All the talk about Android L this week overshadows the unfortunate fact that the previous release is still on less than 15% of Android devices. This weekend US Cellular is helping in a small way, releasing KitKat to two of its Samsung phones. The US Cellular versions of the Galaxy S4 Mini and the Galaxy Mega (6.3) are both being updated to KitKat, so those with the applicable hardware should keep an eye out for the over-the-air alert.
Have you been wondering if Google really ran out of the Galaxy S4 GPE? Well, maybe there were a few left over. That would explain the cache of devices that just popped up on eBay. Someone has acquired a number of the devices and is selling them at a steep discount. Just $499.99 for an unlocked Google Play Edition smartphone. That's $150 off what Google was selling it for a few weeks ago.
Once the CyanogenMod team found and implemented the hidden Heads Up notification mode, it was basically inevitable that all the other major custom ROMs would follow suit. The unicorn-powered Android Open Kang Project has done so with their first nightly based on Android 4.4.4. They've also thrown in the usual bug fixes, as well as settings for automatic Immersive mode, disabling the full-screen keyboard, lockscreen orientation, and a few other goodies.
If you want an Galaxy S5 Active, your only choice is AT&T. Meanwhile, the newly announced Galaxy S5 Sport is a Sprint exclusive. Of course, these are pretty much the same phone with tiny aesthetic differences. Sprint is really pushing the fitness angle, though.
The GS5 Sport has the same trio of physical buttons on the front as the Active, and the specs are the same. You can get the gist simply by reading up on the Active, and pretending it says "Sport." It's IP67 rated for water and dust resistance, and it's got a beefier, more textured casing than the regular GS5.
If you're still on the fence about picking up a Google Play Edition of the LG G Pad 8.3, Sony Z Ultra, or HTC One M7, you may have run out of time. All three devices are presently showing as out of stock on the Google Play Store. History tells us that once devices go out of stock on the Play Store, they often tend to remain in that state indefinitely.
Samsung has been on a KitKat spree lately, and it has just about covered most of its popular devices from the last two(ish) years with the update. Today, Verizon updated its support docs for the Galaxy SIII, which indicates that the update is on its way in the coming days, as well.
Aside from KitKat, this update brings a couple of new enhancements, like the inclusion of Isis. Otherwise, it's basically the same song and dance – updated applications, bug fixes, an improved multi-app experience, the like.
T-Mobile announced a great many things yesterday, but not all of them were reason for customers everywhere to rejoice. No, some of the goods are reserved for a select segment of users. Starting today, the carrier is issuing an over-the-air update to the Galaxy S5 (G900TUVU1BNF6) that enables support for voice over LTE connections. To coincide with the news, T-Mobile's VoLTE is now available in a total of fifteen markets.
A day after beginning its rollout of an over-the-air software update for the Galaxy S5 that brings Wi-Fi calling to the device, Sprint is pushing out updates to two other Galaxy devices. The S4 Mini and Mega are both due to receive Android 4.4.2 starting today. The Mini's version number is L520VPUBNE3, and the update comes on the same day as the Verizon variant's. Meanwhile, the Mega is getting treated to L600VPUANE4.
If you're rocking the Verizon version of Samsung's Galaxy S4 Mini, check your notification bar: you may have an over-the-air update waiting for you. According to this Verizon support document, the KitKat update is heading out for the Big Red model of the S4 Mini. KOT49H.I435VRUBND5 upgrades the phone to Android 4.4.2, throwing in Samsung's minor additions to TouchWiz as well. The update also has a smattering of adjusted apps and bug fixes.
Update: KitKat is also rolling out to Canadian variants of the Galaxy S III running on Bell, Rogers, and TELUS. They are joined by the Galaxy Note II on all of the country's major carriers. The goods are going out over the air, but you can get them via Samsung Kies as well.
It doesn't matter how old a device gets, there's hardly ever a time when an update to a new version of Android is unwanted.