It's not all that uncommon for software companies to roll out updates on a monthly, even weekly basis, but manufacturers are typically content to improve their products much more slowly. This isn't the case with Xiaomi, the successful Chinese smartphone maker Hugo Barra, former Vice President of Product Management for Android, left Google to join a few months ago. The company ships a new batch of phones every week, partially relying on user feedback to determine what changes they should make for each group - new shipments come out every Tuesday at noon Beijing time, containing new software builds and possible minor hardware tweaks.
Earlier this month, Team Uncarrier dropped a fairly large bomb on the mobile industry by offering users access to international data roaming at no additional cost. Now, it's taken the wraps off of its newest offering, this time targeting tablet users: free data. The company is basically giving away monthly plans that offer 200MB of LTE bandwidth to anyone with a compatible T-Mobile LTE device. That's huge.
Judging by the wording in the PR, this plan will be available to everyone, not just those who already use T-Mobile as their primary cellular carrier:
T-Mobile is the only national wireless provider to offer tablet owners up to 200 MB of free 4G LTE data every month for as long as they own their tablet, even if they're not yet a T-Mobile customer.
Samsung makes a lot of phones, and that means it has a lot of open source packages to post. Today it's taking the time to drop the kernel source for two Galaxy S4 variants after the Android 4.3 update, as well as the code from the AT&T Galaxy Mega giganto-phone.
Out of the gate, the Samsung Galaxy Gear has made for the tough sell. It's hard enough to justify dropping $299 on a watch, but it's even more difficult to shell out that much on one that only pairs with a single device. Customers who don't want the Galaxy Note 3 or aren't ready to cut the cord on their current handsets have thus far been out of luck. Of course, Samsung has been upfront from the beginning that it planned to release support for slightly older Galaxy devices down the road.
The Galaxy S4 is a neat phone, but man is it ever big. If a 5-inch device simply won't fit in your life, consider the Galaxy S4 Mini. This svelte device is headed to the US next month and it will be sold by AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular. The carriers should announce availability shortly, but no pricing is available yet.
The GS4 Mini retains the visual style of the Galaxy S4, but the specs have been reduced a bit.
We've all long known that curved smartphones were coming, it was just a matter of when. Yet once Samsung unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Round, the hot dog shaped device still managed to catch us off guard. Quite frankly, the handset from Samsung's South Korean competitor, the LG G Flex, which is curved from top-to-bottom (rather than left-to-right) looks more like what we had in mind when we thought of curved screens.
The Tesla line of electric vehicles are marvels of modern transportation technology, but they also come with a healthy does of consumer tech. Tesla's Model S comes with an advanced 17-inch touchscreen dashboard system running on Linux. When CEO Elon Musk was asked recently if app developers would get to play in the Tesla ecosystem, he had a surprising response. Apparently, the future of Tesla could include Android.
Tesla's first order of business is to finish the localization work that will make the software functional around the world, but after that he sees the car's browser being moved to Chrome.
This is the part of the gaming post where I establish a little context. Maybe I tell you how a particular genre is doing on Android, or how well this developer's previous games have been received. I could do that, but I won't, because the theme song in the trailer for Combat Monsters is kind of blowing my mind. It's easily worthy of a 1980s cartoon sponsored by Hasbro.
The time has finally come, couch potatoes: Aereo is here. This service has been making waves ever since it launched in February of last year, offering rebroadcasted over-the-air television across the Internet. The web service and iOS app has been available for entirely too long, but now it's time for Android to play (albeit in beta form). The Aereo app is a free download, but the service requires a subscription... and Android 4.2 or higher.
The Moto X marked the spot for the the company's Google-centric rebrand earlier this year, and it looks like the naming convention may stick around for future models. The US Patent and Trademark Office is showing a new trademark filing from Motorola: the "MOTO G." This doesn't indicate that a new phone is coming, but it does mean that Motorola is interested in using that particular name for a future product.