back to article 2013: No sign of flying cars, but Orange mobes will get black ice

Orange will install freebie mobile security suite Lookout on every Android handset it sells and bundle premium access with selected tariffs. As part of the deal, the EE-owned mobile operator will sink some cash into Lookout, but both companies are adamant there's more to this deal than bundling software. From early next year, …


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  1. Real Ale is Best
    Thumb Down

    Another good reason to avoid Orange. They don't half stock a lot of crap on top of the stock Android.

    Takes ages for updates to trickle through to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      They finally admit there is a problem.....

    2. LarsG

      Updates on Orange, what updates?

      If they do finally appear it takes months because there is so much non removable crapware to update.

      One reason why I buy my handsets sim free, to be crapware free.

      I'm free!

    3. Bod


      ICS turned up fairly quick on my Orange branded Galaxy S2 which I was surprised about. Still not fast, but it's way quicker than most updates used to be with operator branded firmware on Nokia phones (most of which would never likely see an update at all, until more recently).

      The crap that Orange have given me is not all that bad. None of it sits in the background crippling the phone unless you want it too, and there are two incredibly useful apps... Your Orange and Signal Boost. The latter is excellent when you have next to no signal in your house but a good wifi broadband connection, and saves on battery too. It works pretty flawlessly too unlike a lot of VoIP solutions (including Skype). The rest of the apps are there but I don't have to use them and cause no harm really.

    4. Dave 126 Silver badge

      >They don't half stock a lot of crap on top of the stock Android.

      Not on my Sony Xperia they didn't, but my last Orange feature-phone was full of it. YMMV.

  2. Velv

    Or you could just buy a nice safe malware-immune phone like an Apple iPhone.

    Oh, wait...

    1. Silverburn

      You may jest, but it's still 'more secure' than Android. Thought not by much.

      Now witness massive downvotes from the Fandroids who refuse to believe the *deluge* of reports from a wide variety of sources (some completely independent), all documenting massive %age increases in malware variants on the android platform in last 2 years.

      More disturbingly, I will also collect downvotes purely because I dare to speak negatively about the 'droid.

      You want immunity? Good luck - no platform is 100% safe.

      Edit: Just in case I get accused of fanboism, this was written on a Galaxy note, with Nexus ROM. And "protected" by Avast!.

      1. Tech Hippy

        Other app markets?

        I can't recall seeing any of those reports specifying that Google Play is the source of those malware variants.

        Android has a wide range of third party app stores which are much less regulated than the Play store (eg routinely carry obvious rip offs of other developers' work, etc). I would expect them to be the primary sources of Android malware.

        Android safety advice remains the same as it always has been:

        - Understand permission requests

        - Don't install apps that make unexplained requests for permissions they should not need (more and more app publishers have a section in the app details on Play explaining why they need the permissions they request)

        - Read reviews

        - Check the publisher (do they have a website, is this their only app, etc)

        1. Silverburn

          Re: Other app markets?

          You are correct of course (malware is only 0.5% in play), but it's already been demonstrated that the Play store can be exploited (for balance: as can Apple's) for malware.

          re: Advice - and this is exactly the problem. Joe Punter does not do this, and implies some technical knowledge is required. He does not have this, nor does he see the reason why he should have it.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Other app markets?

            Exactly. It would seem the best solution would be a walled garden, but with a gate that the more tech-literate can use to exit, if they take appropriate precautions.

  3. Neil C Burns
    Thumb Up

    I already have LO on my Ace. its a good tool to have, moreso for the gps facility as mentioned. Wonder how i could get the extra for free off orange..... lol

  4. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Dunno about other phones, but

    Windows Phone lets you back up images to the cloud, remote lock, remote wipe, etc etc, all built in. Surely most of that stuff is just an OS function?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Dunno about other phones, but

      As does iOS if you sign up for an icloud account or apple id.

      Im sure a lot of Android vendors offered the same service too.

      The only advantages I can see is the AV (of dubious use imo) and the last location before the battery died. (Cool! iOS please copy )

    2. Bod

      Re: Dunno about other phones, but

      If third party companies offer the same functionality in commercial products, then it becomes a function of EU anti-trust to include them in the OS. But only if you're Microsoft. Include these all in the OS and you're Apple, then no problem.

  5. Andy 18

    Bait and swtich

    Darnit, I saw the headline and was intrigued as to how Orange had produced hacker protection that killed people (Black Ice presumably being the cyberpunk reference). This is a complete let down.

    1. nichomach

      Re: Bait and swtich

      I was hoping that Maelcum'd be part of the service too - "I an' I the Rastafarian navy, believe it!"

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Bait and swtich

      Absolutely. If it doesn't fry the brain of the Ono Sendai jockey, it is not Black ICE but merely plain vanilla ICE.

  6. ukgnome

    Lookout has some great features, the dying gasp feature is probably the best.

    When the battery gets to 15% is sends out a ping of it's location. Not that I have needed it, but I do like it's features.

  7. Bob H

    Great, more bloat-ware, soon it will be like laptops!

  8. Ian Watkinson

    Hang on, this is actually good, not bloatware

    The basic lookout is not that bad.

    Whilst I appreciate that organge (and t-mobile) routinely put bloat on phones, this is actually a decent idea!

  9. FartingHippo

    Black ice?

    My fuzzy 80's memory tells me that Gibson used (coined?) the term 'black ice' for illegal software that could KILL YOU. It caused some sort of lethal neural feedback through your head jack.

    This is no more black ice than a spud gun is a howitzer.

    1. Mystic Megabyte

      Re: Black ice?

      >>My fuzzy 80's memory

      Luxury! In the 70s having memory was something that we could only dream of :)

      <=== *puffs on pipe*

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Operator bundles bloatware with phone

    This is news?

  11. mickey mouse the fith

    Avast does all lookout premium does (apart from cloud storage) and more, and its free.

    This just looks like more bloatware to nag the customer to upgrade to the premium version at every opportunity.

    One of the best things about Android is rooting to rid the device of all the bundled preinstalled crap.

    I agree that signal boost is a good idea though, wish more networks implemented it.

  12. Anonymous C0ward

    Avast!, Dropbox. SMS Backup+

    No need to pay at all, never mind going with the operator's choice.

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