A great thing about new flagship phones is that they usually come packed to the brim with new technologies we can get excited about. The Galaxy Note 3, announced a few days ago, is no exception. While Samsung made a point of featuring Category 4 LTE with Carrier Aggregation, which can achieve 150 Mbps, the company neglected to mention the Note 3 also includes the Qualcomm QFE1100 chipset which should significantly reduce power consumption and heat associated with the LTE radio.
These days, it seems like everybody is trying to make Android more secure. As usual, rooting and modding are often casualties of this effort. Just over a month ago Android 4.3 broke the existing model for root, forcing updates to existing methods, and now Samsung is rolling out updated Android 4.2.2 firmwares for the Galaxy S 4 which fully enable the company's heavily secured KNOX environment. Fortunately, Chainfire is already on top of it and has updated his popular root software, SuperSU, to be compatible with the new system.
Every version of Android has launched with at least one headlining feature. As any true fan would know, the 4.2 camera brought with it a very cool new mode called Photospheres. While the initial hype has dropped off, the popularity of photospheres still continues to grow, thanks in part to improvements in image quality and the addition of a Maps-based community designated for sharing the immersive images. We don't always want a location attached to our regular pictures, but it's pretty rare when we don't want our photospheres to be geotagged.
It has only been a couple of weeks since I wrote about the troubles with multi-touch (well, touch in general) on the 2013 Nexus 7. At the time, Paul Wilcox of Google's Product Support forum stated that the issue was being examined, and about a week later he confirmed that the JSS15Q update addressed the problem. While many people are reporting that the OTA has completely cleared up any touchscreen glitches that had been present, some people haven't seen any improvements, and still others are complaining that the problem has grown significantly worse.
Today, Autodesk announced Maya LT, a streamlined 3D modeling tool targeted at independent and mobile game developers. The maker of AutoCAD and 3ds Max is looking to make a splash with developers by introducing a lower-cost version of its Maya software, but still keeping it equipped with powerful animation tools, including a skeleton generator with the capability to calculate inverse kinematics (using Autodesk HumanIK), and a viewport preview system to visualize models as they would appear in game with full lighting and texture effects.
Losing the cellular connection on your phone, even briefly, can be a potentially serious issue. It might come at the moment you need to call for emergency services, or when somebody is trying to call you. Today, we're going to talk about a pair of issues on the Nexus 4 that can send it into radio silence for as little as a few seconds, or as long as it takes for you to notice it.
Updates are rolling out to Nexus devices as we speak, but the public changelogs seem to only call for improvements to "Security." However, the latest round of commits just went up on the Android Open Source Project, bringing everything up to date with both JWR66Y (4.3_r1.1), which is going out to most Nexus devices, and JSS15Q (4.3_r2.2), which is destined for the 2013 Nexus 7. Thanks to Google's gracious sharing of the source code, we can comb through each and every little detail of what's new.
The Chrome team is pushing out an update to all the good little Chromecasts of the world. This one doesn't come with any changes to the UI or new features, but it does promise to improve the stability for Google Play Movies playback, and should make Chromecast devices discoverable on more networks. You won't need to do anything to get this installed on your end, the OTA will automatically download and install when it's your turn.
Wireless charging is perhaps one of the best examples of true convenience. The simple act of setting your phone down meant its battery would begin refilling. No need to hunt for the end of a cable, no more time spent clumsily aligning plugs, and no more hassle with loose cords. When the Nexus 4 was announced, its stylish charging orb was supposed to spearhead a movement of wireless bliss. While the orb certainly had its advantages, it was a bit late to launch and carried a premium price.
When it comes right down to it, few things are much scarier than finding out somebody can track your movements, read your call log and text messages, and even record audio and take pictures of whatever the phone can get, all without your knowledge. Here's the thing - as careful, security-conscious people, many of us already install software like that for our own purposes, usually to recover a phone in the event it should fall into the hands of thieves.