Nearly two months have passed since our last installment of the Android Police Files, so I'm not going to spend much time on the introduction this time around. You already know what you're in for. Below are eight emails that several people out there mistakenly thought contained either legitimate questions or useful information of some kind. Unfortunately, grammar or common sense (but usually grammar) got in the way. Anyway, you've been more than patient, so without further ado, I present to you our sixth installment.
The Galaxy Note 3 has already been getting its fair share of KitKat, but now it's the Galaxy S4's turn. The Exynos 5 Octa version of the international Galaxy S4 is getting Android 4.4.2 via an OTA update. If you have a GT-i9500, don't go checking for updates just yet – this rollout is starting in Russia.
US Cellular customers with Samsung flagship phones, you can finally play with the latest and greatest in Android software. The carrier is sending out the KitKat 4.4.2 update for both the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3 today, following the carrier's Moto X update by just over a week. Not bad, considering that larger carriers aren't very far ahead.
You know the drill: check your Settings menu for a manual update if you haven't seen it already.
The Galaxy S5 may or may not be coming to Samsung's Unpacked event in Barcelona, but reliable leak source SamMobile thinks it is. The specialist site is reporting a series of leaks for the camera in Samsung's next flagship, starting with its sensor, a new 16-megapixel module. That would give the S5 more photo fidelity than the current Galaxy S4 and Note 3, but still it would still lag behind Sony's best-in-class 20.7MP sensor.
Samsung has been very cautious in rolling out its KitKat update thus far, with even most Galaxy S4 owners still waiting around on Jelly Bean. This doesn't even take into account all the millions of other Galaxy smartphones and tablets that often take a backseat to the company's flagship. Yet Samsung has now provided a list of all the devices it intends to bump up to Android 4.4.2 before it's all said and done.
Most custom ROMs require separate builds for separate carrier variants - one for an international model, one for an AT&T model, one for a Verizon model, and so on. CyanogenMod is trying to consolidate some of its most popular builds so that a single ROM ZIP file will work across several various device variants. Last month the CM team combined three HTC One builds, and today they're doing the same for Samsung's Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4, and Galaxy Note 3.
While certain manufacturers are removing LED flashes from high-end smartphones (we're looking at you, Sony) Samsung is improving theirs. In a lengthy blog post on Samsung Tomorrow, the South Korean company posted technical specifications and photos on five new OEM flash modules, some of which use new techniques for brighter and wider flashes.
To be honest, the whole post is pretty dry, mostly talking about size and power improvements.
A new report from SamMobile claims to confirm that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 will indeed have a fingerprint sensor. Not only that, the leaked information has a lot to say about how the feature will work. According to SamMobile, the sensor is going to be integrated with the home button, and yes, that means there will still be physical buttons on the Galaxy S5.
Unlike Apple's Touch ID scanner, Samsung's version will require you to swipe your finger across the home button while keeping it flat.
The kernel source dropped yesterday, which seemed to point to an impending release, and we didn't have to wait long. Android 4.4 is on its way to all Galaxy S4 users on Sprint, but you'll have to wait your turn.
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.