Motorola is continuing its tradition of being transparent about which devices are on the docket for OTAs. The company's online tool has been updated to indicate several new devices will be joining the Android 4.4 fold.
Amazon's Android Appstore held great promise when it was announced, but the reality has often proven annoying to use. A big part of that was the terrible Appstore app that was used to install purchased content on a device. Today things are getting better in that department. The Amazon Appstore client has jumped from v5 to v7 and has gotten a complete UI overhaul in the process.
The new UI is still recognizable as Amazon, but it looks more like the updated Kindle Fire tablets, and less like something designed explicitly to taunt you.
Toshiba pisses me off. It's a company that released one of my favorite Android tablets of all time (which is also subsequently abandoned after 4.1). When I know that a company is capable of putting out good gadgets but they continuously release garbage, it frustrates me. Announcement after announcement, I think this could be the one – this might just be the next good Toshiba device. And every single time, I'm disappointed.
After its update to 5.0 on iOS about a week ago, Pocket has been upgraded for Android as well. I'm a long-time user of Pocket, and while my use case is probably different from the typical user's (there are probably only about 10 items in my list at any given time), it's clear to me that Pocket is always trying to find new ways to make simple save-and-read functionality better and more convenient.
Everybody loves proprietary gaming platforms that make you sign in to play Far Cry, right? Hello? Well they're here to stay, whether you like them or not (thanks EA, Microsoft, Valve, and the rest of 'em) and Ubisoft is trying to make its proprietary service a little less awful with the official Uplay app. It's available now to gamers on the Play Store.
Give Ubi some credit: at least the app looks good.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is one of the best smartphones money can buy. However, it does take a lot of money to buy one. As an unexpected thank you for buying its giant tablet-phone, Samsung is offering $50 in Google Play credit, and all you have to do is enter some information online.
It's easy – just hit up the website below and input your phone number, IMEI, and a few other bits of information.
If you're noticing some fishy battery behavior today, and it looks like Google Play Services is the culprit, you aren't alone. Throughout the day, users have been reporting extraordinary battery use by the usually innocuous services app, accounting for up to 50% of battery usage. It would seem that, for reasons unknown, Play Services is keeping users' devices awake for incredible lengths of time. Some users report that location is disabled on their devices, ruling that out as a suspect for the increased battery drain.
In a series of tweets earlier, HTC offered some insight into the status of updates coming to the DNA and One, hopefully giving some comfort to owners of the respective devices, though updates can never come soon enough for many.
First, HTC addressed concerns over the update to 4.3 for One owners on Verizon, indicating that getting the update cleared with good old VZW would be "a two step process," involving an update for compatibility, and the actual 4.3 update in December.
The first notable update for KitKat has just been released across most of the major AOSP and Nexus channels. According to Google software engineer Conley Owens, the KRT16S build includes bugfixes for the original Nexus 7 and Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi and mobile versions), Nexus 4, and Nexus 10. The binaries have already been added to the Nexus repository.
Screenshot credit: Tron87, Nathan Sparrow
Google has also updated the factory images for the relevant Nexus devices.
Smartphone theft is a growing problem. With more and more people carrying around a $500 gadget in their pockets, muggers and pickpockets are targeting smartphone owners for a quick and easy buck on the aftermarket. Municipalities all over the country have noted the rise in cell phone theft, and so have the manufacturers. But as CBS News reports, when Samsung built in a user-accessible kill switch to deter thieves, the CTIA and the five largest carriers in the country wanted nothing to do with it.