Dual-core iPhone 6s named top performer of 2015, crushing octa-core Android rivals

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Raw hardware specs aren’t everything. What’s far more important is how well a phone’s software works with its hardware, as AnTuTu’s new hardware performance rankings demonstrate. The popular benchmarking site has posted its list of the ten best performing smartphones of 2015 and the iPhone 6s absolutely crushes everything in its path despite “only” having a dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM.

Just look at this chart:

antutu-2015-smartphone-performance

As you can see, the iPhone 6s destroys devices that have octacore processors and 4GB of RAM in AnTuTu’s performance benchmarks. All told, the iPhone 6s’s score is 59% higher than the Galaxy Note 5 and 69% higher than the Nexus 6P. The Huawei Mate 8 comes the closest to matching the iPhone 6s’s performance but even that device is a long way off from Apple’s 2015 flagship phone. In fact, the rankings show that even 2014’s iPhone 6 still performs better than some 2015 Android devices including the OnePlus 2 and the Nexus 6P.

What’s particularly intriguing here is the comparatively poor performance of the Nexus 6P. Unlike other Android devices on the market, the Nexus 6P uses the stock version of Android and features hardware that was designed with Google’s input. It seems strange that it would perform worse than devices that are encumbered by carrier and OEM bloatware like the Galaxy Note 5.

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Google removes 13 Android apps from Play Store infected with Brain Test malware

Google Play Store

Brain Test — The malicious software family — has managed to make a comeback affecting as many as 13 Android apps, with hundreds of thousands of downloads, from the Play Store. Google has removed all the infected apps from its Store.

“On December 29 we confirmed our suspicions that additional apps containing Brain Test malware were in Google Play. We found 13 Brain Test samples in total, written by the same developers. We contacted Google, who promptly removed these 13 apps from the Google Play Store,” states cybersecurity firm, Lookout, which reports the return of Brain Test malware in the Play Store.

The infected apps removed from the Play Store are the following:

Cake Blast, Jump Planet, Honey Comb, Crazy Block, Crazy Jelly, Tiny Puzzle, Ninja Hook, Piggy Jump, Just Fire, Eat Bubble, Hit Planet, Cake Tower and Drag Box.

Brain Test Malware

What’s the Brain Test malware?

The malicious app basically attempts to detect if a device is rooted (Rooting is the process of allowing users of smartphones, tablets and other devices running the Android mobile operating system to attain privileged control (known as root access) over various Android subsystems, it’s like Jailbreak for iOS), and then it copies several files to the/system partition.

Performing factory reset is not enough to remove the app from the compromised device, as the process does not clear the/system partition.

The solution

If your device is rooted and you think that your device has been compromised with this malware, the best solution is to first create a backup of all important data of the Android device and then re-flash stock update released by the manufacturer.

The current version of the Brain Test malware bears features similar to the original version of the malware detected in September 2015. Brain Test was first discovered by cybersecurity firm, Check Point, in September, which claims the malware was published to Google Play Store twice, with each instance having between 100,000 and 500,000 downloads. The malicious apps that had affected 200,000 to one million users, was later on removed from the Play Store.

The primary goal of this malware is to download and install additional APKs, directed by the C2 (Command and Control) server. The developer of the malware uses infected devices to download other malicious software, which in turn boosts the download numbers for each app and can post fake reviews.

Lookout states that it took the authors of the malware more than two or three months to explore means to publish the affected apps in the Play Store. A few days before Christmas 2015, the Cake Tower app received an update, which featured a similar functionality found in the initial version of Brain Test, as well as included a new command and control (C2) server.

Apple working with Beats to bring wireless earbuds to the iPhone 7

iPhone 7

It’s fair to say that quite a few people were infuriated by rumors that Apple might be abandoning the 3.5mm headphone jack for the iPhone 7 in favor of Lightning-connected accessories. There’s an ongoing petition to keep the connectivity option, signed by more than 215,000 people, and counting.

Now some new insider info reiterates the 3.5 jack’s future demise, adding that Apple and its subsidiary Beats Electronics are working on developing wireless earbuds to launch alongside the iPhone 7. And we’re talking wireless-wireless, with no cables at all, much like the Moto Hit, the Earin, and the Bragi Dash.

What might very well be called the Airpods (Apple has the trademark registered) are reported to feature microphones too, for noise cancelling and summoning Siri. No ports will be found on them, instead they will ship with a carrying case with built-in battery – again, a similar design to already existing solutions.

Apple’s wireless earbuds are more than likely going to be sold separately. Competing models don’t come cheap, the Earin has a suggested retail price of £159 ($230), though being a Kickstarter-ed project, you could have picked up a pair for half that and you can’t actually order them now. Meanwhile, the Bragi Dash is $299/€299, and the Moto Hint is the cheapest at $130 MSRP.

Whatever the price, you wouldn’t expect Apple to bundle such a premium accessory with the iPhone 7. At least the source confirms that there are going to be Earpods with a Lightning connector inside the box.

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Apple releases iOS 9.2 to the public

iPhone 6s Rose Gold

If you have any modern iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, it’s time to drop whatever you’re doing because Apple has a brand new version of the iOS platform for you. iOS 9.2 isn’t a major update by any means, but it includes a wide range of bug fixes and enhancements that users will definitely appreciate. And best of all, it’s available to the public beginning right now.

Apple’s new iOS 9.2 software includes updates to the Safari View Controller across the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Beyond that, this release is all about bug fixes and refinements, which users will certainly appreciate. It’s available right now as an over the air update or as a download accessible through iTunes.

iOS 9.2 is compatible with the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad 2 or later, iPad mini or later, iPad Pro, and 5th or 6th generation iPod touch.

Also released on Tuesday were new versions of Apple’s watchOS and tvOS software.

The Jailbreak community is waiting for the release of Taig/Pangu Jailbreak now after iOS 9.2 has been released.

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