David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

02
Dec
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Google has just updated the language of the support page where software update policies for Nexus and GPE devices are summarized, and the new text is not exactly encouraging on first read. The following clause, regarding carriers, was added:

Based on your carrier, it may take longer than two weeks after release to get an update.

We do not know if this is merely a safety net to avoid the ire of customers in the case of things like the Nexus 7 2013 LTE and the whole Verizon debacle, or if this is actually a forward-looking change in policy that could affect new devices like the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE.

02
Dec
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Last Updated: December 5th, 2014

Update: Here's Samsung's changelog.

Update summary

On December 2, 2014, AT&T and Samsung released a software update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. This software update bring HD Voice capabilities, as well as additional application preloads, and improvements. The size of the update file is 184MB, and is available for download via Wi-Fi only.

This software update includes

  • HD Voice capability*
  • Service additions:
    • Amazon Shopping App
    • Evernote App
    • Softcard App
  • Miscellaneous improvements

AT&T's version of the Galaxy Note 4 is receiving a substantial over-the-air update to a new build (AUCU1BNK3) today, though we don't know much about what the 233.7MB package does.

01
Dec
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The numbers are in - the Android version distribution numbers, that is. This month's update shows no surprising change in trends, with KitKat adoption growing 3.7% over last month. Jelly Bean continues its net decline, this month losing 2.2% of the pie.

numbers

Ice Cream Sandwich fell 0.7%, as did Gingerbread, and Froyo is down another 0.1%. Lollipop isn't featured in the chart, as it does not yet have the requisite 0.1% to be shown.

30
Nov
play-card_coupons

Gift cards for digital storefronts have been around some time, but Google first unveiled them for the Play Store back in 2012, just a little over two years ago. Since then, they've been rolled out to a fair number of countries across the world, and we're curious: have you ever actually bought one?

I, myself, have not. In the US, there's less need for them because credit and debit cards are very common, but in other locales, this may not be the case.

28
Nov
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As had been previously reported, the European Parliament has now taken a vote on and passed a non-binding resolution that, if it should become a regulatory act of the European Commission, would seek to have Google's Search product broken up into a separate company. The motivation behind the resolution, according to the European Parliament's statement, is in "ensuring competitive conditions within the digital single market."

What's a digital single market? It is essentially the EU's attempt to regulate how businesses and governments alike should behave on the web, particularly in regards to competition, net neutrality, and privacy.

25
Nov
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If you've been waiting patiently for the Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio case to pop up on the Play Store (or your Amazon order has been delayed interminably), it's there - at least in the US.

n9kb

For $129, you can have the case in your hands early next week, most likely, and then you'll be typing away. The Keyboard Folio case has a full smart cover-style folding system and, while it is quite bulky, will probably be the only case/keyboard combo for the Nexus 9 available.

25
Nov
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Update 3: Google claims the issue with Gmail is resolved.

  • (2:31PM PST 11/25) "The problem with Gmail should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."

Update 2: The issues appear to be resolving.

Update: Google has marked Gmail as experiencing a service disruption currently:

  • (1:11PM PST 11/25) "We're investigating reports of an issue with Gmail.
25
Nov
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While manually syncing your phone's linked accounts isn't something most of us are in the practice of doing these days, there are situations where it can be prudent to disable syncing certain items, such as those you don't find yourself using very often. Previously, when you did want to sync these un-synced items on your phone, you went into the accounts UI in settings and tapped "sync now" to force all the items on an account to sync immediately.

24
Nov
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IP infringement and the internet have a long and storied history. Never has it been so easy to share so much so quickly so anonymously - something any college student with a campus broadband connection generally discovered as an almost dorm room rite of passage from the late 90s onward. Music, films, television, games, and other software have long been the most-pirated content categories, in turn provoking varying degrees of legal response from the industries who own and distribute such content.

23
Nov
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We asked this question over two years ago in a weekend poll, and now we're asking again: is your primary Android device rooted? We all probably have a vague idea what rooting is even if we don't root our phones or tablets, but those of you more familiar with customization probably have pretty specific reasons for doing it, and experience with the rooting process over the years.

Both the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, Google's latest phone and tablet, have already been rooted by Chainfire, and the process isn't especially difficult - in fact, you can do it automatically with a simple script.

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