Tips & Tricks: How to hide files, photos and apps on Android

How easy would it be for someone to assume your identity if they had control of your smartphone? Depending on how elaborate your internal defenses are, they would be able to text people as you, post to your Facebook account, maybe even access your bank accounts or make purchases in your name.

Technology has made these strange little devices a part of our identity. The idea that smartphones have become an extension of the self is not a new one. Just as you disclose parts of yourself to some people yet hide them from others, the desire to tuck away files, photos, or applications on your smartphone is a popular one.

Maybe you’ve got some pictures that you’d really prefer your mother not stumble across if she needs to borrow your phone. Maybe you have some private documents that contain sensitive personal information. Maybe you have apps that aren’t quite ‘child friendly’ enough for you to feel safe handing over your phone to your nephew so he can play Angry Birds.

Whatever the reason, there are plenty of options when it comes to hiding content on your phone. We’re going to look at a few of them here and discuss the benefits and risks of each.

How to Hide Files

Most Android devices don’t actually have a stock ability to hide stuff, so no matter what you’re looking to do, you’re probably going to have to resort to third-party apps. Let’s start with the basics and learn to hide some files in general.

A solid app for this task is File Hide Expert. It’s a free app, and it lets you hide and unhide any file on your phone with ease. To get this up and running, first download the app from the Google Play Store. When you open the app, you’ll receive a message indicating that the hidden file list is empty. Tap the folder icon in the top-right of the screen to begin hiding files.

The app works like a basic file management app. As long as you know where the file is located, you can hide it regardless of type. Check off any files you want to hide, and then head back to your main screen.

From here, hitting “Hide All” will spirit away all of your files, making them inaccessible to snooping phone borrowers. They’ll no longer appear in other file managers or galleries. To bring them back, simply open File Hide Expert again and tap “Restore All.”

Of course, this hardly keeps your content safe. After all, anyone can just open up File Hide Expert and see all the files you don’t want them to see in one easy-to-access list. A smart idea will be to use File Hide Expert’s password capabilities.

Tap the Menu button and then Settings. The very first option will be to enable a password. Check that box, and you’ll be prompted to enter a password to use. Be careful not to forget this, because you’ll need to use it every time you boot up File Hide Expert. You don’t want to get into a situation where you can’t restore the files you’ve hidden!


How to Hide Photos

Now, although File Hide Expert technically works for any kind of file you can imagine, it’s not really the most efficient way to hide photos. If you’re the kind of person who like snapping the occasional risque pic every now and then, you might have a better experience with KeepSafe.

KeepSafe basically creates a digital vault on your phone where you can toss anything that you don’t want showing up anywhere else. You have to create a PIN to use every time you want to access your app, and it keeps all of your sensitive files in one location. There is also an option to back your private files up on the cloud, if you feel comfortable doing so. That way you can recover your lost pics if your phone gets lost or broken.

KeepSafe is rapidly becoming one of the most widely used privacy apps, and the current version is free to use with premium features available for unlocking at $4.99 a month. The cloud backup service is free, but the premium version gives you additional features like snazzy PIN theme, a fake PIN that lets users think they’ve gained access to your hidden files if they use it, and a “secret door” that disguises KeepSafe as a utility app unless you long-press on the icon. Premium members also get a “Break-in Alert” system that logs failed access attempts so that you can see if someone else has been trying to get at your private files. In addition to hiding pictures, KeepSafe can also be used as a repository for sensitive data such as passwords and ID cards.

Setting it up is a breeze. Simply download the app from the Google Play Store and the setup guide will walk you through setting up a PIN.

That accomplished, you can add any photos to KeepSafe by opening a folder and tapping the ‘add picture’ icon at the bottom right. Use the browser to select the photos you want to hide.

Alternatively, you can add files to the vault by accessing your phone’s normal gallery, tapping the “Share” button on the desired picture, and selecting KeepSafe from the list of options. This will move the photo to your private collection and remove it from the gallery. Easy peasy.


How to Hide Apps

Ever get tired of seeing that damn NFL Mobile app that came with your phone and which you can’t uninstall without rooting? Is your app drawer getting crammed with apps that you rarely use, making it a headache to get to the ones you want? Hiding apps is a good way to clean up your app tray and keep guest users from stumbling across any apps you’d rather keep your own business.

Some stock launchers offer this functionality right out of the box. Most Samsung users, for instance, have the ability to hide apps without leaning on third party apps. If your launcher doesn’t support app hiding, give Nova Launcher a spin. It’s an excellent launcher all around, and it gives you the ability to hide apps with a simple and intuitive option.

Install Nova Launcher and open the app drawer. Navigate to Nova Settings > App & widget drawers > Hide Apps. Select the apps you want to hide, and they won’t show up on your app tray anymore.

To reveal an app again, simply return to the same menu and uncheck the desired app.


A Stock Fix

There’s a crazy easy way to hide whole folders without using third party apps. This simple fix will prevent photos from showing up in galleries, audio files from showing up in players, and documents from showing up in editing apps. However, the files aren’t particularly hidden, because all you’re doing is renaming the folder in such a way that Android ignores it.

Using any Android file manager, simply add a “.” to the front of the folder’s name. If you want to get super sneaky, try renaming the folder something boring like “.simdata” or “.systeminfo” or whatever.


Remember that these apps were created to keep files out of the hands of casual guest users. If someone with the right knowhow is really serious about getting at your private data, they’re going to be able to circumvent the methods these apps use to keep your files and pictures out of sight. The best security is to make sure that such people don’t get ahold of your device, and to make sure you’re using a secure lock screen. Consider hiding very sensitive content on a non-mobile device.

These are our suggestions for hiding files, photos, and apps. Do you have privacy methods that you prefer over these? If so, let us know which ones and why in the comments!

Top applocks for your android device

The applock is perhaps the most rudimentary of security apps. The way it works is that it will lock up your other apps from prying eyes. That way you don’t have to worry about someone accessing your Facebook, gallery app, or banking app. They work best when paired with a lock screen lock to give you two layers of security. Which ones are worth getting? We’ll help you out with the best applocks for Android!


Price: Free / Optional donation
Applock by DoMobile Lab is definitely one of the best applocks out there. The app can do the basics like locking up specific apps. It can also lock up specific images and videos. It also includes uninstall protection, fingerprint support, and you can even lock stuff like incoming calls, uninstalling apps, and your various system functions like Bluetooth. The app is free to download and use. You can unlock the premium features either by enabling ads or paying for the premium version via a donation. It’s a strong app and one of our favorites.

AppLock (by IvyMobile)

Price: Free
AppLock is another one of the better applocks on Android. Like you’ll see, it can lock pretty much any app on your phone. It also boasts the ability to lock photos and videos. The app features an invisible pattern lock as well as a random keyboard just in case someone is trying to peep over your shoulder. You’ll also get theming, the ability to replace the icon so you can hide the app, lock frequency, and more. It’ll even take a picture of people who don’t put the password in right. It’s completely free to download and use. That’s another good perk for this one.
AppLock (by IvyMobile)

AppLock – Fingerprint Unlock

Price: Free
AppLock – Fingerprint Unlock is actually an app by Cheetah Mobile (makers of Clean Master). Unlike most of their apps, this one doesn’t include ads, an antivirus, booster features, or any nonsense like this. It’s just a simple applock that allows you to use your fingerprint scanner to lock apps. It also includes a feature that snaps a photo of the person trying to unlock your phone. The app can lock WiFi, Bluetooth, incoming calls, uninstallations, your settings, and more. It’s completely free to download and check out. However, given enough time, an attacker can bypass this one. It’s good for kids or friends, but might not work if your phone gets stolen.

App Locker

Price: Free
App Locker is a simply named app that works pretty well. It supports at pattern unlocking as well as fingerprint unlocking if your phone has that. It covers the basics like keeping your apps and settings safe and also works on images and video. This one also follows the Material Design guidelines fairly well. It looks beautiful and there are themes to change things up to suit your tastes. The developers do warn that it might not work on some Huawei and Xiaomi devices so do beware of that. Additionally, thieves can bypass this given enough time. Just something to keep in mind!
App Locker

App Lock: Fingerprint Password

Price: Free / $0.99
App Lock: Fingerprint Password is a simple and clean looking applock. It can lock up almost any app and you can use a PIN, pattern, or fingerprint to unlock them. The app also supports more than ten languages, has a variety of settings, and it can even be set to proactively protect new apps that you download. Aside from that, it’s one of the more simple applocks on Android. You can download the app for free, but you’ll have to pick up the pro version to get all of the features.
App Lock: Fingerprint Password

Norton App Lock

Price: Free
Norton is a big name when it comes to antivirus apps. As it turns out, they also provide a free app lock app. It uses a four digit PIN, password, or pattern as its lock system. It also supports photos alongside apps. The app also comes with a recommendations list that lets you know which apps should be locked. That’s a great tool for those who want a more hands-off approach. Like most, it also takes a photo of anyone trying to get into your phone. It can be bypassed if the peeker is clever, but it’s still one of the more solid applocks.
Norton App Lock

Perfect App Lock

Price: Free / $2.84
Perfect App Lock is another one of the better applocks out there. It features the basics, including support for locking up WiFi, Bluetooth, and other toggles. It also tries to be more clever and than most applocks because it’ll do things like show fake error messages to try to trick people into thinking the problem is with the app they’re trying to open instead of being protected by an app lock. The free and paid versions provide the exact same features. The only difference is that the paid version doesn’t have advertising. It’s a solid all around option.

Smart AppLock

Price: Free
Smart AppLock is another decent free applock option. It’ll lock up your apps and photos, including your settings, toggles, and phone app (for phone logs) to keep all of those safe. It disguises itself as a lock screen to make people think they’ve been bounced back from the home screens. Along with that, it provides auto-start upon reboot, break-in alerts, delayed app locking, and it has fingerprint scanner capabilities for Samsung devices. It’s a free option that is supported by advertising. The only downside is that it’s pretty easy to uninstall once someone figures out that it’s there.
Smart AppLock

SpSoft AppLock

Price: Free / $4.99
SpSoft AppLock is a decent option for applocks. It features password, pattern, and fingerprint unlocking. That’s good news for those with fingerprint scanners. Like many, it’ll take a selfie of people who try to get into your apps and fail. It also has a bunch of fun little extras. You can make your pattern unlock show up on a grid of up to 18×18 instead of the traditional 3×3. It’ll also show a fake error message instead of a lock if you want it to. The app will even keep your screen on when using certain apps if you want. It’s a good option that also supports over 30 languages.
SpSoft AppLock


Price: Free with in-app purchases
Vault is an applock that offers a bit more functionality. On top of the basic applock feature, it also locks your SMS, photos, videos, contacts, call logs, and other info. Additionally, it offers a privacy browser (which isn’t that great, just use Chrome’s Incognito mode), cloud backup for your SMS, and data transfer services. It can also create fake vaults to try to confuse those that are trying to snoop, a hidden mode to make it harder to find, and break-in alerts. It’s a good option for those looking for applocks that also do other things.

How to save battery life on your Android device

Why is Android Studio still such a gruesome embarrassment? Problem ??

Let me hasten to stress that I’m not an OS partisan, or, to the extent that I am, I’m inclined towards Google. All my own smartphones have been Androids. I’ve been writing Android apps, both professionally and for fun, since 2009, when I first bought an HTC Magic. All my phones since have also been Android: Galaxy S2, Nexus 4, Moto X, and my shiny new Pixel.

But I also write iOS and tvOS apps; and despite my abstract disapproval of Apple’s hegemonic attitude towards software, whenever I launch its IDE XCode, I breathe a little easier. It’s fast. It’s slick. And even when it fails to be helpful, it rarely actually gets in my way — something which, as far as I can tell, is Android Studio’s fundamental core competency.

For instance: I have never actually succeeded at using its visual tools to lay out elements on a screen. I’m sure it’s theoretically possible; but every time I’ve tried, I have gotten so frustrated that I have just given up and written raw XML layout files instead. I have it on good authority that I am not alone in this. In XCode, conversely, I drag and drop with abandon and glee.

Out of the box, Studio doesn’t auto-import Java classes for me; the setting for doing so is buried deep within its impenetrable labyrinth of menus. Out of the box, Studio doesn’t tell me how to load any of the zillion support libraries I probably need, nor how to get Android’s (still painfully slow) emulator running. The secrets to both of these things are buried, believe it or not, in the “Android” submenu under the “Tools” menu. Think about that for a moment. Why does Google’s flagship Android development tool have a “Tools / Android” menu? Isn’t the whole thing an Android tool? Shouldn’t these key elements be first-class citizens?

…One problem, of course, is that Android Studio was not built from scratch; it’s based on the long-in-the-tooth IntelliJ IDEA platform, a Java IDE … and, well, you can tell. It feels like fifteen-year-old software, and it’s all too apparent that it was adapted to, rather than built for, Android development. (Again: “Tools / Android.”) And, of course, it’s written in Java, which makes it multiplatform … but slow.

It’s true that the Android ecosystem itself is clumsy and complex, fragmented into a dizzying plethora of versions of various libraries and SDKs. It’s true that, for instance, the Gradle build tool is famously developer-hostile. (Although building is just hard; Apple’s build tools don’t exactly hold your hand either.) But a better-designed IDE could at least mitigate this. It’s true that XCode only has to run on one operating system, Apple’s, whereas Android Studio must be multiplatform. But surely Google, of all companies, has the resources to support native code on multiple platforms.

It is truly remarkable that a hypermonied behemoth the size of Google decided to go this slow, kludged, ugly route for a flagship development environment for its mobile platform with well over a billion active installs. The negative effects are numerous. Better tooling is one reason iOS development is faster and more efficient. Developers comfortable in both ecosystems prefer iOS to Android because it’s easier to work with, and so we help influence much smartphone software to be iOS-first, with Android as a second-class after thought. Android apps famously tend to be buggier than iOS, and it’s hard to believe that the IDE has nothing to do with that.

Most of all, though, albeit most selfishly, if Google’s IDE were better, it would push Apple’s to improve. XCode is far from perfect. It crashes. It hangs. But even with those flaws, iOS development is so much less painful than Android development that there is really no comparison. (Well, until you try to deploy. Then, Android is painless; Apple’s improved-but-still-all-too-often-Kafkaesque process for building, signing, uploading, submitting, and waiting for approval for even beta test builds is one that frequently inspires deep rancor and resentment in every iOS developer I know.)

Of late, though, I say with a kind of skeptical anticipation, for the first time in years, there is some real competition. This has long been true for .NET programmers, courtesy of Xamarin, recently acquired by Microsoft, which lets you write .NET code and build native apps for both Android and iOS. But nowadays Facebook’s React Native is becoming a realistic solution for building cross-platform native apps without having to write (much) native code … and therefore without having to use either Android Studio or XCode.

I’m not saying either will go away. But it’s nice to see somebody at least trying to elbow their way past Apple and Google’s de facto developer gatekeepers. They, especially the latter, have grown complacent for lack of competition. Let’s see how they react to React

Report: Ransomware app hosted in Google Play infects unsuspecting Android user

Google Play, the official market for Android apps, was caught hosting a ransomware app that infected at least one real-world handset, security researchers said Tuesday.

The ransomware was dubbed Charger and was hidden inside an app called EnergyRescue, according to a blog post published by security firm Check Point Software. Once installed, Charger stole SMS contacts and prompted unsuspecting users to grant it all-powerful administrator rights. If users clicked OK, the malicious app locked the device and displayed the following message:

You need to pay for us, otherwise we will sell portion of your personal information on black market every 30 minutes. WE GIVE 100% GUARANTEE THAT ALL FILES WILL RESTORE AFTER WE RECEIVE PAYMENT. WE WILL UNLOCK THE MOBILE DEVICE AND DELETE ALL YOUR DATA FROM OUR SERVER! TURNING OFF YOUR PHONE IS MEANINGLESS, ALL YOUR DATA IS ALREADY STORED ON OUR SERVERS! WE STILL CAN SELLING IT FOR SPAM, FAKE, BANK CRIME etc… We collect and download all of your personal data. All information about your social networks, Bank accounts, Credit Cards. We collect all data about your friends and family.

The app sought 0.2 Bitcoin, currently worth about $180. In an e-mail, Check Point researchers said the app was available in Google Play for four days and had only a “handful” of downloads. “We believe the attackers only wanted to test the waters and not spread it yet,” the researchers told Ars. The infection was detected by Check Point’s mobile malware software, which the company sells to businesses. Google officials have since removed the app and have thanked Check Point for raising awareness of the issue.

Hiding in plain sight

An analysis showed that Charger checked the local settings of an infected device and wouldn’t execute the app’s malicious payload if the device was located in Ukraine, Russia, or Belarus. The behavior was likely an attempt to prevent the developers from facing legal actions in those countries. In the blog post, Check Point researchers added:

Most malware found on Google Play contains only a dropper that later downloads the real malicious components to the device. Charger, however, uses a heavy packing approach which [makes] it harder for the malware to stay hidden, so it must compensate with other means. The developers of Charger gave it everything they had to boost its evasion capabilities and so it could stay hidden on Google Play for as long as possible.

The malware uses several advanced techniques to hide its real intentions and makes it harder to detect.

  • It encodes strings into binary arrays, making it hard to inspect them.
  • It loads code from encrypted resources dynamically, which most detection engines cannot penetrate and inspect. The dynamically-loaded code is also flooded with meaningless commands that mask the actual commands passing through.
  • It checks whether it is being run in an emulator before it starts its malicious activity. PC malware first introduced this technique which is becoming a trend in mobile malware having been adopted by several malware families including Dendroid.

In 2012, Google unveiled a cloud-based scanner dubbed bouncer that was billed as a way for the company to detect malicious apps before they were made available in Play. Five years later, discovery of malicious apps like Charger are a regular occurrence. Google makes little reference to the tool these days.

The incident is the latest to underscore the risks posed by apps hosted on Google servers. On Monday, Check Point documented the return of the virulent family of Android malware known as HummingBad, which managed to get from 2 million to 12 million downloads from the marketplace before the 20 affected apps were detected and removed.

Android Instant Apps starts initial live testing

One of the more interesting features shown off at Google I/O last year was Instant Apps, a new way to run Android applications without any installation. For example, during the presentation it was shown how tapping a Buzzfeed video link would play the content in the Buzzfeed app, only downloading the parts required for video playback. Keep in mind that this is different from the streaming apps functionality Google introduced in 2015.

A Google Play Services teardown from November revealed that Instant Apps were nearing public release, and now the time has come. The first wave of Instant Apps will be available “in a limited test,” including BuzzFeed, Periscope, Wish, and Viki. The functionality is available all the way back to Android Jellybean, thanks to being a component of Google Play Services.

Existing applications have to be modularized to allow running on-the-fly, for which a full SDK will be available “in the coming months.” If you’re a developer, you can already start taking steps for Instant Apps support. Hopefully this feature rolls out to all users very soon.

Google: Every Chromebook released in 2017 will support Android apps

You currently have to be picky about your choice of Chrome OS devices if you want to run Android apps, but you won’t have to be quite so choosy going forward. Google has quietly mentioned that all Chromebooks arriving in 2017 or later will support Android software — you won’t have to spring for premium models just to run your favorite mobile apps. The news isn’t surprising given Google’s eagerness to push the feature (especially with talk of a hybrid Android/Chrome platform due this year), but it’s a relief if you’re in the market for a machine. It also makes Chrome OS a better competitor to conventional PC platforms, since you no longer have to wonder whether or not you’ll have a large app ecosystem at your disposal.

The addition of Android apps dramatically widens the appeal of Chromebooks. With access to the Play Store, Chromebooks gain an ecosystem as deep as Windows or macOS.

Report: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 still coming, mobile chief confirms | Samsung Galaxy S8 isn’t in MWC

Back in 2011 Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note and created the phablet niche. Initially mocked, people soon realized a big-screen device is actually a great idea and the Note devices were soon some of the most sought-after on the market.

But when the Galaxy Note7 went up in flames (pun intended) many suspected the lineup will be no more as Samsung tries to distance itself from the failure. Luckily that’s not the case though and we will be seeing a Galaxy Note 8 later this year.

The news was brought by DJ Koh, Samsung’s Mobile chief who said in an interview that the company will keep working on Note-series smartphones.

We found through the investigative process that there are lots and lots of loyal Note customers.

Tim Baxter, president of Samsung US added, that a large base of Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note 5 customers are still loyal and waiting for an upgrade.

So the company will proceed to deliver said upgrade. Here’s hoping that it’s good enough to make up for last year’s fiasco.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 won’t appear at Mobile World Congress

Hankering after a Galaxy S8? Well you’re going to have to wait.

Samsung will not unveil its next flagship phone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month, the company revealed Sunday.

The announcement was made by Samsung’s mobile chief Koh Dong-jin and confirmed in an email to CNET on Monday.

“Samsung can confirm the company will not unveil its flagship product at Mobile World Congress this year,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement.

The decision follows a thorough investigation into a fault with the Galaxy Note 7 that caused the phone to be recalled twice and then discontinued altogether in late 2016. Samsung revealed that, as suspected, it was a flaw with the phone’s battery that instigated multiple incidents in which Note 7 devices caught fire.

MWC, the world’s biggest trade show for mobile phones, has been used in the past by Samsung and other phone manufacturers as an opportunity to lift the lid on their most important devices of the year.

The Note 7 debacle is likely to have put the brakes on the launch, but Samsung has increasingly hosted its Samsung Unpacked events, during which it unveils its most exciting new mobile products, away from the chaos of trade shows. This trend looks set to continue now.

Following the S8 launch, which is expected to take place this spring, Samsung is also set to unveil the Galaxy Note 8 later in the year. In spite of the bad publicity generated by its overheating predecessor, the company is not giving up on the Note brand and believes loyal customers will flock to buy the phone.

Android 7.0 Nougat UPDATE comes to OnePlus 3, 3T and OnePlus 2 – Release date for OS upgrade REVEALED

OnePlus promised to push-out its Android 7.0 Nougat update to and OnePlus 3T before the end of the year.

And the Chinese smartphone startup managed to meet that deadline – by a hair’s breadth.

On the last day of 2016, Carl Pei – co-founder of OnePlus – confirmed when smartphone owners could expect the new mobile operating system to drop.

OxygenOS 4.0, which is build on the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, started to roll-out in the final hours of 2016.

There are a number of new features included in software update, including a brand-new notifications and settings menu design.

OnePlus has also tweaked the multi-window view, following the bump up to Android 7.0 Nougat.

OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T owners will also be able to action and reply to messages from within the notification itself – a first for OxygenOS.

Carl Pei wrote on the official company blog: “For those who were on previous versions for the OnePlus 3, we appreciate your active feedback and attempts to reach out to us.

“With your help, we have been able to better optimise and improve several key areas.

Thank you for your patience and as always, we look forward to hearing your continued feedback.”

According to OnePlus, the software upgrade will become available to users via an over-the-air update.

The company is planning a staggered roll-out, so it might take a few days for the update to appear on your device.

To check for updates on your OnePlus 3 or OnePlus 3T, navigate to Settings > System Updates > Check For Updates.

Those who cannot wait for the over-the-air update to drop on their device can manually download the Android 7.0 update and sideload it onto your device.

OnePlus 2 receives OxygenOS 3.5.5 update, still Marshmallow

While the OnePlus 3 and 3T are apparently set to receive their updates to Android 7.0 Nougat before this year is over, the same probably can’t be said for the OnePlus 2. Last year’s flagship from the Chinese upstart may taste Nougat itself, but the day when that happens isn’t today.

Instead, owners of the OnePlus 2 will be getting a new update based on Marshmallow, namely OxygenOS 3.5.5. This has started rolling out incrementally, which means the over-the-air update will reach a small number of phones today, and a broader release will follow in the next few days

The new software version comes with the December security fixes, VoLTE functionality enabled for some carriers, App Lock, Battery Saving Mode, Gaming Mode, additional options for the Alert Slider, a new design for the volume adjustment bar, Shelf optimizations, increased system stability, and the usual unnamed “general bug fixes”.

This also introduces the new OxygenOS UI to the OnePlus 2, along with an updated UI for the Clock app. Google’s Clock, Calculator, and Messages will be replaced by stock OnePlus apps if you’ve never updated them. If you like Google’s versions better, you can always download them from the Play Store afterwards.

OnePlus notes that many of the phone settings will be reset to default after the update – the device name, ringtones, accent colors, and status bar battery indication.

Question: Will ‘Super Mario Run’ Come Out On Android?

Super Mario Run, a flawed but ultimately fun and faithful adaptation of the legendary franchise for iOS, is burning up the world of mobile gaming for a moment. Or at least, some portion of the world of mobile gaming, I should say. While iPhone and iPad users are happily collecting coins and rescuing princesses, Android users are out in the cold, leaving millions of people short of the big new game and Nintendo short of millions of dollars in revenue. And so we wonder: when will Super Mario Run come out on Android devices? For what it’s worth, here’s Nintendo’s statement on the matter:

“We do intend to release the game on Android devices at some point in the future.”

Not a lot of information here, but some familiarity with Nintendo can help to elucidate the situation. Apple exclusivity seems to be about two things: for one thing, Nintendo is a meticulous, careful company, so much so that until recently its only ever developed software for hardware that it has made itself. iOS is a big step away from that policy, but a contained one: the world of Apple devices is much more manageable than the unruly world of Android. iOS allows the developer to optimize for a still-limited number of devices. In addition, Nintendo is terrified of piracy, and always has been. That’s why it made the counter-productive decision towards an online-only requirement for this game, and that’s why it feels comfortable operating within the comfort of Apple’s walled garden.

Neither of these problems have easy solutions when it comes to Android, and if I had to make a guess, I’d say a release is a ways out. Nintendo is also not known for being a timely company. In the meantime, all sorts of imitators are popping up on Android: some just cheap clones, other out and out malware. With no legitimate version available, that’s bound to continue.

It’s a shame, because the launch of Super Mario Run was a big event, made less big by not launching on Android. The shine will have dulled some by the time of the initial Android release, inevitably weakening the potential profits. This is how Nintendo is going to enter the mobile market: little by little, with overwhelming caution.

[poll id=”6″]

Report: Android Captures Record 88 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2016

Strategy Analytics reports that 88% of all 375 million smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2016 run Android. The growth in its market share comes at the expense of its rival iOS, whose presence dropped due to lackluster sales in the China and Africa regions. Meanwhile, BlackBerry and Windows-powered handsets have disappeared from the charts due to their insignificant market share.

As a whole, though, device shipments are up 6% this quarter, with Android device shipments rising 10.3% and Apple phones falling 5.2%. Strategy Analytics argues that Android’s leading position is secure for the time being, although the problem of very few manufacturers turning a profit still persists.

According to the analysts, the launch of the Google Pixel phones is not going to remedy the situation, as the handsets compete against ones made by companies whose products once popularized Android.

global smartphones OS

Despite that, Android runs on 9 out of 10 smartphones sold, which is an enviable turnout for any operating system.