The Galaxy S5 is coming to store shelves in April, and it's bringing with it a new version of TouchWiz along with a full suite of Samsung apps. These aren't typically the pieces of software Android enthusiasts foam at the mouth to get, but with all the bajillions of devices Samsung pushes each year, we know there are many of you who get a kick out of some of them.
Owners of the Galaxy S4 on T-Mobile can now get their itchy trigger fingers ready to hit that "check now" button. We've received a few tips today alerting us to the fact that the carrier is rolling out an Android 4.4.2/KitKat OTA to handsets now. According to the software update screen, the feature set doesn't appear to include much of anything that Google didn't add into the stock version of KitKat:
OS upgrade - [KitKat OS 4.4.2]
Music Album art will be displayed on the lock screen while playing music.
If you didn't get enough coverage of Samsung's new devices from our own Mobile World Congress posts, Sammy has posted its own official hands-on videos for the three new gadgets introduced at the show. The Samsung YouTube page now has in-depth videos for the Galaxy S5 and the Gear 2 and Gear Fit. They're pretty exhaustive: the phone video clocks in at just under eight minutes and the watch video is over nine minutes.
The Galaxy S5 is but a short month away from release, and at this point, it seems like we know most of what makes it special at this point - both from the hardware and software ends of the spectrum. There are still some things we'd like to know - what the wireless charging situation is, for example - but there is otherwise plentiful information out there on the web about Samsung's latest and greatest Galaxy.
Verizon's version of the Galaxy S III Mini (you know, the one with the defaced home button) is slated to receive a minor over-the-air update in the coming days, bringing along software version G730VVRUANA4. The update is indeed fairly unremarkable, updating some of that lovely Verizon bloat, removing a "never time out" feature from Bluetooth settings, adding photos to incoming calls on call waiting, and something about "enhanced device security" (probably Android security patches).
We're still a bit more than a month out from Samsung's Galaxy S5 and Gear smart watches, but Samsung is looking to keep the hype train going with its new intro videos. You know the drill – it's super-pretty, everything works perfectly, and there's calming music in the background.
The Galaxy S5 video goes down the Samsung-approved bullet points one by one, showing off each feature. There's the camera, heart rate monitor, MIMI WiFi, ultra power saving mode, fingerprint reader, and so on.
At this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, three Android smartphone unveilings really did stand above the rest: Sony's Xperia Z2, LG's G Pro 2, and Samsung's Galaxy S5.
We know which one is going to sell best, which will have the biggest marketing budget, and which has more plastique - the Galaxy S5's success in spite any of any perceived shortcomings is all but assured. That's just kind of how these things go.
Love it or hate it, the Galaxy S5 will almost certainly be the best-selling Android phone in 2014. Whether or not the hardware actually warrants those kinds of incredible sales figures is largely irrelevant, thanks to Samsung's marketing machine and consumers' general willingness to buy things they're familiar with. And "familiar" is certainly an excellent way to describe the phone's hardware. While it isn't quite the ho-hum upgrade that came with the GS4, and there are some significant hardware features that add to its value, the GS5's overall design probably won't win it any new fans.
Whether you like it or not, there's little doubting that the Galaxy S5 was the star of the show at this year's Mobile World Congress. Samsung had the largest press event, the most crowded booth, and the most hype built up leading into the show. It doesn't matter if it's still plastic, if it's still running TouchWiz, or that it's still arguably one of the uglier flagship devices on the market - this phone obviously matters a lot.
Update: AT&T has just posted on its blog to say the OTA is live. Check for updates, people.
Prepare yourself AT&T customers – the Galaxy S4 is about to finally get that KitKat update that's been slowly rolling out across Samsung's product lineup. AT&T just posted the update details, and tomorrow (February 26th) is the big day.