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.
There are so many regional and carrier variants of Samsung's Galaxy S4 flagship that even we can hardly keep them straight, but apparently CyanogenMod hasn't released an official ROM for the white bread, vanilla, Exynos-powered original GS4 before now. But lo and behold, a new build for the GT-I9500 GSM model has appeared on the CM download page. It's a test version of CyanogenMod 11 (Android 4.4) if you're interested.
As you may recall, support for Exynos-based hardware has been something of a sticking point for CyanogenMod and other ROM teams.
The Galaxy S4 is nearly a year old now, but that doesn't mean Samsung's done releasing new variations of it. Today the company has officially announced a new "Black Edition" of the flagship that comes with the plastic, faux-stitched back panel that first appeared with the debut of the Note 3.The new S4 model is joined by a variation of the S4 mini that looks the same, just smaller.
The new Galaxy S4 and S4 mini come with black power adapters, data cables, and headphones (as opposed to the usual white ones).
Sprint has been marketing push-to-talk functionality (a walkie-talkie style function that's popular with business users) since long before Android came into being. Though the feature isn't nearly as common as it once was, Sprint seems ready to keep it going with an update to the official Android app. The Direct Connect service is now compatible with a handful of new phones, most notably headliners like the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, and LG G2.
Samsung has become that one friend you've got who suddenly decides he wears a fedora. No matter how many times you tell him that he looks less like a debonair time traveler than a guy who raided his grandfather's closet, he just won't take it off. Russian blog Hi-Tech Mail spotted the new Galaxy S4 'Black Edition' on Samsung's Russian page this morning, and a similar variant of the S4 Mini was later found.