The Asus Transformer Pad TF701T launched with Android 4.2, with an update to 4.3 coming less than a month later. Unsurprisingly, an update to KitKat hasn't arrived nearly as quickly. This could be disheartening, but as seasoned Android users have come to expect, a ROM speeding things along is usually on its way. CyanogenMod 11 is now available for the TF701T, proving users with a way to experience Android 4.4 on what is a pretty compelling device.
Customers who want Android tablets on Verizon's admittedly excellent LTE network tend to have only a few options, but there are two more this morning. Flagships from both LG and Samsung, the G Pad 8.3 and Galaxy Note Pro (or NotePRO) 12.2, are now available as branded Verizon devices. You can pick both of them up on the carrier website, and they should be available at retail stores either today or soon after.
Do you use a Sony Xperia Z? Did you buy it from T-Mobile? Then check that Settings menu - according to this T-Mo support page, you're getting a taste of Jelly Bean 4.3 starting today. Of course these things tend to go out in waves, so those without patience can follow the links on T-Mobile's site and manually download and flash the new software (10.4.C.0.797) using the Sony PC Companion software.
When I wrote my initial impressions of the MOJO, I had only been using the unit for about a day or so (hence the impressions being "initial"). Now that I've had it for about three weeks, I've spent a lot of time doing various things with it – playing games, watching movies, streaming videos and NBA basketball; basically, a lot of the stuff I would normally used SHIELD for. This has given me a good idea of where MOJO's strong points are, where it falls short, and how it stacks up against SHIELD and OUYA.
Users of the Subsonic music streaming service are probably familiar with DSub, which was already highly praised. Well, it just learned a new tricks. Top billing for this update goes to Chromecast support, which lets you pipe online and local music your nearest HDMI port. That's not all DSub has in store, though.
Besides the TalkBand B1, Huawei introduced three other devices in their MWC presentation - the MediaPad X1 7.0, MediaPad M1 8.0, and the Ascend G6. The first is pegged as a phone/tablet hybrid, the second just a tablet (capable of Wi-Fi calling and SMS), and the third a budget to mid-range phone.
We'll take a quick look at all three, but let's start with the MediaPad X1.
MediaPad X1 7.0
The X1 "combines the functionality of a smartphone and tablet" in its aluminum alloy body, and besides Huawei's own suite of software enhancements with Emotion UI 2.0, has plenty of specs worth looking twice at.
In recent years, Google hasn’t exactly been known as particularly hospitable toward SD cards with regard to its Android operating system. This theme is most often associated with the Nexus line of devices - the Nexus One was the only such handset to ever offer expandable storage. But despite arguments from Dan Morrill and Matias Duarte suggesting this stance is about keeping the Android interface simple and file picker-free, people still want more space.
LG's flagship tablet (and currently the company's only one) is certainly making headlines today. Just this morning we saw an impressive $100 off deal for the WiFi version, and now it looks like there's a carrier variant in the works. The reliable Evleaks posted photos of a G Pad 8.3 with Verizon's telltale branding, indicating that the tablet will be coming to Big Red sometime in the future.
LG G Pad 8.3 for Verizon.
I've said it dozens of times, but I'll say it again: there aren't enough eight-inch Android tablets. When the iPad Mini was announced, I assumed more manufacturers would jump on the form factor, but nope – there still aren't that many. Needless to say, when HP announced the Slate8 Pro, I was intrigued. It's an 8-inch tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio, which treads directly on the iPad Mini's territory. Of course, we have to be realistic here – it's an HP tablet, and so far there hasn't been anything really remarkable coming from them.
Back in December, Blu released its first 1080p phone, the Life Pure. It's a drastically different device than other Blu phones, in that the launcher and primary interface are very iOS-like. While most Android users probably scoff at that, it's actually a pretty good option for anyone looking to make the leap from iPhone to Android, as it eases the transition. With that said, the five-inch display may be one thing holding some users back from making the jump to the Life Pure, and with that, Blu released the Pure's little brother, the Life Pure Mini.