Following close behind the arrival of KitKat for the Moto X on both Verizon and T-Mobile, AT&T has now announced that it, too, is pushing out an OTA. Between Verizon's version of the handset getting the update before anyone else and the Moto X getting Android 4.4 pushed out before the Nexus 4 and both Google Play Edition devices, there is a lot to be surprised about here. Surprised, and impressed.
In the haze of excitement over getting the latest and greatest from Android, sometimes we forget that some people actually depend on their phones and tablets for work. Within the professional world, mobile access to email tends to be vital. For better or worse, an overwhelming number of businesses and organizations rely on servers running Microsoft Exchange (or other software implementing the protocol) to handle their email and calendar needs. Unfortunately, a minefield of bugs in KitKat's Exchange support are leaving many stranded without access to their employer's servers.
If the beta version of CyanogenMod isn't quite stable on your device and you're uncomfortable with the idea of installing a nightly, today marks a big step forward. The CyanogenMod team has rolled out the first release candidate for 10.2. If you want a relatively clean build of Android 4.3 for your phone or tablet, this is a pretty solid way to go.
The first 10.1 release candidate (with Android 4.2) came out a week before Google unveiled Android 4.3.
We've received an early look at an upcoming version of Facebook that introduces a brand new, flat UI. This is a change that competing social networks like Twitter and Pinterest made a long time ago, and given the direction Android, iOS, and Windows Phone have all moved in, it only makes sense. When considering Facebook Messenger's recent redesign, it's even less surprising. Yet this is pre-release software, so there's a decent chance none of these changes will make it into the stable version.
Asus has been in the business of making Android tablets for as long as it has been a viable business. The company has certainly won praise for its efforts on Google's Nexus tablets, but Asus still makes its own separate tablets in the Transformer line. The newest entrant in that group is the Transformer Pad TF701T. It's not the catchiest name ever slapped on a wedge of metal and glass, but it's not the name that we're interested in – it's the experience.
When it comes to cable, there's a lot not to like. The monthly bill continues to go up, and no matter how many channels you add, there's still never anything good on to watch. This somehow manages to be the case even while many shows are still exclusively available on cable. Yet as frustrating as the major providers may be, there is one trend that I can readily get behind, and that's the addition of Android apps meant to supplement their traditional service.
Quick reminder: the modular smartphone is a real thing that's really happening. Motorola blew our minds with the announcement of a plan to create modular phones not totally unlike the Phonebloks concept, and now the manufacturer is one step closer to making some real hardware. 3D Systems, makers of the Cube 3D printer and similar equipment, is Motorola's first partner on the Project Ara.
So what does that mean? Motorola needs some way of adding flexibility to a traditionally rigid manufacturing process, and 3D printing would seem to be a natural solution.
Why ESPN didn't call its sports update app "SportsCenter" in the first place is beyond me. They seem to have rectified this with version 4.0 of the app, now named after the ubiquitous sports show. (Da-na-na, da-na-na.) The app was also updated with a new all-white interface and a standard slide-out menu.
Oh, and ads. Lots of ads. While the previous version had in-network advertising at the bottom of the screen like a lot of free apps, this new one gets interstitial ads that pop up two or three times while scrolling through scores or updates, plus random pop-up ads.
Today Minecraft developer Mojang is launching a beta program for the Pocket Edition of its absurdly popular sandbox game. Anyone who purchased Minecraft on an Android device via Google Play is eligible to join. This will give you early access to new, experimental features before anyone else and allow you to provide feedback that could impact future versions of the title.
To enter the beta program, interested players simply need to request to join the Minecraft Pocket Edition Test Group on Google+.