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Report: Google collects 20x more data via Android than Apple’s iOS

Data is collected every 4.5 minutes, on average

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Google collects 20x more data from Android than Apple does from iOS, according to a research report. Your phones are continuously sending critical metadata like location, interests, and contacts to Google or Apple. But the difference in the amount of information the two giants collect is astounding.

According to researcher Douglas Leith from Trinity College in Ireland, both iOS and Android, send a lot of information to the company’s server even when a user isn’t logged in or has clearly toggled the phone’s settings to opt-out of collection. Simple events like removal of the SIM card or change in settings are noted, and the information is sent to the respective companies.

When a Pixel phone made by Google was pitted against an iPhone made by Apple, it was found that the phones sent data every 4.5 minutes, on average. This includes IMEI number, serial number, SIM or phone number, as well as telemetry data.

While iOS automatically collects data from native apps like Siri, Safari, and iCloud, Android gets data from Chrome, YouTube, Google Docs, Safetyhub, Google Messenger, Clock, and Search, even when the user is not logged into a Google account.

Apple was found collecting user’s location even when not logged in, as well as the local IP address whereas Google did not. Though, Google did collect Wi-Fi MAC addresses.

Within 10 minutes of startup, Google collects around 1MB of data, while Apple collects 42KB. When left idle, Google collects about 1MB of data every 12 hours while Apple collects about 52KB.

The report adds that you cannot opt-out of telemetry collection, even though it’s assumed you can. Google considers this data crucial for the Android device to operate normally and that telemetry data is not covered under Android Usage and Diagnostics.

In response, a spokesperson said:

We identified flaws in the researcher’s methodology for measuring data volume and disagree with the paper’s claims that an Android device shares 20 times more data than an iPhone. According to our research, these findings are off by an order of magnitude, and we shared our methodology concerns with the researcher before publication.

This research largely outlines how smartphones work. Modern cars regularly send basic data about vehicle components, their safety status and service schedules to car manufacturers, and mobile phones work in very similar ways. This report details those communications, which help ensure that iOS or Android software is up to date, services are working as intended, and that the phone is secure and running efficiently.

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A Nokia tablet is coming soon

Confirmed for October

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Since its resurrection years ago, Nokia has found its footing in the modern smartphone industry. The company has created a niche of smartphones for all markets. Amid their success, they are looking to expand even further. Nokia has confirmed that a Nokia tablet is coming.

Nokia’s official Twitter account posted an account directly confirming the tablet’s launch. The teaser even includes a photo and an official debut date. The included photo shows that the upcoming tablet is roughly more than twice the height of a Nokia 3310. As for the date, the tablet is making its official debut on October 6.

According to past rumors, the tablet will be called the Nokia T20. It will allegedly have a 10.36-inch LCD screen. It will reportedly sport a Unisoc chipset. Though the processor is still a variable at this point, the Nokia T20 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Given the tablet’s timeframe, it can either come in Android 11 or 12 out of the box.

Of note, this isn’t Nokia’s first foray into the tablet industry. Back in 2015, the company tried to get into the market with the Nokia N1. However, at a notable high for the tablet industry, the N1 never rose above the ranks. With the upcoming Nokia T20, the company wants to try again but with a better history behind it this time.

SEE ALSO: Nokia XR20: Rugged smartphone with 4 years of updates

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Xiaomi blacklists “Samsung” and other terms from its phones [UPDATED]

But there’s a reason why

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Throughout the past few years, Chinese smartphones have received a lot of flak for its ties to geopolitical issues. Both Huawei and ZTE have already suffered through bans from the American government. Naturally, Xiaomi is in a similar boat. Unfortunately, because of a new research report, things might get worse before they get better.

According to a report published by the National Cyber Security Centre in Lithuania, Xiaomi’s smartphones automatically download a list of terms that they blacklist. The list includes sketchy terms like “China,” “Taiwan Solidarity Union,” and other geopolitical terms. Obviously, including China-related terms can cause a bit of alarm for users elsewhere. However, the blacklist might have uses outside of the obvious.

Spotted by XDA Developers, Xiaomi uses the list for advertising purposes. Besides the China-related terms, the list also includes its brand rivals like “Samsung” and “ZTE.” It also includes pornography and piracy terms. Most ironically, the list also blocks its own smartphone models. The publication spotted that the blacklist is used solely by the smartphone’s advertising platform. Which does make sense now.

The list is designed to block out ads from competing companies and its own (which makes sense since someone who owns a Xiaomi phone probably doesn’t need to see a Xiaomi ad anymore). Blocking pornographic and piracy-supporting ads also makes sense. The China-related terms remain problematic, but there is no indication that Xiaomi uses the list for anything other than advertising.

Further, Xiaomi should activate the filter manually. The automatic download doesn’t automatically mean that the phone is censored. That said, there is still a possibility that Xiaomi can use the filter for more geopolitical reasons. At the very least, current reports don’t point toward that for now.

Editor’s Note: Xiaomi, on Sept 28, sent GadgetMatch the statement below

“Xiaomi’s devices do not censor communications to or from its users. Xiaomi has never and will never restrict or block any personal behaviors of our smartphone users, such as searching, calling, web browsing or the use of third-party communication software. Xiaomi fully respects and protects the legal rights of all users. Xiaomi complies with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).”

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 11T series focuses on mobile filmmaking


The article was originally published on September 24, 2021.

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Galaxy S22 Ultra will look like a Galaxy Note phone

Based on a new render

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The Galaxy Note series is in a state of limbo. After the rise of the brand’s foldable phones, Samsung toned down on the iconic Note series. The brand hasn’t even launched a new entry yet – if it even is launching one this year. If you’re a fan of the series, there’s still hope. Based on new renders, the upcoming Galaxy S22 Ultra will look remarkably similar to the Galaxy Note series.

Rendered by Steve Hemmerstoffer and Digit.in based on currently known leaks, the upcoming premium smartphone will reportedly have a built-in dock for the S Pen. Of course, the series had already received stylus support, but the Galaxy S21 series never had a dock for the pen.

Additionally, the renders show a quad rear camera setup much like the previous series. However, the layout does look a bit different from its predecessors. Either way, the upcoming flagship has a hint of familiarity for those more used to the Galaxy Note series.

Unfortunately, the render doesn’t show how the S Pen will look like. For the past few iterations, Samsung did confirm that more optimized S Pens are coming for different devices.

In other details, the renders also show that the headphone jack is here to stay.

Right now, it’s still early to tell if the renders are what the real deal will look like. A lot can still happen between now and the projected launch window in January.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 review: Do-It-All device

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