To celebrate the one-year anniversary of its LTE rollout, T-Mobile has announced a major network upgrade plan that is sure to make a lot of customers a little happier. Anyone who has ever tried to use T-Mobile's network outside of densely-populated areas has undoubtedly noticed that, out in the sticks, the data speeds are almost always 2G/EDGE. Well, apparently that's all about to change. According to a new press release, it plans to upgrade its existing 2G/EDGE network to LTE and begin deploying additional LTE coverage on the 700 MHz A-Block spectrum that it's acquiring from Verizon.
Have you noticed that your devices get slow sometimes? Is your memory usage out of control? One user was having these problems, decided to take matters into his own hands, file a bug report, and get this problem FIXED! User "Amit", clearly frustrated by the fact that his phone runs slower than cold molasses, took to Google's AOSP issue tracker for some help downloading more G-Bs.
Certainly, the addition of NFC functionality into Android has been behind a plethora of useful features in recent years, from mobile payments to beaming files between devices. Unfortunately, for some users who updated their Nexus devices to KitKat, the NFC service which powers all these cool features dies repeatedly, and renders any functions tied to it useless. The good news is, Google has apparently found the root cause of the problem and has marked it to be fixed in a future release.
Owners of the Galaxy S4 on T-Mobile can now get their itchy trigger fingers ready to hit that "check now" button. We've received a few tips today alerting us to the fact that the carrier is rolling out an Android 4.4.2/KitKat OTA to handsets now. According to the software update screen, the feature set doesn't appear to include much of anything that Google didn't add into the stock version of KitKat:
- OS upgrade - [KitKat OS 4.4.2]
- Music Album art will be displayed on the lock screen while playing music.
As Android 4.4/KitKat updates begin rolling out to devices on all the major US carriers, one frequently asked question has to do with whether or not these devices will include Android's new "Tap and Pay" feature. This was one of the major additions in KitKat and allows almost any device with an NFC chip to be used for "tap and go" mobile payments, even if said chip doesn't have a built-in secure element.
One of the darlings of the Android custom ROM world, AOKP, has a new, and pretty incredible, boot animation. Some of you may recall that the AOKP team started soliciting new boot animations from their user community back in December. That contest has now ended, and the winner, Joachim Holler, certainly delivered the goods.
For what it's worth, I was pleasantly surprised at how awesome this looks. Generally, boot animations may not be noteworthy, but they are still the first thing you see when you flash a ROM.
While no US carrier-branded variants of the Galaxy S4 have received an official update to Android 4.4/KitKat yet, Samsung has dropped the KitKat kernel source for the Sprint's model. While that by itself is really only of interest to developers, its implications will matter to a much larger audience. Generally, Samsung does not release kernel source for builds that aren't official. Historically, once source code is made available, official OTA updates follow in reasonably short order.
In a move that few would have predicted, YouTube for Google TV seems to have been removed from the Play Store. People who have downloaded it previously can still see its entry, but beyond that, it's as good as dead. Further, there appears to be no alternative app to replace it. That doesn't mean there won't be, though. It's possible that the primary YouTube app could be updated with Google TV support in the future, but without a confirmation from Google, all we can do is speculate at this point.
Now that a KitKat build for the Galaxy Note 3 has leaked, people have started reporting new things that they're finding. Though most of the major features of Google's latest Android version are present, the "tap and pay" option is conspicuously absent. Further, it appears host card emulation has been disabled altogether. This is curious given the fact that Isis Mobile Wallet, which is partially backed by AT&T and nowhere to be found on the official Android 4.3 builds, is preinstalled on the leaked firmware.
The family of accessories for the Galaxy S4 has a new arrival. Hot on the heels of Samsung's launch of a similar product for the Galaxy Note 3, the wireless charging S-View cover for the Galaxy S4 is now available. Before now, if you wanted to charge your phone wirelessly, you'd have to take the cover off and replace it with a wireless charging back. It's important to note that there is no difference between this and the regular S-View accessory, other than the additional contact points to enable Qi charging.