Shawn De Cesari
Shawn is a web developer by day and XDA's resident archivist for Nexus and Google Play Edition device OTA updates by night. When not immersing himself in code or Android, he can be found hunting down antique signs, taking road trips, listening to music, or playing video games. His phone of choice is a Sony Z Ultra Google Play Edition.
06
Jan
samsung-logo

Today, famed leaker Evleaks has given the world a sneak-peek at four new Samsung tablets ahead of the company's proper CES announcement. The tablets in question are part of a new "Pro" line being launched as additions to the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab brands. There will be a Galaxy Note Pro 12.2" model along with three new Galaxy Tab Pro variants, available in 12.2", 10.1", and 8.4" form factors.

Upon close examination of the press renderings, it also appears that Samsung has finally ditched the menu key in favor of a multitasking button.

05
Jan
ThinkVision_28_01

To get an early start to CES 2014, electronics giant Lenovo announced a new 28" Android-powered all-in-one 4K display to add to its substantial line of display products. According to Lenovo's press release and spec sheet, we can expect Android 4.3, a Tegra 4 processor, and a plethora of other features. Here's the official list according to Lenovo's spec sheet:

  • Cutting edge 28-inch ultra-high resolution 3840x2160 monitor
  • High performance SOC with Android 4.3 and powered by NVIDIA® Tegra® for a new entertainment experience
  • Full 10-point touch display for PCs
  • “Tap to Connect” technology allows for seamless syncing of secondary devices to the monitor
  • Miracast with back control for smart device connectivity
  • Extra USB ports for phone charging and peripherals, as well as additional HDMI ports for extreme connectivity
  • FHD 2.0 megapixel camera for high definition video
  • Powerful 5W stereo speakers
  • Noise-cancelling dual array microphones for clear voice recognition
  • Ergonomic design for users with slim/sexy ID (dual side diamond-cutting)

ThinkVision_28_01

As its release date draws closer, Lenovo will most-likely release more details in the hopes of exciting the "tech savvies", like a full list of inputs and what services it will be compatible with at launch.

03
Jan
pandora

If you were jealous of iOS users who were able to wake up every morning to the sound of their favorite Pandora stations, then today may just be your lucky day. Today, Pandora announced a new update to its Android app that includes the alarm clock feature which debuted on iOS last month. In addition to waking you up at a set time with the station of your choosing, it also includes a snooze ability and a customizable snooze timer which can be set to 5, 10, 15, or 20 minute intervals.

30
Dec
nexus_10

In another twist to the story that just won't go away, the Nexus 10 has now disappeared from Staples' online inventory. Going to the tablet's former URL on staples.com now simply redirects you to their main tablet landing page, and searching for "Nexus 10" now shows nothing except for a case and some screen protectors.

When you combine this with the fact that the 16 GB Nexus 10 has been out of stock on Google Play since October, could this mean a refreshed Nexus 10 is ready for launch?

30
Dec
kitkat

Android makes it very easy to add your own ringtones, notification sounds, and alarm sounds to your device. Simply move a sound file to the Notifications, Alarms, or Ringtones folder on your internal storage, and you're done. A new bug has popped up in Android 4.4.2, however, which could make this a bit more complicated. Currently, unless the sounds are added via a computer, they will not show up in your lists of available sounds.

23
Dec
bootloader_unlock

As a follow up to our recent PSA on bootloader quirks with GPE devices, we thought it would be a good idea to shed some light on a bootloader anomaly which affects both Nexus and GPE devices. Recently, there have been changes to the way unlocking happens behind the scenes. These changes can result in a device that infinitely boots into recovery.

Traditionally, when you decide to unlock and flash a custom recovery, the procedure goes something like this:

  • You type "fastboot oem unlock" from the command line.
20
Dec
391674-metropcs-galaxy-s-4

Of all the US Galaxy S4 variants, it's a safe bet that the Metro PCS version is one of the lesser-owned models. That said, if you count yourself among the ranks of SGH-M919N owners, your Android 4.3 update is ready. The official changelog doesn't look any different from the comparable OTAs for the other variants, but it's always nice to get a big firmware update like this nonetheless.

  • OS upgrade to Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
  • Samsung Galaxy Gear™ Compatibility - for detailed information about Galaxy Gear features, please visit the Galaxy Gear page
  • Samsung Knox Compatibility

galaxy_s4_metropcs_4.3_update

If you're curious what OS changes Android 4.3 brought with it, you can check out our overview.

19
Dec
google_play_books

Last week, Google rolled out a huge update to Google Play Books that included support for uploading PDF and EPUB files. When the latest update, version 3.1.23, began rolling out, we tested it and noticed that PDF uploading was removed. A quick look at the Play Store's description also shows clearly that it was taken out.

play_books_whatsnew

Additionally, a comparison of the 3.1.17 and 3.1.23 APKs revealed that the following line of code was removed:

<data android:host="*" android:mimeType="*/*" android:pathPattern=".*\\.pdf" android:scheme="file"/>

If you want to upload PDFs into your library, you can still do so via the web interface.

18
Dec
cricket_gs3

Today is a good day to be a Galaxy S III owner. Before the Verizon variant's update even had time to get cold, Cricket's is now fresh out of the oven as well. The OTA brings along the changes from Android 4.2 and 4.3, plus Galaxy Gear support and a lot of UI changes which serve to make the software look and function more like the Galaxy S4's stock ROM.

cricket_gs3_1 cricket_gs3_2 cricket_gs3_3

With this update, all US-based carrier variants of the Galaxy S III have received Android 4.3.

18
Dec
bootloader_unlock

In addition to things like stock Android and being carrier-unlocked, one of the big features of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that Android power users love is an easily unlockable bootloader. While OEMs and carriers often make a policy of locking their devices' bootloaders to prevent installation of unauthorized software, Google makes it very easy for us to tinker with devices bearing its brand. All you really need to unlock a Google device is a tool called "fastboot," which is made available through the Android SDK.

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