Top Android news of the week: CyanogenMod apps, vulnerable smartwatches, unlocked Chromebooks

The Android world this week saw reports of the premiere custom ROM maker getting its apps separated from its ROMs, an Android Wear watch vulnerability, and unlocking the Chromebook with Android.

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Android Wear watches can be hacked

A security firm reports that smartwatches running Android can be hacked, exposing personal data. The vulnerability that permits the interception of messages between an Android Wear smartwatch and an Android phone exists due to the way the OS handles Bluetooth communications.

Using brute force, the BitDefender security team demonstrated how the PIN code Android uses can be compromised, allowing messages to be converted to plain text.

Source: ZDNet

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Run CyanogenMod apps on any Android device

CyanogenMod is the gold standard of custom ROMs for Android that replace the standard fare from Google. Its popularity is partly because of the apps the developers include as part of the custom ROM distribution.

A clever programmer has released an app that allows installing CyanogenMod apps without installing the custom ROM. The installer also keeps these apps updated over time.

Source: Android Community

Unlock Chromebooks with an Android phone using Smart Lock

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The ability to keep a Chromebook unlocked while in proximity of an Android phone has been in Lollipop since its release. Unfortunately, it was a useless feature as Chrome OS, the engine running Chromebooks, didn't support it.

This week Google released the feature in the dev channel version of Chrome OS which enables Smart Lock. Chromebooks running this version of Chrome OS will stay unlocked the entire time an Android device running Lollipop is nearby.

Source: 9to5Google

Nexus 5 no longer in production?

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A tech site reports that it received information that the Nexus 5 phone from Google is no longer in production. The report indicates that availability going forward will be limited to existing inventory in the supply channel.

CNET was given information by Google that this is not the case. According to this source the Nexus 5, while not available through major online retailers, will be back early next year.

It makes sense for Google to turn attention to the latest Nexus 6 for the holiday shopping season.

Source: CNET

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