handset Alliance's Involvement With Android

Recently, the Open Handset Alliance, OHA, has become involved with the development of Android OS. Because of this joint development, mobile users will benefit from this multiple-company collaboration and the better advancements it will provide. Besides the company most closely associated with the Droid, Google, and the OHA mentioned above, there are other companies equally involved, despite the lack of press time. And all of these companies are nationally recognized.

The Variety Factor

Because of the OHA's developments, users benefit from a greater amount of advanced handset options now available for all types of smartphones. For instance, iPhone users who find their headset cumbersome can choose from quit a few options. Or Blackberry users can trade in their old headset for one initially designed for Android phones.

The Popularity Factor

However, if you want the most options, using the “Google phone” is the best decision. Even many household-name cell phone makers are catching on and using some of the Android features to improve their own devices. Of course, the easier development and open-source aspects of the Android will always make Droid phones a popular choice.

The Android's popularity is not solely limited to the United States. Droid users can even be found as far as Africa. And while the Blackberry and iPhone are more-recognized brand names, Android OS phones are used more than the average consumer believes. It is predicted that the number of users will only continue to grow.

If there was one new interesting technical gadget out, it would have to be the entire set of Android apps. Yes, the entire set. Just like iPhone apps, there are some Android apps that are a bit questionable, or that it's clear that they need a bit more work and polish before they're really ready for prime time. However, there's a neat program that deserves a bit of a mention. It's the eyeSight, an Android app that brings hand-waving and other gestures to the Android.

Indeed, eyeSight is not a native Android application, but something that had the libraries ported over to the Android platform. It's just another example of how flexible Android really is -- developers are really getting into moving things over to Android and then working on making them even better than they were on other platforms.

But that's enough Android praise -- you probably want to know what the eyeSight actually can do for you, right?

Right. The eyeSight system allows for the creation of Android apps that can change tracks, selectively choose which calls to answer and which ones to ignore, and show all your text messages with a simple wave of the hand.

Google has been rumored to be interested in the technology, but it looks like nothing has been announced on that front about doing anything with the technology as far as making it an official part of the standard development package.

Why report on something that's still in its infant stages? Well, a lot of great technologies started out in this form. The eyeSight platform has a lot of potential to really change the way you interact with your phone. For example, the ability to simply use your hands and gesture at your phone will remove a lot of the accidental damage problems that plague cell phones in general. A quick example can be found in the moments where our hands are busy doing other things, like taking something out the oven or working with sticky flour. Instead of trying to wait for the perfect moment where your hands aren't busy, you can simply gesture quickly and go back to taking care of the other things in your life.

Anything that takes away from the distractions of life without adding to them is definitely a good thing. Will developers get the message and develop something other than a fart detecting app? Only time will tell.

Android 2.2 is already out, and one group of users that is definitely celebrating are the business owners. It might sound strange to mention Android and business owner in the same sentence, but it's true -- business owners are beginning to really embrace Android as their cell phone platform of choice. It's better to get into a platform that is known for being open and very encouraging of development than a traditional platform that's more locked in. The next generation of the Android platform is called "Froyo", short for frozen yogurt. There are plenty of new features to be had in Android 2.2, which is why business owners are looking forward to it.

One of the biggest features that have business owners happy is the rise of better support for Microsoft Exchange. Even though Gmail is generally the email of choice for more casual users, business owners have been using Exchange for a long time, and have most likely invested a lot of money in Exchange maintenance and management. This means that switching away form Exchange is a bit more complicated than it would be for the casual user to sign up for Gmail.

Still, that's not the only feature that has business owners excited. There's now support for a portable hotspot, which means that certain phones in the Android lineup could be turned into full out Wi-Fi hotspots at a fraction of the price. Corporate users usually end up buying costly devices from other companies that are far more than the cost of an Android-enabled phone. In 2.2, users will also be able to just connect their phone to their laptop and use the 3G connection there. With the rise of the Sprint EVO 4G, that will become a 4G connection that offers blazing fast speed. Not every business is located in an area known for blisteringly fast internet connections. This would be a great feature for business owners that have to go out on the road a lot to places that don't have good internet access. One area of note would have to be hotels that promise to have high speed Internet, only to find that the wireless connection is spotty at best and terrible at worst.

Overall, there's plenty to be had in Android 2.2 for just about every type of user you can think of. Business owners should definitely check to see which Android phones are scheduled to get the 2.2 upgrade, and act accordingly.

Android is an open platform, and that means that if you don't like a feature set in Android or feel that it needs something else, all you really have to do is wait. Indeed, Android keeps getting better and better, which is probably why it's becoming one of the hottest selling smartphone lines around. Every carrier has a version of Android to share with its consumers, and that means that variety just isn't a problem on Android.

However, just because Android is open doesn't mean that it doesn't have to evolve and get new features every once in a while. If you've been following the tech news, then you already know that Android 2.2 is out. This means that carriers and manufacturers will start pushing out the updates to the various Android handsets on the market. Even though Android 2.2 "Froyo" has been out for a while now, not everyone has been enjoying the new Android 2.2 just yet.

There's a reason for that. Those in charge of upgrading each handset line don't always rush out to push out an update. There may be last minute bugs and problems that have to be worked out. This means that instead of getting the most cutting edge Android once it's released, you may be waiting weeks or even months to catch up. Some phones, like the Motorola i1 on Boost Mobile, are still way back on Android 1.6 -- they clearly have a lot more upgrading to do than other phones.

So, what can you expect in Android 2.2? Well, the focus in "Froyo" has been on tightening up the user interface, which means adding more customization options while still giving users the quick navigation that they've been looking forward to. There are new shortcuts on the Home screen that make it easier to get to frequently used programs.

Support for Exchange has also been increased in this update, which is something the business community has been hoping for. Business use on Android is something that's growing as well, which cuts into Research in Motion's market dramatically. After all, the Blackberry has long been the phone of choice for people in the corporate world, but that could change as Android get more and more powerful as well as secure.

Android 2.2 also turns the heat up on the portability -- turning your phone into a giant hotspot could well be a reality, as long as it's running Android 2.2. Right now, you can share your 3G connection with a laptop by connecting the two with a USB cable -- naturally, the cable doesn't always come with the phone.

Overall, there's a lot of functionality on the way for consumers that pick up Android 2.2, but they'll have to wait for that update.